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  1. Just finished (psychiatrist managed) 7 week slow taper off 10 yrs on Cymbalta. Now taking Wellbutrin which manages depression better. My struggle is the slow taper off Lorazepam which I’ve been on for 20 yrs. I’m down to .2 mg but the withdraws are horrible: hot/cold sweats are not only uncomfortable but embarrassing in public, body aches in upper part of back, anxiety and agitation, heart palpitations. I’m using Motrin pm to get to sleep and Belsomra to stay asleep thru the night. Dr just prescribed Doxepin to try to replace Motrin pm and help anxiety. Looking for feedback on the Lorazepam withdraws and what others may have found to help. Thanks!!
  2. Hi everybody! I started taking Lorazepam 0.5mg and escitalopram (Lexapro) 10mg for anxiety attacks back in Sep 2016 after 4 months of one-per-month short vertigo episodes, dizziness, imbalance and (unconfirmed later) misdiagnosis of Meniere's "Syndrome"). I never reached the prescribed limits started with 1/2 pill -> 3/4 pill of Lorazepam and 2.5 -> 5 ->7.5 mg of Lexapro. I wasn't feeling good. Constant dizziness, sometimes a bit of nausea and overall while feeling less anxious not feeling good most of the time (a bit dizzy in some situations like elevators or driving). Then, I think in Feb 2017 I decided to start tapering off scared by all the withdrawal descriptions I've read and no being able to have tests for my vestibular system. I bought mg scales, and I think for two months I tapered off Lorazepam, and then May 26 was my last day of escitalopram. For 2 weeks or more I felt more or less okay. Then, things started getting worse. In mid-July 2017, after a stress I felt really dizzy, and my anxiety attacks got back to me. I started having strange sensations of posture imbalance, like my feet were not in accordance with the rest of my body. I thought I have a chronic subjective dizziness, took some vestibular therapy (they said I have a perfect objective balance), it seemed to help, but still I was having difficulty concentrating, sitting in front of a computer, felt constant eye muscle pain and anxiety. Strange feet sensation / imbalance was more perceivable when I was standing. Then I started having sort of "excitement"/"dizziness" zaps in my brain like you are on a rollercoaster for a second. Then roughly 3 weeks ago it got gradually accompanied by tingling, numbness in my feet and also tingling/ hypersensitivity in my arms / body and all over the body. For a couple of nights I felt extremely fatigue and felt weakness in my leg muscles and overall body, went to bed 2 hours before my wife, woke up a couple of time in a cold sweat. I started thinking I was developing an MS and all that made me completely freaked out (not mentioning chronic subjective dizziness and prospective to taking ADs again). I'm doing MRI in a couple of weeks, MRI from Sep 2016 showed no lesions. A couple of days ago, maybe a week, I started feeling odd taste in my mouth, I searched for it and yes, the closest description is "metallic". These three months were the worst, I think I'm in depression now (my psychotherapist kind of shares my view), really preparing for the life with MS and, well, the joy of life has gone So I'd like to ask community a couple of questions and ask for support, because it seems my CNS is waving me a goodbye 1. Do you think I tapered too fast? 2. Was the dose good enough to "justify" what was going on? 3. Is all this more likely WD than suddenly appearing MS? 4. I'm taking Fish Oil, magnesium, Turmeric, taking St. John's Wort (800mg) right now. Should I add / remove anything from the list? 5. I'm doing yoga warm-up every day, try to visit yoga classes a couple of times per week With hope, citydweller.
  3. This site has been a sanctuary for several months and I would like to thank AltoStrata, her fellow Admins and all posting members for the invaluable information shared in the various forums. In this most confusing and isolating phase of my life so far, you have all helped me to feel less alone, less confused, and important teachers. I believe I may have created a meds signature line in my sign-up form, but if not I will correct that shortly. Briefly, I realized I was in a polypharmacy rut in February of this year. Prozac 10 or 20 mg (?) from early 1997 to early 1998. Newly sober, the Paxil caused "speediness" and I was switched to Paxil - Paxil 20mg/day (depression/anxiety) from 1998 to approximately Spring 2007. I simply stopped taking it after running out, was in long-term therapy and did not think twice about leaving such a "small thing" behind. Even though there were large stressors at work. The state of lability, extreme depression, dysphoria, DP, DR (terms I did not know then) were horrendous. I returned to the original psychiatrist who tried me on various other meds for a hellish 2 months, never once mentioning I might be in withdrawal from stopping the Paxil. The last straw was an Effexor trial, which put me in a state of agitation, physical heat, and inability to leave bed beyond imagination. It took months to find a new Psychiatrist, which happened about February 2008. He felt I had simply been on too small a Paxil dose - I had heard about "poop out" by that time but he dismissed it - I had not heard about withdrawal on Paxil cessation and he did not mention it. He put me back on Paxil and built up slowly from 10 to eventually 60mg. Unfortunately I don't remember the timeline for that buildup. However, 60mg became the maintenance dose at which I remained until Feb. 2017 of this year - nearly 10 years. He also became my psychotherapist and had a wonderfully humane aspect to him to which I attribute most of the great healing that happened over the first 3-4 years. My life became strong and rich and fulfilling again - in all areas. In 2010 there was a collision of traumatic stressors in work and family. As well, somatic experience of panic, high anxiety and heart palpitations such as I'd never experienced since childhood episodes of severe abuse became frequent. I made certain decisions in my life. We continued the meds and the therapy. In June (?) 