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  1. Hello, this is my first post and I’m really looking for some help Here is my story, so for the past three years I have been on 50mg Sertraline/ Zoloft for Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Depression. I decided to come off of them from the beginning of this year and then had a delayed withdrawal symptoms three weeks from my last dose. I then reinstated on the same medication and for 2 weeks and 5 days experiences awful side effects even worse compared to the first time I went on it, the main cause for concern it making me have suicidal thoughts and feelings, which led me to CT with the advice of my doctor. From what I have found is that the medication may have exasperated my discontinuation symptoms. For a month after I experienced discontinuation symtpoms including Acute anxiety and dread Waking up anxious Low mood Depression Feeling extreme weariness (the worst) Nightmares Decreased appetite Mild insomnia - waking up several times throughout the night and early morning wake ups Confusion Brain fog - words and sentences seeming jumbled or muddled Intrusive suicidal thoughts Suicidal feelings Crying spells Mood swings Irritibility Racing thoughts Anhedonia Poor concentration - unable to read or listen to music Mild memory loss Derealisation / Depersonalisation Flu-symptoms Mild vertigo Tingling sensations Smelling things that aren’t there Diarrhoea Lack of labido Light sensitivity Eye floaters 5 weeks later and most of these are gone, I had a streak of 6 days where I felt fantastic, I felt like I could manage my anxiety and depression and I was just left with what I’m usually used to. However, I feel awful again, but I am unsure if this is a “relapse” to what my natural mental state is or if I’m still experiencing mild withdrawal. I noticed yesterday that I kept repeating a words that I was reading from signs I walked past, I have quite bad health anxiety and seeing as this is unrelated to anxiety and more OCD, it’s freaking me out thinking I might be developing it. But, when I read about OCD it doesn’t entirely relate to what I’m like, I’ve always been more anxious and depressed, I don’t perform rituals in my mind or physically. I do have worries about losing control and horrible instrusive thoughts but I always assumed that it suited my anxiety rather than OCD. I have had repetitive words happen to me a few times even while I was on the meds, but to a point that it didn’t concern me, probably a total of 5 days out of the three years. I also remember right at the beginning of my experiences with mental health that I did sometimes count things but could easily stop. But im unable to remember if this is when I started the sertraline or before. Now I’m off of them I’m unsure if this is a diagnosis that has been unnnoticed (as I did go onto AD fairly quickly) or if this is an effect of SSRI meds and the withdrawal? I also had about a 5 day bout when I recently reinstated my meds experiencing a compulsion to touch my nose over and over, however I resisted it to the point that it went quickly and figured that it was my brain confused coming off and on the medication and the effects on my nervous system, and that I had read somewhere that the end of someone’s nose also felt quite strange coming off medication and that it can be anxiety related. I do feel that as a person my anxiety fixates on health problems and then acts them out in hypothetical situations, so I used to worry about schizophrenia so when my anxiety was bad I would imagine voices talking to me, even though I was not psychotic. I think the same thing happens with my current worry of OCD, that my brain is acting it out playing on my worries, rather than the typical sense of OCD using those thoughts to neutralise worries. If that makes sense. Im also beginning to experience Earworms, parts of songs annoyingly repeating in my head. Has as anyone got some incite to how I’m feeling or if they have had similar experiences? Is it because of the medication, the discontinuation, or should I have something to worry about in terms of OCD? And most importantly, can people experience mild symptoms of OCD but mainly have anxiety? I.e can anxiety borrow tendencies from OCD without it being OCD. I feel a lot better without all the nasty discontinuation symptoms, but now I just feel awfully trapped between coming off medication or having to one day maybe reinstate because I’d be unable to deal with what I’m like off of them and this mental discomfort. All the stories on here scare the life out of me, however both options appear terrifying- being off medication and going back on them. I don’t ever want to experience being suicidal again, but I don’t want to be crippled with anxiety and new symptoms that seem scary to manage. So confusing. Hopefully I’ve been as informative and concise as possible. Would love to hear from you all!
  2. Hello everyone. Although I feel like maybe I'm not as bad as many many people here, I would still like to share my story, since I have been through some suffering lately. Hope I don't bother you. Tl;dr: When I reinstated Luvox I started having depression, terrible feelings of hopelessness, dread and doom, no joy in activities or life in general, lack of purpose or meaning in life, and no love for my boyfriend, which troubles me the most. I never had depression before. Wondering if it was the Luvox and starting to taper, but afraid... So it all began when I was 9 years old. I started having severe panic attacks and anxiety out of nowhere. Afraid to die, afraid my parents would die because they were older than "normal" (used to call my mom every 5 minutes to see if she was alive), afraid of death in general. After a while, I was seeing a psychiatrist for children and started taking Clomipramine, don't know the dosage, until I was 12. I don't remember much because it was 13 years ago, but I don't recall any problems with withdrawal. From that point until I was 21, everything was fine. I would ocasionally have shortness of breath and that kind of stuff, but completely manageable. I was always a very good student (my mom told me they had an IQ test or something and they said I was "gifted", but we never explored that so I don't think it's really important), I practised sports, I learned to play the piano, I always had a great social life, very active. Now, in 2013, when I was 21 years old, everything went downhill. I was in a relationship since 2011 and it was not a great one, we would fight a lot, he would always break up with me, changing is mind about loving me on a weekly basis, insulting me, saying nobody would like me if they really knew me, etc. This relationship lasted until 2015, mainly because of my inability to let it go, as I thought I could never be happy again without him. In 2013, I had a huge anxiety and panic attacks crisis. I was also diagnosed with ocd (obsessive thoughts with mental compulsions, have little to none physical ones). Started on Sertraline but rapidly stopped because I couldn't tolerate the dizziness and nausea and it would make me more anxious. They put me on Xanax for 3 months and I tapered it in one month. Spent two horrible days with insomnia and EXTREME anxiety, but after those two days, it all subsided. Two months later (February 2014) I was worse (panic attacks, dp/dr, etc) and was put on Luvox (fluvoxamine - 50mg). It was well tolerated, and it helped me for two years, but I noticed I would still have anxiety and the obsessive, I just wouldn't reach the point of a panic attack. About a year and a half in, I started taking 25mg and everything was ok. Now where it got worse. In April 2016 I started to taper it with the help of my psychiatrist (whom doesn't really talk to me for more than 5 or 10 minutes, doesn't believe Luvox made me gain 33 pounds in under a year, and told me it usually had no bad effects). He told me to start taking it every other day (the 25mg) for a week, then every two days for a week, then every three days, etc. At this point, my previous relationship was over for a year and I was starting a new one. When I was taking it every two days, I started having SEVERE DP/DR and PANIC ATTACKS. I was told to take the 25mg everyday. It didn't work and he told me to raise to 50mg. Well, the panic attacks have stopped but the worse came. Since I was back on 50mg, I started to feel unhappy. I have a great boyfriend now, who really supports me and cares about me, I am studying psychology with very good grades, so everything is fine I guess. But I started to feel disconnected and detached. I feel no joy, no happiness in activities I used to enjoy. I reduced my going out of home very very much, sometimes spending a week without leaving my house and bed. I find no purpose in life, no sense (mybe it is an existential crisis, used to have them but not to this extent). I sometimes feel very frustrated and cry from hopelessness. I don't know what to do. Somedays I don't feel anything at all. On new years I was downtown watching the fireworks and suddenly I felt detached and very nervous and had to go home. My boyfriend came with me and it was ok after a while. But I can't stop feeling sad and with no joy. And the WORST OF ALL, sometimes I don't feel love for my boyfriend I know I love him, I think I do, but I can't feel it. I used to