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  1. Hi All I'm relieved to find a forum out there that fits my situation. The doctors say withdrawal symptoms should stop a month or two after stopping ssri's but I think they are wrong and I'm sure many of you agree. Thanks for listening to my story, I'll try to keep it brief. 13 years ago at age 25 my anxiety got the better of me I developed social phobia in the form of constant blushing and shaking when interacting with people. It psychologically crippled me. I lost my job and could barely leave my house. I left it a year before I went to a doctor by which time I was a complete mess. The doc prescribed me 20mg citalopram and that drug worked wonders! It stopped me blushing 95% of the time and meant I could lead a normal life again plus it made me cheerful and carefree. Amazing! But, every time I tried to come off it my blushing would return so I ended up staying on it for 11 years. I didn't really have any side effects until after 8 years when I started getting tinnitus and night sweats. These got worse and worse, I would lay in bed with my ears ringing so loud it was like I'd been to a nightclub! And the night sweats became unbearable, I would wake up 4 times a night soaked to the skin, freezing cold, need to change my clothes, bedding, take a shower I got so tired from bad sleep. So I went to doc and she put me on beta blockers which are working great and I don't need to take them that often as my blushing is nowhere near as bad now I'm 38. Great news BUT the side effects/withdrawal of coming off citalopram has been sooooo tough. Ive been off 8 months now. For the first 3 months I was so depressed, I wanted to cry all day and even felt suicidal at times. For the second 3 months I had terrible anxiety and would get to almost having panic attacks. For the last 2 months I feel a little better but have little interest in people, people just get on my nerves and I feel distant from everyone, I have a 'don't care' attitude and my marriage is suffering because of it as I'm moody and quick to anger Plus throughout the 8 months I still have those damn night sweats combined with bad insomnia! It's been 8 months but I still wake up soaked to the skin and even when I'm not sweating I just can't sleep! I don't know how I'm functioning normally as I slept better when my kids were newborns!! Some nights I just lay in bed with my eyes shut but awake for hours and hours looking at the clock every so often and thinking 'I can't believe it's 4:30am, I havent slept yet and I need to get up for work at 7am!' Has anyone else been in this situation? How long do the sweats last? My doc says they should have gone after a month or so and has booked me blood tests to check for early menopause, but I know it's due to citalopram use. How about the insomnia? Have I somehow damaged my nervous system and it's going to take years to repair itself, if ever?? I'd never have stayed on citalopram that long if I'd known it's legacy would be so long lasting. Thank you for reading my history. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling like I am 'surviving' antidepressants. I have no one to talk to as I'm a private person and none of my friends know about my history and my husband lost interest a long time ago. Any advice is welcome xxx
  2. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  3. Here I am, lost and Confused as usual... I was mean to the one I love and scared him away to sleep on the couch... how many more times will he be able to take my emotions? Luckily, we don't have a kid - but we do have a kitty. I am in love with my little family and the world is so harsh... I am not from here. I am from another province full of energy pillpoppers and alcoholism and cold-hearted humans. This province was opportunity to escape, and I needed it. Sometimes I get scared that I cannot escape my problems again and I want the pain to go away. I want to start over... all the time. I was too old to be adopted, but accepted into a family still. I was given a voice, but I used it to disagree. Surely I am an adult, and I should be treated like one. It is always money and no one else wants to be wrong when I'm around. I am kind. I am honest. I am an animal lover. I don't do drugs that aren't prescribed and I don't hurt anyone if I can help it. Why am I the easiest one to blame? I can take abuse, but never the emotional kind... please don't raise your voice or yell. My new mom was so quick to put me on drugs to mold me into her perfect doctor. Surely I gained weight when I moved out, because I stopped having constant meals and money was a problem. It was the first time I stopped consistently taking my drugs. No one ever told me how to take them properly, and I've yet to take them at the same time until recently. I'm unsure what to do with my iron pills, but they seem to be the only ones helping. Maybe there is a reason I bought Omega 3 Fish oils and vitamins. I am a pale-skin colour-sensitive woman with major PTSD from childhood trauma... I finally removed my mother from my life - but the other snakes slowly replace her. I was never checked up on as a child, I never knew what normal was. I was never anorexic but I don't remember eating because my mother told me we were both picky. I have terrible teeth, and I'm overweight. I cut all my hair off because I make impulsive decisions... but it's growing back healthier! Just not fast enough. I've lost another job. This is the first one that got rid of me. I called in sick in my probationary period, because I was withdrawing.... And I have no help.... I don't want to go to the doctor anymore. I was free of pills and almost maybe doing okay but Effexor found its way??? And I've never felt the pain of trying to quit until now.. Hot and colds and puking all over the floor... financial issues are a big thing and my man cannot do it alone but I have no money and we are slowly diminishing. I don't want to eat when there is food, just so it'll last a bit longer... I need help but everyone is so damn quick to put the pills back in my mouth and make sure they're swallowed. I am probably a hereditary bipolar... if I would have been helped I might have done better. I started smoking a bit more pot and it gave me the confidence I needed to do research and learn... sometimes I try too hard to put together pieces of puzzles I don't understand and I start to sound crazy to anyone looking to listen or judge... I'm on my period and I'm practically anemic, so the withdraws are definitely just the cherry on top aren't they? I do my best late at night... I forgot to take a pill to wean myself off of and it was so bad. The last few days I took 3 then took the risk of 2 but managed to take 1 and live... maybe I can handle the pains if I sleep more. I don't feel like I have a reason to live, so maybe sleeping will help me catch up. I'm hungry.... I didn't think I'd write this much... or anything at all. I am thankful for this forum... thankful so many can submit stories to compare. I was an ugly child, but I was somewhat smarter than most when it came to random things. I think the fact there were too many people in the room made it harder to learn. It's hard to be a tomboy and a partial nerd when the boys want to touch you. When did becoming promiscuous get so easy? If I could take it all back, I would have stayed smart... but there were too many distractions. I think the drugs helped me even hear better and that made them so easy to take. Maybe the absence of them will influence a loss in this extra 40 pounds I carry. Maybe all of my problems were unknown withdraws from each and every new miracle drug. I smoke my weed to help me remember... I know some may disagree - but I am already damaged and I only reap the benefits. The ability to feel hunger... I only feel it when I'm starving and it's too late. Where do I go from here? I've been checked into the psychward as an adolescent many moons ago... I'm in my 20s and I don't want to be stuck there, and without my little kitty. He purrs when I cry, and makes everything okay. I even considered joining the army because I didn't mind dying, but I could never survive the time away. I think I will be okay in time... I hope it doesn't get too hard. I haven't taken any specific pill consistently, so I'm unsure of what to compare - and the doctor doesn't even know what she's giving me anymore. Oh. You're hurting? There's a drug for that. Let me write you something. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening... Good vibes only, please. I used to be so quick to judge and assume people want to yell DEPRESSED because it's trendy... when the 20 something years of pain is something I'd never wish on my worst enemy... I know the difference now, and all I want to do is help people. My problem is all I do is help everyone else and I'm left to pick up my own pieces that I didn't know were missing in the process.
