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  1. Hello! I am new here. Please forgive how long this is, but I’m trying to be as concise as possible from the beginning for the moderators (and have a bad habit of digression, ha!). I so appreciate this page. I’ll try to add on my drug signature. But if I don’t do that correctly at first, I apologize in advance, as well as, for any repetitiveness, since my brain isn’t always on par and I just may not feel like overly editing any repeated information in different sections below. Please see my “thoughts about this forum” below “my history and withdrawal symptoms” further down the page here. Again, I am so grateful for this website and realize my situation is not nearly as extreme as many, but it is all relative on bad days I suppose ;). From everything I have read, it appears time is the KEY with all of this withdrawal malarkey. I am trying to be patient and positive and do have faith all will be ok in time, but I must admit I am totally blown away that I continue to have symptoms (sometimes new ones or variations on old ones) at 8 months out, after my last Zoloft, which I was on for only 2.5 months (25 mg and only the full 25 mg for the first 2 weeks – see below). Holy crikey Batman! And yes, I do know how quickly SSRI’s can start to change the pathways, etc. So, back on point… Please see below. AND THANK YOU so much in advance for all your help and my thoughts, heart and well wishes go out to all of those suffering FAR MORE than I am. This is enough for me. I can’t imagine some people’s hell in all this, though I’ve read enough on here to know I am grateful that, so far, I am not in that level of hell. SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know, now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now. THEN WITHDRAWAL (WD) SYMPTOMS: In a nutshell… Immediately after stopping had painful neuropathy for a few days in some places, mostly my left arm. (I am familiar with neuropathy because I experienced it for several weeks years ago after only 1 dose of Cipro – won’t touch fluoroquinolones again either). After stopping the zoloft still had inner vibrations (or what some may call minor akathisia at night…?) and paresthesia, mostly at night, but some paresthesia during day as well. About a week after stopping developed severe brain fog. Off and on quite severely for several weeks, but still with tinnitus and paresthesia. Totally messed with my menstrual cycle for about 4 months in terms of missing one and then crazy flow (perimenopause, maybe, but now a wee more normal again and it was NEVER like that before Zoloft). And as an Update – totally missed one in Feb 2018. Perimenopause possibly happening as well, but fun times to have both withdrawal and that. Makes it hard to distinguish some things. However, the crazy brain fog, internal tension and vibrations at night at times, the paresthesia and burning skin (not painful, but not normal), neuropathy at times (is painful), muscle weakness at times (not extreme, but notice when doing certain exercises), tinnitus, weird muscle tightness and head sensations at times, especially when trying to sleep and just overall, not quite me feelings at times… ah, yah, I’m gonna go with SSRI withdrawal on all that, because I was premenopausal prior to Zoloft and did not have any of those symptoms, other than some peri anxiety. Plus, I find it quite fascinating that almost all people have many of these symptoms across the board no matter what SSRI they were on. Coinkydinky…??? Hmmm, not as far as I’m concerned thank you very much. Ooooppps… I digress again… J Anxiety off and on, but some of that could be residual from prior losses mentioned above. FAST FORWARD TO… End of September 2017 to January 2018 to present… 2017 October - So to recap, I think I had a bit of a Window in some things in end of Sept and through October 2017. I was not “right”, but definitely felt better in some ways, even with some symptoms, felt more “normal” and hopeful. And the inner vibrations or mild akathisia while on the drug at night seemed to be gone. And the jaw clenching had stopped not long after stopping the drug. 2017 November - some things came back with a vengeance, like more sadness and anxiety and tinnitus more prevalent again. (Tinnitus changed from just left ear to a more of a high pitch in head or both ears off and on, which I still have, off and on, and especially in bed at night and first thing in the morning as of today March 2, 2018. I had had moments off and on in past months of the high pitch not being there at all and just some tinnitus in left ear from when originally started at end of Zoloft. But the high pitch, almost ringing in head-ish as well as both ears, has been present consistently for over a month now. Sigh. Just keep hoping eventually it will go away in time.) December 2017 - Same as November but with Stupid Crazy Brain Fog Awfulness again, like cotton head, and couldn’t do cognitive things for diddly and still sometimes have moments where if I think too hard my brain just says, whatever, pack up and leaves the room. This went on and off until around January 12, 2018. AND AT THE END OF DECEMBER - THE FIRST TIME I think I had the beginnings of mild akathisia since when I was the Zoloft, but it felt a bit different with some weird “internal tension in my chest and head and arms and just uncomfortable weirdness. And sometimes coupled with neuropathy in arms. I swore I might be having a heart attack and realized, nope, just more new withdrawal BS. Nov – present (ongoing at times)… Muscle weakness and weirdness (not extreme, but not normal to me) At some point in this time frame, I started to notice an overall muscle weakness feeling at times when exercising (weight bearing exercise and cardio), but I still do as much exercise as I can anyway for my sanity AND because at my age I can’t afford to lose any more of my fitness and tone. It’s just too hard to get back and I don’t have that much to begin with. I am grateful I can exercise at all (even if it flares a symptom or two at times, but mostly I’m ok), because I have read on this site how many can’t do that yet. 2018 Jan 12-19th – POSSIBLE MINI WINDOW…? About a week of almost “normal me mood” feeling Jan (though off and on all this time, still some tinnitus and minor paresthesia at times). 