feel love so so so deeply and it is so strange to me. I told this to my psychiatrist and he said it was normal with the antidepressant but there was no problem and I had to keep taking it and he told me I had depression because of the anxiety, ocd and panic attacks. But I feel I just got worse since I reinstated it. I never had depression before and I had this since I was 9... Do you think maybe it is the Luvox? I am thinking of finding another psychiatrist since mine says that withdrawal from antidepressants is not usual and it was my symptoms coming back. But i reinstated it and I just got worse and worse. I sometimes think of suicide, but not in a "I want to do it" kind of way, nor finding relief in it. On the contrary, I feel so hopeless and purposeless that I fear it might come the time that there is no other way and it really scares me, since one of my great fears is dying and ceasing to exist. I want to taper it but I am afraid I am broken already and I have no hope. I don't want to feel the terrible withdrawal symptoms but I can't take this anhedonia anymore. It makes me so, so sad. I also sleep for more than 12 hours a day and sometimes I don't even see the light of day. I just want to feel happy again, but I am afraid I have no hope at that, that I will be depressed forever. What do you think? Sorry for the long post, but I needed to talk to someone that might have experienced the same as I do. Thank you so much, hope you all feeling well on your journey.
  3. 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.
  4. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  5. Hey guys First of all I’m astounded by the amount of compassion members give to each other on this site. You’re all very beautiful people and I thank you for doing what you do. My drug history can be found in my signature but basically I've been on Zoloft/Sertraline 150 mg for OCD for almost 2 years now and I've experienced very mild side effects, namely increased sweating, yawning and eyes watering. My condition had improved tremendously - before then I was constantly plagued by my worries and could not function, so I decided to begin tapering off. In November 2017 I reduced my dose to 125 mg (on GP's advice). On December 14 2017 I masturbated for the first time in years, then felt extremely guilty afterwards as I have read online that people have developed PGAD due to sertraline. Ever since I stumbled upon stories about PGAD in the 8th grade, I've been afraid of this disorder. I hoped that the feelings of arousal would go away in a few minutes, as they always did in the past after I 'entertained', so I tried to calm myself down and distract myself by playing video games. To my dread the feelings were still there. There's a constant urge to urinate, throbbing, pulsing sensations in my genitals, clitoris whatever it is. I just graduated from high school and I'm still a virgin so I have no idea what an actual orgasm is like, but after that incident I just randomly experience the 'climaxes' I get during masturbation. I believed it was nerve related because if I tried to do an activity that was more intellectually stimulating, the arousal feelings would become stronger. It was very difficult to concentrate. However I noticed that the arousal feelings were weaker at around dinnertime, before I take my daily dose but came back after I took the sertraline. These symptoms arose just as I was on holiday overseas to a third world country where psychiatry isn’t really practised safely if at all, so I couldn’t see a doctor. Distressed and desperate to do something about it, I skipped my meds for a day (NEVER DO THIS) and the feelings disappeared, which confirmed my theory that sertraline was causing the PGAD-like sensations. On 27 December 2017 I stupidly reduced the dose to 100 mg without a doctor’s consultation, not knowing it was likely a symptom of withdrawal. This in itself did not make the sensations go away, but I was able to change my ‘mindset’. January 2018: Seeing as the feelings were less noticeable when I was under pressure to socialise, I began to force myself to ‘think quick’ and pretend that I was under that same pressure. With this mindset, the PGAD feelings were completely gone and I was ecstatic. However on the plane ride back home, this mindset caused me to have migraines, so I no longer adopted that mindset, yet the PGAD did not come back! Another win! However this was proved wrong as after a few days it returned and with it, the hopelessness and depression. My GP suggested that I go back up to 150 mg and I was so down and suicidal that my mum and I agreed. I felt weird and uncoordinated on such a high dose so I went down to 125 mg which I am currently at. I’m going to see a new psychiatrist soon hopefully. Applying a different mindset doesn’t keep the PGAD at bay any longer. Before I even started the meds I’ve had almost constant migraines which is most likely anxiety related. Recently I’ve been able to make the PGAD go away by thinking about my headaches in a different way (it’s really complicated and difficult to describe), so it is probably due to the meds changing my brain chemistry, changing nerve pathways. I’m currently more emotionally stable. I want to ask does staying at 125 mg for another month sound like a good plan, then tapering off veery slowly (I didn’t know about the 10% rule back then)?
  6. Hey all, I have read a lot about people being put on meds unnecessarily and having to spend years dealing with the issues that the medication caused. It really is horrible to hear how common this is and I hope all of you find peace on your journey, wherever you're at. I was placed on medication, however, due to the onset of very severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and subsequent depression. The thing is, I always had a tendency towards intrusive thoughts and obsessional fears that disturbed me greatly. It wasn't until I was 16 that one particular fear emerged and destroyed my life pretty quickly. I don't blame the doctor for putting me on medication at the time, to be fair, I was an absolute non-functioning mess. Medication (SSRI's), at that point, saved my life - it completely altered my way of thinking so that I was more clear headed, had less anxiety and was able to actually be positive. Of course, it didn't cure it completely (I still had very unhealthy coping mechanisms and some trauma from my initial breakdown that kept me fearful) but it gave my life back to a large degree, and I had very little physical side effects other than some weight gain and excess sweating, which was a small price to pay for my sanity. It doesn't help that my family have a long history of mental illness on both sides. I also later discovered that relatives I never grew up with had the same type of OCD (Pure-O), and that it was a huge factor in my father's suicide. I guess what I'm asking is, how did you deal with withdrawal on top of the original issue, if there was one? How did you retrain your beliefs after being told for years that 'you have a chronic mental illness and need to be medicated for life'? I should also mention that prior to stopping Prozac I was stable on a medium dose for 2 years mainly due to huge lifestyle changes and developing a dedicated meditation practice. This led to a significant 'awakening' of sorts that is ongoing, which is why I decided it was time to begin withdrawal. Would love to hear any insights or stories from you. Many thanks
  7. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  8. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  9. I had been on Effexor XR for fifteen years before making the decision to get off this terrible drug. My concern is that I waited too long. I was tired of the feelings if I missed a dose, the sexual side effects and the general lack of emotions. Had I know how difficult and painful this journey was going to be I would have stayed on the poison just to avoid all of the difficulty. In the beginning of coming off the drug I had all the symptoms others have described. The crying, the brain zaps, the panic attacks at night all were just the tip of the iceberg with coming off. I unfortunately came off too fast. I did the standard weaning described by my doctor from 150, 75 to 37.5. What I should have done was to open the capsules and count the beads. I also should have lengthened the time between each drop in dose. I would say after 3 months in I had it beat, I felt litter but that was short lived. I then began my journey of trying to find other alternatives. I tried Accupunture, Counseling, LDA therapy, NAC, Inositol, heavy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega fish oil, restore, brain octane...... I then , after 9 months off Effexor, decided to try Prozac in order to cope with life. Everything has become insurmountable and my thoughts are all negative. I have never been so pessimist as I am right now. Now only to I judge myself against all others, I internally do the same with my children and their accomplishments. Nothing is ever good enough. I feel perhaps that Effexor has damaged me somehow. My once optimistic trial and error ways have turned to a pessimistic future. My next journey is to try CBD in the hopes that I can return to some normal aspect off life. I welcome all comments, ideas, stories or pep talks to get me through!
