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  1. Kristine

    Kristine: Not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  2. Hi everyone,✋I’ve been on a number of different meds in the past due to chronic pain: opiates, benzos, antipsychotics etc. I don’t remember all the names, but I was cold turkeyed at times with severe reactions. The reason I’m on the forum now is that I’ve been tapering off seroquel for many years, it’s the only medication I’m on. I’ve gone from 300mg to 7.5mg and am doing water titration now. I just have a quick question. If I accidentally doubled up on my dose one day does that make the withdrawals worse? I couldn’t remember if I took my dose of 7.5mg because of brain fog a week ago. I couldn’t sleep n thought maybe I didn’t take it as it usually makes me go to sleep, so I took another dose 1am 🌔 as I was so scared of what missing a dose might do. I thought the withdrawals from the last dose were starting the settle, but they’ve ramped up again. I know this happens anyway in withdrawal but I was just wondering if the double dose might have have affected this too? Thank u in advance for your input😊
  3. I have been tapering of seroquel. I took 1/8 of a 300mg tablet for a while, then more recently I made a 20% cut on the span of 1week and a half, I realized I went a bit too far, too quickly, this gives me around 30mg of active substance. I've pushed a bit too far because I've not been sleeping well for about 2 weeks, These last days I'm only getting a good night sleep after about 3/4 nights sleeping badly (I guess I become too tired and then it's easier to sleep better). It took me about 1week and a half to get kind of used to a 15% cut (that was 3weeks and a half ago) but then trying to speed up the process I've cut 5% more which led me to not sleeping well for these 2 weeks, not sleeping well means sleeping 4/6 hours. About a year ago when I started tapering I was sleeping an average of 12 hours and still waking up tired, and wanting to sleep more. Then after tapering a bit I started to be comfortable with 10h of sleep. Now these past 2 weeks I've been sleeping 4-6 hours, I feel like I now can endure sleeping for a low quantity of time much better but still feel like sleeping 4-6 hours isn't enough for me to be on my normal self. I have been using a digital scale to measure the taper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NGBQGOY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I cut a 300mg (active substance) seroquel tablet until it gives me around 123mg (approximately 30mg of active substance) I have two questions: - I cut the tablet until it gives me around 123mg, I'm not using capsules, I just swallow the small pieces with water. Is there a problem with this? Is it necessary to be using capsules? - Should I back my taper to 15% again?
  4. Hi, I am currently withdrawing from Seroquel. I have slowly gotten myself off a large cocktail of drugs, the most recent being lithium and diazepam (off lithium since early last year, and diazepam about November last year) I did not realise it would be a bad idea to go off the last 25mg of Seroquel all at once. I thought that would be a small difference. It I only recently that I have realised that I was experiencing withdrawals at all. I have been a bit ill as well and had an operation for stage four endometriosis last year. It is hard to tell what symptoms are from that and what is the withdrawals. Looking at it now, I tapered too fast. I do not think it is a good idea to go back on now. It has been two months, so I guess I have to push through it. I am looking to connect to people in my area, (CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA), to start a support group, or for someone to talk to. I feel very alone and scared. I think that perhaps if I can talk to others who are experiencing something similar it would help. Thank you for reading this! Tammy
  5. tjdeepthinker

    tjdeepthinker: Hi From Cape Town, South Africa

    I have been coming to this site regularly for years now. Sometimes i come here in search of information. Other times to feel less alone, to see that there are others out there who are like me. Sometimes I come to check on a select few with whom i have found a bond over the years. My fellow sufferers. But mostly these days, I use this a deeply useful and personal space to record my journey, and keep my spirits up when symptoms scared the crap out of me. Or life gets stressful and challenging. This is a space that is so much to so many people. If i do the math, the likelihood of me ever getting of my drug cocktail is slim, but i have come (with loads of upheavals), to accept that. I don't want to live my life identifying as an invalid. So I measure my doses, take them each day, keep a record here, and get on with it. But basically this means, that I am a life long drug taperer. I know that every time I go down just a tiny bit in my dose there is THAT MUCH less of that drug in my system. Each taper is a miracle really. And I fully appreciate it. So here I am sharing this thought. I am living with drug damage, controlled by drugs, and balanced careful, well timed tapering of those drugs. This does not define me, its just my normal. Anyone else have anything similar to report? There must be so many of us out there, just figuring it out, with the help of sites like this one. Respect to all on you. Feel free to add your thoughts. -TJ
