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Success: Jemima Survives Lexapro and Dr. Dickhead, Too

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#1 Jemima

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:49 PM

March 30, 2014

 

I'm going to remember today as the day I finally came alive again after suffering through antidepressant withdrawal. It started with ordering a wig—even though I'd bought one a week ago (didn't like it but couldn't return it)—and then a long-wanted copy of Adobe Acrobat (v.9.0)—and a wireless router, in preparation for getting a Kindle HDX upon which I can watch all sorts of TV shows and videos.  I haven't treated myself well for a long time. Tomorrow I'm going to go grocery shopping, buy what I please, and stop for a Chinese dinner out on the way home with enough leftovers for Tuesday night. I feel like I'm ready to live again and enjoy it.  What a strange but wonderful new feeling! This is the first time in 27 months that I've felt any excitement about the future.

 

April 30, 2014

 

Time to get this show on the road.

 

I've been consistently feeling like my old self, energetic and right now, pursuing an acid-alkaline diet that's taking up a lot of time in terms of tracking down the best foods, recipes, et cetera.  It is *not* an easy diet to follow, but if it heals my osteoporosis, it's well worth it.  I've been on it for a week and a half with no appreciable results, but my books indicate it can take months to get the body into a mildly alkaline state. I've also gotten a small volunteer job (which will likely expand) helping with my over-55 community's newsletter and have packed the wigs away, letting my wavy salt-and-pepper hair show.  I've gotten lots of compliments. God is giving me what I want as I can handle it.

 

In thinking about writing this post, it occurred to me that a chronology of what happened might be useful for others, so here it is:

 

Date unknown:

 

Was prescribed Lipitor for "high" cholesterol (about 205).  I took this miserable drug for roughly ten years.

 

September 2010:

 

Hospitalized for depression. I was non-functional and suicidal. My cholesterol was at 134, which I thought was too low, but my doctor said not, quite enthusiastically. About a year later I came across a research study done circa 1990 that strongly indicated a cholesterol reading below 160 was dangerous, often resulting in suicidal or homicidal behavior. Since then I've found a great deal more literature and research about statin side effects, including depression.

 

I was also victimized by this drug destroying my rotator cuffs. I can now no longer raise my arms above my waist without bending my elbows or bracing one arm with the other.  The orthopedic surgeon I consulted agreed that Lipitor was the likely culprit.  He also advised that there is nothing that can be done.  And so, I pray for a miracle, and hire help to keep my house clean among a number of inconveniences and expenses.

 

As for the hospitalization, I was there for ten days, a long time for current health insurance restrictions.  At first I was given 20 mg. of Lexapro because my PCP had prescribed 10 mg. when I went to her for depression.  (The samples she gave me ran out some weeks before this and I was too disheveled, smelly, and apathetic to walk down the street and get the mail from the USPS's latest stupid idea, the cluster mailbox, so I was on and off of it in three weeks.) Also 1 mg. of Lorazepam (Ativan) for sleep. The Lorazepam worked and I became very fond of it.  My psychiatrist allowed me to have it every three hours "as needed".  I was not aware of its addictive properties and consider myself very fortunate that I didn't get hooked.

 

I started to do well on the Lexapro and Ativan, but Dr. Dickhead decided that Pristiq was "more energizing" and switched me to that abruptly.  I was also put on Remeron early on for sleep. He tried a number of different meds for both depression and sleep and apparently expected overnight results.  Except for the Lorazepam, I was barely affected. I was able to read again, something I hadn't been able to do for a while, but that was about it.  I was still suicidal when I was discharged and did not go back to work until early December, still not in very good shape and with the addition of being so hyper my boss felt it necessary to let me know about it.

 

January-February 2011

 

Got a mysterious lung infection and was again off from work under the Family Leave Act.  Not sure of the exact amount of time, but during this period I did a fairly quick taper off of Remeron with no ill effects and then had my PCP cold-switch me back to Lexapro, also with no noticeable effects. I was referred to a lung specialist who had never heard of Pristiq and who turned me off so badly I never went back. He had a face meant for a funeral director and expected the worst, advising me that he thought I had a rare form of TB. I followed up with the second MRI but never went back to the "lung specialist".  Not long afterward I saw a Pristiq ad on TV that warned of taking aspirin with Pristiq. No one had ever mentioned this to me and I had been popping aspirin like candy since I went back to work because of a long commute that gave me a back ache.  Mystery solved and another doctor added to the Quack List.

