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  1. After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to. Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched. September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help. His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction Can anyone help?
  2. Hi, I did a very slow taper and finally got off of my zoloft 2.5 weeks ago. About 1 week ago, the irritability/rage/anger started up again. I had experienced this during each taper step, but it went away after a few days each time. Now, with meds at zero + 1 week - my rage is so bad. It does help that I know where it is coming from. But every day, every little thing bothers the hell out of me. I have road rage all the time. (I just keep breathing and don't act out) - This is exactly the symptoms that kept me going back on my meds for years. Of course back then I didn't know anything about withdrawal, so I just thought it was relapse or the underlying condition. But now, I know what is going on, I am DETERMINED to not go back on the meds. I feel miserable. I have tried various supplements, but I don't seem to get any relief. Any tips? Anger = hell.
  3. Hello everyone. Although I feel like maybe I'm not as bad as many many people here, I would still like to share my story, since I have been through some suffering lately. Hope I don't bother you. Tl;dr: When I reinstated Luvox I started having depression, terrible feelings of hopelessness, dread and doom, no joy in activities or life in general, lack of purpose or meaning in life, and no love for my boyfriend, which troubles me the most. I never had depression before. Wondering if it was the Luvox and starting to taper, but afraid... So it all began when I was 9 years old. I started having severe panic attacks and anxiety out of nowhere. Afraid to die, afraid my parents would die because they were older than "normal" (used to call my mom every 5 minutes to see if she was alive), afraid of death in general. After a while, I was seeing a psychiatrist for children and started taking Clomipramine, don't know the dosage, until I was 12. I don't remember much because it was 13 years ago, but I don't recall any problems with withdrawal. From that point until I was 21, everything was fine. I would ocasionally have shortness of breath and that kind of stuff, but completely manageable. I was always a very good student (my mom told me they had an IQ test or something and they said I was "gifted", but we never explored that so I don't think it's really important), I practised sports, I learned to play the piano, I always had a great social life, very active. Now, in 2013, when I was 21 years old, everything went downhill. I was in a relationship since 2011 and it was not a great one, we would fight a lot, he would always break up with me, changing is mind about loving me on a weekly basis, insulting me, saying nobody would like me if they really knew me, etc. This relationship lasted until 2015, mainly because of my inability to let it go, as I thought I could never be happy again without him. In 2013, I had a huge anxiety and panic attacks crisis. I was also diagnosed with ocd (obsessive thoughts with mental compulsions, have little to none physical ones). Started on Sertraline but rapidly stopped because I couldn't tolerate the dizziness and nausea and it would make me more anxious. They put me on Xanax for 3 months and I tapered it in one month. Spent two horrible days with insomnia and EXTREME anxiety, but after those two days, it all subsided. Two months later (February 2014) I was worse (panic attacks, dp/dr, etc) and was put on Luvox (fluvoxamine - 50mg). It was well tolerated, and it helped me for two years, but I noticed I would still have anxiety and the obsessive, I just wouldn't reach the point of a panic attack. About a year and a half in, I started taking 25mg and everything was ok. Now where it got worse. In April 2016 I started to taper it with the help of my psychiatrist (whom doesn't really talk to me for more than 5 or 10 minutes, doesn't believe Luvox made me gain 33 pounds in under a year, and told me it usually had no bad effects). He told me to start taking it every other day (the 25mg) for a week, then every two days for a week, then every three days, etc. At this point, my previous relationship was over for a year and I was starting a new one. When I was taking it every two days, I started having SEVERE DP/DR and PANIC ATTACKS. I was told to take the 25mg everyday. It didn't work and he told me to raise to 50mg. Well, the panic attacks have stopped but the worse came. Since I was back on 50mg, I started to feel unhappy. I have a great boyfriend now, who really supports me and cares about me, I am studying psychology with very good grades, so everything is fine