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Found 19 results

  1. So thankful to find this group! Will you please tell me what dosage of Effexor XR to reinstate with? I've been off since April. Someone who is holistic minded, but not a psychiatrist, suggested that I reinstate at 37.5. I did take it yesterday and now reading the posts, it may be too high. She said to see how I'm feeling today. (Diarrhea has begun now ...and still very depressed, paranoia and anxiety.). She suggested one of three things. 1) Take another 37.5---(2) skip a day ---(3) take 1/2 of the 37.5. I'm not functioning well and in bed most of the time. I don't know what to do. Thank you all so much!
  2. Hello, I was diagnosed with fibro in 1994. I was just diagnosed by a rheumatologist with CSS - central sensitivity syndrome. A central nervous system disease/disorder that makes people hypersensitive to almost everything. Here are two studies that might be of interest: Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes by Muhammad B Yunus, MD -also: clinical review and education- JAMA April 16, 2014 volume 311, number 15 - Fibromyalgia A Clinical Review by Daniel J Clauw, MD. These articles show how the central nervous system plays a huge role in why so many of us have fibromyalgia CFS/ME, MCS-Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, etc. This explains why I've had so much trouble with antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and withdrawals, along with so many other physical and emotional symptoms
  3. Hi everyone, I've been looking at this forum from the outside for a while as I'm trying so hard to taper off of Lexapro. For the past year or so I've bounced around from Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro (I'm definitely missing one but my memory is so whacked from these drugs). Zoloft gave me some serious emotional blunting so my GP put me on "The Mercedes of SSRIs" - Lexapro. Within 2 weeks of being on the drug, my brain was telling me that I had no reason to be on this planet anymore. I called my doctor immediately to begin tapering off of it. I'm about a week in, and I think I'm going through a weird combo of withdrawals from Zoloft AND Lexapro, which just makes things worse. I've had a migraine for the past week, the brain zaps and dizziness are so frustrating, I can't keep food down (or in, for that matter) and I feel like I'm being totally suffocated. It's like everyone in my life is a clingy ex-boyfriend and I just need to breathe... but can't. My brain gets stuck in a cycle of "what if this never gets better? whats the point of living if I'm always going to either 1. be on these drugs or 2. stuck withdrawing forever?" When it gets really bad I think about running away, but my car is currently broken. One of the main reasons I'm giving up SSRIs for good is the emotional blunting... saw Hamilton on broadway and felt literally no excitement, despite buying these tickets a year ago and being a huge theatre nerd. I have no longing for affection or sex, and as a 20 year old girl, that's wildly frustrating. Has anyone had emotional blunting/smothering as part of their SSRI withdrawal symptoms? Or am I just in really bad shape?
  4. I was on lexapro for 7 years at 10mg decided it was a good time to stop at the start of last year. I went down to 5mg for 3 months, no withdrawals, the the doctor said I could stop, I decided to go day on day off, then a few days between, I started to feel small amounts of anxiety return aswell as some tiredness. My doctor said to go back on 10mg, I did, then with in a few weeks I started getting worse, my heart would race I couldn't get out of bed, after 3 weeks the doctor raised it to 20mg i felt so posioned I didn't eat for 2 months straight, I was in bed couldn't even roll over, I kept going to the hospital they kept sending me home, my heart rate was 120-140 I had yellow diarrhea, I had to have people come and help me with my children, i hadn't cuddles them for months. Then I said 3 months later, January this year, its poisining me. It has to be. Even though by then I was out of bed, I was still in such confusion and pain in the head.. couldn't last out of bed for long and the anxiety was horrible. I went to 15 for 2 weeks, 10 for a week, then tried Zoloft for a week had allergic reaction although the brain burning feeling had subsided.but couldn't continue with the rash from Zoloft, then back on lexapro 5mg for 2 weeks, and every night I took that pill my brain felt like it was burning, 2 weeks later the doctor gave me Prozac. 5mg for a week, I started getting tingling in my feet and feeling spaced out. One doctor said to up the dose. I did once and felt worse. So I seen another doctor who said maybe your to sensitive now and need to stop medication all together, so here I am, 1 months out from lexapro, and almost 3 weeks out from Prozac. My eating came back. I eat now, my diarrhea has gone. The brain burning gone. But as the days go by, I'm feeling more and more brain zaps, dizziness, confusion. Migraines. Like this is 24/7 some moments better then others. I mean is one month long enough to judge, will it only get worse? Does it take more then a month to feel better, I don't know what to expect. I do meditation, I walk every day now. Don't get much sleep as I wake up every few hours but I try lavender to help sleep. I just want to hear one successful story after long term use
