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Sertramean: Recovering from 17 years of SSRIs


Sertramean

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Hello everybody, hope you're all as well as can be expected given this horror we're all enduring.

 

Bit of history. I've been on Ad (Seroxat) since '97 or '98, I got off that after a 2.5 month taper (i know i know!) from 30mg,  and then went straight on to Prozac 40mg (August '13).

 

3 month after the swap my head practically exploded. It was hell on earth. I managed to get stable-ish after 8 months on Prozac but my doctor wanted me on Sertraline - so i endured another awful swap over. This was Feb 2014. Since about June 2014 i have been relatively well and even made it back to work after 10 months off.  

 

After getting through the winter, always a horrible time for me and the reason i went on AD's in the 1st place, i stepped on the scale in March this year and noticed i'd put on 4 stone in one sodding year on th Sert. You can imagine my delight. Well, that was the point i decided to get off this poison once and for all. I tapered from 75mg to 0mg from March to May under the docs instructions. I thought this a reasonable time-scale. I got all the usual nausea, anger, etc but handled it ok, even though my work colleagues probably woudn't agree! From May to last week i was coping and though i'd cracked it.

 

Then last week happened. I just crashed. Luckily i was on holiday...Foggy brain, crying, suicidal thoughts, body shakes, depersonalisation, deep despair...and those were the good days.

 

Thought it couldn't get any worse till today. 1st day back at work and i started feeling very restless. This turned into constant walks to the toilet just to escape the office. Then i suddenly went very hot and was literally peeing sweat from every pore in my body. My clothes and hair were drenched. I went very pale and started shaking. Then my eyesight started going very kaleidescopey and i nearlt had to lie on the office floor in front of my colleagues. Awful!  I was taken to ER immediately and thankfully all tests were negative. They put it down to a panic attack. I now know different having found this site.   

 

So, what would you advise? I haven't slept for 4 nights, I rarely eat and i just don't feel right. Should i reinstate a small dose after 3 months off?

 

Also do i have Akaithsia (sp)? I'm ok now in the evening but the last few days and then today at work i've haven't been able to sit still. It has lessened this evening but it is worrying the hell out of me?  

 

Anyway, thanks for reading and for any advice you might be able to offer, It is truly appreciated.

 

 

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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 Hi Sertramean,   Welcome. 

 

 I'm  sorry for what you've been through.   At 3 months , reinstatement is still an option. However, please wait for a "mod" to guide you through this. You are in  a good place for advice and support.  You will get through this.  Hang in there. 

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Sertramean and welcome to SA,

 

I'm very sorry you have also found yourself in this situation many of us have been too.

 

I can see you have already found the information which explains what is happening to you:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

Given that it's been 3 months since you took your last dose, I wouldn't take more than 1 mg. We see reinstatement of a small amount of the drug working even furher out so there is a great chance you will feel a relief. 

 

The tread below explains how to deal with sertraline including how to make your own liquid to get 1 mg.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

It would be great if you could put your drug history in your signature so that we can understand your situation every time you post: http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

Feel free to ask any questions you might have.

 

Once again welcome.

 

Bubble

Current: 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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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while since my original post but i'd just like to thank Ali and Bubble for replying. The trip to the hospital shook me up for quite a while and i haven't really been settled enough to reply.

 

I didn't re-instate in the end, i am genuinly terrified of these drugs now.  

 

I have continued going to work as it is my lifeline. I've shut myself away for so long on these drugs that i genuinly have no support network, friends have fallen by the wayside and my parents are far too old to cope with me and it's not fair to tell them just how ill i've been. 

 

The good news is i haven't had a panic attack since the one i described in the opening post, and i've now lost 3 stone of the 4 i put on. My sleep is strange to say the least, i fall asleep in front of the TV now around 8pm every night (never done that in my life) it's almost as if i just zonk out. I normally wake up at 2am and then go to bed and wake properly at 4-5am. On the odd occasion i stay awake till 11 or 12pm i still wake at the same time. It's a lot better than the insomnia i was having 2 months ago so i'm not complaining, but it's still very odd.  My 'fight or flight' has calmed down a bit from a couple of months ago and in the evenings i feel quite relaxed. The nausea i had at the beginning has calmed down a lot and my appetite has returned to some degree. 

 

The bad news:

- Suicidal thoughts still there but no half as bad as two months ago.

-The head pressure has remained almost constant since stopping the drug.

- My eyeballs throb with pressure.

-I still get periodic spells of dizzyness/lightheadness which seems to turn into instant depression for a day or two. 

-The DP/DR is a regular visitor although not constant. I walked onto my busy high street this weekend and was hit by a huge wave of DP/DR when i saw how packed it was. It felt like a tidal wave of people coming towards me. Very disconcerting. 

- Brain fog has got a bit better but is still prevelant some days. The world seems very grey.

- The anxiety is still there but sometimes morphs more into a feeling of nervousness (with added knot in the stomach) 

- some days i feel exhausted and find it a struggle to move and is normally accompanied by very heavy calves to the point i have to keep rubbing them.

- i've just started to become sensitive to noise, especially at work where it's busy. This makes me irritable. 

 

All the above symtoms come and go. Some leave for a few days and are replaced by others, then return again when the others leave. No day is symptom free and sometimes i have them all, but very rarely. Is this normal?

