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Marko's 3.5 year withdrawal Success!


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#1 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 08:06 AM

Ok so I started taking celexa and then Effexor after a major family tragedy in 2004. I want to first just LET PEOPLE KNOW somethjng very important that helps withdrawal BIGTIME from any ssri and that is benedryl or even better Hydroxazine. A pharmacist told me to initially take this in the very beginning of me quitting ssris for the withdrawal. It somehow works on the same Neuro-receptors that ssris do. For me over the last 3.5 years since I totally quit ssris it has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with Panic attacks. I feel it's VERY IMPORTANT to get this out there so people suffering from the most helpless form of withdrawal i experienced which is daily anxiety to have knowledge on what can possibly help them through . I think it's important not to be on anything to heal but when certain symptoms become over bearing at least there's temporary relief. Of course Xanax or any benzopene can really help but I don't recommend this type of addictive medication that just numbs the symptoms. Having said ALL THIS I just want to point out prior to taking ssris I NEVER had anxiety issues. It became an issue after quitting which I know is the withdrawal or damage the ssri created . I couldn't even drink coffee after initially quitting because I would slip into a panic attack. SO it's been 3.5 years and I can tell you the pain is subsiding . I do not suffer like I used to with withdrawal. My panic attacks are becoming less and less . I am so grateful for this because I can tell u at times it is so painful words have no description for being in constant fight or flight and fear . The road is not short but it does end and it does get wider and easier . HOLD ON!!! The mind has neuro plasticity and will fix itself . Take my words seriously and you will not only survive but flourish . My heart goes out to all that suffer , there is HOPE !

#2 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 08:12 AM

I forgot to mention I was in ssris for a period of 8years incase people were wondering . I think it was 4 years Effexor and then 4 years Celexa.

#3 Christian

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 09:18 AM

MarkO I'm very happy to hear about your healing. Aside from panic attacks, what other symptoms did you have along the way?
Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.
Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.
Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.
Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until
12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.
Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.
Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.
2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days
6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron
10/11/16: Off all psych medications

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

#4 Altostrata

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 10:15 AM

Thank you, MarkO. How often do you have post-withdrawal symptoms now?

 

It sounds like you had bad symptoms for 3.5 years. What symptoms did you have? Did they go away in any recognizable pattern?

 

What did Benedryl or hydroxazine do for you? How often did you take them?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#5 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 10:59 AM

MarkO I'm very happy to hear about your healing. Aside from panic attacks, what other symptoms did you have along the way?



#6 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 11:04 AM

Ok well the first 4 months I had the all too familiar symptoms which were fatigue, brain zaps , confusion . When those subsided basically since then for the last 3 years has been primarily ANXIETY and the occasional ear buzzing (like high pitched noise). But in the last 3 years the anxiety and buzzing has gotten a lot better . Hindsight is 20/20 . Looking back , I remember driving to the grocery store at night to get milk . Having to concentrate more on the road because it was dark led me into a full panic. Half my face went fuzzy , I thought I was having a stroke . I know I'm getting better when I look back and see moments like that . Those are less and less and are certainly less excruciating . Basically that's it

#7 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 11:05 AM

Thank you, MarkO. How often do you have post-withdrawal symptoms now?

It sounds like you had bad symptoms for 3.5 years. What symptoms did you have? Did they go away in any recognizable pattern?

What did Benedryl or hydroxazine do for you? How often did you take them?



#8 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 11:14 AM

I deal with post withdrawal symptoms on a daily basis still ,but it's ONLY anxiety now. And truth be told it is greatly becoming less and less low . By that I mean less and less panic attacks . Also Be it known that I never had anxiety issues prior to the 8 years on ssris. This is an obvious withdrawal or damage caused by the ssri. I've stated this as success because I believe it is. I'm down to one symptom and its becoming increasingly better .

Also, Benedryl or hydroxazine can GREATLY mimic the ssri on our neuro receptors and it is for this reason that the first withdrawal phase and further on , if ever I feel tremendous symptoms , taking Benedryl or hydroxazine would relieve the symptoms greatly , especially the Anxiety but nevertheless the first symptoms aswell, brain zaps etc.