  5. Hey there. This is my first post, but I have a success story that I’d like to share. I’d like to preface by saying I had been on 75mg of sertraline (Zoloft) for approximately 7 months. I quit last year and have successfully made it through the withdrawals! I see more horror stories than success stories on SSRI discontinuation. My hypothesis for this discrepancy is that people who successfully quit the drug don’t really have that much of an incentive to post their stories, while people dealing with the terrible side effects are more likely to seek out information. I knew there were millions of people on SSRIs, and I refused to believe that my discontinuation symptoms would be permanent. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I found out quickly how unhealthy it was to hold this mentality of permanence. I tapered off a too quickly (~2 weeks). I believed that since I had only been on the medication for a few months, I could get away with tapering off at that rate. Consequently, I ended up having over 6 weeks of hellish withdrawals. The first 2 weeks had the most powerful physical symptoms: brain zaps, fatigue, nausea, etc. These symptoms seemed to go away around week 3, but then came another wave of symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a lot of overthinking. I didn’t realize it till week 5, but these feelings were more powerful than when I had them before starting sertraline. Week 5 was the worst; all these terrible feelings went into overdrive. I remember a few specific days of this week were particularly dreadful. I had been reading up on SSRI discontinuation online and freaking myself out reading people’s horror stories. I was afraid that I permanently removed what it was to be human. I was terrified I’d never feel joy, sexual desire, or ambition in my life ever again. I was angry at myself that my choice to try anti-depressants fucked up the rest of my life. I was broken, and I just wanted to be normal again. These are unhealthy thoughts, and I was wrong. My life did start coming back. I slowly felt what it was like to be “me” again. Small steps every day reminded me. One day something would make me laugh. Another day I’d notice a cute girl. I appreciated and cherished every step throughout the way. And slowly but surely, old joys started coming back to me: I started feeling ambition, I was looking forward to future plans, I was dreaming again (I could sleep well again!), and I was feeling love again, both for myself and others. I believe there is a strong psychosomatic component during these withdrawals. It’s difficult because your brain doesn’t allow you get past these negative thoughts while its readjusting, but you have to keep moving. There isn’t a quick solution, but your brain is powerful and adjusts to your current circumstances. That’s why exercise, a healthy diet, a support network, and a positive outlook are so important; you want your brain to re-adjust in an ideal setting. So, don’t blame yourself or hold a grudge for trying SSRIs; you actively did something to confront your inner demons. From one stranger to another, you will survive this. Good luck.
  6. Thank you so much for being here. My life is now a nightmare. People around me think I'm doing fine but living in my head and heart since I went off Effexor XR has been increasingly a complete nightmare for me. I was on 225 mg Effexor XR for 11 years. I'm 65 and creative and decided I wanted to be free of this drug so I could be fully myself and not feel that revved-up feeling I always had from the drug. I felt like the drug was a cage that protected me but it also felt like a prison and I wanted to give myself freedom as a gift for the rest of my life. I now know that the 'gradual' withdrawal I did was not gradual at all. I weaned off 37.5 every week or two until about 6 weeks later I was down to 37.5 for a week or 10 days then went to 0. I have Celiac and I had an accidental gluten attack at the same time the horrors of going from 37.5 to 0 kicked in. For a few weeks I thought I was just having a prolonged reaction to the gluten. It feels like my hopelessness and depression and wild fear of life is getting worse and worse instead of better and better with the passing of time. I'm now 3 months at 0 Effexor XR and desperately need guidance to reinstate however many beads you all think would be helpful. A kind person on the Effexor Withdrawal group on Facebook posted her success with feeling amazingly better by reinstating 5 beads a day. I started reinstating 5 beads a day 7 days ago. I feel worse but I'm sure it's not the beads that's making me feel worse, I'm sure it's just the hell I've brought on myself by going from 225 mg for 11 years to a fast and (now I realize) reckless wean. The last worst being the 37.5 to 0. Should I do more than 5 beads since I was on such a high dose for so long. Thank you thank you thank you for *any*help you can give me.
