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Found 79 results

  1. Hi new to the forum here. 10 year history on various drugs for anxiety/mild depression with the longest use being 8 years of celexa. So i felt like I was stable in life and the side effects were making me crazy so I talked to my PCP about tapering. I tried to reduce the drug 5mg every 2 weeks (starting at 30 mg) and of course after I was off it was hell (physically - brain zaps, vertigo, motion sickness, etc) for the next 6 weeks until I decided to put myself back on the drug. So I recently went back to my PCP and he recommended genesight testing to find which antidepressant would cause fewer side effects . Results came back that Wellbutrin was he best. I quite celexa cold turkey the day I started taking Wellbutrin. I'm having w/d symptoms again but not as strong - yet. It's been 3 weeks. Mood is fine but body feels bad. I'm reconsidering tapering off drugs completely again. What should I do? Should I d/c Wellbutrin and go back to celexa and taper using 10% method? How does that work??? Should i keep up wii Wellbutrin hoping it kicks in soon and the celexa w/d goes away? One thing that concerns me is that I've learned celexa isnamd SSRI and Wellbutrin SNRI. I've read Wellbutrin acts more on dopamine and norepinephrine than it does serotonin. This probably explains the celexa withdrawal symptoms. I honestly don't want to go back on celexa but if that's he best chance of getting of meds altogether it might be worth! Thanks for your support !!!
  2. Hi I have been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 4 years. I tried to cold turkey 2 years ago, and spent 5 days unable to get out of bed. Due to loss of insurance, and really wanting to be off meds, I am tapering again. I received Wellbutrin 75mg IR (immediate release). I was going to start off with a slow taper, however the IR pills have been a roller coaster. When I first take the pill I am irritable and agitated for about 3 hours. And then I become lethargic and tired until my next dose. Due to these ups and downs I had to reduce the dosage pretty quickly. I take 3 doses a day. 3/8 in the morning, 3/8 at lunch, and 1/4 in the evening. For a total of 75 mg a day. I started tapering 2 weeks ago, and finally now feel pretty stable. Honestly, the best time for me is when i first wake up. After I take my first dose I get irritable and agitated. I am planning on doing another reduction tomorrow, and just cannot wait to get off this medicine. I am supplementing with lots of Omega 3s, multivitamin, magnesium and vitamin B. Hope to use this as a journal, documenting my taper. Thank you for reading.
  3. I'm new here. I have been on various SSRIs for 22 years and depressed since I was at least age 12. I went off the latest SSRI, generic Lexapro, because I have gained 30+ pounds over the last few years, needed at least 12 hours per day of sleep and still wasn't happy. I am on the max of Bruproprion. It doesn't seem to have any unwanted side effects. It is supposed to be at least weight neutral when taken without other drugs. The physical withdrawal effects are brain zaps, ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea. These aren't 24/7 and they may be subsiding. Hard to say. I tapered from 10mg of Lex to 5mg to 5 every other day. I did this starting beginning mid-June. My struggle is that I fear my depression is returning. I feel like I will never be OK. I also don't want to become anti-psych med or anti doctor but I wonder if I wasted years of my life on meds that never worked or if this is the way it will always be.
  4. Hi there, I have been reading quite a few topics on this website, and would like to see if anyone has suggestions for my situation. I was put on effexor and wellbutrin over 5 years ago. I am not exactly sure of the exact time length I have been on it, and what doses I have tried, but the past few years I have been on 150mg of effexor and 150 mg of wellbutrin. My dr and I decided I can come off the effexor on a tapered schedule. Basically I was tapered from 150 to 75 to 37.5 to nothing in just over a month or there abouts. I didnt keep a track of the dates, which I probably should have. The tapering was ok, I didnt really notice anything happening. Then when I went from 37.5 to nothing, it really hit me. I had all the discussed symptoms and was a mess. I think July 25 was my last day on effexor. In August I think I had two or three good days, and I use the term good loosely here. September I had about 10 good days, October, is only at 8 good days so far. These day are not all in a row, they are very sporadic. I recently started a new job, but it only goes for another month. That has me really stressed out, as I have no savings to fall back on and no job lined up yet. My job I am currently at is good though, it has me outside in the forest, getting lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. Since about October 11, I have been having these crazy crying fits. I just cry, and cry. When I am not crying, I feel ok, but then I start crying hours later. I did go to the walk in clinic, as I cannot get into see my fam dr with my work schedule, and the dr at the walk in suggested I try doubling my wellbutrin either every day, or I could double it up every second day. He said this will still take a month before I start feeling any better, if I do. This morning, out of desperation, I took a second pill and I will continue with this, unless someone has another suggestion... Does anyone have any experience with this? When I have a good day, I still have a tightness in my chest, and I know I am so close to tears, but I am able to ward them off. I find I have to keep myself super busy to not cry, or think, as htinking leads to tears. Today is another rough day, lots of crying already. I do not want to go back on effexor, as my mind has never felt so crisp and clear. I feel unfogged and alert, I do not remember ever feeling like this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Jennifer78

    Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  6. Hello all, new to this site. I am completely off of Wellbutrin as of August 11, 2017. My brief history: I was on 300 mg WB from 2005-summer 2014, when my dosage was upped to 450 mg. I was on 450 mg from summer 2014 through May 2017 when I began my taper. I've tried to get off WB twice before and went cold turkey both times. I gained weight and was so depressed I went back on WB within a month. This time, I tapered under my doctor's care. While I am thrilled to finally be off of WB, I am gaining weight like crazy. I eat healthfully and have been exercising like a fiend, but am still gaining weight (one day I did an hour and 20 mins of cardio and still gained a pound). And as a result, I'm starting to get very depressed again. I feel like I have absolutely no control over my body and what it is doing. I'm petrified as unfortunately, weight is a major issue for me psychologically. My question to the group is: has anyone experienced the same issue? There is a ton of anecdotal evidence that going off Wellbutrin causes weight gain. If you have, can you give me an idea of how much you gained and how long before it finally stopped? And were you able to successfully lose it again? I feel like if I know to a certain extent what is ahead, I can better brace myself. My doctor ordered a bunch of blood work, which I think is just her way of trying to placate me. Many thanks in advance...