#9 Mort81

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 02:31 PM

Amazing that worked for you. Congrats! You deserve a happy life after 3 horrible years. Amazing all the other symptoms cleared up so fast but the anxiety hit hard for so long. When was the turning point when you felt the anxiety really letting up?
Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th Clonazapam. Currently 0.10mg daily. PPI Dexlant 20-30mg for last 29 months currently at 30mg

#10 Alua

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 05:03 PM

Hey Marko

 

Brill to read your story, Congratulations on making it through.

 

Just curious as to how you discovered the drugs were no good for you, ie what led you to taper off of them? And what was your taper strategy.

 

I'm on my way to antidepressant freedom and stories like yours are so beneficial to people in thick of it like me. I have very little double I will too be a success story just like you.

 

Well done, wishing you continued peace and tonnes of happiness.

 

Alua


<p>Various benzos 4 months for insomnia prior to Effexor 37.5mg may 2014 for two weeks, Mirtazapine 30mg june 2014 - feb 2015.Pristiq 50 mg Feb 2015. six weeks later attempted coming off with a six week taper. ten days off and it got ugly. Tapering now using compounded pristiq with slow release agent. 37.5 mg 3 weeks, 30 mg 6 weeks, 25mg 4.5 weeks, 20mg for 6 weeks, 17.5 mgs 7 weeks, 20 mg 8 weeks, 19 mg 3 weeks, 18 mg 3 weeks, 17 mg 3 weeks, 16 mg 3 weeks, 15mg 2 weeks, 14mg 2 weeks, 13 mgs 2 weeks, 12 mgs 6 weeks, 11mg 3 weeks, 10.5mg 2 weeks, 10 mg 3.5 weeks. 9mg is my current dose

#11 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 05:12 PM

Hey Marko

Brill to read your story, Congratulations on making it through.

Just curious as to how you discovered the drugs were no good for you, ie what led you to taper off of them? And what was your taper strategy.

I'm on my way to antidepressant freedom and stories like yours are so beneficial to people in thick of it like me. I have very little double I will too be a success story just like you.

Well done, wishing you continued peace and tonnes of happiness.

Alua



#12 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 05:30 PM

I decided to get off of ssris because although they did work well for me for basic overall sense of being (so I thought ), on the other hand they caused some serious side effects. Those side effects were problematic drinking . I always socially drank but when I went on these meds it seemed to carry me to a place where I didn't mind and craved to drink a lot and I did not care of the consequences of how intoxicated I got. I'm not the only one that experienced this as I have read many stories over the years. I quit the meds and the problem drinking stopped . It's not a coincidence . That was the main reason . I would like to note , I don't think I was ever depressed in the first place . I experienced a family trajedy and 2 weeks later my doctor prescribed me Effexor . I know looking back I was just down and not depressed.
How did I taper down? I was anxious to get off the meds and be medication free so I should have tapered slower. Give your mind the time it needs! In the long run I think it will repair quicker. I think I tapered off of celexa in 2 months. Gradually down from 40mg to 0 . I think based on the observation of my experience , a person should take longer than they think . I'm not an expert but I think I'm as much an expert as anyone in this field. I would say give yourself at least 6months . Perhaps even a year if you don't mind. Your mind and ultimately yourself will thankU . The brain won't get such a shock from quitting so rapidly . 2 months was nearly not long enough and that's why I believe my fight or flight system which was numbed by the medication for 8 years had such a hard time stabilizing after I quit hence the PANIC ATTACKS everyday for 3 years .

#13 Tootsieroll

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 05:59 PM

Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your heroic tale.  It takes an immense amount of resilience to make it through this.  I still experience symptoms daily, while not panic attacks daily, I still feel out of kilter.  The pressure on the brain when stressed, the intrusive thoughts and so much more.  The worst would have to be the insomnia and the palpitations when I lay down to try to sleep.  Did benadryl help you with your sleep?