2012 - after months of persistent inner agitation, weepiness, anxiety (following death of family member), he added Ativan 0.5 at night. A year later he added another 0.5 in the am. A year after that he added another 0.5 at noon. I can not know with any certainty but based on everything that I have read about tolerance and withdrawal with Paxil and Ativan, I believe that I experienced pre-taper withdrawal-like symptoms for several years. I wish I had known then - when he began adding the benzo to the Paxil - what I know now. I had trusted him so completely as a person and a professional. Fast forward to February 2017. He announced abruptly that he was closing his practice - in 3 months. We had been working together for about 9 years. The anxiety caused by the announcement led him to increase my RXs for Paxil to 80 and to double Ativan to 1mg 3 times a day. He acknowledged that the 2 drugs did not appear to be "working" or "ideal" anymore. Sadly I think his priority at that point was to get to the end of the three months without liability - so it was easier to simply up the meds and "explore referral options." Two months on the upped prescriptions saw me living like an outpatient in a chemical straightjacket - as a full on zombie. I found my way to Mad in America and the literature on iatrogenic psychotropic drug injuries, the psychiatric profession's blind faith in the hypothesis of the "chemical imbalance", and the frightening stories about withdrawing from SSRIs and benzodiazepines - especially the 2 I was prescribed. This was all quite frightening and overwhelming. I was able to find a wonderful and sympathetic therapist. The zombie straightjacket was too much. I decided to taper myself back to my "baseline" though no-longer-working (even according to the Psychiatrist) polypharmacy of Paxil 60mg and Ativan .05 3 times a day. I did that from April to August. Symptoms ranging from extreme loss of appetite, acute DP/DR, extreme and sudden heart palpitations and anxiety, and a slow-motion hyper depressive grey movie in the background looping "this is the end of the road for me" movies - but always behind a screen. The gestalt in terms of doing anything is a 1000 mile distance between a flourishing idea or thought and any action to carry it out. Including washing dishes! The search for a meds doctor who is sympathetic to a patient wishing to taper off psychotropic drugs that no longer work and are causing is still on. I will be meeting one next week, and I believe his name does appear on a list of potentially knowledgeable providers somewhere on this site. I will report back. He appears to be familiar with tapering patients off psychotropic drugs and he is also a holistic treater with experience in acupuncture, something called "functional psychology" (?), and other holistic practices. Thanks to SA I shall have with me a lot of information to discuss - very calmly - with him, including the formula of tapering 10% (vs. last dose), listening to the body even within a tapering protocol, and the question as to whether the Paxil or the Ativan should be tapered first. (I saw a psychiatrist one month ago who wrote out a taper schedule for Ativan that was very aggressive - I modified it and have "held" at an early stage after feeling my body rebelling and reading here about the 10% recommendation. Same psychiatrist was ready to have me start tapering Paxil simultaneously until I mentioned perhaps it was not a great idea and he very quickly agreed. Those fancy degrees, Research Hospital affiliations, decades of experience .... That's another story.) I wish to thank you all from the bottom of my heart - for being here.
  4. Please i need help. I am on cymbalta generic and have tapered down to approx 10 mgs from 90 using bead method. I also take a very low dose of ativan. I had tapered off the ativan in july 2016 and went back on much lower dose 4 months ago. I also take zyprexa at approx. 3.75 mgs. I have been trying to taper all three meds because i have fatty liver disease and need yo get off this junk before it turns into cirrhosis. So i made a cut last week and about 4 days ago i started to get severe anxiety. I was doing fine up until then but it seems like every time i get to a certain point with the zyorexa i get so anxious. I have tried several times to taper zyprexa. I am under alot of stress and i dont know if its me or withdrawal. I was put on these medications 9 years ago for anxiety. It was very bad. But i dont know if that anxiety was from klonopin or celexa. I did not have this kind of anxiety before those two meds. Someone please help me. I had to increase the zyprexa yesterday or i was going to end up in the hospital. I have to find a job because i will soon be homeless if i dont. How will i get off these horrible drugs and function at the same time??
  5. Hello, On March 29, 2017, I was prescribed 10 MG Ambien at ER after 3 nights of no sleep due to racy thoughts, and extreme anxiety that made me shake and my muscles twitched. I thought I was gonna die. Next day, I was prescribed 1 MG Lorazepam for anxiety. after a month, I cut Lorazepam to 1/2 pill and cut the Ambien to 1/2 pill too but was told by doctor to not cut the Ambien and just cut it after 6 months. During those months taking the pills, I experienced all side effects (extreme headches and weird sensations on my forehead, neck and ears, ramdom pain and pulses all over my body, fatigue, anxiety, more heart palpitations, abdominal pain, weightloss, etc.) The muscle twithcing did not disappear. I went to different doctors and complained about my symptoms, they said it was just stress and anxiety and told me to just take more of the Lorazepam. My blood test showed I was low in Vitamin D, low Iron, low HDL cholesterol & had slight dehydration. Everything showed "normal". I'm now taking supplements Vit D3, comfort Iron, Magnesium Glycinate, Sodium Ascorbate (non-acidic Vit. C), Omega 3 Fish Oil, some Whey Protein. I have asked my family doctor on getting off the pills and she said that I could just cut them and I won't have withdrawals since I've only been taking a small dose of Lorazepam. Starting June 26, 2017, I started cutting the Lorazepam dosage by cutting/weighing the pill deducting 0.02-0.03 MG everyday and the Ambien 0.3-0.4 MG everyday too. Since cutting the pills, I've had 0 sleep on some days which occurred every 2-5 days, extreme anxiety, heavy muscle twitching on my legs and back, extreme fatigue, depression plus all the other symptoms I had while on the higher dose of the drugs. These horrifying misery that I don't want to experience again. The Lorazepam went down to 0.22mg and Ambien to 8.2mg but my husband (who helps with the cutting/weighing) have since added doses everytime I get 0 hrs. of sleep. Since 2 nights ago, I've been taking 9.4MG Ambien (Zolpidem) and 0.27mg Loarazepam (ativan). I need help/guidance on how to taper properly, all the tips you can give on what to do to survive withdrawal and lots of encouragement (and love) to get off these drugs and heal. I want to get my old self back, the energetic, bubbly, hardworking mother of 4 that I used to be. Not the sickly, depressed, unfunctioning woman that these drugs have turned me into. I'd specially encourage those who have tapered off Ambien & Ativan successfully, to please post your tips. I appreciate any and all help that you could extend!!!