  6. Hey, everyone. Here's my introduction (I hope it's not too long): In 1994, at 19, I suffered panic attacks from being bullied in school and having cognitive errors in my thinking (perfectionism, negative self talk, etc.) My parents took me to a psychiatrist who told me I had a "chemical imbalance in my brain," prescribed me 80 mg of Prozac a day, and kicked me out the door. I received no therapy and from that day forward saw myself as a mental health patient. This diagnosis changed the course of my entire life. My Prozac took six weeks to kick in, and it brought with it a slew of side effects: generalized anxiety, hypervigilance (constant surveying the world and my body for signs of panic), stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. Like the proverbial boiling frog who doesn't notice the raising temperature, the side effects eased in to my life so slowly I thought they were a part of me and my "chemical imbalance." In essence I had a paradoxical reaction to the drug: it amplified my existing struggles but I had no idea my medication was the source. I was never told this was possible, nor was I told about the danger of trying to come off. The side effects made work outside the home, socializing, and dating extremely difficult because I was always afraid of the next wave of anxiety that would send me racing to the washroom. I watched my friends grow up and have careers, partners, and families, while I tried to buoy what was left of my self-esteem with self-help books and different therapists, none of who ever questioned the drug or the dosage. After two years of cognitive behavioral therapy to untwist the errors in my thinking, I tried coming off the drug under the supervision of my doctor in 2006 but the initial reduction of 20 mg every two weeks proved to be far too steep. When I reached zero I had a few days of bliss, then an absolute mental collapse. I developed akathisia and was unable to sit still and paced relentlessly and lost control of my emotions. I felt completely hollow and cried for no reason, all the while suffering from unspeakable anxiety. My parents debated admitting me to a hospital but was told that the doctors would check my medication levels then ask me to leave as there would be nothing they could do. I went to my psychiatrist who misdiagnosed my condition not as withdrawal but as depression and anxiety that the Prozac had been treating. Desperate not to lose my mind, I restarted the drug and lost another ten years to side effects. Two years ago I lowered my dose from 40 mg to 30 mg. Three days later I was to meet friends for dinner for as long as my anxiety would allow. I braced myself during the meal for the inevitable tsunami of mental anguish but what I felt instead was a mere ripple. I was stunned, then perplexed. When I realized what was happening and that the drug had been the cause, I burst into tears. Instead of racing home after the meal as I so often had in the past, my friends and I went to a movie. Over the past few months I've been easing off Prozac at 5 mg every six weeks. My quality of life improves with each reduction. My hypervigilance and anxiety all but vanished at 20 mg. At 15 mg I have become more social than I have ever been, and at 10 mg I feel like myself again - sort of. I've been on 10 mg of Prozac since May 9th, and I'm also on 50 mg of Seroquel. I want to get off the Prozac completely but I'm going to stay at 10 mg for at least three months until I know I'm stable. Though most of my anxiety is gone, I had a panic attack last week. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday over how much I've missed out on from the medication and cried through the whole thing. Naturally she was concerned that this might be a relapse of depression/anxiety, but I honestly feel better now than I ever did on the higher dose. So...that's me!
  7. Hello to all you brave souls out there who want psych off drugs. I have been in the mental health system for 10 years, and most of it was because of akathisia related problems that doctors will throw shade at as not happening. The only drug that has allowed me to live akathisia free that I have tried is Seroquel. I haven't been successful at tapering, and started going down by percentages only in the last few years. I have to go 3% because 10% is too fast. I have got nutritional tests (NutrEval and spectra cell) for the past two years that confirm what this article is saying: http://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/7-important-nutrients-depleted-by-psychiatric-drugs-antidepressants-antipsychotics-stimulants-benzodiazepines-induced-guide-vitamins-medications I am going through all my old hospital records to look at what I have forgotten. In 2008 I was put on Celexa and they gave me Inderal for my "presumed" akathisia. I have forgotten most of 2008, but these records are making me mad. They are so arrogant deny the torture that is right in front of them. I respond very badly to these drugs. I will eventually have a list like most of you have that details your med history. If you are tapering off Seroquel or have been tortured by akathisia please message me. If you are going through akathisia right now, please, DON'T LET THEM DRIVE YOU CRAZY!!! It is really happening to you and it has to be stopped. I don't know what else to write right now. I hope you look into basic nutrition as a way to feel better.
  8. hi i'm new at this forum and i'm brazilian, 20 years old, started effexor when i was 18 for depression, stayed on it for 8 or 10 months, with almost no side effects, after this tried going cold turkey , since then have been dealing with all possible kinds of side effects, i tried reinstatement on january of this year (after 4 months of wd) obviously didn't worked, stayed on them for more 5 months, went to rehab. tapered effexor there and started trazadone and seroquel. now i've been taking 150 mg of trazadone and 25 mg of seroquel, was kind of "ok" so tried to reduce trazadone to 100 mgs, wasn't able to sleep for 3 days, went back on 150 mgs, and added 2 mg of klonopin to use when needed, but since that abruptly quitting of effexor i haven't been the same, dealed with EXTREME anxiety (never was a problem before), SEVERE imsonia, sometimes 5 days without any sleep, chronic pain and numbess and poor coordination on the right side of my body. the left side seems ok, i have no idea why. derealization, poor memory, poor concentration, diahrrea, akastisia, poor stress tolerance, emotional numbess, brain zaps and brain fog, anyway i have been dealing with pretty much all the symtoms you can come up with, pretty hopeless, desesperated, regreted, scared, feeling like it will never be the same. i really want to know what you guys think, is there any hope for me ever being the same again?