<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

#14 MarkO

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:52 PM

ThankU so much for confirming that it takes incredible resilience. I know it does and coming from someone else going through it definitely makes me feel that I'm never alone and that helps. Intrusive thoughts , wow! I can relate .
Im finding as I drastically improve from my anxiety symptom I'm able to better step out of my thoughts and just accept them as that . And as I do that I will step out of the helpless thought and choose not to become it . This way I'm drastically improving on my anxiety issue.
Now , u asked , does Benadryl help
Me sleep ? No but Hydroxazine DOES! And the plus to that is that it's very safe compared to other drugs in our world. It's basically a suped up Benadryl. But DONT take my word for it . Do the research . What I do know is that long term it will make your brain not produce as much histamine . But short term it's a very good relief for anxiety and will DEFINITELY help u sleep better . I'm very GRATEFUL I came across Hydroxazine for temporary relief of withdrawals from ssris. I can't say ENOUGH about that! And I want everyone suffering to know this!!!! I would appreciate it if this turns out to be a great relief for you should you seek out Hydroxazine , please spread the word . Take care and let me know how your doing in the future :-)

#15 Altostrata

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:52 AM

MarkO, how often do you have symptoms now?

 

Benedryl or hydroxyzine do not act like SSRIs or SNRIs, they are sedating antihistamines and often included in drugstore sleep aids.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#16 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:22 AM

MarkO, how often do you have symptoms now?

Benedryl or hydroxyzine do not act like SSRIs or SNRIs, they are sedating antihistamines and often included in drugstore sleep aids.



#17 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:43 AM

I still have one symptom from time to time and it's anxiety . It's becoming more manageable each day that goes forward . I'm not 100% but my recovery has been notable . I would say I'm about 80% totally recovered . With 20% left just being this anxiety .
From my own experience I would have to disagree with you on my experience with Benedryl and Hydroxazine . They may not act like ssris or Ssnris but the brain certainly
Cannot tell the difference or they in fact act on the same neuro receptors . I'm not an expert but they do react in some way that seems relevant. I am living proof of this. In the beggining with my priliminary withdrawals, everyone's typical ones(brain zaps etc.) Benedryl completely resolved the issues in an instant. Trust me it wasn't a Placebo effect . The pharmacist that recommended this to me certainly knew somethjng I didn't and explained it to me . I can't thank him enough . Benedryl does not have any sleep aids in it , at least not the primary basic Benedryl. But I do know in fact that generally , antihistamines do cause or can at least cause drowsiness . Please do not underplay the importance that histamines can play on the recovery of people on ssris. It is one safe option that I think people should be aware of. I'm not an advocate of using medications to overcome medications but in some situations when all hope seems lost its a relatively safe alternative that personally helped me through a tremendous struggle. I would urge people especially with anxiety after quitting SSRIS to consider Hydroxazine for temporary relief.

#18 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:26 PM

MarkO, how often do you have symptoms now?

Benedryl or hydroxyzine do not act like SSRIs or SNRIs, they are sedating antihistamines and often included in drugstore sleep aids.



#19 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:34 PM

Hello altostrata. I just want to commend you for creating a website and doing soo much to help people like yourself who have been through this . I read your story on beyond meds and I'm completely amazed. You explained what I've struggled with over the last 3.5 years to a tee. It makes things very understandable for me . I really understand now the hypersensitivity to foods etc. that I lived with for so long. I have tremendous respect for you and your devotion. I was wondering , you were on Paxil for 3 years? Are u better now? How long have you struggled? Any turning points? Please if you have time I would like to learn a little of what you have had to deal with . Thank you

#20 Altostrata

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:50 PM

Yes, I was on 10mg Paxil for about 3 years, including a failed cold switch to Lexapro in the middle. I went off Paxil over about 3 weeks. It took me about 11 years to recover.

 

At about 4 years off, depersonalization and poor sleep started to lift. But I changed to a high-stress job and got a lot worse very fast, completely losing the ability to sleep. In the nick of time, I found a doctor who recognized my problem and prescribed micro-doses of lamotrigine to settle my nervous system. I took this for more than 2 years. Along the way, I developed a heart condition. After this was treated, it took me several more years to recover.

 

For the lamotrigine part of the story, see http://survivinganti...rawal-syndrome/

 

I can now sleep more or less normally, my nervous system is fairly stable, and I do not have waves of symptoms.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#21 Altostrata

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:54 PM

How often do you get surges of anxiety now, MarkO?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#22 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 08:06 PM

How often do you get surges of anxiety now, MarkO?