  10. Cheers, everyone First – english is not my native language, so forgive me, if it's a bit clumsy. Second – this story may be long. I feel like sharing, yet I'll try to make it short. Everything began 11 years ago, when – after a great deal of trauma – I was diagnosed with obssesive compulsion disorder. Diagnosis itself felt wright – my fears, obssesions and rituals were getting stronger every day. Soon, I was beginning to lost it. Psychiatrist prescripted SSRI meds – sertraline, to be specific. It was pain. I reached the dose of 120 mg a day, as she ordered – I wasn't sleeping whole nights, wasn't eating almost anything (but still got fat) and my feelings and emotions were lost completely – what was left of me was a complete cyborg. Inabillity to sleep and eat made me going mad, my shrink, however, didn't see any problem. After a half a year, I showed her my middle finger and cease the treatment. I felt great for about a year – then obssesion came back, stronger than ever. This time, a proffesor psychiatrist came with paroxetine. Let me make this clear – paroxetine did help me. My obssesions were gone. I became calm, reasonable, able to deal with emotions like grief or anger quickly. In time, however, I grew more and more disturbed about the therapy. I mean – what about my personality? Which part of that is artificial? What kind of person would I be without drugs? Why other people mostly seem a bother to me and why I lost any kind of interest in any kind of love life? Why I'm getting more and more surly and bitter? My proffesor answers were another drugs only, to which I refused. This year, when six years of paroxetine were coming to pass, I withdraw it. I thought reducing the dose slowly will do. At first, I felt better. Everything was so vivid, so lively; I was becoming nicer to people. All this didin't last long, though. At first, I became nervous. Everything started to seem difficult, I felt like I had to much to attend to. That deepend into depression so deep, I quickly started to think about suicide, which eventually made me to come back to my treatment. This time, side effects decided to say hi. Afer two days on one pill, I suddenly started to run around house in cricle with suicide thoughts so intense, it was like someone grabbed me, shaking my arms and screaming „Do it! Do it! Do it!” I almost tried. I made it through next few days on benzodiazepine. Then, paroxetine kicked in without any more events. I've put myself together, yet I was confused – I mean, what the hell happened? I've never had such depression, where did it come from? My main problem were obssesions. I started to wonder – what if paroxetine actually did all this and now I'm allowing fox to guard henhouse? My decision to have a closer look on this brought me to book „Deadly Medicine and Organised Denial” by prof. Peter Gøtzsche (to those who haven't read it already – it's a book everyone should read). I read that paroxetine – and other SSRI meds – actually cause depression which shows up in the withdrawal syndrome due to disrupting brain biochemistry and that withdrawing after more than few weeks of treatment can be very hard. Sudden suicide thoughts, according to this book, are quite popular side effects of paroxetine syndrome. So many people, I was thinking. So many people did commit suicide, many of them slaughtered their families first. I was furious and quite dispaired, feeling like I'm gonna claw my doctor's eyes out. Who the hell allowed this **** to be on market? Why my god damn shrink is keeping my on this crap for years? I've felt like a freaking junkie. On the other hand though – after I calmed down – I've felt some kind of new strenght. Withdrawing became my top priority. I'm now aware what happened and what is next. I know it may be hard, but I'm not losing optimism, until I still have at least some part of my brain intact (and liver, and kidneys, et cetera...). Like I said, I got this site address from prof. Gøtzsche and here I am. On the next appointment, I'm gonna have a little chit-chat with my doctor. If he won't be willing to assist me on my way to withdrawal, I'll find a doctor who will. I've already reduced the dose from 40 to 30 mg and I'm aiming to reduce it more to 20 mg (this is by approval from my current doctor). And then... well. No matter how much time will it take, I'm gonna be free one day. (Anyone who thinks deserves beer after reading all this, leave me a note ).
  11. I was on 150mg of Zoloft and tried weaning off by halfing the dose every few weeks... I got down to zero but the symptoms after a few weeks were too bad... I went back up to 25 and then to 50... I've been at 50mg for at least 6 months (maybe longer)... Having read the info here, it looks like it's going to take me a few years to taper off 😨... I can do it I've sort of forgotten why I want to taper off... I think I just want to be free of pharmaceuticals. Thank you for this forum!!!!