  7. Hello everyone, thank you for creating and building such a fantastic resource. It’s so helpful to read about the journeys of others here. I was advised by my GP to speak with a psychiatrist in April 2016. The GP suspected I had depression & anxiety. I met with a psychiatrist for an assessment. I’d been through a lot of stressful experiences in life. Life had dealt me a tough hand, and I was already quite vulnerable when I arrived in his office. At the end of the assessment, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and prescribed me Bupropion 300mg and clonazepam 2 mg+ per day. I was never keen on the idea of taking medication, but the Dr said I needed it as I had “disorders” caused by chemical imbalances, and that I was lucky to have made it this far without it. I don’t believe that for one moment and now feel I was misinformed. If I had been warned about the side effects, I would never have put them in my body. I’ve been through some hard times, but the medication has served me with the hardest and most agonising four months of my life. To make things worse, after a couple of months seeing him every few weeks the psychiatrist offered me a job. It was a slightly unusual series of events, but I felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. I worked hard, was often praised for it and I was given reassurance my role was pretty much permanent. I loved my job. It gave me purpose and a role in the world. My self-esteem rocketed as I felt I’d been specially selected for showing signs of promise, it changed everything. However, the different roles called for different protocols, and the roles of “therapist” and “boss” required disparate and often conflicting styles of relating. The Doctor providing me with a job and treating me outside of the clinic caused the boundaries between Psychiatrist and employer to become extremely blurred. Even though it was unorthodox, I pinned a lot of faith on the Psychiatrist, his advice and the job he gave me. He gave me hope and faith for the future. August 2016: Prescribed Sertraline 100mg due to depression remaining and increasing number of bad moods. October 2016: While at work the Psychiatrist commented he suspected I had ADHD. Despite not suffering from day to day symptoms I completed the DIVA ( ADHD assessment ) with him, He prescribed methylphenidate 10mg 2-3 times a day. Over time I didn’t feel any improvement in mood, so the dose was increased to 20mg x5 (up to 100mg+ per day). I asked the Psychiatrist about alternative ADHD treatments as I was apprehensive about taking more medication. The Psychiatrist informed me that there were no ADHD treatments in my area and even if there were he would not be prepared to enter into a shared care agreement. I believed treatment with him was my only option. I was told there were no services or specialists other than him and the only treatment available was medication. March 2017: The symptoms started with a lump sensation in my throat like there's some thing stuck, maybe it’s my thyroid. I went to the GP who said it was globus or anxiety and it was nothing to worry about, but I know it’s not anxiety as it’s there even when I’m not anxious. Next came tremors, dizziness and chronic fatigue. I was struggling to think, speak and walk. I felt as though a part of my brain had shut down. I had strong pains in my chest, dull aches that moved around my back and occasional shooting stabbing pains in my back and leg that stopped me in my tracks when I did walk. April 2017: The relationship seemed to work well initially but became very confusing until eventually I was dropped not only occupationally but therapeutically. My false sense of security was pulled from beneath my feet. I'm sorry to say last time the Psychiatrist, and I spoke he was abrupt, abrasive, insensitive and rude. I’ve been left in shock, fear, trepidation and with more health problems than before I met the Psychiatrist. At the time I thought the stress of losing my job caused me to become unwell, but after discovering James Moores Mad in America podcast, listing to peoples stories and reading a little, I think I’d reached a tolerance point with the medication and started to have terrible side effects. By this point, I’d lost faith in the Doctor so felt I couldn’t ask him for help. I think part of me knew it was the medication as I went to my GP, firstly to find the Psychiatrist hadn’t been keeping my records up to date. I told the GP what I had been prescribed, and I was told it would be impossible to identify what was causing the problems. I naively agreed with my GP that the best option would be to stop taking all medication, however stopping without tapering has left me with a long list of withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking sertraline, clonazepam & methylphenidate that day and cut my dose of bupropion in half for one week then stopped the following week completely. Every symptom I already had, got worse, tremors, dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling like I might pass out, loss of coordination, back pain. The fatigue was so bad, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute or so which lead to me not being able to leave the house. My partner was having real trouble getting me out of bed in the morning, and after a few hours of being up, I’d need to go back to bed due to feeling exhausted. I think I was putting it down to severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt numb. After a couple of days of stopping I started to get really bad night sweats, I’d wake up stinky, drenched with my mouth tasting how I smelt, it was horrible. The chest & back pain continued to get worse and progressed to tingling and numbness in my arm. I’ve been to the hospital three times in the past four months in various states of feeling close to death but sent home every time. I’ve been to the GP many times as the side effects have left me with so many physical symptoms and feeling so ill. I had numerous blood tests and even though I felt like I’d been poisoned every test came back clear. August 2017: The fatigue has lifted slightly, the part of my brain that felt as though it had broken is slowly coming back, and I’m smelling much better :). I continue to have flu like symptoms and intense joint and muscle pain, mainly in my back, shoulder and arm and I’m not entirely sure if the pain will ever go away. I feel like a very rickety eighty-year-old. My GP finally acknowledged some of these side effects last week. They haven’t been able to give me much support due to stopping taking so many different medications at the same time and stopping cold turkey. The GP did frustratingly say some of what I’m going through maybe down to the return of depression and anxiety. I’m only depressed as I’m in so much pain and have anxiety as my nerves are messed up. I’m a little worried that the medication has caused permanent damage. I accept a return in my depression and anxiety, but I have so many physical difficulties that began following and since stopping taking the medication. I trusted the Psychiatrist and put my life in his hands. Looking back, I feel like I was led astray, betrayed and like I’ve been chemically assaulted. Before everything went wrong, I recommended the Psychiatrist to some friends who also became patients of his. They were given a similar diagnosis to the one I’d been given, told they also had chemical imbalances and they too prescribed a similar cocktail of medication including methylphenidate and told to contact him when they needed a repeat prescription. After a couple of months, they both began asking me why he wasn’t returning their calls or emails. When I spoke with him about this, he said they had contacted him last minute, and for that, he wasn’t going to reply right away as he didn’t do last minute. Eventually one of my friends requested to have her care transferred as she lost faith in him. The other works at one of his clinics, and is still having problems with him returning her emails and calls and providing her with prescriptions when needed. She has told me there'd been many occasions recently that other patients of his have called his clinic in tears as they are unable to get hold of him. I also know a woman who was under his care at the inpatient unit long before I met him. She said he had given her a combination of medications. She told me it made her feel like a zombie. For one reason or another, she was transferred to a different psychiatrist who questioned why she was on so much medication and immediately began to reduce her dose. No one was warned about side effects and withdrawals, supported, monitored or made aware they’d have to request prescriptions on the Psychiatrists personal terms. It was hugely irresponsible of him to tell people they need medication due to a medical condition and chemical imbalance and to encourage dependence on medication and not provide support, information, monitoring and often fail to provide the advised medication to patients dependant on it. I’m so happy to have found this incredible community and source of information, it's allowing me to start making sense of what I’ve been and am going through. It’s such a relief to learn I’m not the only one feeling this way. The support and compassion I’ve seen on this forum is incredible and a brilliant way of making good of what everyone here has been through. Trusting I’m going to get better and connecting with others isn’t easy at the moment, but I’m hoping it’s going to get easier. My heart goes out to everyone that has been through or who is going through withdrawal. x
