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  1. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  2. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  3. I'm a 27 year old female and I was prescribed to Wellbutrin a year and a half ago. I had never taken any type of psychiatric medication previous to this, and was prescribed to Wellbutrin by a physician that insisted it would help with the depressive symptoms that I was experiencing due to a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). My primary disorder at the time was GAD, and the only reason that I was experiencing depressive symptoms, is because of the change in my demeanor since becoming constantly worried about the possibility of having an anxiety attack in any social situation. The first time that I went to see a general practitioner about my general anxiety disorder, she immediately wrote me a prescription for Prozac, I took the medication a grand total of three days before having a pretty bad car accident while driving my brother to school. I went back to the doctor and she decided that it would be better if I tried going the antidepressant route. At the time I started Wellbutrin I was in my first semester of graduate school and the effects of Wellbutrin were welcome. I was able to concentrate better than ever before, and was getting all A's in school. It went this way for a little over a year, until 3 months ago when I started seeing a return of my panic attacks. I went back to the doctor and she told me that it sounded like I was building up a resistance to the dosage of medication that I was taking. I was taking a once daily immediate release dosage of 75 mg of Wellbutrin at the time and she decided it would be a good idea to up my dosage to 100 mg of sustained release in order to get me back to a base line. I went home with the medication and thought about what the up dosage meant. I had a lot to consider... I didn't want to be dependent on the medication for the rest of my life. Especially since I was taking an antidepressant medication when I didn't even actually have depression. That day I decided that I was going to quit the medication altogether.. without my doctor’s consent… I had NO IDEA how bad of an idea that would turn out to be. Fast forward to a week and a half after trying to quit wellbutrin cold turkey and I was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I was experiencing suicidal ideation (the first time I’d ever had ANY thoughts like this), MAJOR anhedonia, memory issues and extreme fatigue. I went back to my doctor to get help, because I was scared of what I was going to do. Long story short, she ended up putting me on the Wellbutrin SR 100 mg anyways so that I could level out before I started my taper process. I took the 100 mg SR every day for about 2 weeks and was having some really uncomfortable side effects. So I decided it was time for me to start weening myself off of it. I took the 100 mg SR every other day for two weeks and then every two days for another two weeks, so all in all I tapered off of the medication over a month. I know now that this was WAY too fast, but it’s too late for me to try to go back on it for a slower taper. I’m just wondering if anyone else has a similar story to mine, that can tell me what kind of recovery timeline I’m looking at. I’m experiencing some pretty sever anhedonia and memory/concentration issues that present themselves in waves.
  4. I tapered of Prozac in early 2014. I tapered over 4 weeks by taking every other day so basically ct. I had taken Prozac for 17 years for anxiety and depression. It took almost 4 months to get very bad by which time Drs had prescribed me sertraline and citralopram both of which exacerbated things tremendously. I only took a single dose of each. It never occurred to me or Drs to put me back of Prozac and by this time I was too terrified to take anything. The last 3 years have been horrific, losing my husband, my health and my income. I was unable to work for 2 years and now work part time from home which I still struggle with. I'm diagnosed with cfs fibro and severe depression all caused by protracted withdrawal. Iv seen dr Healy a few times and a neuropsychiatrist who both back my cause. I haven't taken a drug in 28 months but am about to start imipramine on their advise. I hope to get some relief from the crippling depression and pain and then hopefully taper off. I know this is a risk but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have terrible tinnutus caused from the destabilising effect of ct Prozac. I also have vertigo and chronic insomnia, especially early morning waking and sleep maintence. I use magnesium glycinate and lactium but Iv not noticed a noticeable difference. I have learned to not panic too much during extreme anxiety, instead of it breaking me completely like in the old days, I open the door and invite the beast in. This also helps with odd flare up of akathesia that was relentless in the beginning. I'm completely amazed at the lack of knowledge from Drs about the dangers of drugs but I have also found at leat 3 who are well very knowledgable. It gives me hope at least that we are not completely alone.
  5. Hi All, I've been on Prozac off and on for the last 10 years: Nov 2007 - 20 mg after severe anxiety/PTSD/depression after abusive relationship and bad alcohol binge. Summer 2008 - went off bc i 'felt good' Fall 2008 - WD and all original symptoms back: extreme anxiety, etc Fall 2008 - back on 20 mg until Summer 2009 - went off bc i 'felt good' ... note, prozac was always prescribed by an internal med doctor, not a specialist. took me about 10 mins each time to get a prozac diagnosis, from different docs ... ... note, always used Xanax for the symptoms until the prozac kicked in, 0.25mg - 0.5 mg several times a day ... ... repeat this process, same seasons, each year until ... Nov 2015 - severe anxiety and WD symptoms brought about by bad romantic experience (i see the pattern now..) Nov 2015 ri 20 mg of prozac by integrative psychiatrist who tested me for & determined i had: MTHFR mutation, pyroluria, copper toxicity, zinc deficiency, and put me on the Walsh protocol to treat: Zinc, Selenium, 5-HTP, B6, B12, EPO, Vit C, Vit D, Biotin. I stayed on Prozac at 20 mg for a year. I expressed my desire to not be on it, he agreed to help me wean. He never ever said a thing about WD. Honestly, i don't think he must know much about it or else he would have said. He is an open-minded doctor. July 2016 reduced to 10mg under supervision by doctor. Did not taper from 20mg to 10mg, just jumped. Was perfectly fine for one year May/June 2017 began to taper according to doctor: 10 mg every other day for a month - i did about 6 weeks Sept 23 2017 - panic attack and full-blown WD from hell symptoms. Still at this point had never heard of WD from SSRI. Had no idea it was a thing. Assumed my symptoms were my 'depression and anxiety just coming back'. Struggle for one week thinking i'll make it out. Did not go back on Prozac, wanted to try and fight it. Sept 29 spoke with dr, expressed i did not want to begin prozac, he suggested Inositol 4g x 3 each day and up 5-htp from 150mg to 200 mg per day Oct 2 after severely worsening symptoms finally crack and call my dr asking for a prescription for Prozac and Xanax. Pick up prescription but still try to tough it out a few days. Oct 5 finally cave and RI at 10mg. He is telling me RI at 10 mg for the first 7 days and then up to 20mg after that. Today - Oct 10 - discover that Prozac WD is a thing. Discover this forum, discover Rxisk.org. Feel like it makes sense that i am experience WD and not just 'anxiety and depression'. Why on Earth would my brain need fluorine molecules in it to function properly (fluoxetine). That is complete garbage. I can only infer that my nervous system has in fact become dependent on it in some way. I meet with my doctor in one week and will bring this up with him. I am unsure what to do, but feel from reading here a bit that i should RI at a lower dose, stabilize, than try to taper more slowly. I hope to god that 10mg will help me stabilize bc i feel absolutely awful. The only relief i have is a window of time from about 6pm - 10pm when i can relax and feel calm if i do some guided meditations. I sleep OK until about 530AM then wake up with extreme nervousness and can't sleep. Tossing and turning, having bad dreams for another hour or so. It's awful. It's totally unbearable. Even taking 0.75mg of Xanax does not fully relieve the anxiety. Was tapering at 10 mg every other day too slow? I would appreciate any feedback you all have on this. I need some hope - can this really be down to get off this stuff? Will I feel better again? Thanks for your feedback. I wish you all the best.
  6. Hello! I would like to begin a very slow taper of Fluoxetine (10mg) about 7 years. Attempted two years ago but didn't do properly and doctors convinced me that it wasn't the reduction of medicine doing this to me (oodles of withdrawals). Reinstated to full dose. I am currently on tablet form. My question...I want to do a 10% conservative reduction. Should I continue on tablet and cut and weigh or should I transition to capsule and count beads ( not time release ).. Requested liquid from doctor but was told since I am on such a small dose liquid would be too difficult. I am nervous to begin this journey for fear of what happened before but am going to forge ahead. So....cutting and weighing pill or counting beads and weighing for capsule? Which will allow for a more accurate, easier very slow reduction and someday jump off??? Would appreciate feedback please!!!
