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  1. After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to. Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched. September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help. His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction Can anyone help?
  2. Hello, After a couple of months of reading some of the posts on this forum, I have decided to join, because basically it seems that I have PSSD. As you will see from my signature strip, I have been on escitalopram at various doses for just over 7 years (finally came off in January of this year (2017)). My history on this drug probably looks a bit confusing. Basically I went on the drug late in 2009 for anxiety that I was suffering. I only intended to be on it for a short time – maybe 6 months – whilst I made some important decisions about my future. But my doctor at that time provided no guidance on coming off the drug. I came off very quickly and crashed. It basically took me about 3 attempts like this to finally realise I could not come off it quickly. In the end it has been a long and slow process with some bumps along the way, but finally I am off the drug – but it took 7 years. I am male and now in my mid-thirties. Anyway, whilst on the drug I suffered from sexual side effects, which from what I have read is very common. But it was in late 2013 that I found out just how much the drug was affecting me. I started a relationship with a girl who although I liked much, I could feel no deep emotion with. Basically I could not fall in love with her. At first I could not understand what was wrong with me, but one day shortly into our relationship I suspected the drug. After a simple ‘Google search’ I had the answer. This combined with the sexual side effects of the drug just made it impossible for me really and in early 2014 we split up. It was at this point that I realised no matter what, I had to get off the drug. It took 2 further attempts of slow tapering but finally I have managed it. I am now almost 5 months off the drug, but seems I have PSSD. At the end of December 2016 I reduced from 10mg every other day to just 5mg every third day. A few days after doing this I could feel something changing sexually – more normal feeling was coming back. And about a week later I had a couple of days of what I would say was completely normal function returning. However this only lasted a couple of days. Shortly after this I took the last tablet. I was now off the drug. About 2 weeks later I once again had a couple of days of everything returning to normal sexually. Again this only lasted temporarily. Then a period of 3 weeks of the numbness and erection difficulties. Then - 5 weeks after taking the last tablet - I again had a period of 2 days of normal functioning – this time I thought it was going to be for good, but unfortunately not. And that was the last time I experienced what I consider everything being normal. Since then I have returned to the numbness, lack of drive and erection difficulties that I had whilst on the drug. I have had the odd day or two in recent weeks where the numbness reduces a bit and there is a little bit of sensitivity, but only a very tiny improvement for a day or so. Then back to full numbness. Also I have developed a ache/pain in my testicles that radiates at times into the top of my legs and buttocks. I can’t remember exactly when this started but I think it was around 6 weeks after being off the drug. I also feel emotionally flat – I don’t think I could fall in love with somebody. I think that issue is still there. I can cry at times, but can’t feel any real happiness for anything. I guess like so many people here I feel the most desperate I have ever done in my life and just looking to talk with others in a similar situation. These past months have seemed like an eternity and every day is such a struggle. I am hoping somebody can give me some hope, because right now I can’t feel much of it. Also I do have a few questions which if anybody can give some sort of an answer to I would be so grateful. 1) Why did I have 3 separate periods of normal sexual function in the immediate period of coming off the drug (first 5 weeks) and then nothing further? 2) the ache/pain that I feel in the testicles – is this part of PSSD? 3) one of the things that really worries me is the fact that I noticed a change to my sexual function after taking just one tablet (God only knows why I did not stop taking them there and then) but as I only planned to be on the medication for a short time, it did not bother me too much. Does this immediate reaction to the drug combined with my long-term use of it mean it more likely my recovery will be a very long time, or worse still that I never recover? Thanks very much for reading.