  9. Hello, I did a relatively quick taper from Lexapro using 1 mg per week water titration from 10mg with my final dose mid-November. Acute withdrawals lasted a couple weeks then subsided. Around Christmas the weeping and depression set in with a vengeance. At the same time insomnia started. I could not sleep unless I took 50mg of Seroquel. i am still battling the insomnia but ironically last night I slept 7 hours without having to take meds. Today is my 5th day of reinstatement on 5mg of Lexapro. Seroquel as stopped a week ago and replaced with Ambien, which I have not taken for 2 days. The insomnia is taking it's toll on me. My T3 thyroid is starting to go low, I am having cold temperature intolerances, hair is falling out, strange "feelings" in my hands and legs from time to time, and inability to relax or make myself comfortable. It's like I am always in a restless state. Since I have reinstated the weird feeling in my hands and legs are subsiding and are more flair up in nature. I felt relaxed when I woke up this morning and when I layed down last night. I do have the typical startup anxiety/tiredness that is all too familiar. the head fog is very bad also. How long will I know whether or not this reinstatement is going to work? Also, how long should I stay at 5 mg before I go to 10 mg and plan to hold there? I did not want to reinstate but the insomnia will put me to an early grave if I do not get it under control. Dr. Shipko's blog also scared the crap out of me. If I would have read that back at the end of last year, I would have never goin off in the first place.
  10. Hi. I heard this forum will help with other meds besides anti-depressants. I got off of those years ago but probably did myself some damage in the process. I put in a signature so you can see how I got here and where I am. I was so tired from lack of sleep that I was just taking whatever the nurse or doctor said without thinking it through. Now I'm sleeping 5-6 hours and can think well enough to know that I'm in a bad place from these drugs and need to get off. My biggest problem now is sedation/depression. I cannot drive most days. I've lost my job and most of my friends. I used to be much more active but now can't even walk around the block. I also have a lot of anxiety but not sure if it's life circumstances or meds or both. I can't figure out where to start. I'm losing hope that I will ever get better. I do think I got much worse when I started the gabapentin. Actually, I'd say the anxiety got better but the sedation and depression and feeling hopeless got worse. I don't know where to start but I figure I'm not going to ask my doctor for a plan given what happened with the anti-depressant taper he gave me. I wanted to rip my brain out of my head, it was that bad. Don't ever want to experience that again. But can't stay like I am, either.
  11. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  12. Hi there, I am hoping to be able to leverage the wisdom of this community to shed some light into my personal situation and help decide possible courses of action. The only people I can speak to in real life about this are my well-meaning family/friends (who think Doctors have all the answers) and my psychiatrist/doctor/psychologist who only respond with medication-related suggestions. Up until this point I have been relatively ill-informed of the pitfalls of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs and I’ve clearly made some big errors along the way. However, my goal (like many I’m sure) is to be drug-free but of course this isn’t something my psychiatrist supports. I am sorry in advance this is such an essay. [And apologies for all bold - my javascript bold function is broken!] About me: I’m a 30 year old British female living in Amsterdam, with a full-time job in Marketing. Where it all began: Just over 5 years ago, at age 25, I experienced a very intense mania with extreme psychosis and was hospitalised. The psychosis was triggered by a melange of stress, diet, lack of sleep and smoking a joint (which I used to do regularly in my teens and 20s with no ill-effects). In the psychiatric ward I was given Olanzapine at 7.5mg dose and gradually over a few weeks, the psychotic symptoms disappeared, and I was discharged. My doctor gave me the loose diagnosis as either Schizophrenia or Bipolar I, but was leaning towards Bipolar--so that’s what I’ve stuck with (but to be honest I’m not sure if it’s correct). After my discharge, I reduced the Olanzapine from 7mg to 5mg and then to 2.5mg over the next few months, and stopped taking Olanzapine completely since the side effects of weight gain and libido loss were not tolerable (with my Doctor’s blessing). For a few months, all was well, until I started getting insomnia, characterised by heart palpitations, feeling of mini panic attacks when trying to fall asleep (and therefore not being able to drift to sleep), and very poor quality sleep when I did manage to sleep. My psych recommended I try taking Seroquel instead, and started me off on 700mg per night. The (Good) Seroquel Years Over the next 4 years, I led a perfectly