  6. I'm 5 months off Clonazepam. Was total hell! Was on only 2.5 months. Before that was Ativan. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar. I suffered almost a year on bad reactions from antidepressants and antipsychotics before being put on ativan then clonazepam. I'm in my 5th month of being off all the drugs. I'm wondering if anybody else has had a fear of never being able to drive again or being alone again? Does it go away? I tried driving by myself and it's really scary. It seems I can only get so far before fear kicks in. And I'm scared to be left alone. It seems like 3 weeks ago the bad anxiety and bad thoughts came back. I NEED hope!! I feel like I'm going to be like this forever!
  7. My GP started me on generic ativan (.5 up to 3x per day) and sertraline (.5/ once per day but starting at .25) for health anxiety. I have a history of anxiety but had recently escalated and I felt like I was losing my ability cope and function each day. I only use the ativan before bed (it's been a week), and am very aware of the addictive nature so I am cognizant that this is only a temporary fix. Actually, I haven't even felt the need to use it other than at night I seem to be experiencing withdrawal after the 24 hours of having used it (brain zaps/tingles/what feels a little like parasthesia--but again that could all be anxiety related as well). I'm more concerned, I think, about the sertraline. It's only been a week, but I seem to be getting really bad morning anxiety from it. Everyday, I wake up extremely anxious with chest pain (more like a fullness on my left side---I'm 28 and in great shape so it's a bit disturbing). I'm not sure if I'm experiencing chest pain or anxiety-caused pain. Otherwise, once the morning anxiety dissipates, I feel fine for most of the day, but am concerned that the chest pain (which only lasts 10 min that I am aware of) is something more seriously. I think I want off the sertraline, but am nervous about quitting cold turkey. Would it be wise to cut from 25mg to 12.5 after one week? I am supposed to be see a psycho pharmacologist tomorrow anyway (this was scheduled before my GP gave me the meds), but am nervous he'll just lead me to another SSRI. Thoughts?
  8. Hi, I realise this is a peer support network but I am the mum of a young adult daughter who has had a severe reaction to Sertraline. She is currently detained against her will in a psychiatric hospital and our need for help and advice on her behalf is immediate as I am fearful about the effect of compulsory treatment while she is there. I'll attempt to draw out the relevant parts of the chaotic and traumatic last 3 months.She was prescribed 50mg Sertraline for anxiety at the beginning of February by a general practioner. After 2 weeks she returned feeling unwell this was upped to 100mg, then shortly afterwards to 150mg. On even the lowest dose she immediately experienced extreme night sweats, restlessness and difficulty sleeping. She also became withdrawn from loved ones, snappy and cold. She looked drugged. She started self-medicating with excessive alcohol and cannabis and developed hypomania. After 6 weeks, during which she left her home and long-term partner, she called the police for help and was detained in the local psychiatric hospital. They put her through cold turkey on all substances. After a week they started her on 75mg Quetiapine per day plus Lorazepam and Zopliclone as they felt her state of mind required. After 3 weeks she was released with multiple boxes of all 3 drugs. She was still remote from us. After a week of clean-living with us (parents and sister) during which she began to taper the Quetiapine and didn't take the other medication, she left home claiming she needed to recover in her own way and resumed alcohol and cannabis misuse. Two weeks later she is detained in the psychiatric hospital again, very withdrawn and with signs of delusional beliefs. On admittance she tested positive for Cannabis and Lorazepam. They have resumed 75mg Quetiapine and, after a spell of disruptive behaviour, Lorazepam. She is currently in isolation with a permanent staff member having become violent and is not engaging with anyone. Her father and I have not succeeded in convincing the hospital doctors that the Sertraline prescription lay at the root of all this. We have repeatedlyreasserted the precise timing of the onset of her problems and have referred them to this site, to The British Journal of Psychiatry <http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/195/3/211>and to Katinka Blackford Newman's "The Pill That Steals Lives". One consultant is convinced that cannabis is entirely to blame despite being told that she has used it (and alcohol) previously without the ill effects.The chief consultant is looking for signs of underlying mental illness as the root cause of her problems. If anyone has ideas ideas on persuading clinicians I would be grateful. The main questions I have at the moment are: Given that she has shown extreme sensitivity to SSRIs, how dangerous for her are the Quetiapine and Lorazepam she is currently being given? It's likely that she will be started on another antipsychotic but neither she nor I will be consulted about this beforehand, so the question really extends to psychotropic drugs in general. Is it possible to tease out the effect of the Sertraline from the effects of the subsequent cannabis and alcohol use? How likely or possible is it that she had a latent, unsymptomatic mental illness that was triggered by the SSRI? Thank you for any advice. QueenieRose
  9. Romalaine: Freedom

    Where do I begin to end the misery of these panic attacks I have everyday I don't take the Ativan, started on bromazepam years ago , a few months ago I got off them expecting a smooth withdrawl then the panic attacks started, the hospital gave me Ativan but with Ativan the drug is in your system a short time. So one a night have worn off by morning and another panic attack, I would like to get off them.