  3. G'day folks! I've only just arrived, I've read a few threads here, but not had much to say. I've been lucky, really. Because I'm not heavily medicated and never have been - I've fought that every step of the way. Likewise, I've never been hospitalized or jailed - I've fought against that every step of the way. It started in my 20's when Doc's decided that my depression would clear up better with a bit of Prozac. Just to help me "over the bump" until I had frank hallucinations, watching Bigfoot amble about in traffic and around town. Time to get off the Prozac. So I go off, and persist in an empty marriage with unfulfilling work. So the Doc's (I can't even remember which Doctors did this, it's strange because I was in a new town in Indiana, and you'd think I"d remember going to the clinic or Doc's office, but oh well) prescribe Zooloft. I get jittery and palpitations, so I go off again. Over the next 10 years, from about 25-35, I'm prescribed various antidepressants, and most of them fail. The only one to stick was Wellbutrin, but I get ahead of myself. So after these 3 month each infusions of brain chemical bursts, for 10 years, is it any wonder that when the marriage fell apart in 1995 I went full blown, psychotic mad manic? At the time I described it as if a weight that I had held on my shoulders for years and years was suddenly pulled away and I came unstuck. I was talking to bees (and making contracts with them), stalking potential lovers, stripping my clothes off in the woods so as to be "invisible," paranoid that the lights in my windows were UFO's. This was not treated by medical doctors as mania. Nor was it treated as psychosis at any time: because here is the key - even though I was mad and manic, I was LUCID. I could tell you, "This just isn't right, I need to get help." Ergo, I escaped hospitalization, and the overdrugging that happens there. This was treated with yet another antidepressant (Wellbutrin?) and antianxiety meds (likely Xanax). I met a yoga guru at about that time, and he "cleaned me up" and stabilized me but that was another abusive relationship - because now I "owed him" my life. I was on Wellbutrin for 3 years after this, but the depression just kept sinking deeper and deeper as I had sold my soul to this yogi. When I told the yogi, finally, to go away, that I would be happier without him telling me "who to be," and "how to be it," I got marginally better. At the same time I met my birthfamily, Birth Mom, birth aunt, a sister and 2 brothers. When I got the family history and heard about great-grandma hanging in the shower, and grandma finding her, and the resultant paranoia about menopause this caused....when I heard about the uncles who were chameleons and bigamists....I thought, well. Maybe I am "manic depressive" or "bipolar." So again: with lucidity and clarity I presented myself to the hospital charity system for treatment. to be continued.......
  4. Hi everyone, I'm wanting advice on how to taper if my withdrawal symptoms are delayed - ie they occur several months after the taper is completely finished. If I have no symptoms during taper, should I proceed to the 'Fast Taper' guidelines (4 weeks x2, then 3weeks x2, then 2 weeks x2, then weekly until done)? In the past I have thought I was relapsing, and resumed the medication. Now I understand it was probably WD from too fast a taper (4 months). Any thoughts? Tikki Tikki
  5. Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  6. Hello everyone.. I am 5.5 months into withdrawal from effexor and my eye/visual symptoms have only gotten worse by every month/week and I'm getting really worried. Is it possible to completely lose my vision in withdrawal? Has anyone become blind because of this medicine or can I rest my mind in that it will get better when the other symptoms disappear? My symtoms are very much similar to what another member described in this forum: it is the sensation that my eyes cannot accept the input of the objects presented before them: a strained type of feeling upon visual stimulation. pushing a child on a swing will cause great strain on my eyes as my eyes struggles to maintain proper focus on the moving object. Also, everything looks very sharp and it feels like my eyes can not really "cover the whole picture." Wierdly enough, my vision was back to 100% after the last pill and it lasted for something like 2 weeks before it got worse again.. Please, I'm desperate, if you know anything then let me know. I have googled on the internet but have not found any information about someone who have lost their vision due to effexor or other ssri's.