  4. Here I am, lost and Confused as usual... I was mean to the one I love and scared him away to sleep on the couch... how many more times will he be able to take my emotions? Luckily, we don't have a kid - but we do have a kitty. I am in love with my little family and the world is so harsh... I am not from here. I am from another province full of energy pillpoppers and alcoholism and cold-hearted humans. This province was opportunity to escape, and I needed it. Sometimes I get scared that I cannot escape my problems again and I want the pain to go away. I want to start over... all the time. I was too old to be adopted, but accepted into a family still. I was given a voice, but I used it to disagree. Surely I am an adult, and I should be treated like one. It is always money and no one else wants to be wrong when I'm around. I am kind. I am honest. I am an animal lover. I don't do drugs that aren't prescribed and I don't hurt anyone if I can help it. Why am I the easiest one to blame? I can take abuse, but never the emotional kind... please don't raise your voice or yell. My new mom was so quick to put me on drugs to mold me into her perfect doctor. Surely I gained weight when I moved out, because I stopped having constant meals and money was a problem. It was the first time I stopped consistently taking my drugs. No one ever told me how to take them properly, and I've yet to take them at the same time until recently. I'm unsure what to do with my iron pills, but they seem to be the only ones helping. Maybe there is a reason I bought Omega 3 Fish oils and vitamins. I am a pale-skin colour-sensitive woman with major PTSD from childhood trauma... I finally removed my mother from my life - but the other snakes slowly replace her. I was never checked up on as a child, I never knew what normal was. I was never anorexic but I don't remember eating because my mother told me we were both picky. I have terrible teeth, and I'm overweight. I cut all my hair off because I make impulsive decisions... but it's growing back healthier! Just not fast enough. I've lost another job. This is the first one that got rid of me. I called in sick in my probationary period, because I was withdrawing.... And I have no help.... I don't want to go to the doctor anymore. I was free of pills and almost maybe doing okay but Effexor found its way??? And I've never felt the pain of trying to quit until now.. Hot and colds and puking all over the floor... financial issues are a big thing and my man cannot do it alone but I have no money and we are slowly diminishing. I don't want to eat when there is food, just so it'll last a bit longer... I need help but everyone is so damn quick to put the pills back in my mouth and make sure they're swallowed. I am probably a hereditary bipolar... if I would have been helped I might have done better. I started smoking a bit more pot and it gave me the confidence I needed to do research and learn... sometimes I try too hard to put together pieces of puzzles I don't understand and I start to sound crazy to anyone looking to listen or judge... I'm on my period and I'm practically anemic, so the withdraws are definitely just the cherry on top aren't they? I do my best late at night... I forgot to take a pill to wean myself off of and it was so bad. The last few days I took 3 then took the risk of 2 but managed to take 1 and live... maybe I can handle the pains if I sleep more. I don't feel like I have a reason to live, so maybe sleeping will help me catch up. I'm hungry.... I didn't think I'd write this much... or anything at all. I am thankful for this forum... thankful so many can submit stories to compare. I was an ugly child, but I was somewhat smarter than most when it came to random things. I think the fact there were too many people in the room made it harder to learn. It's hard to be a tomboy and a partial nerd when the boys want to touch you. When did becoming promiscuous get so easy? If I could take it all back, I would have stayed smart... but there were too many distractions. I think the drugs helped me even hear better and that made them so easy to take. Maybe the absence of them will influence a loss in this extra 40 pounds I carry. Maybe all of my problems were unknown withdraws from each and every new miracle drug. I smoke my weed to help me remember... I know some may disagree - but I am already damaged and I only reap the benefits. The ability to feel hunger... I only feel it when I'm starving and it's too late. Where do I go from here? I've been checked into the psychward as an adolescent many moons ago... I'm in my 20s and I don't want to be stuck there, and without my little kitty. He purrs when I cry, and makes everything okay. I even considered joining the army because I didn't mind dying, but I could never survive the time away. I think I will be okay in time... I hope it doesn't get too hard. I haven't taken any specific pill consistently, so I'm unsure of what to compare - and the doctor doesn't even know what she's giving me anymore. Oh. You're hurting? There's a drug for that. Let me write you something. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening... Good vibes only, please. I used to be so quick to judge and assume people want to yell DEPRESSED because it's trendy... when the 20 something years of pain is something I'd never wish on my worst enemy... I know the difference now, and all I want to do is help people. My problem is all I do is help everyone else and I'm left to pick up my own pieces that I didn't know were missing in the process.
