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  1. I think I’ve made an awful mistake. I did a too fast taper off of Citalopram in Jan/ Feb and have been having awful withdrawal symptoms for about a month now. I thought the symptoms would resolve themselves after a few weeks, but they haven’t and I fear that I may have now permanently damaged my brain. I was prescribed 20mg paroxetine in 2001 for depression and anxiety. It worked really well. Life was wonderful and I felt fantastic for about a year. Then the Paroxetine lost it’s effectiveness. I took it for another year before deciding that it wasn’t doing anything and that I was cured so could just stop taking it. I relapsed six months later and was put on 20mg Citalopram in 2003. Over the years I have made three attempts at withdrawing from Citalopram. I had very little help from my doctor who told me that I could just stop cold turkey and then go back on them if the depression/ anxiety returned, which it always did. My last attempt to withdraw was in 2011. It was disastrous, I ended up a quivering wreck and was convinced I was going to die. Went back on citalopram and was told I would probably need to stay on SSRI’s for life. Stabilised after a couple of months, but didn’t feel quite right so was put on 10mg Ecitalopram. Over the last few years I made some significant lifestyle changes; moved into a new house, started getting some regular exercise, improved diet, reduced alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Nov 2014 - was switched back to citalopram 20mg. No explanation as to why, I went to collect the repeat prescription and it contained citalopram with a note saying this was a new course. Anyway, i took what I was given and assumed the doctor knew what he was doing. 15 Jan 2015 - Life seemed more positive and i once again felt the urge to quit the anti-depressants and be free of the side effects (agoraphobia, emotional numbness, twitching muscles, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 5mg for two weeks and 2.5mg for a further two weeks, before jumping off. Mar 2015 - I had two weeks of feeling really good. I had tons of energy, was getting out more, was starting to make plans for the future, my emotions were coming back, best of all, I was starting to feel like me again. I had a few brain zaps and headaches, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. I felt that this time things would be different and that I would finally be free of these drugs. Then I crashed. I woke up very early one morning with a feeling of dread, terror and loneliness. Everything had changed overnight. I had severe anxiety, a tight chest, knotted stomach, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. The world seemed unreal. Everything had suddenly become a huge effort. I was unable to spend any time alone and was worrying about the most ridiculous things. In hindsight, it was at this point that I should have reinstated, but I was determined to be A.D. free, so I put up some blackout curtains to help with the early waking, stopped drinking coffee and tried to distract myself by keeping busy. April 2015 - I discovered this site and learnt about withdrawal symptoms, windows and waves, supplements and tapering. The information gave me some relief as I now knew what was happening to me. I have been taking supplements for a few weeks (300mg magnesium, 1300mg omega 3 and 25mg diphenhydramine) which I feel has eased some of the symptoms. However, I have been reluctant to reinstate because I had a window that lasted for two days and thought I was making progress. That was a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling awful again now. It is becoming clear that I’m probably sensitised to SSRI’s after long term use and that I might have to suffer a protracted withdrawal. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a new doctor. Im going to ask her for a low dose of citalopram and something to help me get a proper night’s sleep. I just hope that I haven’t left it too late to reinstate, stabilise and conduct a very slow taper. I really wish I had found this site back in January and had not had to suffer this cold turkey hell.
  2. Hi, I am 63 years old and have been on psychicatric drugs for 34 years. In the past five years I have discontinued Trazadone, Lamotrigine, klonopin, Seroquel. The most recent one being Seroquel at 600mg. I tapered by 25mg. per month. I had horrible withdrawals and still had symptoms after three months after stopping it. The most troublesome symtoms I still had was the sweating/chills, Chorea involuntary movements, burning sensation in my head, face, legs and arms, anxiety. I have been on Celexa for the past eight to ten years and just recently discovered that Celexa can cause Chorea movements as well, so I have decided to discontinue this drug too. I began on 40mg. and started my taper 12 days ago at 5 mg. per month under the care of my general practitioner. I have not noticed any new withdrawals symptoms that I have already experienced from the above symptoms, , just an increase in intensity from time to time ( especially the Chorea Movements). I am trying to eat healthy, I take amino acids, inositol/choline and vitamins and mineral supplements. I am currently chair ridden due to bone on bone arthritis in my hips; on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery hopefully to be done this fall/winter. It has been a long journey to get this far in my recovery from psychiatric drugs and I hope I can continue to be strong. Genlady.