  7. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
  8. I've been tapering off of Lamictal for about 5 months now, and won't be done until September 22nd. I'm tapering 25 mg every 2 weeks. I've experienced some withdrawal symptoms with other meds, Effexor being the worst, but coming off of Lamictal is one of the worst things that I've ever experienced. I've put in the time and effort to have bettered myself in order to be stable enough to get off of these medications, but the mental and emotional symptoms are intense. The endless physical side effects just make the emotional parts worse. I have a good support system, but I'm finding myself still wanting to talk to others who have experienced similar situations. I put together a list today of my withdrawal symptoms currently. I'm basically housebound right now, and it is beyond hard. My Current Withdrawal Symptoms: Physical Withdrawal Symptoms 1. Nausea/Vomiting 2. Diarrhea/Constipation 3. Migraines 4. Vision Changes 5. Body Pain/Foot Pain/Muscle Pain/Neck and Shoulder Pain/Stiffness 6. Tooth Pain 7. Bone Pain/Joint Pain/Cracking/Rubbing 8. Gagging/Vomiting from smells, tastes, textures, etc. 9. Easily out of breath/hard to breathe/chest pain 10. Overall weak/low endurance 11. Cold Sweats/Hot Sweats/Hot Flashes/Temperature regulation problems 12. Crawling in my skin/body is uncomfortable 13. Cold symptoms – runny/stuffy nose, sore throat 14. Extreme Fatigue 15. Off-balance/fall/run into things/hurt self often/dizzy 16. Malaise 17. Restless limbs/body 18. Metallic taste in mouth 19. “Brain Zaps” 20. Chest pain/tightness 21. Sensitive skin/Bruise and Bleed easily 22. Sporadic Appetite Emotional/Mental Withdrawal Symptoms 1. Anxiety 2. Unease/Nervous/Paranoid 3. Moody 4. Irritable 5. Anger 6. Rage 7. Depression 8. Crying 9. Emotional Lability 10. Jittery 11. Memory Loss 12. Concentration Issues/Can’t think straight or function 13. Confused/Disoriented 14. Easily scared/gasp from fear 15. Strange/vivid/intense dreams/nightmares Has anybody experienced anything similar to these symptoms?
  9. Hi there everyone, so I've managed to come off Lexapro 10mg with no issues at all (or so I thought). The first week I had the usual Brain zaps and palpitations, which are now thankfully completely gone. I'm now one month into the process and have been having a surge of anxiety which started last week, so the fourth week. I keep feeling like old symptoms are manifesting again, such as: - Feeling my heart beat all the time - Anxiety - I dont want to say depression, but sadness. Is this normal withdrawing from AD, Lexparo specifically? I want to add that, I have some good hours and then some really bad hours. Would really appreciate the advice. Cheers, Sam
  10. I am 54 years old, and experienced my first manic episode, starting 1st November of last year, requiring a month of involuntary hospitalisation starting 14th November brought on by numerous stressors. I was on Lithium and Haloperidol, from the 15th Nov, then ±900mg Lithium and 0.5mg Risperidone from the 15th Jan . I started tapering the Risperidone from the Feb 16th. My last dose was 0.125mg on 15 March. How long will the withdrawal symptoms last? The reason why I'm asking is I'd also like to know if I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms or bipolar depression? The intense depressive feelings arrive and leave suddenly and unexpectedly, sometimes lasting a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, after which I feel mildly depressed again, which is a general state. I am able to be lifted, for example by gardening, good cooking, humour etc, during this general milder state. I have general anxiety about several factors which triggered the original mania, namely money (increased now, due to difficulty working), accommodation for my and my spouse's ageing parents who are both difficult to work with, those being by far the most major among other stressors. I have found that very carefully-considered and rare - perhaps twice a week - use of Diazepam can also return me to this state from the more intense state. I intended to start tapering the Lithium once I feel more stable and know myself better after this current tapering. I apologise if this has been covered before, but I find reading and writing about my condition extremely stress inducing, which is to say getting to this point has not been easy. I am eternally grateful in advance for the help.
