Waiting12

Waiting12: Needing advice!

183 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, I wish we wouldn't have to meet under these unfortunate circumstances, but here we are. I want to give a full introduction of myself and my situation in hopes that someone can please shine some light on me or atleast tell me I will be fine again, one day. I am a 24 year old female that has found herself nearly disabled by SSRIs. This is going to be long and i apologize.

 

When i was 17-18 I smoked marijuana almost every day for 1-2 years. When I moved away to college I decided to "get my act together" and focus on school. I quit smoking cold turkey and this set the stage for a very frightening panic disorder leading me to quit school and move home becoming nearly agoraphobic for a few months. Obviously was depressed as well and spent my days sleeping to escape. After 3 months I went to the Doctor and started on Zoloft and within 2 months was back on my feet working full-time. Still had some anxiety but kept living.

 

I stayed on Zoloft for 4 years from ages 18-22 and everything was fine. I felt emotionally cut-off but figured that was the price i had to pay to not have panic attacks. Also, I completely lost my sex drive. Because of these reasons (and my boyfriend calling me a zombie) I slowly tapered down to 25 mg and stayed on that for many months before quitting. For a few weeks after quitting a had annoying 'brain zaps' but nothing major, kept working full time and doing online college. I quit Zoloft in February 2015. Everything was fine until a year later when i started feeling 'not right'. It was during a very stressful time in my life. Working 65 hours a week and keeping good grades in very challenging nursing classes. I started feeling dizzy, off balance, pressure headaches, fatigued and a LOT of derealization (which I didn't even know was a thing at the time so I didn't know how to explain it. All i could say was massive brain fog). Not knowing what the heck was going on with me I went to the doctor after weeks and weeks of my symptoms persisting. I was told I had vertigo and tried motion sickness medicine (didn't help), I did physical therapy on my neck for months to relieve the headaches. They got better but i still felt so 'off'. Like something was missing, it almost felt like when i needed a cigarette after not smoking for 12+ hours but when i smoked it wouldn't help. Like my brain was just stuck in this weird dreamy fog. This feeling after 6 months was giving me anxiety related to my health. I knew something wasn't right but had NO idea. I mean, i thought it could be a brain tumor or something. It really started taking a toll on me. Finally, 6 months after these symptoms started my Doctor told me it was stress and seeing that I had a past history of Panic attacks he told me I needed my zoloft again or it could get out of control. Well, i certainly didn't want to relive my 'breakdown' of 2010 so I listened thinking, what the heck, if this doesn't help, then it isn't stress and its just one thing to cross of the list. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! This started a HORRIBLE HELLISH experience that I don't know if  I can come back from.

 

July 2016- Re-enstated zoloft after being off for 1.5 years. One dose of 25 mg sent me into constant panic within hours. I was pacing the house and out of nowhere I get intrusive mental suicidal images. Scared the pants off me and off to the ER i went the next day. The ER doctor told me to keep taking it. I told him there was NO way in hell I would ever take that pill again, It was that terrifying of an experience. I had to call off work and had major insomnia for a week. My body felt like it was physically vibrating on the inside. So after that experience I go back to my doctor and he puts me on Paxil.

 

August 2016- Took paxil for 19 days. Each day I got worse and worse. I went from working and being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter to feeling no emotions except fear, despair and panic. I became horribly horribly depressed with akathisia. I had to quit my job. The intrusive thoughts were back and i was told to 'hang in there' by my doctor and that sometimes anxiety gets worse in the beginning. I was so confused because my first time on zoloft I had no start up effects that i remember. On paxil i lost my appetite, severe stomach pains, constant diarrhea, insomnia, akathisia, constant panic, intrusive thoughts, derealization, depersonalization, depression, crying, literally could not function. At this point my doctor wanted to UP the dose and I said no way! He then asked me if i wanted to go to a psych ward because my anxiety was getting out of hand. He told me to stop the paxil and gave me 90 pills of xanax. I tried the xanax 1 time. At this point i was so screwed up that 1/4 of a 0.25mg knocked me out and made me feel so depressed and like I didn't have it in me to even talk! Very sensitive.

 

September 2016- got a referral to see a p-doc (symptoms got a little better for 2 weeks off paxil but came back with a vengance) intrusive thoughts and diarrhea went away. but was left with so many debilitating symptoms the worst was the derealization that i still didn't know how to explain.

 

October 2016- Still having horrible symptoms, but now getting some vision changes as well (small sparkles of light in vision) saw p-doc who told me i could be bi-polar type 3. (what is that?! Anxiety runs strong in my family but not bi-polar and i wasn't having mood swings, I was catapulted into severe 24/7 anxiety HELL)

 

November 2016- p-doc decided to start me on a low dose of celexa and buspar. I only made it 11 days on celexa before the akathisia and intrusive thoughts made me literally want to die. I added buspar on the 11th day and had a serotonin syndrome reaction with confusion, shivering, muscle jerking, goosebumps, severe anxiety, severe restlessness, zero sleep and felt like I was going to die at any given second. I have never felt so close to death in my life. My p-doc told me to quit taking everything and gave me Ativan.