2018 Jan 19th to present – ANOTHER WAVE - the beginning of low grade akathisia for several weeks with awful paresthesia, neuropathy – all worse at night. So far, this wave is not absolutely 24/7, but many days for most of the day, with a minor window of 3 days lessened aka/pare/neuro/jingly symptoms. And some more of the tinnitus high pitch at times, but very little brain fog. Just more of an “off” feeling. And overall sad and anxious feeling. Less upbeat like in the window week. 2018 Feb 26th to present … Ruh-oh, as of today, super Brain Fog day – Crap ability to think or focus and brain just super fuzzy. So add Brain Fog back in to the mix now off and on as well. But had a few days with less to no akathisia or neuropathy or paresthesia. BUT SUPER TIRED off and on for the last week, including today. AS A SIDE NOTE ON WINDOWS AND WAVES: Windows for me happen in a way that not ALL symptoms have ever ALL been gone, just marginally better at times and it fluctuates as to which symptoms decides to rise up more. During Windows, if that is what they are, I feel more “normal” overall in feeling like ME and my mood is pretty good, even if I’m having tinnitus or some minor paresthesia, etc. And windows may even just be a day in the midst of things, where I “feel” so much better overall, even if other symptoms still happening on a subtle level. What I consider Waves are when my mood is crap sad or anxious and I don’t feel as “normal”, and/or I have a bad bout of the physical things like Brain Fog and/or mild akathisia, and/or paresthesia/neuropathy and tinnitus ( the tinnitus hasn’t really ever gone away yet, though there have been “moments” when it seems to have, only to come back. Mine is not as severe as some peoples, but is DEFINITELY annoying at times and something I have never had before). MEDS, SUPPLEMENTS, SLEEP, EXERCISE, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, ETC.: Some things I have been on since before the Zoloft. Thyroid (23 years) EPA only about 500-1000mg day (started just before Zoloft) Mild multi-vitamin (Dr. Furhman’s women’s with 1000mg D3 – sometimes take an extra 1000mg D3). Started before the Zoloft I believe. Mg citrate (just before zoloft - anywhere from 200-300mg, depending on what I feel like a day) Quercetin (500-100mg day for years for another medical condition I’ve had for 20 years) Hydrolysed Collagen for my skin (just before Zoloft). Does help my skin (doesn’t seem to matter one way or the other with WD, but can make me sleepy at night). Biotin (1000mg) for my hair (lost a lot after mom passed, but it is coming back) Play around with NAC 500 mg a day for a few days a week (not sure it helps, doesn’t seem to hurt). Vit C every now and again (500 mg), but not always very regular about it. Play around with caffeine (had some of my best days on it and so it doesn’t seem to directly affect WD. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. I think I’m finding WD does whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, and, in my case, seems to be mostly independent of anything I specifically do, eat, drink, etc at any given moment. I have experimented many times. As many on this forum have said, TIME AND PATIENCE ARE THE KEY FACTORS. I am currently 8 months out and may have months to go... Alcohol is a crap shoot and I rarely drink anyway (once or twice a month or not at all). Sometimes it has been helpful and sometimes, maybe not. But I mostly avoid it right now. Try to keep to a strict sleep schedule because though I do sleep finally some now (didn’t while on Zoloft or before due to the losses I had and anxiety) I rarely sleep all the way through the night But a broken 5-6 hours of sleep or so, is way better than 4 or less or none! I also have found that the collagen at night (it has a lot of glycine in it) along with some magnesium helps me. But too much magnesium at night can seem to do an odd paradoxical thing and agitate me, so I have to be careful. I have exercise class about 3 times a week (when I can). And I walk or hike when I can or the weather allows. Exercise has helped a lot. Though, when the chips are down, the chips are down, even with exercise. But I refuse to not exercise and should probably do more. But sometimes laziness/tiredness, lack of time, or withdrawal symptoms win. THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS FORUM and just stuff in general: Thank goodness it exsists, ha! Thank you all for being here and for those who started it! My doctor didn’t think this withdrawal was a “thing”. I had to send her an article from Harvard Med Page showing that it is (but even the Harvard article doesn’t think it lasts this long). Have had 2 people, another doctor of mine (later into withdrawal) and one a psychologist confirm withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome is a “thing” and that