 

June 2011

 

I decided to retire because I believed my miserable job was mostly responsible for my depressive crash. Not long after turning in the paperwork, I discovered the Lipitor study above and everything fell into place.  I don't regret retiring—my job really *was* miserable—but it galls me to know that this could have been a big mistake.

 

September 2011

 

Began a too-fast taper off of 10 mg. Lexapro—cut the dose by half.  That actually worked well.

 

October 2011

 

On doctor's advice, cut Lexapro to 2.5 mg. and the trouble began.  I became hyperactive and irritable. Got somewhat crazy with money, but fortunately didn't go overboard and wreck my retirement.

 

December 2011

 

On my doctor's advice, took Lexapro 2.5 mg. every other day beginning on December 1, 2011.

 

December 14, 2011

 

Completely off Lexapro.  Thank God I found SurvivingAntidepressants.org about a week before this.  Otherwise, I might have gone back to the doctor and ended up on a drug cocktail for the rest of my life with all of the consequent medical problems and the appearance and reputation of being "mentally ill".

 

January 9, 2012, maybe

 

Withdrawal symptoms began with a severe headache which I now know was due to light sensitivity.  By February the symptoms were so severe that I was mostly bed-bound. I was able to sleep only every two to three days. I flew into rages over minor irritations and could barely stand going out to Rite Aid and the supermarket to get necessities. This went on for roughly four months.

 

Late April, 2012

 

Symptoms eased up a bit and I was able to do some things, some days, like pruning an unruly Butterfly Bush and attempting some non-necessary shopping, such as going to a crafts store to browse.  The latter didn't work well at all because it seems stay-at-home moms bring their kids to craft stores in the afternoon and the screaming and bright lights drove me right out of there.

 

August 2012

 

Went back to church, although my attendance was sporadic and fizzled out by early November.  Also started volunteering at a local soup kitchen serving meals and sometimes helping out in the food pantry, although the problem with my arms eventually got in the way of the latter.  Overall, it was too soon.  I was a wreck socially, very self-protective and anxious. The Sunday school teacher invited me to Thanksgiving dinner and I was a nervous wreck throughout, wondering what these people, who knew of my hospitalization, thought of me. 

 

January 2013

 

Joined a writers group at the library.  I enjoyed this and didn't have to talk much.  My attendance was sporadic, but by April or May I worked up the nerve to announce that I was going out to dinner after the meeting and anyone who would like to go with me was welcome.  This led to two friendships and the three of us now go out to dinner not only after the meeting but on the first Friday of the month. I also got hooked up with a sewing group via one of the members, although I didn't attend until some time in the summer.  I still go to that and have made friends there.

 

September 2013

 

Quit the soup kitchen because of their stance on Christianity, not withdrawal symptoms.  My last job there was obliterating any mention of or reference to God on some school children's drawings. I was still socially shaky, but better.

 

January 2014

 

Began having big, wide-open windows, but still stayed home a lot and spent a lot of time in bed.  Looking back, I now know this was due to my taking the Daily Value of magnesium, a calcium channel blocker, along with a blood pressure med that is also a calcium channel blocker.  I was tired all the time and never felt refreshed even after sleeping for ten hours at a stretch.

 

Early March 2014

 

Discovered the harm magnesium was doing to me and quit taking it. Felt normal within a week or so.

 

And so, withdrawal is finally over. My Introduction is here for those of you who want to know more:  Introducing Jemima

 

I intend to continue as an Admin on this forum, although not as often as when I first became a mod.  Finding SA saved me from a steep, downhill path and it's gratifying to not only help others, but be part of a pioneering effort to inform the public of the dangers of psychiatric drugs and ill-informed doctors, of which there are far too many.

 

See ya.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#2 Jemima

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:03 PM

I should add that the anhedonia seems to be entirely gone.  It seemed to take forever, but feelings of pleasure and interest have definitely returned. :D


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#3 Altostrata

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:11 PM

Jemima, thanks so much for writing this up!

 

So your whole cycle from initial withdrawal, through withdrawal symptoms and reinstatement, to recovery from anxiety and anhedonia was from approximately September 2011 to April 2014? That would be 31 months?

 

What was it magnesium was doing?

 

And -- how about your writing plans.....


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.

#4 alex

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:58 PM

Congratulations dear Jemima!!

You are an inspiration and a bright light in this dark tunnel.

