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  1. Hello all- i just want to introduce myself to the group. I have been a long time reader and follower. I just decided to create account. I will be totally honest.\ Back in 2014 Started using steroids to enhance my body building. I never used before but all my coworkers used them and so i started a 8 week cycle. After stopping them and going through the whole post cycle therapy, i started to experience what i did not know at the time was anxiety attacks for no apparent reason. Please note i never had panic or anxiety attacks before. On July 4, 2014 i experienced a full panic attack while sitting down watching TV. This panic attack felt like i was going to die! I was short of breath, sweating, dizzy, like i was about to faint. Right after that attack i was not the same. I felt the after effects. i was scared to have another one, i had brain fog, anxiety, Depersonalization, suicidal thought which scared me to my wits. I became depressed because i didn't know what was wrong with me. I stayed that way for two days, until i went to urgent care. I was given a injection and calmed down for the rest of the day. I was sent home with xanax, and instructions to see a Psychiatrist. Once i seen the doctor she diagnosed me with GAD. Wrote me prescription for Escitalopram 10mg, and xanax 0.25mg as needed. I started taking the Escitalopram 10 mg at night and immediately couldn't sleep, had racing thoughts, and was more anxious. Next day she instructed me to take it in the morning. That seem to do work better than taking it at night. Eventually my symptoms were gone except that i was tired alot and my libido was down. She prescribed me Bupropion SR 150 which i made me feel like my mind was going 100 mph. I stopped Bupropion SR 150 and she switched me to Bupropion Xl 150 and then 300 mg which combated the tiredness. At this dose of Bupropion XL i had motivation, my libidio returned, and my energy level improved. Fast forward to last year November 2016 when i decided i want to give it a shot and taper off lexapro first. With my doctor agreeing with me, i started to cut the 10 mg pill into 4 pieces. I weaned myself down to the point that i couldn't cut the 5mg pills to get a accurate dose. That's when i researched on SAD on how turn Escitalopram into a liquid form. See my signature for my tapering doses. Recently my employer started restructuring the company, Unsure of my future i started interviewing and testing for other potential employers. During the interviews i was so nervous i took 0.25mg xanax to calm me down. This was last month in August 2017. My latest taper was on August 14, 2017 i was at 0.7mg and reduced to 0.6mg/1.2ml - 2:1 ratio of Escitalopram. During on of the testing for this new job i was on the verge of having a panic attack. Not sure why since i was not nervous nor worried about the testing portion. I had no choice but to push through since we could not leave the room at all! I managed to finish the test but i was not feeling to good, so i took 0.25mg of Xanax which helped. After the testing episode i have been noticing that when i go into a important meeting i start to panic. i get dizzy, sweaty, and anxious. I feel like i want to run out of there. It got to the point that before one certain interview with a potential employer i have taken 0.125mg of xanax to get through it. And after all that i actually go the job! I decided to return to my latest dose i felt i was stable at which was 0.7mg/1.4ml of Escitalopram in liquid form. I increased my dose on September 10, 2017 I was hoping this will help. I was ok for 3 days until i had to make more liquid Escitalopram with distilled water. I bought some 10ml bottles so just in case i have to travel i have a small enough jar or vial to carry around. So after this mixture the new ratio will be 1:1. I crushed two 5mg pill of Escitalopram and added 10ml of distilled water. After a couple of hours i took my dose at 0.7ml = 0.7 mg 1:1 ratio. I am not sure what happened but maybe the powder that sits at bottom didn't have enough space to properly mix with the water, because right after i took this dose i was on the verge of having a panic attack and i haven't been the same since. I had to do breathing techniques. That worked for like 15 minutes but i was very irritated, i couldn't stay still, i had racing thoughts coming into my head, heart was pounding, i felt dizzy. I had to take 0.25mg to calm down to be able to sleep. i woke up around 1100pm the same night and felt anxious and i took a extra 0.125 mg of xanax again to fall asleep. I had to call in sick to a golf tournament with my new boss, and some clients. Now ever since then i have been on edge, i feel ok one moment and the next, i am anxious, i get racing thoughts, my left eye is twitching a lot. i worry that i won't be able to perform at my new job which is very demanding. Yesterday i did my original mixture of Escitalopram 2:1 ration in a slightly larger jar and i took my dose at 1.4ml/0.7mg of Escitalopram and bupropion xl 300 mg. I did not have the same episode i did the previous night. I this point i don't know what to do. Should i stay at my current dose and try to stabilize, lower my dose, ??? your help and input is much appreciated. Thanks
  2. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  3. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  4. Hi I have been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 4 years. I tried to cold turkey 2 years ago, and spent 5 days unable to get out of bed. Due to loss of insurance, and really wanting to be off meds, I am tapering again. I received Wellbutrin 75mg IR (immediate release). I was going to start off with a slow taper, however the IR pills have been a roller coaster. When I first take the pill I am irritable and agitated for about 3 hours. And then I become lethargic and tired until my next dose. Due to these ups and downs I had to reduce the dosage pretty quickly. I take 3 doses a day. 3/8 in the morning, 3/8 at lunch, and 1/4 in the evening. For a total of 75 mg a day. I started tapering 2 weeks ago, and finally now feel pretty stable. Honestly, the best time for me is when i first wake up. After I take my first dose I get irritable and agitated. I am planning on doing another reduction tomorrow, and just cannot wait to get off this medicine. I am supplementing with lots of Omega 3s, multivitamin, magnesium and vitamin B. Hope to use this as a journal, documenting my taper. Thank you for reading.
