Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'protracted withdrawal'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Support
    • Read This First
    • Introductions and updates
    • Tapering
    • Symptoms and self-care
    • Finding meaning
    • Relationships
  • The commons
  • Current events
    • Events, controversies, actions
    • In the media
    • Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal
    • From journals and scientific sources

Found 14 results

  1. I was on sertraline 75mg for 2.5 years for postpartum depression. During that time I sought counseling and my therapist diagnosed me with bipolar 2 because I had irritability along with my depression. My therapist referred me to the Psychiatric NP in the same practice. The NP told me to "wean" off the sertraline within a month so she could introduce latuda. She put me on 20mg of latuda and increased it to 80mg within 4 months. At 80mg, I immediately experienced heightened anxiety, insomnia (I still haven't had more than 2-4 hours of sleep per night since December 2016 and some nights ZERO sleep!), and SEVERE akathisia. When I brought up the adverse reactions, the NP assured me these were side effects that would eventually subside - she was wrong. I suffered entire month and begged her to come off of latuda. She finally agreed and told me to taper 20mg every 2 weeks. My taper looked like this: 60mg to 40mg to 20mg then off. With each decrease I noticed my anxiety would spike and I'd go into an emotional tailspin about 4-5 days after a drop in dose and then stabilized a bit. I assumed once I tapered off the latuda I'd be able to sleep again, my anxiety would lessen and the akathisia would go away. I was partially right, the Akathesia went away as I lowered my dose, but the insomnia and anxiety remained. The NP had also put me on 100mg of lamictal two months after introducing latuda. I wanted to come off this medication as well, but she told me to stay on it because she thought it would prevent mania or depression while coming off the latuda. She was wrong again. One week after my last dose of latuda, I had a complete emotional breakdown and was severely suicidal. I voluntarily checked myself into a psych hospital. There I was told that I had been misdiagnosed by the NP and was abruptly taken off the lamictal. Then they reintroduced sertraline 150mg to bring me out of my depressive state. That seemed to stabilize me so I was released with a Rx for sertraline 150mg. A week after I was home from the hospital I knew instinctively something wasn't right. Instead of steadily improving, I felt worse physically (mentally I was actually doing ok). I began to have muscle twitches, tingling throughout my body, my eyelids kept twictching, my heart was racing, I would get hot and cold flushes radiating over my entire body, my skin felt like it was burning, headache, weakness, and the left side of my face was completely numb. I went to the Psychiatric urgent care where the NP diagnosed me with break through anxiety. I told her she was wrong and that I believed I was suffering from serotonin syndrome. She looked dubious, but sought out the medical director who conducted a neurological test and concurred with me. I was placed in psych hospital again and taken off the sertraline. I felt better within a day. They gave me remeron 7.5mg that knocked me out for almost two days. Needless to say, I refused to take another dose. A day before my release, the doctor and I discussed reintroducing sertraline at a very low level - 25mg to 50mg. I was sent home with a Rx for sertraline 50mg. Within 1 hour of taking the sertraline, all the serotonin syndromes came back so I had to stop taking sertraline with no possibility of reinstatement. All this time, I believed my insomnia, anxiety and akathesia were related to the Latuda. I also believed that my emotional distress and depression stemmed from latuda withdrawal, but now I'm wondering if it was actually protracted withdrawal from the first time I weaned off of sertraline 75mg and the weaning off latuda being merely coincidental. I did not experience any acute withdrawal symptoms with the exception of a little Weepiness from time to time. Is it possible to experience withdrawal symptoms from sertraline SIX months after the last dose? It's been 3 weeks since my last dose of sertraline 50mg and I've experienced the following: headaches, muscle twitching, shivers, tingling, internal restlessness, body aches, a general feeling of being unwell, severe mood swings: rage, depression, apathy, suicidal thoughts, hypomania, uncontrollable crying, and anxiety. I've had some good functional days, followed by days of being physically & emotionally incapacitated. Is the what's known as waves & windows? I'm trying to figure out if this is withdrawal from the latuda & lamictal or a continuation of the the possible withdrawal of the sertraline. I'm also hoping that the reintroduction of sertraline followed by the abruptly stopping won't prolong whatever it is that is going on. I am also worried because after doing much research I realized that I did the first taper much too fast, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now due to the serotonin syndrome. Any advice, insight or shared experiences are most welcome. This site makes me feel less alone. My new psych told me I shouldn't be experiencing any withdrawal and I was just having breakthrough symptoms.