 

The worst symptom of all is that i've lost my confidence and feel (on bad days) that my personality has disintegrated. i feel horribly dull and i'm very quiet at work and people mention it to me a lot. i feel like running out of their at times. i also get upset when people in the office are laughing and joking as i remember a time when i could do that. Is this something that others have felt in their WD and does it get better? I'm scared of slipping into depression because of it, as it seems to be knocking on the door a bit of late. The occasional crying jags seems to be increasing., but this could be the onset of winter which is why i was perscribed these damn drugs in the 1st place over 17 years ago.

 

All in all people on here have it much worse but i'm just trying to look for some kind of hope and reassurance. Any responses would be appreciated. 

 

Many thanks.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator

Sertramean, 

 

You said:

 

 All the above symtoms come and go. Some leave for a few days and are replaced by others, then return again when the others leave. No day is symptom free and sometimes i have them all, but very rarely. Is this normal? 

 

Sorry, but I have to laugh at the thought of this being "normal".  Is it "normal" -- hell no!  Is it "normal in withdrawal" -- ABSOLUTELY!

 

You also said:

 

i also get upset when people in the office are laughing and joking as i remember a time when i could do that. Is this something that others have felt in their WD and does it get better?

 

I would venture to say that not a single person on this board hasn't had the experience (fairly regularly) of looking at other people and saying "why me" -- why am I left to deal with this idiocy while everyone else is so normal.  I remember when I was normal

 

You, my friend are NOT ALONE.

 

It has already gotten better for you and it will continue to get better.  Just be smart and take it easy on yourself.  Do the things that allow you to relax and distress and stay away from the large crowds that trigger the DP/DR.

 

I can relate to many of the symptoms you mentioned and I am confident that others can as well.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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thanks very much for the reply apace, it means a lot. The depression is hitting hard tonight. 

 

Your taper seems nice and steady. how are you feeling? does the lack of confidence affect you too?

 

My taper was way too quick, i wish i'd found this site many months ago. 

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator

Hi, Sertramean,

 

Lack of confidence is an interesting description.  I am pretty good at "going through the motions" so that I would appear to be confident to others, however, much of the time I do this I'm not really "in the moment" and am kind of outside myself.  It is a form of DP/DR and I think it makes it impossible to be confident about ones own personality because you are not really "with yourself" if that makes sense.

 

I have tapered slowly since April but I dropped from 100mg to 50mg between December 1 last year and February 1 this year.  A 50% drop, which came on the heels of a two year taper off a benzodiazepine, was likely too fast and has left me with residual symptoms that wax and wane but never go away.  In other words, I don't ever really "feel good."  I am, thankfully, not disabled and have worked throughout the process.  I am hopeful that as I drop lower and my brain adjusts further I will see meaningful healing.

 

There is nothing you can do about the past and how you got here.  You will heal.  It will just take some time.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Thanks again Andy. Today i feel brighter but probs cos i've taken a day off work. Went to the high street and didn't get the DP/DR just the knotted stomach and that horrible weak feeling you get when anxious. Still got the brain fog but all-in-all not bad, i'll take the small victories where i can. 

 

Ordered the Claire Weekes book 'self help for your nerves' and it arrived today. All the symtoms listed in there are exactly the same as from SSRI Withdrawl. So this 'thing' is getting treated like a nervous disorder, no more, no less. Accept the symptoms, don't recoil in fear and let time heal. 

 

Recovery time's will vary but we should all expect to heal.

 

Keep going everyone.

 

Me   

 

p.s. i'll probably be a miserable moaning git again tomorrow but it's nice to have at least one day of not being overwhelmed :)

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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as predicted i'm a miserable sod today! Woke up at 4am with anxiety and horrible fatigue. I've just spent the last 4 hours reading various threads on here, trying to grasp a leg of hope. This really isn't living. My world becomes horribly small when i don't force myself to work, and when there i just want to rush home to my 'safe place' curled up on the sette alone. It was the same on the drugs, but it didn't bother me. Now it really does. Hope the day gets better. best wishes to you all.   

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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well today has been a shocker. decided to get off my arse and go into town. Did ok, bought some jeans, but started getting the horrible throbbing behind my eyes and on the bridge of my nose. came home after about an hour and now i feel awful: restless, sweaty lightheaded...just not right.

 

Is this acute withdrawl or a wave? I'm about 5 months off.  How long does acute with drawl last on average?

 

responses would be appreciated. thanks

 

Edit -forgot to say i took my first High strength fish oil capsule yesterday. Could this have had a negative effect?  

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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anybody?

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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Sertramean,

 

There is no real way of telling, whether it's a wave or what.  You  are probably in protracted withdrawal, which could go on a while.  No one knows how long, it will take. Try and be patient, and have a look through " symptoms & self- care. Hang in there.

 

Ali.

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Sertramean,

 

There is no real way of telling, whether it's a wave or what.  You  are probably in protracted withdrawal, which could go on a while.  No one knows how long, it will take. Try and be patient, and have a look through " symptoms & self- care. Hang in there.

 

Ali.

thanks Ali, i'm just panicking a lot at the moment. I suppose we all need a bit of reassurance. It's a very lonely thing this withdrawal malarky :wacko:  .

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello again Sertramean. It's nice to have you back.

 

After 17 years on the drugs and basicaly cold turkey, believe it or not you are doing very well. It was good to read that your symptoms have actually decreased and that they come and go. This is how recovery happens and it is happening in your case too. Have you read about windows and waves pattern of recovery?

