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  1. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  2. Hello everyone, I am currently 2nd week in withdrawing from Clonazepam and Brintellix (Vortioexetine). Then I was thinking I'll start withdrawing from Pregabalin/Lyrica. It all started back in November 2017 when I had a bad acoustic trauma and as a result I now suffer from bilateral, intrusive tinnitus and have hyperacusis on top of that. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital with suicidal tendencies. I was given all those drugs mentioned above + Risperidone (only for 14 days). Then I was released from the hospital with a medical note to my new psychiatrist. It was stated in the note that I should be slowly withdrawn from the benzodiazepine clonazepam - that did not happen. Instead, she saw me once a month and each time she abruptly decreased the dosage of clonazepam (from 6 mg a day, to 3,5 mg a day and then to 2 mg a day + 75 mg of Pregabalin before bedtime). I was having seizures, tinnitus orchestra playing in my head and what felt like electric jolts in my brain. During my last meeting with her I was told I can start now taking Brintellinx every other day and then just stop. I no longer trust her advice. However, when I called the hospital, I was told that I need to start withdrawing from Clonazepam first. I am now withdrawing from 2 drugs simultaneously. I know I will probably, go through some withdrawal symptoms after all this time. As for now it's mood swings and feelings there is just now way out :( If anyone can give me any advice, or instruct me, on how to taper myself off from these drugs, so that I can absolutely minimize potential worsening of my tinnitus and hyperacusis (my worst nightmare) → I will be extremely grateful! Thank you for your attention. Please, find attached my medication schedule as Medication.pdf Medication.pdf
  3. Dear all, I took Sertraline 50 (French name for Zoloft). for only a month and I have developped PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) following a too fast withdrawal. I read the story of some of your members who had PGAD when they withdrew from an antidepressant and their stories looked like mine and gave me hope and I hope they can confort me and assist me because I am in a very dark place. I read the stories of Hopefull anf Broken. Are they still on the forum ? How are they doing ? Until December 2016, I had never taken any antidepressant or a benzo in my entire life. I was leading an happy life with my husband and son in the West of France. We had a chemical accident in december. I mixed 2 products while cleaning my house, bleach and a cleaning product with acid and stupidly burnt my lungs and got a toxic choc on the 27th of december. My doctor thought I was anxious afer the accident and put me on Xanax 0.25, half a pill at night. I took it for a month in January 2017 and was sent to a psychiatrist who put me on Lisanxia 10, a pill a day. I felt suicidal because i didnt understand I was suffering from the Xanax withdrawal the doctors kept changing the pill without any tappering, I stayed on Lysanxia 10, a pill a day the whole February , then another psychiatrist decided to put me on Bromazepan 6 (4 quarter a day). I stayed on Bromazepan the entire March and he put me back on Xanax, all of that cold turkey. And that how I met my worse nightmare, the Sertraline AD: I was feeling very agitated on benzos, my lungs and entire skin were burning and everybody told me it was in my head. I didn't agree so I was hospitalised againt my wish in a psychiatrist hospital. There, they made me stop my Xanax 0.25 cold turkey and put me on Sertraline 50. This happened on Easter monday 2017 (April 17 th). After 2 weeks, I was sent home and started feeling very ill, I had tremors, agitation, fatigue, shakes, flu like symptoms and suicidal thoughts. I went to see a GP who told me I could drop the Sertraline to 25 because I had only been on it for 2 weeks and I could slowly stop it. I went on the 25 pill and then I started having violent withdrawal side effects (I don't know which ones came from Xanax or from Sertraline) : My symptoms : Sensitivity to light and smells, burning skin, hyperacusis, agitation, akathisia, tinnitus and when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started peeing every 10 minutes, got a hyperactive bladder, terrible pains in my genitalias, bladder and pelvic area and the worse of it permanent arousal. Since I have kept the tinnitus in my left ear, the akatisia and PGAD. I was sent to another mental hospital at the beginning of June because I thought they could help me with PGAD. They put me on Risperidone for a week while they made me stop the Sertraline very fast (they made me take it every 2 days for a week then they replaced it with Anafranil 25 that I kept for a week. My tinnitus got worse and my