  2. Hi, I am new here and terrified. Was prescribed low dosage TCAs for 2.5 years. Nortriptyline 20-30 mg from May 2012 - Dec 2013. Then desipramine from Jan 2014 - October 2014. In October, my neck and tongue started twitching. I'd been having muscle tremors since about May, but my stupid doctor couldn't ever tell me what it was. I finally looked at the side effects of the desipramine and put two and two together and quickly tapered down. I was told that was okay since I was on such low dose. Was actually told it would have been okay to abruptly stop since the dosage was low. In hindsight, I now suspect that some muscle stuff I noticed on nortriptyline were actually side effects. Now it looks like I have tardive dyskenisia, which is apparently rare from TCAs. Please, will I recover? Has anybody on here recovered from TCA-induced TD? I see that people have recovered from TD from other classes of meds. Looking for hope about my situation. It is apparently so rare with TCAs that I can't find info and I want a full recovery. Please note: meds were prescribed for pain, not mental health.
  3. just signed up. information and advice is overwhelming!!!! I can only take in some information at t time. I can't believe this isn't more common knowledge. it is a horrible existence. but God is good and He heals. *1991-2003: 12 years on increasing amounts of Prozac, then *2003-2013: 10 years on increasing amounts of Effexor alchohol abuse issues throughout along with nicotine addiction *2013: pscychMD guided 5 month taper from 300MG to zero Effexor while quitting alcohol and nicotine at about the same time ( awful process , so painful and scary)Dr had me adding prozac to reduce the "discontinuation side effects" *then November 2013, not on anything... ------Bad bad bad ( probably and unknowingly, tapered way way way too fast and unknowingly into some Med PAWS and paws from alcohol ( 8 months without etoh at this time, 4 years now ) * Ran to psychMD and he put me on Latuda then Brintellix ( now called trintellix) *4 months later those about killed me and landed me 3 days in the hospital and then in intensive treatment for depression/anxiety for 5 months. During that time they tried different things too fast and furious with a lot of bad reactions to stuff. Chemical Assaults!!!! this included seroquel, Depakote Summer 2014 finishing up intensive treatment ("pills and skills" what a crock...): I ended up on a cocktail of xoloft, Wellbutrin and elavil. I didn't need more drugs. I was suffering from protracted w/d and chemical assault shock/ptsd. the medical community has no idea. they say "your mental illness is chronic and progressive so you have to manage it continually with drug additions/changes". you can't make this stuff up for a horror movie. *At this time (summer of 2014) I was diagnosed with MS (significant brain lesions and positive other tests for MS) and told I had to go off Humira. I had been on Humira or Enbrel for 13 years, as well as anti inflammatories for arthritis. I stopped these. One year later I started a 4 month taper of these psych drugs. This was way too fast and probably caused more damage/ptsd March 2017: Now I am 14 months total medicine free and dealing with recovery from the damage caused by the actions above. I don't know what is what in terms of cause and effect. I only know that it has been and continues to be awful. a hellish relentless anguish of a myriad of symptoms, an awful existence...after having lost my marriage, family, career possibilities, life...other than faith...I still have my faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises of who HE is, what He's like, and who I am. God Loves me and has taken and continues to take care of me in miraculous ways... He just hasn't healed me fully yet. Is it MS? Immune dysfunction? ANS dysfunction? Damage while taking medicines and self medicating with alcohol ? PAWS from alcohol? PAWS from psych drugs? Chicken, egg or road? It amazes me how after not being on meds for a while, we can suddenly get drastically worse with new or worsening symptoms. 25 years of pschych drug chemical assault and 2 way too abrupt tapers have left me in this state. not to mention MS. Such a mess. Hell on earth. Anguish. So many symptoms.