 

Hugs,A.


4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 


#5 Jemima

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:14 PM

Alto,

 

I went off Lexapro too fast, ending in mid-December 2011, but I never reinstated.

 

I've been counting my period of withdrawal from the time I was completely off Lexapro (December 14, 2011), which would be 27 months, as I consider myself having healed when I ditched the magnesium in mid-March of this year.  It would be 30 months if I include the period of time when I was speed-tapering and having withdrawal symptoms. I distinctly remember not being able to go to the door when I had some outside work done on my house in October of 2011, and my handyman knocked to ask a question. I thought I had severe hay fever at the time. So now I'd say 30 months is about right. In some ways I think I was fortunate to be put on Lexapro rather than something really awful, like Paxil or Effexor.  I think Lexapro is not quite as terrible as most antidepressants. It's still crap, though.

 

The magnesium was making me super-tired and wanting to sleep far more than should be necessary for anyone. I never felt rested and often cancelled out of social events because I felt so lousy.  I just assumed the symptoms were due to prolonged withdrawal because moderate depression was one of them. As I said in my post in the magnesium topic (http://survivinganti...-blocker/page-8), I believe the bad effects were due to the combination of my blood pressure meds, a calcium channel blocker, and the Daily Value of magnesium, 400 mg., another calcium channel blocker. (I also discovered that 400 mg. is intended for a man--a woman's dose is about 330 mg. if I remember right) Too much of a good thing, I think.  I now feel confident that I can keep my commitments as well as any conscientous, normal person and I'm quite energetic these days, too.

 

As for the writing, I'm not sure when or how to go about that if I ever do, but I really would like to further the cause in some way. I honestly don't remember a lot of what I went through during early to mid withdrawal and don't want to, either. On the other hand, I would dearly love to get back at the medical establishment for all the harm they did to me and are still doing to others, and the specific incompetent, greedy lame-brains who "treated" me. Informing the public seems to be a good way to go.

 

At the present time, I'm doing a one-on-one campaign with a friend who wants to go off Citalopram for the second time and who thinks her doctor knows what she's doing.  She cold-turkeyed the first time and couldn't bear the withdrawal symptoms, and so stayed on the drug unecessarily for years.  (She was given it for menopause--as if that's some sort of mental illness!) She found the idea of tapering over a year or two shocking, so I guess I'll just have to stand by and be there if she follows her doctor's advice, which will likely be to get off Citalopram in a matter of months, including alternate-day dosing. I've given her SA's URL twice now, and begged her to read a lot here before she does anything at all. So we'll see.

 

As I said before, I don't plan to abandon the forum.  I expect there will be quite a few questions about my success story, and always, more people in need of help.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#6 Jemima

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:16 PM


Congratulations dear Jemima!!

You are an inspiration and a bright light in this dark tunnel.

 

Hugs,A.

 

Thank you, Alex. I'm glad my story has helped to give you hope!


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#7 Jemima

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:07 PM

Another milestone passed--I was able to sleep without pills or Melatonin last night. I had unwittingly aggravated the sleeplessness problem by drinking 3-6 cups of green tea, decaf and regular, throughout the day and evening. Even sticking with decaf most days kept me sleepless, so I'm thinking there must be something in green tea that's stimulating aside from the caffeine.  No wonder I had a bad reaction to Sun-theanine! I suppose any kind of stimulant will be a bad idea for me for an indefinite period of time.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#8 Barbarannamated

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

Nothing but admiration and gratitude for you, Jemima!
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#9 Jemima

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:07 PM

Thank you, Barb!


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#10 Altostrata

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:02 PM

Barb said if for me, too.


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.

#11 Nikki

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:48 PM

Jemima.....this is wonderful.  Very happy for you.  You did it ;) It is very nice to hear this and encouraging for the rest of us.

 

Hugs


Intro: http://survivinganti...ndown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine


#12 Karma

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 06:25 PM

super-happy-dance-smiley-emoticon.gif

 

Congratulations Jemima!  I am so happy for you and so proud of you.  Thank you sincerely for writing this inspiring success story.  I know that it will give courage and inspiration to untold numbers of our members.

 

Love and light!

Karma


2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg - hold
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers


#13 Nikki

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 05:50 AM

Jemima can you list what you think were the best things you did for yourself to get thru this?

 

Tips :) whatever you felt helped and got you to where you are now.