it will take longer than I like or think it will. So, yay, I’m not crazy ;). My Withdrawal (WD) is far less that many people on here, but enough to definitely get my attention and still disturbing, despite that I am mostly functional, because I feel very “off” kilter. I refuse to believe it will not get better, but am a bit blown away that after only 2.5 months at 25mg or less of Zoloft (the generic), I would still be dealing with any of this, but of course, this forum proves this is definitely not unusual for some. Am getting on this site to just confirm that getting worse before better, etc, is “normal”, even for such a short period of time on the drug (yay, not the way I want to be “normal”, snort, but one must keep a sense of humor ). I will probably not “live” on this site because I am trying to just get on with it and give it time as much as I can and because I, so far, knock on wood, am not as severe as some people. But I am grateful for this site, as I have been on it many times for my sanity (but equally I try not to go down the rabbit hole too much with it either), and am in awe of those who have walked through hella worse. Despite a strong family history of anxiety and depression on my mom’s side, which I have subtly dealt with all my life (with some severe depression from situational events), I will do everything I possibly can to be happy and healthy without drugs. I know I was desperate for relief and sleep before this zoloft Sh*tstorm , but the bright side is I will have learned some valuable cognitive skills and behavior (I do have a counselor and have for a long while, but this is definitely making me up my game on my thought processes ;). And I will not take another SSRI again. I was going to go to Italy for my 50th this summer and hike in the Dolomites, but have decided to wait until WD is done. Stupid WD. Whenever I’m in a Wave I think I’m going to do a TED talk on all this Withdrawal stuff to help educate and save the world! And then I have a good day and think, heck No, I don’t want to spend any more time on this malarkey at ALL when it is all GONE for good! (so, I can see why there may not be more success stories actually online – people just want to get on with living). Again, I’m not nearly as bad off as some, but I also know I’m not supposed to feel all these side-effect-like symptoms. I know what “normal” feels like and WD most definitely is NOT IT! WOW. SORRY THAT WAS SOOOO LONG! And not very well written (I'm sure there all kinds of typos etc). But I just want to get this out into the ether, before I keep putting it off and then have a wave and wish I had done that, ha! Many thanks for this site. I may have questions in time, but for now, I’m just trying to get my basics on here in the event anyone or the moderators have any helpful words and affirmations and so that I can ask questions if I need to do so later. Also, I may have totally forgotten some things which I may add later on. IN ADVANCE, please do not feel I am being rude or slighting anyone if I do not respond should anyone post to me. I may just be getting on with things as best I can and not checking this site too often. But I still appreciate everyone on here and what everyone is going through. My best wishes to all! KimLou DRUG SIGNATUE (FROM ABOVE)... SORRY, I'M NOT SURE HOW I "ADD" THIS ON... SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now.
  2. Hi all, Was on Paxil for 8 months for Somatization, Chronic Pelvic Pain which struck 4 years back....now I am suffering from Hypersomnia for last two years after stopping Paxil. Could Paxil withdrawal lead to hypersomnia or it could be depression that is causing Hypersomnia? Has anyone else experienced hypersomnia post stopping Paxil or anyone diagnosed with depression having Hypersomnia?? Please help. Hypersomnia is hell. Regards, Hypersomniac
  3. SeattleKee

    I began tapering escitalopram six weeks ago (December 2017). I did so in conjunction with advice from my physician, a naturopath. I was at 20 mg. I began by reducing to 15 mg twice a week and 20 mg the remainder of the week. The sequence, then, was reduction to 15 mg three times weekly, reduction to 15 mg every other day. Then 15 mg daily. I then moved from 15 mg to 10 mg twice a week, then 10 mg every other day, then 10 mg daily. I have been at 10 mg. for about two weeks. I am now experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include a sharp headache along the medial line between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The intensity of the headache fluctuates, but, even at minimum, I am aware it is there. I also experience slight periodic nausea, never to point of vomiting, some irritability and a certain edginess or low level anxiety. In addition, I am noticing in increase in hypervigilance and self-critical thinking. All symptoms have been tolerable, if uncomfortable. My history with antidepressants is a long one. I started in 1982 when prescribed lithium carbonate for depression. Later, in the late 1980s, I moved to prozac. In the early 2000s I began taking Lexapro. I am choosing to taper and end medication as the stressors exasperating previous depressive episodes have been resolved for some time. I wish to be medication free in order to evaluate my psychological and emotional state in that condition. Secondarily, as I live in a state the has legalized THC and CBD. I am interested in using these for symptom relief and would like to hear from others who have tried these for self-medication. My physician is aware and supports this as a potential for symptom relief. Thank you.