  4. Hello, everyone. I'm new here, but was a long-time reader over at Paxil Progress before it shut down. I actually thought a couple weeks ago how far I'd come and thought, "I should post a success story!" because I hadn't felt PAWS symptoms in an entire year by that point. Well. Today and yesterday, I've hit a rough spot. Let me start with that necessary evil, backstory. In late 2011 I was prescribed Abilify for the off-label treatment of trichotillomania, or compulsive hair-pulling. I did not have depression, anxiety, or any psychiatric disorder; my doctor prescribed this solely for the pulling. When I decided it wasn't working, my doctor told me I could just stop. No taper - cold-turkey. So I did. A week after stopping, I experienced the scariest few days of my life. I was sobbing on the floor of my dorm bathroom, having panic attacks in the middle of class - when I managed to make it to class, that is - and felt eerily detached from myself, like I was living a dream and going through the motions, but couldn't feel anything...and yet was constantly about to fall to pieces in a hysterical mass of tears and panic. Then, about four days later, it ended. Boom, just like that - I was at work one evening, and suddenly felt like myself again. I had no idea that this was my brain's first reaction to quitting the Abilify, and that many more were to come. I experienced this again, in varying intensity (but always very intense and life-disrupting) several times over the next months. When I became pregnant with my first child, I felt myself "stick at a baseline" below my normal, as though my brain delayed healing because it knew I needed to focus on the pregnancy more. But I wasn't normal, or myself, or happy. I was ...some other person entirely, the whole 9 months. Then, as soon as I gave birth, the PAWS returned with a vengeance. A year later, I began a regimen of Amino Fuel, l-glutamine, and magnesium. I immediately saw marked improvement: my windows became longer, and I felt more and more like myself during them; the waves grew shorter and less intense. By 2014, I had two or three days of feeling bummed out every 7 weeks or so, and felt like me most of the time now, even in my waves. My improvements were so good that by summer of that year, I could even feel safe drinking coffee again, enjoying wine, etc., which I hadn't been able to do without triggering waves until then. In spring 2015, I became pregnant again. I had a couple days of feeling bummed out as my hormones leveled out, but no PAWS symptoms for the entire pregnancy. I felt like me. I was happy, ecstatic even, to have another child (whereas the first time, I was so depressed it tainted the entire experience). Upon giving birth, I did have a few days of severe baby blues, including a panic attack - I think it was the combination of epidural drugs and hormonal crash with perhaps a still slightly sensitive nervous system? I had my placenta encapsulated, so I took that and magnesium for a few weeks; within four days, I felt 99% better, then back to myself a week or so postpartum. Two nights ago, I chainsmoked a ton of cigarettes (and I haven't smoked cigarettes in over a year, just vaping low nicotine on an ecig) and drank a good amount of hard liquor (which I also haven't done in over a year). The next morning, I woke up feeling like my early days of PAWS: pounding heart, sweat, too much adrenaline/panic, the world is falling apart, etc. I calmed down after thirty minutes or less, but since then I've felt like I'm in a wave again - bummed out, random crying, lack of appetite, and more than anything this...relentless panic that I've done damage to my brain again, ruined my progress...or - the BIG worry, and hopefully the most ridiculous? Please weigh in - that I was never better at all. That because of my 2nd pregnancy, I just delayed symptoms and now my PAWS is back to stay. I realize logically that doesn't make much sense, because I have gotten immensely better over the years, hence this pregnancy was so much better than my first. Anyway. I realize *technically* I haven't been symptom-free for a year, since I had a panic attack (or perhaps a combo of a wave and postpartum crash or baby blues) this past February. But still, that didn't feel much like a wave the way this does. And it's been a while since I've had one like this - since 2014, most of my waves were "morning-only" where for a couple days I'd have symptoms in the morning, and they'd end very suddenly by noon. This one's been going on all day for the last two days, ever since the cigarettes and hard liquor I had at a wedding. I'm sorry for such a long post. My brain is going a mile a minute with worry. I guess I want reassurance that I won't be this way forever...that my progress isn't all gone because of one stupid night of excess (which I definitely will not be repeating). Also, just looking for opinions on how long my recovery's been - 4 and half years. That's a long time, especially since I only took Abilify three months. Is it possible it's taking so long because of my pregnancies, during which no waves or windows occurred (so I'm guessing, no healing for 18 months total during these last few years)? Thank you for your help. I just hate feeling this way again after SO LONG feeling like myself, no symptoms, and would love reassurance. Taylor
  5. I need some help.. I started taking SSRIs (lexapro,seronil,and last paxil, i had to switch every year because i developed tolerance)when i was 15-16. When I was almost 20, last April , i told the doctor (it was a student practicing) i wanted to switch meds, because i was suicidal.He ,based on my history of switching ssris, wanted to start me on high dose of antipsychotics (i already took ketipinor /seroquel 100 mg a low dose) i refused and wanted to quit paxil. He tapered me off very quickly, from 40 mg to 20 mg in one day, and from 20 mg to 10 mg to 0 in one month. Also ketipinor (seroquel) cold turkey... I developed withdrawal symptoms such as brain zaps, horrible anxiety and depression,nausea, muscle spasms, 10 kg weight loss,panic, insomnia,the list goes on forever. It was 2 weeks after quitting i first went to the doctor. They put me on a low dose Seronil / prozac but it just made me feel worse so i quit after a week. After that i had the zaps and all the other symptoms for 2,5 months before i gave up and they put me on Cipralex. I took it for 2 months but it didn't work, or minimally. Eventually most physical symptoms went away but my mental health was really bad.. They put me on Sertralin/zoloft, didnt work either. In October, 5 months after quitting, i started with Voxra/wellbutrin and finally started to feel better. I'm glad for being myself again but i live in fear of my voxra/wellbutrin stopping working.. Since its the only NDRI out there i'd have nothing to switch to. I also am TERRIFIED that the person i was those 5-6 months is the REAL ME ... The me without meds... I dont remember being that way at all before i started,sure i had anxiety but not even close to that level,and never had depression..I am TERRIFIED that it was a relapse and not withdrawals... I keep thinking,there is no way withdrawal would have lasted HALF A YEAR and surely would have continued..