I guess. But I started to feel disconnected and detached. I feel no joy, no happiness in activities I used to enjoy. I reduced my going out of home very very much, sometimes spending a week without leaving my house and bed. I find no purpose in life, no sense (mybe it is an existential crisis, used to have them but not to this extent). I sometimes feel very frustrated and cry from hopelessness. I don't know what to do. Somedays I don't feel anything at all. On new years I was downtown watching the fireworks and suddenly I felt detached and very nervous and had to go home. My boyfriend came with me and it was ok after a while. But I can't stop feeling sad and with no joy. And the WORST OF ALL, sometimes I don't feel love for my boyfriend I know I love him, I think I do, but I can't feel it. I used to feel love so so so deeply and it is so strange to me. I told this to my psychiatrist and he said it was normal with the antidepressant but there was no problem and I had to keep taking it and he told me I had depression because of the anxiety, ocd and panic attacks. But I feel I just got worse since I reinstated it. I never had depression before and I had this since I was 9... Do you think maybe it is the Luvox? I am thinking of finding another psychiatrist since mine says that withdrawal from antidepressants is not usual and it was my symptoms coming back. But i reinstated it and I just got worse and worse. I sometimes think of suicide, but not in a "I want to do it" kind of way, nor finding relief in it. On the contrary, I feel so hopeless and purposeless that I fear it might come the time that there is no other way and it really scares me, since one of my great fears is dying and ceasing to exist. I want to taper it but I am afraid I am broken already and I have no hope. I don't want to feel the terrible withdrawal symptoms but I can't take this anhedonia anymore. It makes me so, so sad. I also sleep for more than 12 hours a day and sometimes I don't even see the light of day. I just want to feel happy again, but I am afraid I have no hope at that, that I will be depressed forever. What do you think? Sorry for the long post, but I needed to talk to someone that might have experienced the same as I do. Thank you so much, hope you all feeling well on your journey.
  4. Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  5. Dating in WD

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any experience dating while being in WD? I am still not feeling great and have long way to go but I am better than where I was a year ago and was thinking about trying to go on a date and meeting someone special. It gets lonely and I am in my early 30s and get worried that the clock is ticking and I will end up as a lonely woman with 30 cats and dogs. I struggle with fatigue, anxiety, dizziness and some dp/dr. I got an advice that I should try to live as of a normal life as I can and get myself out there. Of course easier said than done. Maybe it can help to take my mind off things, but then I worry about how do I explain to that person that I cannot hang out bc I am not feeling well and going through WD or that I cannot drink? Maybe it is better to wait until I am much better, but at the same time I do not know when this will be. Any experience and advice will be greatly appreciated. B.
  6. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  7. sungirl: Intro

    Hi, Not really sure what this is supposed to look like, but here goes. Began Wellbutrin and Paxil (don't remember doses) fall 2004 after major anxiety over a move. (I've experienced depression and anxiety since childhood.) I successfully tapered and remained off the Wellbutrin, but 3 months after Paxil taper experienced huge crash and reinstated. This happened the same way the second time I tapered. Both times the anxiety was way worse than any I had ever experienced and I knew it had something to do with withdrawal but my doctors did not believe me. I have been on 20mg/day. A year and a half ago I decided to try to taper again. Was originally tapering by 5mg at a time and got to 10 but was having difficulty. I found some helpful articles by Dr. Stuart Shipko and contacted him. Following his advice, and with my doctor's support, I went back to 10 and have been tapering by 1mg/month. I was down to 5mg when we went through some major life traumas. Still felt fine until tapered to 4.5, went back to 5, but started experiencing symptoms without realizing what it was (felt like my heart was pounding a lot/felt wired but did not feel anxious) Symptoms gradually have gotten worse and worse. Started to updose by 2 mg, 2 nights ago. Hoping I can stabilize, I feel terrible right now and don't want to live like this! Honestly not sure if I will complete the taper or not at this point I just want to stabilize.