  7. Howdy folks! I've been on cymbalta for a little over a year now, and out of the list of antidepressants I've taken (prozac, zoloft, wellbutrin, amitriptyline, trazodone) it's been the most successful at treating both my anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it's also been incredibly successful at making me immune to this thing called "falling asleep" and has jacked up my blood pressure to heights of hilarity that are not countered by increasing my blood pressure medication. Oh yeah, and weight gain. Ugh. I first thought I'd go cold turkey, as I had with most of my previous antidepressants, and just suffer through it. Woah, was that a learning experience! Two days of trying to survive that had me back on my dose in no time. I met with my psychiatrist and discussed it all in detail, and he's having me taper down 20mg at a time per month. I started at 60mg, so I'm at 40mg right now. I felt like I was doing kinda alright, but one week in and I'm miserable. My emotions are all over the place, from waking up bawling like someone just passed away to feeling like I'm "Joe Cool". I'm nauseas all the time, sometimes to the point of wanting to throw up. My head feels like a constant migraine, I'm exhausted all the time, and best of all, I have the most vivid slasher horror movie nightmares each and every night. Joy! I can't wait to find out what dropping to 20mg feels like next month! On the plus side, I'm sleeping more than 2 hours a night and my blood pressure has dropped over 40 points! Unreal...
  8. Hi all, I'm new to this community and I don't know where else to turn to. I was on Paxil (30mg) for over a year mostly for anxiety and secondary for depression. It worked for a little bit (first 6 months or so) then just became the norm and didn't do much for me at all but make me feel numb and uninterested in things. 2-3 weeks ago I decided to stop taking it completely (I know...cold turkey is bad) and the first week was a little alright, just felt like I was tunnel visioned big time and didn't know what was going on around me at all and I'd get emotional mood swings. Then came the 2nd/3rd week I don't have the tunnel vision anymore (as of late anyways), but I started getting really bad stomach aches/cramps and rarely an appetite for food at all. I always wake up in the morning everyday since then with a stomach ache and a little bit of nausea along with shivers and just feeling plainly cold. I was wondering if there is anything I can do or take to get my appetite back and stop the cramps/nausea from happening every morning/into the afternoon. I'd ask my doctor but she doesn't really understand this I believe and it's really hard to contact her and takes forever to see her as it is.... any help would be appreciated, thanks George~ Edit: actually debating to get back on it just to stop this crap but I really dont want to...go back.
  9. This is a small part of my "withdrawal journal" from day 4 to day 40. I have been on Effexor for 8-10 years (I can't remember if I was 16 or 18 when I started, very well could have been younger). I was diagnosed with an Anxiety disorter and also major Depression. My doctor never once told me about what might happen if I ever wanted to quit taking Effexor. I always had some side effects from this med and eventually it got to the point where I wanted to switch. My Dr decided to just put me on another med, no tapering, just stop cold turkey and begin taking something new. It goes without saying that within a week I was back on Effexor because I believed the new med wasn't right for me because the side effects were horrible. There was no discussion on how it might just be the withdrawal from the Effexor not the side effects of the new pills.That was after one year of taking them. I tried to explain the brain zaps and she wasn't quite sure what I meant. This should have been a warning to me but growing up you are told that doctors are here to help that they know best so I questioned it no further. Several years in and a couple of dosage changes and failed attempts at trying other meds and I am struck with severe depression, not just my normal depression but something all together new. I wanted to be done with life. The thoughts terrified me and I knew something was incredibly wrong. I again saw my doctor, she decided that it may be the adderall I'm also prescribed so she takes me off of that cold turkey and puts me on a sedative along with the effexor. Again I am having horrible reactions so I am swithed between meds several more times. On Effexor off effexor, dosage changes of effexor etc. I also started seeing a therapist and can no longer work because of all the side effects/withdrawal symptoms. I am off from work for 4 months before the stress of med changes and dealing with Metlife force me to just give up, accept a higher dosage of Effexor, and return to work. I returned to work feeling slightly better but still knowing something was wrong inside me. The increased dosage causes me to have night terrors nightly which lead to waking up in a cold sweat crying. I deal with this for months and try to talk to my dr about it but at this point I have just given up. I stop going to therapy because I can't afford it and deep down I know the problem isn't a talking issue its a chemical one. For about a month I start having night sweats to the point where I severely dehydrate myself and am only getting about 3-5 hours of sleep a day because of the night terrors. I call off of work and wait to see my doctor. I tell them what is going on and their solution was to switch my meds yet again. The plan to make the switch is to one