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  1. Hi all. Don't normally do this sort of thing but I've been helped a fair bit by reading through this site, so I thought maybe my input could help others. I've always had a bit of anxiety and neurotic behaviour, but I was originally placed on 10mg Lexapro at ~25 years old due to a cancer scare that knocked my anxiety up a notch. Stayed on it for a few years with pretty good success. No negative symptoms - no ED, no sexual dysfunction, I needed LESS sleep, ended up putting on no weight at all. Pretty perfect. In my stupidity, I decided I didn't need it anymore after a year or two (and my mum was pretty against me using them). Came off them by snapping the 10mg in half to 5mg for a couple of months, and then just cold turkeyed the rest of the way. No real withdrawal besides those horrible brain zaps. A few years later during my masters, I was having a bit of trouble so doctor suggested I went back on them. Fine. 10mg again, exact same situation - no negative affects (after the first couple of weeks while it built up in my system). Still felt a bit average a few months later, so I took my doctor's advice and went up to 20mg and everything was fine. I really did feel pretty good and normal on it, it never stopped working and nothing bad happened. Fast forward to this year. I turned 30 and decided that I would try to come off the ol' Lexapro. Split my 20mg to half doses of 10mg in about June, then by ~21st of July just ditched them entirely. Cue the standard brain zaps and a horrendous bout of flu-like symptoms (that I perhaps wrongfully attributed to the flu travelling through my office). They both disappeared by mid September and silly me thought 'right, I'm all good'. Randomly, on the 4th of November, I had a horrendous panic attack thinking about death, just from reading the news. Now I've had panic attacks before, but that was during the cancer scare and I was reading about my chances (what a dumb idea). Anyway, that went away and I went out on a night of heavy drinking after work. Saturday, I experienced the general malaise following heavy drinking, but Sunday I began to suffer inordinate anxiety, the likes of which I've never really experienced. It wasn't until then that I started reading about SSRI withdrawal symptoms appearing sometimes months afterwards. Looking back I can see that my symptoms started about 3.5 months after I abruptly stopped from 10mg doses. In addition to that, my GP had always told me that 10mg was a pretty small dose, so I never considered the possibly of needing to taper any further. 6/11 I started experiencing massive DP/DR, and gave myself panic attacks reading about the damn Fermi paradox at night (girlfriend: why do you care what an old Italian mathematician says?). Decided the smart move was to keep a journal so I could see any progression. 7-11/11 Was terrible. Felt like dying, and was so close to going back on the lexapro but, somehow, I restrained myself. I can barely remember any of these days, as the brain fog was compounded by intense existential anxiety. At some point I started taking St. John's Wort every night. 12/11 suffered a complete breakdown, sobbing and crying in my girlfriend's arms for no real reason. Needed a break so I (perhaps stupidly) took 1/2 a 5mg valium. I know this is advised against but I don't regret it, I really needed it. Calmed me down a lot. Still no appetite and sleep wouldn't come. 13/11 Dead and apathetic all day. Forced myself to exercise, which definitely improved my mood from 2/10 to 3 or 4/10. Still not appetite, even after pretty intense exercise. Felt pretty good after the exercise, but had another minor breakdown at night, but not anxious related, just down. Have a holiday planned for next year that I was previously SO EXCITED for, but now...just don't really care? Horrible feeling. At about 8pm I took 3x fish oil pills (1000mg) and one B2 vitamin and BLAM, a massive improvement all of a sudden to 6/10. I was actually happy. Still not excited for the future, but happy in a way? Continued all night. Took the St John's Wort and a Valerian tablet at night and slept really well. 14/11 woke up exhausted, but mood was ok. I have avoided caffeine since Sunday, mood was sitting at about 5/10. Apathy and brain fog still readily apparent.Mid morning, my irritability exploded, apathy also became so much worse. Here my diary gets a bit dark so I won't include any of it. Come 4pm, I decided to have a plain black tea and a window of good opened until 6.30pm, at which point it dropped to about 4 or 5/10. Went home and just planted myself in front of the tv. At some point, I noticed that I didn't feel so crap anything at about 7.30pm. I actually went and cooked dinner. This continued until 10.30, when I realised that I might have over-pronounced how I felt - still improved but not as pronounced. Definite general apathy and lack of excitement for the future, but no horrific anxiety/dread like I've had before. Baselined at 5/10 before bed, took 1xfish oil, 1xSJW and 1xValerian before bed. 15/11 Good sleep but truly exhausted. 1xfish oil and 1xB2 before work. Anxiety seems lower, brain fog and depression at the forefront. Have noticed that despite all these withdrawal effects, I still have entire sexual function and only slightly lower desire (that I would attribute to the depression and anxious feelings). Mid morning I had a minor sobbing breakdown in the toilet, but went back to neutral after that. Around midday I felt an ever-so-slightly-there tinge of excitement about the holiday next year...maybe? I'm not sure yet, possibly wishful thinking but that's what I need. Forced myself to exercise at lunch time, not as much of an endorphin rush as Monday, but better. Still mostly apathetic though. Pretty hard to care. And that brings me to right now, as I write this. Happy to accept any insight on offer, or answer any questions anyone has, or even continue updating the thread if it helps anyone. Just want to add that, whilst I might be imagining it (and it seems likely given the short time period), I THINK I am feeling better than I did when I first cracked on the 4/11. In summary, symptoms experienced so far: anxiety/dread, depression, brain fog, apathy, no physical symptoms besides sleeping a lot, no appetite, no sexual dysfunction. Thanks everyone for being so open and honest on this site. I'm sure there are a ton of people who don't end up posting on here that have been helped by it.