  5. Around sept 2012 I stopped taking Zyprexa 15 mg cold turkey. I did it because I gained 30 pounds in around 4 months. When I quit Zyprexa, I started with a lot of crying, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of appetite and insomnia. I did not sleep for three days in a row and then I slept for about three days, after that I never ever slept again naturally. I am never sleepy, never tired, never hungry (the other symptoms disappeared). I am always wide awake even after sleeping 2 -3 hours a day and some days just 1 hour. I have tried geodon, trazodon, clonopin and other medicines that I can't remember now, nothing helps, some of those meds helped me sleep some hours and then stopped working. Gabapentin was the only medication that made me sleep around 5 - 6 hours . I started with 600 mg, but after some months on that dosis, it stopped working. Now they put me on 1200 mg of gabapentin, but I have not noticed any improvement, I am only sleeping 2 -3 hours (very irregular). The only change on all these months is that now I am not dreaming so much as the beginning of the nightmare, I am having more hours of deep sleep. In 2012 I was feeling so bad and I was so ignorant about psychotropic drugs that I trusted my doctors when they told me that my insomnia and all the symptoms were for the chemical imbalance and not Zyprexa related. I took the new medications (lamictal and geodon) without complaining After two years of this nightmare I have read a lot looking for answers, help, support and a cure for my insomnia. I have found a lot of people describing the same thing, going through the same nightmare. I have not found a logical explanation or a cure. Some people have started sleeping better without help of any medication after some months, some after 22 months, there are other that have been like this for 6 years already. Some have been put back on very low dosis of Zyprexa (for some this worked, for others it didn't). My plan is: zero coffee or chocolate, a balanced diet, I try to eat turkey, bananas, do exercises. I always go to bed at the same time and take the gabapentin at the same time. I try not to use the computer or electronic 2 -3 hours before bed time. I take a warm bath before going to bed, read a book, drink warm milk. I read in other forums that a scientist at Harvard found that there is still Zyprexa binded to receptors after 6 months that the person has stopped taking it. Maybe I just need more time, my brain need time to heal and recover. Could be possible that Zyprexa permanent damage my brain? Could be possible that the anxiety and stress response went haywire on my body? Why I am never sleepy or hungry? sorry for my English skills, English is not my first language
  6. Hello everyone, hope you are all hanging in there! Welcome to my story. I have included the basics within my signature and will expand where needed. I have only recently found this site, it seems it's going to be somewhere I'll be spending a lot of my time in the near future. Benzodiazepines I've dealt with the nightmares of Benzo withdrawal many times, panic attacks, heart palpitations and the endless list of ailments that come with it. My history of Benzo's began two years ago and I've tried many times to withdraw and remain withdrawn. I recently went my longest time ever (70 days) and was feeling better and better every week. I knew protracted withdrawal symptoms were bound to come in waves, but I kept telling myself I was over the worst. Then began the breakdown.... Mirtazapine My only other medication was good ole Mirtazapine (Remeron). I have also been on that for the same length of time but dosages, where somewhat, consistent when compared to my benzo usage. I had been on various dosages of Mirtazapine, over the two years I think I was always wanting to come of it but knew it was definitely having a positive effect on my sleep. I just had the mindset of not wanting to be dependent on any meds, due to my experience with benzo's. The Breakdown - INSOMNIAC I was 70 days clear from benzos, I felt immensely proud and positive about the future. Sometime during these 70 days, I began to lower my dose of Mirtazapine (30mg) to 22.5mg and then two/three weeks later I went down to 15mg. The week I was on 15mg I was just not feeling right, felt like flu-like symptoms, but mostly a heavy chest and overall lethargic feeling. I remember that I woke up a couple hours before my alarm one morning, something I've never done in the past. So I said to myself, "I'm going to go back up to 30mg and I bet this felling goes away". I took 30mg and the next day the symptoms had cleared up a lot, but then came that nightime...I couldn't fall asleep. I'd took 30mg for the second nigh but was not falling asleep. This had never happened before. As the hours went by, I became more panicked and more tired, which is disastrous when in benzo recovery. My heart was flopping every 15 seconds, so I took 6mg Diazepam and calmed. I still couldn't sleep though. Went to the doctors, void of sleep, and they gave me 7.5mg of Zopiclone. It put me to sleep for about 3 hours only. I visited the doctors non-stop over 5 days due to the insomnia and was prescribed Amiltriptiline (10mg), Hydroxyzine (25mg), Zopiclone (7.5mg), Propranolol (10mg) and Diazepam (10mg) - all in the space of a week. At one point I went three days without sleep and was exhausted and delirious. The doctors said to me, "if you can't sleep then take all the meds you've been prescribed". NONE OF THOSE MEDS MADE A DIFFERENCE. Zopiclone worked early on for a few hours sleep but during my three days awake, I was taking them all at different intervals and would remain wide awake. I am currently on 30mg Mirtazapine a night and 10mg Diazepam but I literally feel like I am not asleep. Ten hours will go by and I feel like I've been conscious the whole time, My girlfriend said I was snoring at one point though. I mentioned my reduction of Mirtazapine leading up to episode and he has put me up to 45mg, a dosage I was rarely on during my use of Mirtazapine. I've done a lot of internet searching and have diagnosed my self with a thousand different things. During this time I found out about all the horror stories on withdrawing from Mirtazapine. I realise now that I should not have been withdrawing from Mirtazapine until benzo's were long in the past, but I still feel like I don't know the cause. I've been asking questions like: -Could this be anything not related to Diazepam withdrawal or Mirtazapine withdrawal? -Could Mirtzapine have stopped working? -Was the insomnia a protracted withdrawal from Benzo's? - i thought less of this one after realizing that reinstating Benzo's never helped with the sleep at all. They've simply kept my anxiety symptoms at bay. It has been two weeks since I got back on 30mg of Mirtazapine and sleep is still the same. I worry the most because without sleep, I will be in a constant panic mode and stopping Benzo's this time would seem impossible. Sleep was the one thing that got me through the withdrawal of Benzo's. Thanks for anyone who read the above, seems like a lot of really genuine and helpful people on this board. I REALLY appreciate any thoughts and input.
