Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Success'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Support
    • Read This First
    • Introductions and updates
    • Tapering
    • Symptoms and self-care
    • Finding meaning
    • Relationships
  • The commons
  • Current events
    • Events, controversies, actions
    • In the media
    • Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal
    • From journals and scientific sources

Found 13 results

  1. I’ll start with the Success Part, before I unfold the story. I am a classic poster-girl story of “Why You Should Taper.” I thought I couldn’t come off the drugs, I was convinced I was a “biological bipolar” – but by using SA’s conservative 10% or less tapering system, I hardly had any withdrawals this time, and could control my symptoms and make space for my stressors by holding. I’m a living example of why anyone should taper and hold in order to come off. And there is no such thing as too slow. I attribute my success to the SA taper, and a number of coping strategies. I got support. I had a psychologist, who was wholly supportive. I bullied my psychiatrist to do the taper “my way” instead of her way. She actually had helpful suggestions for lifestyle changes, too. I got an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, and later added an orthomolecular doctor and osteopath. I told my husband and all of my friends. I prepared for my taper. I owe so much to those who walked this path before me: AltoStrata, GiaK, Rhiannon, Petunia, BrassMonkey, MammaP, Bubble, Dalsaan, MeiMeiQuest, CymbaltaWithdrawal5600, and many more. And – to go further afield – Robert Whitaker for his excellent book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” and Will Hall for the “Icarus Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs” for showing me that it could be done, and how. And for helping me to accept that I may be different – but that different is not a medical condition. I got curious and read everything I could on the web, and learned a lot. I learned the most from SA and Beyondmeds.com. Most of what I have written as a moderator is not original – but is something I learned here or in my researches, that I applied to my life, and which I found effective. My psychiatrist resisted my desire to taper, but she told me she would support me if I put some things in place. We established a contract with my hubby, so that if I went off the rails, he would be able to get help for me. She would not taper me unless I made a commitment to take sun walks for light therapy and mood stabilization. I also eat meat and fish for mood stabilization & brain nutrition. I took up a tai chi practice and found a yoga studio which supports me. My karate mates have always supported me, even when I was too sick to participate. Meanwhile, my psychologist went to hear Robert Whitaker talk, and she came to realize how many of the cases she saw were people suffering from drug effects. She wrote glowing letters of progress to my psychiatrist, who really had no choice but to say, “Okay, I guess she’s doing well.” Nuts and bolts, I took a year to come off a low dose of reboxetine (it’s the least effective SNRI in the world, actually less effective than placebo), and another 2.5 years to come off the lithium. As I was suffering lithium toxicity (diabetes insipidus), I alternated some of my SNRI tapers with lithium tapers. I tapered 10% per month, or if while dry cutting, I had to drop by 15% (my largest taper), I would hold an extra month. I held an extra month if I had any upsets or stressors – funerals, travel, illness, bad news, etc. I held 3 months after the SNRI was gone before tapering the lithium again. My tapers were relatively symptom free. Most of my symptoms were from worry that I really was crazy – and there were mood spikes until I learned to manage my mood on my own. That’s what I should’ve learned when I got diagnosed 20 years ago. Nobody tells you that you can manage your own mood. In fact, nobody tells you that you are the only person who can manage your own mood! I greatly reduced gluten, especially wheat, and dairy. I cut the coffee way back. I start my day with protein (good for adrenals), and finish my day with carbs. I take magnesium baths whenever I feel "crunchy" and after every exercise session. I have raw food smoothies 2x a week. I take a number of supplements to manage my health without drugs. Most important: magnesium and fish oil. For mood & energy: NAC. I couldn’t take up meditation exactly, because of cult abuse in my past, but I can do tai chi and yoga, and I love breathing and mindfulness meditation. I found a great benefit to shamanic practice, because it is not worship of any foreign deity or guru, and my own inner experience is the guide to what I am learning and how I am growing. I took up creativity practices, like music, coloring, drawing, painting and writing. I took up correspondence with special people here on SA and in other places, so I could learn and grow by sharing with others. I was well supported by all of these people and practices, and I feel I have a web which will catch me if I ever fall down again. Sometimes now, I miss a practice. I might not get all the sun walks in, or I might eat wheat or dairy. But now I am well enough – I am buoyant enough – and I have enough practices – that missing one or two Jenga blocks doesn’t make the tower fall. (it also helps to not have a tall tower - our society asks too much of us, I believe, it's inhuman sometimes) When I come back, I’ll give more of my history – how crazy, abused, wild, suicidal, depressed, with unrelenting fatigue, and how I was convinced I was “bipolar.” Now, I have no diagnosis (I leave it on the medical charts so that I can refuse drugs – “No doctor, you can’t give me that, I’m bipolar!”), my body is broken from surgeries, abuse, accidents and pain. My major lasting drug effect is metabolic and autonomic dysfunction but those are compounded by surgeries, too. I still have severe delayed cycle sleep (but I always did: it is my difference), and unrelenting tinnitus. But my mental and emotional life is healthier than I’ve ever been before. I have compassion for my fellow human in a way I couldn’t before. I have passion for what I am doing, and a sense of purpose. I am driven to create, to share, to learn, to grow. I love meeting with people and listening, and feel so incredibly fortunate. I’m older and wiser than ever before, and I still have a lot of healing to do. But I am awake, alive, and grateful to be so.