  8. Hi to everyone and thank you for accepting me into this group. I was planning on tapering from my Wellbutrin after I had been stable on it for a couple of months. I have only been taking it since January but had been experiencing what I thought were just increased anxiety and agitation from it. I was inpatient at the time and the doctors told me that those weren't side effects and it was just my own anxiety. I have a long history of panic disorder which was under control until my husband and I decided to move to another city due to a job change. After I left the hospital it took a month to be able to get in to see a psychiatrist. Unfortunately she had a very strong accent and though I think accents are neat I have had trouble understanding people with accents since I had surgery to correct a badly deviated septum. So I had to wait another month to see a different psychiatrist. I was having a horrible time on the Bupropione the whole time but I was able to get some help from a mental health urgent care clinic.They increased my Buspirone from 30 mg to 50 mg which really helped with the anxiety I was experiencing from the Buproprion, I finally got in to see a new psychiatrist and the first thing she wanted to do was take me off the clonazepam. She wanted to cut my dose in half but I only cut it by a quarter. About five days later I was in full blown withdrawal and she wouldn't believe me. She said if I was in withdrawal I would be in the hospital. I have been going to a group and one of the facilitators told me I should go back to the mental health urgent care which I did the next day and they referred me to an addictionologist. He has been wonderful. He confirmed that I was indeed in withdrawal. I was pretty much through it by that time but at least he understood. It had been about three weeks since I had tapered down on the clonazepam and he recognized that the bupropirone was causing me problems so he told me to drop it to half. After my recent experience I chose to drop it by .25 again. I went straight into severe withdrawal and he reinstated the medication after only two days of a reduction. At this point I would wake up every morning with severe trembling and anxiety so I switched my night time clonazepam to the morning and that caused those symptoms to remit. I was feeling really good and enjoying my days. Getting out into the sunlight, walking my dog, mowing the lawn. It was great. Anyway I learned about a device called Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that is supposed to help you with anxiety and depression and since I want to get off my medications I discussed it with my psychiatrist. He thought it would work so he gave me a prescription for it. I started using it 15 days ago. The first two days were great. I woke up with no anxiety and I felt even better than ever. Then I started having increased anxiety on the third day. One of the things that the CES device can do is increase the effectivness of your medications, and their side effects. About a week into my use of the device the side effects from the Buproprion became intolerable. It turned out that the clonazepam had been disguising akathisia and the CES brought it out. Of course this happened over Memorial Day Weekend so I was left to my own devices and the wonderful counsel of my concerned husband. We decided to drop my Buproprian to 75 mg IR to see if that would help. Unfortunately it did not. I didn't seem to have any withdrawal symptoms either though. On Tuesday we went in to see my Dr and he recommended a beta blocker for the side effect. It worked wonderfully. Unfortunately it also caused me to become depressed. The Dr recommended that I go off the medication completely at this point. So starting the next day on June 1 I went cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms started immediately. I have had crying spells and unending anxiety. I have continued to use the CES as it is reputed to help with withdrawal symptoms and to help prevent relapsing into depression. It seems to help but not as much as I would like it too. I know that my brain has to remodel itself and it will take time even with the help of the CES device. I have also been using L-theanine which helps a little. I am really trying to find some way to reduce the anxiety as it has turned me into a severe agoraphobic. I hide in my basement so I don't even have to look outside because that is anxiety producing in itself. The only way I have been keeping sane is to keep my brain occupied by surfing the net. I have also been reading The Mood Cure trying to find something that will help with the anxiety. I do have extra clonazepam that the Dr gave me and I have Baclofen but I don't want to have any more addictions than I already do. Once I get off the Buproprion I am planning a liquid taper of the clonazepam. I really feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place because if I reinstate the Buproprion at all then I have the akathisia to deal with and the medication for it makes me depressed. I would really love any input that anyone has for me. I have been thiking of trying some of the following for the anxiety. Lemon Balm Valerian Root Inositol Niacinamide (the Niacin makes me itchy from the histamine release) L-glycine Taurine Ashwaghanda I even read that someone coming off of Buprorpion had some success with L-phenalalanine but I have anxiety issues so I don't know if that would be counter productive or helpful becasue going off of the Buproprion is what is causing this. I'm also afraid of long term consequences to the cold turkey but I don't know what else I could have done. I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you, and thank you for this wonderful group.
  9. I'm shaking as I write this. Long story short, went on antidepressants about 9 years ago for disthymia, GAD, and Panic Disorder. Started on Lexapro. It worked fairly well and had no startup side effects. PDoc added Welbutrin. It worked well too. Switched from Lexapro to another SSRI briefly without problems. Switched to Zoloft and stayed on it for about 8 years. Smooth sailing aside from the sexual side effects, which caused me (stupidly) to quit cold turkey in November of 2016. From then to January 2017 I felt fine except for brain zaps. Those eventually went away and haven't returned. February 2017 I started getting weird chest tightness and heaviness, accompanied by a stinging in the mouth and tongue. Had EKG, echo, chest xray, all fine. Saw a new PDoc on March 3rd who said chest symptoms were anxiety and put me on Trintellix and Klonopin. Was hesitant to start these drugs so I waited awhile. Took a friend's 0.25 Xanax on occasion during March to combat relatively mild anxiety from chest symptoms. Anxiety was getting worse so I decided to try the Klons. Was prescribed 0.5 to 1 every night before bed. Started doing that about March 16 with varied results. One day it seemed to work like a charm while the next day not at all, or even seemed to make anxiety worse. March 24 decided to try the Trintellix. March 25, 26 went by without side effects then BAM on March 27 I began what I can only describe as an unending and unrelenting panic attack that has only ceased briefly a few times since. I kept taking it anyway until March 29 when I called PDoc who told me to stop taking it and take something else. I told him F that, I want to go back to Zoloft and Welbutrin, at least I know that works. Been taking the Zoloft and Welbutrin since then. Saturday April 1st, 10:00pm I took 0.5 Clonazepam and fell asleep for 4 hours. Sunday April 2 2:00am awoke in a state of severe anxiety, about a 9.5/10, worse than I had ever felt. 5:00am went to the ER. 9:00am given Ativan at ER. Did not help. Voluntarily admitted to psych ER. In holding area until 11:00pm then transported by ambulance to a psych ward an hour away. Psych ward was a nightmare and drove my anxiety even higher which I didn't think was even possible. Monday April 3 evening, anxiety at 9.5. Blood pressure 177 systolic. Nurse gives 0.5 Xanax. Blood pressure drops to normal. Anxiety drops to 7.5. An hour later, anxiety up to 10!!! Nerves feel like they're on fire, heart pounding fast, muscles very weak, brain feels like it's being electrocuted. Given Hydroxyzine. An hour later, still 10. Given 2mg Xanax and wheelchaired back to room, or rather empty jail cell. Passed out. Tuesday April 4 awoke feeling drugged and anxiety at 5. Discharged at 1pm. Anxiety drops to 3. Arrive home, anxiety drops to 2. I was hopeful that the nightmare was over. Nope. Yesterday Wednesday April 5 morning, anxiety at 3. By noon anxiety climbed to 7. Is fluctuating between 5 and 7. Called PDoc in a panic. PDoc says keep taking Zoloft and Welbutrin and also prescribes Neurontin and Valium to be taken 3x per day, 2x dosage at bedtime. Picked up scripts that evening and took the bedtime dose. About a half hour later started feeling weird but good. Didn't last long though. Had a rough night. Today April 6 morning I felt very weird, but not in a good way. Tremors in my facial muscles, derealization, slow thinking. Looked up Neurontin on the Internet and learned how bad it is. Decided not to take morning dose and called PDoc and left message. I did take the morning Valium though, and that helped for a few hours. Took the afternoon Valium and it seemed to increase my anxiety and make me dizzy. PDoc hasn't called back. This is HELL. There's no end to my anxiety attack. I cannot function. I'm going to lose my job, my health insurance. Please tell me there's an end to this suffering. Please give me some hope. Some advice. What is happening to me? Is my life over?
