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Found 16 results

  1. Has anyone tried a Stellate Ganglion Block (i.e. needle in neck) to alleviate severe anxiety/panic in protracted WD? I read a story on Beyond Meds that mentioned relief but for only 2 days, so it doesn’t sound like a viable option. I know there has been limited success with soldiers experiencing PTSD. Thoughts?
  2. Hello, I have had OCD and GAD since childhood and panic disorder since I was 30 years old. I am 48, and this summer completed a taper from Luvox. I plan to taper off other meds under doctor supervision but am currently considering when to schedule tapers since teaching and tapering may not mix. The Luvox taper was diifcult indeed but was not the beast it might have been had I moved too quickly. I have experienced a long road of meds, cessation of meds, and new meds followed by the old meds, and I have been in periodic therapy for many years. I am currently working with self-guided CBT and mindfulness. Several of the OCD symptoms have intensified, so I am willing to do the work. I am literally terrified of stoping the Xanax; my panic attacks were debilitating and drove me to telecommute for years. However, I want to leave anything close to a benzo behind me. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and for this forum.
  3. Hi everyone. I've been dealing with severe derealization, panic, insomnia, anxiety, depression, dizziness, vertigo, migraines, agitation, irritably etc. for 3 years now. I'm scared out of my mind. I am on geodon 20 mg 2x a day zoloft (I'm weening. Just went from 25 mg to 12.5 mg) remeon 7.5 mg 2x a day scheduled Ativan (5 mg total per day) i am at at the end of my rope. I believe be chronic insomnia is at the heart of the way I feel. I have recently come to the realization that the derealization could be coming from pharmaceuticals. In an attempt to feel better, I have started weening off Zoloft- under doc approval (had to start somewhere and this medication has never helped me). I have been on Zoloft for 13 years, since the birth of my son when I developed post pardum depression. Is it it possible that going off the Zoloft will help? Or is the derealization likely to get worse? I'm still on 12.5 mg. This is my 2nd day on 12.5 from 25 mg. I believe I went from 50 mg to 37.5 in mid July. Then only went from 37.5 to 25 mg a week ago. And started 12.5 yesterday. Is this too quick? Or should I stay on 12.5 for a couple weeks and see how I do? Sounds like medication withdrawal can certainly cause DP/DR, but is it possible that coming off of them can actually help? Will things ever get bettter? Any adcice woukd be greatly appreciated.
  4. This has been going on for awhile now. I still cannot quite figure out why this would be an issue in the first place. Since my unsuccessful withdrawal began I have been, like everyone else on here, hypersensitive to most foods and supplements. In recent years the intensity of the reactions has been dulled down slightly...yet they are ever present, persistent, and bothersome. One thing that I have noticed is that I consistently react to vitamin c supplementation. This is rather odd to me, as I have read that a stressed body requires more than the recommended daily dose. I have tried different forms of the stuff, slow release tablets to standard forms...never overdoing it. Yet each and every time I notice a huge difference in my ability to cope with stress (stress for me can be anything from a drive into town to interactions with other human beings...doesn't take much to trigger me, honestly ). I have meltdowns out of nowhere and they are much more intense than on the days where I simply refrain from taking the stuff. I know that the solution appears to be to simply STOP, but still I would like to know why this is occurring in the first place. Why is my body doing this??