normal and healthy life--even moved to a new country and changed my job--taking Seroquel with minimal side effects. I managed to reduce the Seroquel from 700mg down to 100mg over 2-3 years, and was feeling better and better the lower the dose (with much less sedation and grogginess the lower the dose). I also switched to a vegan diet & cut down on booze and partying in this time which also helped a lot! Finally, I went from 100mg to 50mg around May 2017, and still felt no adverse affects (only positive improvements). My only concern was the niggling fear that I had become dependent on the Seroquel for sleep. The Disruption - coming off Seroquel cold turkey and switching to Olanzapine In August 2017, completely out of the blue, I suddenly stopped being able to sleep. What then followed was a few months of terrible broken sleep and heavy reliance on Zopiclone (alternating nights) to be able to keep up appearances at work, do my job and maintain normality. My therapist at the time suggested I increase the dose of Seroquel to counter the insomnia, so in October, I moved back up to 100mg Seroquel (occasionally 150mg). This worked a treat for the insomnia, however I suddenly started experiencing very regular involuntary muscle movements (more than a twitch, less than a jerk, around 2x per minute in all different areas of my body), and became very worried this was Tardive Dyskinesia. My Doctor (I didn’t have a psychiatrist at this point) told me I should stop the Seroquel immediately, since this was a serious side effect. I quickly got referred to a psychiatrist, who put me on Olanzapine 5mg instead. The twitching stopped, the sleep was fine, but I hated being on Olanzapine (heavily sedated/low mood/very withdrawn/binge eating/weight gain etc.). Recent struggles with Olanzapine After 2 months on 5mg Olanzapine and its shi*tty side effects, I halved the dose to 2.5mg and stayed on that for 6 weeks with no WD, but annoyingly only a very light reduction in the side effects. Complaining to my psychiatrist, she suggested I try the antipsychotic Abilify (10mg) instead, and told me to switch directly (a hard stop of Olanzapine!). Abilify does not block histamine receptor like Olanzapine and Seroquel, and it did nothing for my insomnia. My sleep started to deteriorate the second I stopped taking Olanzapine, and as soon as it was fully out of my system my insomnia returned with a vengeance - I was not able to sleep without Zopiclone, and even with Zopiclone I would only get 4 hours sleep then get woken up by loud, piercing tinnitus and moderate anxiety. I managed to live like this for only 10 nights, some nights getting no sleep at all, other nights getting less than 4 hours with Zopiclone. Annoyingly all the Olanzapine side effects stopped and I felt great, except for the crippling insomnia which stopped me functioning. I gave in and reluctantly switched back to Olanzapine, which almost brings us to the present moment. Where I'm at Today Ever since going back on the Olanzapine (2.5mg), my sleep problems haven’t really gone away: I can get off to sleep fine, but keep getting woken up by the piercing tinnitus and ‘high energy’ around 4am; often I can’t get back to sleep. I’ve tried increasing the Olanzapine back up to 5mg and that isn’t helping much. Before anyone goes there, my sleep hygeine is pretty good. I've also stopped drinking alcohol completely and have a regular bedtime of 10pm. Now I am starting to panic that not even Olanzapine can help me live a normal life. I am plagued by the fear that I am dependent on Olanzapine to get any sleep and that beneath it lies an incurable insomnia. Regardless, I cannot fathom living my life long-term on Olanzapine and I need an escape plan to give me hope (even if I’m not ready to come off it yet). Where I could use some guidance: >> I am not sure if a lot of what I am experiencing with regards to the insomnia is related to withdrawal, even though I am still on the Olanzapine - is that possible? OR is it more likely that my insomnia is the beginnings of psychosis/schizophrenia and therefore I need antipsychotics to not be psychotic. >> Clearly, I’ve messed up my system somehow with all the medication switching and dose changes (none of the reductions have been that gradual). Is there a good strategy to get me back on track? >> Has anyone had any luck with undergoing biochemical nutrient therapy to help support their taper? This is something I'm looking into. >> (Not really a question) I just find the prospect of tapering and inevitably re-living through insomnia for a sustained period of time incredibly impossible, especially with a full-time job. I just don’t know how anyone does it... I can barely last a week - and I also have the threat of having another psychosis &hospitalisation being induced by insomnia. I realise my situation is not that extreme at the moment, but I am already losing hope and am in a pretty dark place with depressive thoughts about my prospects. I am not sure how I will manage mentally and physically if things get worse (which I suspect they inevitably will). Thank you in advance for reading this far.