 

December 2016- p-doc doesn't know what to diagnose me with but wants to try an anticonvulsant (lamictal). I start lamictal and within 4 days my skin and eyes were burning, i had chills and a low grade fever and I freaked out because this drug can cause a deadly rash. This med also made my intrusive thoughts constant. I quit this drug and cried my eyes out for days not knowing what the hell has happened to me. I go back to the p-doc and she wants to try a liquid medication at a very low dose because I am so sensitive to everything. She said Prozac or Tegretol (another anticonvulsant) I told her i was too scared to start another SSRI, so i got Tegretol. Tegretol can also cause a LOT of deadly side effects such as a deadly skin rash, liver failure, aplastic anemia etc... I have NOT started taking the tegretol even though i was supposed to 2 weeks ago. However, i am STILL very sick from the lamictal.

 

Holy Crap! In july i was a little dizzy with derealization and now i can't function! What i am guessing is that i was going through a protracted withdrawal from Zoloft and putting me back on it (and all these other things) just added to the fire. I feel like i am never going to get better. I just got engaged 2 days ago and cried because of how bad i've become and can't enjoy anything. My p-doc never even diagnosed me. She said i have some bi-polar traits because the SSRIs made me worse but she said it looks like severe anxiety and told me to take up to 4 ativan a day. I stay away from those because i don't need any further damage.

 

I have been off any SSRI for about 6 weeks and the lamictal for 2 weeks. My symptoms are:

 

Intrusive thoughts (never had before restarting zoloft) This is probably my absolute worst symptom. it is like my brain keeps trying to tell me there is danger but rationally i know there isn't any.

unbelievable anxiety that isn't connected to anything. It is just here (my panic disorder of 2010 wasn't anywhere near this bad because the anxiety would end after the panic attack, this feels like constant)

insomnia (never had before)

cant focus on Anything/ poor concentration ( can't watch TV or lose myself in anything to distract myself)

no appetite & GI problems that this creates

Lost 20 pounds in the past 6 months, I have been drinking ensure plus to get in calories

muscle tremors and twitches

dizziness

feeling disconnected

seeing sparkles in vision every now and then

derealization

loss of pleasure, joy, contentment or any positive emotions

depersonalization

depression and crying (because of how drastically my life has changed)

ruminations about what is happening to me

not interested in anything

feeling of doom

terrible memory

sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, commotion etc.

my heart rate takes off whenever it feels like it

fatigue

zero sex drive

ringing in ears

sweaty & cold hands and feet

and last but not least a fear that i am completely losing my mind.

 

I know a lot of you have been through a lot. I don't know where else to turn. The doctors just made everything 1000x worse. I am currently not working and had to quit college. I don't feel like myself, i know i am in there deep down but all my symptoms debilitate me. Does this sound like an adverse reaction or have I all of a sudden developed a worse mental illness? I do not intend to go back to my p-doc or take any medications. I want my body to heal and go back to who i was 6 months ago. Does anyone please have any advice? I feel so alone and scared that i permanently screwed up my brain. If you are reading all of this thank you and bless you. I never even knew someone could feel so bad mentally and physically. I wish i would have never restarted zoloft in july. I don't know what to do. I need hope that this will get better.

Edited by scallywag
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Im so so sorry that you are going through all of this. Im not an expert but it does sound like a bad case of withdrawal. Hopefully a mod will post soon and can give you a better idea. Those doctors sound horrible :( im 24 too and currently on month 3 off ssris with a fast taper. We are all at different stages of our recovery and this site will give you great support!

 

Wishing you the best

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Welcome, Waiting.

 

Very sorry you're going through this.

 

It seems likely that going off Zoloft 2 years ago might have sensitized your nervous system to SSRIs and maybe other psychiatric drugs. That is very common among people who have gone off psychiatric drugs too quickly.

 

It is also very common that psychiatrists don't recognize this hypersensitivity and, misdiagnosing, prescribe additional drugs at "normal" dosages that are far too high for sensitized nervous systems.

 

Your subsequent trials of other SSRIs such as Paxil and Celexa, with the drug-drug interaction caused by addition of Buspar, has made your nervous system even more sensitive.

 

Very tiny amounts of Lamictal may help your nervous system calm down, see One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome How much Lamictal were you taking?

 

Other than that, many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

Over time, with gentle care, your nervous system will settle down on its own. This can take quite a while.
 

To help us out, see these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

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Thank you both for your quick replies.

Hi lilly- I hope you are doing well & im sorry you are having symptoms too.

To answer your question Altostrata, My p-doc put me on the normal starting dose of Lamictal at 25 mg telling me it was a tiny dose and that we would have aimed for 200mg. The burning skin and eyes/ fevers/ chills were way too freaky to me as i didn't want to chance Stevens Johnsons Syndrome. Also it seemed somewhat activating but I really couldn't tell because my anxiety symptoms were so bad before.