  10. Hello, I've been reading posts on this site for a while but am reaching out for support in initiating a Gabapentin taper. I am currently taking both Ativan and Gabapentin, with the Gabapentin having been prescribed to me to aid in Ativan withdrawal and sleep. I was originally taking 600-700 mg at bedtime and another 100-200 mg in the middle of the night to extend my sleep. I had no doctor advising me on how best to take the medicine, so I wasn't totally consistent. Back in late January, I forgot to take my bedtime dose and woke up at 5:00 am and decided against taking the full 700 mg at that point. Instead I took 100 mg and thought I would resume dosing again that night. I had very bad withdrawals by early afternoon and decided to take 500 mg to get through the day. At that point I decided moving forward I would only take the 700 mg at bedtime, since I was not needing the middle of the night dose any more. I made it almost two weeks before reinstating the 100 mg in the middle of the night due to extreme anxiety symptoms. Another 10 days later, and more afternoon anxiety, I decided to reinstate 200 mg in the early morning. I'm now at 150 mg between 4:00 - 5:00 am and 700 mg at bedtime and still struggling to get stable. My Ativan taper has been on hold for almost a month while I try to stabilize, and I'm now seriously considering tapering the Gabapentin before the Ativan. I know that I need to be very consistent with my Gabapentin doses and timing in order to stabilize, and I'm reaching out for advice both on whether I need to ultimately consider adding an afternoon dose of Gabapentin to avoid afternoon anxiety, and whether I should consider tapering Gabapentin first. I really don't like this drug, and am concerned about continuing at this high amount for another year or more of an Ativan taper. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice. NW Guy
  11. Currently taking 40 mg Prozac (fluoxetine), approx 1.5 mg Ativan, and 600 mg Gabapentin for nerve pain. The gabapentin is new (2-3 mos) after a year of awful nerve pain in feet. I am convinced it is related to 12+ years of Klonopin/Ativan (either intra-dose withdrawal or just exhausted receptors, because it would subside with extra Ativan). Basically always low and tired, with intermittent awful anxiety and despair. Can will myself to do things but get exhausted. Foot pain flares up occasionally. Need Ativan to sleep and have weird spacey dreamy sleep. Also being treated for adrenal exhaustion: basically, no cortisol at all. Low serotonin, GABA, dopamine, very high epinephrine. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was first prescribed Klonopin in 2001 for anxiety and IBS symptoms, which were causing me to lose weight. I also needed it for sleep in unfamiliar or stressful situations. I didn't take it regularly until around 2004 (0.5 mg and never increased), and twice switched to Ativan, back and forth. I disliked the nightmares I often got from Klonopin, but found the same issue with Ativan. I was diagnosed with major depression in 2011, and given different AD's like Pristiq, Abilify, Wellbutrin, and Prozac. The Prozac is the one I tolerated best so I have stayed on it except for about a year in 2015 when I tapered off it because I didn't feel any better. Wanted to use acupuncture and diet for mood swings. But I felt worse without it and was weepy and overwhelmed. Back on Prozac in 2016, doc went straight to 40 mg. She wanted to try other things for sleep but I didn't want to add something new when I knew I couldn't stop Ativan. Foot nerve pain finally diagnosed and treated with gabapentin, no one mentioned that this is even more GABA receptor confusion. I'm exhausted and don't know how to make changes without major symptoms and crises.
  12. Hi, Off Lexapro for two weeks and took my last Ativan (0.5mg) pill last night. Have muscle and joint pains- more on my right side than on my left. Also have cold tremors when waking up in the morning. Lots of crying and anxiety - any advice or sharing of stories with similar symptoms will be much appreciated. See below for full story. Does anyone have bad muscle knots, pain - primarily more on one side than the other? My Psychiatrist told me it couldn't be side-effects if it was more on one side. I am predominantly right-handed and have more pain there. I have been on Prozac off and on since my mid-20s. I will be 45 this year. My last and highest dose was 60mgs. I decided to wean myself off last August (2016). I was sick of constipation, no libido, and emotional numbing. I had also gained about 30 lbs. despite eating healthy and working out 5 times a week. I thought I weaned slowly - took about 3 months and was reducing by 10mg every 2-3 weeks. But in October, I experienced high anxiety and cold tremors when waking up in the morning. I thought my anxiety was back and went to see my Psychiatrist. He was upset that I had weaned off without seeking his help. He then prescribed Lexapro which he called a "clean drug". I started at 5mg and was also given a benzo - Restoril which gave me hives 3 days of usage. I then just used Lexapro and Benadryl for sleep. At 10mg of Lexapro I woke up 1 day with pain in my right arm,right forearm, shoulder and neck. I had some pain on my lest hand near my thumb but not as bad. I was told by my Psychiatrist that since the pains were one-sided that they were not side effects of the drug. I continued using Lexapro slowly increasing dosage till I was at 20mg. My anxiety was worse than ever and I had a Panic Attack for the first time and went to urgent care. I went off of Lexapro essentially cold turkey. Was given 1 mg of Ativan for 7 days by Urgent Care Dr. And now I'm here.