  2. Hello everyone. Although I feel like maybe I'm not as bad as many many people here, I would still like to share my story, since I have been through some suffering lately. Hope I don't bother you. Tl;dr: When I reinstated Luvox I started having depression, terrible feelings of hopelessness, dread and doom, no joy in activities or life in general, lack of purpose or meaning in life, and no love for my boyfriend, which troubles me the most. I never had depression before. Wondering if it was the Luvox and starting to taper, but afraid... So it all began when I was 9 years old. I started having severe panic attacks and anxiety out of nowhere. Afraid to die, afraid my parents would die because they were older than "normal" (used to call my mom every 5 minutes to see if she was alive), afraid of death in general. After a while, I was seeing a psychiatrist for children and started taking Clomipramine, don't know the dosage, until I was 12. I don't remember much because it was 13 years ago, but I don't recall any problems with withdrawal. From that point until I was 21, everything was fine. I would ocasionally have shortness of breath and that kind of stuff, but completely manageable. I was always a very good student (my mom told me they had an IQ test or something and they said I was "gifted", but we never explored that so I don't think it's really important), I practised sports, I learned to play the piano, I always had a great social life, very active. Now, in 2013, when I was 21 years old, everything went downhill. I was in a relationship since 2011 and it was not a great one, we would fight a lot, he would always break up with me, changing is mind about loving me on a weekly basis, insulting me, saying nobody would like me if they really knew me, etc. This relationship lasted until 2015, mainly because of my inability to let it go, as I thought I could never be happy again without him. In 2013, I had a huge anxiety and panic attacks crisis. I was also diagnosed with ocd (obsessive thoughts with mental compulsions, have little to none physical ones). Started on Sertraline but rapidly stopped because I couldn't tolerate the dizziness and nausea and it would make me more anxious. They put me on Xanax for 3 months and I tapered it in one month. Spent two horrible days with insomnia and EXTREME anxiety, but after those two days, it all subsided. Two months later (February 2014) I was worse (panic attacks, dp/dr, etc) and was put on Luvox (fluvoxamine - 50mg). It was well tolerated, and it helped me for two years, but I noticed I would still have anxiety and the obsessive, I just wouldn't reach the point of a panic attack. About a year and a half in, I started taking 25mg and everything was ok. Now where it got worse. In April 2016 I started to taper it with the help of my psychiatrist (whom doesn't really talk to me for more than 5 or 10 minutes, doesn't believe Luvox made me gain 33 pounds in under a year, and told me it usually had no bad effects). He told me to start taking it every other day (the 25mg) for a week, then every two days for a week, then every three days, etc. At this point, my previous relationship was over for a year and I was starting a new one. When I was taking it every two days, I started having SEVERE DP/DR and PANIC ATTACKS. I was told to take the 25mg everyday. It didn't work and he told me to raise to 50mg. Well, the panic attacks have stopped but the worse came. Since I was back on 50mg, I started to feel unhappy. I have a great boyfriend now, who really supports me and cares about me, I am studying psychology with very good grades, so everything is fine I guess. But I started to feel disconnected and detached. I feel no joy, no happiness in activities I used to enjoy. I reduced my going out of home very very much, sometimes spending a week without leaving my house and bed. I find no purpose in life, no sense (mybe it is an existential crisis, used to have them but not to this extent). I sometimes feel very frustrated and cry from hopelessness. I don't know what to do. Somedays I don't feel anything at all. On new years I was downtown watching the fireworks and suddenly I felt detached and very nervous and had to go home. My boyfriend came with me and it was ok after a while. But I can't stop feeling sad and with no joy. And the WORST OF ALL, sometimes I don't feel love for my boyfriend I know I love him, I think I do, but I can't feel it. I used to feel love so so so deeply and it is so strange to me. I told this to my psychiatrist and he said it was normal with the antidepressant but there was no problem and I had to keep taking it and he told me I had depression because of the anxiety, ocd and panic attacks. But I feel I just got worse since I reinstated it. I never had depression before and I had this since I was 9... Do you think maybe it is the Luvox? I am thinking of finding another psychiatrist since mine says that withdrawal from antidepressants is not usual and it was my symptoms coming back. But i reinstated it and I just got worse and worse. I sometimes think of suicide, but not in a "I want to do it" kind of way, nor finding relief in it. On the contrary, I feel so hopeless and purposeless that I fear it might come the time that there is no other way and it really scares me, since one of my great fears is dying and ceasing to exist. I want to taper it but I am afraid I am broken already and I have no hope. I don't want to feel the terrible withdrawal symptoms but I can't take this anhedonia anymore. It makes me so, so sad. I also sleep for more than 12 hours a day and sometimes I don't even see the light of day. I just want to feel happy again, but I am afraid I have no hope at that, that I will be depressed forever. What do you think? Sorry for the long post, but I needed to talk to someone that might have experienced the same as I do. Thank you so much, hope you all feeling well on your journey.
  3. Hi Everyone, I'm really happy to have found this support system for antidepressant withdrawal. I have spent the past 8 months weaning off of Zoloft 100mg (am now at 12.5) and am experiencing delayed withdrawal side effects. I initially was on for depression about my parents' divorce, as well as some anxiety issues. I experienced my first panic attack in Geometry class in high school- I'll never forget that day. I felt like I was floating, and completely disconnected from my body. It quickly subsided once I drank some cold water, and I never thought much of it after that until I realized what it was. Zoloft and I have had an interesting run. It leveled me out to put it vaguely. My high's were never too high, and my lows were never that low. I just went through the motions, sort of numbed out, but in many ways, grateful that my reactions were lessened. My father suffers from mental illness (depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction, and narcissist personality disorder), so I've always been very conscious of how I act in certain situations in an effort to not be like him. About 3 years ago, my Zoloft pooped out. Entirely. Either that, or my dose wasn't cutting it. I was in the midst of a new relationship, I didn't know which direction I wanted to go in in college, my grandparents were diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away shortly thereafter within two weeks of one another, my fathers addiction issues came to light, and my anxiety was through the roof. I was semi-agoraphobic; I had a 9-5 job which forced me to be social and stay in public, but I couldn't sit in a restaurant with out panic, couldn't go to a mall, a grocery store, etc. Then, one day, it was sort of gone. Either I had gotten used to it, the Zoloft started working again, or a combo of the above. I felt amazing again, and like I was on top of the world. My mom put her house on the market to be leased, I moved into my apartment with my significant other, we started a business, I wrote a book, I had an intervention for my dad and he went to rehab. I was at a place where I thought I could handle going off of the medication. I thought I was better. So, I took a trip down to my psychiatrist, and told him all of the above and told him of the recent positive changes. While he acknowledged the changes, and said they were indeed positive, he looked at me and said: "You sure you want to go off the Zoloft now? This is an odd time with you moving out of your home, the new business, your grandparents and your father." I told him I was sure, and away we went. I began that tapering off on February Feb 16, 2017 until early April 2017. Going from 100-75 was a piece of cake, and that was from April- May 2017. 50-25, was from May-September 2017. and then 25-12.5 from Sept 2017 to present (Oct 2018). I have done a complete 180 in anxiety (and even some depression) symptoms. My most troubling one is depersonalization/derealization. I've had it before, but never this bad. As much as I've read, listened to, and accepted that DP/DR is a direct result of anxiety, due to withdrawal, I can't help but think I am totally losing my mind. Or that I've made a huge mistake and need to go back on Zoloft altogether to help alleviate these symptoms. I exercise 4-5x a week, have just started neurofeedback, eat relatively healthy, but am still struggling. I'm back to being agoraphobic despite forcing myself to go to the gym, that's about all I can handle. I can't stand around for long without feeling fidgety, I always feel unstable when I'm standing, and again, depersonalization that's pretty severe. Again, the thought of going crazy or that I've done irreversible damage to my brain by this discontinuation is enough to send me into a complete panic. I'm looking forward to reading your responses, and I appreciate your taking the time in reading this. BlusMama