  6. The new protracted withdrawal and PSSD forum set up by Professor David Healy is now open and collecting experiences, helpful treatments and information from YOU. This is the link: http://withdrawal.rxisk.org/
  7. Hi Friends, I went off of trazadone 5.5 months ago after 15 years of use for insomnia, and have been suffering from protracted withdrawal ever since. The most debilitating symptom is severe depression that often manifests physically as pain in my heart, and a myriad of new drug sensitivities. I have a few questions about other's experience's and/or recommendations. · Has anyone had success with st. john's wort, 5 htp, homeopathy, or other approaches? · Will attempting to treat the symptoms with herbs, or ssris prolong the period of withdrawal? · Does anyone understand the mechanism behind the symptoms of protracted withdrawal coming in waves? My preference would of course be to get through this without having to medicate the symptoms, but there are times when the depression feels so intolerable, I need to have another option for my own safety (I've been very proactive of finding alternative methods to deal with the depression, ie, meditation, exercise, support, etc. but they have a limited effect). I have read that in rare cases, protracted withdrawal can last years or be indefinite. Given that I was on trazadone for 15 years, and I tapered much too quickly, I imagine mine may be a slow process. I have included a detailed history of my experience to give context for anyone who is interested. Thank you. HISTORY: 15 years ago, at the age of 23, I went through a healing crisis of sorts, dealing with issues of childhood trauma. I went to a treatment center for depression, where I was put on a number of different drugs (as best I can remember: celexa, risperdal, trazadone, vistaril, and one or two others). The treatment center was beneficial for me - I did intensive therapy, and worked very hard on my own healing. Within a year or two of returning, I tapered off all of the mediations I'd been put on, with the exception of trazadone. I had had insomnia for most of my life and was under the impression that its only purpose was to treat sleeplessness. I was unaware it was an antidepressant for the next 15 years, until after I began the tapering process. Even my naturopath continued to prescribe it without question. Over the last 15 years, I healed myself through intensive therapy, even becoming a therapist myself. I build a successful business in a field I felt passionate about, combining therapy with an artistic discipline. For years I contemplated getting off the trazadone but didn't feel like I could risk not sleeping with my demanding career. A year ago, I decided to take sabbatical and travel the world, starting with an ayurvedic cleanse program in India. A couple years prior, I started to have the creeping suspicion that my medications (benadryl, alegra-D, singular, trazadone) were creating more symptoms than they were treating, and so began the withdrawal process before leaving for India. At first I cut my trazadone from 150mg to 75mg and cut out the Benadryl completely. I struggled with sleep, but more significantly, horrible nausea for about 6 months. I attributed the sleep to the trazadone, but the nausea to the Benadryl (now I'm not so sure that was accurate - it may have been the large reduction of trazadone). Luckily, I was able to treat the nausea with small doses of medical marijuana. I went off my other allergy mediations much more easily - with a week to two of acute symptoms that afterwards subsided completely. When I began my cleanse in India, I tapered the trazadone from 75mg to 0 in a matter of 5 weeks. Way to fast given what I now know, but again, at the time, I had no idea what I was dealing with. Each time I would decrease, I would have acute withdrawal symptoms for about a week which would then subside; mainly night terrors, sleeplessness, and irritability. For the next three months I only managed between 3-5 hrs of sleep a night, but although it was frustrating, it was manageable, given that I was spending hours each day mediating. My nausea went away after I tapered from 75mg to 50mg but for the first two weeks, I suffered from persistent sexual arousal disorder (pgad, the female version of priapism) - a nightmare which caused incredible discomfort as I was barely able to pee for two weeks. Luckily, I figured out it was due to the trazadone withdrawal after some research. That experience only made me more determined to get it out of my system, and quickly. The PGAD disappeared when I tapered from 50 to 25mg. After my final dosage (I had basically just been taking a crumb for a week), I began experiencing the most horrific emotional pain I have ever experienced. I often find myself at a loss for how to describe it as it's never felt like