  13. I have switched from Wellbutrin 150 XL to 150 IR. I am now tapering from 75 mg at 9:00 am and 75 mg at 3:00 pm (more than one pharmacist said not to take Wellbutrin after 3:00 pm). I am experiencing disrupted sleep, which I expected, and nausea in the morning, which I did not. Thoughts?
  14. Hello, I am in quite the conundrum currently. My CNS is completely destabilized due to several factors. Firstly, I have been on lorazepam for nearly 8 years. I was initially prescribed 1 mg three times a day along with 10 mg zolpidem after my mom died in August 2008 and I had a panic attack. I took the lorazepam basically at this full dose up until June 2013 when I was ripped off of the lorazepam after my previous doctor left his practice and ended up with a ruthless doctor. He prescribed me 30 mg for a month and that was it. I was able to obtain some diazepam which helped with this abrupt withdrawal. I was off of all gaba drugs and functioning in society with manageable symptoms until April 2014 when the stress of noisy neighbors pushed me over the edge. At this time, I didn't know how dangerous benzodiazepines really were, so I sought out an old psychiatrist who prescribed me 2 mg lorazepam daily plus 10 mg zaleplon at night for the ongoing insomnia. Fast forward to October 2014, when I had a life changing incident. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, which to this day has affected me greatly. I was going to school to be a chemical engineer but this injury caused me to have major issues with light, sound sensitivity, brain fog, fatigue. I managed to finish the semester barely. In February 2015, while attempting to start the next semester with a lighter course load, I bumped my head again. This is when all hell broke loose. The symptoms got so bad that I couldn't be in classrooms and I had to withdraw from university due to the light/sound sensitivity. In May 2015, I was prescribed gabapentin by my neurologist. I know this isn't a benzodiazepine but it does seem to have some gaba/glutamate action. Anyway, it seemed to help me at first for my anxiety. At this point I was forced to stay inside and wear sunglasses and earplugs a lot of the time. I could no longer read as I once did. Over the course of the summer I started to improve slightly, and I began tapering of the gabapentin. All the while I was still taking the 2 mg/ lorazepam daily. I didn't use the z-drugs often but I still had a supply that I used occasionally. It was clear that I wasn't going back to school any time soon. It was then that a tragedy occurred. My brother lost his life to a drug overdose. He was my only brother and I loved him dearly. This event took a lot out of me, emotionally and physically. I started to decline. I went to my psychiatrist and he upped me back to 3mg lorazepam/day and renewed a zolpidem prescription. My neurologist upped my gabapentin to 1800 mg/day. (It had been at 900mg over the course of the summer). Shortly after my brother died, my girlfriend and I moved to a quiet town in the hopes that I would heal with less noise bothering me. She became distant and left me in January 2016. This is when I hit rock bottom. I was suffering strange symptoms that seemed to be withdrawal even though I had increased dosages of both medications. I somehow managed to realize that the medications were not helping and I needed to get off of them. I spent 2016 reducing my gabapentin dosage from 1800 mg (600 mg three times a day) down to 300 mg (100 mg three times a day). This was not easy given that I have not been able to work, or go to school due to intense symptoms of sensory overstimulation. I can barely go for walks due to light sensitivity and driving in cars is just as bad due to sound/motion sensitivity. Over the course of 2016, I tried to convert over to a longer acting benzo twice. I tried using clonazepam for a few weeks using the Ashton conversion table. This didn't work well as I felt much worse on the clonazepam. In July I tried to convert to diazepam. I only took two 10 mg doses to replace one of my 1 mg doses of lorazepam on consecutive days. This caused a significant increase in visual symptoms I have been experiencing since 2015 and a failed SSRI effort. This visual phenomenon is known as visual snow and I have all the trademark symptoms now - palinospia, starburts, the static field over my vision, etc. along with tinnitus. So, anyway as it stands now, I have a pretty poor quality of life and I am basically on my own emotionally - no family support. My present dose is 1 mg lorazepam three times a day, and 100 mg gabapentin three times a day. I have not taken any other medications since the diazepam in July. My last zolpidem dose was in March, nearly a year ago. The last cut I made with the gabapentin was 5/31/2016. Prior to that I was making 100 mg cuts weekly as directed by my doctor. Looking back, I'm sure this was much too fast. One of my doctors has been quite sympathetic to my situation and he prescribed me the lorazepam solution to begin a taper. He seems to be willing to work at a slow pace that I'm comfortable with. I actually started writing out a plan for tapering with the liquid. I plan on cutting 5% over the course of the next month using a 0.1mg/mL solution. Thanks for reading, and take care to all.
  15. I was put on Wellbutrin generic, which I didn't think was doing anything. I take Ativan too, which is helping a lot. I gradually realized that he waking up earlier and earlier came on gradually. I read some stuff and thought lack of seratonin was my prob. Not! I took a small dose this morning and came down with every side effect (almost) that Wellbutrin causes. Then I realized that the Wellbutrin Was causing sweats and trembling and all the other stuff. I took Prozac for years but then it stopped working. Took trawhatsisab which worked well for a couple years and doc did not tell me I should taper. That was a horrible experience, especially since I didn't realize what was going on. Did it for myself on the Internet while feeling awful. I'm interested in supplements but no doc m knows anything about them. I have diabetes and take met for metformin and Victosa, and when they don't work, cinnamon and fenugreek. And some other stuff. This can take my blood sugar down a hundred points or more. It's always too high. I had anxiety attacks even as a little kid, which I hid. Right not I have nothing objectively real to be anxious about. Have 2 lovely kids, a hub whow loves me after 50 years, plenty of moneY and a paid for house. My job was nerve wracking, but now I'm retired. Why is everyone such a mess? Even our financial adviser confessed he had taken Prozac for many years and not it wasn't working. Thanks for being here.
