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  1. Hi all, Was on Paxil for 8 months for Somatization, Chronic Pelvic Pain which struck 4 years back....now I am suffering from Hypersomnia for last two years after stopping Paxil. Could Paxil withdrawal lead to hypersomnia or it could be depression that is causing Hypersomnia? Has anyone else experienced hypersomnia post stopping Paxil or anyone diagnosed with depression having Hypersomnia?? Please help. Hypersomnia is hell. Regards, Hypersomniac
  2. Good Afternoon, I just read some informative and helpful posts you wrote about this subject. I wondered if I could pick your brain, as I feel you have a handle on this. My profile is quite simple. 45 year old male. Had a vertigo episode 7 months ago. Went to every specialist under the sun (vestibular specialist, Neurologist, had full blood work, EEG, CTA's of brain and neck, MRI of brain, sinus scan, etc), and nothing out of the ordinary was discovered. Since that vertigo episode, I have had this "spaced out" "disequilibrium" feeling in my head that I cannot seem to shake. The symptoms of occasional headaches, light headedness, and dizziness (not spinning like vertigo) have not gone away. My neurologist suggested I try Lexapro for a few months, to see if these symptoms could be anxiety related. I am very sensitive to all medications, which I knew going in. My neuro originally prescribed 10 mg Lexapro with an increase to 20 mg. After consulting with some professionals in this area, I started out at 5 mg for 2 weeks. (20 mg pill split twice). I was on 5 mg for 2 weeks and although there were slight side effects, I tried upping to 10 mg. After 3 straight days of excruciating headaches, I went back down to 5 mg. In the 8 weeks I was on 5 mg, I felt OK ,but I gained 15 pounds (no lie) as I was either hungry all the time, or tired and drowsy all the time. The odd feeling in my head was still there but dulled by my cravings to eat and constantly feeling like I needed a nap. Last week, I decided to taper off the 5mg dosage. I weigh the broken tablets to get exactly 2.5 mg on a pill scale each morning. I realize the weight of the pill is actually 25 MG but the dosage is 20 MG. Last night I was working on my laptop while reclining, and I got so dizzy, I thought I was going to either throw up or pass out. I stood up, walked it off, and my head settled down. It seems for a week I have felt woozy and off balance much more. My food cravings have diminished and I am not as groggy as I was when on 5 mg. So many professionals state 5 mg is such a low dosage I shouldn't have to taper, but with as sensitive I have always been to meds, I knew I needed to at least try 2.5 mg. In your experience, how long should I stay on 2.5 mg of Lexapro, considering I have only been on the SSRI for 9 weeks total, and the 2.5 tapering for 8 days. Your advice is greatly appreciate. Thank you. Mark
  3. Does anybody have experience with tapering off 5 mg of Lexapro? I have been on for 8 weeks and wish to come off.
  4. This initiative (described below) is similar to this site, but focusing on helping people find each other in person, where they live. Additional great info on tapering and withdrawal. ****Announcing the Launch of Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project!**** Inner Compass Initiative (ICI) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides information and resources to help people make more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and to support people who wish to leave, bypass, or build community beyond the mental health system. Its first major effort, The Withdrawal Project (TWP), is a comprehensive online hub for safer psychiatric drug withdrawal. The resources on the ICI and TWP websites include a detailed layperson’s “Companion Guide” to safer tapering from psychiatric medications; mini-booklets that provide detailed, critical information about psychiatric drugs, psychiatric diagnoses, and the mental health industry; and two networking platforms to help people who are thinking critically about the mental health system or seeking support for psychiatric drug withdrawal to find each other in their local communities. Visit ICI at www.theinnercompass.org Visit TWP at withdrawal.theinnercompass.org
  5. Finished my slow taper off Prozac in November of last year. Had ZERO negative affects until the last 10mgs (started at 80). At first I was just a bit irritable from time to time. In the last month, however, particularly the last few weeks, things have deteriorated rapidly. I no longer have any tolerance for alcohol. If I have one drink, I feel absolutely horrendous for days. Easy enough to deal with, I haven't been drinking. I've been focusing on eating more protein and eating regularly to control blood sugar crashes and whatnot (following the Potatoes not Prozac "diet" so to speak). I am horribly depressed and anxious all the time. I have no motivation. Everything is empty and meaningless. I haven't experienced a window in at least a couple weeks now. I'm a recovered self-harmer, and last weekend I self-harmed for the first time in at least a year. I have a regular therapist who I see every two weeks, but this feels far more biochemical than behavioral. I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm in a full-on depressive episode. My life is going to fall apart if I continue like this. I don't know where I'm supposed to go for help. If I go see a psychiatrist, they will just put me back on meds and all of this will have been for nothing. I am starting to take vitamins again (Vitamin B Complex, fish oil, and magnesium) but it hasn't been long enough to see if there's a difference. If it's just going to get worse like this it seems like antidepressants are my only option unless I want my life to completely implode.
