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Brain Fog: Blank mind, comprehension, cognitive and memory problems


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#37 MrAnxious

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:42 PM

Hello Folks, I need/want to know what the best way to deal with Brain Fog/Cognitive fog while in withdrawl from Anti depressant medication? It has been 3 months off and I cannot put together a sentence nor does it roll off my tongue, I really have to think hard and still can't say anything useful that really makes sense, it's really scaring me. I am looking for help here at the best ways to speed up this process, does it come back overtime,it's got me really stressed out, please someone? Cause I feel really dumb right now, hoping it's not permanant. Right now I take Fish oil/Multivitamins/Vit B complex,C,D and Magnesium and nicianamide. HELP :(
2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-
Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !
Tried natural supplements to no avail
Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

#38 Altostrata

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:14 PM

Gentle exercise, like walking at least .5 hour a day, can help the body and brain repair itself. Also, keep regular hours -- get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time every day. This helps reset your internal clock. Cut out sugar, processed foods, junk food, etc. Concentrate on giving your body high-quality fresh food so it has the materials it needs for self-repair. This does get better with time. For about 8 months, I felt like my head was stuffed with cotton balls. But it cleared up.
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.

#39 fj929

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:04 PM

Gentle exercise, like walking at least .5 hour a day, can help the body and brain repair itself.

Also, keep regular hours -- get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time every day. This helps reset your internal clock.

Cut out sugar, processed foods, junk food, etc. Concentrate on giving your body high-quality fresh food so it has the materials it needs for self-repair.

This does get better with time. For about 8 months, I felt like my head was stuffed with cotton balls. But it cleared up.



Alto did you experience any memory loss as well? I feel like I am stoned all day long is that what you mean by your head was stuffed with Cottonballs?

THanks
Hawk
Paxil 10mg 2004-2011
7.5mg 4months
5mg. 4months
2.5mg.8 months no wd issues
Dropped pax 4-10-12
5-9-12 started prozac to alleviate symptoms (no relief)
5-22-12 reinstated paxil 2.5mg
5-28-12 5mg pax (couldn't tolerate sides)
6-22-12 Pax 2.5
6-30-12 Pax O
Cerebrolysin to help with wd at 29 months. Horrible decision much worse.
Still suffering sever Brain fog, Confusion, slow thinking,And just feeling sick and weird (hard to explain),facial twitching, weakness, shaking and jerking

#40 fj929

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:12 PM

Hello Folks,

I need/want to know what the best way to deal with Brain Fog/Cognitive fog while in withdrawl from Anti depressant medication?

It has been 3 months off and I cannot put together a sentence nor does it roll off my tongue, I really have to think hard and still can't say anything useful that really makes sense, it's really scaring me.


I am looking for help here at the best ways to speed up this process, does it come back overtime,it's got me really stressed out, please someone? Cause I feel really dumb right now, hoping it's not permanant. Right now I take Fish oil/Multivitamins/Vit B complex,C,D and Magnesium and nicianamide.

HELP :(



From what I have read the jury is out on this one.
Many claim help from high dose Fish oil
I have heard insolitol, choline and lecitchin being succesfull. Ohters have vendtured and obtain Nooptropics like Piracetam and have claimed success.
Paxil 10mg 2004-2011
7.5mg 4months
5mg. 4months
2.5mg.8 months no wd issues
Dropped pax 4-10-12
5-9-12 started prozac to alleviate symptoms (no relief)
5-22-12 reinstated paxil 2.5mg
5-28-12 5mg pax (couldn't tolerate sides)
6-22-12 Pax 2.5
6-30-12 Pax O
Cerebrolysin to help with wd at 29 months. Horrible decision much worse.
Still suffering sever Brain fog, Confusion, slow thinking,And just feeling sick and weird (hard to explain),facial twitching, weakness, shaking and jerking

#41 Altostrata

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

I couldn't concentrate and was sort of confused -- I remember now I lost my keys a few times in a couple of months, had not done that before or since! But the brain fog gradually lifted over 6 months or so. It took a while longer for my concentration to come back. Regular gentle exercise, such as walking at least 30 minutes a day, stimulates neurogenesis and recovery of cognitive functions.
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.