 

You are healinh but unfortunately it is a very slow process. And it might get even worse before it gets better. As Apace wrote, we can all recognise ourselves in the way you describe how you feel: isolation, tiredness, looking at other people as an alien species, commotion and any loud stimuli causing DP/DR... What helps me to survive is constantly reminding myself that this is all just temporary (although it lasts so long that it seems permanent and makes us forget things were ever different). It also absolutely feels permanent. But that's just a nature of the beast.

 

While our brain is closed down for repairs and great remodelling it helps to treat it as gently as possible. If big crowds make you feel bad, avoid them as much as possible. There is a very fine balancing needed between finding gentle activity that is beneficial and allowing yourself enough rest of all sorts which we need. For us who work it is even more challenging. I like to say that devil is in comparing: ourselves with how we used to be, ourselves with other people... It only increases our suffering. And while we can't help doing it, it is good to try and take a kind of meta position on it where you tell yourself: I'm going through something monumental here. It's awfully hard but I'm doing it. Nobody who has experienced it can't understanding which creates a painful barrier between us and other people. That's why it's important we practice becoming our own best friends. It will help us with other aspects of life also.

 

I was writing this for myself as much as you ;) so sorry for the rant.

 

I also have a problem with the dark season. This year I have started taking vitamin D and bought a kind of a light therapy bulb.

 

Regarding the fish oil, there can be reactions in some people. That's why we recommend starting low and building up. It might be that the dose you took was too much for you and increased your symptoms. I would stop taking it to see how you feel.

 

Take care.

Bubble

Current: 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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  • Moderator

While our brain is closed down for repairs and great remodelling it helps to treat it as gently as possible. If big crowds make you feel bad, avoid them as much as possible. There is a very fine balancing needed between finding gentle activity that is beneficial and allowing yourself enough rest of all sorts which we need. For us who work it is even more challenging. I like to say that devil is in comparing: ourselves with how we used to be, ourselves with other people... It only increases our suffering. And while we can't help doing it, it is good to try and take a kind of meta position on it where you tell yourself: I'm going through something monumental here. It's awfully hard but I'm doing it. Nobody who has experienced it can't understanding which creates a painful barrier between us and other people. That's why it's important we practice becoming our own best friends. It will help us with other aspects of life also.

 

Great post overall, Bubble, but this part really resonates with me.  I had just this thought this morning.  Seeing you put it out there as well is very validating.  Thank you.

 

Sertramean, hang in there.  There will be plenty of ups and downs if your experience is like virtually all who have walked these hallowed halls.  Just try not to let the highs get too high or the lows get too low.

 

You are healing.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Sertraman, it's hard to add to the excellent posts of Apace and Bubble!

 

So I'm going to talk about sleep.

 

You wrote:

 

i fall asleep in front of the TV now around 8pm every night (never done that in my life) it's almost as if i just zonk out. I normally wake up at 2am and then go to bed and wake properly at 4-5am. 

 

Sleep is when we heal our brain, and our body, too (90% of the serotonin in our bodies is in our gut!)

 

Don't get too bent out of shape when it seems your sleep is bent out of shape, too.  You will sleep when you need to.  

 

First - a story.  Once upon a time, when we lived only by natural light and candlelight, we had 2 sleeps a night.  The 8 hour long sleep is an invention of the age of electricity and nighttime light.  Anthropologists say we had 2 sleeps: one sleep after dinner and sundown until about midnight - 2 am.  Then, the village would come alive as people would get together, share stories, talk, have sex.  12-4 am was a social time (times varied according to latitude, so these are rough estimates.  Then, folks would wind down again and sleep until sunup, when work began again.  It was suitable for manual labor to be so well rested, and good for relationships and society to have those middle of the night social times.

 

It sounds like your sleep is fitting right into an ancient pattern!  So no worries there!  How is your 4 am wake up?  Is it gentle?  Or a bit shocking?  (if the latter, I will have a link for that, too)

 

I've seen a number of topics brought up here, here are the links to:  Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil  and Waves and Windows

 

I really like Bubble's phrase:  "Brain is closed down for repairs."  I'd like to expand on that a bit - parts of your brain are closed down.  Imagine very complicated road works with about 25 intersections coming together.  This week, the traffic lights are shut down, and you need a cop to manage the intersection.  When that is repaired, well, maybe they need to re-do the shoulders, so they can divert traffic onto them for later when the lanes are being repaired.  Then there's the repairing of the lanes - it doesn't all happen at once.  Sometimes they need to rip up the old tarmac, change all the drainage routes, relocate the services for electricity and plumbing, get down to the foundation, and re-grade it, lay new gravel, then steel rebar, pouring concrete foundation, then laying the asphalt.  Sometimes you will go for 5 months, and the road is still closed, but you can't see what they are doing to it!  Each phase requires time to set and dry.  Then you can paint the lines on it, and go to another part of the intersection - perhaps one of the other incoming roads needs the same treatment.  Perhaps there are exit ramps and roundabouts and flyover lanes that need repair.  Each of which takes time.

 

Now imagine the millions of networks in your brain healing - they don't just, "heal" and be done.  It's a construction process, like Bubble was saying.  Road works for the brain. 