day on effexor one day off then one day on and two days off before starting the new meds. At this point I am on 150mg. The first day off within hours of missing my dose I start to get the zaps. Another couple of hours I start shaking and sweating. That night I decide that I will no longer be taking Effexor or any other medications that are supposed to "help" me. I quit cold turkey... that was 4 days ago. I feel as though I can't put into words the hell the last 4 days have been but I will try. I sleep about 1-2 hours a day but wake up drenched in sweat crying every 30 minutes, I shake compulsively mist of the time. I try to eat but for the most part it just makes me want to throw up. I find myself rocking back and forth constantly because it somehow helps. I cry for no reason from complete lack of any emotional control. Standing and moving make me motion sick as does watching tv so being awake 22-23 hours a day leaves me with nothing mush to do but cry out of helplessness. I can't smoke because it increases the zaps as does caffeine so there are also those withdrawals too. I have been drink about 8 16oz bottles of water a day just to keep hydrated from the cold sweats I have. I have been taking vitamins to try to combat some of the effects but they only sometimes seem to take the edge off. I have been retaining so much water that my joints throb. As I type this I'm shaking so bad that the backspace button is used more than the other keys.I have a fan on because I'm sweating but I'm covered in goosebumps. Several times in these few days I have been brought to my knees just praying for a moment of peace. I know this is a very long post and few will take the time to read it but in my eyes as long as I can keep one person from having to go through this it is all worth it. I know many people will scold me for not tapering but I just want it out, I want to be rid of this poison. I'm not saying there aren't some people who need it but if a doctor even brings up Effexor PLEASE just do what I didn't and research it, see what you will have to go through while on it and when you are well enough to be off of it. When you see dozens of articles saying it is worse than kicking hard drugs you need to question if it is worth it. I am now on day 40 and I feel as though I am going crazy. I tried to go back to work around week 3 of been off the drug but could only make it a week. I was still getting the shakes, brain zaps, nausea, crying spells, fits of pure rage, trouble speaking, couldn't process what someone was saying to me, ect. I still am going through many of these withdrawals. My doctor told me I should be "over" the withdrawal by now. I put that in parenthesis because it makes me very upset that doctor acts as though you go off of it and bam after 4 weeks you're fine. I have no idea if I'm still going through withdrawal and my brain acclimating back to it's normal state.... or the more scary thought is, that maybe this is just the normal me and I really do need to be on these pills. Please I need help.
  10. My relationship with antidepressants: I've been on different ones for over 20 years. The more I learn about long term use, the more I want to be off of them. I started weaning myself from Effexor about two months ago, and am on day 8 of no Effexor. I am still on Wellbutrin. Withdrawal symptoms I'm currently experiencing: dizziness, brain zaps (like frequent small electric shocks to my brain), insomnia, some nausea. They were the worst at day five, and seem to be decreasing slowly. How I feel now: I have a crazy amount of energy. I don't know if it's a withdrawal symptom, a no more Effexor stunting my feelings and energy level, or what. But it's pretty cool to have energy. The negatives are that I'm super irritable and little things like repetitive noises, my kids not following directions, the room being too hot or too cold, all make me want to scream or cry or rage. Literally. I'm also experiencing super surges of grief, wanting to weep uncontrollably at a Facebook post about someone's dog that died, someone's kid who graduated from college, or my mother-in-law who has lived with us for 12 years breaking the toilet or the dryer or the lock on the front door or some other thing that seems indestructible to the average person. My anger at the medical community: why the hell, twenty years ago when my mother died at a young age and I got into my first real depression, didn't they say, well let's get you walking, meditating, support grouping, counseling, or anything else? "You are depressed. Here's your prescription. See you in a month." There are valid reasons for getting depressed! It is normal to be sad and cry and have a hard time moving through the death of someone you love. Physicians are quick to stifle all of this with meds rather than deal with the underlying causes of the depression. My life outside of meds: I'm a special education teacher. 55 years old and proud of the work I do. I live with hubby who is also a SpEd teacher, one kid in college, one in high school, and an amazing adorable 7 year old we adopted recently. We also have a son who died at age six months, due to a stupid sucky unfair genetic syndrome he had, in 1998. And mother-in-law. I have never missed more than a day or two of school due to depression. Never been hospitalized for it. Seem to be able to fake my way outside my home pretty well, but depression comes out big time at home. Also can you tell I like to write? Lol, it's very therapeutic. My goal: to successfully get off of antidepressants and manage my depression through yoga, meditation, journaling, exercise, and groups like this one.