typical depression. It was something like a combination of an ongoing panic attack with a grief stricken/shock-like feeling - like when you learn that your beloved has died and it knocks the wind out of you. I felt a palpable heart pain -though it was clearly emotional in nature. It is not the first time I've felt that heart pain, and may just be how my body metabolizes severe depression - but it was the most extreme experience I've had, and totally devoid of content. At the time, I had never heard of protracted withdrawal and so assumed I was having some kind of spiritual crisis. I was staying at an ashram, and so spent many hours in meditation. The symptoms gradually got a bit better over the first month, but then came back with a vengeance, though usually with some breaks of relief during each day when the heart pain would subside briefly and I'd get a bit of perspective. The odd thing was that this 'depression' came seemingly out of the blue at a period in my life where I felt stronger and happier than I'd ever been before. After some research, and consulting with a colleague who specializes in psychiatric drug withdrawal, I realized I could be experiencing protracted withdrawal. I tried to stay in India as long as possible to heal myself there, hoping it would pass quickly and I could continue my travels, but at some point the pain became too intolerable and I decided to come back to the States where I would have more resources to treat the symptoms (or so I thought). I decided to stay with my family in the midwest while I figure this out, and enlisted the help of a wonderful holistic psychiatrist, who luckily recognized the symptoms (at that time - depression, arthritis, and gum pain) as protracted withdrawal. I first tried supplements, homeopathy, and st. john's wort, in an attempt to stay off SSRIs. The St. John's Wort did provide some relief after week 5, but I was experiencing extreme fatigue and rapid hair loss. My psychiatrist suggested I try a small dose of prosaic after weaning off the SJW in order to get through the protracted withdrawal. Over the next month I tried 4 different SSRIs in miniscule doses (Prozac, lexapro, celexa, wellbutrin) and had horrible adverse reactions to all - sleeplessness, panic, wired/restless leg syndrome, loss of appetite, migraines, nausea, diarrhea. I had to take Clonazepam (luckily only one dose for each attempt at a new SSRI) to counter the reactions. Next we tried SAM-E at 50mg/day. I had some mild reactions, but after 6 days, felt wonderful - depression had subsided though I was a bit wired, but on day 7, I ended up with the same reactions as the other SSRIs and had to discontinue. Interestingly, I've taken almost all of these medications in the past without issue. I was given zoloft twice during my life (once for chronic mononucleosis when I was a teenager and for two years for 12 days out of every month for endometriosis). I had no problem on the drugs, but did experience acute withdrawal symptoms when I was going on and off the zoloft each month. I had horrible dizziness, and only after thousands of dollars of mris and other tests did I realize from my own research that it was caused by my body going into withdrawal for two weeks of each month. A few weeks after my final dose however, I was fine. I swore never to touch another antidepressant - totally unaware that trazadone was one! I also tried SAM-E at one point when I was experiencing depression after a total hysterectomy (for the endometriosis). It didn't help but it also didn't have any adverse effects at the time. The depression subsided when we were able to get my estrogen levels back on track. My psychiatrist works in cooperative clinic, so together we saw the nutritionist there, who tested me for deficiencies and then started me on a regiment of supplements. As far as I can tell, I have not had any adverse reactions to the supplements, but have not felt improvement from them either. For the past three months I have been on a very strict diet: no grains, no dairy, no sugars, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no meat (my choice). I basically just eat vegetables, lentils, lots of fish, and a few nuts. I've also been adamant about making sure I get 1-3 hours of mild to moderate exercise/day. This seems to be the one thing that routinely brings me a bit of relief, though only while I'm walking, moving, etc. I am lucky to have a wonderful support system and minimal external stressors in my life at the moment. I have tried my best to keep a positive attitude and am often successful, though I continue to get knocked out by the intensity of the heart pain when it arises, even with my myriad of coping strategies. Having tried so many ssris, and then the SAM-E (last dose was 12 days ago), it's hard to know what my norm off of meds will be - if there is one.