 

Just my way of saying, be patient with yourself.  It might be the tarmac this week - but the lines aren't on the road and you're disoriented.  Maybe the signals are crossed at the intersections, or the signs are removed or there are detours.  Be gentle with yourself, be patient with yourself.  It's a complex process, and the gentler you are, the more easily you will heal.  It does no good to shake your fist and yell at the construction guys while they are doing their work!  So just wave (lol, wave!) at the worker, declare to yourself, "This is yet another symptom of withdrawal," and drive carefully past the obstacle.

 

You are getting better.  Let us know how it's going?

"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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  • Moderator

 

Then, the village would come alive as people would get together, share stories, talk, have sex.

 

Great post on sleep, JC!  I had heard a lot of that but you added to my knowledge which I appreciate.

 

Just one clarification on the highlighted -- the whole village?

 

Sounds kind of like college?  :blink:

 

LOL.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello again everyone, thanks for your replies and genuinly hope you're all feeling better.

 

Not been on here since i last posted so will update. I ended up going sick from work from end of October. Everyday was just awful and ended up havin constant anxiety. So i thought so it i can't live like this and ended up with a new perscription for Sertraline. Talk about not being in my right mind! After 3 days on 25mg i had the worst panic attack i've ever had in my life. I walked into my doctors in a highly aggitated & distressed state and just told the receptionist 'I think i'm dying'. The place was full of people waiting and they all heard me. I was ushered into a back room and led on a bed for half an hour as they took all my vitals. A doctor came in and i just kept saying 'i'm dying, please help me i'm not well'. Pitiful really! They phoned the mental health crisis team and i've been under their care since.  

 

I've since been placed on Citalopram (1 day) but didn't sleep and had the worst pounding heart i've ever had. Then 3 days on Impiramine (got DR/DP) which again increased my anxiety ( i paced my house on my 1st day off it for 4 hours with my head in my hand muttering to myself)  and made me nearly pass out everyime i stood up (not to mention the sweating), then 1 day on Mirtazipine where all my muscles in my legs seized up and also gave me DR/DP.

 

I'm again not on anything and will no longer/can no longer tolerate anyhting. My desperation and the begging of my family drove me back to them but it was my desperation that now tells me my CNS is so compromised that nothing will ever work.

 

HOWEVER, despite all of this some of my original symptoms have improved:-

 

1) Apart from that days on Mirt & Imipramine my DR/DP has lessened greatly

2) My anxiety is a lot quieter. How much of this is isolating myself and not facing stressors everyday i'm not sure. I still get anxiety surges but they seem to be in late afternoon when it starts to go dark. They normally last 20/30 minutes and then disappear if i get up and wash-up about 20 times! I occasionally get them in the early mornings

3) eye/nose pressure seems less.  

4) anxiety on waking is very rare now but seems to have been replaced by depression.

5) Restlessness is improving and i can relax and watch TV now sometimes.

6) the extreme lightheadness i had for the 1st few months off has dissipated. it's more like a slight giddy feeling in the forehead now and isn't constant. 

7) The 'fear' flashes aren't as often as they once were.

8) Sleep - i still zonk out at around 8 or 9pm but now can sleep till 5am mostly uninterrupted. I saometimes sleep through till 6am  

9) Faigue  -massive improvement. It only hit after 3 months off but i've felt drained since September. Been walking recently when i can summon the enthusiam and when it's not pissing down and actually tried to jog the other day for the first time in years..obviously i doubled up in agony when i finished but those 200 yards of snail pace running/stumbling felt wonderful!  

10) Started to enjoy music a tiny bit again recently. Put a CD on today for the first time in 6 months, got goose bumps listening to Aztec Camera - Walk out to Winter & Oblivious  (2 of the lovliest melodies ever written!)

 

Things that have worsened or stayed the same:-

1) the horrible feeling that my personality has disintegarated. I appreciate this is an extreme reaction to stress ( and is covered in the wonderful Clare Weekes book) but the thought often occupies my mind. This has always been my most distressing symtom. 

2) General feeling of nervousness still hangs over me when i'm out and about, especially in placers i may run into people i know. However the DP/DR seems to have gone when i walk into town.   

3) I no longer have finger-nails :-(

4) Avoidance has become a big issue. I rarely leave my house now. (probably linked to point 1)

5) i cry like a baby when i have my counselling sessions (every few days) although this may be a good thing. I use to do the actions of crying but tears never came. Very odd.

6) Depression is setting in in a big way. Not surprising because it was Winter Depression that i was originally put on drugs for. All the rest of the stuff never darkened my door before i took those awful meds. 

7) Brain fog - seems to be gwtting worse. sometimes when talking to my therapist my mind just goes blank and i find it hard to formulate responses. I actually laughed when i did this the other day instead of getting frustrated so i guess that's a plus. I then asked her a question about her life - like a normal human being, interested in someone but themselves!! The self-absorption during withdrawl is horrific and horribly dull! 

 

New symptoms:-

 

1) ANGER - never had this in my life, was always the most placid of people. This is new and only started in the last few weeks. I was irritable when i first came off but i become a raging monster with my family sometimes. I guess new symotoms appear as the withdrawl progresses?

 

2) Feelings of hoplessness - horrid

 

3) Noise - one of the things that sent me off work. I couldn't bear the sound of some peoples voices... like nails om a chalkboard. I started putting my hands over my ears sat at my desk when it got too loud and must have looked like a complete fruit loop! This comes and goes, the sound of the TV sometimes send me potty.