  11. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  12. Forgive the strange title: I believe those words relate to an ancient Zen story. Anyway: a little about me....I have been on Seroxat (Paxil) for close to 20 years, have tried 2 or 3 times before to quit it, I am over 6 weeks into my latest attempt, and it ain't easy just now. I have done a gradual tapering; I used to just about (but not really) get by on 20mg....Ended up during that time living and working in another country 😱 , finally burnt out over there and admitted defeat. Came back to the UK. On the advice of family, went up to 30mg (not for the first time). The recent tapering has involved: back to 20mg for at least 6 months; then down to 10mg for over 6 months....Down to nothing for the last 6 weeks. (With hindsight, and reading a couple of other posts on here, etc, I realise this was probably too quick). I would say all withdrawal symptoms are mental rather than physical; although I know these two aspects are intimately linked and interacting, I've done it slowly enough to avoid any of the classic "shock" sensations associated with Paxil - or what one might call "Seroxat Flu".... Also, my sleeping patterns don't appear to be too much disturbed. Not too long after I returned from another country my father died. I am 42 years old and lost my mother to cancer at the age of 13, so am effectively now a middle-aged orphan. Have one sibling, a sister, who also has mental health problems, but there is much bitterness and anger between us (even though we do deep down love each other). We haven't spoken for about 6 months. She accuses me of only ever contacting her when I have a problem or am down, so I'm fairly stuffed down that avenue at the moment 😐 I have never had a proper romantic relationship...Almost hardly ever had sex - and usually not got much "out of it" due to the SSRIs and probably some emotional problems too. I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder in 2000....I am just about managing to hold that at bay at present, but depression and some catastrophic thinking patterns are vying for space in my mind.....I am trying to stay in the moment as much as possible, trying to meditate....Some sporadic success here does alleviate some of the emotional pain occasionally. I try to treat myself to certain material things, or life events, every so often, and that helps also. When my dad died, I inherited more money than I have had in my life; but it is relatively little considering the cost of living in the UK these days. I have already squandered a small fraction of that money on one occasion on a girl - an example of lust over love, my own vulnerability and loneliness and naevity - but I have mentally put that behind me. I tentatively manage to hold down full-time work; how well I am actually functioning at work depends on each individual perspective of my various coworkers - as strange and obtuse as that sounds. I suppose I am trying to say that I gel well, in terms of compatibility and likeability, with certain coworkers far more than others. Anyway. I have written far more than most people would easily be able to digest in one sitting.....If you got this far then thank you so much 😉
  13. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  14. I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling... I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now. So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too. And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think. Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason. I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so). And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind. I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like. Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free. And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me. So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too. SJ
  15. My third and hopefully final attempt to get off Paxil is here I start March 1st of this year, which is just around the corner. I have a lot of hope It will be over 3 years, but I feel good about my taper plan. Thankful for this site of encouragement and testimonies - I will be praying for freedom for you all! I've included a photo of my handwritten taper plan. The length of time is in months. Will keep this updated for whoever cares to read. Let's do this.
  16. Hi - I have used this site as a non-member for about two years now. Finally I have joined. I am almost three years out from the last time I took "meds" - in this case 10mgs of Lexapro. My story is that in Jan 2011 I started Lexapro 10 mg after a 10 minutes' consultation with a doctor. The basis for the prescription was that I had started having feelings of anxiety in confined spaces and had had anxiety attacks on plane and underground. In retrospect I should have relied on counselling as I was being bullied at work. I remained on that dosage until July 2014. It had had the effect of lessening feelings felt at both ends of the scale - fear and pleasure. I become more numb. I gained weight. Other things changed. Family thought I'd become someone else - harsher. I didn't even cry when my Nan died. At that point I wanted to be free from the stuff. Tapered following a doctor's schedule; with drops of 2.5 mg each three weeks. Once stopped in early Sept 2014, I had severe withdrawals. I was then prescribed Prozac and took it in Oct 2014 for three weeks but had adverse reaction and CT it. I've had protracted withdrawal ever since Sept 2014. Supplement I now take are magnesium, fish oil, turmeric, vit D, melatonin (but recently it's made me depressed), castus vitex capsule with ginger, withania, Vit E, zinc, Lutein for PMS. Most distressing symptoms remaining are DP/DR, anxiety, sensitivities e.g. supplements like melatonin that can affect mood/anxiety, light sensitivity and to a lesser extent noise and movement sensitivity (can bring on anxiety and DP), concentration issues, also don't like crowds or feeling trapped, fatigue and stress intolerence (lose it at the smallest emotional things).