  4. I was wondering if anyone can give me some feedback on an issue that I've been having for the last week. I've had constant 24/7 brain fog since I first started into withdrawal, so bad to the point that I can't concentrate on anything, but the last week has been way worse than anything I've experienced thus far in withdrawal. I can't hold onto a thought for more than a couple of seconds before it's gone. Is this just part of withdrawal or should I be worried about this further cognitive decline this far into withdrawal?
  5. Hi, Ever since I took the last pill of Effexor (8 months ago), my symptoms have slowly gotten worse by every week. My brain fog, or "extreme blank mind," which is my absolute worst symtom, is getting worse by every day and it literaly feels like I am going to loose my mind any day now - it is very hard to process any proper thoughts or memories, and my cognitive functions or non-existent.. I am very scared right now.. I am so scared that my WD might have triggered some type of autoimmune disease that is slowly developing.. I can barely go outside, watch movies or listen to music anymore because all activities aggravates my already existing symptoms and I become even more mentally exhausted. I have been to several doctors but they cannot find anything.. I even ad a CT-scan twice. Can all this really be SSRI withdrawal? and is it common for mental symtoms such as brain fog to still get worse 8 months off? this suffering is unreal to me..
  6. Hi all , I am 8 months off reinstated sertraline for a month ( by doc) and Aripropazole. History Its around 4 years back when i passed out my college and not get placed even after making to finals in many interviews .. that i decided to write competitive exam for PG. I had taken coaching but just before exam I came back and found myself unable to recall things. My brain is just like nothing in it. I found myself in despair and stopped studying. This fog is happening all the time since my engineering but I managed to get average marks sometimes and sometimes very good . There is more in back history but I ll get to it later. So, my parents took me to a psychiatrist ( family known) and he put me to Olanzapine and one more thing. He diganosed me bipolar2. I got about 10 pounds on it but its not help . Meanwhile after 4 months, with the help of a relative , I got intern in a company and I moved out with fog to a distant city. TThere in a hospital, they put me on floxetine and Amisulpride for 3 months . Then i moved to a private psychiatrist ... where it starts getting haywire . He stopped fluoxetine and Amisulpride . And put me on Venlafaxine and Seroquel... As i was interning, i get usual heat racing in between job times but my doctor convinced me to stay with it . 4 months and I just started feeling agitated due to stress. It happened that I slapped a senior on abusing me and there I left a job I never happened to get physical in my school or college .. but it happened. Doctor told me to scrap the prescription he wrote of raising Venlafaxine. And he put me paroxetine + Oxcarbazepine. In his words , it is best tolerable and has lesser side effects. I managed to get a job by my own and cracking first time. But this time there is lot of work and culture pressure. Its a startup with full of politics . Boss and his boss .. all keep on putting things. Let office aside, I started feeling some well .. overly casual ... excited .. raged .. Iits about 25 mg Paroxetine and 300/600 mg Oxcarbazepine. I had unusual violent acts .. had hit a school friend .. insomnia.. I decided to leave the paxil by asking the doctor . He said half in a week and then other half a week to off. Thats when it all started , i cannot sleep whole night and with day light i start getting a nap. I left going office with fear of state i was in . I cannot wake and even if I .. i was too tired and angry . Doctor then gave me Mirtazapine which didn't help . I resigned job telling muly boss about all and came back home. It was Nov,2015. I start getting yhese uncontrollable rage that I locked myself in a room. Parents took to a local shrink who put me on Venlafaxine+ Mirtazapine(CRF), lamotrigine, resperidal, Seroquel. The NEXT Day I woke up so fresh .. all calm like 12 yrs back .. i was smiling happy.. but it lasted only 4 hrs .. and i am doomed again . I took those meds 10 days and i decided to go off. Physical Damage. I got brain zaps as sounds with eye movement .. While on Paxil I got severe neck stiffness and movement pains - which came out as Osteophytes. Anger , heart race , memory, fog , chest pains , fatigue ... All I beared for 4 months. Reinstatement after 4 months. Father took me to another psych who put me on Sertraline+ Aripropazole+ Seroquel. I started having increases restless legs than before and the doctor asked me not to go over net. After 2 visits and when he said it wslas Aripropazole for restlessness all time.. and he is cutting it . I stopped all meds . Withdrawals in 8 months. All first symptoms with some new like utter sensitivity in teeth. It is while breathe in most of the teeth . Muscles gone from forearms .. My left hands gone ulnar neuropathy and i got surgery done when no hope lived. Right hand has stiffness too . MAnger I am living with .. I have stopped talking .. I have decided to go sit on my Shop but I was unable to understand the talk . In spite anger biuts and memory makes it difficult to adjust. I keep forgetting people faces .. important talks . So i stopped . Now I am muted all the time with burst inside . Read success stories and play CoC. This is the most I can write now.