#42 ajnjj

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:54 PM

Hi, I must say this is a very difficult symptom for me to treat. I am 8 months off lexapro. I get this on and off still. I have it now. People will talk to me and I have no idea what they are saying or how to answer. I walk into things. I definitly feel like ive been smoking way to much pot. (but im not ;) ) Its awful. Along with all the other things I have that I NEVER HAD BEFORE PSYCH MEDS!!!! I dont know if it will go away. Maybe in time. Hopefully in time. All we can do is wait, pray and take care of ourselves as best as we can. I get the cottonball analogy Alto- completely!!
Everything was ok. And then it wasn't.

Med History
11/2009- 50 mg Zoloft (1st ad ever) in combo w/.50 xanax for 2 weeks then use xanax as needed (1st benzo ever)
9 days on Zoloft, I was awake for 9 days straight C/T Zoloft
11/2009- trazadone to sleep for 2 weeks c/t Trazadone
12/2009 start 10 mg Lexapro w/ Xanax as needed
5/2010-3 week taper off lexapro
9/2010? back to Lexapro 10 mg after 5 or 6 weeks c/t leapro
12/2010-10mg paxil
5/2011-6 week paxil taper
8/2011 5mg lexapro
last lexapro pill January 7 2012
all this as per doc orders Thanks Doc!

#43 Barbarannamated

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:28 AM

This is incredibly scary. Difficult for me to separate out endocrine damage from withdrawal. Endocrinologist said approx 18 months to know if cognitive damage from thyroid will resolve. It is MUCH WORSE in the morning which I assume is cortisol effect, though not the heart racing, panic variety I had during earlier withdrawal. I have no ability to think FORWARD, even to do everyday tasks like take a shower. My brain is in lockdown. I can remember things in my life and past, but it's like I am separate from them. As far as word retrieval, I'm often surprised at the words and phrases that DO come to mind that I didn't know that I knew. I will be writing and a word flows out, I look back at it second-guessing myself because ive never used that word/phrase before, then Google it and find that I used it correctly. Then I think "hmm... I didnt know I knew that". Very bizarre. Example. We are at RV park. I need to collect my things to go to take a shower in facilities. Ive tried several times and my mind shuts down somewhere after "towel". I have no prob with taking showers in campgrounds. Just cant plan how to do it. I havent showered in over a week. I did manage to put swimsuit on and go in pool 2x.
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).

#44 Skyler

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:47 AM

This is incredibly scary. Difficult for me to separate out endocrine damage from withdrawal. Endocrinologist said approx 18 months to know if cognitive damage from thyroid will resolve. It is MUCH WORSE in the morning which I assume is cortisol effect, though not the heart racing, panic variety I had during earlier withdrawal. I have no ability to think FORWARD, even to do everyday tasks like take a shower. My brain is in lockdown. I can remember things in my life and past, but it's like I am separate from them.

As far as word retrieval, I'm often surprised at the words and phrases that DO come to mind that I didn't know that I knew. I will be writing and a word flows out, I look back at it second-guessing myself because ive never used that word/phrase before, then Google it and find that I used it correctly. Then I think "hmm... I didnt know I knew that". Very bizarre.

Example. We are at RV park. I need to collect my things to go to take a shower in facilities. Ive tried several times and my mind shuts down somewhere after "towel". I have no prob with taking showers in campgrounds. Just cant plan how to do it. I havent showered in over a week. I did manage to put swimsuit on and go in pool 2x.

What you describe above happens to me when I'm really anxious and you are under alot of stress. Your mother's dementia is very much on your mind, so I'm just wondering if there could be an element of this in the mix just now?

Just my two cents. Hope you feel improved soon. ~S

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 


#45 Barbarannamated

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:27 PM

Schuyler, Yes, very much so. Ive seen dementia throughout my family and from young age (60s). Not Alzheimers, probably vascular or, one I just learned of, "metabolic dementia". That fits our family profile well. So, add in all of the drugs I've taken and I have many risk factors. My dad has had a few attacks of Transient Global Amnesia also, beginning about 20 years ago. Ive been estrogen-deficient for a long time; endocrinologist is trying to preserve cognitive function. So, all together, my genepool plus drugs doesnt paint a pretty picture. My recent time with inlaws has been an eye-opener. I was surprised that they get dressed, sit together in living room, etc. For the last several years when I visit mine, they spent entire time in bed at alternate times. Mom never dressed and asked me to lay down in bed with her. She was convinced that I had a little girl and always asked about her. She even "heard her" on telephone calls. It's difficult to see that for so long and frightening to recognize the same tendencies in myself. I think SSRIs provide buffer/distance from stress. Take away that buffer, add strong stressors with very impaired stress tolerance and disconnection/cogfog/anxiety surface strongly. My theory.
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).