  7. Hi there, I'm coming off of the lowest dose of fluoxetine-there was a short taper since it's supposed to be easy to come off of...my dizziness is popping up now that I'm fully off. I've only been off for two weeks, and the taper was VERY fast...admittedly, I cut it in half from what was ideal and that's my fault. Aside from Sea Bands, does anyone have any remedies for the dizzy spells? Im aware that I should not have manipulated my taper schedule. I was tired of being an overeating zombie struggling with chronic fatigue and absolutely zero sex drive. (Sorry if that's oversharing)
  8. Ogres: Prozac

    Hello everyone! I first started Prozac in the beginning of 2009 to help with social anxiety and public speaking at work. I had to delivery training and couldn't simply face the situation where I'd be in the center of attention. I had had previous failings in this area and couldn't think of screwing up again. Especially, I could lose my job. So, after googling and researching I decided to give fluoxetine a try. As you can see, no doctors were involve and I could only blame myself . I even sourced the pills by ordering from the internet. I started with 20 mg and noticed effects after approx 2-3 weeks. The main thing that I remember was calmness and confidence. With the chemicals fully kicked in, I was so relaxed about the future ordeal that I thought that even if I failed, I’d not care too much. The training went fine though and I had a massive boost of confidence from this fact. The nature of my work, requires me to constantly communicate with people, which had always been hard for me. For this reason I stayed on AD. So that I could function normally and establish myself. I had recently moved to the UK from another country and had to survive. On the other hand I was very cautious, as I had had some past dependency on substances at a tender age, and never exceeded 20mg/day. Also, I never intended to use the pills forever. I just liked how they made me feel in social situations. I had always been a bit shy and fluoxetine helped me to be more relaxed. I continued to take Prozac, but with breaks where I'd be completely off for weeks and even months! I'd go off medication cold turkey (I didn't know about tapering at the time!). And to be honest, I didn't have any major symptoms during years 2010-2013 apart from anxiety (but I'd always been anxious), irritability, anger. No major physical symptoms as far as I could remember. I consider myself to be a person with some self control and I'd try to disregard what happens inside me and try to look normal. Maybe being young(ish) and the fact that I always did some sport help as well? With time as I was becoming more relaxed about my job security and with thoughts that I probably better off AD eventually, my breaks would become longer and longer. And in Jul 2015 I first decided to go off completely. As always, I just stopped cold turkey! Well, I tapered by taking 20 mg every other day for couple of weeks, but I don't think it can be considered tapering in pure sense. WD was probably a bit harder this time with anxiety, irritability, fatigue more pronounced. But I tolerated it fine. I thought maybe I was getting older? No other major physical symptoms. I went back on Prozac again in Feb 2016 because of a new project where I'd need to socialize and communicate. And when work situation calmed down, I went off again in Sep 2016. This time WD a bit harder still. Major symptoms: anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, stress intolerance, anger, insomnia. Surprisingly, insomnia only hit me first in month 7 (still suffering)! This is probably the worst symptom, a torture, when you can't sleep for several nights at a time and then had to function during the day... Thanks a lot for all your attention!
  9. Greetings All! I am blessed to have found you all and look forward to enlightening engagements. What a conundrum life can be, what a perplexity! But, as one inspiring author has once written "It is a great day in the life of a man (though at the time he knows it not) when bewildering perplexities concerning the mystery of life take possession of his mind, for it signifies that his era of dead indifference, of animal sloth, of mere vegetative happiness, has come to an end, and that henceforth he is to live as an aspiring, self-evolving being." I am here because I'm not sure if I made the right decision. After reading posts on this sight, and garnering much inspiration from the heartfelt writings of other recoverers, I am beginning to wonder if I am on the right track. Any insight would be appreciated. I have posted my background for anyone's information but you can skip this (as its quite long) and go straight to my question at the end under the heading "A Miraculous Intervention?". Background The beginning In 2010 I began suffering from severe OCD caused by a drug-induced psychotic episode which left me in a terrible spin. On that night I hallucinated hearing very ugly voices all around me and coming from my friends - I was extremely high on a mix of cocaine and alcohol - and I think my psyche could not take it anymore. My mind was flooded with nothing but horrendous intrusive thoughts of every abominable kind, they are truly unspeakable. This was not the fist time the psychosis set in. It had done so before when I was high on acid/LSD and to lesser extent when I'd smoke marijuana before that. I have a history of substance abuse and it was the substances that ultimately led to the outburst of severe OCD. In 2011, with these horrific intrusive thoughts banging away in my head from morning to night I managed to muster up the courage to get clean off every toxic substance that I was still consuming (alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine/cat, cigarettes). This helped me to get a job, study further and work towards having some sort of a career. [On a side-note: Externally I wasn't doing too bad. I had the respect of my family and people around me and was building a high profile social network through my work at the time - no one would've even suspected my inward suffering]. My first dose of medication By 2012 I was totally clean and working slowly to build a life. Inwardly I continued to live with this horrendous OCD which was coupled with constant anxiety and depression - it was the hell of hells. I had never known that some can suffer such a deep suffering and be forced to live with it everyday. It was my unspeakable reality. One day, after I couldn't take it anymore, I mustered up the courage to go see a psychologist. I started telling her my story and then burst out int tears in her office. She looked at me and said "Oh, child, you're suffering from OCD". It was the first time I had ever heard of the term. She was absolutely great - very instrumental to my healing. I worked with her deeply for some time as an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital. While I was there, I started seeing a psychiatrist who put me on a cocktail - Seroquel, Lexamil and one or two other drugs. They paralyzed me and after a few months I quit and resolved rather to live with my excruciating OCD-Depression-Anxiety rather than be zombified by these drugs. Second Try at Meds Then in 2014, while doing my first post-graduate degree, I couldn't take my suffering anymore. I was consuming tons of caffeine to help me concentrate and work past the OCD during exams and I just couldn't take the inward suffering. The caffeine seemed to help me concentrate but it also made my condition worse. I sought the help of an amazing CBT specialist who has been a psychological guardian angel for me. I worked with her for sometime and when I eventually opened up to her about the nature of my OCD thoughts and we jointly decided that I should consult a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist I saw was also great - she really cares about her patients and doesn't force anything onto patients but rather works with them and remains sensitive to their reactions and needs. We tried another cocktail - seroquel, fluoxetine, and something else (I cant remember). And my body immediately rejected all of them except fluoxetine. I felt so terrible form the meds that after three months of taking the fluoxetine and rotating the antipsycotic meds (we kept the fluoxetine stable while experimenting with other meds) eventually we tried an antipsycotic that made me feel so suicidal and terrible physically (tingling sensation everywhere etc.) that I decided to quit everything cold turkey. I had had enough, anything that made me want to kill myself had to go! Fluoxetine (Prozac/Nuzak) Saves the Day! Soon after however, I started experiencing painful withdrawal so I went back to my psychiatrist because I felt I needed the medication again. We then agreed to dump all the other antipsychotic meds altogether and stick to the fluoxetine because it was the only one I reacted well to. Remarkably, after a few weeks on fluoxetine my OCD symptoms began to subside. My mind felt clearer, and I had a much greater degree of peace and calm psychologically. I was very grateful because it actually made a difference for me and saved me from horrendous suffering. The fluoxetine was a life-saver. I also felt happier, less anxious and less depressed. It really changed my life for better. I wasn't 100% better of course, I still had an underlying OCD-depression-anxiety which was there but I was much much better off! I continued to take the fluoxetine (60 mg) until I got an opportunity to move to Germany for a short-term 3 year work project. Quitting Cold Turkey Again and Trying to Move On In the last yer or so of taking the fluoxetine I started to plateau. I felt okay, not great just simply okay and was able to continue with life chasing my goals