  4. I started taking Paroxetine 20mg in 2012. Prescribed by my GP for what was then mild anxiety and low mood. I decided to come off of the paroxetine in Januay 2016. Had enough of being an asexual zombie. The drugs did little for me anyways. Started a slow taper and got down to 10mg once weekly by September 2017. If I didn't dose for longer than a week I would get agitated and angry. 10mg was enough to make me calm for a week or so.... On 24th September 2017 I decided complete withdrawal would be impossible and that maybe I would be better off going back on the paroxetine full-time. I started taking 10mg daily without a doctor's supervision. Five days later I became suicidal for the first time in my life...bearing in mind before this I had always been pretty much emotionally stable. I went to A & E suffering severe agitation/depersonalisation and several other worrying symptoms such as intrusive thoughts about attacking loved ones (something which I would never do or ever think about before). I was given diazepam to get me through the next few days. I vowed never to touch SSRIs again. I have not taken any paroxetine since the crisis on 29th September. The last 2 weeks have been the worst 2 weeks of my life. I went to see a psychiatrist privately - he diagnosed me with bi-polar and prescribed me Seroquel (quetiapine). I am NOT bi-polar, my brain has been destroyed by paroxetine. My daily symptoms are: psychomotor agitation, intrusive thoughts about violence, feeling empty, no emotion at all, electric shock sensations all through my body, panic, crying etc I know the sensible thing would probably be to go on prozac for a while, but after almost throwing myself in front of a bus after just a few days on paroxetine, to me, it's not worth the risk. I just want to ride this out and hopefully get better. I want to be in control of my thoughts and emotions again. At the moment my thoughts and emotions are controlling me. This is not a problem I had before paroxetine. I'm just worried that I'll remain this nervous wreck forever. Can anyone relate to this? Especially the intrusive thoughts, which is what worries me most. Does it get better? Regards, Clearmind
  5. Michigan: Tapering Zoloft and Haldol

    Hey everyone - I'm back! If you check out my post history, you'll see that I had tapered in 2015 and had a pretty rough time of it. Went back on my meds and disappeared from this site for the past couple of years. At this point, I'd like to re-introduce myself, share some things that are working for me, and get some feedback from you (updated history is in signature). As I said, I went back on a full dose of Zoloft. Experiencing a frightening amount of brain fog and cognitive issues. So I've begun tapering again. In the past couple of years since I last posted, I've been going to an amazing "holistic therapist". He's trained as a naturopath, but specializes in therapy for emotional issues. His methods include regular talk therapy, as well as reiki, acupuncture, supplementation, and life coaching. With his help and encouragement, I've started a regular meditation and yoga practice, and gotten my life to a better place than it's ever been. I'm making a ton of money in a job that I love; I have a new baby with my wife, and life is generally pretty great right now. I feel like I'm in a much better place to try tapering again. My first recommendation to you all is to find a great holistic therapist. They usually don't take insurance. I only go once a month, but every time I walk out of that office, I feel like I've had a life changing session. My second recommendation is in trying the Ketogenic diet. It's an extremely low carb/low sugar diet that was first developed for epilepsy. My brain and emotions feel 10x better when I'm following the diet and I'm excited about using the diet as I get further into my taper. Thirdly, I don't recommend this for everyone, but my holistic therapist has had me micro-dosing on psilocybin under his close supervision. The theory is that, while the micro-dose doesn't make you "trip" or feel anything, it's increasing the neuro-plasticity of the brain. Now, I'd also love to get some feedback from you all. The last time I got off of Zoloft, I felt so much anger, rage, and just chaotic emotions that it really makes me nervous to think about that part of it. I read these horror stories about people who get off of their meds and "snap" and kill themselves or someone else. Do you guys have any advice to ease my mind that getting off of meds isn't a death sentence or a trip to prison? Second, I'm also on .5mg Haldol, and I've been on it for almost 20 years. It's a small dose, so I have that in my favor. But I hear horror stories about long term use of neuroleptics causing permanent damage, and causing alzheimer's etc when you get older. Has anyone recovered from that long of a stretch using neuroleptics? Like I said, I'm in a much better place in my life right now, but these stories scare me, and I fear that I'll never be able to live a normal life free from these toxic meds. Good to be back and looking forward to connecting with you all!
  6. No appetite

    I used to have the appetite of a wildebeest and was always excited for my next meal. Now, in withdrawal, the sight of food makes me sick and if I don't remind myself to eat a meal, I probably wouldn't eat at all. Does anyone else experience this as a result of their taper? When I do eat, I find that it doesn't give me the same joy it used to.
  7. Hello everyone! I have CT'd from Prozac use since September 2017 (you can see my history in my signature). It's my 3rd month of withdrawals (but 4 months off Prozac completely) and I'm struggling to find hope that there's success in cold turkeying. I know it's not the best thing to do, but I'm honestly afraid to reinstate. I've had waves and windows interchange so far, and I'm hoping the existence of the windows means I'm recovering. But I'm unsure. Can I keep cold turkeying and recover? Are there successes out there from CT?
  8. Mod Note: See the following links which may help you to distinguish if it is withdrawal or relapse: This post and Is it withdrawal or relapse? ______________________________________________________________________________________________ I was just wondering as I am 6 years off and still suffering from horrible symptoms when is it time to say "this cannot be still withdrawl"? Howmuch longer with this repair work take or is this as good as it gets for me.
  9. Anyone else have dry painful eyes, with blurry vision, especially in the mornings and late evenings? And/or tip on what to do about it?
  10. "This Prize is part of a two-pronged attack on the unwillingness of the medical and regulatory establishments to listen to people with adverse events in general – not just the sexual dysfunctions mentioned here. The second front in the attack will be unveiled in a few weeks’ time.""The prizeWe are following in the footsteps of the method that led to a solution to the famous Longitude problem in instituting a Prize.The first step is to raise $100,000 toward a Prize for a Cure. We would like as many people as possible who are affected or related to someone who is affected to make a donation of $200 towards a target fund of $100,000.As mentioned, solving this problem will likely make a major contribution to solving the enduring withdrawal syndromes that affect anyone taking antidepressants and antipsychotics. Five per cent of the populations of North America and Europe, and anywhere else where antidepressants are used on the same scale, are unable to get off treatment because of withdrawal problems – that is 50 million people in North America and Europe alone. Fifty million cents would be $500,000 – so a target of $100,000 seems more than reachable.The Prize will be offered to anyone who finds a cure for PSSD, PFS or PRSD. This could be a doctor, a scientist, a drug company, a member of the public – anyone. There are no restrictions.RxISK has several sufferers from each of these syndromes who have convincing enduring conditions. The Prize will be given if someone can bring about a restoration to normal, or very close to it, that endures in our volunteers.There are several reasons why we chose to make this initiative about sexual dysfunction rather than other problems such as antidepressant withdrawal. Mainly because the time is right, and there is already a strong basis to build upon. As more than one type of drug is involved, there is also potentially a larger group of people to approach the problem from different angles."https://rxisk.org/launching-the-rxisk-prize/We need to donate to the poolLets do this people!