  6. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about something that I found online that REALLY scared me. I know that googling our symptoms related to withdrawal is not beneficial to our healing, but I stumbled on this information when I was trying to research foods that would help with receptor repair. It's related to anhedonia and it expresses that dopamine receptors can permanently down regulate and often times only have the ability to recycle themselves, so once they are damaged they are rendered useless. The only drug that I took was Wellbutrin and it's main mechanism of action works on dopamine so this really concerns me. This is the quote that I found that really freaks me out. "Wellbutrin tricks the brain that it doesn't need to make dopamine, and dopamine is the only chemical in the brain that once it is damaged, you never get it back." Can someone please provide me with reassurance and/or feedback on their experience with drugs that act on dopamine receptors and if they have experienced any change in their anhedonia/depression when they got more time behind them in withdrawal?
  7. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  8. from: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/24/woman-shares-coming-off-antidepressant-ruined-life-7255570/ When Tabitha Dow was six, she had her first migraine. Now and again she’d be stuck with headaches, but when she hit 29 they became more regular and more severe. Soon her migraines were debilitating, so she sought out medical support at the National Migraine Centre in London. There, Tabitha was advised to ask her doctor for the antidepressant Venlafaxine at a maximum dose of 150mg. She was told that this would help not only with her migraines, but also with her persistent low moods. ‘This was the start of my downfall,’ Tabitha tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Neither the neurologist, nor the GP who subsequently prescribed the drug, explained that it was extremely chemically addictive. ‘I was not told how long to take it for, it was prescribed indefinitely, and there was no mention that coming off the drug would likely result in severe withdrawal symptoms and a need to taper off like you would heroin. ‘Neither mentioned that one of the common withdrawal effects of Venlafaxine are migraines.’ Venlafaxine didn’t work to help Tabitha’s mood, so after a year, she decided she wanted to come off it. Asking her GP about a plan to taper off the antidepressant, Tabitha was told that the medical professional had ‘no idea’ how to proceed. ‘I was completely by myself,’ says Tabitha. She followed the instructions recommended by her GP, but was quickly confront with severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. The plan the doctor recommended was fast and drastic, and Tabitha feels she was left completely unprepared for what she was about to face. Tabitha before withdrawal. Picture: Tabitha Dow) ‘The migraines increased dramatically and on top of these I developed intense crushing pressure in my forehead which was constant and unbearable for months,’ Tabitha remembers. ‘I also experienced chronic fatigue, internal tremors, startling easily, sensitivity to light and sound, sensory overload, anger, brain zaps, pressure behind my eyes, tired eyes, extreme fear, panic, confusion, being unable to speak, being unable to move, my brain feeling sick, my heart beating fast when I stood up, mental turmoil, night terrors, hypnagogic hallucinations, night sweats, gasping in my sleep, feeling unwell after a bath/shower, severe difficulty waking up in the morning, feeling drowsy and stuck until several hours after waking, feeling drugged and toxic after napping and sleeping, a sensation of my brain moving from side-to-side, squeezing/tight sensation inside my head, right eye-brow pulling upwards, a chemical “metally” sensation in my forehead, vibrating and electrical sensation in my head, being unable to cope with everyday tasks, deterioration in mood, agitation, feeling like my brain was shutting down, light-headed when I stood up, feeling like my body was rocking as if on a boat, feeling catatonic, scrambled thinking, feeling as if there was a block in my thinking, difficulty planning, difficulty carrying out sequential tasks, and feeling detached from my environment.’ Having found out that she has a lesion in the frontal lobe in her brain, Tabitha believes she may have even had a seizure during this time. ‘I’ve had two episodes where I couldn’t speak,’ she says. ‘It felt like an electrical storm in my head, which I’ve read is what a seizure feels like.’ Tabitha during withdrawal. (Picture: Tabitha Dow) At first Tabitha didn’t realise that her symptoms were the direct result of withdrawal from Venlafaxine. When she asked her doctor for help and her test results came back normal, she was offered no further support. ‘I was left to cope alone,’ she says. NICE's current guidelines on Venlafaxine, and what Tabitha wants to change: ‘Associated with a higher risk of withdrawal effects compared with other antidepressants. ‘Gastro-intestinal disturbances, headache, anxiety, dizziness, paraesthesia, tremor, sleep disturbances, and sweating are most common features of withdrawal if treatment stopped abruptly or if dose reduced markedly; dose should be reduced over several weeks.’ Tabitha suggests that the recommendation to reduce the dose over several weeks isn’t accurate. It takes months to come off the antidepressant safely, and two years later she’s still experiencing debilitating symptoms. She notes that NICE’s guidelines also fail to mention that Venlafaxine can cause withdrawal symptoms even when not stopped abruptly, and tapered off in accordance with GP’s tapering guidelines. Unable to work, Tabitha had to quit her job and leave her flat in West London to move home with her parents, so they could look after her. She lost everything – her job, her health, her home, and yet, she says, doctors still refuse to listen to her struggles. The doctors Tabitha has seen don’t believe that withdrawal can cause the severe symptoms Tabitha listed. The only psychiatrist she could find to back up her claims is Dr Healy, who’s dedicated his time to researching the effects of Venlafaxine’s withdrawal symptoms. Dr Healy wrote a letter to Tabitha’s GP confirming that she was experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms, but Tabitha says she’s still not receiving any help. It was only when Tabitha found a Facebook group dedicated to Venlafaxine withdrawal that she learned she wasn’t alone in experiencing her symptoms. Scrolling through the group, Tabitha found comment after comment repeating her experience, listing a ‘crushing pressure in their foreheads every single day’, that feels like your head is ‘in a vice’ or you’re being ‘smashed in the head with a brick’. ‘It’s ruined my life’ (Picture: Tabitha Dow) ‘It wasn’t until I joined this group and saw that there were hundreds of people in the group all experiencing the same symptoms as me,’ Tabitha tells us, ‘and that I realised that my symptoms were caused by Venlafaxine withdrawal. ‘I told two GPs that I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Venlafaxine. One didn’t comment but agreed to refer me to see Dr Healy, the other disagreed even once I had written evidence from Dr Healy.’ Doctors Tabitha has seen believe that the symptoms she’s experiencing are not the result of coming off Venlafaxine, but are simply her original condition returning. We spoke to a psychiatrist with experience in Venlafaxine, Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, who told us that it’s one of the most popular antidepressants out there, and is generally regarded as the most effective. While legally, GPs are required to give patients all the information regarding drugs they prescribe, Dr Hallstrom says that the reality is quite different. ‘A doctor’s interest is to get patients treated, and to persuade them to take medication that will help,’ Dr Hallstrom tells Metro.co.uk. ‘So maybe they don’t start listing off all the possible side effects.’ He notes that a GP’s perception of risk is different to that of a patient, and doctors may be reluctant to note all the possible risks in case it puts a patient off getting help. Two years later, Tabitha is still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. (Picture: Tabitha Dow) SSRIs do have withdrawal symptoms, Dr Hallstrom explains, but these tend to be short-lived. He states that data shows that in the majority of patients who believe they’re having withdrawal symptoms, what they’re actually experiencing is the return of their initial condition. He does admit, however, that there’s a chance some people may experience genuine withdrawal – but recommends a simple ‘test, retest’ as a way to check it out. ‘I understand that a lot of patients might not want to take the medication again, having been through a bad experience,’ Dr Hallstrom says. ‘They say “that stuff’s poison”. ‘But if it is withdrawal, when they start taking the drug again their symptoms should disappear within 24 or 48 hours. That’s a simple test.’ But having been ‘traumatised’ by her experience, Tabitha is reluctant to go near medication again – especially as Venlafaxine didn’t work to remedy her depression in the first place, and she doesn’t want to be tied to taking medication for the rest of her life. Two years on, she’s still debilitated by withdrawal symptoms. She’s unable to work, relies on PIP and ESA benefits, and is now trying to raise money to fund alternative therapies to help her cope – not only with her side effects, but with her thyroid cancer, which she was diagnosed with in the last few years. It’s the withdrawal symptoms that concern her most. MORE: HEALTH Are burpees really the one exercise you should never attempt? What if you want to stay sober after Dry January? OPINION Why we should be talking about menopause from a young age Weird reasons you might be spotting or having a longer period than normal ‘I’d rather have thyroid cancer than go through coming off Venlafaxine,’ Tabitha tells her. ‘Thyroid cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms. Withdrawal ruins my life every thirty seconds. ‘I have really bad cognitive symptoms. It was like my brain had been drugged. ‘I feel like my intelligence has gone, along with my memory.’ Naturally, the experience has put Tabitha off taking medication. She now relies on alternative therapies, but as this is a huge financial burden, she’s taken to GoFundMe to ask for help. Now, by sharing her story, Tabitha hopes she can affect change. ‘It’s too late for me,’ she tells us. ‘Taking Venlafaxine has ruined my life; I’ve lost my income, my social life and my independence. ‘But I would like doctors to believe me. I’d like them to listen. ‘I want there to be better information about coming off antidepressants and I want there to be a change to the NICE guidelines, so no one has to go through this again.’ Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/24/woman-shares-coming-off-antidepressant-ruined-life-7255570/?ito=cbshare Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
  9. I was wondering if anyone can give me some feedback on an issue that I've been having for the last week. I've had constant 24/7 brain fog since I first started into withdrawal, so bad to the point that I can't concentrate on anything, but the last week has been way worse than anything I've experienced thus far in withdrawal. I can't hold onto a thought for more than a couple of seconds before it's gone. Is this just part of withdrawal or should I be worried about this further cognitive decline this far into withdrawal?