  11. BACKROUND: I was on Effexor for several years. I attempted to come off the SSRI drug a few times before my “final” taper down to 0. The first few times, I made the mistake of stopping this drug cold turkey – within 24 hours of stopping it, I immediately found myself popping that pill again to stop the horrible withdrawals. This June, after getting my health on track with my ND, I felt I was ready to get off this drug. This time I was determined to stop this chemical. I was on 75mg of Effexor, and did my first taper down to 37.5mg. Even with this first taper – I felt the withdrawals (I will explain my withdrawal symptoms further down). It took me 4 months to feel “normal” again at this reduced dose & to mentally prepare myself for the next taper. My next taper was down to the 37.5mg tables cut in half. Some people are on the Effexor that are in little balls, I was on a generic brand that were full size tablets (37.5mg were the smallest pill I could get) & I was unsuccessful at taking the brand with the balls (which would of made it easier to taper) so I was left with cutting the tablets in half. The pharmacy did their best at making the cuts even, but I know each night I would be getting a different amount. Knowing this – I decided to do the cut pills for 2 weeks only, then cut them into a quarter for a few days, then stopped completely. I just wanted to get the worse over with & not have to deal with the withdrawals in another 4 months. The pharmacy believed I did it slow enough, and said I could of gone from the 37.5mg to 0 without the cut pills, but I wanted to do it a bit slower, and not completely shock my brain/body. Writing this – I am now on day 6 of no Effexor at all. SYMPTOMS: I felt the withdrawal symptoms with my reduced doses & cutting it out completely (more severe with the final cut down to 0). Some of the symptoms I felt were: Nausea, headaches, brain zaps, restless leg syndrome, out of body feeling, confusion, vertigo, the spins, irritable, agitated, lack of appetite, brain fog, anxiety, hot flashes, and I am sure I am missing a few more. GETTING READY TO TAPER DOWN/COME OFF: You need to be mentally determined you will get off, and know the pain will only benefit you in the long run. I kept reminding myself when I was having the horrible withdrawal symptoms that it is my body flushing out all the horrible chemicals… it has a mean to an end, and once the worst of it is over (probably 4 days after each cut down), every day would be up from there. The other key factors are: Work: I am so thankful I had a job where I was able to take a few weeks off with each taper. You need to have the support from work to take the time off, no way in hell I would have been able to work. Support at Home: You need to let everyone close to you in your life know what your plan is. They will need to understand how tough it will be for you for some time. I wanted someone around for the first few days of my taper (to help with food, etc.), but once the nausea was gone after the first 4 days – I personally felt better alone. I didn’t want anyone to see me at my worst, especially because I was getting irritated so easily & didn’t want to take it out on close ones. Timing: I suggest not having any big plans for about a month after you reduce your dose. Most of the withdrawal symptoms will be gone by then. The only long term withdrawal symptom I have had is brain fog, after my first reduction in my dosage, it took 4 months for the brain fog to disappear… hopefully it isn’t that long with my final cut to 0! Benefits: there is no way I could have done this without medical benefits for my naturopath, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractor, and registered dietician. These were all key parts in my detox therapies. My wallet thanks me & so does my body. Money set aside for the supplements, vitamins, essential oils, teas, etc. SOME OF THE REMEDIES I DID FOR WITHDRAWALS: In no particular order, here is a big list of what I did to help get myself off this addictive drug. Essential Oils: peppermint for the headaches, ginger for the nausea Epsom Salt Baths: so much goodness comes from these; I would use Epsom salts & Himalayan salts. I was having a bath a day during the worst of the withdrawals. Supplements/Vitamins: I am on a cocktail of vitamins/supplements under my ND’s guidance. The ones I noticed helped the most? L-theanine: extracted from green tea, helps create a calm, relaxed alertness. I am also drinking a ton of Matcha green tea, which is packed with this amino acid. Helps “zen” me out. Magnesium: I would take an advanced MG complex at night, to help with getting some sleep, for me it acted similar to a sleeping pill. You feel a bit groggy in the AM after taking it. L-Tyrosine: helps with stress, etc. Other supplements I have been taking for mood stabilizing is: B complex, omega 3(3:1EPA to DHA), D3, P5P, 5-HTP, and a few more. I only took what was suggested by my ND. I don’t recommend putting yourself on any of these supplements unless you are under guidance of an ND. Some of the supplements (ie. 5-HTP) can react with certain SSRI drugs and can cause bad reactions. Prairie Naturals Rise & Shine: I love this stuff, great way to start off your day. Teas: I swear that teas are a form of medicine. You can find a tea that has ingredients for almost any ailment. These are some of the teas I have been using: Banff Tea Co. “Detox Tea”: Liquorice, cinnamon, burduck root, ginger, dandelion root, fennel, aniseed, juniper berries, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, sage, cloves and kurkuma Banff Tea Co. “Tulsi Multi”: Tulsi herb, papaya pieces, apple pieces, rosehip peel, orange peel and natural flavor. Banff Tea Co. “Sweet Dreams of Banff”: Rose petals, chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, and spearmint Water: Flush that horrible **** out… drink as much as possible. Food: I am trying my best at eating whole, organic foods. I am having lots of green smoothies, wheat grass shots, etc. … FOOD IS MEDICINE, what you put in your body is what you get back. Chiropractor: I was having horrible restless leg syndrome, the chiropractor did