 

Thank you


Intro: http://survivinganti...ndown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine


#14 Jemima

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:29 AM

Thanks, everyone!


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#15 Jemima

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:36 AM

Jemima can you list what you think were the best things you did for yourself to get thru this?

 

Tips :) whatever you felt helped and got you to where you are now.

 

Thank you

 

The biggest thing that helped me was time. IMO, there's just no rushing withdrawal. There may be a few things that help to soothe a sensitive nervous system, like taking fish oil, but getting better is more a matter of waiting than "doing something".


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#16 Nikki

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:45 PM

:)


Intro: http://survivinganti...ndown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine


#17 dalsaan

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 01:53 PM

Congratulations Jemima, you are such a role model for the rest of us. I appreciate your contributions to SA and am so happy that you have been able to write your success story.

I wish you all the best in everything that you do

Dalsaan. Xx
Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.
Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.
Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.
Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.
Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).
Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

>My intro post is here - http://survivinganti...ic/2250-dalsaan

#18 Jemima

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:00 PM

Congratulations Jemima, you are such a role model for the rest of us. I appreciate your contributions to SA and am so happy that you have been able to write your success story.

I wish you all the best in everything that you do

Dalsaan. Xx

 

Thanks very much, Dalsaan.  I'm glad you're back on board.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#19 LexAnger

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:13 PM

Dear Jamima, heartfelt appreciation to your time and kindness sharing the most wonderful news! Congratulations to your well deserved new life! It gives hope and courage to everyone who is still on the road suffering. Thank you and enjoy every moment of your new life!
<p>2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, sliding Down to 0.13mg by 2/13, then 0.07mg since 2/18

#20 Jemima

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 01:55 PM

Thanks, LA.  If my story gives even one person renewed hope, it was well worth the work of writing it and then some.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#21 Sparrow

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:51 AM

Jemima, this is fantastic! Especially about the anhedonia lifting. What an inspiration...I think maybe I won't give up just yet.

 

All the best to you,

Sparrow

(one year post-Klonopin, 9 months into Lexapro taper)


2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO


#22 Jemima

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 02:27 PM

I'm so glad my story encouraged you. And it's good to see you back here!


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#23 Jemima

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:35 PM

I'm having an interesting experience--my first normal 'down' mood since I went into withdrawal two and a half years ago.  I'm just slightly blue and cranky, and this may sound whacky, but it feels good in a way.  It's the kind of mood everybody goes into once in a while, and there's none of that gut-wrenching, anxiety-provoking despair that seems to be par for the course for so many of us in withdrawal.  It indicates to me that withdrawal is really and truly over. Yes!!!


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#24 alex

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

GOOOOOOOD!!! :)


4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 


#25 Jemima

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:56 PM

Thanks, Alex.  I think the down mood may be coming from not being entirely recovered.  My creative streak seems to come and go and I miss it something awful. I'm enjoying a lot of things that I'm doing, mostly being with others and reading, but being creative has been a big part of me ever since I can remember. I think this may be a very mild version of the windows and waves pattern, and I'm not panicky about it, but it gets me down.

 

SIGH.  Withdrawal takes SO long to pass.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#26 mammaP

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:37 PM

Thank you for writing your success story Jemima, it is inspiring to know that you have come

through the other side of withdrawal and feel great. It gives hope to all of us  :)


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

See how to create a signature here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Many drugs for many years, prescribed diazepam first 1973, took occasionally. 3 or 4 tricyclics  for short periods.

1993 had a breakdown leading to 10 years of drug experiments with all classes of psych drugs.

2002  effexor. 

Tapered by counting beads from March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

 

Also tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg -hold- Feb2016 46mg  March 8 2016 45 April 44mg  May 11  43mg June 14 42mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, pro biotic.

 

My story http://survivinganti...king-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

Following every sunset is a brand new day


#27 Jemima

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:20 PM

I'm still having some ups and downs, MammaP, but they're a faint shadow of the windows and waves pattern in withdrawal.  And just this evening I had a moment of feeling really happy and deeply grateful for the tasty, healthy dinner on the table. It's the way I used to feel when I got home from my miserable job and just appreciated the privacy, peace, and quiet, and a bit of time to myself to read some escapist stuff before bedtime.

 

The saga goes on, but the trend is definitely up and I know I'll get completely back to normal now.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#28 Nikki

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:18 PM

Hi Jemima wanted to check in again....it is uplifting to read about how you got to where you are now:)


Intro: http://survivinganti...ndown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine


#29 WinningThrough

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 04:56 AM

This is brilliant, Jemima!
The only way out is through.