  8. My name is Natalie and I've been on an anti depressant of some sort since I was 16, I"m 29. For the first time in my life I got off Lexapro 5.5 months ago after tapering for 3 months. Things seemed a little more manageable after the horrific first few months but the past month or so it has been very bad again and I"m scared. I cry all the time, I have insomnia, I have a hard time working-super tired/anxious/irritable. Sometimes my anxiety is debilitating. Lack of hope or motivation. Lots of fear. My fear is this is either just how I am without them or I was on them for so long my brain needs them to be at least moderately functional and if I don't get back on I will end up on disability or something. Has anyone experienced this? Does it get better? Does it just take longer? Or am I kidding myself? It was so hard to get off of them I feel like if I get back on them I will be committed for life, but I also don't want to have to check into a psych ward either :/ lol, funny but not really cause I"m not really kidding THANKS!
  9. David Healy and his team of doctors and pharmacologists at www.rxisk.org are setting up a new research forum for people suffering with protracted withdrawal. Please see the attached link. http://wp.rxisk.org/withdrawal-research-forum-relief-at-last/ "There are tens of thousands of people affected by dependence on and protracted withdrawal from antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, dopamine agonists and other drugs. We will be opening up a Complex Withdrawal Syndrome and PSSD research forum on RxISK.org in the very near future aimed at solving what is going on. There is an interesting story posted on Paxil withdrawal and cardiac symptoms.
  10. What are the guidelines or shared experiences about beginning a taper when a person is already experiencing long-term adverse effects of an anti-depressant, or protracted withdrawal symptoms from previous too-quick tapers? Using myself as an example, I had been in protracted withdrawal for a couple of years due to a very fast taper, and also due to changes (in types and doses) of anti-depressants. I also felt I was having adverse effects from Effexor for about a year prior to my planned taper which I started this May. It therefore seemed pointless to wait for any kind of stability before beginning to taper - the issues were long-term and not settling at all. So I planned then started a 10% taper. After 6 weeks I can see it was too much for my nervous system. Looking back, I wish I'd twigged that those compounding issues indicated a need for an even gentler taper, say 5% or even 1%. I've searched but not found a topic on this. If there isn't one, perhaps people who know more than me could turn this into one? (And if I've missed the relevant topic, sorry, and could someone point me at it?)
  11. I am now in my seventh month of protracted withdrawal syndrome (I had to go cold turkey because of sub-acute serotonin syndrome --mostly parkinsonism and brain fog erupting into a lethal level of high blood pressure and analphylaxis -- new one!). I am now worse than I was last winter when I was bedridden. Biggest problems all center around my autonomic nervous system -- sleeping, eating, blood pressure, neuropathies, as well as a deep depression. Of course, I have had a lifetime of major depressive disorder -- but I really fought my way through it. I was fun, funny, and high achieving! I am now for the first time emotionally numb (can't even cry). For the past ten years I was depressed and on increasing doses of meds (why I am here) but got by (and actually excelled at some things, like my teaching) until I became ill. I am now on disability and can't imagine working again. I had been obsessed with suicide for several months. Can't do it -- I have a beautiful adult son and a loving husband. I also have a lovely home I now can barely leave. So the big question is, how do people experiencing this find hope, strength, things they can do, and and a life to live? I also feel so shunned -- by friends and even doctors! Have some great stalwarts by my side, but I really can't do much now. My life has turned into the couch for the most part I would so appreciate encouraging and kind words! (Silver lining -- my new appreciation for kind, good people!)