 

I still cannot believe this can happen and that it is happening. I was a laid-back, independant, hard-working girl just a few months ago. Just had brain fog, headaches and dizziness.

 

I also read your articles. The first one made me very sad that children get labeled bi-polar from adverse effects and get put on so many drugs when it was not needed. I really took that to heart because that is what was happening to me. My p-doc kept mentioning 'soft bi-polar' or 'bi-polar type 3'. I have never had any symptoms of anything other than anxiety and now i feel absolutely ruined after these pills. I was told these pills were SAFE and would HELP my anxiety. I feel so stupid and cheated. My friends and family don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. How do I survive this? Not just physically and emotionally, but also financially as I cannot work.

Your other articles are very informative. I am taking Epsom salt baths regularly & will continue to do so. I think at this point I am too scared to start fish oil or magnesium because I couldn't handle getting a single shred worse and seem to be extremely sensitive to everything.

 

I have seen that it can take a year or more to fully recover, but does anyone know when I can start feeling a little better, even a small percentage? My days seem so long, hellish, miserable. Sometimes I have to take it hour by hour. I literally cannot stop ruminating about what has happened to me the last 6 months. Once I can focus on something else to help the days of recovery go by I feel as though it will become a bit more tolerable. I wasn't on any SSRI for any long length of time this year, but i think the damage is done.

 

I am so thankful a place like this exists. This information needs to be more available. After 5 adverse reactions my doctors told me it was "just" my anxiety and to keep trying more drugs. I feel like my body and brain have been destroyed. It is so strange to even try to relate to anyone anymore about daily life because i feel like i am in constant survival mode for no reason. What a nightmare. I have never done many 'hard drugs', but this is what I would imagine a trip-going-bad to be. Except: It Never Ends.

 

I have read a little about windows and waves. When do windows start happening? I think I may have gotten a window a few nights ago when I was able to focus enough to watch half a movie without any worries/ruminations/anxiety going through my head, but it hasn't happened since. I'm sorry, I'm new here so I don't know much about what recovery looks like, but dear god please don't let this be permanent. Life would just not be worth living if it is.

 

Thank you all for reading.

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Waiting,

 

Though my medication history is different from yours, I could have wrote the symptoms and experience you've described to a 'T.'   I had a similar, delayed reaction after being off Paxil for several months.  It is a hellish experience and the worst part is that those around you may or may not believe that the medications caused it and are making it worse.  Having been in your shoes, I would resist experimenting with any more medications and realize that your p-doc is in all likelihood clueless and is doing nothing more than experimenting by giving you more and different meds.  I tried reinstating a small dose of Paxil somewhere around 6 months of my withdrawal and it nearly killed me.    

 

I would focus on reducing/eliminating ALL the stress in your life, understanding that this may take some time to resolve itself.  I've found that accepting the state of things and letting it take its course has been the best path.    

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A window will always come, it might be an hour a day or a week. Waves will always follow. Healing isnt linear but as time passes windows get bigger and waves get smaller. Thats what ive gathered so far from being on this website.

 

You will heal! , its a process no one knows how long which is the sh*tty part but you will feel yourself again one day, just need to take it one day at a time

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Passion, Thank you for your words. I know i wouldn't wish this on anyone but it is comforting to know that someone has felt this way. I am supposed to go back to the p-doc in February and tell her how the Tegretol is going (that i haven't taken), but I think I'll just send her an e-mail and cancel the appointment. I can't damage my poor brain any further. I just am so scared I am going to get worse or completely 'lose it'. I have for the most part cut out all stress from my life. I had to quit school and my job for now as they were very very stressful to me and sadly also quit attending church and social functions with friends. How to you explain this to people?  When people ask what I've been up to I just want to cry. i don't even know what to say. Also, not working has me very isolated and that doesn't help these feelings either. Its a lose-lose situation. Go out and try to see people with all these crazy symptoms and die from anxiety or stay in like a hermit to heal and die of depression of missing out on life. I guess I have been doing a balance between the two at the moment.

 

Also, Lilly, thank you. I will read more about windows and waves and just hope that I will heal. Hopefully it won't take years. That thought terrifies me. Everything about this terrifies me. Gah. Lord help us. Have your symptoms been getting better after only a few months?

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Sounds almost exactly like what I am going through. Hang in there I feel for you. Doctors tried to say I was bipolar too and everything. And I too have been wondering if I had a searoius mental I'll ness god knows it feels like it. But all this for me started when I discontinued my Ad. Complete madness ensued. It has to be these Meds.

Hi everyone, I wish we wouldn't have to meet under these unfortunate circumstances, but here we are. I want to give a full introduction of myself and my situation in hopes that someone can please shine some light on me or atleast tell me I will be fine again, one day. I am a 24 year old female that has found herself nearly disabled by SSRIs. This is going to be long and i apologize.