  5. my husband was diagnosed about 18 months ago with MDD and GAD, and has been taking zyprexa (evil, evil drug), ativan, paxil, mirtazapine and gabapentin at various dosages. as i learned more about these (he is too scared to do the research himself and refuses to look up anything on the web), it seemed that we should start with getting him off the zyprexa (originally 15 mg and then down to 2.5mg over the 18 month period.) but the movement from 2.5mg to 0, which has been in the last 2 weeks or so, has been extremely difficult and his doc is resistant to the idea of microtapering because "it doesn't work." the doc is an idiot and we must find a better provider asap who will write a microtapering Rx. he continues to take the ativan (.5mg at night, sometimes during the day when he feels like he's "jumping out of my skin.") he's taking 30mg of mirtazapine. the stupid doc wants to increase this to 45mg, because more is better. last nov., the same stupid doc thought that it would be good to increase the paxil from 20mg to 30mg. that little experiment resulted in suicidal ideation, return to the ER and 5 days in the locked-down unit. he's taking about 1200 mg/day of gabapentin, which stupid doc says is "benign" but it strikes me that NONE of these poisons are benign enough to stay on them for one more nanosecond than is necessary. i'm also interested in your point of view on TMS. we have a facility nearby, it's covered by our insurance, and they claim they can deliver good results for folks with depression/anxiety issues. we're getting ready to try this (i hope) before changing up any of the other meds so we'll know if in fact any improvement comes actually from the TMS vs. other change. i should point out that i have been married to this man for 15 years, and have known him for nearly 20. he was exceptionally normal for 18.5 of these years. all of this pile of crazy started following a kidney transplant in the summer of 2012. he had had an earlier kidney transplant in 1986, which lasted 25 years, so we were optimistic abt this one. in all of those 25 years, he had no psych issues. initially he was fine following the recent transplant, but about 6 months later, everything went to hell in a handbasket, and nobody can tell us why. all i can tell you is that my normally calm, collected, unflappable hubby has become agitated, anxious beyond belief, scared, irritable, timid, hysterical and a whole bunch of other not-normal behavior SINCE HE STARTED TAKING THE MEDS. idiot doctor says the symptoms now are the underlying disease. but since hubby didn't have this disease before, doesn't it seem that the meds are in fact what's making him crazy? does anyone have any suggestions on how to manage the zyprexa WD symptoms? (especially the anxiety, fear/dread, "pit in stomach" feeling, racing thoughts?)
  6. Hello all, I am new here and so glad I found this site in my research. I have been on Paxil 20 mg since college about 18 years ago when I was seeing the school psych for mild depression due to college and my young marriage breaking up. Sometimes I am so mad at the Dr. who put me on this stuff I just want to scream. I have spent many years with many different doctors trying their recommendations for getting off Paxil. They have included everything from cold turkey, to large drops, to alternating dosages on different days. All Epic Fails! I finally have a family physician who not only understands but has had to wean off an anti-depressant before herself. Now I have been using the liquid form for about three to four months and it was going very well. I have been dropping 2 mg from 20 mg about every two weeks. The first week I have some symptoms like head fog, dizzy, anger,etc. Then it seems to level out and the second week I feel great. I thought after many failed attempts of weaning off I was actually getting somewhere. Currently I am down to half of my original dose to 10 mg for the last two weeks and this weekend, BAM out of no where, I had my first ever panic attack. The last couple of days have been so out of whack with panic and fear and I really don't know what to do or why this is happening now after doing so well. Reading posts here I realize maybe I was going to fast, but I was having success and now I am ready to go back up because I am so scared. Any advice or experiences would be welcome! I just don't know what to do.
  7. 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.
  8. Can anyone share if while coming down off of Effexor XR and bridging and going to Prozac they had horrible panic and anxiety symptoms with numbness, tingling and weakness? I feel like I'm coming out of my skin and have a terrible dread, panic waking up. My feet feel cold at night, then on fire in the morning. I can't get any relief. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  9. I am making a final decision about getting off antidepressants/stimulants for good. Please help me decide. I am in great need of encouragement and wisdom. It has been about 2 years since I started my journey. But some history: In college (2005) I was started on 20mg Adderall XR to help with ADHD which was said to be causing a lot of anxiety and perhaps depression. Adderall induced depression in me after my dose would wear off, so the doctor prescribed Lexapro 20mg. I felt probably the best I've ever felt in my life. However, I still wanted see who I was without the meds. I wanted to re-connect with parts of me that felt lost. I also never wanted to take brain medications for life. So from 2005 to 2014, I took the drugs and tried maybe 3 different times to get off; never really tapering much like I should have. It never worked and I always ended up back on them, happy, and enthusiastic about life again. I decided to make my final, serious effort to get off the meds in 2014. Happily married, with a good career and social support at this point (and still). I tapered off Adderall XR over the course of at least 4 or 5 months. The primary care doc warned me to get totally off the Adderall first, then deal with the Lexapro. Big mistake. After I was done with the Adderall and just on Lexapro, I was depressed, lethargic, weepy. This went on and got worse, so the Lexapro was replaced with wellbutrin, and I felt better. Over the next year though, I started getting bad anxiety, and had trouble sleeping. 