  3. Hi guys, Here is a little about me: I’ve been on antidepressants most my life. I didn’t have a good childhood and I thought these pills were the godsend answers we all wanted. I thought antidepressants were equivalent to insulin to diabetics. I honestly felt the worst on my concoction of pills. I was on something like 600mg of Seroquel XR, Valium, and something else to “help” the Seroquel. I felt more suicidal. I was put into a psych hospital for a week and I met a doctor who told me that my problem is hypothyroidism. He said so many doctors will overlook this one and go straight to psych meds. I got my blood checked and it showed I had low T3 and T4 cells. Pretty much that I do have hypothyroidism. I wanted to thank him the next day, but I found out he was “let go”. I had to do mandatory therapy (well they said it was mandatory, I don’t know if that was a lie) and DBT and CPT was great. I really enjoyed it. Well after I graduated, my therapist said I was cleared of everything. I still followed up with my psychiatrist for meds. She was gone on maternity leave and a younger male psychiatrist filled in for her. Before she left, we were tapering my meds. Now I didn’t know antidepressants caused withdrawals. I thought it would be like birth control where if I stopped, things would adjust back to my normal self. Well I reduced Celexa from 60mg to 50mg, reduces Lamictal, got rid of Abilify and Prazosin. I got super sick around 4 days but I didn’t have a fever. I also felt much more strange. Everywhere in my body hurt from each hair follicle to a single cell. It was the strangest pain and honestly I was ready to die. I couldn’t think of what would get me sick. My husband and I ate the same food and nothing changed except my medication reduction. Could that be it? One google search and wow. What is this “SSRI withdrawal”? There was so much about the world of antidepressants. From money to politics to health to bribery to black mail to media, antidepressants are a huge commodity. I saw both the pros and cons, the light and the dark. I was angry. I was angry at myself, the (American) medical system, and having withdrawals while finding this out sucked. Sucked super bad. I didn’t know the chemical imbalance was marketing plan. I totally fell for it. Never in my life once have I ever gotten a test done to show what my imbalances are. If a test even exists. I went back for a follow up at the mental health clinic I was assigned to after the week hospital stay and saw the fill-in while my main psychiatrist was away on maternity leave. I asked him, “how come no doctor ever in my life, ever told me about the pros and cons of antidepressants? Why did they just feed it to me?” And he replied, “each doctor has their own ethics.” And I said, “so I’m going to be possibly stuck feeling sick from withdrawals the rest of my life?” And he replied, “You’re going to be stuck with depression for the rest of your life.” He said it in a tone where he was getting angry. He then commented how I’m probably going to need medication for the rest of my life. At this moment, I knew things were bad. I got myself into a huge mess. And no doctor was on my side. Thats when I started to google everything. I even came across this site and some others too. A lot actually. I started to taper on my own following guides. As a matter of fact, I hate to say this because pharmaceuticals is a touchy subject, but I have gotten better and throuough advice from people online rather than my local health professionals. People online have given me better advice than licensed doctors....I’ve single handily experienced incompetent doctors and now I feel ‘trained’ that I just cannot trust American doctors with my mental health anymore. I’m afraid anything I say they will use against me. That my withdrawals are my symptoms coming back or my withdrawals are helping “new” underlying mental problems appear. I remember when I was 19 or 20, a psychiatrist was diagnosing me and finding pills using some app on an iPad. No blood test or brain scan. No science. Not even using the DSM. Just a free iPad app anyone can download. Let me wrap this up. I honestly abused antidepressants for 5 years. I would stub my toe, get mad, make an appointment, get a new drug or increase dose or both. I literally thought antidepressants were magic. I felt the worst in those 5 years. I was so cloudy, depressed, a huge mess. I thought this was normal and it’s the “depression” as my doctors would call it. After the fiasco of finding out about withdrawals, I was more than ready to stop. I tapered too fast. Celexa was the most difficult. I started tapering Celexa in April 2017 and stopped my final dose on Dec 2017. Celexa has given me the worst withdrawals. I lost my job due to constantly feeling ill and hallucinating/dreaming. I can’t do basic functions such as math so finding a retail job isn’t doable right now. My speech isn’t the same and I have a more difficult time with vocabulary. My stomach will cramp and I will get nauseous. When I do, I hallucinate like I am having a psychedelic trip on a substance. I recently found out that me “dreaming” while