  5. Jennifer78

    Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  6. Hi there, I have been reading quite a few topics on this website, and would like to see if anyone has suggestions for my situation. I was put on effexor and wellbutrin over 5 years ago. I am not exactly sure of the exact time length I have been on it, and what doses I have tried, but the past few years I have been on 150mg of effexor and 150 mg of wellbutrin. My dr and I decided I can come off the effexor on a tapered schedule. Basically I was tapered from 150 to 75 to 37.5 to nothing in just over a month or there abouts. I didnt keep a track of the dates, which I probably should have. The tapering was ok, I didnt really notice anything happening. Then when I went from 37.5 to nothing, it really hit me. I had all the discussed symptoms and was a mess. I think July 25 was my last day on effexor. In August I think I had two or three good days, and I use the term good loosely here. September I had about 10 good days, October, is only at 8 good days so far. These day are not all in a row, they are very sporadic. I recently started a new job, but it only goes for another month. That has me really stressed out, as I have no savings to fall back on and no job lined up yet. My job I am currently at is good though, it has me outside in the forest, getting lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. Since about October 11, I have been having these crazy crying fits. I just cry, and cry. When I am not crying, I feel ok, but then I start crying hours later. I did go to the walk in clinic, as I cannot get into see my fam dr with my work schedule, and the dr at the walk in suggested I try doubling my wellbutrin either every day, or I could double it up every second day. He said this will still take a month before I start feeling any better, if I do. This morning, out of desperation, I took a second pill and I will continue with this, unless someone has another suggestion... Does anyone have any experience with this? When I have a good day, I still have a tightness in my chest, and I know I am so close to tears, but I am able to ward them off. I find I have to keep myself super busy to not cry, or think, as htinking leads to tears. Today is another rough day, lots of crying already. I do not want to go back on effexor, as my mind has never felt so crisp and clear. I feel unfogged and alert, I do not remember ever feeling like this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I have been on Wellbutrin for the last 10 years. I am currently on 300 mg of bupropion extended release. This will be my third attempt to taper off successfully. This time I have prepped my body and created a conducive environment to successfully taper off. I've followed the pre-taper protocol of a few holistic psychiatrists, mainly Dr. Kelly Brogan. Can anyone who has successfully tapered off Wellbutrin recommend a tapering schedule? Also, did you have the drug compounded into a liquid to taper or just taper down using the tablets? The compounding pharmacy said that they couldn't create a compounded version of the extended release of the Wellbutrin; it would just be immediate release. Is this true?
  8. Hi to everyone and thank you for accepting me into this group. I was planning on tapering from my Wellbutrin after I had been stable on it for a couple of months. I have only been taking it since January but had been experiencing what I thought were just increased anxiety and agitation from it. I was inpatient at the time and the doctors told me that those weren't side effects and it was just my own anxiety. I have a long history of panic disorder which was under control until my husband and I decided to move to another city due to a job change. After I left the hospital it took a month to be able to get in to see a psychiatrist. Unfortunately she had a very strong accent and though I think accents are neat I have had trouble understanding people with accents since I had surgery to correct a badly deviated septum. So I had to wait another month to see a different psychiatrist. I was having a horrible time on the Bupropione the whole time but I was able to get some help from a mental health urgent care clinic.They increased my Buspirone from 30 mg to 50 mg which really helped with the anxiety I was experiencing from the Buproprion, I finally got in to see a new psychiatrist and the first thing she wanted to do was take me off the clonazepam. She wanted to cut my dose in half but I only cut it by a quarter. About five days later I was in full blown withdrawal and she wouldn't believe me. She said if I was in withdrawal I would be in the hospital. I have been going to a group and one of the facilitators told me I should go back to the mental health urgent care which I did the next day and they referred me to an addictionologist. He has been wonderful. He confirmed that I was indeed in withdrawal. I was pretty much through it by that time but at least he understood. It had been about three weeks since I had tapered down on the clonazepam and he recognized that the bupropirone was causing me problems so he told me to drop it to half. After my recent experience I chose to drop it by .25 again. I went straight into severe withdrawal and he reinstated the medication after only two days of a reduction. At this point I would wake up every morning with severe trembling and anxiety so I switched my night time clonazepam to the morning and that caused those symptoms to remit. I was feeling really good and enjoying my days. Getting out into the sunlight, walking my dog, mowing the lawn. It was great. Anyway I learned about a device called Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that is supposed to help you with anxiety and depression and since I want to get off my medications I discussed it with my psychiatrist. He thought it would work so he gave me a prescription for it. I started using it 15 days ago. The first two days were great. I woke up with no anxiety and I felt even better than ever. Then I started having increased anxiety on the third day. One of the things that the CES device can do is increase the effectivness of your medications, and their side effects. About a week into my use of the device the side effects from the Buproprion became intolerable. It turned out that the clonazepam had been disguising akathisia and the CES brought it out. Of course this happened over Memorial Day Weekend so I was left to my own devices and the wonderful counsel of my concerned husband. We decided to drop my Buproprian to 75 mg IR to see if that would help. Unfortunately it did not. I didn't seem to have any withdrawal symptoms either though. On Tuesday we went in to see my Dr and he recommended a beta blocker for the side effect. It worked wonderfully. Unfortunately it also caused me to become depressed. The Dr recommended that I go off the medication completely at this point. So starting the next day on June 1 I went cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms started immediately. I have had crying spells and unending anxiety. I have continued to use the CES as it is reputed to help with withdrawal symptoms and to help prevent relapsing into depression. It seems to help but not as much as I would like it too. I know that my brain has to remodel itself and it will take time even with the help of the CES device. I have also been using L-theanine which helps a little. I am really trying to find some way to reduce the anxiety as it has turned me into a severe agoraphobic. I hide in my basement so I don't even have to look outside because that is anxiety producing in itself. The only way I have been keeping sane is to keep my brain occupied by surfing the net. I have also been reading The Mood Cure trying to find something that will help with the anxiety. I do have extra clonazepam that the Dr gave me and I have Baclofen but I don't want to have any more addictions than I already do. Once I get off the Buproprion I am planning a liquid taper of the clonazepam. I really feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place because if I reinstate the Buproprion at all then I have the akathisia to deal with and the medication for it makes me depressed. I would really love any input that anyone has for me. I have been thiking of trying some of the following for the anxiety. Lemon Balm Valerian Root Inositol Niacinamide (the Niacin makes me itchy from the histamine release) L-glycine Taurine Ashwaghanda I even read that someone coming off of Buprorpion had some success with L-phenalalanine but I have anxiety issues so I don't know if that would be counter productive or helpful becasue going off of the Buproprion is what is causing this. I'm also afraid of long term consequences to the cold turkey but I don't know what else I could have done. I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you, and thank you for this wonderful group.