#23 MarkO

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 08:17 PM

About once or twice a day at times and then I can go a few days with nothing . That's improvement since the constant anxiety I used to feel like a growing monster never ceasing . The worst from it is how it affects me physiologically . It's like this agitation that doesn't surrender . Changing my diet has really made a difference . It's made things over the last 6months bearable most of the time. I had to get rid of all stimulants , I CANNOT drink coffee , one sip will put me over the edge. Can u relate? Prior to this medication I could always enjoy a few cups with never any issues. It was nice to read this hypersensitivity issue on your website. I have always wondered, Is there natural ways to lower cortisol and or norepinephrine in the body? We're u sensitive to stimulants or hypersensitive ? And if so, how long before that got back to completely normal for you?

#24 MrAnxious

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:27 PM

MarkO hello ! Cheers you made it through to the other aide alive brother. My story is similar to yours in so many ways. I am 4 years off Effexor(very short taper) and then approx 14 months off Buspar. My anxiety (social)and general is still intense. I take it the Buspar helped a bit with that. I took the Buspar shortly after being off Effexor. Anxiety is the sh%ts....it can ruin so many good things. I am hoping to find a better way to cope with it. I never had it before all of this...I am eating clean and exercising everyother day. Taking fish oil and vitamin D. About 90% recovered. Thinking that I am going through possibly 2-3 years of Buspar wd before I am fully healed. You can msg my inbox if you want to chat more. Not everyday you talk to people in our situations
2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-
Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !
Tried natural supplements to no avail
Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

#25 elbee

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 07:39 PM

Congrats MarkO, thanks for sharing your story! :)

1990 (age 20, in college) - First major panic attacks (diagnosis, PD, GAD, Depression). Prescribed 100 mg sertraline, 2.5 mg lorazepam. Tried to reduce meds several times but essentially took these meds for about 25 years.
Summer of 2014 - Quit drinking alcohol and 3.5 month taper off all meds under doc supervision. October 2014 - Return of severe panic attacks, with 8-month "SSRI/Benzo chase" to try and stabilize. June 2015 - Found a drug "reinstatement" (more drugs than I had ever been on) that stopped the panic attacks, but was left with severe anxiety, depression, and numerous side effects: 150 mg sertraline (Z=Zoloft), 15 mg mirtazapine (R=Remeron), 2 mg clonazepam (K=Klonopin)

-- Begin new taper -- 12/11/16: Z=100 mg, R=6 mg, K=1 mg, 11/13/16: Z=100 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1 mg, Z=100 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1.5 mg, 9/1/16: Z=112.5 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1.5 mg, 7/27/16: Z=125 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1.5 mg, 5/1/16: Z=135 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1.5 mg, 4/10/16: Z=150 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=1.5 mg, 3/1/16: Z=150 mg, R=7.5 mg, K=2.0 mg

My introduction thread.


#26 adrianctn

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 01:48 AM

Hello MarkO 

 

That agitation/anxiety/panic that is constant sounds more like Akathisia than Anxiety to me. 

 

Best, 

 

Adrian


December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 


#27 downtongirl

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 06:36 PM

MarkO congratulations on your healing!  I am glad you are feeling better.  How often do you take benadryl or hydroxyzine?


1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 


#28 Hopefull

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 12:57 AM

Marko, congratulations on your recovery! The hydrooxazine and benedryl you took while recovering from WDS, is it addictive?
If you have developed sensitivity to supplements and meds, can the it cause a bad reaction?
I know that everyone is different.
Congratulations to you once again and all the best to you in the future. :)

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(


#29 MrAnxious

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:49 PM

I have to believe that Mark is enjoying his life and his anxiety has subsided !!! cheers man , rock on 


2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-
Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !
Tried natural supplements to no avail
Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

#30 Tootsieroll

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:49 PM

I was doing some research on Hydroxyzine because I still experience major sleep issues and came across this post. I had some old 10mg hydroxyzine and took one and was wide awake all night. I heard there are two kinds of hydroxyzine. They have HCL and pamoate. I only have the HCL one. Is this less effective? I hope you are enjoying life and the remainder of your anxiety has subsided.
<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.