and ambitions. My OCD-anxiety-depression was still there to a degree, it never left me and every now and again I'd feel quite depressed and I started to wonder if it was worth relying on the meds. Then my intuition began to nudge me to consider quitting the meds. I was feeling okay and I had started to make lifestyle changes that made me feel great and I felt that if I could sustain my new lifestyle changes then I would be able to live free of the fluoxetine. I am aware of how debilitating it can be to stay on a psych drug for so long that you depend on it, and who knows, it can turn on you anytime on the journey. I knew deep in my heart that I was not the type of person to resign myself to remain on these meds for life especially with all their long-term side-effects. So my lifestyle changes had me feeling great and I quit cold turkey in April 2017 cause I thought I was onto something. I felt great for about two months thereafter and then slowly depression and anxiety started to kick in. It grew gradually until it became debilitating. I couldn't work, I couldn't concentrate and at some point I feared if I may ruin the very three year contract that I am on. I lost all hope for the future, my life went absolutely grey and ugly. I hated everything and everyone around me! I hated life, and it felt hopeless. All my ambition, hunger for more and everything else just vanished! There I was, absolutely hopeless. When it got really bad I decided to check if it was withdrawal and I realized that it was. I know its withdrawal because my OCD has remained at the level it was after the meds helped. So the severity of the OCD has not returned and I'm so glad that I've retained that progress, its just the anxiety and hopeless gloomy depression that has been bothering me. I then found this site about two weeks ago and many other sources of info online and I realized that I was going through withdrawal and that there are brave men and women all over the world enduring and recovering from even worse. This gave me much hope. A Miraculous Intervention? After sometime however, the hope I got from this forum waned as the depressive and low states kept hammering me! I felt I couldn't take it anymore. So I decided that I'm going to go back to a local medical doctor and get them to prescribe me some fluoxetine (prozac/nuzak) again. I had lost all hope of making it without some relief from the withdrawal. How would I complete projects, work with other people and meet my targets if I all could do was lay in my room curled up in a ball of corrosive self-pity, debilitating fear, hopeless gloom, deep depression and panicky anxiety. How would any of this amount to anything? Then miraculously, some supplements I had ordered to help me based on the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross arrived last week the day before I was to see the Dr.. I was not sure about the supplements anymore "but since they're here anyway, I might as well try them" I though to myself. So I took the supplements and went to the Dr. anyway cause I had already given up and made up my mind. When I arrived at the Dr. she was not available due to an emergency and I was told to come back the next day. Perhaps this was a miracle intervention because the supplements actually helped me feel better. I definitely do not feel the way I felt while on the fluoxetine but I think they're just enough to help me cope and get through this. Sometimes I feel great and full of energy and can concentrate on my work, other times I feel slightly depressed and low, but I can still work and get through the day with them. So my question is as follows: My OCD is under control, I've retained the gains I made on the meds despite quitting and I'm almost 5 months free of the fluoxetine (prozac/nuzak). I am experiencing terrible withdrawal characterised by deep depression and ruthless anxiety but the supplements suggested in The Mood Cure are helping me to keep going and some days they make me feel great actually. So much so that I haven't felt the desperate need to go back to the Dr. for reinstatement. However, on the other hand, I was doing okay on the fluoxetine. It had no bad immediate side-effects for me and in fact only made me better until it plateaued but even at the plateau I was much better off than I was before I started taking it. But deep within I have a drive for true healing and to be free of all toxic substances and I feel its time to move on from the drug before I become dependent on it and subject to its long-term side effects. I am now stuck between a rock and hard place: A] Go back on the fluoxetine and feel much better (or not) and possibly become its slave for life (a thought I detest) but avoid the current withdrawal and regain my ability to feel good and work at my peak performance and risk whatever long-term consequences may come (if they come at all)? ----------- OR ---------- B] Stick to my new lifestyle (gym, supplements, high quality nutritious diet, spirituality - prayer, meditation, faith) despite the pain and suffering I have to endure on this path with the hope that deep work and true healing will give birth to a new me (though this is no guarantee), a stronger me that is going to the root of my pain and suffering and facing and processing it the hard authentic way rather than masking it? My Personal Philosophy My personal philosophy is that I should rely on my own intuition and to follow our own Star. My Star seems to be calling me towards true healing and to inviting me to delve deep into my own inner abyss, my inner muck and hell and to conquer it. To conquer my laziness, selfishness, hatred and anger, jealousy, envy, pride, low self-esteem, gluttony, addictive behaviors, lack of self-control, childhood traumas and to do it authentically. My personal philosophy is that I should be free off all toxic and addictive substances and live a healthy life with the aim of changing myself into a better being not just on the outside (wealth, career, body, social status etc.) but also on the inside (spiritually, emotionally and psychologically). At the same time, its important to temper this philosophy with reality and not to be fanatical or extreme. I therefore want to consider the fork in the road where I'm at deeply and honestly before making a rash decision. Thank you very much for your time and consideration!
  10. Hello everyone! I am a new user here. I've lurked around this site before but have yet to introduce myself. I was a Prozac user for a year from August 2015 - September 2016. I had taken it for social and general anxiety. I was on 20mg/day. Initially, I was actually doing fine and great emotionally but had side effects like massive fatigue everyday (not even 3 cups of coffee could wake me up!) and constipation every time I went to poop (sorry for TMI). I also felt like a zombie for a brief period in which I was neither happy nor sad. In May 2016, I decided to abruptly stop taking the Prozac by choice without consulting my doctor (bad move!) and had brain zaps and mood swings which I assumed as worsening depression. I then just asked my doctor to simply increase my dose because I thought I was getting worse (bad move again!). I was put on 40mg/day from June - August 2016 in which I was ok at first but then I was hit with a panic attack so severe I had to rush to the ER. For that week, I was having very severe symptoms. So I was instructed to go back down to 20mg/day. From then on, I decided to stop taking it a few months ago in September because I felt better and didn't want to rely on medication anymore to make me happy. I consulted with my psychiatrist who said for me to just take 10mg for one month and then I can stop. I did just that. Over the month of October I was fine and felt completely normal. However, I realized symptoms would come later once the month of November started. I have since felt every type of symptom under the sun including brain zaps, hot flushes, insomnia, irritability, tingling sensation of the skin, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, tremors, and slight vertigo. I have never felt these symptoms in my life til now! I've talked to my doctor and he doesn't believe in withdrawals. At this point I feel helpless. I am experiencing waves and windows in which I have waves of really bad flare ups and then windows of good normal days where I feel fine. But they keep cycling back and forth. I now have questions to ask: 1. Do windows of no symptoms mean that my body is getting better? 2. Should I reinstate the Prozac and taper off more gradually? Someone suggested I shouldn't because I've already been clean for 3 months now. But what do you guys think? 3. Will symptoms go away if I keep pushing cold turkey? 4. Should I try medical weed to help ease tthe symptoms? I want to try natural ways of healing