  12. Hello, thought I'd post here as it seems like a fairly supportive place. Here's my story... In 2003 I was put on 20mg of prozac for instrusive thoughts (mainly the fear that I would lose control and attack others). It improved my mood, however, it did cause emotional blunting. Incidentally, it didn't have any effects on either sexual function or cognition, so I was happy taking it. I was able to function fairly well whilst taking it. I then stopped it (cold turkey) for 8 months in 2008. Had no physical withdrawal symptoms, but I did feel really depressed for all the time I was off it - more so than I had been before I started taking psych-meds. I then went back on it and experienced some minimal start up effects - was then largely back to my old self. Could work, enjoy life again, etc. However, around 2010 to 2011, I started to find that things weren't so great. I developed really bad IBS around that time - frequent bowel movements, lots and lots of wind and bloating etc. At the time I just tried to bear it/treat it with things like peppermint oil, probiotics etc - I didn't think it could be related to the prozac (now I suspect it was). I also started to become a bit more anxious around that time. I felt more on edge, felt very fidgety, even had some days where I had the fear of harming myself or others again. As I felt the prozac was quite activating, I felt that it was contributing to me feeling on edge. So in August 2011, I switched from fluoxetine to citalopram. The doctor told me to wait 3 days after stopping prozac, then go for 10mg cit, rising to 20mg after 10 days. I think I lasted around 2 weeks before feeling incredibly agitated with the intrusive thoughts affecting me badly. The doctor told me to stop the citalpram for the time being and gave me a small supply of diazepam to take if things got worse. However, I didn't need to take it, as after a few days of quitting, I felt much calmer. I told the GP that I wanted to remain drug-free for a while. I felt great for a while - no agitation, yet by December, the depression had kicked in again...so I went back to the GP and asked for citalopram again, and that's when the real fun began... I took 10mg of citalopram from December through to late January - probably around 6 weeks maximum. However, I found that I had quite bad agitation around the 5-6 week mark, which was probably just when the drugs were starting to kick in. Aside from that it had minimal affects on sexual functioning, cognition and vigilance So I then stopped taking it. I thought that cold turkeying would be fine given I'd only been on it for 6 weeks. I experienced some mild brain zaps, and then thought that the worst had passed. However, the intrusive thoughts came back with a vengeance around 6 weeks after stopping it. They were really bad this time - I felt unbelievably agitated, felt like I was about to lose control, etc. In desperation I went back to the GP who prescribed clomipramine. I lasted 11 days because of bad IBS, anorgasmia, and nasty blurred vision. I then decided to go back onto 20mg prozac again as it seemed to have worked in the past. However, I experienced nasty agitation as my body was getting used to it - also, this time it gave me really bad sexual dysfunction. I took it around late July 2012, cutting down to 5mg by early November. It worked well for depression, but didn't touch the intrusive thoughts - I still had the 'pure OCD' thoughts of harming myself and others. I also had sexual problems on 5mg, so I quit at 5mg. Didn't have much in the way of physical withdrawal. Lasted around 3 months before the depression kicked in. In addition, even though I was off the drug, it seemed to have messed with my sexual function. It was ok one week, but non-existent the next. Kind of like some kind of PSSD. It was affecting my studies, and although I didn't want to take any more drugs because of my experience with citalopram, I decided it would be the best thing to do. So, in March this year, I tried sertraline 25mg. I was going to give it a good couple of months but had to quit at 4.5 weeks because it literally made me stupid. I was sleeping 10 hours a night, had really blurry vision, so had to stop taking it. I just couldn't study/function like that. Incidentally though, it led to improved sexual functioning for some reason. I knew that the depression/pure OCD thoughts would return unless I was on something else, so I went back on citalopram, this time at 5mg. After a month, all the intrusive thoughts were gone. I felt sedated, could drink coffee again, and it improved my mood too. However, the problem was, was that citalopram had caused visual problems just like the sertraline had. While not as bad, they were still annoying and prevented me from studying as well as I wanted to. Around 6 weeks ago I made the decision to cut 25% - I know this was a big cut, but I figured that since I'd been on it for a few months only, it would have been ok. However, while it improved my vision, around a week ago I felt the intrusive thoughts/anxiety returning again, so have updosed back to 5mg/day. I am therefore in a bit of a dilemma. While ideally I want to get off these drugs, using the 10% taper this time, at the same time, 5mg of citalopram, whilst working well for anxiety and depression, has also meant that I can't function as well as I want to. I'm a postgraduate student and have to use a computer a lot. Also, I'm coming to the end of my course, and will need to find a job soon. I'm not sure how I can support myself for several months that it will take to drop from 5mg to 3.75 or lower, which is when the visual problems become less of an issue. I may even have to go slower than 10% of my previous dose each month. I have a number of questions I'd like to ask you all: 1) Why is it that when taking prozac again last year it caused sexual side effects when previously it had not? (ps - I have had a blood test and everything, inc testosterone, is ok) 2) Is it possible that the 6 week spell of citalopram last year, followed by the cold turkey, changed my brain in some way? I'm saying this because I didn't have the blurred vision on citalopram when I took it for 6 weeks at 10mg, but do now at 5mg. 3) Would a switch to 2.5mg of escitalopram be a possible solution? I really don't want to take any more drugs, but I'm thinking that because escitalopram is so similar to citalopram, it may be ok to switch over (and could possibly have fewer visual side effects). Many thanks for reading. PS: I know that I was put on these meds for a reason, and that reason still remains. However, at the same time, the feelings of tenseness and agitation (which trigger these intrusive thoughts) are considerably worse than they were before taking meds, which leads me to think that the meds have messed up my brain in some way (part of me worries that its permanent). However, I am working on the deep seated issues with counselling and self-CBT.