 

When i was 17-18 I smoked marijuana almost every day for 1-2 years. When I moved away to college I decided to "get my act together" and focus on school. I quit smoking cold turkey and this set the stage for a very frightening panic disorder leading me to quit school and move home becoming nearly agoraphobic for a few months. Obviously was depressed as well and spent my days sleeping to escape. After 3 months I went to the Doctor and started on Zoloft and within 2 months was back on my feet working full-time. Still had some anxiety but kept living.

 

I stayed on Zoloft for 4 years from ages 18-22 and everything was fine. I felt emotionally cut-off but figured that was the price i had to pay to not have panic attacks. Also, I completely lost my sex drive. Because of these reasons (and my boyfriend calling me a zombie) I slowly tapered down to 25 mg and stayed on that for many months before quitting. For a few weeks after quitting a had annoying 'brain zaps' but nothing major, kept working full time and doing online college. I quit Zoloft in February 2015. Everything was fine until a year later when i started feeling 'not right'. It was during a very stressful time in my life. Working 65 hours a week and keeping good grades in very challenging nursing classes. I started feeling dizzy, off balance, pressure headaches, fatigued and a LOT of derealization (which I didn't even know was a thing at the time so I didn't know how to explain it. All i could say was massive brain fog). Not knowing what the heck was going on with me I went to the doctor after weeks and weeks of my symptoms persisting. I was told I had vertigo and tried motion sickness medicine (didn't help), I did physical therapy on my neck for months to relieve the headaches. They got better but i still felt so 'off'. Like something was missing, it almost felt like when i needed a cigarette after not smoking for 12+ hours but when i smoked it wouldn't help. Like my brain was just stuck in this weird dreamy fog. This feeling after 6 months was giving me anxiety related to my health. I knew something wasn't right but had NO idea. I mean, i thought it could be a brain tumor or something. It really started taking a toll on me. Finally, 6 months after these symptoms started my Doctor told me it was stress and seeing that I had a past history of Panic attacks he told me I needed my zoloft again or it could get out of control. Well, i certainly didn't want to relive my 'breakdown' of 2010 so I listened thinking, what the heck, if this doesn't help, then it isn't stress and its just one thing to cross of the list. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! This started a HORRIBLE HELLISH experience that I don't know if I can come back from.

 

July 2016- Re-enstated zoloft after being off for 1.5 years. One dose of 25 mg sent me into constant panic within hours. I was pacing the house and out of nowhere I get intrusive mental suicidal images. Scared the pants off me and off to the ER i went the next day. The ER doctor told me to keep taking it. I told him there was NO way in hell I would ever take that pill again, It was that terrifying of an experience. I had to call off work and had major insomnia for a week. My body felt like it was physically vibrating on the inside. So after that experience I go back to my doctor and he puts me on Paxil.

 

August 2016- Took paxil for 19 days. Each day I got worse and worse. I went from working and being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter to feeling no emotions except fear, despair and panic. I became horribly horribly depressed with akathisia. I had to quit my job. The intrusive thoughts were back and i was told to 'hang in there' by my doctor and that sometimes anxiety gets worse in the beginning. I was so confused because my first time on zoloft I had no start up effects that i remember. On paxil i lost my appetite, severe stomach pains, constant diarrhea, insomnia, akathisia, constant panic, intrusive thoughts, derealization, depersonalization, depression, crying, literally could not function. At this point my doctor wanted to UP the dose and I said no way! He then asked me if i wanted to go to a psych ward because my anxiety was getting out of hand. He told me to stop the paxil and gave me 90 pills of xanax. I tried the xanax 1 time. At this point i was so screwed up that 1/4 of a 0.25mg knocked me out and made me feel so depressed and like I didn't have it in me to even talk! Very sensitive.

 

September 2016- got a referral to see a p-doc (symptoms got a little better for 2 weeks off paxil but came back with a vengance) intrusive thoughts and diarrhea went away. but was left with so many debilitating symptoms the worst was the derealization that i still didn't know how to explain.

 

October 2016- Still having horrible symptoms, but now getting some vision changes as well (small sparkles of light in vision) saw p-doc who told me i could be bi-polar type 3. (what is that?! Anxiety runs strong in my family but not bi-polar and i wasn't having mood swings, I was catapulted into severe 24/7 anxiety HELL)

 

November 2016- p-doc decided to start me on a low dose of celexa and buspar. I only made it 11 days on celexa before the akathisia and intrusive thoughts made me literally want to die. I added buspar on the 11th day and had a serotonin syndrome reaction with confusion, shivering, muscle jerking, goosebumps, severe anxiety, severe restlessness, zero sleep and felt like I was going to die at any given second. I have never felt so close to death in my life. My p-doc told me to quit taking everything and gave me Ativan.

 

December 2016- p-doc doesn't know what to diagnose me with but wants to try an anticonvulsant (lamictal). I start lamictal and within 4 days my skin and eyes were burning, i had chills and a low grade fever and I freaked out because this drug can cause a deadly rash. This med also made my intrusive thoughts constant. I quit this drug and cried my eyes out for days not knowing what the hell has happened to me. I go back to the p-doc and she wants to try a liquid medication at a very low dose because I am so sensitive to everything. She said Prozac or Tegretol (another anticonvulsant) I told her i was too scared to start another SSRI, so i got Tegretol. Tegretol can also cause a LOT of deadly side effects such as a deadly skin rash, liver failure, aplastic anemia etc... I have NOT started taking the tegretol even though i was supposed to 2 weeks ago. However, i am STILL very sick from the lamictal.