several adjustments on me & with hours my RLS was cured! I have read several articles on Chiropractors helping withdrawal symptoms, etc. Have a google!! Acupuncture: I believe in this method of therapy so much! Massage Therapy: I have also read several articles on massage therapy and detoxing. I believe they are an important way to help your body detox. Staying on a schedule: after the first few days after you reduce the dose, try to get back on a sleep schedule, don’t sleep the days away because you feel sh*tty… it is good to stay on a schedule to easily transition back into work. Himalayan Salt Lamps: Google the benefits & judge for yourself, I love them. Exercise: After the first few days of hell, try and get some exercise/vitamin D. Even if it is just a short walk. Probiotics: Lots of researches linking gut health to immune system, mental wellbeing, etc. Stay Busy: read, colour, movies, exercise, whatever to keep your mind busy Overall, my biggest piece of advice is that you need to be determined to get off. You need to be mentally prepared for what you will put your body through. There is a mean to the end!!! I am feeling better every day now. I will keep doing everything possible to speed up the detox process & to eliminate the brain fog quicker this time around. I would also suggest doing your research if your MD prescribes you other drugs while trying to get off the SSRI. One MD I saw wanted to put me on Prozac to eliminate my withdrawal symptoms – to me, this felt like I was going backwards & decided to deal with the pain. The MD’s also prescribed me Ativan & Valium – 2 very addicting drugs! I am still shocked how they easily prescribed me these drugs. I consider myself addicted to Effexor, or was addicted, and the fact they prescribed someone who is battling an addiction another addictive drug blew my mind. I took the Ativan when I went to the hospital, but haven’t taken it since. I am not risking getting addicted to another drug to deal with my withdrawal symptoms of Effexor. There is “life after the meds” & I can’t wait to be there – to not having any withdrawals, and to not be dependent on a chemical drug. “Doctors create addicts then cut the cord”. This needs to change, awareness needs to be brought to life after the meds, and more support is needed for people trying to get off SSRI’s. Every single MD I went to, not a single one had an answer for me on how to get off. It is insane how they will easily throw prescriptions at people, and not educate them on how tough it will be to get off. MD’s should have to try and help a patient using alternative methods first BEFORE making that patient an addict.
  12. Hello everyone, I am 18 years old and from Alabama. I started taking lexapro about 5 months ago due to extreme anxiety, OCD, and slight depression. Ever since I have been taking lexapro my anxiety has gotten worse, I am extremely emotional, I freak out over everything, and am in the last straw of my relationship with someone who has been there for me and loved me through all of this simply because he is frustrated with the person I have become (as am I). So i recently (as in two days ago) decided to talk to my doctor about weaning off of Lexapro. I took 10mg for the first 3 months and have been on 20mg for about 2 months. I currently take 20mg and was advised to cut by 50% so for the past two days I have taken 10mg daily. I currently feel like I am in a fog and have zero emotions. While also dealing with my relationship crisis, him and I have decided to take a break for 3 weeks until I can hopefully be back to normal (so says my doctor). So currently I am dealing with the sadness of that as well as symptoms as well as being away from home at college dealing with stress. I am so scared for the upcoming symptoms because I have read things such as brain zaps (which I have had), nausea, hallucinations, and worse. Please give me advice or someone please just be there to talk to me. I am desperate on all aspects. Please and thank you in advance
  13. Hello, my name is RSurviving and I'm new to Survivingantidepressants.org. I've been on the anti-depressant drug Zoloft (Sertaline) for aprox. 6 years now and the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal (Risperdone) for 5 years. I am a young woman with- hopefully- my whole life ahead of me. I live a pretty peaceful existence now, but since this wasn't always the case, I take 150mg of Zoloft and .25mg of Risperdal. I have/had pretty sever depression and anxiety with some suicidal ideation and I still deal with it on a daily basis. I also have other chronic health issues that impact my life and mental health issues every day. About 11 months back, I expressed to my psych Dr. that I wanted to wean off of one of my medications, and since I have no actual psychotic tendencies (Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia) I believed Risperdal should go first, especially since it's the lowest dose. School was just starting up again, and so she agreed that we could attempt it, under the condition that I replace it with Klonopin. This idea is very self-defeating. I know. Why get off of one only to start another immediately? That's why I didn't want to agree. After much convincing from my mother and doctor, I left the session not only with a new script for Klonopin, but the advice from the doctor that since the Risperdal was such a low dose, I could quit cold-turkey... I tried to insist that I didn't feel comfortable just stopping it, especially after so many years of use ( I didn't even want to stop taking my allergy meds for three days in order to get annual allergy testing done) because I've heard so many horror stories about abruptly stopping anti-anything medication. However, I let myself, my mother, and even my longtime boyfriend be convinced that it was low enough to stop for good. In the beginning of September 2014 I was off of the Risperdal for four days before I started taking the Kolnopin under the direction of my doctor. I was normal for about a week. I had a job, an amazing, supportive boyfriend/family and was a full time student, until things went south. I have never experienced anything