  17. Psychiatrist has told me to stop Sertraline from 150, down to 100mg the next week, then down to 50 the next, then stop (not because my depression has eased but because it doesn't seem to have helped at all. However, online I see that people are recommending a much longer tapering. . The problem is, when I rang the surgery today to try and voice my concerns about this and some other things I wasn't sure about, I was told by one of the staff to just follow what the psychiatrist says. I tried telling her that I had to go away for three months to work in a place where I have no friends, family or doctor, but she didn't seem to want to listen. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is this too quick a time period and if not, aren't I just dependent on whatever a certified doctor tells me to do?
  18. Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story (and hopefully my eventual recovery). I am 20 years old, and was 19 when I started on 50mg of Sertraline I was prescribed it in Feb 2015 for social anxiety and took it for a month. Quit cold turkey because I felt pretty depersonalised, and cause of the sexual side effects. All of my symptoms came on during my time on the drug or shortly afterwards. They are: Dulling of emotion/Anhedonia - Have felt sadness a few times, and anger a few times. No joy, no passion, maybe some flashes of love but that's it. Unable to relate to characters in books/TV. Dimunition of visual imagination - I used to daydream constantly prior to taking the drug. Since cold turkeying the pictures in my mind are very blurred and I am no longer able to daydream. Loss of creativity - Before the drug I used to read a lot, and when I read I always felt like ideas were constantly popping into my brain. Since I stopped medication this no longer happens. I feel like I am reading the words on the page very superficially.. Physical numbness in brain - Feels like there's a great pressure in the frontal lobe of my head, almost like it is torn (but there is no pain) PSSD - No libido, anorgasmia, difficulty getting and maintaining erections (too much information but I want to be thorough here) No fatigue behind eyes - this one isn't necessarily negative, but since stopping the drug my eyes never get tired regardless of how much time I spend using screens or reading. Possible other symptoms that could be unrelated: Muscle twinges (very mild), worsening of eyesight (20/20 vision pre medication), urine delay (is considerably better now) Improvements - I saw very positive changes when it came to anorgasmia and erections around 6 months into my withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems like in the past 2 months things have gone back to square one. The physical pressure in my head varies a lot, and is definitely much better than it was at the start of my withdrawal (though it still gets very bad). I couldn't read for the first 6 months of this withdrawal because I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it and that was depressing because I used to love reading prior to the drug. Now I read a bit, and it feels nicer than doing nothing I guess, but seriously if that's an improvement in my anhedonia then it's 0% to 1%, because I still have zero positive emotion. General - I feel hopeless about recovery a lot of the time. I have suicidal thoughts but would never commit suicide because of the effect that would have on my mum. I browse through the forums looking for recovery stories, but it seems like most people who recover haven't had this constant anhedonia, and were in a more turbulent emotional withdrawal. If anyone who is in my position, or anyone who was in my position but recovered, could reply I'd be very grateful. Many thanks, Raven
  19. I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad. A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsyness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline. Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again. (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time. Does anyone have any techniques which might help? I don't want to go back on, however long it takes to even out again.