 

Holy Crap! In july i was a little dizzy with derealization and now i can't function! What i am guessing is that i was going through a protracted withdrawal from Zoloft and putting me back on it (and all these other things) just added to the fire. I feel like i am never going to get better. I just got engaged 2 days ago and cried because of how bad i've become and can't enjoy anything. My p-doc never even diagnosed me. She said i have some bi-polar traits because the SSRIs made me worse but she said it looks like severe anxiety and told me to take up to 4 ativan a day. I stay away from those because i don't need any further damage.

 

I have been off any SSRI for about 6 weeks and the lamictal for 2 weeks. My symptoms are:

 

Intrusive thoughts (never had before restarting zoloft) This is probably my absolute worst symptom. it is like my brain keeps trying to tell me there is danger but rationally i know there isn't any.

unbelievable anxiety that isn't connected to anything. It is just here (my panic disorder of 2010 wasn't anywhere near this bad because the anxiety would end after the panic attack, this feels like constant)

insomnia (never had before)

cant focus on Anything/ poor concentration ( can't watch TV or lose myself in anything to distract myself)

no appetite & GI problems that this creates

Lost 20 pounds in the past 6 months, I have been drinking ensure plus to get in calories

muscle tremors and twitches

dizziness

feeling disconnected

seeing sparkles in vision every now and then

derealization

loss of pleasure, joy, contentment or any positive emotions

depersonalization

depression and crying (because of how drastically my life has changed)

ruminations about what is happening to me

not interested in anything

feeling of doom

terrible memory

sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, commotion etc.

my heart rate takes off whenever it feels like it

fatigue

zero sex drive

ringing in ears

sweaty & cold hands and feet

and last but not least a fear that i am completely losing my mind.

 

I know a lot of you have been through a lot. I don't know where else to turn. The doctors just made everything 1000x worse. I am currently not working and had to quit college. I don't feel like myself, i know i am in there deep down but all my symptoms debilitate me. Does this sound like an adverse reaction or have I all of a sudden developed a worse mental illness? I do not intend to go back to my p-doc or take any medications. I want my body to heal and go back to who i was 6 months ago. Does anyone please have any advice? I feel so alone and scared that i permanently screwed up my brain. If you are reading all of this thank you and bless you. I never even knew someone could feel so bad mentally and physically. I wish i would have never restarted zoloft in july. I don't know what to do. I need hope that this will get better.

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Hi Waiting12,

 

it`s very sad to read your story. You are not alone in this. Just like in my case your life was turned upside down by Zoloft. I was told it was safe and without side effects. It wasn`t true. I didn`t do my own research in advance. I wish I had never seen a psychiatrist. I wanted some help to handle a difficult situation in my life, but psychiatric meds made everything worse. I used to suffer from mild anxiety in certain social situations and coped with work stress bad. I`ve never had a panic attack, depression or disabling anxiety before meds. I led a quite normal life. I can`t understand why I made so many mistakes like going to the hospital to get myself put on a drug cocktail when I wanted to get rid of all meds. And finally, comming off Buspirone very quickly which has brought hell to earth for me. I have very similar symptoms like you, fortunately not all of them. I didn`t sleep last two nights and I can`t relax even when reading a book or watching TV. I wanted to get married, to develop a new carreer. I don`t know when I`ll have my life back if ever. But I know that starting to take new meds to help me out of this misery is not a solution. The worst thing is that my family and friends don`t understant or don`t want to believe what I`ve been through. I hope you`ll feel some relieve in your symptoms asap.

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Ive actually been feeling better during the last couple of days. For two weeks i suffered from intense crying spells, nausea which were not fun. Im experiencing a window and hoping it lasts. I know that it can be disheartening looking a lot of these threads and seeing how long it is taking some people. I definately do not want my recovery to take years, i mean no one does right, however im sure there are a lot of people who have been on this site recovered and have left. We will both be one of them when our mind and body heals

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Ive actually been feeling better during the last couple of days. For two weeks i suffered from intense crying spells, nausea which were not fun. Im experiencing a window and hoping it lasts. I know that it can be disheartening looking a lot of these threads and seeing how long it is taking some people. I definately do not want my recovery to take years, i mean no one does right, however im sure there are a lot of people who have been on this site recovered and have left. We will both be one of them when our mind and body heals

Hi,

I`m glad to hear you have a window, that`s a good sign. I also don`t want to wait many years. If I`m not able to work till the end of April, I`ll lose my job. I didn`t expect I would be on a sick leave so long. Unfortunately, severe w/d from Buspirone wasn`t part of the plan. I don`t know when I`ll be Buspirone free and how long it`ll take to get better. The longer it takes, the more I`ll be addicted to Mirtazapine. Knowing this makes me pretty depressed. It`s very hard to accpet it.