  7. I've never joined a forum before but I am not sure where else to turn. I am 26 years old and feel like I have dementia. I can barely remember things, skills that I have possessed for years seem foreign to me, I can barely concentrate at work and I can't read a book / retain information to save my life. I wasn't always like this but it seems like whenever I build up a tolerance to whatever meds I am on or try to get off of them completely this is what happens to my brain. I was once off of antidepressants for 9 months about 2 years ago and experienced the same thing. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and got back on. This time I have been off for 5 months and am struggling deeply. I am wondering if my brain is irreversibly damaged by these drugs and if I'll ever be the same. I wish I had never started down this path. The first 3 years of being on meds were great and then I built up a tolerance. Since then it's been a good year here, 2 bad years there, that kind of pattern until now. I have vowed never to go back to antidepressants that clearly have altered the chemistry of my brain. I don't know how to function without them. I get headaches regularly from stress and can barely function at work. I am not living with my parents anymore so taking too much time off work isn't really an option. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced similar symptoms and more so recovery from these symptoms post antidepressants. Maybe it takes over a year, maybe longer? Is there more I can be doing? Engaging in activities that I enjoy and exercising helps my mood but not these strange dementia symptoms. I have an appointment with a Neurologist in about 2 1/2 months. Not really sure what else I can be doing until then. Not sure if there is more that could be done to speed up this healing process or give me the ability to focus better. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  8. Hi guys, I'm a 24 year old french guy suffering from what I believe to be PSSD. Here's my story: Late 2012 - I was diagnosed with depression and went on citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. The meds slightly numbed my penis, even after discontinuation. 2013 - I went on different meds that made no impact on my depression nor sex drive, as they don't target serotonin (Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian, Wellbutrin, Lamictal). Only spent a handful of weeks on any given one of these. My penis was still slightly numbed by mid-2013, from the initial S(N)RIs. I then took an old MAOI antidepressant called Marsilid(Iproniazid) for around 4 months. The numbness in my penis got noticeably worse. I still had a libido but orgasms were very weak, it was harder to maintain an erection. I decided to quit psychiatric meds in december 2013. April 2014 - the penile numbness was still there and orgasms were still weak, no sign of improvement. ENTER THE THYROID MEDS. I took some thyroid meds (Armour thyroid) without a doctor's consent to see if it would help with my depression, although I had no thyroid problem. Looking back it was stupid, but I was depressed and desperate, plus I had read somewhere that T3 hormones were sometimes given as treatment for depression.That's when my libido took a massive dive, along with my ability to achieve erections, feel pleasure in life, and focus on mental tasks. I only stayed 6 weeks on the thyroid pills. Since discontinuation of everything around 18 months ago, the PSSD hasn't gotten better. I had to drop out of a prestigious university program because of my lack of an ability to focus on mentally-demanding tasks 9 months ago. I used to be an intelligent student with a great memory, but now I feel dumbed down. Paying attention to what people say during a conversation has become a little challenge in itself. Dropping out was devastating for my self-esteem. Concerning the sexual SEs, I am unable to be turned on by naked women like I used to be. I require heavy physical stimulation to even start feeling a little tingle of pleasure. Orgasms are pleasureless, and I've lost all ejaculatory strength. The semen just seems to slowly come out and dribble nowadays, whereas it used to to be propelled with great strength before. The numbness is crazy - I have a harder time even just feeling my own urine flowing inside my penis when I take a leak. Concerning erections, I am unable to keep them up during sex. As for pleasure in life in general, it's like it has been turned down. Watching movies used to make me thrilled, but now I no longer feel any sense of amazement during cool action sequences. Music doesn't move me like it used to. The touch of a woman no longer excites me, as if my skin had become less sensitive. I saw some PSSD posters on some website mentioning their skin felt like "rubber" and I think I get the feeling. I did some blood tests to see if my hormones (thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, and other stuff) were out of balance, but the results came back just fine. My theory is that the serotonergic side of the thyroid meds, on top of the previous SSRIs and MAOI screwed something in my brain, and I will need time to recover. I've seen a couple hormone specialists that have told me that thyroid meds don't bring these nasty effects on their own, and whatever effect they bring should disappear upon treatment discontinuation. I saw the Admin Altostrata mentioning time and time again that experimenting with meds to cure PSSD was dangerous and could potentially make matters worse, so I'll stick to taking nothing. Plus, the fact that thyroid meds made me a lot worse can serve as an example to illustrate the argument. Anyways, the past is the past. I hope I will get better, and will post every once in a while to update my progress (or lack thereof).