PGAD stayed the same. I was getting sicker and sicker so the psychiatrist stopped the Anafranil and the Risperidone and I was put back on Xanax. I am now back at home, my PGAD symptoms are terrible and I am considered manic and hypocondriac. My doctor wants to put me back in a mental hospital. I can't look after my family and Iam in a very dark place with suicidal thoughts My 3 main withdrawal symptoms : high pitched tinnitus, agitation and PGAD. Pins and needles in my lower back, legs and arms when the PGAD crisis start. . MY PGAD symptoms : Overactive bladder, ongoing arousal sensations in and around the genitals, having to go to the toilets every 10 minutes, pelvic pains, Pins and needle, shaking. It is atrocious and it makes me suicidal. I take 3 Xanax 0.25 a day and a Zopiclone 7 to sleep. I cannot sit because the symptoms get worse and I can barely walk because my bladder hurts. I spend my days crying on my bed with an ice pack on my lower parts. At night I cannot sleep well because of the tinnitus. I went to see an urologist, I had a cystoscopy done and they told me it is not an interstitial cysticis and gave me Lyrica (I am scared of taking it because I fear it will make my tinnitus worse). Nobody knows this symptom in France and people think i am crazy. Thank you for reading my story. Please can you reassure me ? I am terrified and I am suffering greatly. Would it go away ? Is it a withdrawal symptom ? Thank you so much for having this site on the internet. It gave me a lot of confort. Cathyfrench (I am french so I hope my English is not too bad, my apologies for my grammatical errors)
  4. Hi Ive suffered from depression in the past and have been on various antidepressants, been admitted to hospital and had ECT...this was all in the early 90s. In the intervening years I have suffered depression on and off and was happy to take Fluoxetine 20mg, I'm not sure if the Fluoxetine kept the depression at bay or I would have been OK without it, but as I was feeling well I kept taking the Fluoxetine as a prophylactic. During this period I went cold turkey several times for various reasons...I suffered absolutely no withdrawal symptoms at any time...I consider myself very lucky. Ive only just discovered the danger of CT via this website and others. So far so good, but in 2015 I was diagnosed with cancer and endured gruelling chemo and radiotherapy and was given the all clear in April 2016...one line of text...so much pain! After the treatment finished I began to suffer from depression again, a kind of post trauma effect, my doctor recommenced increasing my Fluoxetine to 40mg, which I agreed to. This didnt really make much difference...my doctor then suggested switching to Sertraline 50mg, I agreed and started a very steep tapering to come off the Fluoxetine (one month)...I did actually feel quite well at the end of the taper and did not start taking the Sertraline. However some months later in December 2016 the anxiety and depression became so severe I OKed it with my doctor to start the Sertraline. I took the first tablet and in a very short time I experienced some terrible side effects, dizziness, headache, confusion and a level of anxiety I did not believe was possible, I went to bed for the rest of the day. I knew it would take a while of the side effects to settle, so took the second tablet the next day, again the same effects plus the start of the sexual side effects. I took one more tablet the next day and decided enough was enough and stopped taking the Sertraline…(Just 3 doses!) I assumed the side effects would subside soon after stopping…how wrong I was! Its been 7 months and the effects below are still with me: Tinnitus Cognitive and memory problems Insomnia...1.5 sleep per night PSSD, no libido, poor and difficult to achieve erections, reduced semen volume and a kind of emotional disconnect with the opposite sex. One effect which did remit was the sensation of looking down on myself from above...a very disturbing experience. So here I am in a bit of a mess. I wonder what the best way forward is? I seem to be very sensitive to any drugs or supplements...Ginkgo Biloba and Maca root caused havoc after one dose! Ive tried Acupuncture and Homoeopathy with some limited success...at least nothing negative! Im finding this very difficult emotionally, especially the sexual side of things. Ive been following similar cases here (and the PSSD forum) and there seems to be quite a bit of despair often with the OP just vanishing...I find this worrying. Trying to keep positive Regards