  2. Hello Surviving Antidepressant friends Around 18 months ago I posted this thread desperately seeking help for tapering gone wrong. I had been on a treatment dose of 300mg of Effexor, which I had reduced around 80%. I went to a psychiatrist to seek advice on tapering and bridging and he told me the amount I was on was almost nothing and there would be no issue if I tapered off over a couple of weeks. That caused the worst withdrawal I have ever had, including what felt like 48 hours of suicidal panic attacks and inability to sleep. My memory from that time is blurry. Anyway. After that I tapered back on to Effexor until the worst of the discontinuation syndrome subsided, which ended up being back up to 10mg, or 30 beads. I stayed that way for around 8 months before trying to go off again. I would take my dose every morning in the same place, around the same time, by pouring out the little beads onto my hand, counting them, taking them, then brushing my teeth. The next time I started going off I reduced by 1-3 beads every 3-4 days (more at the beginning, fewer at the end). I also conducted a little placebo conditioning experiment with myself, where I replaced the lost beads with white 100s and 1000s (I think Americans call them sprinkles?). I figured, after reading up on the classical conditioning mechanism in the placebo effect, that the eight months of "ritual" around taking the drug might be sufficient to allow the placebo sugar beads to have the same effect as the drug on my brain. Once there were no more drug beads I continued "taking" the 100s and 1000s each morning for a few weeks. I'm not going to recommend the placebo approach outright for obvious reasons (I am not a doctor or scientist; my understanding of the placebo effect is probably rudimentary). However, in my specific case, the experience of going from 30 beads to 0 beads, was a million times better the second time than the first. Other factors that likely helped: It was about 5 times slower than the first time; I had adjusted to the 30 bead dose before I started; I took even longer gaps between reductions of the last beads; I was not working as much as I went through this process. Now. While it was easier than the first time, it was still not easy. I felt churned up emotionally and was super irritable, I had rage flashes, my anxiety increased hugely, anhedonia returned, I had nausea, and my muscles, particularly in my legs, spasmed and twitched, often violently. I could, however, sleep for the most part, and none of these symptoms got too much in the way of life (granted I was not working very much and I work for myself anyway; it would have interfered if I worked for someone else). It helped to know that if I could just get through those few weeks then things would probably get better. These symptoms lasted around 2 weeks after the final drug dose, which was early April 2017. And things did get better. For me, most of the side effects of the drugs have now gone. Most significantly, my sense of self and my creativity have returned. It had felt like they were being numbed or muted by the drugs, and I couldn't access them. Off the drugs I now have access to them. Similarly, my ability to enjoy sex has improved, and I don't feel like that side of me is muted either. The above is really tremendous; feeling like yourself again instead of a weird muted robot alien is a big relief. However, while I consider the drug withdrawal to be 100% successful and 100% the right decision for me, I should caveat that with the following context: The drugs appeared to be muting extreme unresolved emotional distress, both from childhood stuff and from rape and sexual assault from a few years ago. The pain from this sort of exploded when the drugs went away. My primary diagnoses are anxiety and major depression, but it appears even those were symptoms of childhood stuff. When I came off the drugs it was the first time I had been drug free in around 13 years. I am highly sensitive and have a big emotional world, but I never learned how to regulate stimulation and emotion, and then had it muted by drugs. When I came off the drugs the emotions and stimulation were pretty extreme and often overwhelming. I took from that that I should learn skills of emotion regulation though, rather than that I should go back on the drugs. Even with only 3-4 months of practice, I am hugely improved and the emotions and stimulation overwhelm me much less frequently. (Now they inform my creative work and my service work, and are real positive assets for me, albeit ones that require sensitivity and management.) I have the great privilege of being able not to work for a while while I recover fully, which is lucky because I cannot currently work. I put that down to unresolved trauma that has now come to the fore rather than drug withdrawal. I am doing deep dive work with my psychologist that is helping more than any other talk therapy I've done, and I think that work will be sufficient to return me to work eventually. I see her weekly. That work is also subsidised by the government because it is about recovery from sexual trauma, meaning for now I do not pay anything for it (another enormous privilege). I have a partner who is extraordinarily supportive and gets what is happening for me. He judges fair contribution to the relationship by reference to each partner's capacity, and thinks that because he has more capacity right now it is fair that he do more housework, financial contribution etc than me. This has allowed me not to push myself beyond capacity, which has meant I have recovered more quickly. In conclusion, while I am currently not working and my capacity to do a lot of things is severely restricted, I could not be happier that I am off the drugs. I feel like I have real issues (childhood trauma and