  7. Hi there, I am hoping to be able to leverage the wisdom of this community to shed some light into my personal situation and help decide possible courses of action. The only people I can speak to in real life about this are my well-meaning family/friends (who think Doctors have all the answers) and my psychiatrist/doctor/psychologist who only respond with medication-related suggestions. Up until this point I have been relatively ill-informed of the pitfalls of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs and I’ve clearly made some big errors along the way. However, my goal (like many I’m sure) is to be drug-free but of course this isn’t something my psychiatrist supports. I am sorry in advance this is such an essay. [And apologies for all bold - my javascript bold function is broken!] About me: I’m a 30 year old British female living in Amsterdam, with a full-time job in Marketing. Where it all began: Just over 5 years ago, at age 25, I experienced a very intense mania with extreme psychosis and was hospitalised. The psychosis was triggered by a melange of stress, diet, lack of sleep and smoking a joint (which I used to do regularly in my teens and 20s with no ill-effects). In the psychiatric ward I was given Olanzapine at 7.5mg dose and gradually over a few weeks, the psychotic symptoms disappeared, and I was discharged. My doctor gave me the loose diagnosis as either Schizophrenia or Bipolar I, but was leaning towards Bipolar--so that’s what I’ve stuck with (but to be honest I’m not sure if it’s correct). After my discharge, I reduced the Olanzapine from 7mg to 5mg and then to 2.5mg over the next few months, and stopped taking Olanzapine completely since the side effects of weight gain and libido loss were not tolerable (with my Doctor’s blessing). For a few months, all was well, until I started getting insomnia, characterised by heart palpitations, feeling of mini panic attacks when trying to fall asleep (and therefore not being able to drift to sleep), and very poor quality sleep when I did manage to sleep. My psych recommended I try taking Seroquel instead, and started me off on 700mg per night. The (Good) Seroquel Years Over the next 4 years, I led a perfectly normal and healthy life--even moved to a new country and changed my job--taking Seroquel with minimal side effects. I managed to reduce the Seroquel from 700mg down to 100mg over 2-3 years, and was feeling better and better the lower the dose (with much less sedation and grogginess the lower the dose). I also switched to a vegan diet & cut down on booze and partying in this time which also helped a lot! Finally, I went from 100mg to 50mg around May 2017, and still felt no adverse affects (only positive improvements). My only concern was the niggling fear that I had become dependent on the Seroquel for sleep. The Disruption - coming off Seroquel cold turkey and switching to Olanzapine In August 2017, completely out of the blue, I suddenly stopped being able to sleep. What then followed was a few months of terrible broken sleep and heavy reliance on Zopiclone (alternating nights) to be able to keep up appearances at work, do my job and maintain normality. My therapist at the time suggested I increase the dose of Seroquel to counter the insomnia, so in October, I moved back up to 100mg Seroquel (occasionally 150mg). This worked a treat for the insomnia, however I suddenly started experiencing very regular involuntary muscle movements (more than a twitch, less than a jerk, around 2x per minute in all different areas of my body), and became very worried this was Tardive Dyskinesia. My Doctor (I didn’t have a psychiatrist at this point) told me I should stop the Seroquel immediately, since this was a serious side effect. I quickly got referred to a psychiatrist, who put me on Olanzapine 5mg instead. The twitching stopped, the sleep was fine, but I hated being on Olanzapine (heavily sedated/low mood/very withdrawn/binge eating/weight gain etc.). Recent struggles with Olanzapine After 2 months on 5mg Olanzapine and its shi*tty side effects, I halved the dose to 2.5mg and stayed on that for 6 weeks with no WD, but annoyingly only a very light reduction in the side effects. Complaining to my psychiatrist, she suggested I try the antipsychotic Abilify (10mg) instead, and told me to switch directly (a hard stop of Olanzapine!). Abilify does not block histamine receptor like Olanzapine and Seroquel, and it did nothing for my insomnia. My sleep started to deteriorate the second I stopped taking Olanzapine, and as soon as it was fully out of my system my insomnia returned with a vengeance - I was not able to sleep without Zopiclone, and even with Zopiclone I would only get 4 hours sleep then get woken up by loud, piercing tinnitus and moderate anxiety. I managed to live like this for only 10 nights, some nights getting no sleep at all, other nights getting less than 4 hours with Zopiclone. Annoyingly all the Olanzapine side effects stopped and I felt great, except for the crippling insomnia which stopped me functioning. I gave in and reluctantly switched back to Olanzapine, which almost brings us to the present moment. Where I'm at Today Ever since going back on the Olanzapine (2.5mg), my sleep problems haven’t really gone away: I can get off to sleep fine, but keep getting woken up by the piercing tinnitus and ‘high energy’ around 4am; often I can’t get back to sleep. I’ve tried increasing the Olanzapine back up to 5mg and that isn’t helping much. Before anyone goes there, my sleep hygeine is pretty good. I've also stopped drinking alcohol completely and have a regular bedtime of 10pm. Now I am starting to panic that not even Olanzapine can help me live a normal life. I am plagued by the fear that I am dependent on Olanzapine to get any sleep and that beneath it lies an incurable insomnia. Regardless, I cannot fathom living my life long-term on Olanzapine and I need an escape plan to give me hope (even if I’m not ready to come off it yet). Where I could use some guidance: >> I am not sure if a lot of what I am experiencing with regards to the insomnia is related to withdrawal, even though I am still on the Olanzapine - is that possible? OR is it more likely that my insomnia is the beginnings of psychosis/schizophrenia and therefore I need antipsychotics to not be psychotic. >> Clearly, I’ve messed up my system somehow with all the medication switching and dose changes (none of the reductions have been that gradual). Is there a good strategy to get me back on track? >> Has anyone had any luck with undergoing biochemical nutrient therapy to help support their taper? This is something I'm looking into. >> (Not really a question) I just find the prospect of tapering and inevitably re-living through insomnia for a sustained period of time incredibly impossible, especially with a full-time job. I just don’t know how anyone does it... I can barely last a week - and I also have the threat of having another psychosis &hospitalisation being induced by insomnia. I realise my situation is not that extreme at the moment, but I am already losing hope and am in a pretty dark place with depressive thoughts about my prospects. I am not sure how I will manage mentally and physically if things get worse (which I suspect they inevitably will). Thank you in advance for reading this far.
  8. I quit Lexapro and 3 weeks later i simply stopped sleeping. It has been 4 months now and I have insomnia every day unless i take benzos. I have tried trazodone, zolpidem, CBTI and lithium. nothing works and i am getting more and more suicidal. i litterally have to stay on benzos otherwise i will be consumed by obcessive thoughts of death. I cannot go on like this any longer. Has anyone ever had this experience? will it ever stop?
  9. I am suffering horrific sleep deprivation. In the last 25 days, I have had only one night of a few hours of light sleep and the rest none or microsleeps that I am unaware of. I don't even get the sleepy sensation. I am not taking any meds and trying to weather the storm. Nothing works anymore anyway. My drug history is long and complicated and I am wondering if sleep returns even in messy situations like mine. Really hard just hanging on right now.