  5. Hello, I was hoping someone could give me some advice about some severe symptoms I've been experiencing since switching from Lexapro to Prozac and back again. Here is my story: Diagnosed with OCD and depression at 18. Prescribed 60 mg Prozac which I eventually manage to reduce to 30 mg. Continue taking this dose of Prozac for about 20 years. At the end of last year Prozac seems to have lost its effectiveness so I speak to my doctor about switching to Lexapro which I've heard has less side effects. As instructed by my doctor I reduce my Prozac dose to 20 mg for two weeks, wait 5 days without medication, and then start on 10 mg Lexapro. Soon after starting Lexapro I develop some very unpleasant side-effects, most notably heart palpitations and tinnitus. I speak with the doctor who tells me not to be concerned because the side effects are caused by "anxiety". Against my better judgment I continue taking the Lexapro for a total of 25 days. At this point the palpitations are so bad I have to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I wait two days and then reinstate the Prozac at 40 mg. Things seem to be reasonably okay for about 3 weeks before all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the middle of the night with such extreme palpitations and dizziness that I end up in ER. However, the doctors find nothing wrong with my heart, conclude its anxiety and send me home. Two hellish weeks of palpitation induced insomnia and intermittent akathesia follow. During this time I have a number of medical tests but nothing abnormal shows up in the results. The palpitations are worse when I lie down and though they cause some anxiety I am convinced they are not caused by anxiety. It feels like the part of my nervous system responsible for controlling my heart has been physically damaged in some way. When I try to explain this to my psychiatrist and cardiologist they don't understand. The psychiatrist gives me Valium and the cardiologist gives me a beta blocker. None of these seem to make much difference so I'm given some Ambien to help me sleep. I take the Ambien for about 5 nights before I decide I'd rather deal with the insomnia. Eventually I get some kind of sleep, but it is still very fragmented and the palpitations persist. My chest feels really tight as if my heart is being pushed up against my chest bone and the palpitations are worsened by lying down, eating or feeling cold. I lose my appetite and drop from 78 to 69 kgs in weight. I start filming my sleep so that I can show my doctor what happens. The footage shows me suffering from hypnic jerks and muscle twitching. These jerks are accompanied by electric shock like sensations that wake me up. During the day I am still tortured by this uncomfortable feeling in my chest and the ongoing palpitations. It feels like my heart has a mind of its own and has been knocked out of sync with the rest of my body. The tinnitus (a loud, high-pitched ringing) also continues. After 18 years at the same company I have to take sick leave for the first time. I have been off work for a month now and have no idea when I'll be able to go back. I continue to take 30 mg Prozac because I feel things would be even worse without it. During the day I walk because this seems to help with the palpitations. I've started taking Magnesium L Threonate and krill oil supplements. I desperately want my life back.
  6. Hello! I am new here. Please forgive how long this is, but I’m trying to be as concise as possible from the beginning for the moderators (and have a bad habit of digression, ha!). I so appreciate this page. I’ll try to add on my drug signature. But if I don’t do that correctly at first, I apologize in advance, as well as, for any repetitiveness, since my brain isn’t always on par and I just may not feel like overly editing any repeated information in different sections below. Please see my “thoughts about this forum” below “my history and withdrawal symptoms” further down the page here. Again, I am so grateful for this website and realize my situation is not nearly as extreme as many, but it is all relative on bad days I suppose ;). From everything I have read, it appears time is the KEY with all of this withdrawal malarkey. I am trying to be patient and positive and do have faith all will be ok in time, but I must admit I am totally blown away that I continue to have symptoms (sometimes new ones or variations on old ones) at 8 months out, after my last Zoloft, which I was on for only 2.5 months (25 mg and only the full 25 mg for the first 2 weeks – see below). Holy crikey Batman! And yes, I do know how quickly SSRI’s can start to change the pathways, etc. So, back on point… Please see below. AND THANK YOU so much in advance for all your help and my thoughts, heart and well wishes go out to all of those suffering FAR MORE than I am. This is enough for me. I can’t imagine some people’s hell in all this, though I’ve read enough on here to know I am grateful that, so far, I am not in that level of hell. SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know, now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now. THEN WITHDRAWAL (WD) SYMPTOMS: In a nutshell… Immediately after stopping had