  13. Hi Guys, I had a difficult childhood but rather not common! I have wonderful and spiritual parents but I was born a worrier with intense fear of the world. Who knows, maybe genetics, etc… The fears made me feel different and I didn’t develop like the standard child in the 70’s. I avoided social gatherings, had no real friends but otherwise healthy as per my pediatrician. I was aware of my fears but thought that some threats are forever when they were not and threats that I had, everyone has, which was also not the case. I kind of managed to get through life while being chastised by my parents that I was lazy, had no self-confidence, low self-esteem, etc… It came to a point where I just couldn’t see eye to eye with my parents nor with the world around me! This caused lots of anxiety, more fears, and a disconnect. Doctors, herbalists, or anything under the sun in the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s were tried but everything seemed to point to my mental distress although people didn’t give any credence to these kids; either you were a top performer or you were down in the dumps, I guess. To get to the chase, at age 18, I had a panic attack in the summer and then another in the winter at age 19, followed by anxiety symptoms, which at that time were physical and left me worried as a hypochondriac… At age 20, I was becoming convinced I’ll never marry, I’ll never make it in life, and nobody really needs me. My father hates me and my friends are moving along, leaving me behind. At a cousins wedding, I had a horrific anxiety attack, which left me pacing and twitching, not knowing what the morrow will bring. Of course, my parents at that time took me serious and tried to console me, without success. To make a long story short, I was introduced to my first Psychiatrist/Butcher. After 45 minutes, I had a prescription for Prozac and Zanax, being promised I will heal and that the drugs were not addictive. His psychotherapy was worse than no therapy and after a while, I was introduced to the new phenomenon of being drugged for life. Change of meds to Paxil made no difference. I was encouraged to get married (bad advice!) while taking all the drugs. Although I was not comfortable, somewhere down the line my parents convinced me to cut medication. Off with the Xanax (too fast, of course) and tapered the paxil to 10mg (too fast, of course!). I was doing well (so to speak) until I collapsed into a more horrible depression with suicidal ideation and urges. Well, I think you can guess the rest and I won’t bore you with 10-15 useless years. Changed and added new meds. Ranging from: Paxil, Klonopin, Lithium, Zyprexa, Lamictal, Ritalin, Trileptal, Effexor XR. I was separated and made the mistake to get back before I was ready, pushed by a psychiatrist with an agenda! Started with worse anxiety, I ended up seeing a psychiatrist that introduced washout in Cornell at Westchester, NY. What a slam of a deal! Stupid people tapered me off all the drugs in a 3 week range, leaving me with panic attacks that hit the roof. Sleeping was damaged, so was I. I complained, so they reinstated Klonopin, added: Depakote, Ambien for sleep, Lexapro, Seroquel low dose for sleep, and Wellbutrin XL. I was one big mess. This happened in 2013. I was separated, to be divorced, after that incident for good. Living in my parents’ house was hell and the doctors and parents started blaming me for being not motivated and a weakling. After a few months of torture, I started seeing a psychologist that works with the “system” suggesting a new, best in the world psychiatrist for meds and he’ll do the therapy… Now my regimen has changed to: Cymbalta, Wellbutrin XL, Klonopin continued, Viibryd, Seroquel increased, and Deplin. I wasn’t doing too great and my parents suggested holistic medicine. A cortisol test confirmed the highest level of cortisol 24hr a day. I was given supplements, a diet plan, and Seriphos. The Seriphos worked like a charm and after a couple of months, I was read to even think about withdrawing from drugs. I started with Wellbutrin and went down to 75mg Regular release (from 450mg), Cymbalta to 60mg (from 120mg). Still stuck on Seroquel 200mg, Klonopin 2.5mg, and Viibryd 20mg. This is where I crashed and had to stop the withdrawal, for now. I can’t seem to break below 60mg of Cymbalta and was told by people on this forum, outside of forum that I need to go slower. I guess this is where I’m now. A short and sweat hell. After the Hospital event, where I stayed for a month behind locked doors and fortress like walls, I seemed to not respond to the drugs the same way anymore and have constant mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms. I’m working in NY as a Database Reporter and trying to keep my job despite the difficulties… I have two wonderful kids and I’m hoping and praying to G-d that things will turn around and get better. Maybe this forum will allow me to learn other people’s experiences so I’ll heal smater! I am seeing a new holistic practitioner and taking lots of supplements. I also took the 23andme genetic test showing some defects. Did multiple testing and I guess it’s a hit or miss; sometimes I’ll feel better, other times not!
  14. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I figured I needed some support through this journey of exploration. I am currently on - Quetiapine/Seroquel 300 mg XR and 25 IR (used to be 300 XR + 100 IR half a year ago, I've been on it, just like the other meds, for more than three years) - Fluoxetine 40 mg - Dexamfetamine 3dd 10 mg I've been on psychotropic meds for 5 or 6 years now (I'm almost 21). I've been on different meds before this combination. The side-effect have taken it's toll on me (No matter how long I sleep, I wake up tired, tachycardia, tremors, constantly out of breath, I feel like an old lady) When I was prescribed my psych meds I was in a very bad place, I was suicidal. However, I feel like most of the reason I was in a bad place was bc I was living at home. Things weren't going well there, and I've had depressed symptoms and an eating disorder that went unnoticed since I was 13. I've had many diagnosis, it started with adjustment disorder, ADHD and asperger, adjustment disorder changed to depression NOS, then came the borderline and eating disorder diagnosis and now I finally have a diagnosis of PTSD and major depression and ADHD (which I agree with). I was originally given the antipsychotic for my "autism and hypersensitivity". anyway the new psychiatrist just coppied that medicine regime and now I figured I'm done with it. It helped me through **** times, but I've been living in a different place for 2 years now and that allowed me to make some process. The whole tapering of Seroquel isn't going easy though. The first 50 mg (in 25mg per 3 months) gave me pretty bad anxiety. I lowered 25 mg again 4 days ago, I've been able to get the anxiety under control with magnesium (3 times a day, 600 mg in total). Beside the mental discontinuation problems, the first 2 days it made my tachycardia go haywire and my tremors go nuts. It was quite funny, but not if that will happen with every 25 mg decrease. 3 and 4 day I was nauseous, vitamin C, camille tea and lemon juice made it slightly better. Anyway, I'm thinking about lowering and eventually quitting (if possible and healthy for me) my other medication. Also, I wonder if it's best to take 200XR, 50 XR and 25 IR or 200 XR 50 IR and 25IR for example. I'm not sure about what's better. Anyway, I'm gonna keep you guys posted. Ask questions if you feel like it, -E