  8. Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  9. I know that there is no definitive answer to this question and I've read the articles and information that is available about the windows and waves pattern of recovery. I'm just curious to know what people's personal experiences are related to recovery? I haven't seen any improvement in my memory, concentration or depressive symptoms, and I've noticed the development of some concerning NEW withdrawal symptoms. Last night I went out and had some drinks with a coworker, I know that this is unwise since it can further throw your central neuro system off balance, but I had a stressful weekend and I didn't see the harm in a few drinks. I'm not too proud to admit that I was oh so totally underestimating how terrible of an idea this was. I've had a couple of drinks here and there since beginning my taper from Wellbutrin, but I never anticipated how bad it could effect me if I drank more than my usual one or two drinks. I had four drinks yesterday afternoon, and I came home and felt like I was going to come out of my skin. I felt more agitated than I've ever felt, and I felt like I needed to be constantly moving or I would go crazy. This was the most bizarre sensation! I felt like I needed to hit something, and my fiancee took me on a walk so that I could try to get some of my irritability and agitation out of my system. This helped enough to where I could finally go pass out on my couch. I woke up this morning and I was mortified and more embarrassed than I've ever been about anything. I feel so sorry for my fiancee having to put up with me when I'm like that, but I also don't know what I would do without him. He's a god send, and I'm not sure how I would get through this without him. Does anyone know if there is a specific symptom pattern when we are healing, or is the way we heal totally specific to the individual? I'm hoping that since I'm seeing all of these new emerging symptoms that they are a sign that my brain is trying to heal in other areas. It's difficult to remain positive when there's so little literature in circulation about what to expect during withdrawal.
  10. Dear SA members September 1, 2017 will mark one year of full withdrawal from Lexapro. ( I withdrew completely after 9 months of gradual tapering, after which I had very bad WD symptoms for about 10 months. please see my signature). I am very happy to say that things have gotten much much better, and that one year after full withdrawal I am almost symptom free! All the symptoms I had, waves, zaps, anxiety attacks, feelings of doom, insomnia, sweats, depression, are all but gone. I am enjoying a feeling of stability and well being for the first time in a couple of years. The past year has been enormously difficult. I am an older person and had my share of difficult times in life. And yet this was different, and yet taught me so much. I would like to share with you my learning and some of the processes I have been through. As you will see below, one of the main factors for my improvement was actually this forum. So, I write with deep gratitude to you people, for sharing your suffering and your knowledge, and with a profound wish for health and well-being for all of you. It IS possible to get better. Below is a list of the factors which have helped me overcome WDS. They are not necessarily in any specific order. It will be a bit long, so, I apologize in advance. I think this list just reaffirms everything I learned from this website, but still, I think it is important to hear everyone's version... 1. THIS FORUM. I stumbled into this forum accidentally, while searching the web for information about withdrawal (it was my second attempt.) I found this forum extremely important in providing information, support , ideas, and HOPE. It opened for me a new way of thinking. There were days this year when signing in and reading was a life saver. I didn't feel so alone and crazy. I guess there are other forums and sites, but SA did it for me, no doubt. My learning from this is: Get as much information as possible about your condition and symptoms! Knowing is power. Second: Don't be alone with your condition. Being alone weakens and frightens you. Sharing, asking questions, reading about others' experience is a powerful source of support. 2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. It was one of the most powerful tools during hell time: Being in contact with my body, via daily physical activity. In my case: daily walks (with intermittent jogging) and yoga practice. This activity was very helpful to get me out of spiraling anxiety and depression. Just being outside, seeing and breathing some nature, has an enormous tranquilizing effect. Please note: DAILY! I haven't stopped daily exercise, even though I am better now, and I never will stop. I enjoy it so much. I learned to build up a strong connection with my body, as much as possible. Although our body is suffering during WD, it is one of our most powerful allies. Our body knows! 3. MINDFULNESS. Mindful meditation was also a main pillar of strength. I have been meditating for a couple of years, but this year I took up to it regularly, (meaning, first thing in the morning, everyday, for at least 15 minutes, up to 45 minutes). Its effect is not only relaxing, but it builds a consistent, stable, observing YOU that doesn't go through the emotional rollercoaster. Slowly but surely, I developed a tiny me that could say, even during the worst moments: I see that I am feeling like hell...and not identify with the bad feelings. Just observe them and let them dissolve in time. A big part of this is being kind and nonjudgmental to yourself. Learning: If anything, this horrible WDS is a golden opportunity to know and befriend yourself. Mindful meditation is something that will stay with me for good. Not only it is enormously helpful, but it is a revelation. It is no less than re-discovering yourself and the meaning of life. BTW, there is a ton of literature about the use of mindfulness in anxiety and depression. You can research the web about it. I really recommend Jon Kabat Zin. Check him out in youtube. He wrote some very good books. 