Aug 2013 - Augmentin leading to akathisia
Sept-Nov 2013 - Citalopram 20mg, severe reaction, off at 5mg. Valium 4mg, prn
Oct 2013 - 5 zopiclone tablets, 7.5mg
End Nov 2013-end Feb 2014, Seroquel, top dose 150mg, off at 25mg
End Nov 2013-early march 2014, Zoloft 100mg top dose, off at 25mg
End Dec-2013-early April 2014, lorazepam 1mg prn
April 3rd 2014 zoloft 5mg for a few days. 18/4/14 - zoloft, 1mg. Came off at 0.35 mg,14th June 2014
29 June 2014 - 1mg lorazepam, last ever
29 June 2014 - med free

#30 Jemima

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 03:55 PM

Thanks, Nikki and WT. I'm glad my story is encouraging to others.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#31 Jemima

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:40 AM

Looking back over my Intro and Success threads is always enlightening.  

 

I've been having some up and downs, mostly downs, and it seems like it's been a long time, but now I can see that it's only been a month since I was doing well and feeling good.

 

My main problem has been assuming that since I'm mostly over withdrawal that I'm almost completely well all around.  Well, not so.  My body, especially my gastrointestinal system, is quite fragile. I've been following the acid-alkaline balanced diet for about a month and I think I overdid it, especially the alkaline supplement I was taking. Wednesday morning, I woke at about 3:00 AM with loose bowels and continued getting up at random intervals to go to the bathroom up until six or so.  I fell back to sleep, only to be awakened by the roofers starting half an hour early at seven and could not sleep thereafter for the noise.  I felt pretty sick and tired most of the day, canceled a lunch date, and missed the usual Wednesday night Canasta game. As usual, I blamed myself (for overdoing the acid-alkaline diet), when for all I know, I may have caught a stomach virus from someone at my Tuesday sewing group. (I also felt depressed for a few days about having to put out the money for a new roof so soon--I thought my house had a 20-year roof, but it's only been seventeen years.  Just my luck, shingles went up 30% in the past few months, too.  But it's done right now, and it should last my lifetime.)

 

I also continue to have problems with my sleep.  For a while I was alternating an OTC antihistamine, Ativan, and Melatonin (no more than one dose--1 mg--of Ativan every three days), but I started getting neuro-emotions again from all that, and have cut back.  Now I try hard not to take anything more than 2 mg. of Melatonin, with an occasional antihistamine or benzo, but mostly I'm trying to sleep on my own.  My problem, I think, is worry about the future, which is not only stupid but embarrassing, since, as a Christian, I keep thinking I should be able to relax and put things in God's hands.

 

I'm busy but dissatisfied, as it seems like my life has no coherence, just spurts of activity here and there.  It was so different when nearly all of my attention and energy went toward being able to retire.  So now I'm retired.  Now what?  Going through two and a half years of withdrawal immediately following retirement has certainly been an impediment to adjusting. I've really only been able to see things from a nearly normal viewpoint since mid-January. Five months. I apparently haven't learned patience as well as I thought.

 

So this is why I haven't been around much, either. Right now I've got all sorts of loose ends to tie up--an exercise for Sunday's Writers' Group, an online AARP Drivers' Ed course to finish within the next few weeks (preferably this weekend), an online order and in-person pickup at the CSA tomorrow, other grocery shopping, and some activities to attend or not: Mahjongg tonight, women's poker tomorrow night, board games Saturday night which includes tolerating the smell from a skunk attack at the hosts' home, maybe church Sunday morning, and Writers' Group Sunday afternoon followed by dinner with two friends I made there. Monday I went to a Christian book club meeting, Tuesday was the sewing group, and yesterday was supposed to be a Red Hat luncheon and then Canasta in the evening. In addition to not being sufficiently protective of my physical health, I think I've maybe gotten involved in too much and need to sit back and take a look at that.

 

Feedback welcome.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#32 alexjuice

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:19 PM

Sounds like you are making amazing progress. It is too easy a trap to fall into I'm All Better Now!! Finding the balance between doing enough and too much is tough especially after 2 years plus of missing out everything. So I know it feels like a setback but I think you have learned that you have limits right now. My advice is to find a structure, which is hard to do no doubt, something repeatable and working towards a purpose. What would you do right now for purpose in life if you could do anything you wanted? Also what is the alkaline supplement, I am curious?