#46 haley

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:25 PM

Alto, so this whole catching only bits and pieces of what's going on around you and what people are saying, does go away?
"Before God, We were all equally wise and equally foolish."-Albert Einstein
Paxil(paroxetine) 20mg prescribed in april 2012
C'T paxil after 30 days.

#47 Skyler

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:20 AM

Alto, so this whole catching only bits and pieces of what's going on around you and what people are saying, does go away?

Haley.. I'm not a neuologist, but catching bits and pieces. Sounds like you are having the most difficult with sort term memory, thoughts don't sit there long enough to put them together. By the time someone finishes a sentence or thought, you have lost the beginning? Yes.. this does go pass.

Haley.. are you feeling up to getting your sig line setup? Do you need help with this?

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 


#48 haley

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:14 AM

Yeah, and i only catch like things with are you ready? nothing else seems too matter. And when everybody else has a problem with like life, I can't stand listening... Apathy? its horrible cause everybody would come too me with their probs, now when i go too them with mine, they are soo aggravated. Life always has a way of pooping on good people. I mean i was planning on looking into seeing a neurophyschologist here soon. But I will keep you all updated.
"Before God, We were all equally wise and equally foolish."-Albert Einstein
Paxil(paroxetine) 20mg prescribed in april 2012
C'T paxil after 30 days.

#49 jr1985

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:46 PM

Did those of you who experienced problems with memory/cognition while on antidepressants find that they improved as you came off them? If so, did it improve as you lowered the dose or when you stopped completely? Any ideas on what you can do to improve cognition? Other than diet, exercise and meditation?
2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Fast tapered Effexor to Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine after bad reaction and back on Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
30/6/12: Dropped to 35.6mg

#50 spectio

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 03:35 PM

jr: my experience with long term AD use is that being on them just about erased any ability I had to think, to reason, and my short term memory nearly evaporated. I've now been off remeron for 11 months and I believe my cognitive function is about 80 percent better. My ability to joke around is so much better which is important to me. A few months back I could hardly GET a joke let alone participate in a social exchange and be funny. All I can tell you is that putting one foot in front of another is probably the only way to navigate through this as far as a return of your thinking processes. If youre really watching what you eat, exercising with some regularity, and doing the best meditation you can, you're doing GREAT! Couple that with slow and steady WD and you are surely on your way to your old life back! I've had high blood pressure as long as I was taking AD's. I've tried more ways than I can count to not have to take any other meds but it looks like I have to take something. I just recently changed meds for bp and think these meds agree with me more than the last. While I was adjusting to the new meds, my bp was fairly high and I noticed some decline in my thinking processes. As my bp stabilizes , my thinking is better and better. So, my advise to you is to check your bp and do it regularly to make sure it's stable. I commend you if it's normal or if you can control it without meds. Getting adjusted to these substances is brutal. I know it would also be brutal to adjust to life after a stroke or ht attack. I watched my mother have two strokes. The last one took her away fom us. Don't know anything else you can do besides HANG IN THERE!
I started withdrawing off remeron in August of 2009, with the help of a holistic physician.The reason for the withdrawal was a year or two of off and on nausea, deterioration in my thinking, and more depression. It took me a full year to work from 135 mg down to 45mg. At that point, more drops were causing more depression. Unfortuately, the nervousness that I was also feeling for the last year continued with the 45 mg. Thirty one days ago, I stopped the remeron. I am still feeling the nervousness every day and the last week, I am feeling what I think is depression but not sure. In bed in the morning, I'm already dreading another day feeling this way. I am intensely unsure of myself and find it very hard to do anything. I was a practicing veterinarian for 29 years until I found I could not practice anymore. First of all I couldn't think, or remember, and I had absolutely no confidence in anything I did. These were things I did with relative ease for twenty+ years. So, this feeling of no confidence has been during the time I was on the AD(the last 2 years) and today. I take no other medication other than my blood pressure meds. I tried supplements with my holistic dr. but they seemed to make the intense nervousness even more intense. Anyway, I truly feel stuck.