  9. Hi new to the forum here. 10 year history on various drugs for anxiety/mild depression with the longest use being 8 years of celexa. So i felt like I was stable in life and the side effects were making me crazy so I talked to my PCP about tapering. I tried to reduce the drug 5mg every 2 weeks (starting at 30 mg) and of course after I was off it was hell (physically - brain zaps, vertigo, motion sickness, etc) for the next 6 weeks until I decided to put myself back on the drug. So I recently went back to my PCP and he recommended genesight testing to find which antidepressant would cause fewer side effects . Results came back that Wellbutrin was he best. I quite celexa cold turkey the day I started taking Wellbutrin. I'm having w/d symptoms again but not as strong - yet. It's been 3 weeks. Mood is fine but body feels bad. I'm reconsidering tapering off drugs completely again. What should I do? Should I d/c Wellbutrin and go back to celexa and taper using 10% method? How does that work??? Should i keep up wii Wellbutrin hoping it kicks in soon and the celexa w/d goes away? One thing that concerns me is that I've learned celexa isnamd SSRI and Wellbutrin SNRI. I've read Wellbutrin acts more on dopamine and norepinephrine than it does serotonin. This probably explains the celexa withdrawal symptoms. I honestly don't want to go back on celexa but if that's he best chance of getting of meds altogether it might be worth! Thanks for your support !!!
  10. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  11. Hi, I am triple m. I found this support site as I was trying to wean my bupropion. 8.5 years of taking this med for a mild situational depression way back then. Never thought to get off, nor did my PCP think of it either. Up until one year ago, felt quite good on it. One year ago in March, as I was beginning to notice a new noice in my ears, and researching possible side effects of med, decided, hey, I need to get off of of this med. Also, wanted to be off. I knew I needed to wean off, so got some MD information on wean schedule. I was afraid of damage occuring to my ears so wanted to get off NOW!!! I started the wean at my dose of 150XL mid June of 2015. I was told I could start by altering days taken. Every month I would change the wean. First month, skip one day, Second month, skip two days, until I could not stay at this rate by the fourth day. Wean was OK up to this point. I then needed to switch to IR. So, My Dr. gave me the IR tablets and I started them at 37.5mg last October. The change from XL to IR was quite difficult all by itself. However, I made that transition but now looking back, NOT over enough time. Through this past fall and winter months, I have made 2-4 week reductions but, the percentages were too high. 25 to 15 percent. Made mostly at 3-4 week intervals. I thought this would be OK as this was taking longer than the PCP wanted me to do. He wanted me to stop at the 37.5mg IR last fall, However, when I recently got down to what I thought was a tiny 1 mg cut at approximately 13mg, I went into terrible discontinuation. I was already struggling with the last cut but I waited 10 weeks to stabilize and then made the last one that turned out to be too much, ( a Math error on my part) and also, had no real way of knowing what dose I was on due to tiny cuts. I now have a mg scale. The discontinuation came on about 7-10 days out and it was horrible. I was frightened for my well being. This , being yesterday was the first time I had to miss work. I have had many of physical and psychological d/c symptoms along the way and have struggled to get through them. Also, I find NO SUPPORT from medical community in this. Many times, MD and others, have told me get on something else, or Why get off??? I have read some articles by James Heany and others and they have been helpful in understanding. Yesterday in desperation, I found James Heany's article on re-instating your SSRI. I did reinstate, not even at the last dose. I went up to the fall dose of 37.5mg IR, twice a day. I am praying that the worst of the d/c symptoms will settle down. What I have learned and Hard is how very dependant on this medication my body has become. SCAREY!!!! I did get Dr. J Glenmullens book and it was very helpful for information. James Heany and now also you guys have all discussed the 10 percent method of discontinuation going from the last dose cut. Maybe I have gone back up too much?? I don't know, but what I do know is that I was very fearful for my well being. I know I am extremely sensitive to any medication. 40 minutes after moving up to the higher dose, I felt immense relief. WOW!!!! I am praying I will stabilize out here. I know it will take at LEAST one month. James Heany mentions if the up dose is too small, it will just take longer to stabilize out. However, what I am most overwhelmed by is that I had no Idea how much my body would come to depend on this med. " Theraputic, easy to get off of med." Not so!!!! What I am committed to now is since I increased to the 37.5mg dose, I am committed to this for a minimum of one month. From here on out, 10 percent cuts. I need some encouragement though, I have felt somewhat defeated as I had to go back up but I can say, " I GET THIS". The extreme dependancy and need to now go so very slow. Now I know the road to recovery will be one of patience and perseverance more so than ever. THis will be hard because I want so badly to be free of this medication. Hoping for support. Thank you. triple M.