  10. Hi everyone! Did anyone use this type of medications that works oppositely to SSRI? This is SSRE - serotonin reuptake enhancer, prescribed for depression and anxiety, invented in 1960s in France. It is used in Europe and in Asia mainly. Any experiences? Thank you
  11. Hello All, I'm new here and am looking for some help. I've suffered from major depressive disorder my entirelife. My depression is a fairly constant part of my life with brief windows of freedom from it. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder also, and at that time decided to try medication. I've tried multiple antidepressants and NONE OF THEM HAVE HELPED. I don't remember the first few I tried, but I tried paxil for a month, gave me my first panic attacks ever, then I switched to zoloft, which made me so tired I couldn't function, and then I came to effexor. I was on Effexor for 6 months, but all it did was numb my anxiety, and did nothing for my depression. So, I've been off effexor for a month now. I didn't tapper off too well. Was on a 70mg dose(I'm very sensitive to medication that was a very high dose for me) and in the span of two weeks kept cut down the dose/stopped. I couldn't take it though, the drug made me so sick everyday for 6 months, it was horrible. Now my depression is in full swing and I don't care about anything. I'm a full time grad student in a studio art program and since getting off effexor I can't make anything, I'm too depressed, I don't want to do anything and have been isolating in my room, sleeping up to 15 hours a day, just excessive depression symptoms. I'm afraid to go to a therapist/psych because all they ever want to do is give me meds and they don't work for me! Not a single one has helped. Has anyone else experienced that? No med working? and could anyone give me advice about stopping antidepressants and depression symptoms? It's been about a month so idk if I should introduce a little bit of effexor back in or not? I tried to do 15mg a while ago and it made me sick and very sleepy like when i was taking my full 70mg. Should I just ride out this depression and hope for the best? I hate antidepressants, they really have been a horrible part of my life. Any info/help greatly appreciated here. xo, vi
  12. Sorry if this is too much information. I haven't had acne since I was in my early teens and I'm now 28 years old. But for the last couple of months I've been getting some REALLY bad cystic type acne on my chest neck and chin. I did some research and the only information that I could find about this said that it could be related to hormonal changes. I'm just wondering if this could be related to withdrawal and if anyone else has experienced this and had it go away? Any information is much appreciated!
  13. Since C/T from Wellbutrin completely 6 months ago I have noticed that I am beginning to feel very fatigued and sore in random parts of my body. I know that antidepressants can serve as a shield for your body's nerves, so I'm wondering if I'm feeling mild aches and pains that I've had since I've been on the drugs and I just didn't notice them before because the antidepressant was suppressing the nerve pain. Is the fatigue that I've been hit with lately a normal part of withdrawal that slowly dissipates like everything else in withdrawal? Or should I be checking into supplements and trying to exercise more in order to address these issues? Any feedback is welcome, thanks! My main concern is and will remain to be my extreme withdrawal depression symptoms, but I've come to terms that this symptom is likely going to stick around for a long time, and hopefully when it leaves my intrusive thoughts will go with it.
  14. Treating akithisia

    Hey all, I just discovered that the restlessness, jitteriness, and anxiety that I started to experience when I started taking Lexapro has a name: akithisia. I was only on Lexapro for 2.5 months and I felt akithisia the whole time. I totally stopped the Lexapro about 2 months ago and I get occasional bouts of akithisia. I've read online about different things that can treat it like taking Benadryl, vitamin B supplements, propanol, etc. Anyone have any advice for what works best for them?
  15. PatriciaM: Glad to get to know you

    Hi. I am new here, slowly tapering at 2.5% (first week). Are there REALLY any people who have successfully made it and are now 100% Effexor free and feeling good? This is my 5th attempt and I am not sure if all this process if it is worth it or not. Maybe because I can't talk about this withdrawal with my doc, partner or my kids. Everybody is against this. Any input would be welcome.
  16. I just had a quick question that I was hoping someone might be able to answer. Is it common to have more than one acute wave when you're going through withdrawal? I had an acute wave after my initial C/T and then I had a terrible acute wave at the beginning of November, and now I feel like I'm starting to go into another one. Is this common in withdrawal? Is it unusual to have more than one severe wave?