  9. Hi Everyone, I'm pleased to find this forum, but I am sorry that it is for the reason it is. It is amazing how many people are suffering from AD WD, and the symptoms and length of time it can take. I found this site from searching withdrawal symptoms, because today is my 10th day at my lower dose and I have been feeling worse today than at any time since I halved my dosage. Recently I became absolutely miserable about my aches and pains, which were stopping me from doing things around the house and causing sleep problems. I started wondering about them and then remembered that I had had to go off Prozac (about 20 years ago) when I got muscle weakness. St John's Wort also caused similar but not as bad muscle weakness so I stopped that too. I started researching AD symptoms and made (what seems to be) the connection that I have Serotonin Syndrome so I made the decision to reduce my Pristiq from 100 mg to 50 mg. The doctor suggested alternating between 100 & 50 for 2 months, but because the aches and pains are debilitating I decided to see how I went going straight to 50. After a couple of days I did get mild zapping / electric shock sensations, and also headaches for several days at the end of the 1st week. I slept a lot over the first 3 days (and was able to sleep at night). Then I had several nights where I had trouble sleeping. Last night I slept through for the first time. I had several days where I had an upset stomach which I had thought was a tummy bug but I now realise it is possibly from the withdrawal. At this time, I am feeling achy (a bit like the flu), different from being on the higher dose. This surpised me because I had been going well. Thinking back, the first few days I wasn't drinking coffee. Then I started having coffee in the morning again and yesterday I had one at breakfast and then another at lunchtime. What I have read on this site confirms my suspicion that it may be the cause of me not feeling as good as I had so no more coffee for me. Yesterday I decided that I need to started taking more care of my nutrition (I haven't had much of an appetite lately), and what I have read here confirms this. I am taking one day at a time, and I am not making any decision yet as to whether I will go off the Pristiq completely or stay on the 50 mg. At the end of last year I completed a free Government funded online workshop (I'm in Australia) which I found very helpful. Even though I had previously seen a psychologist, had done a lot of reading of books and internet articles and "knew" CBT (which I have nicknamed Change Bad Thinking) I found that doing the workshop (which was over 8 weeks) was very helpful because it was practising the CBT, instead of just knowing it. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone all the best as you deal with whatever you are going through. Unfortunately, that is the hard part. We have to go through it ourselves. Thankfully, though, others can support us. Take care everyone. ChessieCat
  10. Hi All - Reading and typing are difficult, so I will try my best to relay what's going on with minimal typos. At the end of January, my psychiatrist used Prozac to begin weening me off of Pristiq (50mg), as the situation calling for meds was better and I was experiencing the haziness and vision problems associated with SSRIs. Over a month, I had discontinued both drugs (last dose of Prozac was 15 days ago). It is now March 10th and all of my symptoms are at their peak, with new ones arising regularly. My worst symptoms at this point are outlined below. I have omitted anxiety from the list because OBVIOUSLY. I am terrified that I am permanently like this. Can anyone else relate to such symptoms or advise on how long they lasted? I will not go back on this poison – but I also cannot go on like this. Any advice and/or support is welcome and appreciated. Good luck to everyone. Vision Blurriness (Made worse by driving) Dizziness/‘Spaced Out’/Fogged Feeling Disequilibrium (feel like a zombie, not ‘myself) Neck & Upper Back Pain (Particularly the top of my neck; stiffness of entire neck) Sensation of Brain “Moving” (Sometimes like a shakiness or bobble head type feeling) Muscle Spasms/Twitches (and general ‘shakiness) Motion Sickness Drunk (in a bad way) Confusion Trouble Concentrating (hurts my brain to try) Memory/Recall Issues Constant Headache (feels like a tension headache) Temple & Ocular Pressure Nausea (constant but generally mild) Occasional Ear Pressure Hair Loss
  11. this may be long but its a complete overview of how psych drugs have destroyed my life(hopefully temporarily) I was put on zoloft at 14 for depression and severe OCD. the effects were actually extremely therapeutic and healing. I havent had any compulsions since( 6 years ago). so I do not regret going on it looking back, but i had no idea i was going destined to go down the rabbit hole of psychotropic meds. zoloft made me develop a duodenal ulcer and berets esophagus which made me feel nauseas all the time, thankfully nexium seemed to fix it and I haven't had gastrointestinal problems since. fast forward 3 years after i moved away to start my first year of college. amongst the workloads and new experiences i accidentally cold turkeyed my meds and decided to stay off. I slowly started to experience depression which seemed managable until i began to feel the anxiety creep back in. it got to the point where i was freaked out enough that my OCD would return that went to my psychiatrist, he thought the logical thing to do was to be put back on the zoloft but i was not keen on that idea because of my fear of furthering my gastro problems in starting the medication back up. I was also tired of feeling exhausted all the time, so he suggested an SSNRI and put me on wellbutrin. i only managed a couple weeks on it i believe as it aggrivated my anxiety, so he took me off and put me on effexor. the effexor worked pretty well