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This is such a sad situation. When my p-doc prescribed me Celexa with buspar she told me & I quote, "This is the safest and cleanest you're going to get." Little did she know her 'safe & clean' cocktail would nearly kill me & add more insult to my already ssri injured brain.

I'm sorry about your job. April is still months away though. You could be feeling a lot better by then. I hope we all are. & even if your not, your health comes first. I had to basically quit my job overnight in August when I was thrown into Paxil akathisia hell. I am still upset this is happening and that I can't support myself as I've always been independent, but we must remind ourselves that our health comes first. 1 or 2 years is a small time frame compared to how great our lives overall will be. I can't believe I'm saying that though because my last 6 months has felt like an eternity. We will get there-together.

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I have a question for anyone out there. When I first quit Zoloft in 2015 I had brain zaps for maybe a month & that was it. Why would I be slammed with withdrawal symptoms exactly a year later? For the most part I don't remember feeling all that bad during my first year off, maybe a very low low level depression. I was still functioning but felt a lot of times that laughter was forced and did start taking naps almost everyday from fatigue. I just thought I was tired from working so hard. I did completely lose my sex drive on Zoloft in 2011, and if never came back after quitting but figured it was permanent. Maybe I was in Withdrawal the whole time without knowing it? Hmmm? I'm confused.

It was an exact year later after quitting ct that I was hit with dizziness, derealization, headaches etc...

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Wow, thanks bubble. That explains my situation exactly. Thank you so much.

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Gained an emotion today that I haven't experienced for many many years: anger. I don't know how to handle anger as I haven't had to in so long. All I could do was cry and feel claustrophobic like there's no easy way through this. First, I felt angry at this whole situation. Then I went to my brothers house this evening and felt anger towards my sister-in-law for being slightly rude. Then I got home and my fiancé said he wants to go out of town for New Years weekend (I'm not well enough to go) & had a complete crying breakdown. I feel angry and sad. wow. I literally cannot remember the last time I was ever angry. I feel like I don't know how to cope with this.

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Waiting12, much, much sympathy to you.  What a terrible and grossly unfair ordeal--you sound so much like my 24 year old daughter (Lexi1992).  All of the symptoms you mentioned she had earlier in withdrawal. She had terrible, intractible obsessive thinking, anxiety, agitation, terror, glooms, psychotic thinking, depersonalization-derealization (DP-DR) insomnia, and other unbearable symptoms, which waxed and waned over the course of around six months.  She is now 10 months off, and a LOT of those symptoms have gone away, for the most part. She still has the DP-DR, hasn't yet gotten back to doing any work (she's does amazing artwork), and although she is sleeping fine and for long periods, her days and nights are completely reversed right now (sleeps all day, stays up all night). Your symptoms WILL change, will get better, and you will recover.  But it might be a long, slow process. In my experience, the best healer is time, rest, good nutrition, optimism, and reading success stories.

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Thank you DrugFreeProf,

I'm so so sorry your daughter had to go through this, but also happy she has very much improved. I hope I can say the same one day. The obsessive thinking is the worst & I never had it before in my life until trying to restart ssris. I feel extremely introverted, like I can literally only think about myself and how bad I'm feeling. There's no off switch or distractions no matter what I'm doing. Thank you for your words. The extreme anger I was feeling earlier has passed (for now *gulp*), but that was definitely unexpected and quite scary. I feel I have no coping skills for anger because I didn't experience anger while on Zoloft. At least not to that unforgiving degree.

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I`m also suffering from neuro-emotion. Anger - with all the psychiatrists who "helped" me to get in this situation. Fear - I`ll never be the same person like before meds, more than ten fearful thoughts. Regret - that I started to take these drugs when I didn`t necessarily need them. Guilt - I ruined my life. Envy - I`m envious of all the healthy people.

Yesterday my uncle called. He told us my cousing is getting married in July. I remembered times when I was younger and we all met at my grandparent`s when they were alive. I used to be happy. It made me terribly sad and I wanted to get well instantly. I`m very sad that time is flying fast, I`m getting older and can`t fully live my life.

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Aelius, I too feel the same. All of it. Every single word. I'm sorry this is happening to us. I think we are healing even when it doesn't seem like it & one day we will appreciate everything so much more.

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Aelius, I too feel the same. All of it. Every single word. I'm sorry this is happening to us. I think we are healing even when it doesn't seem like it & one day we will appreciate everything so much more.

How do you fight with your fears? My psychologist says that I must persuade myself by convincing arguments that my future doesn`t have to be inevitably dark. I`m scared that whole year 2017 will be bad. I can`t live like this another year or two. I want my balance, bright mind, sleep, cognitive functions and physical condition back. You have one big advantage compared to me, you no longer take psychiatric meds and you are definitely healing. I don`t know if I`m healing. I hurt myself badly by comming off Buspirone so fast and put myself in protracted w/d. I`m still taking Buspirone 10mg and Mirtazapine 30mg. In July I only took Clonazepam 0.2 mg before I went to the hospital. I`m afraid I`ll feel even worse after I drop Buspirone again and will wait many months to feel better. Maybe I won`t be able to start tapering Mirtazapine next year, my brain will be more addicted which could lead to very tough tapering in the future. Moreover, believing that Mirtazapine is contributing to my health problems, I get panic attacks anytime I think about it. It`s horrible.