  12. Hi Everyone! I started taking Lexapro three years ago at the age of 24 after therapy sessions and the occasional Xanax were no longer working for my anxiety. My psychologist diagnosed me with OCD and GAD. Dread is the only way I can explain it. Vicious thoughts and dread. I wasn't depressed nor had I ever been and this hit me like a ton of bricks. I would be out and then this wave of panic would come out of no where. Dizzying and all consuming. I would start crying, become dizzy, and just be in an all out panic. It got to the point where aside from getting up and going to work everyday (getting out of the door was the hardest) I would basically refuse to do anything. Otherwise I would shake and feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I started with my general physician putting me on 5mg of Lexapro and then eventually going all the way up to 20mg. Aside from noticing a drop in my libido, slight dulling of feelings, and mild tiredness I felt like a new person. I actually remember the exact place I was where I felt those all consuming mind racing thoughts turn off. For the next three years I was perfect. Lexapro pretty much saved me. Recently in November of 2016 I decided that I wanted to go off. I was in a different place in my life. I was working, going to grad school and nights and living on my own. In hindsight I probably should have waited until I finished grad school since I was/am at one of the most stressful times in my life. Full time job, while taking a full three classes per semester at nights. But hey hindsight is 20/20 right? I tapered over three months. Probably too quickly, and by the end of January I was entirely off. My only immediate withdrawal symptoms were dizziness (not enough to stop me from driving) and I remember for about a week and half every time I would shift my eyes it felt like it took my brain a second to catch up. Finally nothing. I thought I was free. I was feeling again, my emotions came back, but all without that feeling of dread. Two weeks ago, about five months after I've been Lexapro free, I got the worst stomach virus I've had in years/gastritis/my period all in one week. I wasn't eating and I had lost 10lbs. I'm small to being with so I went from 118 to 108 quick. Then... It hit. Sick on a Wednesday and by Sunday I had the worst panic attack I've had in years. To get up from my bed was crippling. Am I relapsing? My mind was flooded. The PTSD was so bad from the thought of me relapsing into what I was pre-Lexapro crippled me. And since then I haven't been able to stop crying. My dizziness had returned along with chills, mind racing, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my own skin and rip it off, and the non stop crying. To the point opening my mouth and talking about a plain wall would make me start crying. I also have no appetite. The thought of eating makes me feel sick. I called my doctor and during my virus check up visit he gave me .25mg of Xanax. I thought this would kick it but it hasn't. It actually made me feel worse. I see my psychologist tomorrow to now talk about whats happening to me. My doctor said if this doesn't go away I cannot be reliant upon Xanax and I would have to go back on my Lexapro, but I DON'T WANT TO. I only took the Xanax once and I really am fighting to not take another, even though I feel like I am being tortured by my own mind. I want to be medicine free. I know what SSRI's can do to the body. That five months of freedom of no drugs and no anxiety were amazing. My questions are: Am I relapsing? or am I still withdrawing? Any advice? I am so scared that this isn't going to go away and that I am going to be right back to square 1. Thank you!! xx
  13. Hi all, As my signature shows, I have been on medication for the past 10 years and I must say I have only made my life from bad to worse. It all started when I started getting headache due to tension at work after I found a job with great difficulty. I consulted a GP for general headache which he suspected as tension headache and referred me to a psychiatrist. He diagnosed my OCD symptoms and related my headache to OCD and started off with high doses of antidepressants right away. It was a living hell in the initial days until I got used to the medicine. My OCD symptoms were not intruding my normal life as much as the side effects the antidepressants are causing. However my psychiatrist never agreed to go off of the antidepressants and I could never argue with him. Everybody on the internet suggested me to trust my psychiatrist and so I have continued with my medicines till date. I tried going off of the medicines abruptly once and I suffered with withdrawal symptoms for a long time and I am not sure if I still have withdrawal symptoms or is it my depression. To start off with, I only had slight OCD which I think I could have managed without medicines and the side-effects caused by the anti-depressants are multifold. I have a range of side-effects which affects my daily life. Following are some of the side-effects that i have been noticing from a long time but not sure whether its my depression or my medicines or withdrawal symptoms and I am in a catch22 situation and I feel petrified to go off of the medicines this time. I suffer from IBS (woken up every morning with an urge to pass stool ), the longer I resist the terrible I feel. After I return from the toilet, I feel terribly tired and sleepy. For the rest of the day, I suffer with headache, body pain, lack of concentration (affects my work to a large extent), feel drowsy all day long, anxiety, irritability, find it hard to focus on work. This has been happening from 2014 and I have not complained this to my psychiatrist so as to avoid him from prescribing me from more drugs. So, I have chose to suffer with these symptoms than to get into more problems. I am 34 years old and havent got into a relationship due to uncertainty about a lot of things, my depression and anxiety. But this time I have decided to get rid of the medicines the safer way so as to lead a normal life. Luckily, I have found this forum to get assistance and go off the medicines systematically this time. I have planned to do it the 10% reduction method. Yet my major concern is, whether I'll get back my OCD which I have got rid of now, after I stop the medicines? Will I have more problems etc. Any suggestions and help is welcome.
  14. Hello to all. I have been on a low of 50mg of Anafranil for 25 years for Pure OCD. This is the 4th time I'm tapering of this medication. I mainly rely on the therapy, i.e.: CBT, ERP and insight for managing my OCD condition. I've had no clinical depression for over 20 years but the anxiety is always there. I'm fairly convinced the medication has hardly any benefit apart from an anxiolytic effect which does help anxiety a little although I've had enough of sleeping 12 hrs a day for all this time. I decided to taper down very slowly as I rushed a little in the past and have had to restart the original 50mg dosage. I cut the small 25mg tabs in 4 and started with 43.75mg for 2 months. There was no problem. Then I started on 37.50 for 2 months. There was no problem. Next I started on 31.25 for 2 months and there was no problem. About 1 month later which was 1 month ago and after feeling somewhat triumphant I started 25m. 3 weeks later as of just over 1 week ago my tinnitus has doubled in volume and my anxiety has increased which is also amplifying my OCD condition. Its difficult because its relentless but tolerable. I haven't seen any small window of abatement and this is what is a little scary. The question I ask is, what if this goes on for months or is even permanent? I also start thinking that maybe I could reinstate the extra 6.25mg which is where I felt stable at this last dosage for at least 2 months and then decrease by an even smaller amount like half of that? Ideally I would like to carry on the way I have been and hope that soon I shall see some improvement. Obviously there are no garuantees but how long should someone continue experiencing these side effects before making some type od decision one way or another. I understand that being on medication for 25 years and expecting no withdrawal symptoms when tapering off is a lot to ask for which is why I decided to taper off 25mg over 8 months. Unfortunately stressing about the side effect of anxiety probably perpetuates it but these thoughts come instinctively through years of experiencing them. I'm trying to stay aware of this. Hope you're all doing better, what a ride this is! Any thoughts you may have will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.
  15. German Researchers Discover Cause of OCD Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can take many forms. Perhaps someone washes her hands over and over again, leading to cuts and skin damage. Or maybe she can’t fall asleep at night until she’s gotten out of bed to make sure the door is locked. Perhaps she always orders objects in a specific, uniform way. While these behaviors might seem innocuous, they are actually driven by intrusive thoughts and irrational fears that an OCD sufferer can dwell on for hours a day. While the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder was previously unknown, a new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry has finally shed light on a potential source in the brain. By tinkering with mice models, a team of researchers from Germany found that rodents with a deficiency of the SPRED2 protein engaged in excessive grooming rituals. This protein generally inhibits signals from sliding along a pathway called the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade. Without SPRED2, signal pathways become overactive. Here’s why that matters in the brain: The SPRED2 protein is normally prevalent in areas like the basal ganglia and amygdala, which are responsible for functions like decision-making, emotional reactions, voluntary motor control, and habitual behaviors. Without that protein inhibitor, the initiator of these pathways (the receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB) runs on overdrive. A person with OCD may not be able to stop specific thoughts and behaviors, because signals are flying unchecked down the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade pathway in these key regions of the brain. Think of it like a water slide of thoughts you can't turn off or slow down because you're missing the knob that turns off the water — the SPRED2 protein is the knob. Similar to eating disorders, anxiety, and other mental health issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder is currently treated with various antidepressants — which the team did use to effectively treat the condition in their experiment. However, the scientific community has been searching for that underlying mechanism of OCD, so doctors can use more targeted, and perhaps better, treatment methods. According to study researcher Kai Schuh, a professor at the Institute of Physiology at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, discovering the link between OCD and the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade may be a crucial step. “Our study delivers a valuable new model that allows the disease mechanisms to be investigated and new therapy options for obsessive-compulsive disorders to be tested,” he told Science Daily. Perhaps the best part? Drugs that inhibit the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade are already on the market for treating cancer. So, it’s possible that a more effective method for OCD may already be in existence — and hopefully on the way sooner rather than later.