  10. Hi, I am triple m. I found this support site as I was trying to wean my bupropion. 8.5 years of taking this med for a mild situational depression way back then. Never thought to get off, nor did my PCP think of it either. Up until one year ago, felt quite good on it. One year ago in March, as I was beginning to notice a new noice in my ears, and researching possible side effects of med, decided, hey, I need to get off of of this med. Also, wanted to be off. I knew I needed to wean off, so got some MD information on wean schedule. I was afraid of damage occuring to my ears so wanted to get off NOW!!! I started the wean at my dose of 150XL mid June of 2015. I was told I could start by altering days taken. Every month I would change the wean. First month, skip one day, Second month, skip two days, until I could not stay at this rate by the fourth day. Wean was OK up to this point. I then needed to switch to IR. So, My Dr. gave me the IR tablets and I started them at 37.5mg last October. The change from XL to IR was quite difficult all by itself. However, I made that transition but now looking back, NOT over enough time. Through this past fall and winter months, I have made 2-4 week reductions but, the percentages were too high. 25 to 15 percent. Made mostly at 3-4 week intervals. I thought this would be OK as this was taking longer than the PCP wanted me to do. He wanted me to stop at the 37.5mg IR last fall, However, when I recently got down to what I thought was a tiny 1 mg cut at approximately 13mg, I went into terrible discontinuation. I was already struggling with the last cut but I waited 10 weeks to stabilize and then made the last one that turned out to be too much, ( a Math error on my part) and also, had no real way of knowing what dose I was on due to tiny cuts. I now have a mg scale. The discontinuation came on about 7-10 days out and it was horrible. I was frightened for my well being. This , being yesterday was the first time I had to miss work. I have had many of physical and psychological d/c symptoms along the way and have struggled to get through them. Also, I find NO SUPPORT from medical community in this. Many times, MD and others, have told me get on something else, or Why get off??? I have read some articles by James Heany and others and they have been helpful in understanding. Yesterday in desperation, I found James Heany's article on re-instating your SSRI. I did reinstate, not even at the last dose. I went up to the fall dose of 37.5mg IR, twice a day. I am praying that the worst of the d/c symptoms will settle down. What I have learned and Hard is how very dependant on this medication my body has become. SCAREY!!!! I did get Dr. J Glenmullens book and it was very helpful for information. James Heany and now also you guys have all discussed the 10 percent method of discontinuation going from the last dose cut. Maybe I have gone back up too much?? I don't know, but what I do know is that I was very fearful for my well being. I know I am extremely sensitive to any medication. 40 minutes after moving up to the higher dose, I felt immense relief. WOW!!!! I am praying I will stabilize out here. I know it will take at LEAST one month. James Heany mentions if the up dose is too small, it will just take longer to stabilize out. However, what I am most overwhelmed by is that I had no Idea how much my body would come to depend on this med. " Theraputic, easy to get off of med." Not so!!!! What I am committed to now is since I increased to the 37.5mg dose, I am committed to this for a minimum of one month. From here on out, 10 percent cuts. I need some encouragement though, I have felt somewhat defeated as I had to go back up but I can say, " I GET THIS". The extreme dependancy and need to now go so very slow. Now I know the road to recovery will be one of patience and perseverance more so than ever. THis will be hard because I want so badly to be free of this medication. Hoping for support. Thank you. triple M.
  11. Hello all. I'm not sure my signature will show up. I'm on 0.33 mg Lexapro (liquid) and 25 mg Bupropion SR. I have been serious about tapering over the last year. My highest doses were 150mg Bupropion and 20mg Lexapro (2008). I started on Wellbutrin to offset the sleepiness caused by Lexapro. My goal is to get off both drugs, but my tapers over the last year have all been from Lexapro. I've noticed my PMS is much worse than before and in general my lows are much lower now than when I was on higher doses. But otherwise I feel ok most of the time. Questions: Should I focus on quitting Bupropion instead of Lexapro for a while? At what point can I stop taking Lexapro? I've been reducing about 10% with each taper, but this could go on forever. At what point is it ok to end it completely? Thank you in advance for your help.
  12. I have started the process of tapering off several medications, so that I can see what my baseline feels like. I have been on medication in one form or another since I was 23, for various health reasons, primarily chronic migraine and major depressive disorder. The list of current medication is as follows, 3600 mg Gabapentin, 150 mg Wellburtin, 25 mg Sequorel, 120 mg Cymbalta. I started my journey of getting clean on July 1/17. Currently I am at the following medication levels, 1800 mg Gabapentin, 150 mg Wellburtin, 90 mg Cymbalta. I have transitioned off the dosage of Sequorel in the last two days. I will be staying on the 150 mg Wellburtin and 60 mg Cymbalta, until I stabilize. How do I feel? Quite terrible, headachy, body aches, extreme nauseau and anxious.
  13. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  14. Hi Everyone, I am new to the site as a member, but have read quite a bit so far! I am based in Texas, have been around the block a few times with meds. Currently taking lamictal and Wellbutrin and from what I can gather going through a withdrawal from Abilify. Thanks for reading!
  15. I've been taking these meds for years. I've been on them mostly for extreme anxiety and depression. What do I need to help with anxiety and depression as I try to get off of them so I can stay off of them. Also, how bad is getting off of fluoxetine, trazodone, wellbutrin compared to getting off of Effexor? Getting off of Effexor was pretty hellish.
  16. I'm sure I'm going to leave something out, but here is my brief history: 1989 saw psychiatrist - took Prozac 1991 - 1995 was on various depression medications, none really helpful 1996 heard about wheat allergy from friend - began eating all natural, using supplements 2003 went to natural clinic - took megadoses of vitamins - set me back, never recovered ability to work full time 2013 read about MTHFR mutation - yup, I've got it. At least it gave me some hope. 2015 moved home, can no longer cut it in the real world. Saw Judy Tsafrir - put me on regimen espoused by William Walsh. Worked! To some degree at least, no SAD. Still no energy. 2016 Seeing naturopath to see what I can do about MTFHR, etc. Things seem to work some days, not others. Strange. I'm currently trying to withdraw from Abilify, under supervision. Thing is I have no medical symptoms, am super-healthy. Nothing touches the depression/fatigue though. Also, some days I'll miss taking Abilify and feel really great the next day. Is this common? Feel like the meds gave me just barely enough functioning to survive, and only that. Am supposed to start Wellbutrin (?) in 4 weeks, and stop Abilify. Have looked over this site for a long time now, I know I'm decreasing too fast but would love input/would welcome making suggestions.