sexual trauma) that require serious work, but now I feel like I am actually properly addressing them, instead of having them be muted yet just as destructive. I also no longer have the drug side effects interfering with my ability to enjoy things, make music and comedy, have intimacy with my partner, meaning recovery feels more authentic and there is more joy in it. Things still hurt a lot, but my world feels real in a way it wasn't on the drugs. It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't come off these drugs before. In simple terms: I have hope. I can experience joy and enjoyment. I am excited about what the rest of my life might bring. Even while I know that I am in the middle of pretty extreme emotional upheaval and trauma processing, life is better than it has ever been. I am finally able to be fully, authentically myself, in ways that the drugs (and the trauma and mental health issues) got in the way of. I am optimistic.
  3. I came to Surviving Antidepressants in February of 2016 after multiple unsuccessful tries to taper from SSRIs. At 70 years of age, I did not want to spend the rest of my life with the side effects of those drugs. With your help, I started on a slow methodical taper of 10% per month, finished my taper in November of 2016 and have been off the SSRI since then which is 9 months. This site gave me the knowledge I needed to taper very slowly and the support of others going through something close to my issues. It was interesting that I did ok using the very slow taper but once I was off and had a stressful event, I found that I could not cope and many of the same post taper symptoms came back. During the taper I hooked up with a great counselor who continued to work with me once I was done by training me in cognitive behavior therapy and meditation as well as giving me lots of TLC and support. I worked my way through lots of issues that the drugs had covered up but did not fix. It has been difficult and I still have the occasional back slide. But I have made great progress and I do feel successful. I had no help from the psychiatrists or my family physician who didn't understand what was happening or know what to do. I have done the above survey and I am hopeful that the truth about these drugs and the knowledge on how best to use them and get off of them will become mainstream. I am grateful for the help of the people at this site. You made my success possible.
  4. Aria's recovery from poly drugs. I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll. All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something. I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life. At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way. I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs). Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong. I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes. My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive. I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it. (for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. i became very ill last fall of 2014. I was separated and had 2 children. No support whatsoever from my ex husband. I had to babysit to earn extra money, I was extremely stressed out and I began to drink Monster caffeine drinks and also a lot of coffee each day to keep me going. I always had trouble sleeping but due to my separation and other factors, I could only sleep a few hours per night. I eventually had a psychotic (manic) episode which landed me in the psychiatrist hospital. I had never been been mentally ill in my life. I was 27 at the time of my hospitalization. I was prescribed lithium 1,200 mg per day and zyprexa 20 mg. per day. The psychiatrist never looked at the cause of the psychosis ( caffeine overload) and told me I was bipolar 1 and I would need medication for the rest of my life. I hated both medications and they made me feel horrible. Once symptom I began to develop while on the zyprexa was I felt no pleasure and was extremely bored. I was released from the hospital after a 1 month and 1/2 stay. Soon after, I quit taking all medications cold turkey. ( I was never told no to do so). I had no clue of the dangers of doing such. I almost lost my mind. So I went back on both medications for about 2 weeks, then I quit taking zyprexa becauseI gained 20 pounds in 3 weeks and felt awful. Three days after I quit the zyprexa, I began to experience terrible withdrawals symptoms. I have been off zyprexa for almost four months now and it's been pure hell. A lot of the physical withdrawal symptoms have gone; howvever, I ended up getting rebound depression from stopping the zyprexa cold turkey and I have anhedonia as a main symptom which is really really difficult for me to cope with. I have lost the pleasure that I once had when I was not sick. I cannot feel and pleasure in life and I feel that the drug has ruined me for ever. Every day is a constant struggle as I wake up in the morning and realize that I am not getting better. I fear that my brain was damaged. I have 2 young children who are being taken care of by my mother because I have lost all motivation as well. I find through my endless searches on the internet that there are not many people who have fully recovered from anhedonia. I do not want to see any doctors concerning this because I know they will just tell me that I am going through depression again because I quit taking the medication and they will tell me to back back on them. I began to experience loss of pleasure and extreme boredom while on zyprexa. I have also tapered my lithium down from 1,200 mg to 300 mg. I am scared to taper more at this point. I hope I can receive some help and support through people on this site that have been through this and hopefully they can offer some hope for me.