  10. On December 21, 2017, my father and I went to psychiatrist because my brain cant stop from thinking and I cant sleep that much. I was diagnosed having Adjustment Disorder with mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood. The doctor gave Risperidone. He said I need it to relax my mind and to help me to sleep. Taking it for 1 month, I experienced that I cant breathe through my nose, numbness in my thumb, some tingling in my hands, and got my eyes darken. I really dont know that these were side effects. Im so out of hope now, because i feel so regretful taking Risperidone (meds) for 2months and 1 week. I was on 1mg of it for 1month and then when i told my doctor that I cant sleep he increased it to 2mg (i took 2mg of it for 3wks) then i tried to taper it down to 1mg for i think almost a week. But theres one night came I cant sleep and cant breathe so, I quickly stop taking the Risperidone. Also, my father and I told about my situation to the doctor but it seems like he has no care :(. He said that I can stop the meds if i want to. If only I knew that the doctor is like that I never went to a psychiatrist These are what I feel. I cant sleep normally. I cant be myself. I used to be the one opening up a conversation and sharing stories but now i dont feel like to. Most painful of all is that... I cant feel. I cant feel the emotions. I feel like numb. I cant do my passion-music and arts. I love singing, dancing, and acting. I cant feel the emotions when im watching or when people are talking. I cant also feel the empathy and sympathy. I used to be an expressive and a happy person. I cant feel i am myself. Its been 1 month and 2 days off of it. I experienced little numbness in my left arm. I told it to my mother then she massaged it. The numbness gone after that. I think there's an improvement in my sleep. Sometimes I can sleep but I dont know if I really sleep. I regret that I did not continue reading about Risperidone before taking it I dont know how to live like this. Im hoping that my brain (all in it) will heal and repair itself.
  11. Hi Ive suffered from depression in the past and have been on various antidepressants, been admitted to hospital and had ECT...this was all in the early 90s. In the intervening years I have suffered depression on and off and was happy to take Fluoxetine 20mg, I'm not sure if the Fluoxetine kept the depression at bay or I would have been OK without it, but as I was feeling well I kept taking the Fluoxetine as a prophylactic. During this period I went cold turkey several times for various reasons...I suffered absolutely no withdrawal symptoms at any time...I consider myself very lucky. Ive only just discovered the danger of CT via this website and others. So far so good, but in 2015 I was diagnosed with cancer and endured gruelling chemo and radiotherapy and was given the all clear in April 2016...one line of text...so much pain! After the treatment finished I began to suffer from depression again, a kind of post trauma effect, my doctor recommenced increasing my Fluoxetine to 40mg, which I agreed to. This didnt really make much difference...my doctor then suggested switching to Sertraline 50mg, I agreed and started a very steep tapering to come off the Fluoxetine (one month)...I did actually feel quite well at the end of the taper and did not start taking the Sertraline. However some months later in December 2016 the anxiety and depression became so severe I OKed it with my doctor to start the Sertraline. I took the first tablet and in a very short time I experienced some terrible side effects, dizziness, headache, confusion and a level of anxiety I did not believe was possible, I went to bed for the rest of the day. I knew it would take a while of the side effects to settle, so took the second tablet the next day, again the same effects plus the start of the sexual side effects. I took one more tablet the next day and decided enough was enough and stopped taking the Sertraline…(Just 3 doses!) I assumed the side effects would subside soon after stopping…how wrong I was! Its been 7 months and the effects below are still with me: Tinnitus Cognitive and memory problems Insomnia...1.5 sleep per night PSSD, no libido, poor and difficult to achieve erections, reduced semen volume and a kind of emotional disconnect with the opposite sex. One effect which did remit was the sensation of looking down on myself from above...a very disturbing experience. So here I am in a bit of a mess. I wonder what the best way forward is? I seem to be very sensitive to any drugs or supplements...Ginkgo Biloba and Maca root caused havoc after one dose! Ive tried Acupuncture and Homoeopathy with some limited success...at least nothing negative! Im finding this very difficult emotionally, especially the sexual side of things. Ive been following similar cases here (and the PSSD forum) and there seems to be quite a bit of despair often with the OP just vanishing...I find this worrying. Trying to keep positive Regards
  12. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  13. Hello, I was hoping someone could give me some advice about some severe symptoms I've been experiencing since switching from Lexapro to Prozac and back again. Here is my story: Diagnosed with OCD and depression at 18. Prescribed 60 mg Prozac which I eventually manage to reduce to 30 mg. Continue taking this dose of Prozac for about 20 years. At the end of last year Prozac seems to have lost its effectiveness so I speak to my doctor about switching to Lexapro which I've heard has less side effects. As instructed by my doctor I reduce my Prozac dose to 20 mg for two weeks, wait 5 days without medication, and then start on 10 mg Lexapro. Soon after starting Lexapro I develop some very unpleasant side-effects, most notably heart palpitations and tinnitus. I speak with the doctor who tells me not to be concerned because the side effects are caused by "anxiety". Against my better judgment I continue taking the Lexapro for a total of 25 days. At this point the palpitations are so bad I have to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I wait two days and then reinstate the Prozac at 40 mg. Things seem to be reasonably okay for about 3 weeks before all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the middle of the night with such extreme palpitations and dizziness that I end up in ER. However, the doctors find nothing wrong with my heart, conclude its anxiety and send me home. Two hellish weeks of palpitation induced insomnia and intermittent akathesia follow. During this time I have a number of medical tests but nothing abnormal shows up in the results. The palpitations are worse when I lie down and though they cause some anxiety I am convinced they are not caused by anxiety. It feels like the part of my nervous system responsible for controlling my heart has been physically damaged in some way. When I try to explain this to my psychiatrist and cardiologist they don't understand. The psychiatrist gives me Valium and the cardiologist gives me a beta blocker. None of these seem to make much difference so I'm given some Ambien to help me sleep. I take the Ambien for about 5 nights before I decide I'd rather deal with the insomnia. Eventually I get some kind of sleep, but it is still very fragmented and the palpitations persist. My chest feels really tight as if my heart is being pushed up against my chest bone and the palpitations are worsened by lying down, eating or feeling cold. I lose my appetite and drop from 78 to 69 kgs in weight. I start filming my sleep so that I can show my doctor what happens. The footage shows me suffering from hypnic jerks and muscle twitching. These jerks are accompanied by electric shock like sensations that wake me up. During the day I am still tortured by this uncomfortable feeling in my chest and the ongoing palpitations. It feels like my heart has a mind of its own and has been knocked out of sync with the rest of my body. The tinnitus (a loud, high-pitched ringing) also continues. After 18 years at the same company I have to take sick leave for the first time. I have been off work for a month now and have no idea when I'll be able to go back. I continue to take 30 mg Prozac because I feel things would be even worse without it. During the day I walk because this seems to help with the palpitations. I've started taking Magnesium L Threonate and krill oil supplements. I desperately want my life back.