  17. Hello friends, I am a 33-year old soul from Canada. I am biologically male and identify socially as such. English is my native language, though I have near-native fluency in French and some Spanish. A little over a year ago, I had posted a little bit about myself, including my horrific experience on Risperidone and other neuroleptics and the hellish place that I was at back then. It is with irrepressible elation, then, that I would like to tell you all what is now my wonderful story: Currently, I am nearly six months free of the scourge of Risperidone and other anti-psychotics and junk meds, I now drink alcohol less than I ever have at any point in my adult life, and I am 13 months clean of marijuana. Furthermore, by finally being able to discover and manage the devastating health condition that had crippled me for the first 33 years years of my life – namely one of the most severe cases of sleep apnea to have ever been diagnosed -- I have also overcome the cruel demons that had spent over 30 years not only sapping my cognitive strength, but also devastatingly undermining my emotional, social, spiritual, and physical well-being. I now feel better than I ever have: I feel happy, energetic, focused, and optimistic, all without the delusions and the manic or psychotic symptoms that I experienced the last time I felt this way. But the path that I took to reach this point and the anguish that I've had to endure for far too long to get here have been so relentlessly torturous that they are not something that I would even have wished on Adolf Hitler. For not only did I have to contend with severe undiagnosed sleep apnea for almost all of my life, but the changes that my CPAP therapy for the condition caused to my body and my mind led me to a severe episode of manic-psychosis, in spite of my only previous history of mental health problems having been a few months of intermittent panic attacks in 2005 that went away after my treating individual attacks with Lorazepam (ativan) for a few months. This condition, which is understandably difficult for psychiatrists and mental health professionals to understand and diagnose, occurs in some people upon getting treatment for severe sleep apnea and is known as CPAP-induced mania (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208920/). While it is more common among patients with a prior history of bipolar disorder, the study that I just linked to shows that it has been observed on occasion in individuals with no prior history of severe mental illness. The psychotic attack led to my being hospitalized and put on meds that may have initially been a necessary evil given the acute severity of my condition, but the consequences of my having taken these meds and my having to deal with their corresponding side-effects led to a severe episode of depression, the complete decimation of my energy, motivation, libido (risperidone and then latuda), and sense of pleasure or fun, a case of Cotard's Syndrome that had lasted for over a year (I thought that I was dead and in the afterlife of Hell and that this was my punishment for the all wrong I had done in my life), and constant delusions of reference that kept feeding the Cotard's Syndrome. All of this led to a second hospitalization and a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 1 with co-morbid alcohol and marijuana dependencies. It is only by quitting all meds in June that I have been able to come out the other side in these past months. That said, I am grateful for the years of torment and, even more so, for the most acute suffering that I particularly endured this past year and a half: For if I were to have been blessed with the gifts with which I have been bestowed without first having had to suffer being constrained by the chains of misery, I would be sorely lacking in the empathy, in the perspective, and in the sense of justice that make me who I am today. Without the past year and a half, I would still be far too petty, far too angry, and far too weak and easily-rattled to achieve anything close to my potential. If I may plagiarize Stan Lee, I would have this great power without also having the awesome sense of responsibility that must come with such incredible strength. With this preamble out of the way, let's move on with the bulk of my story. It is probably quite long and taxing, and I'm not sure how much value it will have for others, but it's a story that I nonetheless desperately need to tell.
  18. fgjhs: My story

    My psychiatrict medication regimine may have completely missed the mark. I found out recently that I had a small lacunar infarct/stroke in 2010. My cognition issues may be more related to that than ADHD. I started to have difficulty with working just around the time I had the stroke or soon after. I am on quitea cocktail of medications for the treatement of ADHD, anxiety and depression per the psychopharmacology physician I see. I have been on bupropion for 20 years, having been titrated up to 350mg daily total. 150mg am, 150mg at 12noon and 75mg at 5pm. I am so tired of all this medicine. Seeking iv amino acid infusion because I understand this will allow me to wean off the bupropion. At any rate, I need to see a neurologist who specializes in cognition and can evaluate my medication regime. Be well. FGJHS
  19. I am currently weaning off from both Wellbutrin and Abilify according to my psychiatrist's instructions, and I'm experiencing fatigue and loss of interest in doing anything. When I drink some strong coffee, my ability to cope and work returns, though I don't want to be dependent on caffeine either. It's my fifth day currently of not taking any medicine at all. I was told by my doctor that to return to myself without medication, it'll take about 7 - 9 days total. I'm hoping that it's just the withdrawal of medicine that's making me feel fatigued and uninterested in things, because I don't want to be like this naturally. These medicines were used to treat depression, but my doctor now suspects that I have bipolar II disorder. In case things go really bad before our appointment next week, he gave me a backup prescription of Carbamazepine -- but I really don't want to take it after reading the side effects. I was hoping that through exercise, I can cure my depressive episodes, just like some people have cured depression through rigorous exercise. I admit I am not exercising every day, but I did manage to run half a mile twice last week. I think I'm getting there, hopefully, and I'll try really hard. Essentially, I'm on a journey now to be medication-free and learn how to cope better without it (and I think I am more emotionally mature now, and all that needs to change is my energy levels and mood).
