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Success after severe problems


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#1 januaryeve

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:40 AM

I am wondering if there is anyone in the world who has successfully quit SSRIs or benzodiazapines, AFTER:

1)longterm use

AND

2)serious withdrawal problems

 

I searched on this site and another and found nothing helpful. I found people who said they'd never had a serious problem, or who were on the drugs briefly and withdrew with no problem.

 

Those are NOT the people I want to hear from.

 

I am talking about people whose lives were seriously affected with withdrawal symptoms. And particularly people whose withdrawal problems lasted a long time. That is me. I am looking for evidence that there is proof that this will end.

 

For instance, I read something by altostrata that she has been in withdrawal for 6 years and is not yet really successful.

 

Is there someone who has had success AFTER SEVERE PROBLEMS? I am happy for those of you who have had no or few or light problems, but you are not the ones who can help me here.


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 


#2 catnapt

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

well I don't know what you would call severe problems......what symptoms are you having?

I am tapering off of lexapro. I was on it since 2002. (as you can see in my signature, I've been on a lot of psych drugs for decades)

I tried to get off the lexapro a couple of times, but the withdrawal symptoms were so awful, I went back on.

 

In June 2015, I decided I'd try again. I did not know that I needed to taper a lot slower than I was, so I went down quite quickly from 20 mgs in June to 2.5mgs by Dec.

When I got down that low, I wasn't able to sleep at all- and I got these awful rages, where I was yelling at ppl and couldn't stop.

My dr (an internist) told me to take the 2.5mgs every other day and then stop.
Thankfully, I found this forum and realized that was the wrong thing to do.

So I stayed at 2.5 mgs from Dec 2015 til late May 2106.  It was then that I made a big mistake. I didn't think the WD symptoms were all that bad, and I'd forgotten to take the lexapro for a couple of days due to having company from out of town.
I decided to just stop taking it, and basically "jumped off" at 2.5mg

 

I seemed to do ok for awhile, except for some severe muscle spasms and trouble sleeping, and awful night sweats, but then in late Sept, I "crashed" and ended up with almost 50 different symptoms, all severe.

You can read my thread if you like, to see what they were and to see if it compares to what you are going thru.

 

I reinstated at a tiny dose of lexapro and have been gradually improving since then.

each day, I got a tiny bit better. I had some waves of bad symptoms and I made some mistakes, adding supplements that didn't help and other things like that, but overall, my progress has been pretty steady in the positive direction.

 

I now only have a few symptoms, mostly I just don't sleep as much as I'd like to but I am finally getting some restful sleep.

 

I am still on a tiny dose of lexapro, 0.25mgs, so I am not a success story by any means, but I can tell you that, even though I messed up, going on and off the drug too many times, and up and down in the dose,

I HAVE been healing and getting better, and I expect that I will recover fully in time.

 

I am 61yrs old and have been on psych meds for decades. I was on SSRIs (zoloft, celexa and lexapro) for about 20 yrs

 

I have a lot of faith that most if not all people will heal eventually.

 

There ARE other stories of members with an even longer med history than mine, who have healed or who are healing now.

I will try to find some links for you.

 

 


1974-2002 many psych meds, all types; longest used drugs include lithium, seroquel, SSRI's zoloft & celexa; many CT's off drugs

2002-2015 on varying doses of lexapro, as  high as 40 mgs, but usually 20mgs

June 2015: tapered too fast to 2.5mgs, then to 2.5mgs every other day Dec 2015:  found SA forum; holding at 2.5mgs 

Early May 2016: jumped off at 2.5mgs, not smart- crashed in late Sept.

Oct 26 2016  reinstated liquid lexapro 0.05ml/day at night, dose +/- til settling on 0.15BID (0.3/day)= windows and waves

Jan 8, 2017 too quick switch to single dose in the morning, 0.3mgs (bad mistake, led to a crash)

Jan 12 added low dose zyprexa for SI, took infrequently as rescue med, last dose Feb.15

Jan 26 lexapro 0.27mg Feb 25 lexapro updose back to 0.3mg due to unrelenting severe insomnia

March 1 insomnia got worse, back down to 0.29 for one day, then 0.27, then 0.25- improving!! March 17 0.24

March 7 added low dose lamictal, titrated up to 25mgs March 25

Supplements: vit D-3, Magnesium taurate 250mg, chromium, pro-biotic, biotin, valerian root, L-theanine


#3 catnapt

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:01 AM

some other success stories, or partial success stories that you might be interested in:

 

http://survivinganti.../14233-day-600/

 

http://survivinganti...nd-cipro/page-2

 

http://survivinganti...-a-paxil-taper/

 

http://survivinganti...ears-on/page-25

 

http://survivinganti...onazepam/page-5

 

http://survivinganti...go/#entry121668

 

http://survivinganti...ll/#entry276071


1974-2002 many psych meds, all types; longest used drugs include lithium, seroquel, SSRI's zoloft & celexa; many CT's off drugs

2002-2015 on varying doses of lexapro, as  high as 40 mgs, but usually 20mgs

June 2015: tapered too fast to 2.5mgs, then to 2.5mgs every other day Dec 2015:  found SA forum; holding at 2.5mgs 

Early May 2016: jumped off at 2.5mgs, not smart- crashed in late Sept.