  16. German Researchers Discover Cause of OCD Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can take many forms. Perhaps someone washes her hands over and over again, leading to cuts and skin damage. Or maybe she can’t fall asleep at night until she’s gotten out of bed to make sure the door is locked. Perhaps she always orders objects in a specific, uniform way. While these behaviors might seem innocuous, they are actually driven by intrusive thoughts and irrational fears that an OCD sufferer can dwell on for hours a day. While the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder was previously unknown, a new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry has finally shed light on a potential source in the brain. By tinkering with mice models, a team of researchers from Germany found that rodents with a deficiency of the SPRED2 protein engaged in excessive grooming rituals. This protein generally inhibits signals from sliding along a pathway called the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade. Without SPRED2, signal pathways become overactive. Here’s why that matters in the brain: The SPRED2 protein is normally prevalent in areas like the basal ganglia and amygdala, which are responsible for functions like decision-making, emotional reactions, voluntary motor control, and habitual behaviors. Without that protein inhibitor, the initiator of these pathways (the receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB) runs on overdrive. A person with OCD may not be able to stop specific thoughts and behaviors, because signals are flying unchecked down the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade pathway in these key regions of the brain. Think of it like a water slide of thoughts you can't turn off or slow down because you're missing the knob that turns off the water — the SPRED2 protein is the knob. Similar to eating disorders, anxiety, and other mental health issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder is currently treated with various antidepressants — which the team did use to effectively treat the condition in their experiment. However, the scientific community has been searching for that underlying mechanism of OCD, so doctors can use more targeted, and perhaps better, treatment methods. According to study researcher Kai Schuh, a professor at the Institute of Physiology at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, discovering the link between OCD and the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade may be a crucial step. “Our study delivers a valuable new model that allows the disease mechanisms to be investigated and new therapy options for obsessive-compulsive disorders to be tested,” he told Science Daily. Perhaps the best part? Drugs that inhibit the Ras/ERK-MAP kinase cascade are already on the market for treating cancer. So, it’s possible that a more effective method for OCD may already be in existence — and hopefully on the way sooner rather than later.
  17. Greetings! I am very fortunate I found this site. I will not go into to much detail but here are some facts about my current situation. I have had anxiety/panic my entire life, from the earliest I can remember I used to have horrible separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and just plain being scared of silly things, like when I was younger I was terrified of thunderstorms and elevators I had to do exposure therapy while I was little and that was pretty difficult but it defiantly was not enough. My mother didn't put me on pharmaceuticals until I was 12 or so because the SSRIs were fairly new and she wanted to wait as long as she possibly could do try one of these medications. Flash forward to 2005, my father dies on the treadmill right in front of me, I am still in high school, and my anxiety up to that point was manageable, put when that happend my anxiety went through the roof. I couldn't finish high school in public but I was fortunate enough to have some retired teachers come to my house so I could graduate with my class. Of course during this time I was seeing a psychiatrist. Now he is an intelligent man and I have a number of medications to be thankful for, especially getting me out of that trauma. I was on a Tricyclic Anafranil 150 mg, from 2006 to 2013 for anxiety. During November 2013, I tried getting off the medication because it wasn't working and it was effecting my speech (probably from the anticholinergic effects). I tried to get off of it several times before but was given bad withdrawing advice (cut dose in half and 2 weeks you will be good), well that never happened of course. The old, see you need your medication, none of these brain zaps you speak of cannot occur with these drugs. So I followed the doctors advice and continued taking the Anafranil for a few more years. In November 2013 I tried to get off Anafranil for good. I wanted to do half the dose but just stay on that dose for like a month and then go down another quarter or something and try it that way. I had no idea how wrong both the doctor and I were. As soon as I lowered the dose I became a basket case. I started crying for no reason, I lost a bunch of weight (about 25 pounds in a month), vertigo, heart palpitations which scared the crap out of me because my father died from a birth defect we were not aware of at 49. I went back to the psychiatrist who I had seen for 6 years and was slapped with a bi-polar diagnosis. After doing a lot of research and looking into these drugs I didn't realize that the withdrawal could be so severe, or that most doctors had no idea that these drugs were capable of producing such a profound effect upon discontinuation. I reinstated the drug after 6 months of shear terror and my heart rate returned to normal, my crying stopped and it was like none of it ever happened. Now my main concern is with my heart because part of my anxiety would be dying in a similar fashion my father did. I have a great cardiologist who I have been seeing for years. He was fortunate enough to understand what was happening to me. I had every test imaginable and everything came back normal. Even when my heart was skipping a lot during the withdrawal, the holter monitor didn't pick up anything. He said its not so much your heart, its the receptors on your vagus nerve which is the main problem which makes since because they up regulate and down regulate depending if you are starting or stopping a drug. He said these drugs can effect the QT prolongation of the heart sometimes, but every EKG and Echo looked good so thank god for that. I stared back on the 150 in mid 2014 and currently I am on 60 mgs as of now. Now I think I misread because I tapered 10 mg every month instead of 10 percent of the dose, which is what a lot of people recommend. So what I am going to do as of now is try to stabilize on 50 mgs for a few months, since I am almost done with the 60 mg, and then taper down 5 mg every month which is roughly about 10 percent of the dose, I have calculated. I just hope this process goes a lot smoother than it did before because when I first tried my psychiatrists way it was absolutely horrible.