25mg of Zoloft was added in Nov or Dec of 2015, and I got a lot better. Then I began my taper... but not very responsibly, again. Will I ever learn?! Split the Zoloft in half for a few weeks, then stopped it. Waited awhile and the anxiety returned, as well as the sleep problems. Psychiatrist and I agreed that the Wellbutrin must've been exacerbating my anxiety, so suggested I stop it cold turkey. I resisted a little bit, but not enough; I stopped pretty much cold turkey. That was 3 months ago, and here I am, very shaken and having had major issues with anxiety, insomnia, fear, worry, and other issues including the 2nd panic attack I've had in my life. I've worked hard on mindfulness practices over this time. However, my wife and I have agreed that it's time for me to get help again. I started Buspar 2 weeks ago and don't like the side effects. I was given 5mg Adderall XR to try and help as needed. I am planning to get back on meds now... but I don't know which ones because I don't know if I should resign to taking them for the rest of my life or try to taper again. Tapering on Adderall XR and Lexapro will be harder than Wellbutrin and Zoloft was. So I've got a couple options as I see it: 1. Bite the bullet, swallow my pride, and take Adderall and an SSRI for life. Live long and enjoy life; it's too short to keep causing myself this much pain. I truly enjoyed how I felt on Adderall and Lexapro, despite my adamant desire to stay off of them. 2. Own my setbacks and move forward. Take the Wellbutrin and Zoloft again and after 6 months to a year, conduct a true, gradual 10% taper off of each one. If it takes years to be med-free, so be it. Either way, I NEED to get better ASAP; my job feels like it's falling apart, and my wife and son need a capable man in their lives to hold onto. I need myself back. So either way, I plan on getting back on medication(s) (unless you guys can somehow convince me that staying off and risking my work and family life is better). What do you guys think? I've frequently written in my journals that all I want in the whole world is to just be free of these medications. But I could also see myself being happy and feeling great the rest of my life if I just give in and take the combination I used to THRIVE on; Adderall and Lexapro (or another SSRI). And what about the tapering? If I get back on the Wellbutrin (150mg XL) and Zoloft (25mg), wait until I've had some time to recover and enjoy my life and family again (at least 6 months), and then begin with a true, gradual, 10% taper off both medications, do you think I'll still have to deal with crippling anxiety, fear, dread, and insomnia that has plagued my family and I over the past few months? Or do you think that a 10% taper over a series of years will allow me to reach my goal and be medication free, while still being able to enjoy my family and be a good father... I mean, would the taper make my problems significantly easier to cope with? And once I'm fully off the medications, would I still have to deal with the crippling protracted withdrawal? I keep thinking I might still be dealing with increased anxiety from such a long time taking Lexapro. I was never in my life this anxious or stressed by such little things (big things, yes, but not these kinds of things). I ruminate and obsess so much, it kills me. The Adderall helps, but I can't keep taking that if my plan is to get off meds. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. I am open to staying on medication for life if need ends up being. But I'm not in the best state of mind and I've constantly gone back and forth between the two options. Advice will be so much appreciated, encouragement as well. Thank you guys so much for the excellent website you've created.
  10. Hi guys. I've just started tapering off Efexor XR 75mg tablets once a day. I've been reducing the beads by 1 every two days. For e.g. I take out one tablet today, one tomorrow, then two beads on the third day, two on the fourth, three on the fifth, etc. I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms of sore eyes, (I do wear glasses), become very tired and have to take a nap half way through my day, brain fog, flu like symptoms such as slight runny nose, cough. I was wondering, and read somewhere previously that there are other things to take while on the taper to help. I was wondering if anyone knows other things to help such as fish oil tablets. I'm a male, 40 years of age, and I am getting off this horrible drug because I want my life back. Efexor has made me like a zombie for a while now, I am tired all the time, have low motivation and it is terrible for me, because I am a singer/songwriter musician, and I haven't worked for months as this drug has just controlled my life, and I want to get off it. I originally had to get back on it as I was having regular panic attacks. The Efexor has kept the panic attacks away, but the cons far outweigh the pros for mine. I know some doctors have even tried to have this drug taken off the register. Just a horrible drug!
  11. 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
  12. Awhile back JanCarol asked me what I was going to do if tapering lithium didn't work. It hasn't been disastrous, but I am really stuck. I am thinking about going to Mensah Medical in the Chicago area. Has anyone related to them? The two doctors there were part of the Pheiffer Institute which closed. Dr. Walsh was head of the Institute and now heads the Walsh Institute, which does research into the biochemical basis of mental illness (this whole post may need to be deleted) and educates physicians on nutrient therapies. The Mensah Medical docs are the clinical people. The website mensahmedical.com has a resources page, if you can get it to come up with lots of resources, they are really interesting. Sadly, I am not nearly smart enough to know if the theories are true. My sister has been going to a very expensive integrative doc for about four years. I think he has been doing these concepts (she isn't quite as fascinated as me, lol). Anyway, he pronounced her ready to go off Prozac after seventeen years of therapy with a two-week taper...and so far she is fine. I'm not jealous at all .