I’m awake is called derealization. I gave myself an injury because I felt like i was floating and dreaming, which ended up costing me a trip to the ER. I had the “lol so what? ;p” mentality. Now I have permanent ugly scars that remind me of this everyday. I deal with mental struggles because I had a bad childhood. That’s a given and that’s life. But I felt that was an excuse to give me all these labels and load me up on pills. And an excuse on my part. I do believe my health now is me “reaping what I sowed” because I did go to the doctors like it was a candy store. Both doctors and myself are to blame. I was ignorant and naive and I followed the crowd and I am literally reaping what I sowed. Pharmaceuticals is a touchy subject and I just want to be good terms. I’ve been called out saying that I’m ignorant for labeling antidepressants as crap as it has helped some people. A gal I grew up with is becoming a nurse and asked people’s opinion on Big Pharma, mainly opiates. As a matter of fact, she didn’t know antidepressants were part of “Big Pharma”. So I left a comment (Facebook) about how she should look into antidepressants as well. Another girl I grew up with whom is also becoming a nurse told me it’s ignorant and wrong of me to say that as it helps her with her chemical imbalance. She then proceeded to say and that you can find depression with brainscans and what not. And then linked a bunch of articles. I decided not to argue becaue she’s learning to become a nurse. I feel that’s like me joining the NRA and my husband trying to tell me guns are bad. In other words, I was walking into a lost battle. With that, I was asked to write an introduction. I know antidepressants are touchy so I won’t argue with anyone whether they’re good or bad. Like DBT and CPT taught me, to each their own. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this as this is my personal story. Currently, I am on the road to recovery. Some days are okay and some days are not. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
  4. Hi everyone, first post on here so will try not to jabber too much. I'm a 40 year old guy and have been on ADs twice in my life. I first took SSRIs when I was prescribed 20mg Fluoxetine for work-related depression around 15 years back. For about a year they seemed to work (in some way I relied on them after I got through the depressive phase) but gradually I felt more and more 'robotic', agitated and detached. And my sex drive went down the pan...lost all interest. In fact, lost all interest in everything. All felt grey. So, after two years on them, stupid me went cold turkey, expecting to return to normality fairly quickly. But it was not so. The disinterest got much worse. I stayed with the CT and it took a good 2yrs for 'me' to come back...though the libido never really did but in 2010 seemed to be showing signs of life again... ...UNTIL I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and was put on 10mg Citalopram back in October 2011. I was told I'd need to stay on the meds as I'd been on them before. I wasn't depressed at the time but blindly went along with the doc as the allergic reaction had shaken me up pretty bad. Initially, I felt mildly euphoric and life felt easy, I felt coolly un-anxious. But I couldn't ejaculate during sex, no matter what. And it got worse, to the point where I felt totally sexless, my desire just vanished in the worst way possible. And I started having crazy moodswings. So the doc switched me to Fluoxetine 20mg, after about a year on the Cit. No change. Dead libido, moodswings got even worse, pacing and inexplicable bursts of anger...so guess what? Cold turkeyed them again. Late 2013, about 4 weeks of big WDs, constant brain zaps and 'delayed vision', followed by huge bouts of anhedonia/apathy that still persist. And THE worst PSSD. No arousal, thrill, just this deadness in the pleasure centres of the brain. I can still love and see attractiveness but that 'engine' is...gone? It's horrendous, feel like half a man, like I'm out in the cold looking in all the time. Had tests, all showed fine but in a really good relationship right now that I fear is gonna suffer down the line. It'd kill me because we're so close and loving but I'm...inconsequential. 8 months and we just don't do it. Don't wanna lose her, we're truly soulmates. Want that connection back. That 'spark' in the brain...not there. For anyone or anything. Hurts so bad. I...just feel unsexual and I can't get my head around it. Nightmare. Am I totally messed up now, any hope, anything I can do? Tried ED drugs, various herbs, "He's dead, Jim". What a pickle.
  5. Hello. Here's my story: I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know. In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before). Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years. About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication. So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case. Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI. I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too. Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.