  16. Hello Survivors, I am wondering if you could help me shed some light on my symptoms. I would really appreciate any thoughts on my condition as the doctors have not been able to figure it out. I have had a spinal tap ruling out M.S. and 2 mri's of the head and neck, standard blood tests are normal. 9 months ago I had a series of stroke like episodes, intense fatigue and dizziness/vertigo and I ended up in emergency at least half a dozen times. It developed in to persistent dizziness and disequilibrium now going on strong for 9 months. A few months before this happened I was tapering off 15-30 mg of remeron and I also was taking ativan occassionally, perhaps 3-4 times per month on average. I have had severe chronic insomnia all of my adult life (I am 44 years old) and I found that 15mg of remeron was no longer helping me sleep like it did in the past so I stopped taking it or took it intermitently. I figure I ended up sleeping on average 4 hours per night, many times not sleeping at all for days even. But when I had the ativan I was able to get a descent night sleep, which was about once per week. Then the doctor decided not to take away the ativan and I was not getting that one good night per week anymore which I think was keeping me afloat. Most of my adult life I have had chronic insomnia so I am not sure if these new neurological symptoms are related. I started noticing that things did not look or seem right, or there was some spatial distortion and I had a general feeling of malaise leading up the weeks before I would experience the more intense dizziness/fatigue/stroke-like episodes. I also started experiencing tingling in my legs and feet, electric shock like sensations in my head (mostly at night), severe hypoglycemia, muscle contractions, tachycardia, swinging blood pressure (now it's mostly low), intense fatigue and weakness that sometimes felt difficult to breathe, feelings of travelling pressure in my head that sometimes would travel downwards in my body, a pressure in my torso like it was being crushed, heaviness in my legs, feeling like I am on an elevator or a boat, and other sensory distortions like having difficulty locating my feet in space. What made me concerned that it was MS was that my left foot felt like it had less feeling than the right at times I would wake up unable to move it for a few minutes - (it did not have the feeling of loss of blood sensation) but the foot feelings have passed. My doctor prescribed trazadone to help with sleep which has helped initially but I'm up to 150mg and often it doesn't work. When I add remeron it helps a little, but sometimes they both don't work for sleep. So I dont' take them consistently and at there has been days I haven't taken them at all because it seems the drugs don't really work anyway. 9 months later, mostly I am dizzy, like my brain can't catch up with my body movements or my balance and there is a light spinning sensation in my head, but sometimes my balance really gets bad. I have been offered Effexor, but in the past it made me more of an insomniac and I really would rather get off the anti-depressants as I feel like they might be the problem... Even though I feel like I am living in a nightmare I would rather ride out this neurological melt-down and try to heal naturally. Do my symptoms sound like it could anti-depressant withdrawal symptoms at all? And if so, is it possible to have permanent damage? I am concerned as this has no sign of letting up after 9 months. I am still as dizzy as ever. I have been taking remeron for about 7 years. Thanks for reading!
  17. Hi everyone I've been reading about protracted withdrawal for the first time today and am terrified about what to do next. I tapered off Citalopram 6 months ago over a 2 weeks period which I now know was too fast. Since stopping Citalopram my mood has been flat and at times I felt emotionally fragile, but it was tolerable for the first few months. Things got hard hard when I started studying again and the stress kicked in. I suspect my current anxiety and depression is due to withdrawal but it could also be due to stress. I work 40 hours per week and also study 20 hours per week on top of that for a professional qualification which is very stressful (my exam is in 4 weeks so less than ideal timing). The lack of ability to concentrate (either due to withdrawal or depression) has made study much more challenging. I don't know if I should start taking Citalopram again (maybe 10 or 20mg?) to take care of my withdrawals and then taper off very slowly over (say) 12 months?. Alternatively, should I persevere and hope things get better given it's been 6 months already and I don't want to have to start all over again? I've been taking 1mg Lorazepam when I need it to manage the anxiety and depressive states, but things are getting progressively worse and I'm struggling to cope. Yesterday I was going to start the Citalopram again after repeated crying fits over nothing (actually I saw a picture of a bumble bee and for some reason that set me off), and so I took 40mg which in hindsight was too high a dose, so hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me. Should I restart Citalopram or stick it out? Please could someone help? Thank you
  18. It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  19. Hello community, So glad to have found this site!! I've been reading, reading, reading for almost two months. Unfortunately I did not find y'all and Dr. Glenmullen's book until after eight months of thinking I was doing a gradual taper per my GP's advice. Without proper information I tapered too fast, alternated doses, and failed to recognize that the difficult symptoms I was having could be coming from antidepressant withdrawal. I'm currently trying to stabilize before embarking on the 10% taper, starting with sertraline. The symptoms I currently have are: rapid heartbeat and resulting fatigue, anxiety and agitation, including:dizziness and fainting upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension) inability to alter heart rate with exercise (exercise intolerance) ears ringing morning depression heat intolerance (like hot flashes only longer) intense dreams and nightmares head tremor Once I realized I was tapering too fast, I stabilized/increased to 25 mg sertraline and 0.75 mg lorazepam. In the two months since then, some other symptoms I had went away and the above symptoms have seemed to improve, except for heartbeat and head tremor. I had a normal EKG. All blood tests normal except cholesterol (and I consider high cholesterol a good thing for me as a post-menopausal woman). Starting in 2013 or 2014, my antidepressant was increased and I started regularly taking lorazepam due to several years of extreme emotional stress (caring for my physically and mentally declining spouse). I also experienced severe disrupton of my sleep cycle and used alcohol at night. During and before this time, I had many years of blood sugar fluctuations. So I imagine my HPA axis was already severely out of whack even before my mis-guided fast taper. I stopped alcohol 15 months ago, after my husband died. (My symptoms are complicated by the effects of my grief process.) I've been gradually removing stressors from my life. I have recently addressed my blood sugar via a low-carb unprocessed way-of-eating. Am also phasing out caffeine. I am addressing my sleep cycle by using amber glasses to counter the effects of evening screen time. (Hope to reduce the screen time too). Anyway, I am frustrated that my heart palpitations make me unable to exercise, but I understand that all the nervous system problems can be slow to resolve. Trying to be super patient. Appreciate hearing everyone else's stories, questions, and answers. This site is a wonderful resource.