  15. Hello all, I've been reading these forums intensely for the past week as I've been in rough shape, but I found out about SA last August when my meds first pooped-out. Anyways, I thought it was time that I posted and got more involved because it's Hell right now.. So a little background, I was first put on Zoloft in 2006 for social anxiety and depression, which was secondary to the social anxiety IMO. I was started on 50mg and had some slight flushing and palpitation, nothing too severe and completely bearable. Then my psych Dr kept increasing the dosage by 25mg I think about every two weeks until I reached 150mg. I was feeling fine even at 75mg so I don't know why he did that. Anyways I had 0 side effects, sexual or otherwise, and basically got my life back. I got my first girlfriend in college, went clubbing, made friends and got a part-time job. Things I thought were never going to happen in my life when I first started struggling with social anxiety when I was around 17. Then about 8 months in after starting Zoloft, the Dr advised that I taper off and quit because I was doing so well. He had me taper from 150mg to 0 in about 6 weeks or so. After about 2 weeks off Zoloft, the zaps started. They were pretty severe every time I turned my head. Then I got hungry right after I ate so I would eat more. Then I got emotional, to the point that I shed a tear or two while watching a Jet Li movie..I had no clue about withdrawal back then so I just stuck it out and about 3 to 4 weeks after quitting Zoloft, the emotional symptoms hit hard. Crippling depression, anxiety, impending doom, suicidal thoughts, depersonalization. I was bed bound for a few days and then started drinking. So the Dr put me back on Zoloft but I was still a wreck after a week or so, and he added risperidone to no avail, switched me to Paxil and finally Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg at night which seemed to help after 3 or 4 days. Thinking back, I probably could have stuck with Zoloft after the reinstatement and stuck it out until I stabilized which would have been preferable to adding an anti-psychotic but again I had no clue about withdrawal and I guess neither did the Dr. But the Lexapro and seroquel worked so I stayed on it for about a year before deciding to try quitting again in April of 2008. Went through the same withdrawal after tapering off too quickly (don't remember how fast but probably 10 weeks or less) and reinstated both Lexapro and Seroquel. Decided just to stay on them for life if they keep working because I didn't have any noticeable side effects besides the Seroquel making my nose stuffy but I took it at night and it knocked me out in about an hour so I guess I didn't really care. Fast forward to August of 2017, after the birth of my first child which required some significant lifestyle changes coupled with a stressful/dirty/dangerous work environment, I got the withdrawal symptoms, even though I was on the same dosage. Not a lot of the physical symptoms but very mild zaps 2-3 times/day and just some generalized fatigue which went on for about a 8 weeks, then the sudden crippling emotional symptoms hit. Went to the local Dr (I moved so it was a different Dr) and asked to try Effexor XR after doing some research. Thought I needed something stronger..lol..but was only on it for about 10 days which was hell because by then I also had hot flushes, tinnitus, light sensitivity, and panic attacks. I went back to the Dr and this time switched back to Zoloft with fingers crossed. I went back up to 150mg, but didn't notice much improvement after about 8 weeks so I decided it wasn't working and that I was just going to quit all antidepressants forever. So from October 16 to December 4 2017, I went from 150 mg to 0. Shortly after starting the taper I noticed the Zaps had flared up again but I just brushed it off to the poop-out. I started taking 200 mg sam-e and 250 to 500mg l-theanine in hopes of lessening the withdrawal symptoms, and I did okay with manageable anxiety and little to no depressive symptoms. That is until I decided it was time to stop the sam-e and l-theanine as well. I started skipping sam-e and l-theanine every 3 days, then 2 then every other day and so on until my last dose on the 18th of February 2018. The past week or so I have hit rock bottom again with the emotional symptoms, being homebound and not able to workout which means a lot because I have not missed a single day of lifting weights in the past 3 or so years except the day my child was born. I am now seriously thinking about reinstating either the Zoloft or the sam-e and l-theanine then following the 10% taper method because I will have to move again in about 4 weeks and I'm supposed to go on a month long trip with my family in April, both of which has been stressing me out for some time now. I would rather not if I can because it feels like taking steps back but as I've read multiple times in this forum sometimes it's necessary to go back a few steps to move forward. I'm just scared of the many unknown variables, but it certainly is better than the alternative especially now that I have a wonderful, loving and supportive wife and a lovely baby whom I love very much.
  16. I know this is a huge and debatable topic, but can someone please provide me with some comfort regarding akathisia. I've had it from starting antipsychotics. I always got off of them fast. But after taking Seroquel for over 10 years (and it never gave me akathisia before) I am now having akathisia that is not going away even being without the med. I quit Seroquel cold turkey in November of 2016 (about 7 months ago). I was basically off of it for four months. I have taken it off and on since March. But the akathisia has just begun. I was also in the hospital and they recently messed with my meds. Just looking for experiences and assurance that it will eventually stop. Thanks everyone.