#51 Rhiannon

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:54 PM

I've been polydrugged pretty much the whole time on psych meds and I'm tapering off multiple meds now, so it's hard to say what's the AD and what's the other stuff. But my cognition is definitely improving as I go down in my taper. So are all the other effects of the drugs, lessening as I get down to lower doses. So I think I can safely say yes, it does come back, for me, and yes it does get better as you go lower in dose.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything.

 

Now tapering, ironically (but not surprisingly) healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds," even with withdrawal (usually fairly mild at this slow pace).

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa       0.23 Xanax      1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

Now:                43                    0.625                 0.0775            1.3

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.


#52 Jemima

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

I had memory problems just before tapering off of Lexapro, during the (too fast) taper, and for two or three months after stopping the drug. It's been seven and a half months since my last dose of poison, and while I still have some withdrawal symptoms, I believe my memory has come back completely. I occasionally forget things, but that happened before the AD. The AD seemed to speed up my thought processes to the point that I couldn't hang on to very much that passed through my mind. I believe that's what the pdocs would have labeled "flight of ideas", something I never had before the drug.

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.

 


#53 jr1985

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:15 AM

Thanks for the replies guys, very encouraging! I'm wondering if the problems I had at university were actually due to the drug. When I was at school I was able to revise the night before an exam and get good marks, but when I went to university I had real difficulty trying to get the information straight in my head and to stick. When I managed to sit my exams I got really good marks, but it just took so much effort that studying was no longer fun and I began getting more and more stressed out. In school I could sit for hours studying, taking breaks here and there, but at university I could study for maybe 20-40 mins and feel like I couldn't do anymore. I could never understand why I could study ok in school but not university... I understand the workload is greater but everyone else seemed to manage it ok. I found a photo of myself from a few years ago, while I was at university, and I looked completely stoned. I would have been on Paxil at the time. Is it any wonder I had problems. At the time I thought maybe I need to be on a different AD or on a higher dose for the anxiety, when really the drug may have been the problem all along. Do you think it's possible the AD's contributed towards my difficulties? I know no one can say for sure...
2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Fast tapered Effexor to Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine after bad reaction and back on Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
30/6/12: Dropped to 35.6mg

#54 Barbarannamated

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:12 AM

I realized that my problems are not as much memory as perceptual distortions and cognition. Extremely fluctuating. I have significant medical problems contributing, so want to be clear to differentiate. I have a brain MRI scheduled for Wednesday night for "vasculitis with neurological symptoms". Ordered by doctor treating me for Schmidt's Syndrome/Addison's/Adrenal failure with possible pituitary involvement. My understanding is that there are often cognitive/perceptual distortions with this condition. I would describe it as dissociation. I remember things, but cannot connect to the feelings or emotions of events. Also, there is no continuity of time. I cant *feel* if something happened a day ago or a year ago. The last year+ is a blur. I'm sure withdrawal is involved in that. Im scared.
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).

#55 electron

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:49 AM

jr, I had the exact same problems at university. While at uni I developed chronic fatigue syndrome and was put on ADs by my doctor almost straightaway. I suffered cognitive problems similar to those described here but always attributed them to my CFS not thinking they might be caused by the ADs. I've not posted this anywhere else but I actually developed full-blown OCD while on these meds. It was only when I'd come off one of the meds in order to change to another one that I noticed by OCD symptoms ease. At this point I still didn't know about the dangers of ADs and went onto another one. It's only been in the last year or so that I've considered my lack of progress in overcoming CFS to possibly be due to taking ADs. I completed university with great difficulty and only realise now how difficult I had it. It definitely impaired my performance and the fact that I underperformed still bugs me today. I would like to appeal to the university to have these problems taken into account but seeing as I left a couple of years ago, I doubt they would be able to do anything. I feel incredibly unlucky in this respect. I am almost certain your difficulties were, like mine, caused by the ADs. I am halfway through my withdrawal now and am noticing improvements in my brain function. I find this situation all the more disturbing as OCD is one of the conditions for which ADs are specifically prescribed. I've worked out that I'll only need one more prescription for my current med and then I'll be able to leave this stuff behind forever hopefully. Barbarannamated, I have impaired adrenal function as part of my CFS. I believe this can also contribute to cognitive symptoms such as brain fog so some of your symptoms may be attributable to this and some to the drugs. In my situation at the moment I am dealing with coming off the drugs first so that I can tackle the adrenal problems with a 'clean slate' of no synthetic drug intake. electron