  18. Hi, I'm writing as the mother of a 21 year old son who was medicated throughout his childhood (age 6-18) for what his doctor described as the most severe case of OCD he had ever seen in a child that age. His life has always been difficult; before he was put on medication, his OCD was so severe he could barely leave the house, eat a meal, or even get dressed without major compulsions taking over. It was heartbreaking to watch, and I have to admit the medication did successfully manage his compulsions for many years. Unfortunately, he really started to degenerate by the age of 17, and the meltdowns he dealt with all his life became more frequent and more severe. The doctor told us the meltdowns were a symptom of OCD, and began to experiment with atypical antipsychotics. We finally took him to an intensive adolescent OCD clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where they put him on Geodon. It nearly killed him. Now he has been off of all medications for over 2 1/2 years, but of course we knew nothing and he was tapered off everything way too fast. He has been in withdrawal from one medication or another for over 3 years, and is quite disabled. His worst symptoms are inability to concentrate, depression, emotional numbness, sensory hypersensitivity, facial parasthesia, inability to deal with daily stressors, craffing (crying and laughing at the same time) and PGAD. The good news is that he no longer experiences OCD. About 3 years ago (before coming of Prozac), we eliminated gluten, dairy and corn from his diet, and within 10 days he started to sleep through the night for the first time in his life, have daily bowel movements, and a variety of tics he'd had for years vanished. He continued to have meltdowns and panic attacks until this last September when we went on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Now he's had only 2 small panic attacks in the past 8 months While my son really does not want to focus his own attention on his situation by reading posts on this website, I've been lurking here for quite a while now and have found a lot of guidance and support. I realize that we made many mistakes along the way, and I'm doing the best I can to not live in constant guilt. I would love to hear from others who have been medicated through childhood and were able to recover. I really need some hope.
  19. I have taken Lexapro generic (Zytomil 5mg) then quit cold turkey for fear of cognitive impairment. Mild withdrawal symptoms (Paraesthesia in legs and brain zaps). Then went on 5-HTP which caused depression because of lowered dopamine. Then switched to Curcumin which is the best I've ever taken but quit after a month due to no libido whatsoever. Then went back on 5mg Zytomil and felt good but OCD and social annxiety got worse so was switched to Prozac by Psychiatrist 20mg. Felt really strange and massive social anxiety with insomnia. Switched to 10mg Lexamil and then back on Curcumin at the same time. Started taking Ginkgo Biloba too but stopped due to GABA antagonism. Stopped Lexamil 10mg and have been on Prozac 10mg with 500mg Curcumin and Himalaya Mentat. Feeling better than I hve ever felt in my life. Quit Lexamil 2 weeks prior to now as I was slowly cutting it down and am now getting brain zaps and very slight lack of energy but in a very pleasurable way. The brain zaps actually feel amazing. I am more motivated than I have ever been, less depression than I have ever had, Less OCD and anxiety than I have ever had, sleep perfectly, no fatigue. Could be because of recent augmentation of a meditation schedule. What do you guys think? I was worried about Prozac due to the fact that it inhibits Nicotinic receptors alpha4 Beta2, Alpha1 Beta1 and Alpha1BetaYGammadelta and Alpha3 Beta 2. Apparantly blocking these isn't associated with cognitive impairment but I was worried. I just want to feel relaxed, happy, alert, in-control, sociable, humerous and able to concentrate and memorise due to the fact that I have matric coming up. Any thoughts? I just want to be able to have a really good memory too in order to aid me in studying and life is there any way to do that? Interesting side note by the way, I can remember hundreds of numbers like PI to 150 decimal places etc etc but my verbal memory is not too good?
  20. Hi Ginger, I was very encouraged by your experience with paxil recovery I saw on one of the threads. In January of this year I quit paxil cold turkey. I had been taking it for 24 months, the majority of it at 60 mg. I went through about a good two months of physical withdrawal symptoms. I thought I was in the clear after this but then I was hit by an episode of acute psychosis where I felt I was being stalked by someone. This went away and moved onto a fear of sollipsism "That the world is not real". I was originally taking the paxil for OCD. Now I worry that I have somehow permanently done something to my brain by going cold turkey. or that I have already lost my mind. Can you give me a little bit more detail about your experience or some advice to help me. I had to reinstate zoloft and also take ativan. Ginger's topic: Ginger: how I got here
  21. At 21 I started taking 10mg paroxetine for 8 months to combat depression, then failed trying to quit it for 4 months, mostly due to intense withdrawal symptoms, only to succeed by taking citalopram to taper it with. After that, I felt decent for 6 weeks, but, as I was making a sandwich, I suddenly endured something it would take me weeks to identify: a panic attack. In a span of minutes, I went from a sound mind to suffering from OCD, GAD and depersonalization/derealization disorder, which took me 4-5 months to identify and link back to the paroxetine use. In those months prior to obtaining that knowledge, I was obsessed with the idea I would go crazy, lose my mind and ruin the life of my family by burdening them with my problems. Every day for months on end I would scrounge through dozens of forum posts and studies relating to developing psychosis, even after my mental health professional basically mocked the idea and wanted to get rid of me as a client, thinking I was a massive hypochondriac. Another, more experienced mental health professional is now treating me for said anxiety disorders and just being taken seriously is a massive relief. My biggest worry right now is having done permanent or long-term damage to my brain, particularly relating to memory, concentration and being able to not feel like I'm playing tennis while the sun blinds me all the freaking time. I don't think the paroxetine even helped to ammeliorate my depression beyond a placebo effect. As is, I have pretty much lost the past 1,5 years of my life to depression and now anxiety disorders. I just want to be who I once was again and get on with my life. Why is this **** still the no. 1 prescribed anti-depressant in The Netherlands? Why did I comply with my mental health professional in continuing taking the medication for so long, despite me not feeling so much better on it? The thing I consider doing is taking citalopram for a couple days and see if that helps, though this time I want to be sure this doesn't expose me to new risks or puts me at the beginning of recovery from the anxiety disorders again. I've gradually improved (no longer am in a derealized state or suffer continuous inner turmoil), but, as is, it would probably take another year to attain 90% recovery. Maybe 3-5mg citalopram for 3-5 days will speed that up?