  6. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  7. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  8. just wanted to tell everyone that I have found this easier than anticipated but have been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol regularly to help with the symptoms, especially headaches and have found this really helps, also exercise. I used this method when withdrawing from diazepam several yrs ago and it worked well then. I am now down to 7.5 mg citalopram in the morning and am going to do this very slowly because from previous experience this is the only way. By the way, after every psychiatric drug I have stopped using I have discovered it never helped anyway.
  9. MedusaInAkron

    MedusaInAkron: Off Celexa

    I'm new to this site and glad I found it. I'm 58 years old and have been on antidepressants for 24 years. It started with Prozac in 1994 and have been on most of them--Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor since. In 2013, I weaned myself off of Effexor, but not long my doctor prescribed Celexa because I was crying all the time. A little over a month ago, I weaned myself off of the Celexa, and I'm determined not to go back on any meds, despite the fact that I struggle with emotional dysregulation (angry outbursts, fits of weeping); at least the vertigo and brain zaps have finally quieted down. I'm doing TM twice a day (l learned at a teen in the 70s but didn't stick with it) and have begun seeing a counselor; she's starting a 24-week DBT group that I'm set to begin next week. I'm hoping I can learn to handle what life throws my way without the emotional extremes, but today was such an emotionally wretched days that I fear I'm being unrealistic. I'm overwhelmed by the many obligations of life and how they compete with my need to practice forms of self-care.
  10. Hi Everyone! it's been great to find this site and know their are others in the same boat as me. I am British but live in Spain but it looks like a lot of you are from USA. Well, regardless of our geography the drugs and effects are still the same I guess. My story goes like this........ I have been on antidepressants since my thirties and nothing ever seems to trigger off the depression. I am however quite an anxious, nervy person! The last 15 years I have taken Citalopram after my Dr told me I would probably need it for the rest of my life. All was fine - Citalopram helped me immensely initially and has kept me on an even keel since. I think it just made me feel normal - no highs or lows. Then in March this year I got a severe allergy to pollen that gave me sinusitis and an asthma flare up. My Dr gave me some antibiotics and oral steroids to help. I had a very bad reaction to the meds and ended up with increased anxiety, shaking etc. He suggested that I might like to increase the Citalopram from 30mgs to 40mgs. All was well until early September when I started to get extreme nightmares and heart palpitations. The nightmares were so bad I was screaming out loud. My mood was good but I was very tired. So the Dr suggested that either 40mgs was too high or the drug wasn't agreeing with me at all. His advice was to try to reduce or come off the drugs so he could see if I was OK without them or he would need to give me something else. He also advised taking 20mg for 4 weeks then 10mg for 4 weeks etc until I was off them. So, I started end of September and reduced to 20mgs straight away for 4 weeks. I didn't feel that bad over those weeks just maybe a little extra anxiety that could be managed. The trouble started when I went down to 10mgs just over 4 weeks ago. I got all the withdrawal symptoms full on. This wasn't helped by getting a lung infection which set off asthma again. I was getting even more anxious not being able to breath and was given antibiotics again and a nebulizer. Both meds can effect anxiety and I think they did because I ended up really ill. One of the worst withdrawal symptoms was not being able to control my legs and the weakness in them. I collapsed and ended up in the Emergencies with my Blood Pressure 207/117.They eventually stabilised me and sent me home where I am now watching my BP at home. The depression has set in and I can barely get out of bed each day and can't stop crying. I have seen a different Dr. who has given me Lexatin to take 3mg up to 3 times a day to ease the anxiety. I have only taken one today and it has calmed me down, but am conscious of the dependency issues. He has also suggested increasing the dose of Citalopram back up to 30mgs. I think the first Dr maybe have recommended a far too quick withdrawal for me as I haven't been able to cope with the severe effects. I am going to increase to 20mgs to see what happens but I am so scared of what is going to happen. I can't even contemplate coming off these drugs now. I just want to get back to normal and live again. When will I get any benefit from the increase and should I go on up to 30mgs? Any help or advice anyone can give would be so welcome - you all seem to have a wealth of experience out there.