Currently withdrawing from fluoxetine after a switch from sertraline.
04/12-12/12 5.0-0.9 ml
30/01/13 - 0.88 ml     29/08/13 - 0.72 ml     21/11/13 - 0.66 ml     16/04/14 - 0.63 ml     29/03/15 - 0.58 ml
22/02/13 - 0.86 ml     12/08/13 - 0.74 ml     04/12/13 - 0.64 ml     21/11/14 - 0.62 ml     08/05/15 - 0.57 ml
14/05/13 - 0.84 ml     25/09/13 - 0.72 ml     19/12/13 - 0.62 ml     26/12/14 - 0.61 ml     23/05/15 - 0.56 ml

11/06/13 - 0.80 ml     13/10/13 - 0.70 ml     31/12/13 - 0.63 ml     23/01/15 - 0.60 ml

06/07/13 - 0.76 ml     07/11/13 - 0.68 ml     06/01/14 - 0.64 ml     08/03/15 - 0.59 ml


#56 Barbarannamated

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:04 PM

I received the results of my MRI and it did show damage in the white matter, or what my endocrinologist described as the "insulation" of the nerves within the brain. It is mild, scattered T2/FLAIR hyperintensities. He explained that the pattern is not thst of MS and is most likely due to antibodies attacking my brain. I have significant autoimmune diseases going on, so want to be clear to differentiate this from drug damage. The main symptoms of this neurologic finding are depression and cognitive decline. I have posted more info in my thread. http://survivinganti..._480#entry30025
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).

#57 jr1985

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:30 PM

jr, I had the exact same problems at university. While at uni I developed chronic fatigue syndrome and was put on ADs by my doctor almost straightaway. I suffered cognitive problems similar to those described here but always attributed them to my CFS not thinking they might be caused by the ADs. I've not posted this anywhere else but I actually developed full-blown OCD while on these meds. It was only when I'd come off one of the meds in order to change to another one that I noticed by OCD symptoms ease. At this point I still didn't know about the dangers of ADs and went onto another one.

It's only been in the last year or so that I've considered my lack of progress in overcoming CFS to possibly be due to taking ADs. I completed university with great difficulty and only realise now how difficult I had it. It definitely impaired my performance and the fact that I underperformed still bugs me today. I would like to appeal to the university to have these problems taken into account but seeing as I left a couple of years ago, I doubt they would be able to do anything. I feel incredibly unlucky in this respect.

I am almost certain your difficulties were, like mine, caused by the ADs. I am halfway through my withdrawal now and am noticing improvements in my brain function. I find this situation all the more disturbing as OCD is one of the conditions for which ADs are specifically prescribed. I've worked out that I'll only need one more prescription for my current med and then I'll be able to leave this stuff behind forever hopefully.

Barbarannamated, I have impaired adrenal function as part of my CFS. I believe this can also contribute to cognitive symptoms such as brain fog so some of your symptoms may be attributable to this and some to the drugs. In my situation at the moment I am dealing with coming off the drugs first so that I can tackle the adrenal problems with a 'clean slate' of no synthetic drug intake.

electron

I'm glad your cognition is improving as you taper. Since being on 37.5mg, I've noticed it has become easier for me to socialise with people in work because my head feels less full of cotton wool. I have Aspergers Syndrome, which obviously impairs my ability to socialise, but it's even more difficult when your head feels empty and you don't know what to say to people. I've had glimpses of my "old self" before I was on these drugs, which is nice. These drugs zombified me and I didn't realise it...
2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Fast tapered Effexor to Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine after bad reaction and back on Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
30/6/12: Dropped to 35.6mg

#58 jr1985

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

I received the results of my MRI and it did show damage in the white matter, or what my endocrinologist described as the "insulation" of the nerves within the brain. It is mild, scattered T2/FLAIR hyperintensities. He explained that the pattern is not thst of MS and is most likely due to antibodies attacking my brain. I have significant autoimmune diseases going on, so want to be clear to differentiate this from drug damage. The main symptoms of this neurologic finding are depression and cognitive decline.