  11. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  12. Thank you to the creator of this site, what a great resource! I have been through withdrawal many times and I hoping this is it. I was put on Zoloft in college for Generalized Anxiety disorder (20 years ago) and it became impossible to go off of it. I tried many times and always ended up back on because off of the meds, I was very depressed. I was not even depressed like that before I went on Zoloft in the first place. Thankfully, over the years I was able to reduce the amount I needed from 100mg to 50 then 25, and felt ok for a while. A couple of years ago it seemed the Zoloft stopped working and I was switched to Prozac,10mg. Also in the past few years I started talking to therapists, life coaches, going to workshops, reading everything self-help, meditating, etc. About 4 months ago I started doing Crossfit and exercising in some way daily, and meditating almost daily. Kundalini meditation specifically has been helpful. My body told me it is a good time to try again to stop the meds. It has been 6 weeks since my last micro-dose and I am mostly ok, besides for crying spells. It has been difficult to tell what has been from withdrawal and what is hormonal for me because I am already very sensitive and have awful periods. But in the past 2 weeks there has been a lot of sobbing that is more than normal for me. It does not last longer than 10-15 minutes usually but has been daily (sometimes 2x a day) except for today. If I can have ONE good day like today where I felt normal then I believe this is possible, even if it comes back tomorrow! I have also used many supplements before, during and after the taper/ withdrawal, if it is ok I will list them here, maybe others can do their own research on them and see if it might help them. This is all trial and error, after all of the attempts, this combination might be working. I have to add that tapering off of Prozac was much easier for me (physically) than Zoloft. Before starting taper I used supplements from the Road Back Program. This made all the difference in the world for me as far as physical withdrawal symptoms, comparing to previous tapers without it. (I am in no way affiliated with this company or any other company/supplement here) I found out there is an MTFHR gene mutation in my family so made sure all B vitamins were methylated. Thorne makes an excellent one. I use 5htp at night 100mg In the morning on an empty stomach I started taking DLPA. This helps boost dopamine and gives emotional boost for me. For energy and focus (I also have A.D.D.) I use Weyland "focus" pill at times. Lithium Orotate I am still learning about but I started that in the evening recently. (This is a mineral, NOT lithium carbonate.) Niacin 100mg I just want to send everyone going through this a huge hug, and lots of love, I hope I can help contribute in some way, and am grateful to people sharing their stories here, it has been a huge help to me knowing I am not alone (and not crazy lol) I already took the survey as well.
  13. I was on Prozac for around 6 and a half years, 50 percent of the time i was on two 20mg tablets and the other 50 percent i was on one 20mg tablet. I self tapered for around a month and a half by taking one every other day, then every 2nd day, then every 3rd day...etc and eventually i was off them. I took my last pill nearly a month ago. I am feeling withdrawals. Bloating, bad skin, rosacea-like symptoms, irritable, anger, aches and pains, negative thoughts. Its very uncomfortable and debilitating BUT i would be able to stick it through if i knew i was on the right path. I'm just worried that i messed up because of how fast i tapered. I don't know wether to keep going or if i should start taking prozac again and taper more slowly?
  14. Hello out there! I'm 10 months into quitting lithium and citalopram cold turkey after more than 10 years of use. I've always been a highly functioning overachiever but became increasingly depressed, agitated and anxious at the age of 15. I was soon diagnosed with bi-polar II disorder and put on dozens of different medicines at the request of my parents and many doctors. But after gaining 50 pounds from seroquel, experiencing an increase in anxiety and anger and a host of new symptoms I decided to get off. The bad news... This has been the HARDEST 10 months of my entire life. From suicidal depression to random aches and pains, muscle stiffness, intrusive thoughts and now obsessive compulsions I can't believe I'm still here! This has been incredibly hard on me, but also on my family. Being in social situations is difficult and many of the things I use to enjoy, no longer make me happy. On top of all that I work a 9-5 which means I mask my symptoms 8 hours a day, 5 days a week so I can pay rent. Life is generally unpredictable and overwhelming... The good news... In 10 months I lost 35 pounds- down 50 from from my heaviest. Everything is SO vivid and bright-all my senses are heightened and I experience a state of awareness I never knew existed. On top of that, getting off medicine led me to a spiritual awakening. Now meditation, mindfulness and intentional living fill the space between the windows and waves. Despite my mood swings and anxiety, I am more in touch with my spirit than ever before and HOPEFUL that the worst of the depression and physical pain is OVER. Now if only the anxiety and compulsions would end....
  15. Hello. I want to begin my introduction with a detailed case report on my hypersensitivity to sertraline… I hope this helps someone. I am a 21-year-old childless female who, up till recently was taking 25 mg of sertraline every 6–8 days. Three months ago, I began seeking professional help for self-loathing, difficulty in trusting others, and intense fears of abandonment during certain social situations. There was only one psychiatrist in my area still on Blue Shield’s panel. She quickly diagnosed me with social phobia and instructed me to take 25 mg daily for one week, then to double the dose to 50 mg daily afterwards. After a mere three days, I found that I was completely unable to feel fear. (This may have started even earlier, however I was unable to evaluate my emotional state during the first three days due fatigue and sleeping in excess of 15 hours a day when I began the drug.) Were a raging grizzly bear to attack me, I would have no appropriate emotional reaction to it, or maybe even none at all. Combined with the fever (at least six hours long), increased heart rate (30 seconds long), and hand tremors (1 minute long) that I would experience 20–40 minutes after taking the sertraline (half of a 50 mg tablet), and non-existent appetite, I decided to try taking 25 mg only every other day. This was sufficient to prevent the tremors and increased heart rate, but the elevated body temperature and lack of appetite persisted at this dose. (When I later lowered my dose to 25 mg every three days, the fever disappeared and my appetite would partially return.) I called my psychiatrist’s office to inform her that I would be lowering my dose as I found the fear-blocking too effective and the other effects troubling. I emphasised that I had never experienced those symptoms at the times that human interaction caused me distress. But for the next three months, the psychiatrist would maintain that these were manifestations of my anxiety and insisted that I take the full 50 mg daily. She ignored the fact that I was entirely incapable of feeling fear for those three months. I had many peculiar reactions to the sertraline. To begin with, for the first two weeks, I really wanted to be “a good dad,” as if I were already a father and desired to remain a good and humane parent. (I am a 21-year-old childless female.) And whenever I took the sertraline, I would also feel as if my two of my closest human relations were still alive… I wasn’t (at least not by typical definitions) delusional, I knew they weren’t alive and I didn’t experience any hallucinations of their presence. But I was overwhelmed by the warmth of their company, a warmth that I thought I’d never feel ever again. …It felt like I had come home again, like my feelings could reach them and their feelings could reach me. I felt love as if all three of us were together again. These spells would last twenty minutes, and all I felt like doing was hugging something to my chest and telling them how much I missed them. When these occurred at work, I mustered enough self-restraint to take only a five-minute break and continue working afterwards. These would be the only instances I would feel any emotion for the next three months. My strangest reactions occurred after eating foods rich in tryptophan: a euphoric restlessness that was accompanied by a wonderfully pleasant burning sensation in my brain. My partner and I called these episodes “the cuddles”, because all I wanted to do was cuddle, very vigorously. (I now think this was a “happier” form of akathisia.) My partner perceived this as the return of my normally energetic, cheerful, and affectionate demeanour; I had always been a cuddler and my hugs and handshakes had always been very strong. But, I knew I was getting high, so I began timing my sertraline doses to take them