  20. Greetings fellow warriors of the "Free Brain" resistance army, A great battle is underway as we take on the oppressive Evil Empire: Big Pharma and the Pdoc minions who carry out their orders. These last 3 years I have been fighting alone, David vs Goliath style, and have proved no match for the powerful chemical Agent Neuron Walkers. I personally have been battling the front in the northern frontier of the CNS (Central Nervous System) facing the Triple Threat, a legion of 3 pharmaceutical terrorists, who are trying to set up a Caliphate in my brain: Zyprexa, Lamictal, Wellbutrin. The battle must go on…but new strategies are needed. I'm grateful to have found all of you, the coalition of the willing, at this critical moment. We Shall Overcome! Ok, so time to get serious (well, relatively serious). Short version: Hi, I’m the Opal Owl, I fly by night. Starting in Dec.2012 I was put on 20mg of Zyprexa for a few weeks after a drug induced psychosis and 10 day stay in the crazy house. This was later reduced to 10mg—no side effects. About 6 months later I was put on 300mg of Wellbutrin. I had 3 withdrawal attempts from Zyprexa and Wellbutrin. All of them failed due to going cold turkey or too rapid of withdrawal—and it was horrendous. However, I was able to get down to 5mg of Zyprexa with no withdrawal effects and 150mg Wellbutrin (with some negative effects). In mid-2014 I was put on Lamictal (200mg) with the goal of discontinuing Zyprexa. Over the past 1.5 years I have reduced the Zyprexa to 1.25mg—I did 50% reductions: 5 to 2.5, 2.5 to 1.25. I have been on 1.25mg for about 2 months—no noticeable withdrawal effects (in my experience, I can get down to the tiniest of doses with no withdrawal effects. It’s only when I go off completely that all hell breaks loose). 3 weeks ago I did a 50% reduction of Lamictal to 100mg. I started feeling the withdrawal effects intensely this past week—nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite. All my old friends. Last night I saw my Pdoc and he said “Big mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal (which he seems convinced I will have to be on for life). So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal. 150mg this week and then 200mg next week. Once I stable out, I will decide to take on either the Zyprexa or Wellbutrin. Zyprexa is the most evil and I’m not sure I’m ready for that battle. The Pdoc said he would put me on Seroquel 100mg (1/4 or ½ tab) to help with the, as we all know, insufferable insomnia (don’t have any experience with Seroquel—and am not aware of its soporific effects--any thoughts on this plan?). Perhaps it would be better to start with the Wellbutrin. Thoughts/suggestions/advice would be appreciated. I’m learning from this forum that I will need to settle in for a war of attrition (something my “I want it now!” personality has a very difficult time with). I gratefully await your thoughts and suggestions. Long version: December 2012, Chicago. A drug/alcohol induced manic episode (preceding the end of the Mayan calendar, and perhaps the end of the world) leading to psychosis and an eventual 10 day stay in the psych-ward (one of the most fascinating, and scary experiences of my life. I really do think most of those nurses and doctors were highly advanced AI. Has the singularity already happened? Are we indeed living in a simulation?). After a stay in solitary confinement they decided I had suffered enough (or they were done testing my psychosis-induced special powers and probing the outer limits of human sanity). I was given 20mg of Zyprexa and was almost instantly zombified. I was then bestowed with a diagnosis of Bi-Polar 1 and chemical dependency (bada bing bada bang, that diagnosis took all of 5 minutes. Though to be fair, it wasn’t the first time I received this diagnosis). A few days later I was given the boot along with my prescription for Zyprexa (signed by the Devil). Fast-forward 6 months and I’m taking 10mg of Zyprexa and 300mg of Wellbutrin. I decide, “Well, I’m glad that is all over. How about I kick these meds?” Little did I know I was already deeply entrenched in the briar patch, covered in pharmaceutical tar. So, I go cold turkey and get my first ass-kicking from the man with horns that carries the bag of unfortunate souls trapped in the vile throngs of Zyprexa (on their way to the 7th ring of hell where Mother Zyprexa sits on her throne of Lilly pills). I learn my lesson and decide that a new strategy is in order: Tapered, but rapid, withdrawal. Second ass kicking—“You think it’s going to be that easy?” chuckles the horned one. A few months later another meek attempt. This time with my secret weapon of lorazepam to fight the insomnia. Well, that worked for about a month and then another knock at my door, “Yep, good try. I’ll be taking that soul back now. Thank you very much.” So, I surrender and make a compromise: Here’s my soul back, but let me stay on the lowest possible dose. The agreement is Zyprexa 5mg and Wellbutrin 150mg. This was the second time I had made a deal with the Devil. The first was during my 2012 psychosis when I pleaded to leave the country and was granted permission, but...BUT…I had to pick up every single cigarette butt I came across. Needless to say, I have failed to live up to this promise and fear whether I will ever be able to leave my current entrapment (though I do give credit for the environmentally friendly agreement—who knew the devil could wear green?) I maintain this contract until 2014. At this point life has become painfully monotonous (Insanely, I long to return to the psychosis-induced alternative reality of the psych ward—where in addition to my secret powers, the food was great, the people were interesting, and I could make collages all day). Instead, I’m tired all the time, I’m working less than part-time, and I’m living with my grandparents at age 30. The magic and enchantment of life are gone. I’m about ready to choose “Not to be”, but I can’t quite get over the “what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?” Then a ray of light, a chance for escape. Yes, an extreme plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m offered a teaching job in Saudi Arabia. It pays bank. I can get out of debt, I can gain back my independence. And, with the money I earn, I can put into action my secret plan to get off all of the meds FOREVER (we’ll get to that later). Well, Saudi turns out to be a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”. Not surprisingly, I’m miserable. I want to jump out of my 9th story apt. window into the desolate desert below, be trampled by a camel, and disappear forever beneath a giant sand dune. By the grace of the universe I’m put in contact with a Western-trained psychiatrist (mental illness is hardly acknowledged in Saudi. Therapy and psychiatry are done rather clandestinely. However, they have every modern pharmaceutical medicine, and it can all be easily acquired without a prescription). We come up with a plan: I will start taking Lamictal, wean off the Zyprexa and continue the Wellbutrin. 1.5 years later and I’m taking 200mg Lamictal, 150mg Wellbutrin and 1.25mg Zyprexa. Note: I did not do the recommended 10% tapering (wasn't aware of it). I jumped from 5mg to 2.5mg, and then 1.25mg (The smallest dose here in Saudi is 5mg, so I just cut the pill into 4 pieces). So far, I have not had any major withdrawal effects (maybe this is tempered by the Lamictal? This is what the Pdoc thought). However, I should mention that in all of my previous attempts of Zyprexa withdrawal I could get down to a very tiny dose and not feel any withdrawal effects. It was only when I quit the drug completely that hell was unleashed. I have now been on 1.25mg for about 2 months. Satisfied with my current situation, I thought I would attempt a reduction of the Lamictal. So, 3 weeks ago I once again took the 50% route and reduced my dosage from 200mg to 100mg. Things were ok until last week when I started to feel nausea, anxiety, depression, and severe headaches. Yep, my old friends were back. Just this evening I met with the psychiatrist (who I had not been in touch with for about 6 months). As mentioned above, his response was “Big Mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal. So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal up to 200mg. If I go off the Zyprexa completely, he wants to put me on Seroquel to help with the insomnia, though I'm not too keen on this proposal). I also told him about my Secret Plan, which I will now unveil to all of you. The Secret Plan: Wean myself of all my current meds in a 4 month period (goal is by April 10). Travel to the Peruvian Amazon. Participate in a 3 week Ayahuasca retreat (which requires me to be off all the meds), including a diet with medicinal plants to help with withdrawal symptoms. Face my demons and childhood traumas (that may be at the root of my mental illness and substance abuse) and see what else the Mother plant spirit has to show/teach me. Use my savings to stay in South America for 6 months in a safe place to recover and suffer through whatever withdrawal symptoms come my way, continuing to rely on plant medicine and a strict diet. A battle between Indigenous medicine and Western medicine, with hopefully the former being the victor. Return to the US free from all psych meds FOREVER. Begin life anew. He didn’t outright reject my plan, but he also didn’t see it as being an effective long term solution. And he may be right. Is this plan foolhardy? Am I setting myself up for failure again by trying to take a short cut? Is the horned man waiting for me in the jungle? Will I ever drain my soul of these demonic chemicals!? I’m slowly accepting, after reading many posts on this forum, that I may have to bunker down for a War of Attrition, rather than a war of Shock and Awe. So be it. As a lover of the Sufi poets, I’ll close with this: “You carry All the ingredients To turn your life into a nightmare (i.e. every pharmaceutical drug)- Don’t mix them! You carry all the ingredients To turn your existence into joy, Mix them, mix Them!” ~Hafiz So, that’s what I’m hoping to do—mix the right ingredients. I await your suggestions and insights; as well as strength, experience, and hope. Dream Slow, The Opal Owl