4. KINDRED SOULS. Being around people was not easy during the last year. I pretty much distanced myself from anybody that gave me, even slightly, bad vibes for whatever reason. I didn't go out to busy and noisy places. BUT I was lucky to have a couple of good and generous friends whom I told about my condition and were there for me in many ways: sharing, phoning, being with me, encouraging ..My family was a great source of hope and sense of meaning. My learning is that It was, and is, very crucial not to be alone, if at all possible. I learned to ask for help (wasn't my strong side up until then). In fact I learned to accept I NEED help from people. So, actually, this bad withdrawal trip caused me to be more close to my loved ones. 5. MEDICATION AND FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. About medications: During the course of withdrawal I also withdrew from PPI's which I was taking for 10 years ("thanks" to doctor's recommendations). So I am, for now, completely free of medications which makes me very very happy. My attitude to medications, pharma, doctors, and that whole department has changed radically. Although I realize that there are good and life=saving medications and procedures, I am now in the view that I will use them only if there is absolutely no other way. I really lost my trust in the medical system and will try to stay away from it as much as I can. I will avoid visiting a doctor as much as is in my power. I opt for alternative health care (naturopathy, chinese medication etc.) Supplements: Omega helped with brain zaps. These continued for a long while, and still pay me a little weakened visit here and there, especially before falling asleep. Magnesium helped with muscle pains at night. Taurine helped with morning anxiety. Information about supplements was obtained via SA forum. I think it is important to check on your vitamin-mineral levels and inform yourself about the benefits and effects of supplements. There is so much help obtained from supplements, and the doctors usually know nothing about it. Or dismiss it. 6. EATING WELL. My experience is that a good diet was really helpful: For me the main thing was eliminating sugars from my diet, including sugars coming from certain carbohydrates, alcohol, etc. Clearing the sugar was really powerful in stabilizing my physical-mental system. The main elements in my diet were (and remain): Vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, fish. Tons of water. 7. SLEEPING AND RESTING. For the first time in my life I had sleeping problems during WD. I never experienced this before, and therefore was terrified. I worked this out by trying all kinds of natural supplements and an occasional sleeping pill when things got really bad. For a while melatonin helped. Sometimes Valerian. Then taurin and magnesium taken together. The main thing for me was NOT TO PANIC when I couldn't sleep! I learned, like with any other symptom, that it will resolve itself after a while. I stayed away from computers before sleep, took warm showers, had tea, read good books, darkened my bedroom. Even more important, - I tried not to exert myself at work or anywhere else. Resting was crucial. Not demanding anything from myself that felt too difficult. Trying to give your body and mind as much rest as possible, is I think really important. 8. SYMPTOMS. Most of my symptoms are gone. They disappeared gradually and slowly. Still a weakened form of brain zap here and there. Nothing like before. The waves and windows grew more distant until completely gone. In the process, anxiety gave place to depression, So I had depressive bouts towards month 10 of withdrawal. At the moment I still suffer from tinnitus, which developed during tapering. I don't know whether it is withdrawal related or not. I try to ignore it. I remain quite sensitive to: loud noise, strong light, certain anxiety producing events (separations and endings of all sorts), toxic people, crowded places. ___________________________________________ So, I think this about sums it up. (I might have forgotten something) As I wrote in the beginning of this message, I now enjoy a general feeling of well being. I feel happy to have overcome this syndrome. I keep a cautious attitude though, because who knows, a "wave" may reappear at any given moment. But I feel more confident, as time goes by, that by now my body has pretty much recovered, and that I have obtained some resilience and some tools to deal with what may come. I don't feel euphoria or a feeling of "happy end" at all! Life goes on, with its setbacks and frustrations and good and happy moments, that's all. But the very dark and frightening feelings and sensations are gone. Paradoxically I can feel grateful for having learned so much, for having discovered new meanings for my life, for having been challenged and having taught myself to meet a serious challenge. And there will be more to come... Thank you again people for being here. I know a little bit about your suffering. Please hold on to hope and be patient. Things will change, as they always do. Even if you don't believe in it now. Thank you moderators for doing such an important and generous work. You made an enormous difference for me. I wish recovery for all of you. May you be healthy and safe. Much love to all Notalwaysso BTW I am not leaving the site. I feel part of this virtual community.