Oct 26 2016  reinstated liquid lexapro 0.05ml/day at night, dose +/- til settling on 0.15BID (0.3/day)= windows and waves

Jan 8, 2017 too quick switch to single dose in the morning, 0.3mgs (bad mistake, led to a crash)

Jan 12 added low dose zyprexa for SI, took infrequently as rescue med, last dose Feb.15

Jan 26 lexapro 0.27mg Feb 25 lexapro updose back to 0.3mg due to unrelenting severe insomnia

March 1 insomnia got worse, back down to 0.29 for one day, then 0.27, then 0.25- improving!! March 17 0.24

March 7 added low dose lamictal, titrated up to 25mgs March 25

Supplements: vit D-3, Magnesium taurate 250mg, chromium, pro-biotic, biotin, valerian root, L-theanine


#4 ChessieCat

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

GiaK (Monica Cassani) is a member here who was beridden.  7-yrs-off-psych-drugs-a-message-to-those-labeled-by-psychiatry-video-included

 

Here is her website:  http://beyondmeds.com/

 

A video interview:  https://www.youtube....o&v=M2gDhYlYbbE


Podcasts:    Let's Talk Withdrawal

 

Antidepressants:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft; Cipramil CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks soon after)

Pristiq:  50mg mid 2012, 100mg beg 2014 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)     Current:  Pristiq 28mg (from 3 March 17)

 

Tapering history & graph

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

 

I've still got a way to go ... but I've already come a long way!!!

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.


#5 Madeleine

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:21 AM

I think what January eve is looking for is people who were on a long time wnd had a rough time and now are drug free and feeling fine and no longer suffering.

March 15/2017: 3.75 zyprexa; January 16/2017: 6.25 mg; down from 10 mg December 2016
200 zoloft. Tapering that next.


#6 manymoretodays

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:14 AM

Could be Madeline. 

 

Windows are great and do get longer.  I feel like I had some pretty severe stuff going on.......I mean I think most of us long termers of usage have......that are here anyway.  I found for a time that not reading so many of the stories actually helped me.........when I was in the thick of it........it just seemed to make it harder.  And then......there were times when I didn't know I was in W/D and suffered pretty badly unawares of what was going on really.   Be careful with expectations too.  Somebody has in their signature something like........expectations can be part of the cause of suffering.  I struggle from time to time.......I no longer suffer..........seems to make a difference to me.

 

I am wondering what januaryeve means by successful?  Perhaps we all have a little bit of a different take on that?  What's a good day?  Is success defined by society or by each individual?  I just know for myself.

 

I haven't had the experience of W/D from Xanax though......just a lot of AD's and others..........SSRI's, yes on that one.  Brief usages of klonopin and ativan only.

 

Hope you ARE having a good enough day everybody and finding some relief januaryeve.

 

Best, health and healing,

 

mmt


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once?, Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= approx. 1200/day. Magnesium citrate orally,diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C and E.  B12, melatonin 3mcg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=300 mcg. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.

 


#7 manymoretodays

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

Oh hey.....just thinking.......and on the other hand(regarding my first post).......in the beginning after I was here and in the throes of W/D symptoms someone shared how they just stayed signed in and I did that a few times......and read a little or just hung out somewhere on the site.  It sure helped, as far as that feeling of being so alone sometimes with this stuff, in a world where there just aren't many in "real life" who "get it" or acknowledge it.......the whole W/D thing.

 

So there is that.


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once?, Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= approx. 1200/day. Magnesium citrate orally,diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C and E.  B12, melatonin 3mcg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=300 mcg. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.

 


#8 Cipramillion

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:02 PM

I was in hell, felt suicidal, braindead and totalle messed up, but the light got through the cracks eventually. Im now off lexapro and working 100%. 

 

People do get better over time with the right tapering schedule. 


<p>Sept 2015: 5 mg Cipralex for 3 weeks. Lots of side effects. Reduced to 2.5 mg for 2 weeks. Experiencing withdrawal and side effects still after dose reduction. Quit after almost 4 weeks on 2.5 mg because of adverse effects. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms still. Reinstating 1mg after 3 weeks. Reduced to 0.50 after 2 days due to sensitive reaction (dysautonomia) and trip to ER. January 2016: After 14 months of tapering from 0.5 mg im now down to 0.08mg. Planing on one more drop before 4-8 weeks healing, then jump to zero. 14.03.17: Lexapro free!


#9 januaryeve

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:35 AM

Catnapt,

 

Thank you for your post. It is very helpful to me. Your symptoms sound more severe than mine, although it all depends on description.

 

Your post definitely gives me hope, which is what I am looking for.

 

I haven't read your post with links yet, but I will soon.

 

I am 68. I am almost off Prozac taken for 27 years so far. I had symptoms, but I didn't know that's what they were. (I just thought I was crazy.) So I went on a small dose of Xanax to treat what were probably Prozac withdrawal effects. When I went off the Xanax on Nov. 6, 2016, I got severe muscle pain 1 to 2 days later. And I thought that was my only Xanax problem.