before eating red meat—to guarantee the high. These foods also triggered some other reactions—eating tuna sashimi turned me into a happy drunk, I was laughing harder than usual and even turned “as red as a tomato”, according to my partner. Cheesecake would trigger a burning sensation in my frontal lobes so overwhelming and do pleasurable it was almost debilitatingly painful, I couldn’t focus on anything else around me and had to eat very slowly, as I felt as if my brain would fry if I ate the cheesecake any faster. Now when I see cheesecake I get anxious, and if it is on my plate I even have trouble lifting my fork because the anticipation makes me weak. I’ve always loved cheese—one of my most prized possessions is the World Atlas of Cheese—so whenever I asked my partner to buy me cheese he didn’t interpret it as substance abuse. (Cocaine is an illicit substance widely known for its addictive qualities. Cottage cheese is not.) After a particularly good meal, e.g. all-you-can-eat at the sushi bar, I would be high for hours! I had to eat instant ramen on my lunch breaks because I didn’t want to risk getting high at work. Some background. My aspiration of fatherhood was definitely drug-induced, but I do know where it came from. The older of my two friends, thirty-one years old, was a good, strong man who had to assume the responsibility over a preadolescent boy and was basically a single father. My other friend was his fourteen-year-old ward, a bright and sensitive jokester who came to insist that artists had a responsibility to be both humane and truthful. His mother became addicted to opioids, and her male “friends” abused him; he developed very little interest in relating to the people around him, but was very gentle to anyone falling on hard times. My friends both died as pedestrians on June 30, 2016, three months after I had moved back to California in search of employment, and eight months before I started seeking professional for what my psychiatrist diagnosed as “social phobia”, which stemmed from a physically and emotionally abusive childhood. I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, but my friends had been helping me work through my fear of other people. My older friend was a very caring, incisive, and thoughtful person, qualities which he engendered in my younger friend. He had a serious interest in history, which was his favourite discussion topic second only to jazz music, and he could easily have become a history teacher—he was better than all the ones I had in school, anyway. When guardianship was thrust upon him, he took the time to read parenting books and material on child abuse. I don’t know if he knew it by name (I certainly didn’t), but he was teaching me the foundations of DBT. His boy became like a brother to me, and we discussed art and played video games together. After their deaths, my unresolved social phobia, which was compounded by grief, the unpleasant work environment at the hospital where I found employment, and the painfully close proximity of my entire extended family that had engraved into me my fear of human beings in the first place (I had moved out of California specifically to escape them!), understandably led to a worsening of my mental health. When I was finally starting to heal, I myself was hit by a car while crossing the street, but escaped serious injury. I developed a reflexive hatred of all cars, my own insecurity and self-loathing was complicated by survivor’s guilt, and I considered suicide numerous times. I knew I needed help. I wanted psychotherapy, but all the mental health professionals whom I had wanted to see had been taken off of Blue Shield’s panel. I settled for the one psychiatrist in my area still remaining on their panel. At our first meeting, I was frank with her about my aversion to the idea of treating my problems with psychotropic medication, and discussed with her the objective vulnerabilities and subjective conditions that kindled my social phobias. She immediately prescribed me sertraline and said I that could obtain a therapist if the drug did not adequately treat my anxiety. I was disappointed, and remained firm in my believe that drugs would not resolve my issues. But at the well-intentioned encouragement of a close colleagues of mine (she has been diagnosed as bipolar and regularly takes prescribed psychotropic drugs), and out of the desire to meet this psychiatrist at least “half way”, I began taking the sertraline. It was in the first month that I began perceiving that I had lost all capacity to emotionally respond to anything at all, even the treasured jazz songs that my friends has introduced me to. I lost my creative spark, my interest in the world and art and everything else that I liked. Aside from my loyalty to my two friends who died, I lost all interest in other humans, and all capacity for empathy. At best, I felt apathy towards people in the same way a man might feel apathy toward livestock. At worst, I felt unequivocal annoyance and contempt, the kind of sentiment reserved for an annoying mosquito. The only reason that the people around me didn’t notice a change in my demeanour was because I was keen to keep up a perfect façade—if anyone had noticed a change, it would be more inconvenient dealing with that than with faking empathy and interest. I was aware of all these changes, and I knew that they were bad. However, I didn’t care. The only thing that caught me was the thought of my two friends. At times, I realised how sad they’d be if they saw how I’d changed, and for a little while, I’d try to be a better person. On my second appointment with my psychiatrist, a month after our first, I reported the apathy, the food highs, and the “dad” feelings to my psychiatrist. The entire time I explained the food euphoria, she looked at me as if I were crazy. I did not mention to her the “it feels like my friends are still able to experience life and that makes me so happy” feelings, as at the time they did not strike me as a bad or disconcerting thing. But I did voice the observation that perhaps even 25 mg every other day was too strong for me. But all that mattered to her was that the sertraline was effectively dealing with my anxiety, and she was pleased with that. As for the adverse effects, she insisted that I take 50 mg daily in order to “habituate” myself to the drug. I very diplomatically stood my ground, again raising concerns about how my heart rate would increase after taking 25 mg daily. She relented—but said that I should schedule my next appointment three months later instead of one month later, since I was taking such a low dose. I had enough sense to perceive that this was dangerously negligent in her part, and gently nudged her, saying, “OK. So three months is a good time to check in?” She changed her mind, made it two months. I didn’t tell her, but after this visit I began reducing my sertraline dosage to 25 mg every three days. After two weeks of this, I found that the food-highs were still too disruptive on my daily life, so I began taking it every four days. Even though I’d decreased the dosage, the apathy worsened, and my patience for people was shorter than before. I was beginning to actively dislike all the people around me. I looked back at my previous relations and memories with scoffing contempt. I mistakenly thought I was falling out of love with my partner. I even started enjoying being a psychopath; life felt easier if all that mattered was number one. In retrospect, had the sertraline been more stimulating—if I had only the compulsion or motivation, I would’ve been capable of committing the most horrific crimes without a shred of remorse or moral discomfort. After that second appointment with the psychiatrist, I began seeing the one local psychologist still remaining on Blue Shield’s panel. I expressed my desire to work through my childhood-rooted social phobia using talk therapy. I mentioned told her about the sertraline-induced personality changes with her. She quickly sidestepped the subject of medication and advised me to talk to my psychiatrist about any adverse effects. The psychologist said that the sertraline seemed to be dealing with my social phobia well enough, and suggested that I may naturally be an introvert and that the sertraline was allowing me to enjoy being myself, that I was too concerned with what other people thought of me and that I needed to focus more on myself. Though I didn’t care, I understood that her attitude grossly complacent. I saw this psychologist two more times afterwards, and each time she said I seemed fine and that there was nothing I really needed to work on (though my own drug-induced apathy would not have allowed me to benefit much from therapy anyway), except perhaps my grief—I refused, saying I wasn’t having any trouble grieving. I wasn’t being entirely honest. I said that partly because I doubted she would’ve been able to seriously help me, partly because the sertraline had stopped me from grieving or feeling much of anything, really. After two months on sertraline, I stopped listening to music entirely—it had done nothing for me and I gave up attempting to evoke any sort of emotional response in myself. I was determined to happily live out the rest of