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  1. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  2. I have been on Wellbutrin for the last 10 years. I am currently on 300 mg of bupropion extended release. This will be my third attempt to taper off successfully. This time I have prepped my body and created a conducive environment to successfully taper off. I've followed the pre-taper protocol of a few holistic psychiatrists, mainly Dr. Kelly Brogan. Can anyone who has successfully tapered off Wellbutrin recommend a tapering schedule? Also, did you have the drug compounded into a liquid to taper or just taper down using the tablets? The compounding pharmacy said that they couldn't create a compounded version of the extended release of the Wellbutrin; it would just be immediate release. Is this true?
  3. Feeling like *&^% right now, any feedback is appreciated! Thanks.
  4. I began this journey with a postpartum depression diagnosis in May 2013 after my 3rd baby. Prior to that, I was healthy without any issues. In the beginning, I started with Lexapro 10mg qd. After about 9 months, it was not really doing the trick anymore, so my doc increased the dose to 20mg (!!). I had an impaired gag reflex with this increased dose, and I slept all the time. At this point, about 1.5yrs in, I tried to quit cold turkey. That did not work. I had all kinds of symptoms (crying all the time, irritability, brain zaps). Because side effects were horrible I went back on antidepressants and tried to switch to a SRNI, which did not last long. I recognize the difference of adding the norepinephrine immediately. It made me extremely irritable. So, after about 6 months of that, I went back on the Lexapro 10mg qd and Wellbutrin 150mg qd (to help with the s/e of the Lexapro). I stayed on the for about 1.5 years before beginning my final taper. My final taper (the one I am on now) began April 2017. I never took the Wellbutrin every day (skipped 1day/week due to building irritability and 2-3x/week during PMS). Because I could not cut the pill, I spaced the days, one day at a time every other month. I quit Wellbutrin completely the 1st week of August. I alternated decreasing the doses medications every month (1 month decreased lexapro, next decreasing Wellbutrin). I cut the lexapro, decreasing the dose by 25% every other month (10mg one day, 7.5mg the next, then 7.5qd, then 7.5mg & 5mg alternating etc.). Once I got to 5mg, I began spacing the days with changes made every few weeks until I quit completely the first week of September. Gradually over the next 3 weeks, I had increasing feelings of anxiety, panic, and racing and pounding heartbeat. I also had an intermittent resting HR in the 90’s (like, sitting on a couch after no physical activity my HR according to my watch was high 80’s-low 90’s for 30min at a time). This continued to become more noticeable until one night, standing in the kitchen after the kids were in bed, I had an overwhelming feeling of anxiety accompanied by the feeling my back was both burning up and freezing at the same time. I went to check my HR on my watch, and proceeded to pass out. Thankfully, my husband was able to catch me. Once to the couch after about 15min, I looked at the HR log on my phone. At the time I passed out, my HR went to 148 for 4 minutes. I restarted Lexapro after this incidence at 2.5mg every other day. I had the same feeling again 4 days later, again late in the evening, but this time sitting on the couch. My heart rate was in the 120’s. I began breathing deeply, listening to my heart with my stethoscope. I took 3 deep breaths (all w/o exhale) and held it for a second before exhaling. Immediately before the exhale, my heart rate converted back to a rate in the 60’s (what it had been before going into the 120’s). This lasted just a few minutes. I went to the doctor, had labs drawn and an EKG done (all ok), then a halter monitor ordered. That came back with depressed ST segment with t wave inversion, so I was referred for a stress test. That was normal. My physician (not believing I am withdrawing) said if it happened again, she would start me on a beta blocker. So, here I am about a month into taking Lexapro 2.5mg qod again. I am still committed to coming off the meds, but have decided to slow the wean. I realize there is no real data to indicate how long it takes your brain to start regulating neurotransmitters normally again, BUT, does anyone have any ideas about how long it takes?! I am tired of yelling at my kids and feeling flat all of the time. I do not experience joy. I make it through each day, irritable and taking my anger out on my poor kids (aged 8yr, 6yr, 4.5yr) and husband. I have made dietary changes (more vegetables, no processed food) and think about working out. My motivation is extremely low, so working out has not made its way into our schedule yet. I have read extensively, and know what I need to do, but doing any of it takes enormous effort. Most days I feel I will never get better and have ruined my serotonin production forever. Any thoughts?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hi everyone, I was going through my normal routine this morning of watching recovery videos and reading forums and blogs on antidepressant recovery when I saw a video about a young lady that was going through protracted withdrawal from Lexapro and mentioned that she felt that her hormonal IUD birth control might have been exacerbating her symptoms. I thought back on my experience with birth control and realized that I got the Skyla IUD exactly one month after I started taking Wellbutrin for anxiety. I plan on making an appointment to go and talk to my OBGYN about any possible interactions that the Skyla IUD might have had with the Wellbutrin I was taking. But I also wanted to check in with the SA community to see if anyone else experienced any issues with taking hormonal birth control simultaneously with antidepressant medication. I'm wondering if I should talk to my doctor about having the IUD removed, but I wouldn't want to send my body into even more of a tail spin while I try to regulate my hormones. Any information is appreciated, but I'd like to know if there is any information available about whether or not removal would help with my withdrawal symptoms. I looked up the possible side effects of Skyla and one of the primary side effects is depression, so I'm wondering if the hormones could be contributing to my feelings of depression, depersonalization, and brain fog.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 !!!
  12. 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
  13. I know that there is no definitive answer to this question and I've read the articles and information that is available about the windows and waves pattern of recovery. I'm just curious to know what people's personal experiences are related to recovery? I haven't seen any improvement in my memory, concentration or depressive symptoms, and I've noticed the development of some concerning NEW withdrawal symptoms. Last night I went out and had some drinks with a coworker, I know that this is unwise since it can further throw your central neuro system off balance, but I had a stressful weekend and I didn't see the harm in a few drinks. I'm not too proud to admit that I was oh so totally underestimating how terrible of an idea this was. I've had a couple of drinks here and there since beginning my taper from Wellbutrin, but I never anticipated how bad it could effect me if I drank more than my usual one or two drinks. I had four drinks yesterday afternoon, and I came home and felt like I was going to come out of my skin. I felt more agitated than I've ever felt, and I felt like I needed to be constantly moving or I would go crazy. This was the most bizarre sensation! I felt like I needed to hit something, and my fiancee took me on a walk so that I could try to get some of my irritability and agitation out of my system. This helped enough to where I could finally go pass out on my couch. I woke up this morning and I was mortified and more embarrassed than I've ever been about anything. I feel so sorry for my fiancee having to put up with me when I'm like that, but I also don't know what I would do without him. He's a god send, and I'm not sure how I would get through this without him. Does anyone know if there is a specific symptom pattern when we are healing, or is the way we heal totally specific to the individual? I'm hoping that since I'm seeing all of these new emerging symptoms that they are a sign that my brain is trying to heal in other areas. It's difficult to remain positive when there's so little literature in circulation about what to expect during withdrawal.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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...
  19. 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
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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