I have posted more info in my thread. http://survivinganti..._480#entry30025

I'm sorry to hear it, Barb. Do you think the drugs caused this?
2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Fast tapered Effexor to Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine after bad reaction and back on Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
30/6/12: Dropped to 35.6mg

#59 LadyD

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:46 PM

I'm wondering if the problems I had at university were actually due to the drug. When I was at school I was able to revise the night before an exam and get good marks, but when I went to university I had real difficulty trying to get the information straight in my head and to stick.


When I was writing my thesis, I had a lot of trouble linking together thoughts and writing a clear sentence. I was constantly re-reading everything, because I just couldn't retain it. (At the time, I thought it was due to the difficulty of the material. It is still possible.) Celexa stole my creativity, too, which made it hard to write the creative analytical paper that I was known for.

Up to this point in time (about a year after withdrawal), I still have some issues with being able to connect different points of my brain. It is like my thinking is divided. It angers me a lot, because I used to have a great talent for combining the creative with the analytical in my head. Now, I am not sure if I've lost that ability altogether.

--

Citalopram (Celexa)
April 2010-July 2011

Out of withdrawal. Successfully adjusted to life off meds. :D Part of that adjustment includes Couch to 5K (www.c25k.com). I'm a runner now!

 

Diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism in 2013. Successful surgery same year. All symptoms for which Celexa was first prescribed are a result of this disease. I had it for many years, but the earliest noticeable symptoms for me were panic attacks and anxiety leading to depression. At the time, I only knew that thyroid disease could be connected to depression. I was tested, but tests came back normal. I have learned a lot more since then!

 

More info on parathyroid disease can be found here: http://www.nlm.nih.g...ddisorders.html

 

Recover well!


#60 Barbarannamated

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:18 PM


I received the results of my MRI and it did show damage in the white matter, or what my endocrinologist described as the "insulation" of the nerves within the brain. It is mild, scattered T2/FLAIR hyperintensities. He explained that the pattern is not thst of MS and is most likely due to antibodies attacking my brain. I have significant autoimmune diseases going on, so want to be clear to differentiate this from drug damage. The main symptoms of this neurologic finding are depression and cognitive decline.

I have posted more info in my thread. http://survivinganti..._480#entry30025

I'm sorry to hear it, Barb. Do you think the drugs caused this?


It's very hard to say although I think there's some correlation. SSRIs have known effects on the immune system, causing autoimmunity (a suspected lupus reaction, in my case). I probably had a genetic predisposition that was triggered by Zoloft (and then continual use of serotonergics for 18 years). Ive become aware of several other cases of DILE (drug induced lupus erythematosis), most from Prozac.

It would be extremely difgicult to prove causation, but I think as more people have dementia at earlier ages, the causation might become clearer. I havent read Grace Jackson's book (Drug Induced Dementia), but this seems to be what she describes in the book description.
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).

#61 areyouthere

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

These drugs zombified me and I didn't realise it...

Dito. For me it happened gradually. I've been on SSRIs and a benzo since 1995. It's just the last years that I've noticed my flatness of emotion, disinterest in interacting with other people, finding little joy in such things as my own daughter's wedding etc. The crazy part about it though is that if you were to have asked me in 1995 what I was feeling to make me think I needed an antidepressant, I would have said the same damn thing. :angry:
Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.
10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.
1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.
1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

