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Found 11 results

  1. When I was 15, 2005, I started to have some insomnia and mild depression, it was winter time in Montana so not too much sun, I was diagnosed with SAD. I was started on Lexapro 10 mg and I remember it helped. When summer came around, I think I remember trying to taper off slowly but then having some bad depression. Doctor said I likely had a chemical imbalance and that I would need to stay on the medication for the rest of my life. I was told there weren't long term effects from taking the medication. At some point a few years later, I must have struggled because I was switched to Citalopram 5 mg and after 6 months, went to 10 mg of Citalopram. I don't really remember this point all that well. In 2008 I went on to college and had a successful couple years, grades were good and I had a girlfriend. During the summer I started to experience some major depression and anxiety, I didn't want to get out of bed, I felt scared. After a few days, we decided to go to the doctor and I was switched to Sertraline 50 mg and then a few months later increased to 100 mg. I remained on this dose for almost 7 years. I had graduated college and landed a great job in 2013. I moved away from family for work and when my fiancé finished college in 2014, I moved her down with me, unfortunately, she ended up leaving me suddenly with no warning shortly after and moved away. I was devastated. I remember being hysterical and then very suddenly, felt no emotion at all. At first I was glad that I didn't have to feel the pain, but I didn't feel any joy either. I took two weeks off of work and mainly stayed home alone. The emotions eventually came back and I got better. Since then I have dated a little but nothing serious. I currently live alone In 2017, I started to have some pretty severe depressive episodes, I decided to find a therapist and a psychiatrist and deal with my mental health the 'intelligent' way. Therapy was not too bad, but I really felt like the medication was not working anymore. The psychiatrist decided to start me on bupropion xl 150 mg. I transitioned from Sertraline 100 mg to bupropion xl 300 mg over the course of 2 months. I remember feeling OK, but looking back, I started to feel more and more trapped, afraid of making mistakes, thinking that if I did anything wrong, I was worthless etc. I got my prescription refilled right around Christmas time. I noticed the pills looked different but I wasn't worried about it, I saw it was still the same medication, just a different generic supplier. I started taking that pill Christmas day, within a few days, I started to get very depressed, even though I was working out, eating well and socializing. On that Friday, 5 days later, in the middle of a sprint on my treadmill, I broke down in tears. I was really depressed. I wrote in my journal that night, I was thinking it was all in my head. The next day, I got up early and worked out first thing, I made a list of things to go shopping for and went to the store. I remember taking a long time in the store and feeling very anxious about making the 'wrong' choice on everything. After an hour and a half, I bought what I had and went home. I broke down in tears again. I asked myself what the heck I was thinking about that was making me feel this way. I had been dabbling with journaling and mindfulness. I wrote down a lot of things like "I think I am completely worthless", "I don't know anything", "I'm no good" etc. I wrote down evidence for and against for each item and was able to prove all those negative thoughts false and I felt better. I thought I had found negative core beliefs I held about myself and that challenging them would make me feel better. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way. The rest of that weekend I was mainly confined to my bed and chair, feeling very anxious and depressed to the extreme. I was talking on the phone with family and my Mom thought the medication wasn't working right. I was thinking it would be weird for the medication to work for months and then suddenly start going haywire. I thought my mood was due to questioning core beliefs I had about myself and my life. After suffering through the New Years weekend and a night of very little sleep, I forced myself to go to work. The morning was awful but as the day went on, I felt better and better. I was able to go and see my psychiatrist that day and explained about the issues and my "mental breakthrough". He was very concerned about my symptoms and prescribed me venlafaxine xr 150 mg and told to switch. As the day went on, I almost felt euphoric. I decided to not switch