  22. Butler Hospital, in association with Brown University in Providence, RI are doing research on a 20 week taper comparing two different taper methods. Is this unusual? Considering the paucity of information from pharma and/or scientific research on tapering I was astonished to see this being done. I've put in a call. The research head is on vacation for week, so I'll need to wait to hear back. I probably won't be eligible as my anxiety is PTSD based, not PD, SAD or GAD! TAPS Tapering Anxiety Pharmacotherapy Support Study TOPS Tapering OCD Pharmacotherapy Support Study
  23. Hi Everyone! Thank you for welcoming me into this group, it means alot to me. I am a 25 year old female and need help in the worst way. I had been on SSRI's for almost 5 years straight and have been off for almost 5 months now (please see my signature for details). Main reasons I went off were I constantly felt like I was in a dream, couldn't feel love for my husband, and extreme weight gain (80 lbs since I started). I am lost now, a lost soul. I have no idea who I am and if I'm even capable of living in this world without the buffer of medication. I am scared constantly and have a feeling of impending doom like this is only going to get worse for me. Unfortunately I am very intelligent and am self assessing and ruminating 24/7. My mind HAS to be doing something and no matter how hard I try to divert my attention, whether it be through cleaning, reading, working, etc. the thoughts are always there. Even if my mind gives me a break, my physical symtoms are so uncomfortable that they are a steady reminder of what I'm going through. This is my entire life. My anxiety and this withdrawal is it for me. It is the last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night and my first thought in the morning. I do the bare minimum to satisfy my husband and other than that I am nothing and nobody. My identity has been lost. I have no hobbies, very few friends, and I don't even have a job now. My current symptoms are: Lightheadedness, blurred vision, shortness of breath, derealization, disequilibrium, extreme fatigue, NO MOTIVATION WHATSOEVER, brain fog, plugged ears, full head, internal shaking and hand tremors, depression, anxiety, and the odd panic attack. I'm also experiencing neuro-emotion in the form of EXTREME irritibility which scares the heck out of me and further exacerbates my harm ocd. It is like a black cloud has decended over me and all I can focus on is the negative. Am I just experiencing all of this because my brain is struggling to balance and absorb serotonin again? Will I ever feel normal, content, and happiness? I am convinced that there is something wrong with me medically to be causing all of this and had low ferritin (22) and low B-12 (336) the last time I had blood taken (2 weeks ago). Currently taking 500mg Vitamin C a day and 150mg Magnesium Citrate. Any advice is extremely appreciated. Thank you <3
  24. OKAY. Where to begin. I had post partum depression after my baby girl was born. I remember being in the kitchen and she was crying (she cried A LOT due to colic and I was stressed) and up popped an intrusive thought. Well this ont op of my anxiety and all was NOT a good combination. It scared me so bad and I literally got hysterical and called my mom and had to her come to my house. Later I went to my OB-GYN and she literally told me it was PMS and it was OK. So I went to get another opinion. By the time I had seen the second doctor, I was so anxious and upset that I was literrally talking in circles and talkign very fast. (Which by the way I did this all my life- I think I just let this doc sway me) So she says i'm 'Bi-Polar' and sends me home with Seroquel. I remember taking it and being so out of it that I literally slept for 3 days straight. I woke up long enough to try to drink something and use the bathroom. It knocked me on my butt. I woke up on the 3rd day and felt horrible. I remember that my heart was racing and yet I was sleeping, so I called the 'doc' and she said that I was just dehydrated and to drink a huge glass of water and lie back down. I did this and after about an hour, I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. My mom said she would go with me to the doctors office so I could speak with her. I drove (YES OMG! WHAT WAS I THINKING!!) to my doctors office with my mom and 2 kids and waited in the office. After 5 minutes, I walked up to the window and told the nurse I wasn't feeling well and when could I be seen, she said I was a walk-in and it would be a bit. Well I was lsitening to my body and decided to walk down to the Emergency Room. {it was attached to the same building} When I got into the ER, I said that I just wanted someone to check my heart rate because I felt funny. They took me back and checked it and my heart rate was 245! They immediately rushed me back, called code blue, and started to hook me up to all sorts of machines. They said that I was about to crash and asked me tons of questions. They had to stop and restart my heart 3 times. Long story short, I wasnt bi-polar and seroquel almost killed me! I actually had to have heart surgery because of that medicine. Once I recovered, I was still have heart problems and anxiety due to this. So I went to another doctor and they placed me on Lexapro 10 mg. I am super sensitive to medication and i noticed a change in a week. I felt better, Like, a lot better. I had tried a couple of other pills, buspar, effexor, trazadone, and wellbutrin. None of those worked. So once the Lex started working, I felt a bit of relief. I had the usual side effects when I first started, but those subsided after about 2 weeks. Well things were getting better, life was going on, and I wasnt so anxious and the thoughts were gone. Fast forward 2.5 years. I started to feel like I was in a fog and like I couldn't quite enjoy things as much as I wanted to. I was numb to feelings and numb to other peoples feelings around me, especially my husband. He up and left me one day and I was blind-sided. Went to the doctor because I was crying all the time and losing weight and he upped my dosage to 20 mg. After that I felt amazing agian. I could drive 2.5 hours away to pick up my kids from my husbands house and I was ok about being alone at night, I even let my mom move out without freaking out. LOL. Then my husband decided to come home after a year and a half. {During this time I had tried to come off of meds again but I quit cold turkey and things were great until about 3.5 months in, then I had THE WORST panic attack ever and thougth I was going to kill myself, so I got back on the meds} Things were not getting better and I felt like I was getting worse. My brain was in a fog, I was losing my short term memory, I would get in my car and drive to work or to take my kids to school and couldnt remember how I got there, I couldn't cry, I had gained 30 pounds, my sex drive was GONE, and my liver was shot. I knew I had to do something and I had to do it the right way. I found this forum and started reading about a slow taper. I went to see a psychiatrist and he agreed that he didnt think I needed the medicationa nymore and we made a game plan to ween me off. Unfortunately, he passed away 2 weeks later. So I went to see his replacement and he didn't listen to a word I said. In fact, I think he was upset that I kept bringing up the late doctor and his plans that he just stopped me and looked at me and said, "we can get you to 5mg, but that is it. You will be on these meds for the rest of your life". I looked at him and said that is unacceptable and walked out. So I headed home crying and upset and decided that I was going to go through with my plan. I slowly weened myself over the next year and a half down to 5 mg. I didnt really notice any side effects when I dosed down. I started seeing a personal trainer and started eating only raw foods and felt great. However, I saw my trainer for 3 months straight and literally didnt lose an ounce! Not 1. So he said it was my meds, and I knew this, but still. So i ran home and said bumo this and went down to 2.5 mg for a week and that was it. Now, I did have the horrible physical withdrawals and all. The brain zaps, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, mood swings, anxiety, loss of concentration, forgettfulness, feeling like my brain was swishing around my head, and just overall crappy feeling. The first month I was very anxious. Like I couldn't sit still anxious, yet I couldnt focus enough to do simple things like house work and laundry. I didn't want to cook, clean, nothing. I listened to music and stayed outside a lot. I read outside and just relaxed in the sun. It was actually nice. But I had NO appetite. It affected my hypoglyemia so bad and that was making my anxiety worse. But at the time I didn't know this. I find it VERY helpful to keep a journal. Even when youa re feeling good. By month 2, I noticed an increase in OCD obsessive intrusive thoughts and less anxiety. I still had anxiety, but I wasn't go go go constantly. I started noticing crying spells and anger, and I felt like my emotions were all over the place. I lost my job due to no work and foudn myself home alone during the days, which unnerved me again. I am classic anxiety- hate to be alone/bored. But I stated to see a therapist and continued seeing my naturopath. She tried 5htp, Min Tran, drops, Bach Flowers, and inositol with me. Due to my sensitivity, even the all natural supplements made it WORSE. I couldn't sleep and when I did I would wake having night panic attacks. The anxiety of being home alone with my kids at night while my hubby was out of town scared me so bad that I would wake from my sleep with night time panic attacks and the intrusive thoughts that would scare me so bad. I would call my mom in the night and pace up and down the house to calm down. Month 3 seemed to get better and then worse. One moment i would be good and the next very bad. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. I noticed I was seeing things, not like people or anyting, just like I swore I saw something move or my cat or somehting and nothing was there. That freaked me out. Only happens every now and then now. And I have had such bad bausea that its hard to eat, i have zero appetite, have lost 25 pounds so far, I still work out, get anxious to be alone, insomnia, increased ocd intrusive thoughts, depersonalization, loss of concentration, constant need to be watching or listening to something {talk radio-movies-shows-books}, agitation, agoraphobia, crying spells, depressive mood, dry mouth, weird achy feet, stomach issues, heart palpitations, inner trembling (like im cold and cant get warm-but on the inside), feelings of hopelessness, some fears of hurting myself, mood swings, nightmares, vivid dreams, panic attacks, sweating, repetitive thoughts, and weepiness. I STILL struggle with these. Still. It has been 14 weeks now since I have been Lex free and I actually am still learning to this day. I thought that I was getting worse and that I needed to get on meds again and almost gave in yesterday. But I read on here and realized that what I have been feeling is still W/D. I just came back from Texas and the night before I had to get on a plane (which I usually have no problem doing) I freaked out. Freaked! I had my neighbor up til 2 am trying to calm me down. I wasn't even scared about it crashing or anything, I just was afraid of having an atack on the plane. It was bad. But that is the agoraphobia that I didn't realize I had. I am so sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give history and my back story to what has led me here. My husband said that our marriage has been the best it has been for years since I got off of my meds. I don;t want you to think it is all bad. Its not. I have more moments of clarity and more 'light at the end of the tunnel' moments more and more every day. I even left therapy one day and called my mom crying telling her that FOR ONCE I feel normal and feel like htings are getting better. But of course, only time can tell and heal. I am able to have fun with my kids more, I hear them more and focus on them. I can talk to my husband without ending up in an argument. He has been more supportive then I had ever thought he would. I do have an appointment to meet with a new psychiatrist, and will go over with her everything that has happened. I DO NOT want to be on meds. I have also met a new therapist and she said that she "bleeds CBT" and that she feels I can kick this without meds! So I am hopeful. The therapist and the doc are in the same office, so I am confident that they will work together to keep me on my path that I chose. I just wanted to let someone know that they aren't going crazy and that there are others out here going through the same. I would love to hear from someone who has been lex free and in a good state. But funny enough, I am also a good listener and can help others with their problems better than my own! LOL Again, I am sorry this is so long. Thank you for taking the hour to read it. hahaha. Oh and I know mine is W/D still because I just say, if I were not alone or if my husband/mom/friends were around would I still be thinking these things. NO I wouldn't. So I know it is just the W/D still. Keep your head up! Please! It does get better. I am not there yet, but I am getting there one day at a time!
  25. I am a 36 year old male. I have had OCD, Depression and Anxiety as far back as I can remember. I have done everything that I can to treat it - multiple medications, multiple therapists and a slew of naturopathic treatments Is there any hope for me? I remember being very young and telling people that I was depressed and they would tell me that I didn’t know what that word meant….but I did. As I got older and more sophisticated, I realized that I had OCD. As an aside, both of my parents had issues. My Mom has OCD to an extent and is very anxious. My Dad has mental health issues too. IDK what….definitely depression. My fraternal twin had bad OCD but it isn’t as bad as mine. He has never treated it. About ten years ago I decided to do something about it. I started to see a therapist who obviously suggested medication. Years later I relented. It was becoming so difficult to manage. I started on Zoloft. I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, but I felt better almost immediately. The next 4 or 5 years I went up and down on doses and meds to try to get something to work. I had tons of side effects and didn’t feel much better. I had awful fatigue. I tried more meds and doctors and therapists. Over the years I was on Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Luvox, amphetamine salts, Prozac, Lamictal, Risperidone, Xanax, Adderall and Ativan. I was diagnosed (by diff docs) as OCD, ADHD, BIPOLAR2, DYSTHMIA AND GAD My Father, Uncle and a friend died within 6 months of each other. I didn’t cry. I just felt numb (meds?) I started to see a NP who helped a friend of mine. She was very nice. She put me on Prozac. When I didn’t feel better, she had me talk to her mentor, a Psychiatrist. He told me that drugs I did as a teenager (pot, etc) screwed up my brain and that I needed to take large doses of Prozac. That was my only hope. I am sure the drugs didn’t help, but I had had this stuff prior to drug use. After that the NP had me on Prozac, Risperidal, Lamictal, Ritalin, Xanax at the same time. I was exhausted. She suggested Provigil. I knew that something wasn’t right. I was so tired that I was falling asleep at stop lights. It was a never ending parade of meds. “Tired? Take this! Can’t sleep? Take this!” At this point, my EXTREME FATIGUE was ruining my life. When I was on 5 things at once with no relief in sight, I told her that I wanted off. I had this feeling that nobody in the mental health field knew what they were doing. Under her supervision I tapered down over a couple/few weeks. I did “ok” that year. The fatigue was gone. About 9 months later I crashed. I had major life stuff going on, but I had panic attacks and crying fits for the first time in my anxious life. This was very confusing as I hadn’t cried in 20 years – even when my Dad died. I now think that this might have been protracted withdrawal. I had no clue at the time. After being on meds and being so fatigued, I started to see a ton of docs and developed health anxiety. On the good side, I radically overhauled my diet. I had tons of very expensive and elaborate bloodwork done. Thousands of dollars worth that takes up a whole binder. I was having such a hard time that my therapist (not a fan of meds) suggested seeing a local psychiatrist. What was appealing about this guy was that he did genetic testing, serum testing, toxicology testing, transcranial magnetic stimulation and biofeedback. He wanted me to take Deplin and Pristiq. I opted not to take the Pristiq, but to take the Deplin. My decisions were based on discovering that people had a hard time coming off Pristiq. I also had high norepinephrine and wasn’t sure that was the best med. I opted to just take the Deplin. I then discovered that I was MTHFR a1298C and stopped taking the Deplin because it was a huge dose and I wasn’t taking B12. Methyaltion is SO complicated. I then tried magnesium, cod liver oil, rhodiola, holy basil, gaba, passion flower and a ton of other natural treatments. I haven’t had success. I am so lost. I have spent so much time and money on all of this. I feel that no one has any answers. Mediation doesn’t work (too anxious to do it). Therapy doesn’t work. Is this withdrawal? Should I be on meds? Is naturopathy bs? HELP!!!!!
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