for me as i increased my doses. i believe i was on 225 mg. after my freshman year i moved back home because i had made changes to my degree path that the university i was attending couldn't fulfill. I again began taking my meds sporadically and feeling the effects of it, some brain zaps, slight change in though process, anxiety and pretty bad depression. i eventually cold turkeyed the effexor(idiotic) and felt the depression worsen by the weeks. thankfully i was at home where i could be as upset and weird as i needed to be thanks to the worlds most understanding mother( dealt with two of her siblings' bipolar disorder). as i waited for my appointment with a new psychiatrist in my home town, things got to the point where i was ready to take any medication in order to feel better, so i went into my sessions with my new psychiatrist with a completely open yet naive perspective about meds, considering it was the effexor that that screwed me up. he immediately pointed out the other doctors mistake in changing drug classes too quickly. so he decided i should stick with the ssri's. I was hesitant because i thought i was so messed up i was beyond that. boy was i wrong. he put me on lexapro and said it was one of the more heavy duty ssri's. i began taking the medication and felt a slow leveling of my mood as i worked up to 20mg( 3 years ago). however, i was not satisfied with my progress after about a month, so he decided that adding abilify would help things. after taking one abilify pill i would never underestimate the power of psych meds again. I took the abilify at night and went to bed but the abilify would not let me sleep a wink. everytime i would doze off i would jerk awake as if i had a nightmare. there was also a slight feeling of restlessness and anxiety. it was torture but thankfully only lasted that night as i never took a second pill. at this point i figured that the lexapro was enough and it was for about 2 years as my well being kept increasing and i felt completely in control of my emotions. at the time i had bad cystic acne and wanted to go on accutane as a last resort. my psychiatrist approved despite my worries of the potential psychological effects, he thought the lexapro was a good enough safety net. so i went on a 7 month cycle of accutane and developed no psychological issues. however i did feel a dulling to my mental processing nothing too extreme but something i was aware of. I thought it was without a doubt the accutane because at the time i was sold on the effectiveness and benefits of psych meds. 4 months after stopping the accutane i decided to taper down to 10mg, and i did as my doctor instructed, but as we all know now, standard medical protocol for tapering off meds is pretty inaccurate. i started noticing diffuse pain in my body. i thought i was just working out too hard, as i exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week. but the pain progressed to a point where my workouts had to be compromised and my muscle movement became slightly rigid and my connective tissue was snapping and popping, so i eventually went to the doctor. i was referred to a rheumatologist who did a full work up and found no signs of inflammation. which was both relieving but also unsettling because the nonspecific diagnosis of fibromyalgia was not good enough for me. I was also told that i may or may not be developing an autoimmune disease which scared the **** out of me( ha if only i knew how much worse things were going to get). the popping and snapping made me believe i was developing rheumatoid arthritis. the fear drove me to an alternative and proactive approach to healing. I began eating vegan, then paleo/anti inflammatory. the diet was difficult and made me lose a lot of muscle mass. but i kept on it until i was invited to a friends 21st birthday party in vegas. during that weekend i threw away all dietary restrictions all at once and payed for it. the very first night of heavy drinking exacerbated all of my symptoms and added a neurological flavor to it; i began to experience weakness and tremors.this occured eveyrtime i drank in the future. i didnt want to miss out so i powered through it. I managed to come back and continue my diet temporarily before i moved for school again. fall of 2014, I moved to SF for school and was so excited about the possibilities awaiting me in the city. i was still on 10 mg of lexapro at the time and felt mentally sound accept for a and clear increase in brain fog which i thought was related to whatever mysterious illness was brewing in me. still, i never thought to attribute it to the lexapro because in my mind, there was no way an antidepressant could manifest such physical symptoms but I weaned off the 10 down to 5 over a couple weeks to be sure. my time in SF only lasted 2 months as the symptoms progressed and I fell more ill. I began experiencing reccuring fevers of 104 and missed a lot of class. the health center doctors there swore is was just a bad virus. but i wasnt getting better and I began to notice twitches in my muscles at rest. I missed so much class, i had to come back home and get my health back in line. the possibilities were extremely distressing. i was reffered to an infectious disease specialist who believed i might have contracted HIV or Lyme disease. after some blood tests, he ruled out HIV but wanted to be absolutely sure it wasnt lyme or some other infection he might have missed. he decided a spinal tap would be the best way to confirm. it made complete sense that i would have lyme disease since my symptoms matched the criteria completely however the results were negative. the spinal tap procedure was pretty much painless, but the spinal headache and back pain drove me to pop Vicodin like dr. house. it would only subside when i was completely flat. this lasted a little over a week. the hole in my spine was leaking so much that i temporarily lost my hearing