and just continue the bupropion xl 300 mg. Over the next two weeks, I had some very depressed mornings that lifted to nice afternoons and better evenings. The second weekend, I woke up at 6 am, very anxious and realized something was wrong. I remembered my pills had changed, I researched if people had struggled with supplier changes and found quite a few in fact did. I also found that several years ago, the FDA actually pulled a generic supplier of bupropion off the market due to not being bioequivalent. I was furious. I found a way to report what happened to me to the FDA. I did not take that pill again and switched to the venlafaxine. I took it Sunday, and then Monday but then I thought to myself that I potentially had just gone through cold turkey withdrawal from bupropion and that maybe the worst of it was over. I was thinking maybe I had an opportunity to stay off of antidepressants, so I did not take anymore pills after Monday, January 8th 2018. At some point I found this site, and although it was helpful to find I was not alone, I was also terrified of potentially struggling for multiple years! I started taking fish oil, magnesium, turmeric, COQ10, D3, a multivitamin and eventually added a probiotic. I have had very little physical symptoms, its been mainly mental and emotional. I have experienced windows and waves daily, with a progression to having a couple good days in a row. During the waves, I am depressed, anxious, and cognitive abilities are reduced, my memory is not great, I can't seem to make decisions as quickly or as easily as I used to and I can't seem to be an active participant in most conversations. During the windows, I feel very good. My brain is firing on all cylinders. I am positive and optimistic about the future, I have confidence and good self esteem. I feel like "I can do this". Recently though, this past week, I have had more lows and deeper lows (not as low as the first two weeks). I am terrified. I know others have had it worse but I don't know what to do. I exercise almost every day. I have been journaling, praying, meditating, seeing a psychologist weekly, I eat well and I sleep well most of the time. I occasionally wake up around 5 am with some anxiety. I have so far been able to keep working full time. Its been 7 weeks since I stopped medications cold turkey, 9 weeks since my last effective pill, and 6 months since my SSRI. I believe I am definitely low on serotonin from the many years of being on SSRI's. I am struggling pretty bad lately with the depression. I am not getting any joy out of anything. I struggle to get out of bed. I am starting to lose hope that it will get better. The thought has crossed my mind to reinstate a low dose of sertraline, but its been out of my system for 6 months and from reading the forums it seems like it may not work or make things worse. The other thing I think I want to try, even though some have recommended not to, is l-tryptophan. If my thinking is correct, it could really help me. At least provide my body the materials it needs to be able to make serotonin on its own. I wish I would have never taken an antidepressant but I just didn't know and I trusted my doctors. I don't want to make my situation worse, but I don't know If I can keep going the way it is. Please, has anyone had success with l-tryptophan. Has anyone had success re-instating an SSRI after 6 months?
  2. Hi there all fellow warriors, I have been doing the 10% effexor taper for the last year and currently am at 33mg effexor. I have been experiencing long term fatigue and been working with my GP to identify any possible causes. Have been doing a complete physical workup to check my health. Just got results back and I have quite significant hyponatremia (electrolyte imbalance) all physical causes have been ruled out - it is drug induced & the culprit is the damn effexor. The drug is causing a syndrome of inappropriate secretion of diuretic hormone ( SIADH ) Medical protocol for drug induced hyponatremia is to remove the drug responsible. My Dr wants me off effexor and sooner than later. My Doctor is aware of my taper but wants me off effexor much sooner than my taper schedule. I also really want off the drug but I am scared about gonig cold turkey or even withdrawing faster - I'm seeing my Dr again next week to discuss further. Maybe as my dose is only 33mg i will be ok with stopping more quickly but from what i have read here everyone says to go more slowly - on that schedule it would be another year at least before i'm finished tapering and it seems now i have medical complications from taking the drug this is no longer viable. I feel afraid, any advise most welcome!