 

So it's been a continual nightmare really BUT with some improvements. Like some of you i'm now stuck in no-mans land, unable to function but without the hope i always had of going back on the drugs. The mental health team want me to take them and so do my family, but they just seem to make me worse now.  I think about going back to work but my confidence is just completely shot. 

 

I think i just need a bit of reassurance this will be ok? Reassurance reassurance, always looking for it :-)

 

Wishing you all the best.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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edit - thanks Bubble, JC and Apace for your replies to my earlier posts.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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 Sertramean,

 

The fact that some of your symptoms have already improved is a positive sign, that some healing is happening. That, in and of itself is encouraging. All of the symptoms you describe are all  a part of withdrawal. No one can predict how long this process will take or what symptoms will recede into the background , and which ones will come to the fore. It is all part of the " windows & waves" pattern of recovery. Everyone is different. It's an extremely frustrating exercise, which will certainly test your patience, and those around you. Try if you can to educate your family about this. it will make it easier on you. Maybe if you and they could read the book "Anatomy  of an Epidemic"  by Robert Whitaker, it would help.

 

Also , if you haven't read these links already, they could help.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9809-neuro-emotions/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • 4 months later...

Hello Everyone,

 

Well it's been quite a journey since i was last here. If you don't mind i'll bore you with the details!

 

December was tough. I spent the majority of it in a state of high anxiety 24/7. I spent two weeks constantly pacing round my house. I didn't eat, i didn't sleep. I was a raging suicidal lunatic. People talking outside my house would drive me to distraction. I felt like running into the street and attacking them. I'm a 47 year old male who has never punched anyone in his life. This was getting out of control. In a moment of madness in this agitated state i decided i needed my hair cutting. I marched into the hairdressers like a man possessed (i was wild-eyed and hyper ). I sat down on the cutters chair and tried to hold it together while my hair was cut. About 5 minutes in i was overwhelemed by panic. I got out of the chair and ran for the exit, trying to undo the shawl thing they put round you to stop the hair getting on your clothes. I made it to the exit with half my hair cut and the shawl stuck under my feet :-) I looked like a Picasso when i got home. I shaved my head.

 

After a visit from my CPN (crisis team)i was advised i should seriously consider medication, not an SSRI but a drug called Mirtazapine that would quell the pacing and anxiety. I howled argued and howled a bit more that i would rather die than go on it. I sat rocking with my head in my hands muttering they were trying to poison me. I was right as you shall see.

 

Anyyway, after cajoling from family and all others involved i relented. I started on 7.5mg of Mirt. I slept well for the first time in 6 months that night. 9 hours of blissful sleep. The day after i felt intense rage. I've felt angry during this whole withdrawal thing but never the rage. I was encouraged to continue by the crisis team and that this would pass. It did after a couple of days and i actually felt quite good as the sleep continued to be good over the next few days. Christmas came and went but i felt irritable round my family. I also felt no emotion. The crying stopped and i felt numb.

 

I continued on the mirt for 2 weeks till January. I put on a stone in 2 weeks. The med-madness had started again. I pictured myself years down the line going through withdrawal hell again. I decide to taper off. I did a week at 3.75mg and then another week at 2mg. Total time taken 26 days.

 

On the last day i took it i started to feel sick. I also started pacing again. Then i got the worst DP?DR i've ever had. I thought i'd gone insane. I tried to go for a walk but i thought everyone was looking at me. I rushed back home and sat on my settee shaking. I phoned the crisis team who told me it was just anxiety and to go and bake a cake! I'm a bloke who struggles with a microwave so i just said ok and put the phone down. They are now known as the Cake Team.

 

The next hour i can only describe as hell. I suddenly felt a sickness twinge in my throat and proceeded to projectile vomit for half an hour. My front room was covered. i couldn't stop. I never vomit normally. I started to become delusional. I rang for an ambulance and couldn't remember my name. I finally gave them my address and the paramedics arrived within 5 minutes. I couldn't speak and just stared at them. I was apparently white as a ghost and shaking. One of the paramedics was someone i had been to school with and hadn't seen for 30 years. He must have thought 'what a roaring success this chap has turned out to be'. He said hello. I just drooled sick back at him and stared. He must have thought i was on crack. I was terrified. The past 6 months on the Sert withdrawal had been a breeze comparatively.

 

I got rushed into hospital. I don't remember much else except waking up the next day on a ward, attached to a drip. I had slept for 14 hours. I lay there for the next 5 hours before my bloods were done. A doctor came round a few hours later to say i had Hypnoatraemia (low blood sodium) and that it was a rare side-effect of Mirt. He explained the delusions and confusion were all symptoms of this. I stayed on the ward a further day till my sodium levels increased. I surprisingly felt well, full of life and interacting more in one day with others than i had for 6 months. I met some lovely people including an elderly man who had incurable cancer and had only 6 months to live. It put my problems into perspective. He had a kind heart, not an ounce of bitterness and we had a great laugh for a couple of days. It was worth it just for that.

 

Before i was discharged i was asked if i wanted to go back on Mirt. I politely declined and left.

 

My day of feeling good lasted till the day after i returned home. I started getting intrusive thoughts. I couldn't go to the supermarket without thinking i was going to jump over the counter and attack the checkout girl. I cried constantly and felt a depth of depression i'd never experienced in my life. I wrote suicide notes every day and letters to my family apologising for taking the easy way out. I was in total despair. This carried on for 2 months. I didn't eat or sleep. The Cake Team had already discharged me the week after starting on Mirt so i had nowhere to go.