  12. Hi everyone. Thanks for reading this! This is my first post but I've read a lot. I'm in the south. 28 year old male. around 3 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist at the same office. I have a great relationship with both and I really trust them 100% with my care. I currently take 300 Wellbutrin, lamictal, buspar, abilify and cogentin Wellbutrin has been awesome over the years and so has buspar and lamictal. I was not diagnosed bipolar but they are using it as a mood stabilizer and it works well However over the years I've had some pretty bad circumstances and been on and off abilify. It works I guess in the way it can stop my obsessing andrew my mind slow down etc. I had been on about 10mg a year ago or so and then I stopped when I started lamictal. I had a bad turn around October last year and the cycle started again. Right now I'm on 5mg split between morning and night. 2.5mg. Oh and add the cogentin for good measure I have started to be quite foggy and started having some short term memory issues I think. The only thing we have changed in the last while was adding the cogentin and abilify back. I'm so worried my memory will not come back. I also need to talk to my pdoc this week as I want to start tapering off it. Thanks for reading! My mood was up and down and we started
  13. I'm new here. I have been on various SSRIs for 22 years and depressed since I was at least age 12. I went off the latest SSRI, generic Lexapro, because I have gained 30+ pounds over the last few years, needed at least 12 hours per day of sleep and still wasn't happy. I am on the max of Bruproprion. It doesn't seem to have any unwanted side effects. It is supposed to be at least weight neutral when taken without other drugs. The physical withdrawal effects are brain zaps, ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea. These aren't 24/7 and they may be subsiding. Hard to say. I tapered from 10mg of Lex to 5mg to 5 every other day. I did this starting beginning mid-June. My struggle is that I fear my depression is returning. I feel like I will never be OK. I also don't want to become anti-psych med or anti doctor but I wonder if I wasted years of my life on meds that never worked or if this is the way it will always be.
  14. Hello everyone, thank you for creating and building such a fantastic resource. It’s so helpful to read about the journeys of others here. I was advised by my GP to speak with a psychiatrist in April 2016. The GP suspected I had depression & anxiety. I met with a psychiatrist for an assessment. I’d been through a lot of stressful experiences in life. Life had dealt me a tough hand, and I was already quite vulnerable when I arrived in his office. At the end of the assessment, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and prescribed me Bupropion 300mg and clonazepam 2 mg+ per day. I was never keen on the idea of taking medication, but the Dr said I needed it as I had “disorders” caused by chemical imbalances, and that I was lucky to have made it this far without it. I don’t believe that for one moment and now feel I was misinformed. If I had been warned about the side effects, I would never have put them in my body. I’ve been through some hard times, but the medication has served me with the hardest and most agonising four months of my life. To make things worse, after a couple of months seeing him every few weeks the psychiatrist offered me a job. It was a slightly unusual series of events, but I felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. I worked hard, was often praised for it and I was given reassurance my role was pretty much permanent. I loved my job. It gave me purpose and a role in the world. My self-esteem rocketed as I felt I’d been specially selected for showing signs of promise, it changed everything. However, the different roles called for different protocols, and the roles of “therapist” and “boss” required disparate and often conflicting styles of relating. The Doctor providing me with a job and treating me outside of the clinic caused the boundaries between Psychiatrist and employer to become extremely blurred. Even though it was unorthodox, I pinned a lot of faith on the Psychiatrist, his advice and the job he gave me. He gave me hope and faith for the future. August 2016: Prescribed Sertraline 100mg due to depression remaining and increasing number of bad moods. October 2016: While at work the Psychiatrist commented he suspected I had ADHD. Despite not suffering from day to day symptoms I completed the DIVA ( ADHD assessment ) with him, He prescribed methylphenidate 10mg 2-3 times a day. Over time I didn’t feel any improvement in mood, so the dose was increased to 20mg x5 (up to 100mg+ per day). I asked the Psychiatrist about alternative ADHD treatments as I was apprehensive about taking more medication. The Psychiatrist informed me that there were no ADHD treatments in my area and even if there were he would not be prepared to enter into a shared care agreement. I believed treatment with him was my only option. I was told there were no services or specialists other than him and the only treatment available was medication. March 2017: The symptoms started with a lump sensation in my throat like there's some thing stuck, maybe it’s my thyroid. I went to the GP who said it was globus or anxiety and it was nothing to worry about, but I know it’s not anxiety as it’s there even when I’m not anxious. Next came tremors, dizziness and chronic fatigue. I was struggling to think, speak and walk. I felt as though a part of my brain had shut down. I had strong pains in my chest, dull aches that moved around my back and occasional shooting stabbing pains in my back and leg that stopped me in my tracks when I did walk. April 2017: The relationship seemed to work well initially but became very confusing until eventually I was dropped not only occupationally but therapeutically. My false sense of security was pulled from beneath my feet. I'm