like this before. Life looked distorted, like a colorful, geometric pop-up book. My co-workers were trying to "kill" me when they walked too close to me at work. Spiders crawled all over my body and my house. I was always sick. I tried to claw my way out of my body by scratching at my skin. I tried to pull my hair out. I screamed at things that weren't there. I head voices and talked to myself as if I was Norman Bates. I acted completely out of character by trying to seduce other people even though they weren't my boyfriend and I didn't want to/had no intention of being with them. I left work in the middle of my shift and apparently walked in the night to the other side of town to a park where my sister found me, confused as to where I was. I frequently forgot who/where I was. Everyone who loved me tried to help and understand, but it was like I was comatose, and in my place was an evil shell of myself. The worst part is, I still don't fully remember all of the damage I caused, or anything that happened in those two moths of my life. However, I will always have to live with the guilt of knowing that I hurt the people I love most, without even knowing how. Needless to say, after a couple of months for this, my mom and boyfriend finally got me back to normal. I still find moments where I don't know where I am, but fortunately, it doesn't last long. My memory is still shoddy as well, but I'm taking it one day at a time. So now, even though my family and I are terrified about stopping my medicine, I feel that it is necessary for my sanity (pun not intended.) I wrote this for support, advice, and even some help from others, but I also wrote this for those people who, like me, have seen the evil side of coming off these drugs in an unsafe manner and need to do it the right way. For those who want to know that even though this path is dark, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I hope this helps, and thank you for your time.
  14. Hello! Not sure if this is right place to post this but I have been on 10mg of Prozac for about 7 months (since July 2014) and although the I love what it has done for me, due to the side effects (extreme fatigue, heart palpitations, weight gain) I have started to taper off. I am usually sensitive to withdrawals symptoms as I experienced them all too well while getting off Cymbalta a few years back. I have obtained the liquid version of Fluoxetine and started at 2.25ml today. Do you think it's best to stay at the "10 percent per month" or after the first month or two do you think I could try to speed it up a bit since I have been on this for a shorter period of time? The heart palpitations are becoming a problem but I want to experience as little withdrawals symptoms as possible. Any advice/experiences would be much appreciated!
  15. Hi, I'm new here. I took lexapro for 10 months and decided (with GP help) to switch to pristiq because I was always tired and wanted to get energy back. I tapered off lexapro 20mg quickly (<1 week) because I was impatient. Now on pristiq was good for 3 days now hell. Nauseous within 30 mins of taking it, often vomiting, spinning head, it wears off about 4 hours too quickly and I feel like I get withdrawals (nausea, headache, head spinning, panic, paranoia, horrible visual images, nightmares. Have had to have 3 days off work. I want to stop pristiq. I've only been on it 2 weeks, 50mg daily. My doc doesn't believe my symptoms, thinks I've got a virus. After only 2 weeks any ideas on how to taper? Should I transition back to lexapro? If so how? Thanks
  16. Hello everyone. I'm on day 6 of my prescribed three week taper off of Effexor XR. I started out at 225 mg and the doctor instructed me to drop down to 150 mg for seven days and then to drop down to 75 mg for seven days and then discontinue use. Thus far, I've been doing okay, I guess, I am currently taking 150 mg before bed. I've been waking up at 5 a.m. like clockwork and am very drowsy at that time, as well as for the rest of the day. I cannot go back to sleep at that time and it takes me two hours to wake up enough to be able to drive to my work. As the days progress on the 150 mg dose, I've noticed an increase in forgetfulness, sleepiness, and a change in my emotions. During the daytime, I feel as though I have no emotions. I feel like a void. It's just nothing but feeling tired. No emotions. However, when evening rolls around, I will feel intense sadness, anger, or joy within minutes of each feeling. Last night, I felt absolutely intense sorrow for a friend's little boy who has leukemia. I cried harder than I've cried in days after reading the update regarding his status. Then, not even 15 minutes later, that feeling was over and I was laughing robustly at a joke my husband told the family. I feel like an utter train wreck just waiting to happen. I am scheduled to drop down to 75 mg tomorrow night and wanted to share my story with everyone here in hopes of getting some feedback regarding such a fast taper. I've been told by some caring folks in a support group on Facebook that I should post on this site as soon as possible in order to get that feedback. I would appreciate any advice or stories from you so I can understand what is happening to me, what I can do about it, and how I should proceed. My doctor is staunch about staying with this taper even though I have told him that I am a very, very sensitive person. I would and DO label myself as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), which makes me believe that I may indeed not fare so well on such a fast taper. However, I should mention that the doctor is wanting me to start a sample pack of Viibryd tomorrow night, as well, to "bridge" medications. I'm hoping that this goes seamlessly, but that hope is diminishing as I speak with more people who have experienced withdrawing from Effexor. Thanks for reading my story. I hope that someone can identify with what I'm going through and be able to offer some advice. I hate to say this, but I really don't think my doctor understands how to properly taper someone such as myself (or maybe even anyone, for that matter) off of this medication.