  3. PSSD Lawsuit

    Hi everyone! If you have taken an SSRI or an SNRI such as Zoloft, prozac, luvox, and you still experience sexual dysfunction after coming off the drug (in the form of genital numbness, reduced pleasure response, inability to orgasm, erectile dysfunction, etc) please fill this form out to help us end PSSD for good! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc4NixcXLN_sRV-4jSIWeDAYvQ1V96F-8B0MR8GuDpbjbD3rg/viewform
  4. Hi All, Just thinking a lot about where I am in my life right now with meds and mental health. Very uncertain as to what I should do or try to do at this point. Thought I would just throw out my story... In 2013 I hit a major depressive episode. The emotional pain and suffering was intolerable. I thought it was all ending. I was put on 60 mg of Cymbalta and 10 mg of abilify daily. As of November 2017 I am on 90 mg Cymbalta and 1 mg abilify daily. My mental health is steady. I am happy. I'm productive. I like the way I feel and what I am able to be a part of on these meds. But I've gained 50 lbs, and I hate my body. I'm also starting to lose interest in sex because A - orgasms are difficult and B - I have gotten really self conscious about my massive fat belly. I've tried three times, unsucessfully, to go from 1 mg abilify to no abilify. Each time, I've gone immediately into insomnia due to restless leg syndrome followed by profound feelings of despair and hopelessness and wanting to die. I'm really torn, folks. I want to get my weight under control but its just like, IMPOSSIBLE on these meds. I really mean that. I've tried everything. Diets. Exercise programs. Walking. Running. Lifting. Everything. I just keep getting fatter. I feel like I can't handle getting any bigger. It's really driving me crazy. But beyond that I am pretty happy with the meds. I don't know what to do from here, or where to go, or anything. I just know I am upset and confused. I wish there were a clear answer. I guess I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Thanks for reading. <3
  5. Effexor Aug 2004, tapered up to 450mg in following few years. Attempts to taper off for years, now at 112.5 mg. Stuck. From original topic heading: 64 years old
  6. 10yrs in public mental health system, treatment resistant, MDD. Maintained on 1200mg lithium, 200mg Quetiapine, 225mg Venlafaxine Pd. Today I am on 800mg Lithium, 0mg Quetiapine since Xmas 2016. I went excessively quickly on the SNRI, 1/2 the dose over 1mth. A real "Horrorshow". On the 23.2.17, I recommenced my revised reduction program. Of 525mg pw, I made one reduction of 37.5mg on a Thurs three weeks later on the 16.3.17 I made a second reduction of 37.5mg on a Sunday and started to record symptoms four times a day in Excel. Today I am still physically unwell from withdrawal, psychology I am utterly isolated and emotionally unstable but even though I can cure my ills by re-up of the very drugs I have to take every day, my goal is still in place and my plan is flexible. I am under pressures beyond the perception of people without experience. "Nothing to be done". A Question. Could Lithium be extending some of the properties of the SNRI extending the efficacy and so the withdrawal?
  7. I've never joined a forum before but I am not sure where else to turn. I am 26 years old and feel like I have dementia. I can barely remember things, skills that I have possessed for years seem foreign to me, I can barely concentrate at work and I can't read a book / retain information to save my life. I wasn't always like this but it seems like whenever I build up a tolerance to whatever meds I am on or try to get off of them completely this is what happens to my brain. I was once off of antidepressants for 9 months about 2 years ago and experienced the same thing. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and got back on. This time I have been off for 5 months and am struggling deeply. I am wondering if my brain is irreversibly damaged by these drugs and if I'll ever be the same. I wish I had never started down this path. The first 3 years of being on meds were great and then I built up a tolerance. Since then it's been a good year here, 2 bad years there, that kind of pattern until now. I have vowed never to go back to antidepressants that clearly have altered the chemistry of my brain. I don't know how to function without them. I get headaches regularly from stress and can barely function at work. I am not living with my parents anymore so taking too much time off work isn't really an option. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced similar symptoms and more so recovery from these symptoms post antidepressants. Maybe it takes over a year, maybe longer? Is there more I can be doing? Engaging in activities that I enjoy and exercising helps my mood but not these strange dementia symptoms. I have an appointment with a Neurologist in about 2 1/2 months. Not really sure what else I can be doing until then. Not sure if there is more that could be done to speed up this healing process or give me the ability to focus better. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  8. Hi friends, I'm grateful that this community exists. I'm now 29 years old, and feel that life has offered me a precious opportunity to try again: to live in the ways that are most meaningful to me, and to reduce my dependence on a synthetic molecule and anything else that doesn't nourish me. I was first prescribed Luvox at age 16 during what was later diagnosed as a long, recurrent viral illness (mononucleosis). At age 20 (2006), I switched to Effexor, at a dose of 75 mg XR. I've long recognized that very little is known about the effects of long-term antidepressant use, and I have aspired to take care of my body and mind as naturally and as gently as possible. I have tried twice now to discontinue Effexor. In both instances, I tapered over ~6 weeks and experienced significant withdrawal symptoms including 'brain zaps', but felt that I had the resources and momentum to weather these initial waves of difficulty. Over the course of the next 3-6 months, however, I found myself becoming increasingly depressed, sliding down a slope without the resources to gain a foothold; and experiencing waves of anxiety that often felt overpowering. After the most recent effort (November 2014-June 2015), I restarted Effexor, and found that this time 225 mg was necessary to re-establish balance. Given the history of relapses, my most recent doctor has recommended that I remain on the current dose at least 9 months (or 6 months longer) before beginning to taper. I see wisdom in that approach, as I am still finding my strength week by week, and I will be driving across the country in 4 days to relocate from Indiana, where I grew up, to the SF Bay Area. I hope also to begin work at a start-up that I regard as likely to be meaningful and challenging ("I hope", because I am told to expect an offer in the next couple days), and I want to take the long view on this, only taking each next step when I feel strong, steady, and ready. During both of my previous attempts to discontinue Effexor, I lacked professional guidance or a community walking this path with me. I know that reducing and eventually ending my dependence on Effexor will require all of my resources, and many which I have yet to develop; and I have learned how vitally important it is both to lend support to others and to accept and receive it. Sometimes it is clear to me that each of these actions, each direction of giving and receiving support, contains the other. When I am able to clearly, I know also that every breath, every step, and every action taken with awareness is an opportunity to develop the internal resources necessary to walk this path myself and to support others. There are very few things of which I feel certain; actually, if there is one, it is probably this: nothing is of greater value to me or to the world this path of healing and transformation. Thank you for sharing with me what has been most powerful, meaningful, and effective for you in this journey. Please let me know, also, how I can support you. In allowing me to listen and perhaps to share what this life is teaching me, you give me a great gift. I am happy that we are walking this path together. In gratitude, Michael * * * I initially included this in my signature; I'll include it here, and link to it from the signature. Incredibly important and valuable to me in this process has been vigorous exercise (running, racquetball, biking), yoga, and especially a daily mindfulness practice (2009-present). My intention is to bring it into every part of my daily life, so that I may act from a real understanding of what brings happiness and pain to myself and others. I regard this practice, cultivating this intention and capacity, as the basis of the solidity, clarity, and capacity to generate joy which will make it possible to rely less and less on Effexor, and to live as I wish to live. I also know that this will likely be a long path, and that I will have to grow a great deal along it. My practice has been inspired and sustained by the writings and life of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) and the Plum Village community. So often I am lost in my intellect and my thinking struggle to return with a physical and whole-hearted presence to life in this moment. I have been moved by the simplicity and power of Thay's teachings on cultivating a joyful awareness of the body, and mind learning to sit, stand, walk, eat, and do the tasks of life in awareness. During my last attempt to discontinue Effexor, I was an aspirant to be a monk at PV, but was unable to continue for the time being. My deepest wish is to live each day guided by the intention shared by the monastics, and some day to be strong enough to join them.