#62 Tawanda2u

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:30 AM

I want to mention my experience and agreement with Altostrata. I am now about 6 weeks post-pristiq. Although I tapered, my body "hit a wall" and went into withdrawal. It was horrible and intense for about 2 weeks. I NEVER thought I would get through it, but I did. I am proud and thankful! I have found that I can experience what seems to be a resurgence of symptoms if I eat junk food, especially sugar, or drink alcohol (bummer!). Altostrata posted: "People often become hypersensitive to a lot of things, including supplements, in withdrawal. The supplements aren't interacting with the drug, they're interacting with your nervous system. Some of these hypersensitivity reactions can definitely make you feel worse." So true! I have to be careful about what I put into my system - supplements, food, mental junk, etc...and take it easy and be gracious to myself. One thing I kept in mind while I endured the withdrawal process is...if I knew that what I chose today would prevent me from obtaining my reachable goals, would the temporary relief be worth it? It took a lot of mental effort to keep going and not give up or take the medicine again. I am SO glad I didn't give up! Be gracious with yourself - the nervous system if amazingly complex and sensitive. Help it along the way with all good things! :rolleyes:

#63 Altostrata

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

Excellent advice, Tawanda. Many of us have to learn a very hard lesson to get throught this: Listen to your body and put your well-being first.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#64 Shanti

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

That was well said Tawanda. My mental cognition seems to fluctuate a lot. Periods of time I have good clarity of thought and sometimes I go through spurts of having a hard time writing and spelling, very forgetful etc. I hope it will level out and get back to normal. I believe it will in time. When I am in a low with my cognition, I take it easy and don't try to fight it. I take breaks from interactions on the forums and such.
Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.
Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)
My Paxil Website
My Intro

#65 shebop

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:50 AM

I'm currently at 15 mg of Lamictal and have been doing a super-slow taper for several months. I have really noticed in the past several months a decrease in ability to pay attention/focus, decreased ability to comprehend things in conversation, decreased ability to organize thoughts or make decisions, general memory retention issues in addition to other mood/cognitive issues. Some of these symptoms were present to a small degree prior to medication. I've always been a day-dreamer yet I was also always an excellent student. But this is REALLY REALLY scaring me. It's hard for me to even focus on reading these entries. I'm scared that I won't get better or that I need to go back up on the Lamictal to be able to function. Does anyone have any suggestions/advice/inspiration? Please help...I'm really struggling today.
1997- Started on SSRIs, many different kinds. Was tapered on and off of them due to lack of effectiveness and/or side effects until 2000ish.
2001 to 2006- Effexor, which despite tapering down lead to a terrible withdrawal and major depressive episode. Prozac early in this period and increased during withdrawal. Other meds were tried.
2006 to 2008-Lithium, Propanolol (to counteract side effects), on and off Prozac and benzos at varying doses. Tapered due to disturbing side effects.
2008 to present- Lamictal- for past year and a half have been titrating off of original dose of 200mg Lamictal, at 25 mg right now. Klonopin 1- 2mg at bedtime to sleep.

#66 Shanti

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:18 PM

If you can fall asleep okay, I noticed that when my cognition starts getting bad, that I spend a few days sleeping as much as I can. I don't stay asleep long, but I'll take many naps in one day. Sometimes even if I can't sleep, just laying down and resting my mind with no intention of sleeping (or it just causes anxiety and insomnia). Oh, and that reminds me of meditating and grounding helps me too. To ground myself, I simply walk around my yard barefooted, sit down cross legged now and then, lean back against a tree, and imagine light energy going through me to the ground or the tree. If you get restless or achy legs, this is good too. It helps the Root Chakra to ground like that, helping the legs. ( I don't know why I went on about the leg part when you didn't ask about that lol) I drift. Yeah I have good focus ;)
Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.
Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)
My Paxil Website
My Intro

#67 Nikki

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:38 AM

I am having a problem with spelling and remembering words. Simple words. I forgot the combination to my locker on Sunday. It was 11-3-33 and I was doing 3-11-33 over and over again. Had to ask a Manager to look it up.

Fortunately he mixed me up with another employee regarding calling in sick.
When it was brought to his attention he apologized over and over again. I told him we all make mistakes, for example I mixed up my locker combination.

It is very distressing for me to not remember something unless I do it 100 times. I jump into "Oh no I will have Alzheimer's."

What can be done to improve memory????? I have to get a hold of this.

Lots of people who don't take meds tell me they are forgetful too.

Is it in part to having such hurried lives?