 

After that began getting better, mid Feb., 2017, I got or realized I had memory, cognition and focus problems.  Plus I have had insomnia since the 1980s or before.

 

Here is something that might help you with insomnia. I tried it several years ago, quit, and now I am doing again, started 3 days/2 nights ago: a lightbox, the kind used for seasonal affective disorder. They are apparently now used for insomnia, depression, SAD, and regular depression. They say you have to be careful with them if you have mania, because they can cause that. Also, there are some other health reasons not to use them, some types of eye problems, I believe. So check out the information on them before you try one. If you haven't already tried this.

 

The first day I used it, it helped me even before nighttime, because it reduced my strong daytime sleepiness. I am sleepy during the day almost all the time.

 

After 2 nights and 3 days use, I am still feeling somewhat more cheerful and less sleepy during the day. My nighttime sleep is definitely better. Last night I slept well from 10:15 pm to 6 am.

 

The brand/model I am using is Carex Daylight Sky. Before I had the Carex model with the skinny legs. I wouldn't recommend that one, because it is hard to keep it in place; it is wobbly and the knobs to control the angle don't hold

 

Thanks again for your encouraging post!


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 


#10 januaryeve

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

Chessie Cat,

 

Thank you so much for the link to GiaK's website. I watched one of her videos. She is inspiring and seems like a real leader. I will be spending more time on her site.

 

I would also like to say to others who responded to my question about "success" that I will be reading and responding to your posts soon. I am not ignoring you, I just have to do this a few at a time. I don't even know how many posts there are. But I am already excited and encouraged, and I have more belief that I will get better.


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 


#11 januaryeve

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:50 AM

Madeleine,

 

Yes, that's similar to what I am asking. What happened is, I saw  a question like mine on another site, and the only responses were people saying, "Well, I never really had a problem."

 

I wanted to make it clear that this is not going to help me deal with my fear that I may never get better, even though I am glad for people who never had a problem.

 

I really don't care how long a person was on, as long as they thought it was difficult coming off their drug or drugs. Then I want to hear from them if they succeeded.

 

 


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 


#12 januaryeve

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

 

Could be Madeline. 

 

Windows are great and do get longer.  I feel like I had some pretty severe stuff going on.......I mean I think most of us long termers of usage have......that are here anyway.  I found for a time that not reading so many of the stories actually helped me.........when I was in the thick of it........it just seemed to make it harder.  And then......there were times when I didn't know I was in W/D and suffered pretty badly unawares of what was going on really.   Be careful with expectations too.  Somebody has in their signature something like........expectations can be part of the cause of suffering.  I struggle from time to time.......I no longer suffer..........seems to make a difference to me.

 

I am wondering what januaryeve means by successful?  Perhaps we all have a little bit of a different take on that?  What's a good day?  Is success defined by society or by each individual?  I just know for myself.

 

I haven't had the experience of W/D from Xanax though......just a lot of AD's and others..........SSRI's, yes on that one.  Brief usages of klonopin and ativan only.

 

Hope you ARE having a good enough day everybody and finding some relief januaryeve.

 

Best, health and healing,

 

mmt

 

Thanks for your post, mmt. I'm not sure how I would define overall success. What I was thinking of most when I started this thread is my muscle pain.

 

I've had "depression" and "anxiety" my whole life. I'd like them to go away, and I'm working on that, and improving. This muscle pain is new, and started between 24 and 48 hours after going off a small dose of Xanax. It's interfering with some of the things I do to deal with other problems.

 

That is what I was wondering about when I made the post. But also, I just wanted to know if other people felt they ever got back to their normal selves, whatever normal means to them. That is, did the problems caused by drug treatment go away.

 

What's so surprising is to me is that in the last 4 days or so my muscle pain has decreased to an amazing extent. And it happened pretty much exactly concurrently with use of a light box.

 

What I think is happening is that my body couldn't heal because I wasn't sleeping. (Insomnia is a long term problem for me. I had it for many, many years, but it strongly worsened in 1990, the very first night I took Prozac. I also have severe daytime sleepiness, also very longterm.) I have slept well the last three nights. The daytime sleepiness problem is continuing, with varying intensity.

 

Now, that I may not have to worry about muscle pain, I can find other symptoms to worry about! :D

 

(quote from mmt:) . . . there were times when I didn't know I was in W/D and suffered pretty badly unawares of what was going on really.

 

Yes! I think that's what happened to me, mmt, and also the reason I thought I needed Xanax. Because I was acting and feeling very strange and awful and I didn't know why. You would think the psychiatrist and psychologist treating me while I was tapering slowly off most of my Prozac dose could have mentioned "withdrawal symptoms."


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 


#13 januaryeve

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:14 PM

I was in hell, felt suicidal, braindead and totalle messed up, but the light got through the cracks eventually. Im now off lexapro and working 100%. 

 

People do get better over time with the right tapering schedule. 

 

Wow, that is really exciting! I especially like the "100%" bit. :)


1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.