my life as a psychopath and enjoyed the highs that the drug afforded me. Ironically, the only thing that drove me to stop taking sertraline was my chasing of the next high—the last thing I wanted to become was habituated to the drug. At the end of my second month, I began tapering to 25 mg every six days for a period of eighteen days, with the intention of taking 25 mg sertraline daily for four days afterwards to get as high as a kite. But on this lower dose, I finally began to personally care that what I was doing was wrong and that it would be best if I stopped taking the drug at all. From every six days, I tapered to every seven, then every eight days… Interestingly, that dose was still enough to give me a buzz when whenever I ate a cream cheese wonton, and I began to want to be a psychopath again. (I think, as others have reported, that the steady discontinuation of the drug made me more sensitive to low doses.) But I sensed that I owed a debt to my friends—which I treated as if it were a business obligation, not a moral or spiritual one—, and persisted in trying to quit. While attempting to find other accounts of hypersensitivity to sertraline, and material on how to come off SSRIs, I found Dr Peter Breggin’s The Antidepressant Factbook. I was very pleased to discover that people who produce inactive or “dud” forms of the CYP2D6 enzyme are unable to metabolise antidepressants at the rates most other people do. I have not gotten this or any sort of pharmocogenetic testing, and I don’t intend to as I will NEVER use a psychiatric drug again, but I suspect I may be one of those people. In my third and most recent appointment with my psychiatrist, I informed her that I had tapered off to 25 mg every eight days but that even this was enough to blunt my emotions and give me a little euphoria when I ate cheese or tuna. I mentioned that I had heard about the CYP2D6 enzyme and asked if she was aware of any good commercial genotyping facilities. She claimed that a blood draw for a liver function test would be enough and that I didn’t need to resort to genotyping… It was on that third appointment that she finally started to take my adverse reactions seriously. By a stroke of good luck, I expressed a new reaction to the sertraline that very same day, just before my appointment with her. Prior to seeing her, I had to attend a mandatory employee meeting at my workplace, and I experienced my first ever hallucination in my life. Among the audience was an older gentleman—didn’t seem odd, he was wearing glasses, a clean business shirt and tie, trousers, had a white beard, and he wasn’t acting out of place. And he seemed familiar—I must’ve seen him in passing, he actually might’ve worked at the hospital somewhere. The only reason I knew he was a hallucination was because he was floating two feet above the rest of the audience. He faded away like a ghost after three seconds. When I reported this hallucination to my psychiatrist, she pursued a line of questioning that indicated to me that she had tuned out and believed I was being paranoid and worrying for no reason about an actual living coworker—“So, no one else at the meeting seemed to notice he was there?” I nearly lost ALL my patience with this woman. My reply was immediate and firm: “He was floating two feet above the audience!” Her eyes widened and she asked me if I was taking street drugs. (“No.”) She began asking about all the other symptoms I had reported to her over the past three months. She ordered me to discontinue taking sertraline as quickly as possible (of course, she gave no advice on how to withdraw from such a small dose) and advised me against taking any other SSRIs. But she denied that the sertraline was responsible for ANY of the symptoms; she wrote an order for extensive blood work (without any diagnosis, so the next day I had to return to her office to have her secretary write it in…) and referred me to a neurologist to get an MRI of my brain. (I am still waiting for my scheduled appointment at this time.) When I saw that the order included thyroid function testing, I asked her if thyroid dysfunction could cause hallucinations. She responded, “I really have no idea what’s causing any of this. A thyroid problem could be the cause of your mood disturbances.” (I think she was referring to the tryptophan-rich food euphoria, but I’m really not sure.) The only thing that she admitted was that if these symptoms completely ceased after a month of being off sertraline, then we could conclude that they were drug-induced and not organic in origin. Since coming off the sertraline, I’ve begun to fully appreciate how I was emotionally unavailable to my partner, and how I took advantage him for three months; that I was unable to like people for three months; that in those three months I could’ve tortured and killed anyone, and I lacked only in inclination; that I hadn’t sang or grieved or felt anything… I am ashamed and guilty over what I became. I feel worse than before I sought and “received” that professional mental healthcare. All I want to do now is apologise to my friends. I know I haven’t done anything wrong, and I know I tried my best… But it’s difficult for me to accept that I’m still a good person. I feel like I’ve betrayed everyone behind their back. I’m trying to be gentle to myself, to think about what my friends would say if I could talk to them. I am trying to keep in mind that despite everything, I was able to honestly and objectively assess my own mental deterioration, and I acted as best as I could under the circumstances. I do not want to let those three months destroy my soul after the fact. I’m trying to live… I’m realising how much I missed out on everything. I forgot how much I liked the grass, and rocks, and kittens, and books. I forgot how nice it was to like other people, in spite of my fear that they’d never reciprocate those feelings. I forgot how much fun drawing was, and how funny my partner’s dumb jokes are. I hadn’t used smileys in my texts for three months, and I even walked differently! And I hadn’t realised how much of my acuity had dulled until I got off the sertraline. It’s like I have to live again for the first time in three months. I’m not as confident as I was three months ago, and I don’t like myself as much as I used to. My partner has been very supportive. I’m now experiencing sertraline withdrawal reactions. I get disoriented easily; the other day when I left my workplace building and when I reached the parking lot, I couldn’t place where I was at all; like which part of Earth I was located in, let alone which end of the campus. I’m noticing memory problems; subjects I’d just discussed with my partner I would raise again only a few minutes later. I used to be able to play my favourite songs in my head, especially the pieces that my friends introduced me to. For a while I couldn’t remember the lyrics, the titles, the artists, or even the melody. My memory is improving, but those songs play like a broken record, my brain skips over parts and I have to listen to the song again to recall it completely. My stomach hurts every now and then. I’m sensitive to light, and I get akathisia now. The first episode was bad enough to leave me writhing and crying in pain while clutching my head—as if something were clashing and tearing away from the inside of my brain. Now, it feels like a bunch of fleas jumping on and nipping at the surface of my frontal lobes, not debilitating, but annoying enough to prevent me from falling asleep at times. My appetite has returned, but increased to the point where I have to be careful not to overeat or risk massive weight. I’m thankful that I’m one of those odd people who hears rainstick noises near the top of their spine whenever they’re hungry; now I pay attention to that and ignore the empty feeling in my stomach. I have sudden spells of sadness and anxiety during which I cry a lot, which I didn’t have before taking sertraline. I’m worse off than before I started taking psychiatric drugs, but at least I’m no longer chemically lobotomised. I’m trying to exercise my brain by the throwing myself back into singing and reading, and I draw more seriously now. I hope this case history helps someone. I’m looking forward to weaning myself safely.
  16. Hey guys! I was diagnosed with autism (then eventually PDD nos), bipolar, GAD (generalized anxiety) and fibromyalgia. I have been on anti-depressants since I was 9 and stopped them almost a year ago at age 21. I was on sleeping pills from age 6-20. I also was on like 12 prescribed pain pills because my pain was so bad from age 17-21. I had bad withdrawls from everything (I got my doctor's guidance to safely taper). Turns out my fibro pain that caused me to be unable to barely walk for 4 years was being caused my Abilify pill. I now have no symptoms of any of these things I was diagnosed with. I took 7 years to finish high school because of my anxiety and agoraphobia. The pills seemed to make everything worse because without them I am now I'm full-time university which I never dreamed I could do. It's really hard for me because I wonder if all those years of suffering (especially with my pain and anxiety) were caused by the pills. Anyone have any experience with this?