  11. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  12. Kostas

    ☼ Kostas

    Hi, I am Kostas from Athens Greece, and I would like to post my story. After suffering a burn out in my demanded post at work, not been able to eat, sleep, exhausted and non functional, was prescribed 20 mg citalopram. Started 10 mg for 1 week, and then 20. Side effects few and tolerable for 3 weeks, and then dramatic improvement and completely functional in week 8. Got them for 9 months, June 1994-march 1995. Then 10 mg for a month 5 for 2 months and off. Start relapsing after 2 months, and reinstated August 1995. 10 mg 1 week and then 20, August 95- August 96 Then tapering 6 months and off Feb 97. Very well till October 99, then relapse and reinstated 20 mg January 2000. On the drug Jan 00- September 01, Tapering 6 months, and off from March 02. Another relapse on October 03,and another reinstatement 20 mg, from October 03- October 05 Then, very slow tapering for 7 years October 05- October 12. 10mg 2006, 5 2007,2.5 2008, 2 2009, 1 2010, 0.5 2011, 0.25 2012. Off the drug from Oct 2012 till today. WD symptoms although not thought so back then, Nov 2012 slight tinnitus, till today June 2013, frequent urination and nocturia, much improved now. 2014 muscle tightness, and tired. Not too bad, but deterioration during stress. This continues on and off till today but have adjusted. June 2015 palpitations and arythmia for one month, and gone by then. October 2016,pain in the legs and shawder for a 2 months. April 2017, slight insomnia, agitation, tiredness, pain in the muscles and weak legs, agrivaded all symptoms under stress. Waves and windows till beginning of August, and improving now. Decided to try not to reinstate, since I am relatively functional 70%, but not happy with the situation! Any advice welcome!
  13. 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 !!!
  14. I am a little over a month into this part of my tapering story, (Celexa-free now) and last week I had a lot of anxiety, which did not come as a surprise to me. I had somatic obsessions, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and sometimes I wince from the intrusive thoughts or images that come up. My partner has been witnessing moments of this struggle which sparked a discussion. She says it hurts her to see me in pain and she urged me to think more critically about why I am doing what I am doing. When I tried to explain that sometimes withdrawal is just hard and requires patience, she said that I was rationalizing everything and didn't have any plan in place for when I should stop what I was doing or increase dosages again. She feels as if I don't leave enough room for her feelings or take into account how my actions in this process affect our relationship. She does not have personal experience with mental illness or medication which for some reason makes hearing that from her feel even harder. I feel judged in moments, though I really do think this is my own projection, and as a result I am not able to comfortably voice how I feel. I responded to all of this rather defensively. It felt like she wasn't trusting me to know what I need and it also seemed like this process, (which is hard for me already) was burdensome to her somehow. I felt like this is incredibly challenging for me and I need her amazing strength, love, and support right now, more than ever. I care so much about how she feels and this relationship but I want to be in control of this very personal process. She also thinks I am undergoing this journey in hopes of an idealized vision of reality without medication. While I do have hope for what life might be like drug-free, I try really hard to stay grounded and not have too many expectations. Maybe she's right in that regard. I don't know how to create more space for her to have feelings about how I'm feeling. It feels messy. I start dissociating during our conversations and losing time, losing information. She is very sharp and has an amazing memory so I simply cannot compete. We have barely talked in the past two days, we both feel really frustrated. We have both explicitly stated our needs and yet this still does not feel resolved. Neither of us can seem to relax into a willing state of mind until the other does. I feel so angry and I can't tell where it is coming from. Does anyone relate to this? I'm not sure how to move forward? Otto
  15. Jennifer78

    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!
  16. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
  17. 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.