 

My GP called me in March, after he received the discharge letter from The Cake Team. I went to see him. I cried for 20 minutes. He asked if i wanted to be put in hospital but i shook my head. He then said what i needed to hear. He told me that he would no longer refer to the Cake Team or any other Psych. he told me AD's were now off limits. He perscribed me a beta-blocker to help with the adrenaline rushes that the Mirt had caused. He promised i would get better and referred me to CBT.

 

Today the intrusive, violent thoughts have gone. My sleep is back to 5/6 hours and my appetite is back. The adrenaline is calming down although i can still feel with arms and legs buzzing most days. I developed severe head twitches and body-jerks after coming off the Mirt but the beta-blocker is controlling these a bit better. I developed chronic fatigue after the hypnoatraemia but this has got a bit better over the last couple of weeks. I've not been for a walk for months. This needs to change. The crying has stopped for the most part and my thought patterns are stabilising. I'm left with a very fuzzy/light head for most of the day. This had got a lot better before taking the Mirt. :-(

 

Things that have improved. I rarelt get suicidal thoughts anymore. My body is a lot calmer as is my mind. When i wake-up i no longer feel agitated and have to rush out of bed. I can lie there now and try and get back to sleep. It rarely happens but this is a big improvement. The mental agitation is in general a lot quieter. I no longer pace and can calmly spend hours reading things on the internet without getting the urge to get up and do something else all the time. I still feel down but it is more of a sadness than outright depression. I spent a couple of weeks with my parents recently and felt pretty normal and could laugh a little bit again. One great improvement is my love for my parents. I haven't hugged my mother since i first went on Seroxat. I've been emotionally dead for nearly 20 years. I hug her all the time now, if she wants me to or not. :-)

 

The time and years i've lost on these drugs have become a bit of a trauma for me. I imagime myself in my mid-twenties when all this drugging started. All the memories and all the friendships i developed and lost are really hard to cope with. Have people on here who have been drugged for so long felt this loss and regret, and how have you dealt with it?

 

I've not made it back to work yet, i rarely leave the house except for going to my parents and going to the food shops but i'm grateful to have come through the last few months. I'm desperate to get back to work. The work doesn't bother me, it's the social interaction i'm scared of. I used to be happy and popular and my pride is stopping me going back in a reduced state. I just don't feel myself at all. I need to get over it and try and return. The fact i'm thinking of returning gives me a bit of hope that i'm getting better in small ways. Any words of wisdom on returning to work would be greatly appreciated?

 

I hope everyone is progressing in the way they want. My heart goes out to you all.

 

Best Wishes

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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Sertramean.      That is quite a story !  A lot has happened to you since you last checked in .  I'm so sorry for what you have been through , and what you continue to endure.  Mirtazapine , will always slow you down , make you sleep and put on weight at an exponential rate . Thank goodness , you had a sympathetic G.P. and I also think that your C.B.T. helped . It was a fast taper off the Mirtazapine  - 26 days ?  January . If you could update your Signature, that would be helpful .

 

On the last day i took it i started to feel sick. I also started pacing again. Then i got the worst DP?DR i've ever had. I thought i'd gone insane. I tried to go for a walk but i thought everyone was looking at me. I rushed back home and sat on my settee shaking. I phoned the crisis team who told me it was just anxiety and to go and bake a cake! I'm a bloke who struggles with a microwave so i just said ok and put the phone down. They are now known as the Cake Team.

 

That was helpful . Not ! 

 

The main thing is , you've made it through , despite all obstacles which is amazing and are now in " recovery mode " . If you stay in touch , here , we can help you through this .

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks AliG.

 

Yeah, the cake suggestion was a beauty. There were others but i wasn't that 'with it' at the time but it was the cake one that stood out as being the most ludicrous!

 

I'll try and post more often. It's the social anxiety and lack of confidence that is killing me at the moment. I get nervous when i go into shops and have to stand at checkouts. Thank goodness for self-service. I'm a whizz on them!

 

How to people cope with low mood without meds? I've got a right 'face on' today! I can feel my mouth turning down at the sides. I'm hoping it's WD related and i'm not turning into a permanently grumpy middle-aged old bugger!!

 

How are you AliG?

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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Sertramean.       Things seem to change mightily on these drugs . I used to be able to go shopping etc without a problem , and then things turned around , as they do with many here. Suddenly, normal everyday  " outings " , started to become excruciatingly hard !  I thought it was me , but it was the drugs .

 

There are certainly days , where you have to put  a " face " on , but lately I'm finding that happens less and less !  I find that this " journey " has made me more discerning and I now avoid people , that I have to be someone else with  , other than my " authentic self " .

Best wishes,

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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I wonder if someone could help me please?

 

Yesterday i posted about feeling the corners of my mouth droop. It happened again today.

 

It starts with a tingling pressure feeling in my face and around the bridge of my nose. This went on for about an hour and then suddenly the corners of my mouth starting drooping. It felt 'chemical'. I wasn't particularly depressed or anxious, in fact i got a visit from my landlord an hour or two later and i was perfectly fine and able to converse (which is normally hard for me at the moment).