sorry to say last time the Psychiatrist, and I spoke he was abrupt, abrasive, insensitive and rude. I’ve been left in shock, fear, trepidation and with more health problems than before I met the Psychiatrist. At the time I thought the stress of losing my job caused me to become unwell, but after discovering James Moores Mad in America podcast, listing to peoples stories and reading a little, I think I’d reached a tolerance point with the medication and started to have terrible side effects. By this point, I’d lost faith in the Doctor so felt I couldn’t ask him for help. I think part of me knew it was the medication as I went to my GP, firstly to find the Psychiatrist hadn’t been keeping my records up to date. I told the GP what I had been prescribed, and I was told it would be impossible to identify what was causing the problems. I naively agreed with my GP that the best option would be to stop taking all medication, however stopping without tapering has left me with a long list of withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking sertraline, clonazepam & methylphenidate that day and cut my dose of bupropion in half for one week then stopped the following week completely. Every symptom I already had, got worse, tremors, dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling like I might pass out, loss of coordination, back pain. The fatigue was so bad, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute or so which lead to me not being able to leave the house. My partner was having real trouble getting me out of bed in the morning, and after a few hours of being up, I’d need to go back to bed due to feeling exhausted. I think I was putting it down to severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt numb. After a couple of days of stopping I started to get really bad night sweats, I’d wake up stinky, drenched with my mouth tasting how I smelt, it was horrible. The chest & back pain continued to get worse and progressed to tingling and numbness in my arm. I’ve been to the hospital three times in the past four months in various states of feeling close to death but sent home every time. I’ve been to the GP many times as the side effects have left me with so many physical symptoms and feeling so ill. I had numerous blood tests and even though I felt like I’d been poisoned every test came back clear. August 2017: The fatigue has lifted slightly, the part of my brain that felt as though it had broken is slowly coming back, and I’m smelling much better :). I continue to have flu like symptoms and intense joint and muscle pain, mainly in my back, shoulder and arm and I’m not entirely sure if the pain will ever go away. I feel like a very rickety eighty-year-old. My GP finally acknowledged some of these side effects last week. They haven’t been able to give me much support due to stopping taking so many different medications at the same time and stopping cold turkey. The GP did frustratingly say some of what I’m going through maybe down to the return of depression and anxiety. I’m only depressed as I’m in so much pain and have anxiety as my nerves are messed up. I’m a little worried that the medication has caused permanent damage. I accept a return in my depression and anxiety, but I have so many physical difficulties that began following and since stopping taking the medication. I trusted the Psychiatrist and put my life in his hands. Looking back, I feel like I was led astray, betrayed and like I’ve been chemically assaulted. Before everything went wrong, I recommended the Psychiatrist to some friends who also became patients of his. They were given a similar diagnosis to the one I’d been given, told they also had chemical imbalances and they too prescribed a similar cocktail of medication including methylphenidate and told to contact him when they needed a repeat prescription. After a couple of months, they both began asking me why he wasn’t returning their calls or emails. When I spoke with him about this, he said they had contacted him last minute, and for that, he wasn’t going to reply right away as he didn’t do last minute. Eventually one of my friends requested to have her care transferred as she lost faith in him. The other works at one of his clinics, and is still having problems with him returning her emails and calls and providing her with prescriptions when needed. She has told me there'd been many occasions recently that other patients of his have called his clinic in tears as they are unable to get hold of him. I also know a woman who was under his care at the inpatient unit long before I met him. She said he had given her a combination of medications. She told me it made her feel like a zombie. For one reason or another, she was transferred to a different psychiatrist who questioned why she was on so much medication and immediately began to reduce her dose. No one was warned about side effects and withdrawals, supported, monitored or made aware they’d have to request prescriptions on the Psychiatrists personal terms. It was hugely irresponsible of him to tell people they need medication due to a medical condition and chemical imbalance and to encourage dependence on medication and not provide support, information, monitoring and often fail to provide the advised medication to patients dependant on it. I’m so happy to have found this incredible community and source of information, it's allowing me to start making sense of what I’ve been and am going through. It’s such a relief to learn I’m not the only one feeling this way. The support and compassion I’ve seen on this forum is incredible and a brilliant way of making good of what everyone here has been through. Trusting I’m going to get better and connecting with others isn’t easy at the moment, but I’m hoping it’s going to get easier. My heart goes out to everyone that has been through or who is going through withdrawal. x