  9. ashbrown: my story

    hello everyone, I am a former member of paxilprogress, i went by the username of no_fear if i can remember. I was on paxil for 5 years and 4 months, starting off on 20mg, but for the most part on 10mg, i tapered down to 5mg/day then 5mg/every other day, then stopped, this was back in winter 08/09. to be honest the tapering part for me wasn't too bad, the real problems started after i stopped, probably about 2 months after. i was hit with depression and anxiety, after that came the brain zaps and dizziness (i felt like i was going to fall backwards all the time) that lasted for a good 6 months. i have had bouts of insomnia and moments lying in bed feeling so low and fatigued i would of asked God to end my life right there. it took me a good 4 years after stopping to get to a place and head space to feel what i could consider normal, i have been off paxil for over 7 years now and have never looked back. i currently do have health issues which are possibly related directly or indirectly to coming off paxil, but i feel it is more to do with my clean but not very nutritious diet and not letting myself recover properly. i feel bad typing this because i can see many of you are still in withdrawal and i think this site is more to do with that, but i just wanted to share my story and let people know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  10. Zoloft withdrawal success - my story When I first decided to wean myself off of Zoloft, I searched the internet for stories about people who had successfully gotten off antidepressants and had trouble finding them so I promised myself that if I made it I would post my story. Tomorrow, will mark my "no Zoloft for one year" anniversary. In that time, I haven't used alcohol or any other mood altering substance either, and I'm doing fine. It hasn't been easy, and it took a while, but I made it and I was able to function, to work and to take care of myself throughout. Diagnosed with social anxiety and depression when I was in my mid 40s, I was put on Zoloft and stayed at 200mg per day for around 5 years. The Zoloft helped me. It took the edge off of my anxiety, and since my depression was the result of my anxiety, it helped with that as well. Another pleasant side effect was that I lost a few pounds. So why would I want to stop taking it? The Nurse Practitioner who prescribed the meds was puzzled. It works, why stop taking it? I can't fully answer that question, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I've struggled with addiction my entire life. Drugs, alcohol, food... maybe I felt like by taking the Zoloft I was avoiding dealing with one of the major themes of my life. Whatever the reason, I wanted to stop taking it. I'd tried twice using the NP's tapering recommendation, which was to decrease by 50mg every week for a month. I never made it past the first week because I'd have flashes of disorientation and dizziness (which I didn't mind) and then become anxious and depressed (which I did mind). She told me Zoloft didn't cause withdrawal symptoms, it was my natural state of anxiety and depression returning, so I needed to stay on the Zoloft. I knew I was having withdrawal symptoms, but they were so intense I couldn't function, so went back on the Zoloft. Then my mother told me that she had weaned herself off of Premerin by doing a very slow taper over the course of a year, so I decided to try that. My plan was to decrease the Zoloft by 25mg every month over a period of 8 months. The first month was fine. I'd have rough patches, but they were manageable. After 8 months I was off the Zoloft but a few weeks later, I started having withdrawal symptoms including what people refer to as "brain zaps." I called them "head rushes" because it felt like my brain was being flooded by chemicals. Then I became anxious and depressed again, so I decided to go back up to the lowest dosage where I felt good, which was 50mg. Then instead of tapering at 25mg per month, I reduced it to 10mg a month, and that is how I eventually got off the Zoloft. Whenever the withdrawal symptoms became uncomfortable, I'd go back up to a "comfortable" dosage then begin tapering in smaller increments, a "progressive taper," similar to what is recommended in the book "The Anti-Depressant Solution," and on this website. Eventually I had to buy a milligram scale (available on amazon), because the increments became so small. I was amazed how sensitive my body had become to the tiniest adjustments in dosage. The last month I was down to 5mg, and I stopped taking Zoloft completely February 1, 2014. One year ago tomorrow. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for 5 years and it took 2 ½ years to taper off completely. It took a long time, but I wanted to taper safely, physically and emotionally. And I did. During that time I was able to work and to meet all my social commitments. At the suggestion of the NP, I joined a social anxiety group which used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She warned that I shouldn't go off the meds without addressing the underlying cause, which made sense to me. However, I also believe that much of my anxiety and depression was situational, even though she maintained it was my natural state. When I first came to her, I was going through an extremely stressful period of my life. I was having problems finding work and didn't know how I was going to pay my rent or survive from month to month. I went on one job interview after another and I think social anxiety and depression were my way of trying to protect myself from more rejection and failure. So how do I feel now, one year later? I'm doing okay. I occasionally get a head rush, but it's very mild. I wouldn't today describe myself as either socially anxious or depressed, but I know that this is how I react to stress, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped me develop strategies for dealing with those tendencies. 12 step programs, self help books, spiritual practices like yoga and meditation, healing modalities like Reiki, and individual therapy have all been part of my healing process as well. On this journey, life has given me both challenges and assistance in dealing with social anxiety and depression. For example, as I was tapering I started dating someone for the first time in years, and we had a fun relationship which helped heal a lot of issues relating to social anxiety. Then, after two years we broke up, so that offered its challenges, but I didn't sink into depression, which was kind of amazing. At the time, I also had bed bugs which deprived me of sleep and sent my anxiety through the roof, but I survived that too. (The bed bugs did not.) My ex-boyfriend introduced me to hiking, which I loved, so I started going to hiking meet-ups and found a circle of friends who also love to hike which helped heal a different aspect of my social anxiety. Also, becoming more physically active probably helped with the depression... In other words, life went on. There were challenges and there were opportunities and often the challenges were the opportunities. The Zoloft helped me get through a very difficult period of my life, and I'm grateful for that, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But here I am, 8 ½ years later, and I haven't used Zoloft or any mood altering drugs, alcohol or coffee (all of which affect my anxiety and depression) for a year. Today, I feel optimistic and hopeful. I know life will have it's challenges but also that I have resources and strategies to assist me, and I am grateful to all who have helped me on this journey; therapists, teachers, friends, strangers, nature, and also to life itself, which Eckhart Tolle calls "the greatest guru of all." Do I have moments of fear and anxiety? Yes! Do I have moments of happiness and joy? Yes! Do I have moments of depression and sadness? Yes! Do I have moments of laughter and silliness? Yes! All of it, yes. What I was dreading is that it would be unending anxiety and depression, and that hasn't been my experience. Life is okay, with its highs and lows and all of it. Like Snoop Dogg says, "it's all good."