  17. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  18. Hey all, Looking for some advice and encouragement :(. Just to give you some dates and background. October-November 2016 - suffered sudden hearing loss that was treated with high doses of prednisone. Caused me to have severe anxiety and panic attacks, which I'd never had before. November 2016 - Went to a psychiatrist on encouragement of my doctor since I was having so many side effects from the treatment from my hearing loss. Psych told me to take 50mg Zoloft for 3-6 months. Upon starting Zoloft, I started feeling really depressed, jittery, anxious, fatigued, etc. Felt really terrible. January 2017 - Evened out on Zoloft and started feeling pretty good again. June 2017 - Was told my treatment was over and was told to just stop taking Zoloft. I was told just to quit cold turkey. June-August 2017 - Became very depressed (but was still functional), sensitive, crying spells, obsessive thinking etc. Things I never had before. Didn't know that I was possibly experiencing withdrawal and that I hadn't tapered. September 2017 - Doctor recommended I take 10mg Lexapro. On day 1 of 5mg, all my depressive symptoms went away, but the drug made me feel very anxious. Never went up to 10mg. Stayed on 5 mg for 2 months and then took 2.5 mg for 3 weeks and then got off. November 2017 - Stopped taking Lexapro entirely. Since then it's been a rough journey. Sometimes feel very depressed, sometimes very anxious, and sometimes fine. It makes me very angry because I didn't experience depression at all before I started taking the first anti-depressant. I'm doing what I think I should be doing to manage and let things take their course. I exercise, see friends, am working, etc. But there are some days it's just really tough. I don't want to go back on another drug because I'm 100% convinced that these drugs are the cause of these issues to begin with and I don't want to be on this crazy train for years and years. I know I took substantially lower doses of these drugs than other folks, but I'm generally extremely sensitive to all forms of medication. Is there anything anyone can recommend to help me get through this, so that I can help with my recovery? Is there anything else to do besides "just dealing with it?" Any supplements, herbal remedies, exercises, relaxation techniques anyone can recommend? I'm currently taking vitamin d, magnesium, and tumeric. Doing running, yoga, weighlifting, swimming. And trying to take it easy. Any love, support, and advice would be very much appreciated. All the best, Michael Try
  19. Most of the reports on the forums and articles that I have read say that Wellbutrin is one of the easiest antidepressants with the fewest side effects to come off of. I'm really concerned if that is the case, because I've been in withdrawal for the past 5 months and from what I've read on this site and others my withdrawal experience is just as severe as a lot of individuals that were taking their meds for way longer than I was. Does anyone know of a case where someone had severe protracted withdrawal from taking Wellbutrin?
  20. I've had a new symptom emerge in the last couple days. I went from having chronic insomnia to really bad fatigue. I slept for a solid 8 hours and I'm still exhausted. Is this common, will it get better? Or is it going to stick with me until my CNS heals?
  21. I was taking 900 mg of gabapentin a day in treatment when i got off xanax for about 4 months. i dropped down to 300 mg a day for the past two months and didn't notice any change. a week ago i stopped cold turkey because i didn't fill my prescription and thought i wouldn't need it. i've been feeling like I'm detoxing again, it feels worse than when i detoxed off xanax. i have pain all over my body, headaches, nausea, anxiety is there anything i can do to make this pain stop?
  22. I am telling my story because if it wasn’t for reading the blogs of everyone out there suffering from the toxic effects of some of the psychotropic drugs & the subsequent “withdrawal” symptoms, I may not be here today to write this. Four years ago, I was prescribed Paxil for an off-label use. I was having symptoms which I have found out recently, can be attributed to Restless Leg Syndrome. Several months later, I became depressed (no prior history of depression) and irritable. It got worse each dose increase of Paxil. A psychiatrist realized I was having a “reverse effect” from Paxil began tapering in January 2016. I was immediately put on Abilify to help with the toxic side effects from the Paxil and also on Trazodone to help with sleep. Finally, I took my last Paxil in March 2017 and suffered through 3-months of withdrawal symptoms; crying spells and depression being the worst symptoms. I recovered and then started tapering off Abilify. Abilify caused undesirable side effects with a 20-lb. weight gain and extreme lethargy being the most bothersome. Little did I know what I was in for. I stopped Abilify at the end of August and started withdrawal symptoms 10-day later; crying spells, waking in the middle of the night feeling totally terrified and suicidal, tremors in my hands and legs, chills & hot flashes during the day, nauseous at times, loss of appetite and severe headaches. My symptoms were so frightening that my husband has kept vigil over me day and night. I haven’t driven my car or gone anywhere with out him in the past 4 months. In November I started tapering off Trazodone, because it became ineffective for sleep and was causing urinary frequency. Also, the headaches became even worse and more debilitating; OTC meds don’t help. They did a MRI of my brain and it was negative. The neurologist determined that there was no neurological cause. The early morning crying spells & headaches continue into December. I don’t know if the persistent headaches are caused by lingering withdrawal symptoms of discontinuing Abilify or tapering of Trazodone, or both. My husband called and wrote a letter last week to the Mayo Clinic to see if they can help. No answer yet as to whether they have the resources to help me get through these withdrawals. The last few days have been hopeful, the headaches seem less severe and the crying spells are less often, but I am praying that the next taper in Trazodone doesn’t cause a return of these symptoms. I feel like I have been through the worst days of my life, but I am resolved to fighting this horrible battle. It is my hope that this blog might help someone out there. Reading others’ stories has helped me immensely. Just knowing I am not alone has been a lifesaver.