  18. Hello all. I have been following on this forum for the last couple of months on and off. I have been on Citalopram for nearly 11 years. I am 25 years old now. Quick history. Always been a bit anxious. Even as a kid. Had severe migraines from age 4 till 10 , then they stopped TOLD i had ADD. Put on ritalin at 7 years old for 2 weeks. ZOMBIE! taken off Ritalin. Love life and family and friends. Quite an emotional, caring individual. FAST FORWARD....Aged 14 felt overly guilty and anxious over child hood life event. Went to doc, said i might have OCD. Put me on 60mg Citalopram. Didn't notice any difference in anything being on med. Aged 19 went cold turkey cause of OCD symptoms tried to change to another drug Mirtazapine. ANXIETY 10/10 and Panic attacks. Then back on to 60 MG after a few days after symptoms of withdrawal began. Stabilized i think within a few weeks bit still felt crap for a good while. Not 100% for next few years but ok. Can feel drug messing with me. Making me anxious for no reason. Have to keep active and busy and I'm ok. Slowly over 2 years went from 60mg to 45 mg . All good. Decide due to weird randomized anxiety, lack of tears etc that i want to come off these drugs, and i know i can. Anyway i then go from 45mg to 40mg and severe withdrawal within a week. Dropped from 50mg to 45mg within 5 weeks. Insanely nasty neuro-emotional symptoms. Only symptoms are ever really Anxiety and Panic.. Chuck in a bit of hopelessness and some depression on the side.. . . . Tend to feel better by evening almost normal .. just a bit dazed and confused. Anyway i waited it out thinking it will go. Got some nice long windows of a week or more feeling almost good way clearer than I've felt in years, more alive, more real. Things feel better! things are more beautiful. Music sounds better. Everything is more beautiful But then BOOOOOMMMM!!! Anxiety back with a vengeance. Thought i noticed waves getting shorter and windows a bit longer but not significant enough to tell, and then after 10-11 weeks after my symptoms first appeared i updosed cause i needed a break. Updose felt WEIRD.. Within 4 hours of the extra 5mg i felt hazy, cloudy and drowsy.. Had insomnia that first night , still anxious but not as intense. Next couple days slightly better - Mild, consistent anxiety but not too bad. Manage to sleep well now.. Thought i had restabilized. Day 5 after updosing felt 95% back to normal. BUT last 3 days have been crap. Anxiety back. One week after updosing. Not AS INTENSE, hasn't got that razor sharp edge to it that it had before, but uncomfortable none the less. My question to anyone out there with this kind of experience is ... Would this anxiety be caused by the withdrawal still, or the updosing of the tablets? As I've read that increasing SSRI dose can cause anxiety for the first few weeks.. And can it take a while to re-stabilize after updosing?? considering i tried to tough out the withdrawal for nearly 3 months... One more thing. No overly negative stories please. I believe and i know that i can heal from this. Kindest regards and thankyou for your responses Nick
  19. Hi Everyone, I started using 20 mg/day of Celexa almost 20 years ago for severe PMS symptoms. I resisted using antidepressants for a long time, trying supplements, exercise and meditation first, but nothing helped. In desperation, I tried Prozac for a few months, but quit because of the side effects (dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). Then I tried Zoloft and also stopped after a couple months. I couldn't stand how I felt. I felt itchy and tired all the time. Finally, I found out about Celexa (which was newly approved for use for depression in 1998). Celexa helped (I experienced fewer and less intense side effects), and I was a better Mom and wife because of it's role in stabilizing my mood swings. Now, 20 years later, I am still taking 20 mg/day of Celexa and I am wondering why? I tried weaning off of the Celexa during menopause (which was a mistake), and experienced severe withdrawal symptoms (depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, confusion). So, I quickly went back to religiously taking my Celexa every day. So here I am, trying to decide if it makes sense to discontinue the use of this medication. I have read so much about the challenges of discontinuing SSRIs, and I am afraid. My life is pretty stable right now. I feel calm, and steady, but wonder if my cognitive ability has been impacted. I have severe tinnitus (don't know if that is related to SSRI use). My memory is weak (don't know if that is related to aging - I'm 56). I have very little motivation (don't know if that is just post retirement slump). I'm about 15 pounds overweight (and I wonder if Celexa is contributing to that). So, I wonder what are the risks and benefits of weaning off this medication? And I wonder who am I without Celexa? I also worry about the long term effects of continuing to take Celexa for the rest of my life: I've read about the increased risks of diabetes, hip fractures, blood clots, intestinal bleeding, and dementia. Yikes! I'm just sitting here on the fence and could use some advice: to keep on taking Celexa indefinitely...or to take the leap and free myself from this medication. Please help!