  13. 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.
  14. Hi, Im Lauren, I've been on lamictal 150mg and celexa 10mg for about 2-3 years, originally for major depression with some "bipolar II qualities" ie hypomania, panic attacks. For the last 6-9 months I havent been taking them every day, more like every other to 3rd day sometimes as long as every 4th day. I didn't notice any ill effects and thought this was maybe a good way to limit my dependence if/when I ever wanted off. In retrospect I can see some increasing anxiety (esp rebound anxiety from other meds) over the last year but I chalked that up to the other meds. Then I got the bright idea to come off both of them cold turkey, thinking because I wasn't taking them every day it would probably be ok and if I started feeling sh*tty I'd get back on. I was "fine" for over 2 weeks...didnt notice the increaseing but subclinical anxiety over the last week, or didn't chalk it up to that, until 3 days ago. If I had trouble with it I'd take a little clonidine blocker or gabapentin, because I thought it was a side effect of mild opioid withdrawal (one of my opiate meds is causing more trouble than its worth so Ive been limiting its use off and on) and those meds help. Then things got a LOT worse; last night I HAD to take a benzo to make it through school, and today I woke up in full panic/terror, the kind where I feel like if I had to feel this way indefinitely I would surely kill myself. (PS I do know a lot about benzo and opiate withdrawal, and Im terrified of becoming dependent on benzos so every time I have to use more than one in a week period I feel anxious about that) In retrospect I feel SO stupid after reading this site, I should have known better, and with all of the complicated things I had going on that I thought I was doing to better my health when really it was just destabilizing my nervous system (esp GABA/glutamate which all the drugs Ive mentioned have some effect, even indirectly like opiates). I am still in the throes of panic (klonopin and redosing helped but still unstable feeling) and so Im sure my thinking is extra irrational and catastrophic right now, but Im really scared Ive been messing around too much here and didnt realize it and that Im going to have a lot of trouble restabilizing, or maybe be one of those people who can't restabilize at all. Does the fact that the klonopin worked AT ALL (and I dont know really how much of my feeling better was that vs reinstating the lamictal and celexa) mean that my system is still ok, able to respond well to these meds, and therefore I can restabilize without a lot of suffering? Should I continue to reinstate both meds at once? At what dose? ANy other tips for getting restabilized as quickly and painlessly as possible? How long should I stay on again before trying a MUCH SLOWER more mindful taper? I now know not to do alternate dosing, btw. Please pray for me that I didnt **** things up badly here and can get back to where I was, soon.
  15. Hi, I hope to be a regular contributor. Here is a bit of background: Throughout high school I was mildly depressed and anxious, which turned into a pretty horrible social anxiety and moderate depression in first year of university. Eventually I left school and was pretty depressed for eight months. I started Paxil when I was nearly 20 in 11/06 and immediately my anxiety and depression seemed to vanish. I returned to school and withdrew my Paxil six months later with no noticeable withdrawal. Two and a half years later when I was 22 I began experiencing some horrible anxiety triggering some gastro issues. I took one dose of Paxil and woke up that night with some sort of terrible panic attack. I ceased taking the Paxil but the panic attacks (flu-like symptoms) continued and lasted hours at a time. I feared that I was dying. Eventually I was hospitalized and put on Cipralex and Olanzapine. My anxiety eventually halted and the Cipralex gave me more energy and motivation than I typically have. Eventually I was labelled bipolar ii because of the initial but short lasting activating effects that some antidepressants have in me. The Cipralex pooped out in three weeks and I was polydrugged for the next four years, including two more hospitalizations in that first year for depression. Eventually my mood and anxiety stabilized for two years on Cymbalta, lithium, and Alertec; however, the fatigue was unbearable. In 08/13 I came off Cymbalta and my mood started to deteriorate (I probably experienced about a month of withdrawal syndrome including insomnia, irritability, brain zaps, and flu-like symptoms). After more polydrugging, I decided that the drugs may be making things worse. At nearly age 27, I came off of Pristiq and lithium. Pristiq brought on a similar syndrome as Cymbalta. I came off of both antidepressants too quickly, however, usually in a matter of a month. I also came off of lithium way too quickly, in about six weeks. As I was coming off lithium I began to feel normal again for the first time in four and a half years. About three weeks after my last lithium dose (02/14) I woke up vomiting. I then had severe anxiety for a couple of days but it lifted in a week. It was replaced by a mild or moderate depression that was, for the most part, quite manageable. I was actually hopeful, had normal energy for the first time in