  17. Hello, I have been taking Seroquel 300mg for 5+ years and am desperately trying to get off of it due to persistent anhedonia. I've spent the past 4 weeks in a crisis house and managed to reduce my dose to 0 however, the drop from 25mg to 0 has been very difficult. I haven't slept for six nights (since I withdrew) I've managed to get the odd hour here and there in the day but I'm becoming increasingly desperate. I'm trying to get advice from a psychiatrist but because I leave the unit tomorrow I've been discharged from his care and can not access advice. Does anyone know how long this insomnia will last? I know it must vary from person to person but I'm terrified it will endure and have to try to get back to a stressful job very soon. Any advice welcome - thanks. Lily
  18. So I've been on Seroqoil nightly for about 3-4 months. I started on 100mg and that only lasted one night. Went to 75mg and that lasted for a couple of weeks then 50mg. Last month I went down to 25mg. And about 4 wks ago I've been on 12-14mg (cutting the 50 in 1/2 then the half in 1/2.) I'm also taking Lunesta 3mg at no hr and about once a week ill need Klonopin.25 bc I have a hard time falling asleep. I've also started Celexa for anxiety during the day. So question and problem! How do I get off this Seroqoil?!? Like is aid I haven't even taking it long to begin with and I've taped to 12-14mg fine but it seems to mess with my sleep when I try and cut that in half. Don't believe I have the EXtended tablet. Help!!! If it messes with my sleep, is it only temp? I don't want to switch this to get hooked on Klonopin bc that's a nasty drug too!
  19. Hi all, I am writing here in desperation as I find myself feeling so bad after 11 weeks off all medications, that I am just wanting to die every day. I am feeling horrendous physically, mentally and emotionally. I have been on many medications in various combinations over the last 12 years, none of which ever worked...I just kept going, blindly trusting my psychiatrists and treating team and hoping that the next medications would be the one that finally worked. I have done 13 years of therapy alongside this, and have tried many alternative/complimentary therapies along my way. That said though, I have been reduced to being a 'mental patient' for the last 10 years now, going in and out of hospital and attending medical and therapy appointments being my life... But now I'm trying to move away from that. To start life anew, away from all the medical diagnoses and destructive medications. In July 2017, after a particularly bad hospitalisation, I decided it was time to walk away from the mental health system, and get off the medications which never helped. I have tried this 3 times before, but was not successful. I have now done a lot of research and know about tapering, but unfortunately, I was nearly off everything by the time I had this knowledge. So I have come off my medications very fast, particularly given that I have been medicated for so long. The medications I was last on include Prozac, Lithium and Seroquel. I came off Prozac between June and July 2017 under doctor supervision (it was giving me horrendous sweats). In August-September, I came off 500mg of Lithium (down to 250mg then nothing). With Seroquel, I had been on about 600mg and had already been slowly cutting that down from maybe January 2017 (perhaps earlier) and was down to 200mg in July. Whilst in hospital, that was reduced down to 50mg in one hit (long story!). I then tapered it down until I came totally off it at the beginning of November 2017. Physically, I have been feeling like a have a combination of the flu and a really bad hangover most of the time, feeling nauseous, achy, and dizzy and absolutely exhausted, with absolutely no energy. It has actually become worse over the last month and a half or so, where it is now to the point where it is hard to go out and I need to be lying down a lot of the time. Lights and sounds can be quite intrusive. I am seeing a naturopath for support with this, but nothing is helping yet. I suspect it may be a long process. Mentally and emotionally, things have become really really dark. I am aware that all this could well be withdrawals, but with everyone's experience being so different, it is hard to know if/when this may come to an end... It has been suggested by some that it may be worth going back on a small dose of a medication at this point to help, and then slowly tapering it again once I've stabilised a bit... Is this a wise thing to do this far after withdrawing? And if it is something recommended, which medication? Would I go back on a small dose of Seroquel as that's the last thing I tapered off? It is a pretty horrible and destructive medication... Thanks for reading Amy
  20. Wewillsurvive

    Wewillsurvive

    I'm here just to tell everyone not to give up. I just started reading these forums a month or so ago to see if tapering down works and indeed it does .I've bin on seroquel for 3 years dosage 125 mg a day . 25 mg 4pm and 100 mg at 11 pm is when I take it. Now I'm at .15 mg at 4 pm and 80 mg at night . Hey that might not seem like much it was hella lot better than my other attempts to quit cold turkey and tapering down at a non realistic way . Keep in mind everyone is different you could have less side effects . I use a point scale I bought it at the weed 420 store it weighs exactly to the point I actually tried to taper down more but notice I still had lingering side effects so I decided to taper between 5 and 10 % Now here are some tips to not screw up You recovery do not do anything to disrupt ur sleep . No excessive drinking No drugs Exercising a hour a day Drink water and sugar free drinks No chocolate No caffeine High in sugar food For a year or so I thought this way gonna be my life Insomnia , mood swings , sweats , and feeling like crap I can go on to why seroquel is the devil. But I will save it for the next post . We will survive.