  15. I'm shaking as I write this. Long story short, went on antidepressants about 9 years ago for disthymia, GAD, and Panic Disorder. Started on Lexapro. It worked fairly well and had no startup side effects. PDoc added Welbutrin. It worked well too. Switched from Lexapro to another SSRI briefly without problems. Switched to Zoloft and stayed on it for about 8 years. Smooth sailing aside from the sexual side effects, which caused me (stupidly) to quit cold turkey in November of 2016. From then to January 2017 I felt fine except for brain zaps. Those eventually went away and haven't returned. February 2017 I started getting weird chest tightness and heaviness, accompanied by a stinging in the mouth and tongue. Had EKG, echo, chest xray, all fine. Saw a new PDoc on March 3rd who said chest symptoms were anxiety and put me on Trintellix and Klonopin. Was hesitant to start these drugs so I waited awhile. Took a friend's 0.25 Xanax on occasion during March to combat relatively mild anxiety from chest symptoms. Anxiety was getting worse so I decided to try the Klons. Was prescribed 0.5 to 1 every night before bed. Started doing that about March 16 with varied results. One day it seemed to work like a charm while the next day not at all, or even seemed to make anxiety worse. March 24 decided to try the Trintellix. March 25, 26 went by without side effects then BAM on March 27 I began what I can only describe as an unending and unrelenting panic attack that has only ceased briefly a few times since. I kept taking it anyway until March 29 when I called PDoc who told me to stop taking it and take something else. I told him F that, I want to go back to Zoloft and Welbutrin, at least I know that works. Been taking the Zoloft and Welbutrin since then. Saturday April 1st, 10:00pm I took 0.5 Clonazepam and fell asleep for 4 hours. Sunday April 2 2:00am awoke in a state of severe anxiety, about a 9.5/10, worse than I had ever felt. 5:00am went to the ER. 9:00am given Ativan at ER. Did not help. Voluntarily admitted to psych ER. In holding area until 11:00pm then transported by ambulance to a psych ward an hour away. Psych ward was a nightmare and drove my anxiety even higher which I didn't think was even possible. Monday April 3 evening, anxiety at 9.5. Blood pressure 177 systolic. Nurse gives 0.5 Xanax. Blood pressure drops to normal. Anxiety drops to 7.5. An hour later, anxiety up to 10!!! Nerves feel like they're on fire, heart pounding fast, muscles very weak, brain feels like it's being electrocuted. Given Hydroxyzine. An hour later, still 10. Given 2mg Xanax and wheelchaired back to room, or rather empty jail cell. Passed out. Tuesday April 4 awoke feeling drugged and anxiety at 5. Discharged at 1pm. Anxiety drops to 3. Arrive home, anxiety drops to 2. I was hopeful that the nightmare was over. Nope. Yesterday Wednesday April 5 morning, anxiety at 3. By noon anxiety climbed to 7. Is fluctuating between 5 and 7. Called PDoc in a panic. PDoc says keep taking Zoloft and Welbutrin and also prescribes Neurontin and Valium to be taken 3x per day, 2x dosage at bedtime. Picked up scripts that evening and took the bedtime dose. About a half hour later started feeling weird but good. Didn't last long though. Had a rough night. Today April 6 morning I felt very weird, but not in a good way. Tremors in my facial muscles, derealization, slow thinking. Looked up Neurontin on the Internet and learned how bad it is. Decided not to take morning dose and called PDoc and left message. I did take the morning Valium though, and that helped for a few hours. Took the afternoon Valium and it seemed to increase my anxiety and make me dizzy. PDoc hasn't called back. This is HELL. There's no end to my anxiety attack. I cannot function. I'm going to lose my job, my health insurance. Please tell me there's an end to this suffering. Please give me some hope. Some advice. What is happening to me? Is my life over?
  16. Hello all. I'm not sure my signature will show up. I'm on 0.33 mg Lexapro (liquid) and 25 mg Bupropion SR. I have been serious about tapering over the last year. My highest doses were 150mg Bupropion and 20mg Lexapro (2008). I started on Wellbutrin to offset the sleepiness caused by Lexapro. My goal is to get off both drugs, but my tapers over the last year have all been from Lexapro. I've noticed my PMS is much worse than before and in general my lows are much lower now than when I was on higher doses. But otherwise I feel ok most of the time. Questions: Should I focus on quitting Bupropion instead of Lexapro for a while? At what point can I stop taking Lexapro? I've been reducing about 10% with each taper, but this could go on forever. At what point is it ok to end it completely? Thank you in advance for your help.
  17. Hi everyone. I've been on several psych meds since December 2015. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. I am on gabapentin, wellbutrin, trazodone and lamictal. Over the past few months I have noticed increased side affects: dizziness, losing my balance, involuntary movement, and severe gastrointestinal issues. I talked to my psychiatrist about getting me off the medications and she is not supportive. She said I need to be on them for life, like a person who has a physical disease. I got sober a year ago from alcohol, am active in my church and recovery community, eat healthy, exercise, and feel I can handle life without being medicated at all. I'm starting with the gabapentin (10% taper) I'm already having anxiety and side affects. I know I have to go slow, one medication at a time. This is really scary and I'm worried I'm never going to be off all of it. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
  18. I've been taking these meds for years. I've been on them mostly for extreme anxiety and depression. What do I need to help with anxiety and depression as I try to get off of them so I can stay off of them. Also, how bad is getting off of fluoxetine, trazodone, wellbutrin compared to getting off of Effexor? Getting off of Effexor was pretty hellish.