  13. Quazzi Intro

    Hello, It's very difficult to concentrate right now, but I thought I would try to post an intro anyway. I'm not a man of many words, so this is going to be somewhat brief. I really don't have great memory capacity at this time, and can't tell you a detailed history of myself, but I was on Effexor XR from some time in 1993 when it first came to market, until 2013, when I switched to Prozac to try to get off of it completely. A few times over the years I had tried to wean off of Effexor, but after a few months of not getting any better I always ended up going back on it. I actually never felt as bad off of the Effexor as I do now after switching to Prozac and tapering to zero. I only recently (in February) went completely off of Prozac with a very slow taper down to as little as 1mg per day. That was a few months ago, and now I completely regret that I went off. I tried to reinstate Prozac a month or so later with 10mg, which felt good the day that I took it, but then I had a bad reaction in the middle of the night and have been worse since. I tried to take a little bit less (5mg) for two days, but I couldn’t stand it and stopped. I had noticed that my sleep was getting worse even while I was still on the low dose of Prozac, but now my sleep is so bad that I can hardly function, and I have constant impaired concentration and memory issues. I also now have a type of akathisia every day and night that makes me not able to stay laying in my bed and makes it difficult to sit at work or in social situations. I am in constant agony and feel like I’m 100 years old. My nervous system is so dysfunctional and hyper-sensitized that I can hardly take any supplement or drug without having some kind of paradoxical effect. I can’t believe that I did this to myself when I was doing well just a few months back. I had all my energy then and was still sleeping well. I had the energy to pack a moving truck mostly by myself and move 2000 miles. I can hardly imagine doing that now. I recently gave in to friends telling me to go to a psychiatrist, who I tried to explain everything to. He did the usual mis-diagnosis of telling me that withdrawal doesn’t last that long, etc. and that there’s a possibility that I am bi-polar. I cringed at the drugs he suggested to me, so he finally ended up just giving me a prescription for Propranolol to supposedly help with the akathisia so I could sleep. I have not taken any of it yet and really don’t want to, although I am considering trying it. I can’t believe that’s the best he could do is give me a prescription for a drug that messes with my heart! Like messing my brain up isn’t enough, now we’re going to screw around with my heart. I am afraid that it is going to probably mess me up even more than I already am.
  14. http://holisticpsychiatrist.com/2009/07/14/ten-practical-considerations-during-medication-withdrawal/#more-69 "While there will never be an end to improving my knowledge about medication withdrawal (unfortunately), there are a few things here and there that I have picked up over the past few years, which have far surpassed my “training” on this topic during my psychiatric residency. In fact, I believe that in all my years of training, I have never heard anyone ask about medication withdrawal except me. It was over a decade ago, but I recall the Attending physician mentioning two things: first, go slowly, and second, do it after the patient had been on the medication (antidepressant) for at least three years. The three years rule was due to some research study that showed improved outcome in patients who waited that long before withdrawing from antidepressants. So, I was not well prepared to deal with this important aspect of psychiatric care upon graduating from a decade of psychiatric training. The sorry thing was, I didn’t even realize I had a black hole in my training, nor do many other physicians, given our total concentration on putting patients ON medications and the assumption that going off would more than likely result in a relapse of the illness. The truth of the matter is that there are ways to get off medications safely and comfortably. But it does require stepping out of the box, changing our paradigms about healing, and learning new material. Because to do so is not easy. However, to refuse to do so, when the information is available, is negligent of our duty as physicians.... 3. “Protracted Withdrawal” happens when something hasn’t healed during the withdrawal process. It could be the immune system, the gall bladder, the hormones, the liver, or some other part of the body. During withdrawal, if all three areas are not healing well, some aspect of the patient’s illness will become evident as the medication, which had suppressed the expression of clinical symptoms, is tapered. As a consequence, the less one knows about how to help a patient heal the three areas of health, the more the patient will suffer from “protracted withdrawal.” Sometimes, patients end up with “protracted withdrawal” that is very debilitating for years when they try to withdraw on their own, not knowing that their “psychotropic” medications not only had a profound impact on their nervous system, but also their hormones, immune system, liver, etc. “Protracted withdrawal” should not be used to place blame on the medication’s mysterious and nefarious machinations, for clinicians who handle withdrawal very well will struggle less with protracted withdrawal."
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.