  11. The way a lot of folks in the pro-psychiatry group talk you would think that coming off their drugs always happens like this. "Consumer" wakes up on a bright sunny morning. After stretching and yawning she says, "Gee, I feel so great today I think I'll just stop taking my 'meds.'" After 2 weeks this individual spends over $1,000,000 on trinkets, has numerous affairs, steals cars in order to have accidents, and tries to kill herself. Tut, tut. That is not how it happened for me. It took me well over five years to screw up the courage to come off these drugs. I had always been frightened by the dire warnings about "terrible things that would happen" if I went off the brain drugs. I read over a dozen books and hundreds of blog posts on the subject. This would baffle so-called experts because they think we're all alike and only have one paradigm for withdrawal. Thanks to a lot of online resources like MIA and BeyondMeds I learned what not to do in coming off psych drugs. Despite my bogus Bipolar label I have already succeeded on going off Lamictal (cold-turkeyed 2 days after leaving hospital) and Abilify. The Abilify took 3 months to taper off of after 7 years. I have reason to believe it was causing frequent, painful fistulas. Glad I'm off! I have no mania either; according to the shrinks I should. Ha! In your face psychiatry! Now for the "Biggy." Effexor. Ugh. Already overwhelmed by crazy-making withdrawal symptoms. Will describe the worst one in my next post Using a micro-taper over a period of fifteen months or more. Slow and steady wins the race.~Aesop
  12. 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
  13. 2 of the best videos on AP/neuroleptics

    Lots of good info & facts in both of these. 1st one is like a run down if the history of these drugs 2nd one is about withdrawal Show these videos to people, doctors who don't understand or don't believe https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T9VrXONsI6o
  14. I am 54 years old, and experienced my first manic episode, starting 1st November of last year, requiring a month of involuntary hospitalisation starting 14th November brought on by numerous stressors. I was on Lithium and Haloperidol, from the 15th Nov, then ±900mg Lithium and 0.5mg Risperidone from the 15th Jan . I started tapering the Risperidone from the Feb 16th. My last dose was 0.125mg on 15 March. How long will the withdrawal symptoms last? The reason why I'm asking is I'd also like to know if I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms or bipolar depression? The intense depressive feelings arrive and leave suddenly and unexpectedly, sometimes lasting a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, after which I feel mildly depressed again, which is a general state. I am able to be lifted, for example by gardening, good cooking, humour etc, during this general milder state. I have general anxiety about several factors which triggered the original mania, namely money (increased now, due to difficulty working), accommodation for my and my spouse's ageing parents who are both difficult to work with, those being by far the most major among other stressors. I have found that very carefully-considered and rare - perhaps twice a week - use of Diazepam can also return me to this state from the more intense state. I intended to start tapering the Lithium once I feel more stable and know myself better after this current tapering. I apologise if this has been covered before, but I find reading and writing about my condition extremely stress inducing, which is to say getting to this point has not been easy. I am eternally grateful in advance for the help.