 

I looked in the mirror as the 'droop' was happening and i looked truly horrific. My face seemed to have dropped and i looked horribly miserable. I didn't feel miserable though. It passed after about 15 minutes and then my face returned to normal. It happened again briefly later on this afternoon. It again felt 'chemically'. The tingly pressure feeling has continued all day but the 'drooping' only seems to happen for a short while.

 

Has anyone experienced this? It's very odd.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator

Sertramean,

 

I can't say that I've had that specific symptom, but I have had weakness of unknown origin in various places -- legs, arms, etc.  It sounds like it was bilateral which is oddly enough less concerning than unilateral.  Since it happened multiple times and returned to normal multiple times it certainly sounds like something that can be attributed to the joy of withdrawal.

 

If you have any concerns about this that are truly significant, I can only suggest you quell them by visiting your doctor.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Bit of an update. After 20+ years of smoking followed by 4 years on nicotine gum i have been nicotine free for 2 weeks. I just quit the gum, had enough of the cost. So proud, thought i'd be on them forever. Felt very low since quitting the gum though, not sure if it's related to the lack of nicotine or just a rough patch. Has anyone experienced similar when quitting nicotine in whatever form?

 

As for withdrawals i've not been too bad recently. Travelled 20 miles on the bus the other day to attend a family meal in a resteraunt. This is big for me as i haven't been anywhere socially for close to a year. It went ok too, i wasn't anxious when i got there (the bus journey was a bit angst inducing)and i enjoyed the meal and managed to join in with the conversations. I was a bit spaced out a times and i drifted off a bit during some of the chats but otherwise i really enjoyed it. I even cracked a joke or two!

 

I bumped into a couple of people from work whilst i was out too and the conversations weren't too bad. I sensed they looked at me with a bit of pity as i still look a bit frayed and nervous at times. I hadn't seen either of them since leaving work on sick last October. It was tough talking to them and i had a bit of DR (spaced out feelings) when talking to one of them but it was a lot easier than it would have been a few months ago. Progress of sorts as social anxiety is still my biggest problem and the feeling of not being the person i used to be. That never goes away.

 

I think i'm pretty much a year now off the long-term SSRI's now (apart from a couple of failed reinstatements and a month on Mirt). I feel a whole lot better than i did and my symptoms are not nearly as problematic as they once were. Whats left are the following:-

 

1) Extreme fatigue - it comes and goes and the last couple of days have not been two bad but i've just had a couple of weeks where i could hardly move. Muscle aches can be quite severe too at times. The calf aches left for a few months and have now come back with a vengeance.

 

2) Anxiety - comes and goes but nowhere near where it was when i paced my house for hours at a time. I still have the social anxiety but going into shops etc is nowhere near as bad and my resteraunt visit has given me a lot more confidence.

 

3)Head pressure - it seems to be mostly on waking now where i notice it the most. It can make me feel quite agitated but normally passes an hour or two after waking.

 

4)sleep - I seem to have plateaud at around 5/6 hours with the occasional 3/4 thrown in a couple of times hours a night a week. I used to be a 10 hour a night sleeper before meds. I always used to get the overeating/oversleeping type of depression. I guess when i'm closer to 7/8 hours a night on a regular basis then the fatigue will hopefully lift a bit. Waking up a 5am everyday still is defo better than the 0 hours sleep i was getting regularly at the end of last summer.

 

5) strange feelings and emotions (neuro-emotions i guess) - this is pretty new and has only been happening for the last few weeks. I seem to be getting envious of other peoples lives and the fact they own property (i don't as i missed the boat before the prices became unaffordable)and have started families. I'm also envious of the careers they have and the realisation of how unambitious i became during my 18 years on the meds. I was never the materialistic sort before meds, or the jealous type. This is a brand new emotion (jealousy) for me and i hate it. I hope to god it is a withdrawal thing and not permanent. I just seem to have this overriding feeling that i've missed out massively on my own life. The last 18 years have just been an emotionless achievment-free blur :-(

 

I also have massive flashbacks to before being on the meds and how happy i was capable of being and all the friends i made. My memories of the times pre-meds are becoming frighteningly vivid. I pine for those times and feel it in the pit of my stomach. Sometimes when these memories hit i can become quite agitated and distressed mentally. It's very hard to deal with. Being on my own all the time obviously doesn't help and i hope that i can one day make it back to work and build some kind of life drug-free.

 

So all-in-all i seem to be plodding along slowly. My list of symtoms is nowhere near as bad as earlier posts in this thread (some seem to have nearly gone for good)so for that i am very grateful. The fear has subsided for the most part. Hopefully one day the social-anxiety will bugger off...and the depression too.

 

Best of luck everyone.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator

Sertramean,

 

Good update. Congrats on quitting smoking and the gum. That's a huge thing for anyone, especially when dealing with w/d. Your update is very positive and points toward a good, solid positive uptrend.

 

Happy to hear it.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Thanks very much Andy. I really appreciate the support you give me.

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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The last few days have been rocky to say the least. I'm back to the 4am wakings for the last couple of mornings, but now accompanied by a knot the size of a small planet in my stomach. The full body shakes are back and i feel completely drained. I'm scared i'm slipping into full on breakdown/depression territory. Walking has been difficult too on my brief jaunts to the shop -swaying like a drunken sailor. Akathisia is back (or at least thats what i think it is), mental agitation is strong but at least i don't get to the point of pacing like before Christmas.  And don't talk to me about the head-pressure, like my heads in a vice and an army of ants are dancing on my scalp. Oh and the hopelessness and weary sighing. Stick a fork in me i'm done.