  9. vedivici: Alan Intro

    Hello all, I am very happy to be able to share with the world part of my issues. In the hope that these words may help someone, I think it is worth taking the effort and time to type it down. I was born and bread somewhere in Transylvania in a happy family with lots of friends and people around me. During my childhood I spent my time building things and interacting with kids. None of this social media nonsense kids spend time on nowadays. I married an Australian and move to Adelaide in 2001. I left parents and friends behind. Started everything from scratch, including learning a new language. Changing cultures and languages is NOT beneficial most of the times from a comfort point of view. In 2006 I started a driving instructing business. From that point on my health spiralled down. Sitting 12hrs in a car and stressing with my novice clients while under pressure from the idiots on the road, soon made my blood pressure reach the limits of normal. I ignored it. Around Easter 2013 I had 2 episodes of massive unbearrable headaches which landed me in the ER. The doctors suspected a stroke both times. First time hey did a CT scan but were not sure of the result. They wanted a spinal lumbar puncture. I knew the risks but decided to go on with it. After a horrible sickening experience the result was no stroke or some signs of blood in the sample taken which could have been a very minor stroke or contamination from the needle on the way in the spine. A few days later again massive headaches. I continued to have all these panic attacks in the middle of the night. Again ER. CT scan with dye. Specialist neurologist. All ok. I took 3 days off work to recover. Before these issues, I used to drink coffee, energy drinks, coke, sleep late and wake up early. I would scold a redbull and sleep like a baby. Wake up early, work like a machine 6 days a week and 12hrs a day. While at home during the 3 days I decided to play Call of Duty on a 27" pc screen. I remember vividly how while playing this game I got so dizzy, I go up and looked out the window to recover. No matter what I did I could not recover to normal. I thought if I sleep I will be ok. From that day on, my hell began. Continuous dizziness. I hate typing that word as i researched it for months on end. That's how I learnt about vertigo and how to fix it, functions of cerebellum, diseases of the brain etc. My only refuge was sleep. The only time when things were stable. I got so worried that I will no longer be able to perform my career. I was gonna loose the job, the house, kids won't go to a private school etc. Things got worse. Unable to find understanding at doctors i turned to natural remedies. I seen so many doctors here in Australia as well as in Romania, from GP to specialists and surgeons. No one had any idea what my dizziness was about. My poor GP tried everything. I took Stamatil for vertigo and did nothing. I took so many medications and it did not make any difference. I then got into fish oil, krill oil. My heart was going crazy. I was having panic attacks every few minutes. While waiting at the lights in the car, thoughts of harm would come into my head. Heart going into panic mode. I took to the heart specialists...any possible test was done. Then i took to the kidney, neuro, i even paid for my own MRI scan, ET specialists. I forget now how many types of doctors and medications I tried. I was given Arcoxia which made me nearly impossible to walk. Then the worst happened. Anxiety struck me bad along with depression. I will only say that everything round me was hell. I lost my sense of peace, sudden fear was repeatedly hitting me every few minutes, my thoughts were only on my bad state, my kids meant nothing for me bringing no happiness, i was in the constant need to hug my wife. I was constantly seeking company otherwise i was very afraid of my surroundings. From a guy that would come home at lunch and watch YouTube or a movie, I was now scared and so down to sit on my own, I had to have someone next to me. Suicidal thoughts were my only company. I didn't tell anybody afraid to not be ridiculed and locked up. My psychologist said to me that if I have any harming thoughts she has the authority to call the cops and ambulance and have me locked up. I didn't mention anything about it. By this stage all the doctors found nothing wrong with me but most of them noticed very high blood pressure and anxiety. The psychology lessons did NOTHING for me. I would suggest you try a counsellor or a mature person that can listen and understand you rather than a pseudo scientist called psychologist. It made it worse. I was having heart palpitations, massive headaches, sharp pains behind the head even with blood pressure medication. All until one day I went to see a GP. I described how I was going for the millionth time, repeated the tests again, all perfect. One day I could no longer function, my brain had it. I was an emotional, psychological wreck. I needed help and FAST. That's how I got introduced to Cymblta. I will relate the story next time as it's a bit late now, I need to go to sleep.