  15. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  16. I'm thinking of reinstating, here's the story: A couple of years ago I took my last dose of Effexor. Weaned as per the doctor's instructions: went down from 150mg to 0mg in around 3 months. (Boy did she know what she was doing) Around the time I took my last quarter pill I got my very first withdrawal symptom: an overactive bladder! Then came the Insomnia, muscle tension, indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, flu like symptoms and headaches, itching, tinnitus, mood swings, hyperarousal, constant anxiety, difficulty concentrating, hypomania (now imagine a hyped up voice announcing festively, AND MORE!) Now I'll just throw in a bit of history so you guys can see the mess my doctors and I have made with some very dangerous drugs. Age 20 - given Sertraline, switched after a couple of weeks to cipralex (I think) after about a year switched to Effexor (150 XR) and stuck with it until age 24, quit Effexor cold turkey for a few months then resumed imipramine, quit after a week and went on to take Cymbalta for a few months then switched to Effexor again until age 27, tapered for 2-3 months and been off any sort of psychiatric drug since. (am 29 now) As you can see Effexor is the main culprit here. So I've been trying to tough out the waves and squeeze every bit of energy I have in my hypomanic windows for the last two years which hasn't worked all that well, but still well enough for me to want to believe it'll be good eventually. Then about a month ago I started developing this extremely unnerving sleep pattern where I basically sleep every other night for around four hours (in chunks of two). Needless to say the anxiety that ensues is insufferable and I am currently pretty much disabled. Also, this worsening of symptoms may or may not have happened due to me experimenting with St Johns Wart (another bad call on my end) for about a month with this bad wave starting around three weeks in. I've tried Bendryl and Melatonin to aid with sleeping but they only seem to work every other night Now I'm pretty sure that a neurologist would want to put me on either a sleep medication or a benzo, and I figure, that another thing to withdraw from is just what I need, y'know? So I'm thinking that reinstating and doing a real slow wean may be the smartest option, but by now I'm pretty much scared shitless given the bad choices I've done in the past (If only I could manage to work for as long and hard as I do cry about the stupidity of ever touching an antidepressant to begin with) Anyway, I'd appreciate anything from an advice to just a hello. I've been lurking here for some time and I've learned a lot. Hoping that in due time I'll be able to share positive experiences and advice, for now I can certainly tell you what not to do Daniel
  17. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  18. My third and hopefully final attempt to get off Paxil is here I start March 1st of this year, which is just around the corner. I have a lot of hope It will be over 3 years, but I feel good about my taper plan. Thankful for this site of encouragement and testimonies - I will be praying for freedom for you all! I've included a photo of my handwritten taper plan. The length of time is in months. Will keep this updated for whoever cares to read. Let's do this.
  19. Hi I hope this is the correct place to post this, if not please move it to where it should go, thanks There is a Boston MA support group for people coming off psych meds, that has been meeting for awhile now. Some of the members have split off into what we are calling: NH contingent of the Boston Coming off Meds group We meet once a month in a members' home in Manchester NH, to offer each other support during this often challenging time. if you live in the area and would like to attend, please send me a private message and I will give you more information. Next meeting is set for Oct 12th at 7pm.
  20. LSS, I have been on some form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety med for 20 years. I was in a massive car accident with severe head trauma back then, and have had inexplicable panic attacks since. Without meds, I tend to randomly pass out 4-5x/week from a classic hyperventilation/anxiety attack. Only difference is that mine tends to come out of nowhere, without any trigger. They are super hard and fast, so I don't even see it coming sometimes. That's resulted in an additional 6 diagnosed concussions... For the last 15 years, I have been on Effexor XR, 150mg (name brand only). For the last 2 years, they added Celexa (generic), 20mg. The Effexor is killing me... I can't sleep. No more than 4 hours/night, interrupted, in the last few weeks. I literally have to pee at least every hour if not more often. I have had night sweats for 8 years. And my lymph nodes in my neck are so incredibly large (roughly 2 golf balls in size), that I've had some surgically removed. (obv. not cancerous). So, I've contacted my doctor, asking to ween off using Prozac as a bridge based on what I've read. I'd be happy to quit the Celexa too, I don't get withdrawal symptoms much from the Celexa, nor does it seem to help much. However, instead of doing that, she increased Celexa to 30mg/day, and cut the Effexor in half to 75mg for 2 weeks.... continuing to cut in half every two weeks until complete. I really don't see Celexa proven to be a good bridge. Experiences? Thoughts?? The withdrawal is pure hell, as I'm sure anyone reading this knows. I will, of course, try this... I just worry so much about the withdrawal.