  11. Introduction Hi everyone. I have been lurking here since last year but decided to start my thread as my waves are getting more frequent. I am trying to stabilize at 20mg of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) daily, and have been taking it for 6 months. I thought stabilization was finally happening in January this year but waves are now weekly. I am here to see if anyone can shed light on why my horrible waves are more frequent now. I've read “The windows and waves pattern of recovery” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/). Maybe I'm missing something? I'm not feeling very bright since WD hit me! Wave and window frequency Stabilization seemed to work right away and my intense waves were about every 14 to 21 days (3 to 4 weeks). Last month and this month, waves have increased frequency to about every week and last 2 to 5 days, with a window inbetween. Currently working on a graph based on my daily notes to visualize my stabilization journey. WD waves This is how I recall them now but I will update this description when I consult my notes next during a window. A headache and dizziness accompany a vice-like tightness around my head. I then get intensely irritable, depressed, and quite sleepy. I then get akathisia, mostly in the legs. I have tried pushing through it but I find it very hard to concentrate on anything and I just can’t bring myself to talk or interact with anyone. Any conversation or touch terrifies me and I just have to dismiss myself and apologize to whoever is around me at the time and hope they don’t take my sudden departure personally. I then go to sleep. When I wake, I feel better but the wave is still there. I tend to get better over the next day or two, only for the cycle to repeat as mentioned above. Aside from sleeping the only relief I get, for but a moment, is when my rescue cat comes home and deigns to grace me with her presence on the bed next to me or in my chair. This WD has meant that I can no longer keep many commitments, I can only work on a casual basis (i.e. I put in a few hours a day in a window), and my relationships have become skeletal. My life is slowly falling apart and I am now dependent on my partner. She is understanding of my withdrawal, having been on SSRIs herself but luckily avoided a protracted WD. Sadly though, I just feel so guilty and frustrated at how I am now a slave to this window and wave cycle, and largely a useless partner. Windows (something positive) I am myself: productive, fairly positive, happy, thoughtful of others, and able to tackle my anxiety properly. I still live in fear of waves but I am learning to try not to ruminate on them. I feel a willingness to connect with people. I am starting to put too much pressure on myself to do everything during a window and that is leading to problems. To be fair to myself though, my waves are iatrogenic and I must forgive myself for feeling wretched, even during a window, because SSRI withdrawal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and it has ruined my life. Why are my waves more frequent? I will share some of my hypotheses below regarding why my waves are more frequent. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know, I’d love to hear them. I’ve learned so much from SA already. As mentioned in my signature I am working on compiling all the daily data I have into a graph so I can get a better picture of my stabilization journey (and what proceeded it). I don’t know when that will happen as my windows are now spent doing all the things I put off in my waves and just improving my loosening grip on the good things in life. I know though that I have to finish this data processing as soon as I can in case the waves merge into one big, long one. 1. My SSRI history during the last two years is peppered with ignorant tapering attempts, maybe it is catching up with me? 2. The optimist inside me is hoping that the frequency is increasing because it could be a pattern that occurs prior to a period of flatter frequencies (perhaps the ebbs and flows of homeostasis). I am perhaps just fantasizing but I imagine that if the frequency increases so much, like in a radio wave, the peaks and troughs (waves and windows) will be indistinguishable, which could be what homeostasis looks like. I am laughing at this hypothesis as I can see I am desperate for some good news XD 3. Maybe my reinstatement/stabilization dose was a little too low (considering I was on 40mg daily for the longest time) and I am catching up with the WD that it would have caused in recent months. If this is the case, I can’t see any benefit in updosing now anyway. Sure, it could always get worse but I think it would definitely get worse if I start guessing at an updose level. I could be wrong. 4. Some of my family wish to visit me later this month for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. They planned it during one of my windows in December and I felt positive about it all. I also felt optimistic that given about 6 months of trying to stabilize, my waves would be a thing of the past, or a rarer occasion. I tried to get them to postpone but they can’t change their plans without losing all their money. I don’t want them to stop their holiday for me but as the reason for travelling is to see me, I have warned them that I may be in bed, only able to talk to them for a few minutes. I hope I have a window when they are here but I think I’ve had a huge amount of stress about the visit because I just don’t need the guilt I will undoubtedly feel when I am only able to see them for a few minutes. In other words, perhaps stressors and other factors in my life are making waves more frequent. My expectations for stabilization and my tapering plan I didn’t expect stabilization to take this long but after reading “After reinstating or updosing how long to stabilize” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/?hl=%2Bhow+%2Blong+%2Bstabilize) I realize it could take a long time, maybe years based on how much damage my ignorant tapering did in the past. When I stabilize (I suppose I have to believe that I will) I plan to do an SA taper, spanning years, with water titration (I have done a few trial runs of it and it’s very easy to get accurate doses this way). I have the syringes ready but it could be a long time before I get to use them! My current plan is to keep plodding along at 20mg until I can get a more stable window and wave frequency. I don’t expect my waves to disappear completely but this increase in frequency means I am questioning things and hope that someone out there may have an idea about what’s happening and what I may expect to happen for the next 6 months. Lifestyle As for my lifestyle, I am healthy, eat well, and exercise most days. I take some supplements but I don’t think they’ve made much of a difference either way. I will list them later when I can manage it but they include B12, magnesium, and fish oil. Sadly, during waves I mostly lie in bed as it provides me some relief. One of the side effects from fluoxetine is sleepiness and lethargy, which I've always had, so that contributes to me lying about a lot. It took so much out of me to write this but I am glad I did it now! Good luck to you all and I wish you the best, regardless of what stage of withdrawal and recovery you are. Kittygiggles
  12. Bluebird2009

    Hi 8 am from the UK and was on Prozac for 18years but had been unwell and having physical problems the past few years but tests where all clear. I realised it was the drug that was the problem. I was taken off too quickly and my body went into shock and I have been in protracted withdrawal ever since which is 9months now. Every month I'm getting new symptoms and really struggling with living. I can't tolerate even a pain relieve tablet without a reaction. I have awful lung and chest pain, blurred vision, severe headache which has just started this week and feel like I'm dying. I feel I maybe shouldn't have came of but then maybe it's better to get the poison out of my body. Really need some positive vibes at the moment and if anyone else in UK can help please do as I'm frightened that I'm going to die.
  13. Arcticjessy: Please help

    Hi I'm 31 years old I have taken prozac since I was 18 for mild depression. I have not had a relapse in all this time so I'm unsure why I was left of it but I was. For the last 6 years I have taken 20mg every other day so in June last year when I saw my GP and said I wanted to quit she said I could just stop so I did. I was in a very good place in my life new job, I was a very keen sportswoman and in a good relationship. Over the course of the summer I noticed I was getting more stressed but put it down to life without ADs my sleep was also getting worse I would toss and turn for hours unable to settle. In October I started with what I thought was a virus I ached all over could not walk very far felt weak like I had ran a marathon, I also had chest pain and felt very anxious, this got worse and worse until I went to see my gp who said I was having a relapse of my mental illness I pleaded with her saying this felt nothing like my original illness but she would hear nothing of it and gave my prozac again, I took one and within hours I felt ten times worse my jaw clenched shut and I slept maybe 2 hrs in 48 hrs. Since then things have got worse I have a fear I find hard to put into words it is like torture, A simple act of looking up or going to speak fills me with a terror I never new possible. I find it hard to sit for long but soon as I stand I'm exhausted and have to sit again, I have had hrs when things lift slightly but then bang it's back, my sleep is horrendous I manage maybe 3-4 hrs. I wake often in the night unable to move my body but my mind it writhing around in some kind of anxious agony. I have days I know I will die if not from this from myself as I cannot stand to stay like this one more minute. This is not me I'm not a suicidal person I have so much love in my life I have always considered myself extremely lucky. I have read a scary article saying this May be permanent, my rational science mind says this is not possible what evidence is there for this, ssri have only been around 30 ish years so how can they say this is a permanent damage ? But my terrified mind says what if? I have a young son who is being cared for by my parents as I cannot care for him. I no longer get paid from my job as I have been absent so long I'm losing everything yet 1 year ago I was completing in bike races, working and loving my son and family. My dr wants to to try mirtrazapine low dose, I have put this off for 3 months thinking this nightmare will end but It has not. Please someone tell me what to do. I don't want to die I love life.