  14. Some history. I've been on and off Fluoxetine and Citalopram all my adult life. They helped me, side effects were few apart from a few weeks of akathisia 10 years ago that passed during fluoxetine initiation. One side effect coming off fluoxetine that same time was a minor version of what I'm now going through. 10 weeks ago I started getting woken up by very rapid heart rate, an adrenaline burst, at the very moment of falling asleep. Like a hypnic jerk, but not my muscles twitching, instead my heart racing. I also got the same racing while waking up. So a wake-sleep transition thing. I managed to get to sleep eventually and usually got a good night's sleep. 5 weeks ago it got worse, so I went to my doctor and he's arranging a cardiologist to look at me (long waiting times in UK). Two weeks of sleep deprivation later I'm an anxious depressed mess. Dr puts me on Fluoxetine suggests anxiety may be the cause. I get akathisia bad, come off it, the doctor replaces it with low dose citalopram, which I'm tolerating. As well as low dose diazepam and zopiclone. Nothing is helping with the sleep disorder, which I believe is a parasomnia, possibly caused by stress/anxiety, but now the cause of suicidal thoughts due to extreme sleep deprivation. There's anecdote around that AD use or discontinuation cause such parasomnias. Any advice? Thank you, and good luck.
  15. Hi everyone, so I had been on Olanzapine for 3months, then tried to quit cold turkey couple times, which was a very bad idea, I developed severe insomnia, and couple other issues, then withdraw with tappering in 2months - too quickly, bad idea tried Trazodon for sleep, it did not help Ended up on Aripiprazole 7.5mg + mianserin 20mg for sleep. Still dealing with following issues: insomnia, but less than before headaches heart pain chronic fatigue I found Pregnenolone 50-400mg to significantly reduce headaces. As a source of my illness i suspect: heavy metal poisoning (my hair test was inconclusive) lyme dissease Borrelia burgdorferi (i had couple ticks) Currently im chelating from heavy metal poisoning using Andrew Cutler Protocol.
  16. I stopped taking Paxil 6 months ago. Since then, I've been unable to sleep more than about 4 hours a night. Has anyone gone through insomnia every night like this for this long? How long does the inability to get a sufficient amount of sleep last after getting off all psychiatric medications?
  17. Hello, I have been taking Seroquel 300mg for 5+ years and am desperately trying to get off of it due to persistent anhedonia. I've spent the past 4 weeks in a crisis house and managed to reduce my dose to 0 however, the drop from 25mg to 0 has been very difficult. I haven't slept for six nights (since I withdrew) I've managed to get the odd hour here and there in the day but I'm becoming increasingly desperate. I'm trying to get advice from a psychiatrist but because I leave the unit tomorrow I've been discharged from his care and can not access advice. Does anyone know how long this insomnia will last? I know it must vary from person to person but I'm terrified it will endure and have to try to get back to a stressful job very soon. Any advice welcome - thanks. Lily
  18. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  19. I’m going to try and do this correctly but I’m going on almost no sleep in the past 5 months.. Two years ago I started having numerous new physical symptoms (night sweats, bloating, headaches,etc.) and felt very drugged. I started to wonder how many of the symptoms were related to the meds I was taking. I decided to start by tapering the low dose of Valium I’d been put on 4 years before to help with sleep. I don’t remember how I tapered. Probably too fast. After stopping completely I spent a month in withdrawal (and menopausal) hell. I did not sleep for a month. In desperation, I visited doc and was given a low dose of Xanax which did help. I tapered slowly off of that. While dealing with various symptoms, doc tried various meds, such as lyrica, Wellbutrin and topamax. I didn’t like any of them. I got off them fairly easily compared to what’s happening now. Lastly, I decided to get off the celexa I’d been placed on 10 years before. It was to “prevent” any depression after giving birth to a baby who was born still at 8 months preg. I felt pushed into it and trusted them.. 10 years later, (no one ever mentioned stopping it) I casually tapered 40mg in a few weeks... I suffered only headaches and dizziness while tapering and didn’t know any better. Doctor said it was fine. I felt better than I had in a very long time. Fibromyalgia symptoms went away, sweats all stopped, teeth grinding stopped. I started to feel alive, creative, finally some emotions. As soon as I stopped completely, insomnia hits. I still don’t know any better and think it will pass because I feel good. After about 2 months of insomnia, I visit doctor in desperation again. Put on Trazodone 100 mg. and given 30 Ambien. I feel Trazodone burying my new feelings but ignore it as I need sleep.. 2 months later, Trazodone doesn’t work for sleep anymore and I believe it may be causing a horrible restlessness in my whole body. Emotions are dead. No more Ambien, no more sleep. Deep waves, feelings of panic, dread.. no appetite, nausea, shaking arms.. can’t remember feeling good at all. I started last night tapering Trazodone as I think it made things much worse. Psychopharmacologist says drop 50% for a week or two, then stop. I was told it’s not addictive and is safe, no side effects... so wrong. I will try to taper slowly. Can’t wait to be off it. Probably not a good idea to stop faster? I wish I could have a good cry.. it’s not remotely possible. I feel incapacitated. Doctors and psychologist don’t believe celexa can cause this. Certainly, not Trazodone.. I dread bedtime.. I’m trying so hard to keep on top of this. I don’t want to upset my 3 kids who are still at home.. Someone please reach out to me. I feel very alone, although reading through your stories I know I’m not.. I hurt for all of you as much as I possibly can. 40mg very fast taper off celexa last summer. Put on 100mg Trazodone 2 months ago and attempting to taper off.