painful neuropathy for a few days in some places, mostly my left arm. (I am familiar with neuropathy because I experienced it for several weeks years ago after only 1 dose of Cipro – won’t touch fluoroquinolones again either). After stopping the zoloft still had inner vibrations (or what some may call minor akathisia at night…?) and paresthesia, mostly at night, but some paresthesia during day as well. About a week after stopping developed severe brain fog. Off and on quite severely for several weeks, but still with tinnitus and paresthesia. Totally messed with my menstrual cycle for about 4 months in terms of missing one and then crazy flow (perimenopause, maybe, but now a wee more normal again and it was NEVER like that before Zoloft). And as an Update – totally missed one in Feb 2018. Perimenopause possibly happening as well, but fun times to have both withdrawal and that. Makes it hard to distinguish some things. However, the crazy brain fog, internal tension and vibrations at night at times, the paresthesia and burning skin (not painful, but not normal), neuropathy at times (is painful), muscle weakness at times (not extreme, but notice when doing certain exercises), tinnitus, weird muscle tightness and head sensations at times, especially when trying to sleep and just overall, not quite me feelings at times… ah, yah, I’m gonna go with SSRI withdrawal on all that, because I was premenopausal prior to Zoloft and did not have any of those symptoms, other than some peri anxiety. Plus, I find it quite fascinating that almost all people have many of these symptoms across the board no matter what SSRI they were on. Coinkydinky…??? Hmmm, not as far as I’m concerned thank you very much. Ooooppps… I digress again… J Anxiety off and on, but some of that could be residual from prior losses mentioned above. FAST FORWARD TO… End of September 2017 to January 2018 to present… 2017 October - So to recap, I think I had a bit of a Window in some things in end of Sept and through October 2017. I was not “right”, but definitely felt better in some ways, even with some symptoms, felt more “normal” and hopeful. And the inner vibrations or mild akathisia while on the drug at night seemed to be gone. And the jaw clenching had stopped not long after stopping the drug. 2017 November - some things came back with a vengeance, like more sadness and anxiety and tinnitus more prevalent again. (Tinnitus changed from just left ear to a more of a high pitch in head or both ears off and on, which I still have, off and on, and especially in bed at night and first thing in the morning as of today March 2, 2018. I had had moments off and on in past months of the high pitch not being there at all and just some tinnitus in left ear from when originally started at end of Zoloft. But the high pitch, almost ringing in head-ish as well as both ears, has been present consistently for over a month now. Sigh. Just keep hoping eventually it will go away in time.) December 2017 - Same as November but with Stupid Crazy Brain Fog Awfulness again, like cotton head, and couldn’t do cognitive things for diddly and still sometimes have moments where if I think too hard my brain just says, whatever, pack up and leaves the room. This went on and off until around January 12, 2018. AND AT THE END OF DECEMBER - THE FIRST TIME I think I had the beginnings of mild akathisia since when I was the Zoloft, but it felt a bit different with some weird “internal tension in my chest and head and arms and just uncomfortable weirdness. And sometimes coupled with neuropathy in arms. I swore I might be having a heart attack and realized, nope, just more new withdrawal BS. Nov – present (ongoing at times)… Muscle weakness and weirdness (not extreme, but not normal to me) At some point in this time frame, I started to notice an overall muscle weakness feeling at times when exercising (weight bearing exercise and cardio), but I still do as much exercise as I can anyway for my sanity AND because at my age I can’t afford to lose any more of my fitness and tone. It’s just too hard to get back and I don’t have that much to begin with. I am grateful I can exercise at all (even if it flares a symptom or two at times, but mostly I’m ok), because I have read on this site how many can’t do that yet. 2018 Jan 12-19th – POSSIBLE MINI WINDOW…? About a week of almost “normal me mood” feeling Jan (though off and on all this time, still some tinnitus and minor paresthesia at times). 