  11. Today is day 22 since I stopped citalopram, and I've had the worst time of my life in these last three weeks. I started taking citalopram about 11 months ago in preparation to stop smoking. The only adverse effect I had was about 4 days after starting on 10 mg/day, which was physical shaking. Over 3 months my dose was increased from 10 to 40 mg/day. I stopped smoking about 3 months ago. I went cold turkey and the worst side effect was feeling cold and tired so that I spent half of days 4-7 in bed A month ago, I saw my doctor and said I wanted to stop citalopram. Although she had already talked about taking 3 months to come off it, this time she suggested that I could take 2 weeks. So I did: 20 mg for 6 days with no withdrawal symptoms; then 10 mg for 6 days with no withdrawal symptoms, then 0 mg. I define my first day of first withdrawal of 0 mg as day 1, and I count thereafter in this email (how I define second withdrawal to be decided). This intro email is written on day 22. Days 0-4: no withdrawal symptoms Days 5-6: heightened awareness, euphoria Day 7: inability to coordinate driving, drowsiness, persistent genital arousal, loose tongue, could cease inappropriate behaviour Days 8-9: normal functioning requiring additional concentration [a] Days 10-11, heightened awareness, euphoria [a] Day 12: normal functioning [a] Days 13-15: normal functioning [a,b] Days 16-21: persistent genital arousal, increasing in intensity to the point of extreme distress on day 21 [c,d] Day 21 onwards: reinstated 10 mg citalopram Day 22: persistent genital arousal symptoms reduced by about half to that on day 20 Notes a: These days were contact time with my children, who live with their father. Could it be that after day 10 when our contact started, my being able to focus on them may have somehow reduced my vulnerability/the harm to withdrawal? b: Day 13, I decided to divorce my husband c: Contact with children ended on day 16 d: Day 21, trigger event with estranged husband leading to distressing persistent genital arousal
  12. 'Twas a long time ago and the fog of years of SSRIs has settled in so dates are fuzzy but here is a snapshot of my story: 1984/5 Prescribed low dose of Prozac. Wonder drug. Sure to cure my "depression". As a survivor of early childhood abuse, it was easier to drug me than to hear about what happened; both the psychiatrist and I were complicit in this. 1987 Began a journey of recovery from ( illegal) drug addiction. Continues to this day... By 2000, up to 40 mg. of Prozac but not feeling100% (was that ever the goal?) so switched to 10 mg Celexa 2001-2007 dosage crept up to 80 mg of Celexa. I was self-prescribing. Primary care doc just took my word for needing more since I was in the "field" and he continued to prescribe ever increasing dosages until I maxed out at 80 mg. 2007-2010 These years were worst. I was lost; a Zombie fugue state settled in. The world was a muffled, distant. I was disconnected from everyone. Everything lost its meaning. 2010 Awoke from the stupor and decided to get off Celexa 2012 20 months to get off the drug but got off the last 20 MSG in a month. Too fast. For 30 days had severe withdrawal symptoms - eyes rolling to the back of my head, panic attacks, racing heart, no sleep. Sheer madness. I drove my self to the hospital twice to check into the psych unit but called friends while in the parking lot. They helped me see that what I was experiencing would pass. Go home. Go to bed. Call at anytime if I wanted/ needed to. Symptoms of withdrawal included: Blind rages. Nasty interactions with family, clerks in stores. Insomnia. Weight gain. Anxiety. Irrational behaviour (Moved out of my house. Sold many possessions. Asked friends to care for my dog.) Fear of flying. ( My job included a lot of flying. Took .5 mg of lorazepam to get on plane. Boarded early. Flew with colleague.) it was hell. My therapist was supportive. She did not suggest to go back on meds but told me to see if I could go just one more hour, one more day, one more week without meds. My friends were very supportive. My family was worried but continued to support me. 2014 Turned the corner last fall. I began to feel alive inside. Hope rather than stubbornness was supporting my resolve not to go back on meds. (Though at this point, I had no drive to go back on meds.) 2015 Insomnia and foggy mind continue, perhaps they always will. I don't know what "normal" is. It's been a challenging life - physical and sexual abuse and the accompanying illegal drug addiction, physical complications, and then addiction to prescription drugs. It's not been easy but this I know, if you are reading this, you too have a big story. I am 68 years old and beginning a new chapter in my life. At times it's difficult to know whether it's aging or the drug story that results in irregular sleeping patterns and monkey mind, but for today, I am creeping towards peace.
  13. Hello all! I am a 24 year old male seeking to rid myself of SSRIs for good. My poison (so to speak) is lexapro and have been on it for 6 years. My issue has been anxiety since I was a small child. I would say it is pretty generalized although it started with a fear of vomiting when I was young. Now it is anxiousness towards more normal things in life such as finding a career, doing what I want to do etc. I decided to make this account after a very rare sleepless night. I normally don't have any issues sleeping whatsoever but I was reading about the sexual side effects (I might be experiencing some) of coming off of SSRIs and some issues that people have after discontinuation and I'm pretty sure I've scared myself half to death lol. My current dose on my bottle of lexapro is 20mg but I have been off that for sometime now taking 10 for I believe 3-4 months. Just recently (1-1.2 months) I have taken a more drastic approach to tapering of going down to 5mg every other day with 10mg the other days then 5 everyday for a short time, then only 5 every other day for the past 2 days but I believe that is starting to have some adverse effects. I might go back to 10mg a day and start using the 10% method. I hope to progress my knowledge in this subject using this forum and become a helpful member of this community. Btw Im not seeing how to edit my signature.
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.