  19. fgjhs: My story

    My psychiatrict medication regimine may have completely missed the mark. I found out recently that I had a small lacunar infarct/stroke in 2010. My cognition issues may be more related to that than ADHD. I started to have difficulty with working just around the time I had the stroke or soon after. I am on quitea cocktail of medications for the treatement of ADHD, anxiety and depression per the psychopharmacology physician I see. I have been on bupropion for 20 years, having been titrated up to 350mg daily total. 150mg am, 150mg at 12noon and 75mg at 5pm. I am so tired of all this medicine. Seeking iv amino acid infusion because I understand this will allow me to wean off the bupropion. At any rate, I need to see a neurologist who specializes in cognition and can evaluate my medication regime. Be well. FGJHS
  20. I am currently weaning off from both Wellbutrin and Abilify according to my psychiatrist's instructions, and I'm experiencing fatigue and loss of interest in doing anything. When I drink some strong coffee, my ability to cope and work returns, though I don't want to be dependent on caffeine either. It's my fifth day currently of not taking any medicine at all. I was told by my doctor that to return to myself without medication, it'll take about 7 - 9 days total. I'm hoping that it's just the withdrawal of medicine that's making me feel fatigued and uninterested in things, because I don't want to be like this naturally. These medicines were used to treat depression, but my doctor now suspects that I have bipolar II disorder. In case things go really bad before our appointment next week, he gave me a backup prescription of Carbamazepine -- but I really don't want to take it after reading the side effects. I was hoping that through exercise, I can cure my depressive episodes, just like some people have cured depression through rigorous exercise. I admit I am not exercising every day, but I did manage to run half a mile twice last week. I think I'm getting there, hopefully, and I'll try really hard. Essentially, I'm on a journey now to be medication-free and learn how to cope better without it (and I think I am more emotionally mature now, and all that needs to change is my energy levels and mood).
  21. Hi, I've been on and off every antidepressant for the last 22 years . I started antidepressants when I was 13 because my parents are pill freaks and I was being bullied in school and not happy about it. I've taken every antidepressant ever made and gone off most of them very rapidly. Over the years my insomnia, anxiety, and depression have gotten so severe I can't even function or see straight. I have trouble focusing my eyes. The fatigue is overwhelming and I only sleep 3 to 5 hours total a night. I took a break from meds for the last 1 year and 3 months from all meds and none of my problems got better. I tried Celexa for a week last week hoping it would fix all my problems but it made me much worse in every way however it did fix my vision problems and issues with a runny nose. I live in Los Angeles. Does anyone know where I can turn locally to fix my problems? What is going on with me? I can't live like this anymore. Pleas help!
  22. Introduction. 61 years old, male. I take Cymbalta, Buproprion and Lamictal. I will continue with Buproprion and Lamictal after Cymbalta tapering is complete. Before I started Cymbalta I tried several SSRI's. They made me feel better but have terrible side effects including shaking hands, erectile dysfunction even with Viagra and the other one, and they poop out. On advice of Shrink I switched to Cymbalta and after 15 years on it now I must taper. It has never pooped out, but the erectile dysfunction can last for several months until it decides to cooperate, usually while dreaming at night. Since having to get out of bed to disrobe ruins the moment, I started to sleep in the nude in order to be ready for action upon waking. Even then it is an uncertain proposition. I am divorced twice, do not want a relationship. and even if I did it would still be sexually unsatisfying (for me). A relationship with Rosey Palm and her five sisters is difficult enough. After taking 60 mg for years I reduced to 30 milligrams by simply taking one generic capsule rather than 2. I did not know about the severe symptoms associated with Cymbalta withdrawal. When I first reduced, after about a week I became nauseous and vomited multiple times per day, often for minutes at a stretch to the point I had trouble taking a breath. The symptoms lasted about a month. I thought I might have pancreatic cancer and my doctor scheduled me for a GI scope exam. It was normal. The doctor did not know I was quitting Cymbalta. I have now been taking 30 mg/day consistently now for about 6 months. During that time I came to realize my sickness was due to Cymbalta withdrawal. It was this website that made me realize it plus the fact I remembered the shrink did tell me to be very careful when I discontinue the Cymbalta and he rolled his eyes but gave no further details. Before I reduced to one pill per day my symptoms became absolutely intolerable. I visited Rosey less and less often, my hand shaking became so severe I cannot write by hand because it is so completely illegible it looks like a young child's scribbling. Using the keyboard is difficult because my hands miss the key I intend to press, and using the mouse requires my left hand to apply pressure on my right hand to keep it from jerking around so much. I also had to adjust the mouse settings to better allow for shaking. My legs also became week above the knees, and I was unable to control them. I could not walk down a straight hallway without crashing into the walls. Sometimes I could barely crawl. I would fall often and crash into furniture and the walls every time I went from one room to another. I had to keep my arms and hands ready to save myself from harm, but I was still falling, even over a pair of socks on the floor. I could not live that way anymore and I was able to associate it with Cymbalta because my hands started to shake, much more mildly than they do now, as soon as soon as I started the SSRIs. After reducing to one pill (30 mg) per day, I still have those symptoms but to a much lesser degree. I am now sure it is the Cymbalta that was and is responsible for it all. This site recommends 10% per month. I bought #4 gel caps and a filling machine. I filled ten capsules with nine 30 mg pills. Unfortunately my hands shake so severely that many of the beads went flying off. I suspect about 20% reduction is what resulted with no adverse effects. I took those ten pills once per day until gone. Because of the problem with my shaking hands, I decided to figure out a better method of reducing. I have. I went to a store that sells cloth