  14. Hi everyone. I am new here, and I am so thankful for this forum. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice or input into what I am going through with Prozac withdrawal right now. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Here is my history with meds: I am a 29 year old female (well, 30 this month). At age 20, in college, I took 5 mg of Lexapro for a year (prescribed 10 mg, but I am very sensitive to meds, so I broke it in half). I weaned off of it very slowly. I took 2.5 mg for several weeks when weaning off, then half of that for a couple weeks, until I was done. Withdrawal for me was miserable, but thankfully the worst of it only lasted for maybe a week or so (it basically made me psychotically enraged at everyone until I was totally off of it). Once I was off of it, I lost weight quickly, I was sleeping better at night, and my only remaining symptom that lasted about 2 years was just this random facial twitching. Then around age 26, I started experiencing horrible panic attacks several nights a week that left me paralyzed in fear and unable to sleep. The panic was situational—I was faced with making some major life decisions, and I felt really stuck, and very alone and depressed and scared of making the wrong decision. I finally decided to try an AD again to see if it would help me to get over my panic attacks, sleep, and move forward. I tried a low dose of Lexapro again; for a few weeks, it worked well and I slept well, then all of a sudden I began having an adverse reaction—the most horrible anxiety and insomnia you could imagine. It was a living hell. I got off of it quickly and switched to brand-name Prozac 10mg. It worked great! I was sleeping well at night, my panic attacks completely stopped, and I took some huge steps forward. I took it for maybe 9 months or so and weaned off of it very easily. A couple years later, after some stressful life events, I felt I should go back on the Prozac for a period of time since it had helped calm me so much in the past, enough to make some changes and move forward. I felt it was harmless since I had no problems on it before and it was very easy to get off of. This was at the end of May of last year (May 2016). Since I have been so sensitive to meds in the past and could do well on a low dose, I started by breaking the Prozac capsule in half and dissolving it in juice and drinking half for 5mg (I used to do this the first time I took it when I felt I didn’t always quite need the full 10 mg, and it worked very well). Part of me was concerned that I may have an adverse reaction (I can’t remember why I was afraid of this, since I had done well on it before) so I thought it was good to begin with 5 mg for a few days/weeks and see how I did. I began experiencing terrible, terrible anxiety in my stomach, as if my stomach was constantly doing somersaults that never stopped. It was also the beginning of horrible, horrible, nightly insomnia. I figured this was just a normal start-up effect, and that it would soon stop once the Prozac built up enough in my system. 8 weeks later, the anxiety and insomnia were as horrible as ever, so I quit the med. I was literally on it for no longer than about 8 weeks. So I was done with it by the end of July of last year. I have been off of it for about 6 or 7 months now, but the anxiety and insomnia are still as horrible as ever. They never resolved, and I don’t understand why. They did not begin until I began the medicine. It is like my body has been tricked into thinking it is still on the Prozac. I also wonder if those symptoms would have gone away had I built up to a high enough dose of the Prozac (I know 20 mg is the lowest therapeutic dose, and I was only taking 5mg). Do you think my anxiety and insomnia will ever be resolved without meds? Could going back on Prozac, only a higher dose, help me? Why would I have done so well on Prozac years ago, only to do horribly on it this time? And . . . why would I still be having symptoms after being off of it for 7 months, especially when I was only on 5mg for 8 weeks? I am really not sure what to do. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for any input. I am really at a loss.
  15. 9 months ago today I took my last Prozac and I am still dealing with withdrawal. I took 15 mg of Fluoxetine for 12 years from PAR pharmaceuticals. In July 2015 the fluoxetine I received from the pharmacy was from TEVA pharmaceuticals, apparently PAR pharmaceuticals discontinued the tablets I was taking. Well, my body did not react well to the TEVA brand. I started having nausea and tremors. After a couple of days on the TEVA brand I switched to the MYLAN brand but nothing changed. Realizing my body was not going to handle the change I decided to taper but it seemed pointless because my body was in withdrawal from the PAR pharmaceutical fluoxetine my body was use to taking. On August 27th 2015 I took my last pill. From July to November I dealt with nausea and tremors and then all hell broke loose. On top of the nausea and tremors I developed a bad smell in my nose that only I can smell, internal shaking that is constant, the nausea got much worse, I started having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and chills. I also have cried almost every day since November. In December I had a gastric emptying study done due to the nausea and lack of appetite. I discovered I now have delayed gastric emptying. To date I have lost 44 pounds from the nausea and not being able to eat. I have also had a CT scan and an MRI for the tremors and internal shaking. Those results were normal. I have seen an ENT for the bad smell in my nose, but they can find nothing wrong. I have noticed that I am feeling a tiny and I stress tiny bit better but I still have the internal shaking, nausea, bad smell in my nose and crying. I have read about internal shaking in withdrawal but how long does it go on. I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the constant internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious. Does anything help with it? Has anyone else experienced a bad smell in their nose or heard of anyone having a bad smell in their nose during withdrawal? Thank you for any advice or help anyone can offer me.
  16. I actually have recovered from two separate episodes of taking Prozac. The first time I took around 20 mg for several months during a very difficult divorce. I remember Prozac working very quickly--literally feeling better within a few days (I know, it doesn't make sense). I went into therapy for about a year and a half and in the meantime, went off the Prozac without any real difficulty. I stayed off Prozac for about 5 years, until one of my children became depressed and took her own life. This is actually the second child death I experienced, as I also lost a newborn to death about 20 years earlier. I went for about eight months post-suicide loss until things felt really intolerable (although I was practicing meditation and other psycho/spiritual approaches during this period), then surrendered and got on between 10-30 mg Prozac plus 10-40 mg Ritalin. I remained on this regimen for eight years. Tried once or twice to go off the Prozac but changed my mind when depressive symptoms re-emerged. Around eight years post-beginning Prozac (the second episode), I finally went off by tapering from 20 mg down to 10 mg a day for approximately six months, then skipping every other day for a few weeks, then off completely. Stayed on Ritalin alone for several months afterward, then tapered down to 10 for several weeks, then off completely. I did this during a period when I was on a sabbatical from my job as a professor. I felt fine for the first month or two, then began to have symptoms, especially crying spells, depressed mood, some suicidal thinking (but no plan), lack of motivation, loss of pleasure, etc. However, at this point I was having more good days than bad, and the symptoms slowly but surely lifted. I am now about a year and a half off Prozac and about 15 months post-Ritalin, and I am doing fine--nothing worse than the occasional day of feeling down (somewhat realistic, given the state of the world, to which I pay probably too much attention. My explanation for my success in getting off the antidepressant and stimulant--despite the fact that I probably did both too quickly-- is that I have been a long time meditator and regular aerobic exerciser and that I continue to do those things regularly. Other things I did simultaneously with going off the drugs: I became extra careful with nutrition, eliminating most if not all sugar, artificial sweeteners, and gluten from my diet. Took multiple supplements, especially tumeric/pepper capsules, Vit. D, omega 3s, black seed oil capsules, CurQ-10; use coconut oil and try to eat organic. Also practice mindfulness and other kinds of cognitive strategies, along with Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping). I cannot say exactly what helped the most, but all of these in combination, practiced regularly, have kept me feeling normal. (I also happen to be a psychologist and psychotherapist and I share these ideas with many of my clients.) So please everyone, throw everything you have at this drug-withdrawal syndrome and keep the faith!