  17. Hi, I have been on just about every antidepressant there is over a period of 18 years. I accidentally stopped taking my 20mg of Lexapro and was having neck pain, back pain, brain zaps, balance problems, nightmares, extreme irritability, very weak muscles, and a host of other symptoms. After 2 months of being off of the Lexapro, I figured out that I was in withdrawals. My psychiatrist raised my dose of wellbutrin from 300mg to 450 mg, then back down to 150mg and increased my trazodone. It's been 2 months since no Lexapro and 3 weeks of tapering the wellbutrin. I saw my therapist last week and all of my symptoms were very obvious. She did NOT believe me and at the end of the session, she folded her arms and said, "sooo is there anything positive in your life"? This may sound minor but it devastated me to get that kind of reaction. There's so much more to this but this sums it up in a nutshell. Why don't therapists understand? Why aren't they knowledgeable? Why aren't most pdocs knowledgeable? I am so frustrated. I am so afraid that this will go on for months if not years! Thank you for listening.
  18. Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum, this is my first post but I happened upon this place while googling brain zap cures and thought I might be able to get some help here. I'd been on 10mg escitalopram (Lexapro) daily since september and quit cold turkey approximately 10 days ago. I do realise it was stupid of me not to taper but I'd just undergone a really traumatic event that completely killed by ability to care about myself and I just wanted those meds out of my system and now I've gotten this far already there's just no way I'm getting back on them. Anyway, since then it's been unending nausea, fever, flu-like symptoms, insomnia, one seizure which landed me in hospital but most of all these brain zaps and what I'm calling 'body zaps' because they feel the same, except all over my body and they happen pretty much every 10 seconds. They're just killing me. Every time I get one I also get a vague auditory hallucination and my vision gets a bit weird as well. I've noticed this happens especially when I'm trying to sleep and when I first get up in the mornings. At the hospital they gave me low-dose Seroquel to help with sleep but they didn't give me a prescription so I've got nothing now. I've been to a couple doctors, all of whom keep denying there's even such a thing as SSRI withdrawals...so frustrating. So I figured this place is probably where I can find the most help when it comes to dealing with such symptoms on your own: I'm especially looking for help regarding those electric shock sensations...anyone found anything that helps? Also, does anyone have any clue how long these WDs last?! I'm finding testimonies speaking of months and it's scaring me a little... Thanks very much.
  19. Hi everybody! First post here. I have been on Pristiq for about 4 years. At first it was 50mg per day then a little less than 2 years ago I was increased to 100mg a day. (in there somewhere I was on klonopin for less than a year at the same time. quit that mess cold turkey with some pretty brutal withdrawals) 3-4 months ago I tapered myself down to 50mg a day. Last week my doctor advised me that I could start to ween off completely by taking half a pill every other day. This morning should have been my half a pill day but I didn't feel horrible and I am very excited to be off this medication so I didn't take it. I've got a tiny bit of dizziness but only when I'm moving around. No bad brain zaps yet. I am weepy though. Crying over weird things, remembering things from the past and crying over them, etc. I don't feel nearly as bad as I did when I stopped the klonopin so now I'm wondering- do I just not take anymore and let my body ride it out? Or am I kidding myself and by this time tomorrow I will be a complete mess of a human if I don't take my half a pill because my body hasnt caught up? Sorry if none of this makes sense. Thanks in advance for any insights.