  21. Hello, I have a 20 year history of antidepressant use following a breakdown. I have been on and off Citalopram and Sertraline which are the GP's 'go to' meds for most of their patients. However, about 5 years ago my anxiety and depression seemed to get worse, maybe it was something to do with the Menopause? - I spent a small fortune on private counselling, which by the way didn't seem to clear up any problems psychologically. So, on her recommendation I went to see a private psych doc (£300 per hour!) - He prescribed my Venlafaxine which I stayed on for about 2 years. The dose was increased incrementally from 150mg until I was on 375mg daily (quite a big dose for a 4'11" petite lady!) I found Venlafaxine a weird drug which gave me horrendous nightmares every night, stomach problems and while it did work for a few weeks, didn't provide a stable plateau in my general mental health. I decided to taper from Venlafaxine last September (2016) and reduced fairly quickly dropping by 37.5mg every 4 weeks ish. When I was down to 112.5mg Ven, my GP decided to introduce Sertraline 50mg (as I was very tearful) - I continued taking both and stopped the Ven all together in March 2017. My GP increased the Sertraline to 100mg which gave me awful anxiety for 7 weeks, so I reduced back down to 50mg. I have now stopped ALL ANTIDEPRESSANT drugs completely !!!! I have been drug free for 3 weeks now - what a roller-coaster it has been.These are my current symptoms: I cry daily, I feel woozy and dizzy and very tired at times, I have suicidal thoughts occasionally and yet, there are moments of total normality and general happiness! My depression has never been the 'stay in bed' type, I am very active - I love gardening, cycling, painting, sewing and being a Granny! and I continue to do things even when I feel like crap. My dilemma is, do I stick with this emotional hell that I feel I am going through at the moment? will it get better? will I ever be 'normal' again without antidepressants? Am I strong enough to keep going? Please, please give me some advice. I would love to hear some success stories, I really need some support and idea how long these horrible discontinuation symptoms will last Thanks, Thepaintinglady (currently painting the kitchen ceiling and not a work of art!)
  22. Hello, I am so grateful to have found a place where there are people who support and understand each other. It is so difficult talking to others about this topic as they either don't understand as they've never walked in your shoes, make judgements or give you uneducated advice. Obviously being depressed must mean to some people that I cannot think for myself, make good decisions or know what I'm doing. Right. So, thank you for being an accepting, supporting and educating place that is safe, kind and caring. I have been on the not so lovely Zoloft since 2010. It all started with the birth of my little munchkin which sent me into a deep, dark and hopeless hole. The doctor called it post-partum depression. I called it misery. It was worsened by everyone around me as they continually reminded me this was supposed to be the happiest time in my life; motherhood. To me their words were a constant stab in the gut with each reminder a twist of the knife. I didn't feel anything so how could I feel anything towards this little thing that screamed at me all day and night? I wanted to run away; I ran to my doctor who I thought would save me from this torture. My doctor had one answer to end the misery and make my life as a mother television perfect; my savior was an oval pill named Zoloft. 3 months of being saved by Zoloft made me feel less numb. I didn't want to run away and I started to actually have an interest in the little crying bundle I spent my days with. All was seeming good until I realized my savior ran out. I called the doctor to get more but that was not as easy as getting it the first time. Now I needed to go see a psychiatrist to get more. Ah, but there was a huge road block called work. See when you have a baby in the USA, your maternity leave ends at 3 months. My job required me working 14 hour days so getting in to see this doctor was nearly impossible. So my savior and I abrubtly parted ways. My body was so distraught I went into severe withdrawal of headaches, insomnia, sweating, suicidal thoughts, leg cramps, fatigue, shakiness and muscle aches. It was horrible and took 6 months to overcome. In 2013 all was going well. I was pregnant with baby #2 and life was happy. When I was 5 months pregnant I knew something was wrong. The baby decided Earth was not the right place and left. I went into a deep hole again. My doctor this time around again offered me the same treatment claiming it is the best one for this type of thing. Zoloft snuck back into my life. Since then I have been hanging out with Zoloft. 2 weeks ago I stopped taking it fully after I tapered down. It was going well and I was feeling great. I recently was diagnosed with euthroid Hashimotos. I started .25mg Synthroid 3days ago. Yesterday I started feeling horrible. Last night and today were worse. I have insomnia even though I'm extremely fatigued, I'm crying all the time, my body aches, I have headaches, leg cramps, tingling in my hands and lips, sweating, cold hands and feet, muscle stiffness in my upper back, neck and arms, mental fogginess, shortness of breath, irritability, agitation, upset stomach, indigestion, moodiness, seasick sensation, dizziness, lightheadedness and nausea. Pretty much I feel horrible. I cannot function. I get fatigued walking to the bathroom. I feel so uncomfortable it is getting unbearable. I broke down and took 150mg of Zoloft tonight as that's what I was taking. I'm hoping this is withdrawal and reinstating the Zoloft will make it go away as I don't know how much more I can handle. No doctor ever discussed with me how hard and horrible getting off Zoloft would be. I had NO idea it would be this bad. This is worse than the hole I was in initially. I feel like I'm dying and that alone is depressing. That is the end of how I entered...the Zoloft Zone!!!!!!