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I'm sorry aelius,

One might say you have an advantage as well. I started and stopped everything ct due to my adverse reactions so I will inevitably go through the mill again. You have a chance to stabilize yourself and slooooowly very very very slowly come off. Each fragment you step down will help your brain adjust but it is ever so slow. The way you are tapering is anyone's best bet to not have withdrawal symptoms when you are through. I don't have very good coping skills quite yet. It is a lot of fighting my 'mind chatter' all day long which gets horribly exhausting but I am trying not to think too far into the future. I'm literally taking it day by day, week by week. When I have my fears I tell myself: 1) this is just a symptoms and it means nothing 2) my brain will adjust due to neuroplasticity 3) this is just for now 4) I've had these symptoms before & survived. Things like that. When it's really bad & I say these things to myself and don't really believe them, but most of the time I do. Also, I reach out for support A LOT! I'm sure my fiancé, family & friends are so sick of hearing me talk about this but just telling someone or having people check up on you periodically helps me too. Everyone close to me knows what I'm going through because there was just simply no way to hide it. Everyone has been very understanding and for that I am grateful.

Really try not to think forward. When I do I get awfully discouraged, but its not productive and it's not going to help anything. I've read this line somewhere and it sticks with me: "Worries are just questions, you must let these questions go unanswered & over time our brain will learn that uncertainty is not dangerous".

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Great attitude Waiting!

 

Aelius I can only confirm what Writing explained so nicely: when we stabilise and taper slowly we are healing and can be fully functional and carry on with our lives. Putting a positive spin on things such as Waiting described isn't easy but it's priceless.

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Waiting12

 

Not an expert, but maybe a mod or two will confirm the following thoughts.

 

"Anger" is a normal human emotion.  Maybe you should not be shocked and afraid of it.  Perhaps anger does not manifest itself very often to you?  Not surprising it would shock and scare you with its power.  

 

I have read your distressing story and send you best wishes.  Many on here will well be able to relate to your being afraid of your symptoms and you will find some comfort from what others say about the path these demons take - normally, they will ease off to provide a welcome platform to rest and take a more balanced view of things. 

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Hi Waiting and bubble,

 

thank you very much for encouraging me!

 

Unfortunatelly, if I count it right when I look at my meds history I went cold turkey nine or ten times. I can possibly be in w/d from multiple drugs at the same time. That wasn`t any good for my brain either. Before I went c/t of Buspirone, I was quite stabilized compared to my current condition. I slept well every night, I had nearly no anxiety. I was just tired all the time and felt depressed because of my dizziness. I was able to watch TV, play computer games or read a book.

I must take a risk and taper Buspirone faster that 10% monthly. I`m already in w/d from it anyways. No one wants to believe that going down faster might be dangerous. It hurts me that my family and friends don`t believe in danger of these meds and that a very slow taper is necessary. They must be also annoyed that I constantly complain about how bad I feel. I told my sister that I couldn`t think or speak about anything else but meds and my fears.

Thinking forward has always been a big issue to me. If only I didn`t have these crippling balance issues! I can`t get over. It`s been with me for half a year. It contributes to my depression immensely!

I should not read other people`s stories since most of them are true horrors and it makes me more anxious and hopeless.

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Hi aelius,

Taking that route is just as you said, a risk. I know virtually nothing about tapering as my dr just said to quit each time. Hopefully a mod can give you more guidance. Your health is in your hands, but I would be very wary in going faster as you could end up feeling worse. Being dizzy is was got me into this whole mess. I was diagnosed with vertigo last February & it didn't go. I now know it was withdrawal but drs had no clue- told me it was stress & to restart Zoloft. Mistake.

Anyways, the people in our lives love us & we must keep reminding them too what we are going through. I've sent my mom a lot of emails to read on proof around the web.

 

Peng, thanks for your reply. I think I should be happy my emotions are returning, I'll be happy when I gain some positive ones back too.

 

Today I am sad to say the adrenaline is strong and my symptom of labored breathing and irregular heart rate is back. It was gone for maybe a week or more. I feel like I have to concentrate on my breath to get air. I hate this symptom as it makes me feel physically weak and the adrenaline rather panicky. It also doesn't help the intrusive thoughts. My sleep the last two nights has been worse as well. I am sleeping but it's very broken and I wake up a lot and it can take an hour or two to fall back asleep. I just hope with symptoms returning that I'm not going backwards. I just want to get better. Feeling really crap today. Trying to stay positive.