  17. Hi everybody! I'm Finnish, so please excuse my english, I'm very used to reading it, but not necessary writing myself. I try to keep my story short, but in a nutshell I was put on Sepram 20mg (Citalopram?, which later was changed to Escitalopram 15mg) and Olanzapin 5mg because of my depression and ocd. Now, I have to say that I really did not feel that depressed to begin with and in hindsight, I was really doing well (especially compared to now) without any meds whatsoever. Anyway, I took them for roughly 2 and a half to 3 weeks and then stopped, foolishly I might add, them both pretty much cold turkey before starting my ECT therapy. I should have discussed about it with someone, but the ECT therapy got started so suddenly and I did not really have an opportunity to talk about my concerns with anyone. I just felt uncomfortable having that many external things affecting my brain at the same time, so I figured I better get of the meds for my own peace of mind. It really didn't even occur to me, that getting off these meds could have any negative effects, cold turkey or otherwise. So I stopped taking them and about the halfway in my ect therapy, I started having increased anxiety and panic attacks. I also got one of those "brain zaps", that really scared me and started one pretty rough anxiety attack. Without knowing any better, I blamed the ect therapy for messing up my brain, but now later came to realize that I was, and still am, suffering from ssri and antipsychotic withdrawal symptoms. I feel restless, anxious, nauseous and have trouble sleeping. I have lost my appetite and really only want to lay down in quiet most of my time. I'm scared easily and for the first week since the symptoms appeared I was having constant panic attacks. I was certain that I was going to die and with the lousy feeling I'm having, still get these feelings, just not so overwhelmingly. Sometimes I'm feeling really cold, other times like I'm having a fever. I feel sluggish, constantly kinda "out of it" and have these internal tremors/shakes. My palms are sweaty most of the time and I'm having trouble to concentrate or doing pretty much anything. It's been two weeks since the symptoms started and I've really had enough of them. I took multivitamins from the start, but just started taking extra magnesium and fish oil, hoping to relieve my symptoms. Now, I was only taking the drugs for a short while and with pretty low doses, but still. I feel pretty horrible 24/7 and hope there's light at the end of the tunnel. Oh yeah, just to add: I took Escitalopram for maybe four days before quitting, Sepram for the couple of weeks before that. I just hope I get through this and did not cause any long lasting damage to myself with this. Thanks for letting me went out a bit!
  18. aunton, Massachusetts (CNN)A woman on trial for urging her boyfriend to kill himself was delusional after becoming "involuntarily intoxicated" by antidepressants, a psychiatrist said Monday. Michelle Carter "was unable to form intent" after switching to a new prescription drug only weeks before her boyfriend committed suicide in July 2014, Dr. Peter Breggin testified. She even texted his phone for weeks after he died, Breggin said. More here: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/text-message-suicide-trial/index.html
  19. Hi all, As my signature shows, I have been on medication for the past 10 years and I must say I have only made my life from bad to worse. It all started when I started getting headache due to tension at work after I found a job with great difficulty. I consulted a GP for general headache which he suspected as tension headache and referred me to a psychiatrist. He diagnosed my OCD symptoms and related my headache to OCD and started off with high doses of antidepressants right away. It was a living hell in the initial days until I got used to the medicine. My OCD symptoms were not intruding my normal life as much as the side effects the antidepressants are causing. However my psychiatrist never agreed to go off of the antidepressants and I could never argue with him. Everybody on the internet suggested me to trust my psychiatrist and so I have continued with my medicines till date. I tried going off of the medicines abruptly once and I suffered with withdrawal symptoms for a long time and I am not sure if I still have withdrawal symptoms or is it my depression. To start off with, I only had slight OCD which I think I could have managed without medicines and the side-effects caused by the anti-depressants are multifold. I have a range of side-effects which affects my daily life. Following are some of the side-effects that i have been noticing from a long time but not sure whether its my depression or my medicines or withdrawal symptoms and I am in a catch22 situation and I feel petrified to go off of the medicines this time. I suffer from IBS (woken up every morning with an urge to pass stool ), the longer I resist the terrible I feel. After I return from the toilet, I feel terribly tired and sleepy. For the rest of the day, I suffer with headache, body pain, lack of concentration (affects my work to a large extent), feel drowsy all day long, anxiety, irritability, find it hard to focus on work. This has been happening from 2014 and I have not complained this to my psychiatrist so as to avoid him from prescribing me from more drugs. So, I have chose to suffer with these symptoms than to get into more problems. I am 34 years old and havent got into a relationship due to uncertainty about a lot of things, my depression and anxiety. But this time I have decided to get rid of the medicines the safer way so as to lead a normal life. Luckily, I have found this forum to get assistance and go off the medicines systematically this time. I have planned to do it the 10% reduction method. Yet my major concern is, whether I'll get back my OCD which I have got rid of now, after I stop the medicines? Will I have more problems etc. Any suggestions and help is welcome.
  20. I was recently referred to benzo buddies http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=89.0for more success stories. I found tons success stories just for the year of 2017, and most are from much shorter tapering (less than a year). Wow, so we who are on ssri are in the worst hit of all, in the order of street drugs, benzo, SSirs with increasing difficulty in withdrawal???!!! This new awareness is very heart hardening.
  21. Hey there. This is my first post, but I have a success story that I’d like to share. I’d like to preface by saying I had been on 75mg of sertraline (Zoloft) for approximately 7 months. I quit last year and have successfully made it through the withdrawals! I see more horror stories than success stories on SSRI discontinuation. My hypothesis for this discrepancy is that people who successfully quit the drug don’t really have that much of an incentive to post their stories, while people dealing with the terrible side effects are more likely to seek out information. I knew there were millions of people on SSRIs, and I refused to believe that my discontinuation symptoms would be permanent. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I found out quickly how unhealthy it was to hold this mentality of permanence. I tapered off a too quickly (~2 weeks). I believed that since I had only been on the medication for a few months, I could get away with tapering off at that rate. Consequently, I ended up having over 6 weeks of hellish withdrawals. The first 2 weeks had the most powerful physical symptoms: brain zaps, fatigue, nausea, etc. These symptoms seemed to go away around week 3, but then came another wave of symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a lot of overthinking. I didn’t realize it till week 5, but these feelings were more powerful than when I had them before starting sertraline. Week 5 was the worst; all these terrible feelings went into overdrive. I remember a few specific days of this week were particularly dreadful. I had been reading up on SSRI discontinuation online and freaking myself out reading people’s horror stories. I was afraid that I permanently removed what it was to be human. I was terrified I’d never feel joy, sexual desire, or ambition in my life ever again. I was angry at myself that my choice to try anti-depressants fucked up the rest of my life. I was broken, and I just wanted to be normal again. These are unhealthy thoughts, and I was wrong. My life did start coming back. I slowly felt what it was like to be “me” again. Small steps every day reminded me. One day something would make me laugh. Another day I’d notice a cute girl. I appreciated and cherished every step throughout the way. And slowly but surely, old joys started coming back to me: I started feeling ambition, I was looking forward to future plans, I was dreaming again (I could sleep well again!), and I was feeling love again, both for myself and others. I believe there is a strong psychosomatic component during these withdrawals. It’s difficult because your brain doesn’t allow you get past these negative thoughts while its readjusting, but you have to keep moving. There isn’t a quick solution, but your brain is powerful and adjusts to your current circumstances. That’s why exercise, a healthy diet, a support network, and a positive outlook are so important; you want your brain to re-adjust in an ideal setting. So, don’t blame yourself or hold a grudge for trying SSRIs; you actively did something to confront your inner demons. From one stranger to another, you will survive this. Good luck.