and sewing supplies. For a couple of bucks I purchased some very sharp dress-maker needles with an end I could firmly grip. I also got a pin cushion. The pin is so sharp it is easy to puncture the 30 mg capsule, after I stabilize my right hand. For several days I let the pin penetrate the capsule at one end and pushed it through to penetrate the other end and come out that side. It now looked like a hot dog on a stick through both ends of the hot-dog. The pin allowed me to hold the capsule steady while I twisted the two sides of the capsule into a container until they separated. There was a lot of loss and ruined capsules. I went back to the store and purchased a nifty device used to retrieve thread from under the business end of a sewing machine, the part that goes up-and-down and holds the sewing needle. The device was pointed at one end, and tapered up to the handle. I already had a hobby puncturing tool that had a larger diameter at the sharp end than the pin, but more narrow than the nifty sewing device. Because the pin puncture was so small, no beads would come out of it. With the hobby tool, I was able to enlarge the pin hole but alas still no beads came out. But the sewing device tapered up to a very large diameter and I can easily create a hole big enough to let a single bead at a time come out of the hole when I give a slight squeeze to the capsule. I learned quickly how not to make the entire capsule to crack open, which is why I enlarge the hole in successive steps. I squeeze each capsule such that the bead escapes to the top of my cell phone that has black glass on it. The beads are easily identified. I have a rubber protector on the phone which contains the beads on the glass. For a little over a week I removed 20 beads from each capsule before taking it. I close up the hole with Burt's Bees chapped lip stick. It works great and is non-toxic. After over 3 weeks at a 10% taper, this morning I removed 40 beads which is contrary to advice given on this side. If I become sick again I know what to do at the first sign of nausea or other symptom. I want off Cymbalta as soon as possible so I am being more aggressive than perhaps I should in the hope I am one of those who can. If not, I will go slower. Good luck. My method of removing a counted number of beads really works, and I doubt a few beads more or less would matter much, at least not to me.
  23. I'm 32, I have a 6 year old, and I've decided I want to have another child finally. My GYN says, when you find out you're pregnant, just quit taking your medications. Wtf? I've been on wellbutrin xl, metoprolol, a beta blocker for heart rate associated with anxiety, and random benzos for about 5 years. I've been on and off of zoloft, which was rough. I take trazodone at night for sleep. And I've been on trintellix for a while now also, and I'm up to 20mg. Lately I've been so lethargic and having a hard time with any task, even getting dressed, brushing my teeth, much less actually cleaning up. I've also not been able to really get out of the house if I'm alone. I haven't had a xanax in over a week, so that's good, but idk what's going on. I've gained a ton of weight, constantly getting sick with something, and my skin looks terrible, and my eyes stay sunken in. I really want to come off of all my medications and rely on a more natural approach. I'm tired of feeling like a dead person walking around, and I want to feel things like I used to. I'm also running out of time to decide to quit everything and have another child. Where should I start tapering? Thanks for any advice.
  24. I took Wellbutrin XL for eleven years. The first couple of years at 150 mg, then up to 300 mg. About 5 years ago, 1/2 of a 2 mg Abilify every 3 days was added to the mix. I actually felt fine on the meds for the most part. I briefly went off of the Wellbutrin about 6 or 7 years ago, and then went right back on because I felt like crap. I'm actually only off the drugs now because my insurance changed, and I couldn't afford the drugs out of pocket. So when I ran out, I (FOOLISHLY) quit taking them. Cold turkey. I actually still have some of the Abilify, but I didn't want to take it without the Wellbutrin. It's been about 5 long weeks, but I no longer feel like I'm living underwater. However, I still have days or stretches of the day where I have brain fog, low motivation, and anhedonia. I know I should have tapered, but I didn't. The first two weeks, I ate like a pig--totally uncontrollable, especially at night--and felt like I was in molasses. I gained weight, which has become a problem. I've never had a weight problem my entire life, and then the last 3 years, I've gained 30 lbs. Then, I started taking L-Dopa and Tyrosine, which I think helped. But now, I'm looking to rebalance my brain without more brain altering substances that leave me dependent. For the past week (on tyrosine only, decided to take a break from the L-dopa), I've been unexpectedly tearful at certain moments, which I hadn't experienced since the year after my mother died (6 years ago). These have been prompted by real emotional situations (one friend's father died and we were commiserating about losing parents; another friend's dog died and one of my dogs died a year ago December). I'm realizing that I've been partially blunted by medication for so long, I'm not sure who I am emotionally or how who I am right now will shift as my brain continues to reboot. Right now, I'm trying to focus on eating a really healthy diet and weaning off of sugar and flour. I'm still drinking alcohol, which is my next thing to try to eliminate as I try to get my brain to function "normally" and to lose weight. I fear I may have monkeyed terribly with how my brain functioned and that I may not be able to get back to the way I was 10-12 years ago, which was going through some depression, but otherwise functioning well with eating, weight, motivation, exercise, etc.
  25. Hello A few months ago I started having tremors, jerks, whatever you want to call it. The tremors were/are bad. I tolerated the movements for a few weeks until my left hand started dancing around on its own in a meeting with a large account of mine. The prescribing doctor got a earful from me and I saw a neurologist who specialized in movement disorders. Went through the tests, and not once did any part of my body jerk. It did in the waiting room of course. His conclusion was the meds are causing this. It was time to get off of 1 or 2of them and sent his report over to the prescribing doctor. She has me going off 1 dose of the Lamotrigine. Its been 2 weeks and I feel like complete crap. I've been keeping a eye on my behavior since I'm cutting back. It is an adventure for sure. I just want the involuntary movement to stop.
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