2018 Jan 19th to present – ANOTHER WAVE - the beginning of low grade akathisia for several weeks with awful paresthesia, neuropathy – all worse at night. So far, this wave is not absolutely 24/7, but many days for most of the day, with a minor window of 3 days lessened aka/pare/neuro/jingly symptoms. And some more of the tinnitus high pitch at times, but very little brain fog. Just more of an “off” feeling. And overall sad and anxious feeling. Less upbeat like in the window week. 2018 Feb 26th to present … Ruh-oh, as of today, super Brain Fog day – Crap ability to think or focus and brain just super fuzzy. So add Brain Fog back in to the mix now off and on as well. But had a few days with less to no akathisia or neuropathy or paresthesia. BUT SUPER TIRED off and on for the last week, including today. AS A SIDE NOTE ON WINDOWS AND WAVES: Windows for me happen in a way that not ALL symptoms have ever ALL been gone, just marginally better at times and it fluctuates as to which symptoms decides to rise up more. During Windows, if that is what they are, I feel more “normal” overall in feeling like ME and my mood is pretty good, even if I’m having tinnitus or some minor paresthesia, etc. And windows may even just be a day in the midst of things, where I “feel” so much better overall, even if other symptoms still happening on a subtle level. What I consider Waves are when my mood is crap sad or anxious and I don’t feel as “normal”, and/or I have a bad bout of the physical things like Brain Fog and/or mild akathisia, and/or paresthesia/neuropathy and tinnitus ( the tinnitus hasn’t really ever gone away yet, though there have been “moments” when it seems to have, only to come back. Mine is not as severe as some peoples, but is DEFINITELY annoying at times and something I have never had before). MEDS, SUPPLEMENTS, SLEEP, EXERCISE, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, ETC.: Some things I have been on since before the Zoloft. Thyroid (23 years) EPA only about 500-1000mg day (started just before Zoloft) Mild multi-vitamin (Dr. Furhman’s women’s with 1000mg D3 – sometimes take an extra 1000mg D3). Started before the Zoloft I believe. Mg citrate (just before zoloft - anywhere from 200-300mg, depending on what I feel like a day) Quercetin (500-100mg day for years for another medical condition I’ve had for 20 years) Hydrolysed Collagen for my skin (just before Zoloft). Does help my skin (doesn’t seem to matter one way or the other with WD, but can make me sleepy at night). Biotin (1000mg) for my hair (lost a lot after mom passed, but it is coming back) Play around with NAC 500 mg a day for a few days a week (not sure it helps, doesn’t seem to hurt). Vit C every now and again (500 mg), but not always very regular about it. Play around with caffeine (had some of my best days on it and so it doesn’t seem to directly affect WD. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. I think I’m finding WD does whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, and, in my case, seems to be mostly independent of anything I specifically do, eat, drink, etc at any given moment. I have experimented many times. As many on this forum have said, TIME AND PATIENCE ARE THE KEY FACTORS. I am currently 8 months out and may have months to go... Alcohol is a crap shoot and I rarely drink anyway (once or twice a month or not at all). Sometimes it has been helpful and sometimes, maybe not. But I mostly avoid it right now. Try to keep to a strict sleep schedule because though I do sleep finally some now (didn’t while on Zoloft or before due to the losses I had and anxiety) I rarely sleep all the way through the night But a broken 5-6 hours of sleep or so, is way better than 4 or less or none! I also have found that the collagen at night (it has a lot of glycine in it) along with some magnesium helps me. But too much magnesium at night can seem to do an odd paradoxical thing and agitate me, so I have to be careful. I have exercise class about 3 times a week (when I can). And I walk or hike when I can or the weather allows. Exercise has helped a lot. Though, when the chips are down, the chips are down, even with exercise. But I refuse to not exercise and should probably do more. But sometimes laziness/tiredness, lack of time, or withdrawal symptoms win. THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS FORUM and just stuff in general: Thank goodness it exsists, ha! Thank you all for being here and for those who started it! My doctor didn’t think this withdrawal was a “thing”. I had to send her an article from Harvard Med Page showing that it is (but even the Harvard article doesn’t think it lasts this long). Have had 2 people, another doctor of mine (later into withdrawal) and one a psychologist confirm withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome is a “thing” and that it will take longer than I like or think it will. So, yay, I’m not crazy ;). My Withdrawal (WD) is far less that many people on here, but enough to definitely get my attention and still disturbing, despite that I am mostly functional, because I feel very “off” kilter. I refuse to believe it will not get better, but am a bit blown away that after only 2.5 months at 25mg or less of Zoloft (the generic), I would still be dealing with any of this, but of