 

On a seperate note i went to my doctors a couple of days ago. I did my usual rant about anti-depressants. I did the same rant the week before to a different doctor when i went in re some blood tests. They look at me like i'm crazy which i probably am at the time. I do worry they will one day just section me. The doctor last week even offered me a script for Lofepramine and flatly denied protacted withdrawals exist. My own doctor this week stated that looking back he may have seen a couple of people on long-term seroxat that had proctated withdrawls. He may have just been humouring me.

 

Anyway, i feel lost, alone and tempted to try the Lofepramine. I have no outside support and am doing this on my own. 

 

I wish i'd tapered. i knew i should have. My body and brain are now a mess. Every day is groundhog day.

 

Apologies for the glum update. In the words of Buddy Holly 'Oh miseree-ee-eey...whats gonna become of meeee-ee-ee'. (I heart Holly)

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • 1 month later...

Greetings fellow neuro-pinballers,

 

In a bit of a window at the moment as far as the head pressure goes. Still chronically fatigued(ache from head-to-toe)  and sleep-deprived (4-5 hours a night seems to be where i've settled) but overall not doing too bad. I'm 13 months off now ( i don't count the mirt, i'm trying to forget that horror!) so i hope the next 12 months will see me return to the gym on a regular basis and start to get 6+ hours of sleep a night. They are my hopes for the next year. I'm due back a work soon and then when i'm settled there i will be putting my name down for voluntary work with the Samaritans for a couple of evenings per week. I think we all know about SI on here and if i can help one person with dealing with those thoughts then something good will have come out of the last year (18 years really).

 

Anyway a happy story:

 

I was told this a few years ago when i returned to work after a Seroxat withdrawal nightmare. 

 

My boss a work at the time surprised me after going through my mediacal notes by telling me he too had took Seroxat. It wasn't  for Mental Health issues but for 'pain management', or something like that, after he'd been involved in a nasty car accident. He was given it in hospital. I think he took it for 7 or 8 years. He decided to come off it when he saw a Panorama (current affairs show)  programme on the dangers of Seroxat. I haven't seen it and believe it was sometime in the 'noughties' (2006 or 2007) that it was aired on the BBC. David Healy may have been on it but again i'm not sure.

 

Anyway, my boss pretty much CT'd off a dose that was 'less than mine', as he put it, so i'm guessing either 10 or 20 mg. He said the 1st year was horrendous and suffered depression for the 1st time in his life. He also thought his wife was cheating on him and he became increasingly paranoid to the point he would follow her sometimes in his car when she left the house. She wasn't having an affair but the accusations he made at the time nearly wrecked his marriage. He said by the 2nd year he was starting to think more rationally and that after 2 years he was pretty much back to normal and that 'it was all behind him now'. I know for a fact he's had at least 1 promotion since our chat so he must be functioning pretty well. I wish i'd asked him more questions but it was a back to work interview so i was just glad i wasn't being fired at the time. It was about 2010 and i was just returning from an ill-fated (about my 3rd) rapid withdrawal from Seroxat.

 

So there you have it, a success story from a CT. I only post it now because i've just been having a mass clearout and came across my copy of the 'return to work' interview from that time and it reminded me.

 

Best Wishes to you all.     

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sertramean -- Thanks for your hopeful, helpful update.  Your former boss's cold-turkey off Seroxat (Paxil) sounds horrendous. It's good to know that he returned to a high level of functioning and to building a good life.

 

GREAT username, btw.

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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  • Moderator

Sert,

 

Thanks for posting an uplifting post -- both with regard to your situation (sounds like real progress and windows are very nice) and with respect to your boss.

 

It's so validating to come across anyone that "gets it." 

 

I'm optimistic that you are heading into a new phase with a higher baseline.

 

As an aside, please tell the British fans NOT to sing God Save the Queen until the game is really locked up.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Bit of help/hope needed please.

 

Just wondering if anybody has the 'startles' if they try to nap during the day, that feeling of nodding off ok but then waking suddenly within seconds/minutes with the racing heart and feelings of fear?  As i'm still waking at around 4 or 5am most days i'm exhausted by 4pm-ish and i tend to crash. The only trouble is i just can't nap. I really hope this isn't a permanent thing but it's been happening for close to a year now so getting a bit perturbed by it all. I appreciate it's not the worst symtom in the world but its getting me down at times.  Has anyone any experience of this and how long did it last?

 

Thanks in advance

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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Sert,

This is such a common occurrence in withdrawal. It's normal " withdrawal " . Napping/ sleeping etc.( at any time )  It's one of the most common symptoms. I  experienced it all the time but it has slackened off as it does. It's the body's " Auto - Correct " , and it eventually goes away .

Thanks for stopping by my thread . Much appreciated.

Try not to worry .  It's normal withdrawal !

Hugs,

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali, were you into your 2nd year when the ability to nap came back? (he asks hopefully!)  

Seroxat 30mg (January 1998 > till started taper April 2013 > off completely July 2013) this was about my fourth attempt.

 

Prozac 40mg ( July 2013 - Feb 2014) 

 

Sertraline 75mg (Feb 2014- started taper Feb 2015 - off May 2015)

 

Mirtazapine - 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 3.75mg one week - 2mg one week (December'15 - Jan 16)

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