  20. So I "celebrate" one year of being clear of SSRIs this week. It has been one helluva ride. (my signature shows I had earlier experience with years of protracted WD. All those years no one told me it was withdrawal. But that's another story.) I never knew about protracted withdrawal or slow taper, so I stopped Lexapro CT last February and rode out the first two months of some "standard" WD symptoms - the ones that doctors acknowledge exist. I had brain storms, brain zaps, fatigue. By May the initial WD symptoms were subsiding, so I thought I was out of the woods. Then in July I got hit with a weird insomnia wave. It arrived with a scary sensation one night when I laid down. It felt like all the connections in my brain were disappearing one by one. It lasted for about three seconds. (I never felt anything like that before. I was very frightened. It was only then that I found these forums and discovered that SSRIs were the culprit. Thanks to all of YOU, I know what is causing my current symptoms.) The weird brain sensations were followed by a few weeks of terrible insomnia. Upon drifting off to sleep, my brain would yank itself back to wakefulness. Over and over, for hours. Known as hypnogogic/hypnotic "jerks". Horrible. The insomnia wave lasted for about three months. By the end of the wave, in October, my brain had restored itself to sound, restorative sleep. I now sleep better than I have for all five years I was on Lexapro. Hooray! That is major progress, a GREAT thing. So November was a GREAT month. So many great days. I thought I was out of the woods. But by December, I was getting ear ringing when laying down to sleep. Not bad during the day. Never had ear ringing before. But the ear ringing got worse, now it is 24/7. Some days worse than others. If I am busy in a noisy environment, it doesn't bother me, but moments of quiet and rest are plagued with this background ear ringing. Laying down to sleep my head is screaming. Wake up to the same. It is not typical tinnitus. It is head ringing. The ear ringing is just a manifestation of something that is going on in my brain. Hopefully it is a recovery process, and will subside over the next few months. Fingers crossed. When the ringing is bad, my head feels under pressure, and my ears feel clogged, they pop. When I wake up, and lay there listening to the ringing, I may get one brain zap. Here I am, one year off of SSRIs, and I still get the occasional brain zap. Very rare, thank goodness. But it is there, a calling card - this is all SSRI WD related. YES, doctors, brain zaps happen one year later. Sorry, your WD guidelines are WRONG. Others here have also testified that they get brain zaps a year or so after being off these drugs. I told my prescribing doctor about it. She said "maybe you need to be on Lexapro". LOL !!! Yeah, like a heroin addict needs to be on heroin because the withdrawals are so bad. These doctors are so clueless. How tragic for all of us. And all that will tread this path. Yes, I am tempted to go back on Lexapro to try to quiet my brain. NO, I have never even come close to popping a Lexapro pill back in my mouth. The drug DID pull me out of chronic dysthymia (long term, low grade depression) when I first took it. But the side effects and now WD effects are so horrific. I would NEVER have taken this drug if I knew what would happen. Taking Prozac and Lexapro destroyed the quality of my life over the last twelve years. If I could do ONE THING over in my life, it would be to NEVER have taken SSRIs. So here I am, one year clean. I am very hopeful for better days. I have good reason to hope; this head ringing is dynamic,the nature of it changes day by day. My brain is dealing with it in its own way. Years ago, my three-year long brain fog from Prozac WD went away. My years of WD fatigue went away. The sensitivity to light went away. The sweating went away. My insomnia went away, and now I sleep better than ever. So hopefully this head ringing will go away too. I have had it for two months now. They call it "Protracted SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome" and we are the survivors. Thank you all for being here - YOU have been my main source of comfort. It is YOU who have showed me what I am going through. Modern medicine has dropped the ball on this one. Big time!
  21. I've been taking seroquel for PTSD for two years. I was taking 600 mg XR a day. In addition to this, I was taking a diabetes drug - metformin - to stop the outrageous hunger caused by seroquel. I've had a flare up of my eating disorder and decided that come hell or high water that I must get off the seroquel. Taking the combination of 600mg XR seroquel and 2000mg XR metformin, I managed to drop my weight down from a disgusting 72kg to a more tolerable 57kg (I'm 155cms tall) and stopped losing weight. No matter how much I restrict or exercise, I can't lose weight and haven't lost anything at all for 2 months. I did some research and decided to move across to Prazosin because it's also an alpha 1 adrenergic receptor antagonist like seroquel, but it's not sedating and doesn't cause you to gain weight or get metabolic syndrome either. So while I'm titrating up Prazosin at 2mg a day until I get to a dose of 30mg a day (I'm currently at 25 mg). But I've been simultaneously reducing my seroquel by 50mg a day - or I was until I completely lost my patience and remembering what my psychiatrist said about seroquel tapering, I started dropping my dose by 100mg every 5 days. For the most part, everything's been totally fine, except for a few days of insomnia. Now that I've gone from 50mg XR to 0, it's hit the fan and I can't sleep. Like I can be tired and feel physically relaxed but my brain won't stop thinking and over thinking and I can't fall asleep no matter what I do. I generally pass out at about 5 am and sleep until maybe 9 am, if I'm lucky. Until the prazosin was titrated to above 20mg a day, I was completely and irrationally suicidal and had to take all of my medications to my pastor and ask him to look after them because I was convinced that I'd overdose on them. I rang my psychiatrist and his only advice was to keep on with the seroquel and I absolutely refuse to do this. I feel like if I do that I'll a] never get off it and b] never lose any more weight. Will this insomnia go away? Or will I need to get an alternate drug to make me sleep until the seroquel is out of my system and my brain has adjusted? I just don't know what to do. University starts back in a week and I have to sleep if I expect to study. If I can't study, I can't eat because I'll lose my merit scholarship. IDK what to do. Anyone got any ideas, advice, help?