  21. Hi all, just been given a prescription of Gabapentin today to help me with pain/sleep as Diazepam/Temazepam/ higher doses of Seroquel doing nothing for the latter - have histamine intolerance though, thus came across this site and these posts [in undiagnosed1's introduction topic]. May I ask does Gabapentin decrease or increase histamine? It's unclear. Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards. S
  22. I've been taking seroquel for PTSD for two years. I was taking 600 mg XR a day. In addition to this, I was taking a diabetes drug - metformin - to stop the outrageous hunger caused by seroquel. I've had a flare up of my eating disorder and decided that come hell or high water that I must get off the seroquel. Taking the combination of 600mg XR seroquel and 2000mg XR metformin, I managed to drop my weight down from a disgusting 72kg to a more tolerable 57kg (I'm 155cms tall) and stopped losing weight. No matter how much I restrict or exercise, I can't lose weight and haven't lost anything at all for 2 months. I did some research and decided to move across to Prazosin because it's also an alpha 1 adrenergic receptor antagonist like seroquel, but it's not sedating and doesn't cause you to gain weight or get metabolic syndrome either. So while I'm titrating up Prazosin at 2mg a day until I get to a dose of 30mg a day (I'm currently at 25 mg). But I've been simultaneously reducing my seroquel by 50mg a day - or I was until I completely lost my patience and remembering what my psychiatrist said about seroquel tapering, I started dropping my dose by 100mg every 5 days. For the most part, everything's been totally fine, except for a few days of insomnia. Now that I've gone from 50mg XR to 0, it's hit the fan and I can't sleep. Like I can be tired and feel physically relaxed but my brain won't stop thinking and over thinking and I can't fall asleep no matter what I do. I generally pass out at about 5 am and sleep until maybe 9 am, if I'm lucky. Until the prazosin was titrated to above 20mg a day, I was completely and irrationally suicidal and had to take all of my medications to my pastor and ask him to look after them because I was convinced that I'd overdose on them. I rang my psychiatrist and his only advice was to keep on with the seroquel and I absolutely refuse to do this. I feel like if I do that I'll a] never get off it and b] never lose any more weight. Will this insomnia go away? Or will I need to get an alternate drug to make me sleep until the seroquel is out of my system and my brain has adjusted? I just don't know what to do. University starts back in a week and I have to sleep if I expect to study. If I can't study, I can't eat because I'll lose my merit scholarship. IDK what to do. Anyone got any ideas, advice, help?
  23. Hello; I am happy to have found this forum. I am am currently in withdrawal from Seroquel 25 mg. I was told by a psychiatrist that I should just be able to drop the dose since it was so small -- but I suspect that I am experiencing withdrawal regardless of the dose. I feel anxious, I'm experiencing chest pain and an increased heart rate, and my husband keeps asking me "what is wrong." I am not aware of behavioral changes but I guess he is. This forum looks like a wonderful place to find information about medications. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.
  24. Hi, SA. Long time lurker jumping in. As it says in signature, I'm still at a very high dose of prisitq and a more reasonable one of seroquel. I don't want to be, but there you go. I don't know if or when I'll get off them, because I'm 21 and juggling studying full time with having a messy head. But I thought I would say hi, because there's no harm in it.
  25. Ccnt80

    Kimberly''s Intro

    Dx: Bipolar, depression, anxiety, PTSD, treatment resistant insomnia, CFS, Fibro, chronic pain Current meds as of Dec. 2017: Lamictal 200mg bid Omeprazole 200 mg bid Motrin 800mg qam Iron 65mg qam Despiramine 125mg qhs Seroquel 300mg qhs Remeron 30 mg qhs Clonopin 0.5 mg up to 5 tabs a day as needed (can take up to 3 pills at one time) *** I very faithfully take my med as prescribed. Supplements when I remember to take them: magnesium, iodine, zinc, probiotic I attempted to drop Seroquel down to 250mg for a couple weeks and was VERY irritability and awful feeling, so I ended up moving it back to 300mg. I had also recently dropped the Clonopin down from 5 tablets to 4 tablets a day. I worry about being on Seroquel cause diabetes runs in my family. As of now, my HGa1C shows a decreased risk for diabetes. I am about 70 pounds over weight. I have lost 50 pounds since May 1. My main issue is massive insomnia. That is the main reason for the poly pharmacy. I've been dx bipolar since 2005 (I am 37), but on anti-depressants since 2002. Due to my lack of knowledge and horrid docs, was on up to 10 psych meds at a time prior to 2009. Two 3 year periods in my 20s only slept 10 hours a week, even tho I was medicated so heavily I could barely move. I was so exhausted and wrung out I wanted to die. I'm on the seroquel, remeron, and desipramine mainly for sleep but they also help mood. I average 4-6 hours sleep, but it takes me 12 hours to get it. I wake up every 45-60 minutes. So don't typically feel rested. If I nap during the day, my sleep at night is no worse. If I don't take clone pin during the day to nap, I get very irritable and overwhelmed filling. Sensory overload. I've been off work for 2.5 years this time around, for mood issues and pain issues.
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