  21. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  22. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  23. Hi everyone. Thanks for reading this! This is my first post but I've read a lot. I'm in the south. 28 year old male. around 3 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist at the same office. I have a great relationship with both and I really trust them 100% with my care. I currently take 300 Wellbutrin, lamictal, buspar, abilify and cogentin Wellbutrin has been awesome over the years and so has buspar and lamictal. I was not diagnosed bipolar but they are using it as a mood stabilizer and it works well However over the years I've had some pretty bad circumstances and been on and off abilify. It works I guess in the way it can stop my obsessing andrew my mind slow down etc. I had been on about 10mg a year ago or so and then I stopped when I started lamictal. I had a bad turn around October last year and the cycle started again. Right now I'm on 5mg split between morning and night. 2.5mg. Oh and add the cogentin for good measure I have started to be quite foggy and started having some short term memory issues I think. The only thing we have changed in the last while was adding the cogentin and abilify back. I'm so worried my memory will not come back. I also need to talk to my pdoc this week as I want to start tapering off it. Thanks for reading! My mood was up and down and we started
  24. TRIGGER WARNING: MENTION OF SUICIDE ATTEMPT, EATING DISORDER So I've been dealing with a lot of challenging information this week with regard to my mental health. In 2000, when I was 15, I attempted suicide. I'd had an aggressive eating disorder for about 2 years at this point - that continued until I was 24 or 25. My parents got me a little bit of counseling after the attempt, but they mostly swept it all under the rug. Then, in 2002, I had what they classified as another "depressive episode," which caused them to send me to a psychiatrist who prescribed antidepressants (Wellbutrin). No therapy support. I was away at college at this time. I realized this week that I probably attempted suicide not because of my own horrific depression, but because of the experiences I had with narcissistic family members. I don't think I'm that messed up. I think that I suffered some serious trauma in childhood that led me to some desperate acts because I was a kid and didn't know what else to do. --- Instead of pushing for therapy and getting me better coping mechanisms, my parents took me as a minor and essentially forced meds down my throat. They told me I would never be able to function without medication because my depression was so severe. They also beat the idea that I had a neurochemical imbalance into my head as a child. I'm seriously pissed about this. --- What I'm trying to get at: I think it's possible that I'm not seriously mentally ill. In fact, I think it's possible that I'm not mentally ill. I think I was a teen trying to deal with a crappy home life, and it was easier to "check out" because I'd been intentionally isolated by my parents and couldn't talk to anyone about what was happening at home. Yes, I engaged in some self-harm - but it was only because I couldn't find even a tiny bit of control in my life. I felt like a spectator watching my own existence float by because I wasn't empowered to make my own choices. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in 2002. For some reason, the psych thought it was okay to put me on permanent medication, and no one else seemed to question this decision. Fifteen years later, I've been through a panel of psych meds from scores of docs. Some of those meds left me with horrifying side effects. Frankly, I'm just angry. I'm angry that my family gets the convenient excuse of "Oh, you're mentally ill," any time I have a legitimate concern about our relationship. Everything can just be dismissed *poof* because "your perception of reality is distorted." That's the ultimate mechanism for gaslighting - a narcissist's DREAM. I'm angry that I've been medicated for nearly half my life because of this ongoing rhetoric that says I'm just not "good enough." I'm angry that I've allowed myself to be sedated and convinced that there is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with me ... when the medication just made me more convenient to deal with. They masked my feelings and led me to years of self-harm because I never dealt with the underlying cause. I'm angry that the meds made me manic and caused more problems for me in the long term. What could I have done with 15 functional years? What damage has been done to my brain? Is this why I've found it impossible to build real relationships with other people and actually hold down a job? I feel dismay and regret that I bought what everyone was "selling" and told myself that I was sick. I'm afraid to trust my own brain now, and that makes me even more upset. My world view is toppling, and I'm working through it with a counselor, but this just feels like betrayal from the people who should have been helping, not hurting. --- Thanks for letting me vent. I'm seriously looking forward to getting opinions and input from everyone on this forum.
  25. emergingfromhell: Tips

    Hi. I'm HOPEFULLY coming out of what could be called a 7 month mental breakdown induced by antidepressant roulette ....I've read so many of your stories over the last few months (which have been the worst) and they have helped me...so I feel like I should share my experience in case anything in it can help someone else. First is a short version of what happened to me. Below that is a list of specific things that helped me. And below that, I've shared a longer version in case you'd like more details. I'm truly in awe of how behind psychiatry is. No one should have to suffer like this. WHAT HAPPENED TO ME - I was on Wellbutrin and Prozac for a few years - couldn't quite get the balance right (turns out SR and XL were getting messed up so that didn't help). I was always a little too anxious or a little too depressed. It wasn't bad, but could have been better so I thought I'd try something new. First, I got off Wellbutrin CT. Prozac alone was hell - probably bc of Wellbutrin withdrawal. Then I cross tapered Prozac with Pristiq. Pristiq worked for a month then stopped- I was in hell again - probably delayed Prozac withdrawal. Then I added Ability to the Pristiq - horrible side effects. Then I stopped those CT and I took Viibryd. Pristiq/ Ability withdrawal + Viibryd side effects, and after all I'd already been through, worse than hell. I took Klonopin and 10mg Prozac to wean off of that. I started to feel slightly human again. I got back on Wellbutrin and Prozac and felt more human. Then had to wean off the Klonopin - worse than what's worse than hell. Now I'm just on the Wellbutrin and Prozac like I was originally and I finally feel like a person again. What a nightmare - 5 withdrawals in 7 months. Anyway...I've learned some things.... THINGS I'VE LEARNED - Medicine tips: 1. Try to stay consistent with a pharmacy/manufacturer if you're taking generic bc that can make you respond differently to the medicine (I think that was a problem with my wellbutrin originally - also XL is smoother than SR and it's important to stay consistent with that as well) 2. Adding Prozac while weaning off an anti-d can really help with withdrawal 3. Wellbutrin can increase the concentration of Prozac in the body if taken together which is important to know when tweaking the dosage 4. Don't CT anything even if you're on something else or getting on something else. 5. Changing is a REAL b**** so only do it if you have to. 6. If you have to take a benzo to help with withdrawal, don't take it everyday or for too long bc you'll have another withdrawal and nothing to help with that one. Anxiety: 1. When panicking, holding ice, getting in a really hot bath, running or doing push ups can be good bc your heart is racing due to a threat it doesn't understand...when you give it a real reason to race and then take it away...your heart feels the threat is removed and will slow down a bit. Plus your mind will focus on that pain instead of on the more painful racing negative thoughts. In some messed up way, it's like a less harmful version of cutting. 