  22. I am writing this while I can function. It comes and goes. I have been off work since this thing started almost four weeks ago. I am very scared. Please help me. I've been on Prozac since late 2002. Prescribed because I was depressed. Initially at 20mg / day. Later the effect wore off somewhat and within a year or so it was upped to 60mg / day. I stayed on this dose until December 2013. While on it I sometimes reduced the dose to 40mg and sometimes skipped days to see what would happen if I come off it. After at most two or three weeks, I think I felt somewhat flat and took the full dose again. I suspected that the worse that could happen was that if I come off it I would feel depressed. I was led to believe this drug is safe for long term use. But I was in for a nasty, nasty, nasty surprise. In December 2013 I decided to fully come off it. Things went ok for a few weeks. I did notice that my muscles would lose power when exercising during January and early February 2014. By mid February I developed loss of appetite; nausea and brain zaps, muscle and joint pain and tiredness. This was followed within days with what appeared to be the worst flu that I ever had, exhaustion and fever. My blood pressure went down and my heart rate went up. I wondered if it might be related to the Prozac. So I took 40mg and waited. For about 1-2 hours. Symptoms were gone. By the next day I was back to normal. This scared me senseless as I realized for the first time what incredible power this drug has. Little did I know that the acute withdrawal was no big deal compared to what was to follow later. I started tapering in April 2014, reducing by 0.8mg / week over 50 weeks. When I reached zero mg by mid March 2015 it was *not* followed by acute withdrawal. There is one complication at this point. Between February and July 2015 I took about 35 doses of 100mg of Tramadol for chronic lower backpain. I was led to believe it is a mild opioid only. In early July I took it three days in a row. My vision blurred. I looked up Tramadol side effects and what I saw was scary. I learnt that in addition to being a mild opiod, Tramadol also contains two additional unwelcome guests in the form of an SSRI and an SNRI: "Tramadol provides analgesia through 3 mechanisms: mu-opioid binding (through its metabolite O-desmethyltramadol), serotonin reuptake inhibition (through (+)-tramadol) and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition (through (-)-tramadol). O-desmethyltramadol (which is formed from tramadol through O-demethylation catalyzed by CYP2D6) is responsible for theopiate-type effects of tramadol." I dropped the Tramadol there and then. Within a couple of days I was a weeping from sadness and melancholy. This phase lasted about two and a half weeks then improved slowly. Back to main story: Five months free and clear of Prozac and 7 weeks free and clear of Tramadol I slipped into a nightmare that I am still fighting as I type this. One night in late August 2015 I slept only half the normal time. 3.5 to 4 hours (Usually 7.5 hours) for two consecutive nights. This was followed with restlessness and then, akathisia (look it up - it is not bearable). I panicked and took 0.8 mg of Prozac. In about three hours the symptoms gradually faded out and I felt normal. At that point I thought I could just stay on a super low Prozac dose. Woke up around 2am the next morning with severe symptoms again. Took 0.8mg Prozac again, then every 2 hours until eventually I reached 6.4 mg for the day. It did not work like the day before. It might have relieved the symptoms somewhat for a part of the day. By the evening symptoms resumed. It then occurred to me that Tramdol might have something to do with it and not the Prozac. I took 1/6th of the usual Tramadol dose (1/3 of a 50mg capsule). Within an hour I was calm, but it is hard to say at this stage whether it was due to the Tramadol or not based on subsequent experience (I learnt that it comes and goes in waves through the day). At this point I decided not to take any further Prozac or Tramadol. I was now on a rollercoaster. (I am keeping hour-by-hour logs of what is happening and will post here maybe later in a chart or something.) Severe symptoms for hours on end, followed by a respite. Then the symptoms take over again. On some days it went on with almost no respite for two consecutive days. One unusual observation. One night ( a week in) I slept a full 7 hours or so. The next day I was back to normal. My relief was short lived, however, as I woke up with an incredible surge of fear in my chest and the symptoms returned, seemingly stoked on by the fear. After a week of this, I was desperate. I got a prescription for a beta blocker Bisoprolol (2.5mg). I took it and seem to have gotten relief as I was feeling normal later that day. But alas, at about 2am I was up again with the same symptoms. Tried 2mg of Diazepam. Nothing. The next day I switched the prescription to Propranolol. For the next week I tried the beta blockers on their own and together. At this point the Akathisia seemed to be easing off somewhat but in its place there was an absolutely paralyzing fear and anxiety that is hard to describe. "The Scream" by Edvard Munch comes to mind. At the beginning of this week my total sleep seemed to shrink to between zero hours(one night) and 2.5 hours. I took Midazolam sleeping pills a few times to try and get relief and some sleep. On the best day I got 3 hours extra. On the worst I got barely 30 minutes extra on it. Then I had three nights of 5.5 hours or so. That was followed by a 2 hour night. By this time the anxiety/fear was getting unbearable. I was getting exhausted. The fear and anxiety was ramping up in spite of the beta blockers. Throughout this time I had very little if any appetite. But I forced myself to eat because I needed energy to keep moving. The akathisia and anxiety compelled me to keep moving, moving, moving, pacing back and forth back and forth back and forth, sometimes without respite for up to 10 hours, starting between 2am and 4 am. My muscles were starting to indicate that they couldn't take this much longer. I made a rational calculation that I have only a few days left before muscle spasm or something sets in. I wondered if the "normal" day I had at the end of the first week might have been due to the 6.4 mg dose of Prozac I took at the beginning of that week. SO I decided to see if I could reinstate. I did not take this decision lightly. But after weighing it up for another day I took 4mg of Prozac. Symptoms eased off after that (but it could be coincidence as it comes and goes in waves). That was Friday. I took my last dose of beta blockers the day before (Thurs) and decided to stop beta blockers is I was going to re-instate. On Saturday morning I took 4mg and then 2 hours later anther 4mg. On Sunday morning I took 8mg On Monday morning I took 8mg. For the past few days things seem bearable between mid-day until I go to sleep. But early morning until the afternoon I get overwhelmed with panic and fear and I pace relentlessly. I still don't know if it was the right choice and whether I should abort reinstatement. I still cannot see a clear pattern of improvement, I do not know if I should up the dose or wait. I read the reinstatement page and also Eva's story (seem very similar to mine) on the edge of my seat. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5715-eva-struggling-after-20-years-prozac-and-now-without/page-4 But it ends with a cliff hanger. She never reported whether her dose increase stabilized her. I am thinking if I can stabilize then I can regroup and plan the next step. Should I continue to try and reinstate or abort reinstatement? Will I be able to taper again if I can stabilize on this reinstatement? I have not been able to go to work for the past three weeks. I am now in week 4. I am very scared and need help. Please, please help me.
  23. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  24. What would a safe titration schedule be? I was given for insomnia. And want off. Thank you for any help
  25. Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time. I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa. My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety. So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and... I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff. Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect. Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can. I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse. I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process. Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.
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