  20. Hi Everyone! I started taking Lexapro three years ago at the age of 24 after therapy sessions and the occasional Xanax were no longer working for my anxiety. My psychologist diagnosed me with OCD and GAD. Dread is the only way I can explain it. Vicious thoughts and dread. I wasn't depressed nor had I ever been and this hit me like a ton of bricks. I would be out and then this wave of panic would come out of no where. Dizzying and all consuming. I would start crying, become dizzy, and just be in an all out panic. It got to the point where aside from getting up and going to work everyday (getting out of the door was the hardest) I would basically refuse to do anything. Otherwise I would shake and feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I started with my general physician putting me on 5mg of Lexapro and then eventually going all the way up to 20mg. Aside from noticing a drop in my libido, slight dulling of feelings, and mild tiredness I felt like a new person. I actually remember the exact place I was where I felt those all consuming mind racing thoughts turn off. For the next three years I was perfect. Lexapro pretty much saved me. Recently in November of 2016 I decided that I wanted to go off. I was in a different place in my life. I was working, going to grad school and nights and living on my own. In hindsight I probably should have waited until I finished grad school since I was/am at one of the most stressful times in my life. Full time job, while taking a full three classes per semester at nights. But hey hindsight is 20/20 right? I tapered over three months. Probably too quickly, and by the end of January I was entirely off. My only immediate withdrawal symptoms were dizziness (not enough to stop me from driving) and I remember for about a week and half every time I would shift my eyes it felt like it took my brain a second to catch up. Finally nothing. I thought I was free. I was feeling again, my emotions came back, but all without that feeling of dread. Two weeks ago, about five months after I've been Lexapro free, I got the worst stomach virus I've had in years/gastritis/my period all in one week. I wasn't eating and I had lost 10lbs. I'm small to being with so I went from 118 to 108 quick. Then... It hit. Sick on a Wednesday and by Sunday I had the worst panic attack I've had in years. To get up from my bed was crippling. Am I relapsing? My mind was flooded. The PTSD was so bad from the thought of me relapsing into what I was pre-Lexapro crippled me. And since then I haven't been able to stop crying. My dizziness had returned along with chills, mind racing, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my own skin and rip it off, and the non stop crying. To the point opening my mouth and talking about a plain wall would make me start crying. I also have no appetite. The thought of eating makes me feel sick. I called my doctor and during my virus check up visit he gave me .25mg of Xanax. I thought this would kick it but it hasn't. It actually made me feel worse. I see my psychologist tomorrow to now talk about whats happening to me. My doctor said if this doesn't go away I cannot be reliant upon Xanax and I would have to go back on my Lexapro, but I DON'T WANT TO. I only took the Xanax once and I really am fighting to not take another, even though I feel like I am being tortured by my own mind. I want to be medicine free. I know what SSRI's can do to the body. That five months of freedom of no drugs and no anxiety were amazing. My questions are: Am I relapsing? or am I still withdrawing? Any advice? I am so scared that this isn't going to go away and that I am going to be right back to square 1. Thank you!! xx
  21. Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  22. Hello, I have been taking Seroquel 300mg for 5+ years and am desperately trying to get off of it due to persistent anhedonia. I've spent the past 4 weeks in a crisis house and managed to reduce my dose to 0 however, the drop from 25mg to 0 has been very difficult. I haven't slept for six nights (since I withdrew) I've managed to get the odd hour here and there in the day but I'm becoming increasingly desperate. I'm trying to get advice from a psychiatrist but because I leave the unit tomorrow I've been discharged from his care and can not access advice. Does anyone know how long this insomnia will last? I know it must vary from person to person but I'm terrified it will endure and have to try to get back to a stressful job very soon. Any advice welcome - thanks. Lily
  23. Hi, So quick background.. i took LUVOX (fluvoxamine) a few years ago and was able to come off of it safely and with minimum withdrawal. (I reduced 50mg at a time over a few months) (I know this wasn’t the right way to taper but I didnt know at the time) I took Luvox again this year and as I been withdrwaling, I realize it is MUCH harder. I can BARELY withdrawal 10mg at a time and I strongly feel the withdrawal. I been withdrawing less than 5% to. It just does not make sense to me that I withdrew much faster and easier before and now it is so much harder the second time... I don’t think it has todo with my diet or stress. If you Any thoughts as to why this is, it would be great thanks...
  24. Hey, everyone. Has anyone on this site has a positive experience from their medication? Like it took away panic attacks or helped them get through a really bad time in their lives? I know that everyone here is trying to get off, but are we just the outliers on the bell curve? Would these drugs be so popular if all they did was hurt people? Don't get me wrong, Prozac has completely screwed up my life and I want it gone, but surely there are positive stories out there, right? Fleeing Fluoxetine
  25. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.