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I am wondering more about waves & windows. Are windows when you feel normal and waves is when your all the symptoms return, or does each individual symptom have its windows & waves. For example, I have been feeling awful but my fast pulse and labored breathing was gone for a week, but is now back- is this my first window even if it was one symptom?

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Hi aelius,

Taking that route is just as you said, a risk. I know virtually nothing about tapering as my dr just said to quit each time. Hopefully a mod can give you more guidance. Your health is in your hands, but I would be very wary in going faster as you could end up feeling worse. Being dizzy is was got me into this whole mess. I was diagnosed with vertigo last February & it didn't go. I now know it was withdrawal but drs had no clue- told me it was stress & to restart Zoloft. Mistake.

Anyways, the people in our lives love us & we must keep reminding them too what we are going through. I've sent my mom a lot of emails to read on proof around the web.

 

Peng, thanks for your reply. I think I should be happy my emotions are returning, I'll be happy when I gain some positive ones back too.

 

Today I am sad to say the adrenaline is strong and my symptom of labored breathing and irregular heart rate is back. It was gone for maybe a week or more. I feel like I have to concentrate on my breath to get air. I hate this symptom as it makes me feel physically weak and the adrenaline rather panicky. It also doesn't help the intrusive thoughts. My sleep the last two nights has been worse as well. I am sleeping but it's very broken and I wake up a lot and it can take an hour or two to fall back asleep. I just hope with symptoms returning that I'm not going backwards. I just want to get better. Feeling really crap today. Trying to stay positive.

I`ll be cautious and take a hold when necessary. I felt each drop sixth days afterwards. I had poor sleep with very vivid dreams. Last night I slept well but after 6 a.m. I had a cortisol spike. My all body was tingilng in anxiety and I could no longer relax in bed. That was the worst morning anxiety in the last two weeks.

I`ve never had dizziness in my life before meds. I`ve had BPPV twice, but it has been resolved completely. I don`t have any neurological diagnosis related to my dizziness. I went for a MRI brain scan yesterday but I expect everything will be alright. My neurologist thinks that it`s a side effect of psych meds. My psychiatrist keeps telling my I`m dizzy due to anxiety.

My dad can`t read any trustworthy sources regarding antidepressants and their withdrawal since he doesn`t speak English and there are none in Czech. My sister is an English teacher. I sent her some links but she apparently didn`t bother to read them.

I had these breathing issues exactly like you described them!

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It will get better. I have faith that it will. I've learned that positive thinking helps a lot, even if you don't really feel it. I know it can be hard, but we must keep trying. Sometimes I talk nothing but positive to myself when I feel the need, like my old self is pep talking to the person I currently am, saying people have gotten through worse, I'm strong, I can fight this. You can too, Waiting, Aelius. We'll get through this together!

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Intrusive thoughts are the worst, im also experiencing vivid dreams in horrible nightmare form. its weird how the brain heals in horrendous ways. Like come on brain the nightmares are unnecesarry

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Ugh. I wanted to try to remain as positive as possible on this site but Today was NOT a good day. Feeling desperate and need to vent. I feel so physically and mentally sick in so many ways I did not know were possible. I went to my brothers and baby sat his newborn this morning and now came to my parents to spend the night since my fiancé is out of town and didn't want to stay home alone. Every minute today was so hard. My parents are supportive but it's such a lonely feeling knowing that nothing I do or anyone else does can make it better. My mom tries to joke about this situation saying I'm learning a lesson the hard way and she always told me to stay away from drugs. Started crying & told her nothing about this is funny. My dad just says, you'll be ok. I just want to crawl in a hole or go into a coma until this is over. How will I ever be strong enough to endure these never ending awful days. Does anyone know when it will get a 'little' easier and minutes don't feel like hours? Appetite is gone again. (Didn't need any ensures the last 5 or so days) Cried a lot tonight. Just feeling like the world is such a cold, sharp, scary place. I know rationally that is not the case, but my brain needs to catch up. I just want to feel comfort. I'm so uncomfortable all the time. Anxiously waiting for these intrusive thoughts to go. They went away before after the Zoloft and Paxil adverse reactions. Dear Lord please let them go away again this time. 2 nights of bad sleep really knocked everything down. Just needing to vent.

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I know you feel this will never end but I promise it does get better we all on SA have been there and many do get better time is all you need

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I understand your pain, Waiting. Today has been a very bad day for me as well for the same reasons. Intrusive thoughts, nauseated, needing to eat but can't, and generally just feeling like the mind is sick. It'll be okay, you'll get through this! Just hang in there! Your family may not understand fully but they are supportive and they love you. We're here for you, so vent all you want, get it all out. Just remember that you will be stronger once you build back up but it will take time. Try to be patient and please continue to post if you need to. We're going to get through this, all of us <3

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Thank you guys :,) really needed kind words tonight. I looked up the exact definition of 'patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.' I must work on this. Yes, dez, we will all get through this together.

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:( bad waves can make one feel hopeless, its important to relfect in a window when youre feeling a bit better and know that this isnt going to last forever, its our brain giving us signal that healing is happening.

 

Hope you have a better day today!

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