2. Lavender oil is very calming, and smell is the only sense with a direct pathway to the amygdala which is the part of your brain associated with mood and emotions. Smells that remind you of happy times work as well. 3. Warm baths helped me more than anything. Increasing body temperature can help regulate mood. Sometimes, putting cold water on for a little helps as well bc that can help circulation and increase oxygen. Switching back and forth can help with the chills/hot flashes that come with withdrawal. 4. After bath, I put towel down on floor and did some stretches to open chest and hips bc that's where we carry a lot of grief. I recommend making it part of a morning routine. 5. Writing affirmations on paper with a pencil or pen can be therapeutic. Find words that resonate with you - simple sentences. It sounds silly, but it actually helped. 6. If people are pissing you off, but you know you shouldn't be confrontational in this state, write them letters that you don't send. 7. Fresh air really helps, even if you just open a window. 8. The mornings are the worst bc of Cortisol. 9. Google Alternate Nostril Breathing and do that for longer than feels comfortable. Also, when taking deep breaths, the exhale should be longer than the inhale and is more important, but if you do it for a really long time, make them equal so you don't get light-headed. 10. There's a good mediation app called "Insight Timer" and another called "Calm". 11. I read a book called "Love Warrior" that was a good distraction and very relatable. If you have stress relating to a toxic relationship, "Women Who Love Too Much" is also a great book. 12. Binge on a Netflix series to distract your mind. The Moth app is good for that also if watching is too hard. 13. Hugging or cuddling releases oxytocin and can really calm stress. Massages obviously help a ton as well. 14. Imagine a happy place in detail - the smells, sounds, textures etc...for a proper amount of time. Get lost there. 15. Talk to yourself and tell yourself the things you wish someone would say to you to calm you down. You'll feel crazy at first, but it helps. 16. People who've had easy experiences don't write on message boards, but there are plenty. So don't get discouraged only reading horror stories on here. They're the worst cases. 17. Focus on today. Making big changes to address the underlying issues that caused the original anxiety and depression are things to consider once you're stable. And whatever in your life is getting messed up bc of the state you're in, focus on fixing those later when you're better as well. Be honest with work, family, friends etc and hope for compassion. In the meantime, think of the next right thing to do and the next breath. One thing at a time, one moment at a time. Everything else will be much less daunting and easier to fix when your biochemistry isn't going haywire...so cut yourself some slack. Nausea: 1. Pepto can help. 2. Chocolate Boost Plus is good for when you're too nauseous to eat but need to keep weight up. Banana and peanut butter smoothies with chocolate protein powder helped me. Whole foods has a bunch of shots, smoothies etc if you can't make them. 3. Pedialite can help with dehydration. 4. Three fingers from your wrist is the pressure point for nausea. 5. Ginger helps more than you'd think. Ginger candies to suck on are good. Despite what people say, I found Ginger Ale made me more nauseous. Loved Ones: 1. It's helpful if other people can make many of the daily small decisions for you bc thinking at all can be really overwhelming. 2. Complicated conversations about politics, business etc should happen in another room. It's important to focus on simple and positive things to help your brain heal 2. Google SSRI withdrawal symptoms and show them to your loved ones so they know what to expect and so they know your behavior is the result of a chemical clusterfuck and is not reflective of a new or old you. 3. Explain to loved ones that if you sense their anxiety about your anxiety or their fear or impatience, you will feel it magnified and it will slow your recovery massively. You need to be around supportive people who will tell you you're going to be ok and keep you calm. That's crucial. From Me to You: This is only temporary. You will get through this and be yourself again, no matter how impossible that seems while you're in it. I know my story isn't very encouraging, but I really believed the new me was going to have to live like that forever, and I really didn't think I'd survive if that was the case. But I did survive and I'm here now - feeling like the old me with a new appreciation for everything, and the hope that what I went through will somehow help someone else. Here's the more detailed version if you think it might provide some useful information - about what NOT to do For a few years, I was on 300 wellbutrin and 40 prozac... I couldn't quite get the balance right for anxiety/depression, and I thought maybe being on just one drug would be a better idea. My doctor suggested I CT the wellbutrin and up my prozac from 40 to 60. I stayed on just Prozac for the month but crashed - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. I still don't know if that was wellbutrin withdrawal but, in hindsight, I suspect it may have been. I went to a new doctor who suggested I try Pristiq bc my mom does well on Effexor (strong proof that members of the same family tend to do well on the same drugs) and it was the improved version. Also bc I had done well on Cymbalta years earlier, except for the intense fatigue, she thought another SNRI might be good for me. I weaned off Prozac in a couple of weeks while taking the Pristiq. It worked really well for about a month on it's own and then I crashed again - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. Again, in hindsight, I wonder if the prozac had a delayed withdrawal bc that can happen even though doctors don't acknowledge it much. I raised the Pristiq by 25 for a couple weeks and it didn't help. Studies have shown that increased levels of Pristiq doesn't increase efficacy of the drug...it's just more to get off of later. So I went back down to 50 and my doctor then added 5mg of Ability. I had awful side effects - restlessness, jumping out of my skin, major depersonalization, etc. She suggested Rexulti which has less side effects but isn't covered by insurance and would have been 1k a month so I tried Geodon instead for three days - same class of med, same problems. So I gave up on Pristiq. Stopped CT and started 10mg of Viibryd. That's when things started to get really really bad. I basically compounded Pristiq withdrawal with Viibryd side effects. I eased up over a month to 40mg - the therapeutic dose. I woke up in a panic attack every morning, I couldn't function at all, I could barely talk or eat. I felt terrified and almost catatonic. I took 20mg at 11am and 20mg at 3/4pm, and you have to take it with food which is hell when you're that nauseous. It got a little better after 5/6 pm everyday which was strange. It also got a little better at 40mg in that my good windows would last a little longer but my bad ones were still awful and still lasted for the majority of my day. I added Valium in the morning but didn't want to get addicted so I'd go three days or so then experience increased depression when I stopped. My doctor kept telling me to be patient, that things would turn around, but after two months of feeling like I was dying everyday, unable to function and having suicidal thoughts, I lost any bit of patience I had left. He had also told me that he thought a lot of this was psychological not chemical and that I should spend more time talking to my therapist. Anyone who has been through awful side effects and/or awful withdrawal very much knows the difference between issues that can be resolved by a therapist and issues that need a good psychiatrist. The only thing I needed to talk to a therapist about at the time was the physical pain I was in due to the medicine. I saw another doctor who told me to wean off the Viibryd - that I should be feeling better by that point. I honestly thought I wouldn't make it through another withdrawal period, but the Viibryd was so bad for me that the withdrawal was actually less miserable than the side effects had been. She also told me to take Klonopin .5mg in the morning and at night. My anxiety was way worse in the morning so I took it then, but fortunately, didn't get addicted to the full 1mg a day bc I didn't take it at night. She also added Prozac - 10 up to 20 while I weaned down on Viibryd. After being off of the Viibryd for a little over a week, I needed to figure out what anti-depressant was next. I honestly felt too scared to try anything else so I added 300xl of Wellbutrin to the 20 Prozac - a little less than I was on originally - before I started all the changes. Still not finished - then I had to withdraw from the .5 Klonopin I'd been taking for a month. I cut in half for a week then half of that for 3 days. I suffered terribly that whole time and then for a few days after my last dose. I am writing you from the other side. So...I basically went through all of the hell to circle back to where I started, and I definitely didn't have it in me to get off altogether bc I know adjusting to life without meds after 16 years on them is going to be a bigger task than I have the energy for right now...but I did learn some things....
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