years, and beginning meditation and psychotherapy and thought I might recover. Unfortunately, some bad life events happened: there was conflict in the house that I live in and I ended up living on my own for a while (not a good thing). Worse, however, is that I injured by back. It remains injured and I am now getting some tests done to try and figure out what is wrong with it. I can't walk more than five minutes without it getting quite achey and knotty. Eventually this bodily stress had me thinking thoughts that I was dying again and that my back will never heal. This lead to me to being in a constant state of panic. I was losing lots of weight and my body had been in panic mode for nearly a week. I was terrified. I went to a community crisis centre who I thought might help me without psych drugs -- but they basically told me to go get drugs. I ended up hospitalized (06/14) and was immediately put on mirtazapine and then Lyrica. A few days later the anxiety left and I entered the most severe depression of my life: it was incredibly painful, I could barely move, my voice had no emotion, and I was asking my parents to kill me. The depression would occasionally lift at nighttime and I would be normal again. The depression lifted one morning and was replaced by a depressive/anxious hellish state that did not lift in the evening. Defeated, uncertain how the pain would go away, and pressured by my nurses and my psychiatrist, I upped everything and began lithium again albeit at a lower dose: mirtazapine 30mg, Lyrica 100mg, lithium 600mg. I was discharged from the hospital last week. I feel incredibly discouraged. Before I found this site (and the 10% rule) I tapered 25mg off of Lyrica so that now the Lyrica fog is much more bearable during the day. My biggest questions at this point are: after tapering off of drugs or during the taper for some people, how does one deal with severe panic anxiety or with severe, profoundly painful depression? I am beginning to browse these forums looking for these answers. I fear that there may not be answers and that people just ride through it which takes a lot of courage. I tried to ride out depressions when I was younger but they it went on for over a year and a half before I took Paxil. It is especially challenging as I live in Toronto and I cannot find much support here for tapering off of psych drugs or for dealing with a crisis that comes during or post taper. I am in the process of finding a new psychiatrist, which is quite difficult, as my psychiatrist is as biology-based as possible (he wanted me to have shock therapy in December which is partly why I came off drugs around then as I realized he didn't know what he was doing.) Unfortunately, I still had to see him when I was recently in hospital, which is another trigger. I just never imagined I would be back on psych drugs. The injury to my back is also depressing me. I've gone from hopeful to hopeless in a matter of months. Right now my anxiety is not too severe and neither is the depression. I've read that Mirt has a habit of pooping out early, which is partly why I think every minute is invaluable in determining tapering and eventual crisis. The crisis pattern for me seems to be severe anxiety followed by depression, then maybe a mixed anxious/depressed state. Anyone with similar experiences, advice, or encouragement? The scariest things for me are how to deal with severe panic anxiety and a physically excruciating depression. Thanks for reading.
  16. Hi guys well I've finally become a member after visiting the forum many times in an attempt to try and build up the courage to get off Effexor once and for all. I've been on between 225mg and 75mg for the last 10 years. Originally to treat Major depression and Borderline Personality. Took 75mg through two healthy pregnancies. I've tried twice in the past to get off this drug with no success. I experience heavy sweating and derealisation as a side effect. I'm struggling to find a doctor that a) believes in venlafaxine withdrawal and knows how to combat the withdrawal symptoms The first time I came off cold turkey as instructed by my psychiatrist. This was about 5 years ago before my first pregnancy. Prior to any warning labels being on the medication which now say 'Do Not Stop Taking This Medication Abruptly'. I had really bad anxiety and panic which I had never experienced before in my life. As soon as I got back on I was back to normal. The second time I reduced my dose from 75mg to 37.5mg then to 0 over the course of about two weeks. As per instructions by my GP. As soon as I stopped I felt like I was pretty close to losing it (as in my mind). Major anxiety and panic again. Started taking Effexor again after three days. I am seeing a new doctor and she has suggested halving my dose straight away from 75mg to 37.5mg. Then after two weeks start taking half a 10mg Endep tablet before bed for three days. After three days stop the Effexor completely. She said the Endep should combat the withdrawals. Having read a lot on here about tapering I said to her that that reduction sounds way too fast and I started freaking out because I don't want to end up in that psychotic limbo like I have all the other times I've stopped. I hope this makes sense. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks
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