  20. Hi, this is my first post on here. First, I want to say thank you to everyone who is bold enough to post on here, look beyond western Medicince, and having the courage to fight this absolute nightmare of a battle. This forum has helped me tremendously. Now I want to shed some hope. Ive been on Celexa for 10 years at 20mg. It helped me through nursing school as I became depressed seeing suffering and dying people for the first time. What should have been a short stent with and AD and therapy turned into an10 year ordeal with at least one unsuccessful attempt to wean off. Being the nurse that I am, I attempted to take my tapering into my own hands and went down 5 mg a month. I was absolutely great during the whole tapering and had one really good week completely off of the Celexa then it all came crashing down week two after my taper. I experienced extreme panic attacks and doom, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, feeling numb, derealization, crying spells, severe agitation, mood swings that you can’t just snap out of no matter how hard I try, fatigue, a really bad itchy rash, memory issues, sleep paralysis, and just feeling so uneasy in my skin like nothing could be comfortable or peaceful. It’s like the nervous system thinks you’re about to get on a plane that will crash only you’re safe and in your own home. I felt like I had had 20 cups of coffee at times. Here is my hope. After reading some stories on here and hearing about how some people are on this journey for years at a time, I became very discouraged. How could I live like this for even a minute longer? Which is how I feel during a wave. It often seems it will last forever but the waves do pass. I have experienced the waves and windows and try to soak up every minute of every window. I decided last night to reinstate at 5mg to help with the discontinuation bc at the time the wave I was in was just unbearable. I am glad I did it. I already notice a difference. I felt pretty good today and have hope that a slower taper from 5mg over a longer time will help. It was nice to be able to work today and not have panic and/dizziness and I didn’t want to snap at anyone. Thank goodness. I don’t want to be on Celexa. I wish it was something I could just move on from but I now know after my second attempt to taper, that this will be a longer process than I though and that in time I will get my life back. Discontinuation for me has been hard. I realized I am not Superman and reinstated. It can look like a set back (which I felt at first) but I truly believe it was the right choice for me with noticing a difference and feeling better overnight. This is my story and everyone is different. I know it all depends on how long you’ve been off. I reinstated 6 weeks after my last dose. I believe the sooner the better. I hope this helps someone on here. Praying for all of you. There truly is no pain or torture than we all have been so unfortunate to know. It will get better.
  21. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  22. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  23. Hi, I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some advice I have been on various ssris for 11years and about 7 months ago I decided to wean myself off celexa which I had been on for the last 5 years at 40mg. I weaned of to fast over the course of about 3 months and was off for a total of 1 month when I crased hard with anxiety, fear and depression. I went back on 40mg of celexa after being off for a month but got panic attacks and weird sensations in head. After 2 weeks the doc than got me off that and put me on Paxil for 2 weeks which only made things worse with bad anxiety and feeling dissacated with everything and my cns was all messed up. They than put me on celexa at 20 mg and a low dose of remeron for 3 weeks but no relief and was getting electrical sensations and burning sensation in body. I than checked myself into the hospital where the cold turkeyed me off the celexa and put me on neurontin. I was off celexa again for a week but I gave up all other medications and put myself back on 5mg of celexa for the last 3 weeks and have also been on .05 a day of klonopin now for 2 months. My current symptoms are. Severe anxiety Inability to concentrate Muscle tension Akathesia Tremor Burning sensation in chest and pain from time to time Vision problems Brain fog Some anadonia Some nausea And sensitive to sounds and some foods and vitimins My questions is what do I do from here? Man this is no fun just looking for some words of encougement if nothing else.
  24. I joined this forum last June before I began an unsuccessful taper from Celexa, however, this is my first post. I honestly had no idea until then how horrific untethering from these substances is, and how devastating it can be long term. What I really need is some good news. Is there any good news in the midst of this real-life horror story? Right now I feel completely alone. I haven't found a medical practitioner to forge a partnership for helping me discontinue successfully--or even reach the psych NP who prescribed my meds for a change when things went really wrong. So, there is no "discussing anything with a trusted healthcare practitioner". All I have is you all. So, I'm sort of pleading with you for guidance. I am still not sleeping well. I slept fine, for years on Celexa, then weaned off and threw everything out of balance. To be fair, the year prior to my discontinuation was incredibly stressful. I abruptly ended Trintellix this week (because I ran out and can't get anymore) and am taking approximately 10mg of Prozac (approximately because I'm splitting 20mg of powder roughly in half) as of today. The Prozac instantly quelled my WD symptoms from the Trintellix within the hour, and my plan is to either formulate a liquid suspension of this drug or find a doctor who will prescribe one. I have exhaustively researched how to overcome this problem. I'm an athlete, so I've stacked as many cards in my favor with diet, lifestyle and nutrition as well as I possibly can. But I can't seem to find a way through this, or make a plan that makes sense, and I'm scared I'll never be okay.