  17. Hi, you can call me AprilShowers. I was put on Venlafaxine (Effexor) in the millenium due to a period of depression. Was on it two years and tapered off with no problem and gradually depression got managable and life went on. Then my mother died of cancer and my depression came back more suicidal and severe. I tried citalopram with horrible side effects and continuous suicidal feelings before being changed to venlafaxine which had worked for me before. And it worked again, more or less. I got stabilised and although it took a long time the suicidal thoughts receded and I just had bad depression. Last year after five years on venlafaxine I was having bad heart palpitations and my psychiatrist thought it might be beneficial to change medications as I thought it might be being caused by being on an SNRI. I switched to mirtazapine which I was on a couple of weeks and felt good at first before it made me very suicidal. Panicing and needing to not feel that way anymore I stopped taking it cold turkey. After I began to have withdrawal issues I tried to get onto prozac (fluoxetine) in the hope that it would help, it didn't, it exacerbated the symptoms. I was in full withdrawal syndrome, massive dumps of cortisol turned my body to acid, I was urinating blood, I couldn't eat or sleep and the shakes were exhausting. It was completely debilitating and I did little but lay on the sofa for five months trying to distract myself with TV shows. Life got a little better in increments and with the help of this site which I read without joining I was able to understand what was happening to me and try to support my body. I thought maybe I'd been lucky to have gotten through this and was hoping to build my life back to some semblance of normal. I managed to get back to the point I'd been on while I was on the antidepressants. Still depressed, still not coping well with life but able to function a bit. I had hoped to build on that. A couple of weeks ago I started getting mad anxiety, possibly triggered by the shock of the news of terrorist attacks in Paris although I guess if I'm honest I was feeling a bit overwhelmed before that. Whatever happened, I was having a hard time and took a couple of small doses of lorazepam two nights running to get some sleep and mellow the panicy feelings. Of course they got worse after that and now I have the full cortisol dumping into my system again and I'm back on the sofa wishing for a different life and a better body. I've been in touch with my care co-ordinator who isn't seeing me until next week and she says that without me being willing to take medication there's not much she can do. I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow to try to rule out any underlying medical reasons (I had an infection before all this happened and have recently become diabetic, have PCOS and have had previous anemias, heart palpitations and thyroid blips) but I'm not holding out much hope and unsure how to try an explain to the doc what is happening with cortisol dumping into my body. I know all they can offer for the symptoms is lorazepam or similar drugs and I think that would just make my problem worse. The early morning shuddering and feeling of waking in abject terror is the pits, the shudders are exhausting, like parkinsons and then taper off during the day but still with a low level of tremor and feeling of panic. I've got no saliva, I go hot and cold, my stomach is acid, I'm wetting myself with the level of fear hormones in my system and am having to wear pads and I'm constantly going to the bathroom, I'm not doing very well at all. The fact that this is happening for the second time is extremely disappointing, I've had thoughts of not wanting to live like this. I feel very alone, I live alone and I'm scared of losing all I've gained. I'm here to find hope. I need to give this awful life I'm forced into some value and give myself some value. After five years living on benefits, trying to overcome depression and not really coping with life I feel like I have nowhere to turn but here to find people who believe and understand what I'm going through. I am desperate to believe this is just a blip and won't last as long as before but it's been getting worse every day like the reverse of when it happened the first time when it was very bad and I gradually felt relief. I'm finding it hard to trust I will recover. I have nothing to do but hope I can again. Supplements I take omega 3 in a high dose which has helped me manage my depression. vitamin C magnesium with calcium. Occasional other supplements. Am thinking of just stopping all but the omega 3.
  18. Hello all, I have find this site while I was triyng to cope with my withdrawal sysmptoms of my long use of Prozac. I have been using Prozac for nearly 15 years.. I used to take 20 mg tablets. 4 months ago I decided to withdraw it as I thought I don't need it anymore. For the withdrawal process I switched to liquid to be able to reduce to half dose (10 mg) for a month, and then fo another month I took every another day a half dose. And after these 2 months I have quitted completely. The withdrawal symtomps occured 1 week after I have completely withdrawed . Started Prozac 20 mg in 2002 Used Prozac 20 mg since July 2017 Tapering off schedule ; May2017 : Started Liqiud Prozac 10 mg (2.5 ml Liquid) June 2017: Started Liquid Prozac 10 mg every other day July 2017 : Quitted Prozac I am suffering from enormous insomnia , having at most 2-3 hours of sleep since July. And in addition to that , most of the nights I have severe nerve pain especially in my legs that keeps me awake. It has been 2 months since I have completely quitted , no matter how I tried I can not survive with this insomnia anymore. I have tried many herbal supplements like Valerian root or 5-HTP (not herbal) but it idi not work. It seems after 15 years of being with Prozac , the method I used for withdrawal was not correct. I was in control of a phsyciatrist while withdrawing , but as most doctors do , he was quick to leading me tapering off. Yestersay we decided we need to reinstate with half dose (10 mg) and see how it goes. While still surfing internet about ths subject , then I have come accross this site and has read a lot of usefull information. My aim is to withdraw it with suggestions from you , and need your valuable help to use 10% reduction method. Thanks :-)
  19. Hi, i started taking Prozac 11 years ago when I had a huge family shock and I couldn't cope with life! i never had a review and as I was doing ok I didn't think to ask if I should come off them I just thought I'd be on them for life! Three years something happened and I started to feel very unwell after going in and out of the doctors for months complaining of feeling ill and numerous blood tests which came back ok I was put on HRT for the menopause, not feeling any better and struggling to survive at home and work HRT was changed! still feeling ill and having no life at all I decided I'd stop taking A/D and HRT to see if it's what making me ill so I followed GP advice and cut down the Prozac and immediately went into horrible withdrawals which meant I couldn't work for six weeks so when I felt a bit better and stabilised for three months I went onto the liquid, so far I've only managed to do x2 2% decreases and the anxiety is crippling at this rate it's gonna take me years to get off and it's only 20mg 😩
  20. Prince1924: Prozac

    I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  21. BilboBaggins: Hi!

    Hi! I found this website when googling around and reading articles about how to taper off your antidepressants, mainly because I have tried several times (gotta be around 5 or 6 times by now), but I have failed miserably time and time again. Here goes my sad little life-story (I will try to keep it as short as possible but suspect I will not succeed). So, I have always been a pretty depressed and sad person, even as a kid, due to low self-esteem, being very sensitive, et.c. I think you get the picture. Anyway, my perfectionistic, self-hating and insecure personality led me to developing crippling OCD during a stressful job I had three years ago. It was the type of OCD that is called Pure Obsessional OCD, or in more understable terms; obsessive rumination, 24/7, everyday. It is like living through hell everyday, or at least that's how it is for me. Anyway, my OCD which was filled with horrible images and thoughts that I, unknowingly and in total panic-mode, tried to fight (which of course made them a million times worse). This led to me, six months later, quitting my job out of necessity (I was all but fallen apart completely emotionally), and telling a relative that I had to be driven to the psychiatric emergency ward. There, they took me in for two weeks, immediately starting to give me Fluoxetine. Fast forward, I get home, my mind's a complete fog and a lot of the horrible images and thoughts luckily shut off, which was exactly what I needed (and still need). It was a scaring yet necessary feeling for me if I wanted to even survive and not take any desperate measures to get away from my own mind (aka suicide). Right from the get go of my Fluoxetine-dosage, I was struck by insomnia. Of course, a month later or so when I met a new doctor, I was prescribed an evening pill to be able to sleep. In Sweden it is called Mianzerin, but I'm not sure as to what the English term for the same medicine is. So from that day on, I've been on 30 mg Fluoxetine, 10 mg Mianzerin. The doctor wanted me to take an even higher dose of Mianzerin when my insomnia didn't dissappear right away (of course, that's what doctors want, as rushed and unthought of medication as possible), but I refused a higher dose, and I'm happy that I did that because a couple of days later I started being able to sleep again. Now, the sad part is, that Mianzerin made me instead having to sleep waaay more to feel satisfied waking up (which still doesn't do the trick, no matter for how long I sleep). I'm always tired from this medicine, and the sleep that I have been getting for the last couple of years on these medications have not been even anything close to as satisfying and recharging as a normal, pre-drug, sleep session was. Of course, when I try to explain this sort of ungraspable change in my sleep-feelings, no one of my friends and family understand what I mean. It always seems like they're thinking; "Well, you sleep a good amount of hours right, so that means you're getting a good sleep, right?" Nothing could be farther away from the truth. This message became, as I had suspected, a bit longer than I had meant for it to be, but to try to sum things up; My side-effects on 30 mg Fluoxetine + 10 mg Mianzerin: 1. Worse quality of my sleep. Never feeling like I've slept enough. 