  23. Hi, I've been on SSRI's now for about 20 years except for a few years in the middle. First it was Prozac with BuSpar, and over the last 10 years Paxil with Klonopin. I'm in search of who I am off of these meds, and I'm sick of the side-effects (mainly sexual side effects of Paxil for me). I successfully tapered off of Klonopin over 1 year from 0.5 mg (finished that in May of '16), and I've been tapering off of Paxil for the last year and a half from 30 mg. to my current dose of 10 mg. This is my second deliberate attempt to get off of SSRI's. The first attempt was done very quickly in 2012 (over about a month) and it was a disastrous fall into extreme anxiety resulting in voluntary hospitalization for five nights in a locked unit. In 2014 I was switched from Paxil to a different drug altogether (Lamictal), and that was also a terrible event because the doctor had me go off of the Paxil too quickly, resulting in a quick descent into anxiety, then the worst soul-crushing depression I've ever experienced. I was out of work for 5 weeks. I'm happy to share more details later, but for now I'll focus on the here and now. So back to the current withdrawal attempt. I was down to 10 mg of Paxil in November, 2017, and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to continue the slow taper. He prescribed liquid Paxil at the equivalent of 9 mg for 2 weeks, then 8 mg, but when I went to pick it up I was told it would be over $150. Yikes! The pharmacist recommended I look into having it compounded elsewhere to save money. After searching for a compounding facility, calling my doc and writing him a letter, I finally got the prescription for a compounded version of Paroxetine for $70 / month, plus $5 shipping. A couple weeks later it arrived, and I was very happy to continue my slow, controlled taper. That was around Dec. 22, 2017. That's when things went wrong. After a couple days I started feeling a bit cantankerous, fidgety, and my appetite increased. I had just re-started working out, and this adrenaline rush fueled my anger and appetite. You know that feeling when you've run out of fuel and you've got that hungry, angry feeling inside? I was feeling like this almost all the time. About five days after starting the compounded Paxil I had an incident at work where I lost my temper. I apologized and things smoothed over, but I'm pretty convinced that something wasn't right with the compounded medication. Maybe it was measured wrong; maybe the bitter cold affected it in shipping. I don't know, but I strongly doubt it was 9 mg. Paxil. So I went back to the 10 mg., and that's when I've been on for the last 5 nights. But my mind and body are both very much off-kilter. My anxiety's increased and the insatiable hunger continues. I have a high-metabolism which is even higher under this stress, so I can't seem to satiate my appetite. I'm hoping that after a few more days things will even out, and I plan on staying at 10 mg. for at least a couple weeks before I start a taper again. I've since picked up the prescription for the liquid Paxil; I decided that when I continue the taper, I want to make sure I'm very confident of the accuracy of the medication. I don't trust the compounded version now. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement would be much appreciated as I re-stabilize.
  24. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  25. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
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