  25. I have two experiences of taking and stopping antidepressants. The first time was in 2003. I was in graduate school, we had just moved into a new house that needed lots of work, we had a 3 year old, and my best friend was given 5 months to a year to live. It was a horrible time in my life. I knew that I had to get through this time without completely shutting down. I went to my doctor and told her I needed anything that would help. She set me up for counseling twice a week and a prescription for Prozac 10 mg, increasing to 20 mg. The Prozac was a miracle for me. I took it for 1 year and had little issues. I did have some strange side effects like greater risk taking (spontaneously bought a new car without consulting my spouse). The car was the biggest thing. I had sexual side effects that are considered normal. When the worst of it was over I knew I didn't need it anymore. I told my MD and we made a tapering plan that I followed. There were some possible issues that I realize, looking back. More intense feelings of anger, disappointment, and sadness. But it was mixed with a difficult time in life so I couldn't really see the possible symptoms. Fast forward 15 years. I hit another part of my life that I felt I could benefit from an antianxiety or antidepressant. After being married for 19 years and having three kids my wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II. She had been treated for depression for several years but the meds and antidepressants never seemed to be a good fit. So my life was consistently up and down for years. At this time though, I was experience some early menopause symptoms (perimenopause) and my own emotions were on a roller coaster. Being our family's stability anchor I knew that I needed help to get through this. I found myself yelling at my kids for very small issues then apologizing over and over. That was not typically me. Since I had a good experience with Prozac I talked to my MD about it. She agreed but prescribed me Celexa (citalopram) 10 mg with increasing to 20 mg over time. At first she told me to take it prior to my cycle 5 days before, but my cycles became so irregular that was not possible. I ended up taking it daily for 5 years. Then I did something really stupid. I was not taking it regularly (on 3 days off 4) over and over due to a very hectic travel schedule for work. After one of my week long work trips in Nov 2017 I discovered that I had not taken it in 10+ days and I decided that I didn't need it anymore....so I stopped, cold turkey. For about 4 weeks I was fine...then on a long flight home from another trip, I broke down. I started crying about all the issues in my life, my kids life, life in general. I am mostly a positive and strong person but I could only see the futility in things. The cycle of climbing a hill only for gravity to pull us down. The pointlessness of all our real efforts. I came home feeling dead inside. I was an emotional zombie. After a couple of days I decided to lay this all out to my wife. She was surprised but decided that I was exhausted emotionally and physically and needed a rest. She took over most of the responsibilities with the house and kids that I had. She let me rest. But rest did not make it better. She checks in often and ask me how my day was going, my text answers are something like, dead inside, vacant, empty, I miss myself, I feel nothing, I have no desire to do anything, I don't care about anything, etc.Outwardly though, I am tense, easily angered, overwhelmed, discontent, agitated, nervous, and obsessive about stupid stuff, etc. I have never suffered from depression and my life was better than it has ever been, but it often seemed like depression. That's when I started looking for answers. That's when I found SA. Everything started making sense. The pains I have, the insomnia, the depression, all of it. It's been 3 1/2 months and I don't think that taking them again and tapering down is going to be a better option for me. I've been going through the HELL OF IT and I don't want to do it again for any reason. I have to get through this. I have to get better. I have not gone back to my doctor to tell her this story. I don't know what it would matter but to prove how stupid I was. Afterall, she DID tell me that I would need to taper and I didn't. I justified it thinking inconsistency WAS tapering...it is NOT. Now what? Everyday I feel miserable. Every.day. But it's inconsistent. Sometimes it lifts for a while and doesn't come back as severe. I call that progress. I'm hanging on to that. I regret not tapering but I'm in too deep at this point and I will suffer it out as long as I am able. Having a BP wife has helped because REALLY understands. Thanks for the read. I'm so glad I found this community. I'm in here somewhere trapped in the neurochemical eclipse and you probably are too. Stay strong.
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