course, this forum proves this is definitely not unusual for some. Am getting on this site to just confirm that getting worse before better, etc, is “normal”, even for such a short period of time on the drug (yay, not the way I want to be “normal”, snort, but one must keep a sense of humor ). I will probably not “live” on this site because I am trying to just get on with it and give it time as much as I can and because I, so far, knock on wood, am not as severe as some people. But I am grateful for this site, as I have been on it many times for my sanity (but equally I try not to go down the rabbit hole too much with it either), and am in awe of those who have walked through hella worse. Despite a strong family history of anxiety and depression on my mom’s side, which I have subtly dealt with all my life (with some severe depression from situational events), I will do everything I possibly can to be happy and healthy without drugs. I know I was desperate for relief and sleep before this zoloft Sh*tstorm , but the bright side is I will have learned some valuable cognitive skills and behavior (I do have a counselor and have for a long while, but this is definitely making me up my game on my thought processes ;). And I will not take another SSRI again. I was going to go to Italy for my 50th this summer and hike in the Dolomites, but have decided to wait until WD is done. Stupid WD. Whenever I’m in a Wave I think I’m going to do a TED talk on all this Withdrawal stuff to help educate and save the world! And then I have a good day and think, heck No, I don’t want to spend any more time on this malarkey at ALL when it is all GONE for good! (so, I can see why there may not be more success stories actually online – people just want to get on with living). Again, I’m not nearly as bad off as some, but I also know I’m not supposed to feel all these side-effect-like symptoms. I know what “normal” feels like and WD most definitely is NOT IT! WOW. SORRY THAT WAS SOOOO LONG! And not very well written (I'm sure there all kinds of typos etc). But I just want to get this out into the ether, before I keep putting it off and then have a wave and wish I had done that, ha! Many thanks for this site. I may have questions in time, but for now, I’m just trying to get my basics on here in the event anyone or the moderators have any helpful words and affirmations and so that I can ask questions if I need to do so later. Also, I may have totally forgotten some things which I may add later on. IN ADVANCE, please do not feel I am being rude or slighting anyone if I do not respond should anyone post to me. I may just be getting on with things as best I can and not checking this site too often. But I still appreciate everyone on here and what everyone is going through. My best wishes to all! KimLou DRUG SIGNATUE (FROM ABOVE)... SORRY, I'M NOT SURE HOW I "ADD" THIS ON... SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now.
  7. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  8. Hi my name is Bruno, I'm a 24 year old biology student from brazil so I apologise for my bad English. I'll try to make it short. So I started taking Lexapro for depression a month and 3 weeks ago. Everything was going well, besides the weird nightmares and weird toughts, Lexapro was working. When I reached 24th day of medication I woke up with a really bad ringing in both of my ears, I got scared and said to my doctor I want to stop cuz I fear the side effects. Since i was in a lower dose (10mg) he said I should take 5 mg for 5 days and then stop. I did that and in about 3 days off of medication my tinnitus got really low and I was feeling great again. 1 week out of medication I developed palatal myoclunus ( can't find anyone with this symptom) 2 weeks I developed eye twitching then 3 weeks out of Lexapro I started having eye floaters wish for me are not a big deal. The real problems started 1 month and 2 week out of meds, I got this really bad fellings on my body like eye twitching and twitchings all over my body not all the time but sometimes, also started having this sharp pains in my fingers and 2 days ago now 1 month and 3 week out of medication im getting tingling sensation on my face on my upper lip pain at the back of my ears and neck pain inside of my head but the thing that really scares me is my arm that has been shaking for 2 days now and and my hand fells week and numb. So to summarize all the symptoms I have to this day ( very low tinnitus , palatal myoclunus , eye twitching , eye floaters , pain in my fingers , arm weakness and tremors, jaw pain) and o forgot to say that my jaw fells like is slightly dislocating to the side. I know thats is a lot of stuff for someone that has been on meds for small period of time. Nobody belives me but I know that something is wrong with me and is not anxiety like my parents and psychologyst says. Please help me.