  20. Gridley

    In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
  21. Hi all. Found this site a few months ago. I am beginning to attempt getting off ADs and Benzo. I have been taking antidepressants for 17 years. I am 44. I do not work outside the home. My goal is to incorporate healthy activities (suggestions please) to help lessen the withdrawal symptoms. I am realistic about the amount of time it will take and hope everyone here can be a support system. I am married. Hubby is supportive, but doesn't really understand what is going with my body. I have really bad health anxiety currently. I was diagnosed with bipolar about 5 years ago and was put on lamictal 200mg. Wellbutrin was added shortly after. I tapered of Zoloft over about 18 months. I had my first anxiety attack exactly 2 weeks after the last dose. So we decided to stay in 25 mg. which held off the anxiety attacks since then. About 8 months ago I started having increased anxiety along with some peri menopausal symptoms. Then the health anxiety followed, probably because of all the weird symptoms I was having. I went up to 50mg on the Zoloft and taking Ativan to help me sleep. I realized I was building a tolerance to it, so I weaned myself back off and was doing fine. Then the cycle started again. New symptom (breast pain this time), then the health anxiety and back on Ativan. I only take .125mg at a time. If I don't feel much relief in about 30 minutes, I will take another one. That usually does it. Then I stop when I feel better. However a couple of weeks ago, I noticed I was having muscle twitches and jerks. Don't google that!! Now looking back I think they may be related to stopping the Ativan after taking it for several days. I really don't know. So I decided today to take a dose to see if it settles down over the next few days and go from there. 3 days ago I started a taper on the Wellbutrin 150 mg xl. My doctor wrote prescription for 100mg sr tabs...and I started taking 75 in the morning and 50 in the afternoon. I am hoping this won't be too fast, but I am going to try it. I also started having stomach upset a couple of days ago with some diarrhea today. Very unusual for me. Is that possibly Ativan w/d? Thank everyone. Not sure how to add signature. Attach a file maybe?
  22. Hi all - It seems pretty clear that I've tapered too quickly off from Viibryd, but what now? My situation is a bit complicated because I'm on a few medications to help me sleep. My symptoms right now are severe fatigue, cognitive issues (brain fog, spaciness, lack of focus) and akathasia at night. Pretty worrisome stuff as I'm a Director at tech company and I need to be on point = / (yes, stress isn't helping my cause). I think I should reinstate, but I'm not sure if I should at 5 mg, 10 mg or higher. Please see below and thanks in advance for your help. SSRI and Adjunct History: -At age 33 started Lexapro 10 mg and from summer 2012 to summer 2014 worked great for GAD, OCD -Lexapro 10 mg seemed to "poop out," but with new symptoms of difficulty concentrating/brain fog so upped to 15 mg and then 20 mg over remainder of 2014. Anxiety was still managed but my P Doc and PCP believed it was depression symptoms (hence increase) -Added Abilify early 2015 - did not help with cognitive issues and gave me akathasia so discontinued -Cross-tapered to Viibryd 20 mg during summer 2015 - still no anxiety, but still dealing with brain fog. Side effects were worse than Lexapro with upper and lower GI issues -Over past year went up to 30 mg Viibryd - no anxiety, but still brain fog -Spring 2016 - Sleep got progressively worse which made it difficult to determine whether cognitive issues were more from lack of sleep or lack of appropriate SSRI dose -Spring 2016 tried Rexulti - no help so tapered off -Current - 0 mg Viibryd (tapered recently, though too fast) Taper: From 30 mg to 20 mg from 6/20/16 to 6/30/16 (two weeks on 20 mg) From 20 mg to 10 mg from 7/1/16 to 7/14/16 (two weeks on 10 mg) From 10 mg to 0 mg (3 days), then up to 5 mg (3 days) then 2.5 mg (2 days) and now 0 mg since 7/23/16 Additional medication history: -From ~2014 to early 2016, took 5 mg valium suppository as needed for chronic pelvic pain - able to stop due to successful physical therapy -From June 2015 to now, taking 75 mg (yes 75, not 750) gabapentin to help sleep/akathasia -From May 2016 to recently, taking 0.5 mg lorazepam for sleep (recently tapered this to 0.25 mg) -Took propranolol 20 mg for about a week in mid-July 2016 due to severe akathasia (assumed due to Viibryd withdrawal). Tapered down to 0 mg over following week -From summer 2015 to now, take 10 mg Vyvanse as needed for focus (more days than not) Current supplements: -5 mg melatonin nightly -200 mg L-Theanine x2 day -150 mg Magnesium Glycinate x2 day -5000 iu D3 1x day -1000 mg Omega 3 fish oil x1 day
  23. frederike01