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman


#33 Jemima

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:54 PM

The alkaline supplement is Alkalife, which is composed of potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, probably not the greatest mix: http://www.microwate...ne_Ph_drops.htm, but I happened to have three full and three partial bottles of it from a previous attempt to neutralize the damage from my smoking habit, so I used it.  (Note:  I no longer smoke, but that didn't have anything to do with Alkalife.) I think this one is probably a better choice:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JJMVM2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=NCYA4VEG0AA1&coliid=I1LI1HL9KU0OIU&psc=1.  (I can't seem to get this to copy and paste as a link for some reason.)  It's quite a bit cheaper as well.

 

As for what I'd do if I could do anything--brace yourself--I'd go to seminary, maybe for a Master's in Christian Counseling, but mostly for my own enlightenment. I don't see how I could possibly do that, though. The seminary I'd choose is only about five miles from my house, but it's quite expensive, too much for a retiree like myself. They don't participate in the Federal student loan program and I'm not sure that I'd qualify for any kind of aid anyway, since I'm financially comfortable, just not capable of paying for a graduate degree at a private school in addition to living expenses. I've thought about maybe just volunteering there--if they use volunteers--or auditing a class or two. One thing of which I'm certain is that I want to be among other people, not holed up in my house working on something alone, like a book related to antidepressants. I might do that in addition, but I know that having real life coworkers of some kind is important to me.  That's what I most miss about working.

 

I greatly appreciate your feedback, Alex.  It reminds me of the essay you wrote about what you'd do differently in withdrawal, well worth re-reading, and I think I still have a copy of that. Tonight I did the sane thing and stayed home, and since it's now too late to start the last section of my AARP course, I'm going to let that go for tonight, too. I think I'll do that Saturday rather than go to the be-skunked house for board games, which often runs so late that I give up on getting to church the next morning.

 

We'll see.  As they say, life is a journey, and this one has certainly been quite a ride.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#34 Barbarannamated

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:38 PM

I agree 100% with Alex. You've made amazing progress.

I think he hit on a key point about structure and purpose. That's been the hardest thing for me over the past decade (early medical retirement and now withdrawal). Staying busy is one thing, but finding that structure, purpose, and working toward a goal has been challenging.

Do you mind sharing more about your fear of the future?

No surprise... I TOTALLY relate to wanting to work at something that provides interaction with people.
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#35 Jemima

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

My fears are mostly about losing the positive things in my life such as financial security, my health, and my beloved cat. I also hesitate to get involved with men my age and older because I know that would likely be another experience in grief. I fear never having a local best friend again (my only really close friend is a man I met in Illinois twenty-six years ago; we've kept in touch by email all this time). I guess I fear loneliness in general. And I'm afraid that I'll never find that sense of purpose again. The things I do now merely pass the time in a (mostly) pleasant way, but they are overall pointless. I've never gotten the hang of "living in the moment" and just enjoying what's in front of me. I don't come home feeling gratified after having fun playing cards or whatnot.  I need something more than that.

 

I wish I could be like some other Christians I know who just blissfully leave everything to God. I keep trying to make things come out the way I want them, and that causes a lot of stress.  Intellectually, I know that there's really very little I can control and my anxieties and worries are doing nothing at all for me.

 

There's probably more, but I don't want to dwell on my fears any more so late in the evening.  They often keep me awake.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivinganti...oducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivinganti...r-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 


#36 dalsaan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:46 PM

Jemima, I could be completely off track here.  I'm wondering how many of those activities that you name were things you initiated?  Or, were they invitations you accepted because you didnt want to be alone (understably)?

 

When I reflected on my life I found I had become quite passive, waiting to see what happened, saying yes to what came my way but not initiating much.  I think this is trauma related for me but I include withdrawal as a traumatic experience.   I also think that recovery is pretty passive - we cant make it happen, we have to listen to our body and be dictated by that.  I think that produces a particular mode of being

 

I am trying to shift seats a bit, going from the passenger to the driver position.   I feel more satisfied when I am making things happen rather than waiting for them to happen.

 

This may be entirely meaningless to you but I thought I would put it out there.

 

D


Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.
Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.
Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.
Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.
Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).
Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

>My intro post is here - http://survivinganti...ic/2250-dalsaan