while visiting my brother in chico. i woke up and my right ear was not picking up anything and the headache had worsened. I informed my mother and we drove to the ER. after waiting 5 hours in the waiting room a nurse took us back to a hallway gurney. I'll never forget this nurses name because of what she put me through. my options were an emergency blood patch, or fluids and pain medication. I went with the latter because i was done with needles going into my back. the nurse hooked me up to an iv and told me the drug cocktail she was going to give me was a non narcotic combination of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, and antiemetics. after all the vicodin i was done with narcotics so I agreed to the cocktails administration. even now as i write this I get an overwhelming feeling of regret. the cocktail contained, benadryl, toradol, and compazine. little did i know that compazine was first generation antipsychotic. I immediately felt the effects. horrid akathisia radiating from my chest, agitation, terror, anxiety, increased twitching, and instantly put into a state of depersonalization where i became unable to think with any clarity. I felt as though i needed to run up and down the hospital hallways but i was too terrified to even speak to my mother and the benadryl was making my body weak and drowsy. the attending came back and asked how i was feeling, I wanted to get the hell out of there so i told them better. after i was discharged we drove back to my brother's place where i unsuccessfully tried to sleep off the meds. I woke the next day still feeling high as i called it at the time. after we came back home I had a panic attack over not being able to unwind to sleep. I just couldn't relax and sit still. so i took more benadryl which did nothing and i researched other people's experiences with compazine. this was both a mistake and a tool as i found out about my experiencing akathisia and depersonalization. i kept waiting for the drugs to wear off but weeks went by and there was not change. I went back to my psychiatrist and he said that the compazine would eventually work its way out of my system. its been 2 months since the IV compazine and 3 months since i weaned off the lexapro and things have only gotten worse. i still felt mentally sound after i came of the lexapro despite the physical symptoms everything changed when i was given the compazine. everyday now is a struggle. I cannot be a functioning member of society in this state, my sleep has now become affected, it feels like im in an initial state of sleep and staring at my eyelids. im constantly uncomfortable and few things are helping me cope. this experience has taught me about the true harm of psychotropics. I wouldve never thought the lexapro was actually causing my lyme disease symptoms. my question is, has anyone experienced a recovery from compazine and or lexapro or acute drug induced akathisia and depersonalization??? since drugs got me here in the first place i plan to ride things out as long as i can on my own, are there any supplements worth taking to help ease or heal me? this really is what hell on earth feels like. if you read all of my story, thanks for your interest.
  12. hello, In the past I took several SSRIs from 2002 - 2009 on and off (i was 14 - 21 years old). The side effects were having no libido and brain fog but disappeard when I dropped the SSRIs. In May my psychiatrist prescribed me tianeptin, I took it only 3 days, but since then I have still a lot of problems like brain fog, anhedonia, insomnia, anxiety and PSSD. I don't know why there is no improvement after half a year and I wonder whether it will ever improve, How can that be after only 3 pills? Can 3 pills have destroyed my life forever? I'm really hopeless about this. Any advices for me? Please help me...
  13. SugarDollMary

    I found this site after beginning to taper off venlafaxine. Effexor was prescribed for me ten or so years ago to help with fibromyalgia. Through the years doctors or nurse practitioners have upped my dose (usually due to situational depression and dysthymia). Somewhere I was switched from regular to XR and to the generic. My dose ended up at a high of 225 mg/day of venlafaxine XR. The few times I forgot to take my dose, I had quite a set of discontinuation symptoms: wild dreams, nightmares, "acid flashbacks." Because I have learned healthy ways of coping with fibro and dysthymia, I want to taper off the venlafaxine. My NP and I discussed and on Friday March 22, I started the taper as per what we figured out: 2-75 mg of XR + 1-37.5 nonXR, for a total of 187.5 mg/day. She told me to hold at this level for two months. What is that? 17%? A couple days later I had one night of insomnia, and then when I finally slept, my dreams were really crazy. One week and one day after, I had the worst migraine of my life. Usually I just get the aura and a slight headache for about 20 mins., but this one lasted all day; I was sick to my stomach and felt bad for two days. I also noticed I am sort of trembly and mentally dim. (What complicates this is that I also have had a nagging flu/cold for the last three weeks, and my head is still stuffed up, so I don't know what might be that and what might be the withdrawal.) Anyhow, I'm able to function, but feel crappy. The insomnia ended after one night as did the dreams. No more headache but I feel real tired and achy and still sort of dull. After reading about the 10% guideline, I'm wondering if I should go back up to 225, then drop 10% (I'd actually just split the 37.8 in half; it would be less than 10%), or if I should muddle through and reduce 10% the next time. Looking forward to support on this site. SugarDollMary Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia. Highest dose 225/day XR Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular)
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