2. Much higher need of sleeping (because of the Mianzerin). It has, these last couple of years, been almost completely impossible for me to get up early in the mornings. If I set my alarm too early, I either shut it off without even remembering having done it, or I wake up hung-over, almost paralyzed, and insanely tired, from the Mianzerin, making it close to impossible to not just go back to sleep again. If it is something really important that happens in the morning, an appointment or something, I can sometimes force myself to sort of float up through the Mianzerin-fog by immediately reaching for my laptop which I have right next to the bed. Staring at the bright screen for a period of time usually works. But to get as far as that is sometimes impossible, and I've missed out on a number of my university lectures because I could just not muster up the energy to get up in time for school. 3. Night time sweats. These have fortunately become less and less frequent with time. When I first started taking Mianzerin it was every night, now it's only every once in a while (for example, last night I woke up covered in sweat again). 4. Impaired eyesight, in the sense that I have a really hard time reading books for long times (and, on many days, even a whole single page if the textfont and size doesn't fit my broken eyes). This has made it a necessity for me to take a break from my University-studies, which I really didn't want to do, but I just couldn't keep up with school when we got assignments like "oh, read these 35 pages as preparation for the next lecture, would you?". I think my eyesight-problems stems from the fact that my medications makes my eyes insanely dry. I have tried regular eyedrops as suggested by my optician, but they didn't do any difference at all. 5. I also believe that it has worsened my pre-existent IBS and anal leakage (sry for the yukky details), which then of course makes my social anxiety even worse, which leads to more isolation (I haven't seen any old friends for over a year now), which of course leads to more depression. I am aware however that my worsening of my stomach problems doesn't necessarily have had to become worse because of my medications, since they were there pre-drugs, but since I started taking these drugs I've been walking around in my tired zombie-mode which means very little physical activity or any activites at all that doesn't involve sitting in front of the computer and staring at meaningless youtube-videos. This, I believe, is why my IBS/leakage-problems have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Inactivity and tiredness is not a healthy living imho. So, reading this, you might ask yourself, "Why the hell wouldn't you taper off your drugs? It makes your life so much worse!" Basic answer: I can't. About five days/a week or so after starting to tapering off with a 10 mg-decrease (which I have now from this message board learned is a way to big cut-down if you're sensitive to it), I get extremely low, my OCD starts once more to attack me more fervently and convincingly (it's always there even on my meds, but it becomes so much worse again), and last time I tried these huge decrease at once I woke up one day feeling totally, utterly; empty, cold, hateful, mean, hopeless, sad, everything bad that you can feel just came over me at once, like a dark cloud, and I rushed home from my morning walk and immediately gulped down that extra 10 mg of fluoxetine again. The sad part is, that besides all the side effects from my drugs, I had been having a couple of really good weeks prior to my dosage-lowering, which is why I, in my desperate attempt to get back to the "real" me, rushed to the conclusion that I was ready to start trying to taper off once again. Ever since that horrifying morning, I have not been able to get back to the good state that I was in prior to it. But, since my wish to get rid of these drugs is so huge, I tried once more a couple of days later after this morning to taper off, but this time after having read that a 10%-lowering was more sensible and should work better if you're sensitive. Again, this didn't work, and I failed after five days or so once more. Now, I'm back at my regular dose, stuck in my unhappy zombie-mode again, a mode that at least keeps my OCD from getting uncontrollable and the bad voices in my head to become so strong and convincingly once more, and my depression to lead me to the poisoned water of suicide. I realize, with a great unhappiness, that I'm definitely not ready for the moment to try to taper off, since I live in miserable isolation from people and the rest of the world (how I could even think it would work to taper off when I basically spend all my days devoid from friends or any social activities is beyond me). At the same time, I feel like I'm sort of caught in an incredibly irritating and heartbreaking paradox. It goes like this; I can't begin my tapering off until I have achieved a happy, fulfilling, and rock-steady life filled with normal and joyous social activities and hope for life, et.c., but I feel like I have such a hard time moving towards that goal because of my drugs and the way that they make me a tired, lethargic zombie that just lets the days pass without having the energy to do anything about it. This paradox makes me so frustrated I want to tear my own hair out haha. I can't get healthy on my drugs, but I can't quit my drugs because I'm not healthy enough. I guess that's what they call a moment 22? End note: Woooow, this became so much longer than I had expected, it was just suppose to be a little introduction haha. Well, what can you do, I applaud those of you who have the willpower to at least skim through it. Now you know how my life situation is. I am not tapering off my meds right now, but I hope to be sometime in the distant future (although that seems extremely distant and impossible right now). I just was happy to find a message board filled with others who seem to have encountered similar problems, and who are too, just like me, struggling to put one foot in front of the other and maybe (hopefully!) transform from being in a constant survivor-mode, to actually starting to enjoy and experience a "normal", happy and fulfilling life. PS. I apologize for any spelling-errors or weird and incomprehensible usage of words. I'm from Sweden, so my English has it flaws. PPS. I forgot to mention that I see a psychiatrist on a regular basis, just thought you guys should know so that I can spare you the obvious suggestion of me going to one haha.
  22. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  23. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I figured I needed some support through this journey of exploration. I am currently on - Quetiapine/Seroquel 300 mg XR and 25 IR (used to be 300 XR + 100 IR half a year ago, I've been on it, just like the other meds, for more than three years) - Fluoxetine 40 mg - Dexamfetamine 3dd 10 mg I've been on psychotropic meds for 5 or 6 years now (I'm almost 21). I've been on different meds before this combination. The side-effect have taken it's toll on me (No matter how long I sleep, I wake up tired, tachycardia, tremors, constantly out of breath, I feel like an old lady) When I was prescribed my psych meds I was in a very bad place, I was suicidal. However, I feel like most of the reason I was in a bad place was bc I was living at home. Things weren't going well there, and I've had depressed symptoms and an eating disorder that went unnoticed since I was 13. I've had many diagnosis, it started with adjustment disorder, ADHD and asperger, adjustment disorder changed to depression NOS, then came the borderline and eating disorder diagnosis and now I finally have a diagnosis of PTSD and major depression and ADHD (which I agree with). I was originally given the antipsychotic for my "autism and hypersensitivity". anyway the new psychiatrist just coppied that medicine regime and now I figured I'm done with it. It helped me through **** times, but I've been living in a different place for 2 years now and that allowed me to make some process. The whole tapering of Seroquel isn't going easy though. The first 50 mg (in 25mg per 3 months) gave me pretty bad anxiety. I lowered 25 mg again 4 days ago, I've been able to get the anxiety under control with magnesium (3 times a day, 600 mg in total). Beside the mental discontinuation problems, the first 2 days it made my tachycardia go haywire and my tremors go nuts. It was quite funny, but not if that will happen with every 25 mg decrease. 3 and 4 day I was nauseous, vitamin C, camille tea and lemon juice made it slightly better. Anyway, I'm thinking about lowering and eventually quitting (if possible and healthy for me) my other medication. Also, I wonder if it's best to take 200XR, 50 XR and 25 IR or 200 XR 50 IR and 25IR for example. I'm not sure about what's better. Anyway, I'm gonna keep you guys posted. Ask questions if you feel like it, -E