  10. Thank you for the "tapering Pristiq" topic and the extensive information and updates and also the many links to gain more info. After reading this I have formulated a plan for attempting a wean off my current high dose of 100mg Pristiq which I take in addition to Welbutrin 300mg. (For those unaware that is a &@$*#% ton of SNRI on board!!) My exact plan was to start by transitioning my body to taking multiple smaller doses of the 100mg cut up without changing the dose then to begin the taper VERY SLOWLY I am currently at 75mg taken as three doses of 25mg (three pieces of a tablet I carefully quarter with a pill cutter). I have set a timer on my phone to remind me to take my dose. I cannot express enough the importance of not missing doses during this process. I am currently having symptoms. I am frequently nauseated, irritable and tired. I have an almost constant headache, light sensitivity and rarely "brain zaps" especially early in the morning because I am farthest from my last dose at that time. I am doing this without informing EVERYONE in my life so naturally my greatest fear with this process is not having the support I need. I know I will have bad days and irritability and it will get much worse before it gets better. I know that I may get to a point where I just want to go back and feel what has been "normal" for the past 14 years. I have tried to be proactive in this endeavor by enlisting my sister as my accountability person. (Geez it sounds like I'm am addict when I say that). I have informed her of my plan and my goals. I talk to her frequently and vent to her about my symptoms (I can't whine to everyone) She reminds me of my "why" for doing this so I don't lose sight of the goal. I am also keeping a journal to log my progress and help me manage the internal monologue that can sometimes be very negative when I don't feel well. Most importantly I am taking it extremely slow. Even though I want this process over NOW I know I cannot take away from my brain what it has been used to for such a LONG TIME. (You did read above when I said 14 years) I will post later about my experiences with various anti-depressants in another post. Here's to success and being medication-free (eventually)
  11. Hello, I just found this website looking for continued information on Anhedonia after taking prescription drugs. It started in 2009 and I was 16. I was anxious and full of hormones. My parents took me to a psychiatrist and I was prescribed 10mg Fluoxetine for the anxiety, I took it for one month and when it started taking effect I basically became emotionless. I can remember going to live music and feeling no excitement no enjoyment from the situation. I then was tapered to Venlafaxine and that was gradually raised to 150mg daily. I took Venlafaxine for 4 months. I experienced fewer cognitive side effects from Venlafaxine but it did not reduce my anxiety, and at this point I dropped out of school and became a shut in. The Dr. suggested trying a different SSRI, "Trial and error" he said. As I was tapered to Sertraline I was given 0.5mg of Clonazepam for 4 weeks. The Sertraline was raised to 100mg. I took sertraline for 4 months and it had a simmilar effect to Venlafaxine. Mostly dulling my moods but not reducing anxiety whatsoever. I experienced freqent panic attacks and general Agoraphobia. During one of the panic attacks I was brought to the hospital where I was given enough Lorazepam for 1 week. Then The Dr. decided to add Risperidone to my prescription. Starting at 0.25mg for 3 days, then 0.5mg for one week, raised to 1.0mg for one week. After a check-up I told the Dr. I was feeling nothing and I beleive he may have misinterpreted that as "no effects" but when I said it I meant that I felt no emotions. My dose was raised to 1.5mg daily. After 3 days of 1.5mg I began experiencing Akathisia with no relief of anxiety. With no options in perceived sight I took all of the remaining Risperidone. Approx forty 0.5mg pills. My Parents caught me and called 911. At the hospital I was given charcoal and passed out, waking hours later. After being discharged I continued to take Sertraline as prescribed for 2 months. With no reduction in my anxiety and my emotions being basically non existant I decided to "take the good with the bad" and feel some kind of emotion. Over the next month and a half I slowly weaned myself off Sertraline. Popping open the capsule and throwing away 3-5 tiny XR beads a day. I could have gone to the Dr. for the proper size pills but I didn't trust the doctor and wanted to do it by myself. With years of perspective behind me I have come to realize that I am still experiencing side effects from taking these drugs. Mostly regarding pleasure and my emotional ranges. It makes me uneasy to think about expressing my own sexual ideals but I'm sure someone else is in my shoes. So basically I have healthy libido, I can get physically stimulated and I feel the muscle contractions of orgasm but feel almost no pleasure. Trying to explain this to my family has been difficult, I compare it to a plate of food. I feel more pleasure eating food than having an orgasm. And I'm totally bummed out! On the emotional side I do not expereince the depth of sadness I had before drugs. Nor do I expereince the joy I remember either. I do have what I consider a healthier mood range though. Perhaps that's due to my appreciation of anything other than the hollow emptiness I felt on drugs. It's been years since I've taken prescription drugs or seen a psycologist and I do consider myself to be quite stable and confident. I attribute my recovery from cripping anxiety to growing up and having fewer horomonal changes happening in my body. Aswell as neural changes in the receptors of my brain due to becoming more physically fit, Breathing exercises, and using drugs prescription and otherwise. I hope to add to the community and perhaps get advice on methods of reducing Anhedonia.

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