  23. I'm 51yr old gay guy and lived with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety since childhood. It took me till I was 43 to finally 'break' and open up to my then partner, my GP, my friends and family. I was initially prescribed Fluoxetine, but this was changed to Sertraline. I have been taking sertraline since then, at 200mg daily since about 2011. In 2013, my partner and I separated after 17yrs together, I lost my job and home. I haven't worked since. I have been in my own housing association home since Nov 2015. Even at the maximum dose of sertraline, I have continued to suffer anxiety and panic attacks. I have been prescribed Propanolol to ease this, at a dose of 160mg slow-release for a period. At the moment I take 40mg up to 3 times daily. I have been frustrated by the amount of side effect symptoms that I attribute to the sertraline use: exhaustion, lack of emotions, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, teeth grinding and jaw pain, appetite disruption, haemorrhoids. Most of all is my overwhelming feeling that I am being dehumanised, no longer able to function, have a relationship, make friends, have a job... Just want to be me again. In consultation with my GP I started a tapering off of sertraline last Sept. I couldn't cope with the crippling anxiety and fatigue of withdrawal and I went back to the 200mg dose. I started tapering again in may this year. I reduced by 25mg at 2week intervals and managed to get down to 100mg daily in 6weeks. I found the process manageable up till reaching 100mg when anxiety was worsening. But I kept on that dose till mid Sept when depression was worsening along with the anxiety. I saw this as a major warning that I wasn't managing. I've been taking 150mg for the last 4days and coping. With the dark winter days returning I am resigned at the moment to postpone reducing sertraline until the spring. Meantime I found this forum and feel it will be helpful to connect with people in similar situations.
  24. I started citalopram about 10 years ago at 40 mg. I have spent the last four years tapering off. I was at 10 mg. for about 2 months, and then at 5 mg for about two weeks. I felt ok, so then I stopped completely. I was ok for about a week after my last dose, but then started having really, really bad irritability. I have no patience and have a lot of trouble sleeping. At night, when I'm trying to sleep, I feel very jittery. I'm assuming it took a week to get it all out of my body. So I've just read about reinstating it. I just made up the liquid solution. I thought maybe I'd start taking 3 mg each night. Wondering what everyone else thinks. Should I start back lower? If I knew this irritability would be short tem, I might try to wait it out, but it's been five days and I'm having a lot of difficulty. If I start back on 3 mg, what should my taper schedule be? How long should it take. I'm also taking 600 mg. gabpentin and low dose naltrexone. Not sure if that makes a difference.
  25. Merged topics Survey is easy, and should take about ten minutes. London university in conjunction with CEP, London and with support of Baylissa Frederick , Recovery Road, is conducting a survey about dependence and withdrawal from benzos, A/Ds, opiod painkillers or other drugs of dependence. Please, please, please reply. this is an opportunity not to be missed whatever country you live in. The results will be published in academic journals. Make it known how big this problem is and what services are needed. UK responses will inform UK policy. If we secure services in the UK other countries may follow the lead. Please share in other support groups. https://roehamptonpsych.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6gSHZN88sOmHDlr
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