  22. My stats: Male Age 19 Green eyes Good body 6ft tall Tall handsome looking for love, passion. Well endowed. Basically I've got a giant...whoopsss, wrong forum! Forgive me! Shame because I have got a massive....problem! Hi all! How are my fellow ssri buddies who are/were going toe to toe with these drugs? I'm new and here, and am here to talk about my withdrawal, Representing the many of us who have been lied too, deliberately forced, left in denial and lost are own true self to oblivion. For those of us who are pushing on forwards redeeming our full potential becoming the strongest version of our self. Because all of this is just experience really isn't it? We took these medications as a result of how we were feeling, a by-product of the demons we battle with inside us. Life tests us, these walls and road blocks that are put in front of us mould us. They make or break us. It is our choice if we choose to slide backwards or push on through. Anyhow! Enough of the dramatic, pretentious, opening introductory literature rubbish! Of which I am compensating for my tiny brain, But of which I hope some will find enlightening. I am no uneducated peasant Ill have you know my good sir! I do ramble don't I?! haha Anyway, I've had an underlying mood disorder, or mental illness...what ever you want to call it for as long as I can possibly remember. Bad anxity, OCD and deppression, cue violins and sympathetic music! But funnily enough I was convinced I hadn't. Up until last year I was sure that my problems were biological, Or perhaps a tad In denial when I look back! Even with the fact that both my parents and sister are on ssri of one sort or another who lack the emotional capacity of a butter knife and are practically robots... I respectively refuse to became chemically lobotomized and join your robo-cult! Anyways I dropped out of college down to extreme tiredness and lack of ability to think etc.. and turned to alcohol. More wine squire! vida did flowww! Unfortunately like pringles once you pop you cant stop! This didn't help obviously and promised myself that I would find out what was truly wrong with me. I went down the medical route. Unfortunately being a Brit unlike our trans atlantic cousins, with your 'medical insurance' and 'healthcare viewed as a consumer product' ensuring the patients health is treated optimally! Over here Its different. Although the healthcare is national and public for all, it is socialist in nature- I succeeded In avoiding the word communist their. I did this to avoid America breaking ties with our country ending are special relationship forever to associate us with extreme evil! Yes well here its here all about the functionality of the patient and spent over a thousand pounds going private to several doctors getting blood tests all under the sun to try and discover that mystery illness! The last doctor I went to admitted that biologically I was fine, which was ruled out that I had something psychology wrong with me and gave me the ssri citalopram 20mg as casually as that. How dare you! I have nether been more insulted In my entire life I Cried! How dare you give me the stigma of a mental illness! Not even an evaluation! This is immoral! inhuman! unethical! I shall not being subjected to this! I demand I see your doctors degree! Call the guards! Off with his head! Obviously that never happened. I simply got my meds and left. After taking them for 6 weeks with all manner of side effects that I won't go into now I stopped them. ended It. finished it. Because I didn't like who I was becoming... Because I didn't want to have to take a drug to escape reality instead of dealing with it myself! Redemption come within ma brothers! So I stopped cold turkey... Because I couldn't get any more tablets? Because I just didn't want anymore of this poison in my body? Or because I'm becoming a full time bad man? I don't know! haha I've been off for 5 weeks! cue applause! My withdrawl! 1st week vertigo, dizziness, headaches! mood swings! 2nd week, just dizziness and depression 3rd week improvement! 4th improvement! 5th week which Is what I'm In now! I've noticed I'm getting a lot of brain fog? Like It takes me longer to say what I wanted to say? Cognitively impaired and my short term memory is suffering! Very annoying and affecting my work! Any advice would be much appreciated on how to approach this thank you everyone for reading much love to you all and best of wishes! Ps. Big pharma you are a rotten cancer criminal organisation! Your deadly pills ravage the western world like a plague stealing the lives of people! You should all be shot at dawn!
  23. Hi there, all through my withdrawal my right ear has felt blocked,although is actually isnt so my doc says, but since last October i feel like my ears have both become a lot worse, constant pressure/pain in both. Today it is driving me insane as the pain is in my ears, head,jaw and gums. Ok so iv had allergies all my life ie hay fever and cat allergies but can never remember it affecting my ears like this so im not sure if seasonal allergies are to blame, but then again it was snowing this winter and they were bad then too. This comes and goes but seems to be pretty persistent for the last 9 months now and it isn't shifting. Does anyone else suffer badly with their ears? i know the blocked feeling is common in withdrawal but not sure if many have the pressure?
  24. Hi everyone, I'm new around here. From looking through the archives, it seems like a few of you have had the unfortunate experience of PGAD that began shortly after beginning SSRIs. I'm in the same boat. I begin Lexapro (escitalopram) 5mg in November, and after 4 days, I experienced a sudden onset of PGAD. I immediately stopped taking the Lexapro, and now (3 months later), the PGAD has definitely lessened, but it's not totally gone. It's manageable at this point, and I feel like it will probably continue to fade over time, but man it was really, really awful when it was at its worst. Difficult to function with it. The problem is that the depression, anxiety, and OCD for which I was originally prescribed the Lexapro are slowly worsening. I've tried everything. Cognitive behavioral therapy (been going steadily for 2 years), exercise (intense exercise 3-5 times a week, every week, for the last 2 or 3 years), meditation/mindfulness, yoga, "positive thinking", clean eating, no caffeine, no alcohol, etc... and despite it all, I can feel myself slipping deeper and deeper into the darkness. The doc who prescribed the Lex gave me Wellbutrin to try when the Lex didn't work out, and that was a nightmare for me. I was on it for about a week but I experienced anxiety, panic, depersonalization, and obsessions so bad that I really thought I might harm myself just to escape the hell. I knew you're supposed to wait those things out for 2 weeks to see if the initial side effects "settle down", but I was truly worried about my safety. My question is, has anyone ever experienced PGAD from an SSRI, and then tried a different SSRI with success? I'd like to try a different one to see if it can help lift this depression, but I'm terrified of the PGAD coming back full force. At this point, I'd be willing to put up with most of the crappy SSRI side effects and the possibility of discontinuation syndrome to have the anxiety and depression fade somewhat, but the PGAD made it impossible to sleep or focus on work. I know everyone here is generally anti-pharmaceuticals, which I totally get, given how bad some of the drug experiences can be. I'm just feeling totally out of options. Thanks for your help and support.
  25. If you or a loved one had a child with a birth defect after taking antidepressants during pregnancy and you are willing to be interviewed about your experience, PM me and we'll talk. I am a free-lance writer specializing in medical harm.
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