  24. Hello! I have been following this forum for a while, but haven't been able to find time and energy to write my own introduction. I found this site after searching relentlessly for other answers to mental wellness besides antidepressants. Besides lots of other informative books I read Whitaker's "Anatomy of Epidemics", and understood better what happened to me last year when I had a big relapse, which I'm still recovering from. Medications didn't help anymore. Things only started improving when I started taking supplements (Daily Essential Nutrients, which is former Empowerplus), and applied gluten free casein free diet. And since then, I have carefully tapered down with medications. But I write briefly about my story from the beginning. I have difficult background and lot's of things I have had to work through psychologically, because my dear mother suffered from severe depression for many years and finally it ended with her suicide in 2002. But I don't go into depths about that, but try to give you general idea of what has happened over the years. It was very hard after her death, and with difficult relationship at the same time, so I ended up taking antidepressants for some time. I was really paranoid about them, and agreed to take only small amount - 10mg citalopram, for like 5-6 months. As time went on, I started to get really bad mood swings myself in 2005. In summer 2006 I ended taking birth control pills I had been taking for 8 years. At the same time there was high pressure at work and another relationship that didn't work out. Few months after quitting the pills, I fell into hole I hadn't even been able to imagine before. Severe depression with even small amount of psychotic symptoms (delusional guilt thoughts). It was really, really bad. There was a psychiatrist, that put me on citalopram "because it worked before". 40g, which, in hindsight, was really high and I probably suffered a lot from not only the illness, but AD side-effects. I didn't really feel that the pills were helping, although after a few months I was out from the most awful state of mind. I continued to take the meds for some months, but then dropped it - I just didn't want to take them (I saw my mom deteriorating on AD-s, and didn't believe in them). But I was not the same after this crisis. I'd lost something in me. And as time went on, I started to sink down again. Until in 2008 (3 years suffering), it was so bad that I had no other way than to search for help again. I started cognitive-behavioural therapy, and did it vigorously, but it didn't help. And then I started meds again. After first tries that didn't work, I started prozac (20mg) - and it's effect was amazing and very strong!!! I got flashes and glimpses of my warm and good memories, I felt like a ton had fallen from my shoulders, it was quite dramatic improvement. I continued to get better gradually for at least a year. I felt that I gained about 80% of my wellness. As things were going well, I thought it's ok to stop them now. I was still very wary about taking those drugs long term. I gradually stopped it, I think during 1-2 months. I remember I had withdrawal (feeling very angry and irritated), but pushed through it. I had learned a lot in therapy and thought I can handle myself. I was really emotional after ending it, cried a lot and it put a strain on my new relationship. After a couple of months I was really going down again, I felt really bad, depressed, awful, and anxious about the relationship. my pdoc restarted prozac. It didn't work anymore! It was awful... to realize that the drug doesn't help anymore. We tried duloxetine, which gave bad side-effects. and then sertraline (zoloft), which, after 3-4 weeks started giving relief. So the dynamics was such: I stopped the drug, restarted it about 4 months later, waited for 5 weeks, then started new one (1-2 weeks), and then new one, which eventually started to work. The relationship still ended though, after a few more months. I didn't fall into pieces after that, although it was hard. 2009-2011 I was on Zoloft then (50mg). Looking back, things were more stable. not perfect, but I was able to live my life. In July-August 2011, I was in love, and thought I could do better if I reduced my antidepressant. I took 3/4 pill for a week and then half, since the beginning of August. By the end of August I was quite a mess. I didn't think about meds at all because I was dealing with relationship and I thought this all is psychological, and due to past traumas and my own illness, etc. I felt very raw psychological pain at this time, and it took a long time to get out of this hole - I remember hurting like hell all autumn. And we (me and psychiatrist) started messing with meds. I think at first we upped zoloft, to 1,5 tablets (75mg). I think it didn't help - therefore we switched me to citalopram. I think first at 1 tablet, then 1,5. it helped for a little, but then I think caused me to be very tired and stoned. I think I then reduced it again, and went to 0,5 tablets (somewhere in November). And then, in the end of January 2012 I quit that entirely. I ran out of meds, and then thought, what the hell, I don't want to take them at all. I realized that they were not helping very much, but I totally did NOT realize how much harm they are doing, especially if withdrawing! During all this autumn 2011, I was making intensive progress in therapy, so I attributed a lot of my feelings to psychological things. And at the end, we did quite remarking breakthrough, and I also felt better, so I naturally thought about dropping the pills. I experienced sudden and dramatic IMPROVEMENT in my condition, especially psychologically! I felt alive, sensitive, feeling, lighter, more awake, really connected to life and people and things! wow! I saw very vivid dreams and I swore that I even visually saw more clearly! I did feel also psysical sypmtoms - like dizziness, little nausea. but nothing so bad that I couldn't tolerate. In april, my mood starts swinging. I managed it with lots of meditation, and running, etc. but it continues and gets worse. Until in the end of June - boom - suddenly during a period of one week, I suddenly crashed so deep, it's hard to even describe it. The relapse was very sudden and steep. I deteriorated into suffering which is unimaginable. I had been through very, very painful mental illness periods before, but this was one of the two most awful crisis. and it didn't go away. new pdoc, at first reinstated zoloft, I think. didn't help. then swithed to paroxetine. things only got worse, paroxetine gave me horrible side-effects, besides everything else. then switched to buproprion. didn't help. at all. I ended up in the hospital. they started me on Prozac again. plus 50mg seroquel for sleep. This was in August, last year, 2012. Things actually did not improve after that, or improved really, really little. And I developed hypersomnia - sleeping 14-16 hours a day. But still feeling tired. We increased Prozac to 40mg, but after that I was reluctant to do any more changes. I felt that meds just don't help me anymore. And it proved to be correct, because for 8 months, there was very little improvement (all that time I stayed on 40mg prozac + 50mg seroquel). I started reading about meds. Before that, I had done ALL possible with psychological interventions. CBT, EMDR, intensive therapy, group therapy, ect. all things very helpful for personal growth, but unhelpful for feeling so bad still. now I started reading about meds. And vitamins and minerals. I read Whitaker's book, and finally understand what happened last year - that the horrible condition I ended up with, might be because of ending drugs too abruptly. It helped to give me back some security - at least I understood, what happened, and what almost caused me my life. I also read a lot about vitamins and minerals and mental health. I started taking lots of supplements in March, and noticed small improvement in my hypersomnia. Then I switched to Daily Essential Nutrients (former EmpowerPlus) in April. At the end of April I started tapering down Prozac, by 1/10 amount in month or more time. In June, I started gluten-free-casein-free diet (with the help of nutritional therapist). I have been improving since April. When I started DEN, it made me more tired for a week or so. And then, I think it started detoxification process in my body - I had violent headaches, woke up with swollen face, didn't tolerate alcohol at all (half glass of champagne gave me horrible hangover the next day). But those things passed - I think the headaches stopped completely when I started GFCF diet. My mood has definitely improved, if I look back a couple of months. I don't think about death anymore. I have more concentration, and my memory is better. although I'm not by any means in good shape, I'm out of crisis. My energy has improved more slowly, and hypersomnia as well, but they, too, are improving. There are days now when I can sleep 10 hours, and I'm very glad about it. I'm able to do more things. I think I feel prozac withdrawal after two weeks when I have reduced it. I plan to go in the same pace (4mg down each month) until 20mg, and after that go 2mg/month. and at the same time, reduce also seroquel. Whoah, that was a long story to write down. Thank you for anybody who had the energy to read it through! I have some questions for you, too... - does it also seem to you, that lot's of my problems are drug-induced - withdrawal-induced? - what about illness itself? lots of people here discuss how they were put on AD-s which in hindsight were not needed, and then developed problems. I had small depression even before drugs. after my moms death I was on low dosage and for little time (half a year). And I did have bad trauma in my life. My mood swings and depressions were bad without AD-s... - my first biggest crash coincided with quitting baby pills (hormones). I have long suspected there was a link. I think I was sensitive to chemical changes, and the stress and traumas had built up, but my body couldn't handle it anymore. I also think taking long time baby pills can deplete the body from some important vitamins/minerals, and cause biochemical mess in the body. I think I will have more questions down the way. It's nice to finally write and introduce myself to you!
  25. Hi all, I had been on Prozac 40mg for approx.4 years and Trazadone 50 mg for close to the same. In March of 2017, I decided to start weaning off both. I had attempted weaning off Prozac in the past with terrible withdrawal symptoms, and tried to take it slower this time. I tapered off by initially starting to take the meds every other day, then every 3 days, etc. over a 3 month period. About two months after being off both medications completely, I started having severe nausea and diarrhea, to the point where I was not able to go out in public during the morning when it was the worst. After doing some research, I decided to reinstate the prozac at 20 mg last week. Now I am having bad anxiety and light headedness, to the point where I am not comfortable driving. I am wondering since I was off the prozac for approx. 3 months, if I waited too long to reinstate and now I am having a bad reaction to the prozac or if I did not reinstate at the proper dosage. I should note I have not started taking the trazadone again as it was initially prescribed for insomnia issues, which have been better. My prescribing Dr. was the one who told me I could taper off by taking every other day and doesn't seem to acknowledge the severe withdrawal symptoms so her opinion on this matter is not helpful. I would appreciate any suggestions anyone has. I am supposed to travel this weekend and as of right now, the thought of being on a plane, let alone away from my home, is terrifying. Thanks, Beth
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