    Hello everyone! Ok it's a long story but i'll give it a shot! my name is Frederike. Oh and my english might be not THAT good, but...i'll try my best! =) . When i was very jong (about 12 years old) i started to develop anxiety combined with OCD. At that age it wasnt very harmfull yet but it got worse when i got older. I went to a psychologist at 13/14 but that didnt really help. so i stopped going. But my anxiety didnt left me so i went. The psychiatrist prescribed me fluvoxamine when i was 15 years old. I also started to experience 24/7 derealisation. The meds. didnt really work i think but i thought maybe it would be worse without them and i dindt know how hard it was to get off back then so i kept taking them. my anxiety OCD en derealisation didnt disapeare or get any better. i try'd to stop several times but the next day after lowering my dose my derealisation would become so bad i couldnt stop if i wanted to continue to function. and the docters told me: well, then keep taking them. So i took the pills for many years and after taking them for about 8 years my anxiety and derealisation slowely worsened.3 years ago all of a sudden i felt really bad and anxious i had to stop working. I went to my dokter and firt we desided to higher my dose. i was on 125 mg fluoxetine. But that dindnt work at all. It made me feel even worse. so i decided to lower my medication (with my dokter)and maybe switch to some other meds. i was on 175 mg. fluoxetine at that moment.I decided i didnt want to switch but i wanted to stop taking the meds. because they never really worked and i wanted to solve my problems for real.i wanted to know wich part of my problem was really mine and witch part maybe the meds. i knew i would never get better if i would start trying some other meds. i was afraid i would even get sicker. So i went from 175 to 0 in about 5 weeks. Even though i felt so so bad i kept on lowering because my docter told me : after quitting the withdrawal will last for only 3 weeks.Then they will disapear.Wel that was the breaking point. i went totally insane,experienced continue panic and anxiety OCD and derealisation at the worsed levvel.my symtomes had NEVER been this severe.So i went into a mental hospital. They gave me paroxetine. i was ok with it bacause i wanted to "ficks" this way to fast lowering of my medication, and dicided to take it and then slowely taper off when i was back home. In the end I was on 50 mg. paroxetine and 1,5 mg lorazepam. but it never really covered up the mess quitting fluoxetine made.Only a little.At that time i didnt know paroxetine is the worst drugg (SSRI) to get of but I found out soon enough. I found a good therapist (not a psichiatrist) and dicided to slowely taper off meanwhile fixing myself with therapy. All this time i could not work or function. every single step i took on lowering was a hell. I am on 0,5 mg lorazepam now and 3,5 mg. fluoxetine. When i was on 14 mg paroxetine i couldnt get any lower. even lowering 0,2 made me feel to terrible. so i siwtched to fluoxetine because it would be easyer to get off. the switching was hell. then i started lowering from 14. every week i took off 2 mg. until i was on 4. ( i did this again in a clinic).i thought it would be way to quick for me but i felt no extra withdrawal symptomes. wich i almost couldnt believe. Then after going home ( at 4 mg.) i broke down again. obviously the withdrawal started wayyy later.So here i am, feeling worsed then ever. Not knowing when this hell will stop and whether i will still be alive by then. Starting new medication is no option at all because whatever psychiatric drug i put into my body, my body just cant take it.So this my story in short thermes. right now i'm on 0,5 mg lorazepam and 3,5 mg fluoxetine. Hope to speak to you soon!
  24. **Moderator note: Esperanza has posted in English below her Spanish introduction. La historia de Nadia, una gran esperanza para una vez más comenzar a reducir mi medicación....una de tantas veces que los he querido dejar, con el paso del tiempo veo que cada vez lo hago mejor, cada vez más preparada para una reducción y quizás retirada total....las dos veces que lo hice( todo muy progresivo y bien hecho) al cabo de los dos meses por miedo y poca seguridad interna tuve una gran recaida, volví de nuevo a tomar la medicación ( actualmente 40 mg prisdal- citalopram- y 1 mg de lorazepam para dormir) Hoy 04 de julio 2016 lleva una semana sin tomar lorazepam para dormir y ayer reduje citalopram de 40mg a 20mg, sé que es un poco brusco pero estoy motivada para ese cambio. Soy española, vivo en España, y veo que internet concretamente este foro es muy útil ya que no encuentro grupos( que me gustaría mucho) en mi localidad , grupos de apoyo para la retirada de medicamentos. Un saludo a todos, y gracias. Nadia's success story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10596-nadia-5-years-off-i-survived-antidepressants/ The story of Nadia, a great hope to once again begin to reduce my medication .... one of many times that I wanted to leave, with the passage of I see that every time I do best, while increasingly prepared for a perhaps reduction and total withdrawal .... both times I did (all very progressive and well done) after two months of fear and little internal security had a relapse, I went back to take medication (currently 40 citalopram- prisdal- mg and 1 mg lorazepam sleeping) Today July 4, 2016 takes a week without taking lorazepam sleeping and yesterday I reduced citalopram 40mg to 20mg, I know it's a little rough but I'm motivated for that change. I am Spanish, living in Spain, specifically internet and see that this forum is very useful because I can not find groups (which I like very much) in my area, support groups for drug withdrawal. Greetings to all and thanks.

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