Hugs
Ms. Short Term Memory Loss :(

I think I may buy one of those decorative chalk boards that you keep in the kitchen to make a daily list of what I need to do and remember to do :P

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


#68 dunerbug

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

Me too! Terrible memory issues. I've heard Ginko helps but i'm sensitve to herbs and stuff. So I'll be waiting this one out. :(
Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010
Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010
Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010
Didn't work as good the second time around.
Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

#69 Nikki

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

Today I meant to say: a friend of mine is from Czechoslovakia And I said: a friend of mine is from CzechosLovania :blink: I knew it didn't sound right immediately - thank goodness for that. What I hear is that in our forties we start to have memory loss and this increases with age. This is without AD's. I've read that this isn't normal. It's due to things like hurried life-styles, asparatame, sugar, drugs, etc. I've heard that Gingo is good. So is Vit E. (I should run and get some today) ;) Not enough of the REM portion of sleep and sleep apnea can cause memory loss. The first time I took an AD I had brain fogginess and the short term memory loss. It abated. When I switched from that to Paxil I had side effects which went away after I adjusted to Paxil. I didn't have short term memory loss on Paxil. That was a surprise. I had bad short term memory loss while withdrawing from Lexapro. Big Time. That lasted two years. In the last three years I noticed and remembered that I had trouble learning procedures in jobs > which then led to > anxiety > which led to more forgetfulness > more anxiety. I do know that I don't always listen attentively which is part of it too. What to do?

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


#70 compsports

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:17 AM

I can definitely attest to the fact that sleep apnea causes memory loss as someone dealing with it. Nikki, heard the same thing about vitamin E helping memory. It also helps the fish oil work better. CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Diagnosed with sleep apnea 2012 and on pap machine

Dealing with protracted sleep issues


#71 Outshined

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

I also used to have a very good memory for vocabulary before meds. My "word-finding" got seriously impaired post taper. Very disturbing, and very odd. I could never find the words "toaster oven" in under 20 seconds. No matter how I practiced, and how often I used the words (often), I had to re-search for them every time, and other two word-phrases starting with "t" and "o" would come up instead.


This is almost identical to what I've been experiencing since withdrawal. I used to have very good memory in general before and during meds, too.

It's also the scariest of the symptoms that I have because it makes me feel crippled and it generates anxiety and OCD-like behaviours, because sometimes I keep reading things over and over again (even in a span of days or weeks) for fear of forgetting them.

And also, while other withdrawal side effects are slowly but progressively getting better (some of them are even disappeared!), this one doesn't seem to budge.
From 2001 to 2010, I took almost continuosly a host of different SSRIs , including Prozac, Celexa and Paxil, plus various benzodiazepines and Bupropion for a limited period of time.

From July 2010 to April 2012 >> Duloxetine, dose ranging from 60mg to 120mg.

From August 2012 to September 2012 >> reinstated 30 mg of Duloxetine

From September 2012 until present days >> Valproic Acid/Sodium Valproate, dose ranging from 300mg to 1000mg. Now I'm on 400mg. I've also taken Amisulpride (50mg) for 9 days and Abilify (10ml) only once.

#72 s1335

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:04 PM

I can relate to this too. I can be driving and have no idea how I get to places. I can't remember simple tasks. I have become a burden to many. This has caused considerable anxiety and depression. Does anyone else here deal with a crippling fear of pleasing people to the point of trying to find ways to agree with everything as much as possible only to find yourself a hypocrite most of the time?
Lexapro 20mg 2001-2003 (tried to taper myself too quickly)
Back on Lexapro 40mg 2003-2006 (tried to taper...again)
On Celexa 20mg 2006-2008 (taper again)
Citalopram 40mg 2008-2012 (mid November tried to taper, things got worse)
Citalopram 20mg 2012 (late November)
Citalopram 20mg 2013 (January started to get a little better but sometime along the way stopped taking Citalopram and started losing track of everything)
Bad episode of lack of concentration and lost in thoughts, loss of sleep etc. Ended up in mental hospital for a week and was back on 20mg Citalopram and 5mg Olanzopine and 2mg Benztropine.
February 11 2013 Back on 40mg Citalopram and tapering Olanzopine to 2.5mg and Benztropine 1mg under Psychiatric care.