  9. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  10. Hello everyone, this is my introduction. I was prescribed an SSRI. Yes I know it makes you feel worse before you feel better but I felt terrible so after a few days I gave up on it . Over the next two weeks I felt worse and decided to start it again as I was having panic attacks, something I had never experienced in my life. I again felt really bad. I couldn’t get out of bed, not that lying in bed made me feel any better, I just couldn’t let anyone else in the house see me in such a state. It was after about a week that, yes, you’ve guessed it, PSSD. I had religiously read the information leaflet in the packet and saw that this could occur but not that it could continue after you've stopped. It was then that I searched online and discovered PSSD. I was horrified. I had never been warned of this. After 10 days I stopped again. I then hoped and prayed that all my functioning would return. After about ten days of stopping I was feeling particularly bad. I have all the classic symptons of PSSD. My anxiety and depression has gone through the roof. Lately I feel absolutely exhausted and depressed in the mornings. There is no way in the world I would of touched SSRI’s had I known the possible consequences. I am determined to beat this and get back to the happy man I once was. The impact of this condition on me is immense. I have found these forums a great help. I’m looking for any support out there as at this rate I’ll end up back on antidepressants for which I’ve now got a phobia. I’m also looking to support anyone else where I can and keep a record of my progress.
  11. Hi everyone, I am new here, and very thankful for all the important information and knowledge contributed. It is really helpful. As you can see from my history, I am 7 months free from Lexapro 10 mg, suffering from protracted WDS. My symptoms include most everything described here, just that I didn't know for a while those were symptoms. I just thought I am going nuts. In this site I learned many important terms that helped name and identify these awful phenomena. Right now I am in a window period for about two days. A great relief, but I know it's not over. Trying not develop this anticipatory anxiety about future waves, crying spells and feelings of despair and doom. Meanwhile, I am using various supplements (fish oil, magnesium, and melatonin), a little outdoor activity and meditation. My question at the moment: Does anyone have any advice about WD induced tinnitus? I got pulsatile tinnitus after about 5 months of gradual tapering (10% of each dose, remaining there for about 3-4 weeks). One fine morning, it was there, and been there ever since. It was very bothersome in the beginning, but I got somehow used to not paying attention to it. But a few times a day I notice it's there. Sometimes it seems a little lower in intensity, and sometimes it goes up. I certainly hope it goes away one day, just as it came, but, I am not keeping my hopes up. I would appreciate any information. Thank you, notalwaysso
  12. Hello guys! I have always been an extremely positive person with a wonderful outlook on life. However, I've had problems with social anxiety for about 3 years. My SA definitely wasn't severe, I would say it was mild to moderate, I would only experience it in certain situations. However, it would bring me down occasionally so I decided to seek help. My GP prescribed me with 50 mg of generic Sertraline. I took my first 50mg pill on September 1st, 2016 and felt just as usual except for hand trembling and quite lifted energy levels. I took another pills on September 2nd and this is when the hell started. I suddenly woke up at 6am in the morning feeling weird. After a few seconds I started experiencing my first ever panic attack. It was really intense and really severe. I could not breathe, eat, drink and I could not calm myself down no matter what. It took 2 hours for the panic attack to subside. I decided to not take any pills, thinking my panic attacks would stop. Oh, how wrong I was. I had another panic attack in the evening, which started at 10pm and continued till 4am. I had one Xanax pill so I took that one and my panic attack subsided just a little. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but I woke up 2 hours later having a panic attack AGAIN. I went to the hospital, where they did some tests. My heart was totally fine so they just sent me home. I went back home, slept for another 2 hours and went to my friends house to relax a bit. I felt extremely anxious and experienced hot flushes 24/7. At 8pm I had a full on panic attack again, my friends called the ambulance as I was hysterically crying on the bed feeling like I was about to die or kill myself. I ended up in a psych ward, where I experienced panic attacks every morning and every night. No one believed me when I said I had never felt suicidal or experienced panic attacks before taking Sertraline and OF COURSE no one believed me. They actually insisted on me taking Sertraline again, which I refused as taking Sertraline in the first place was the biggest mistake of my life. Surprisingly, the panic attacks have suddenly ended on September 8th and I was stupid enough to think that was the end to my suffering. Hell no. Severe depressive episode had followed. The things Ive experienced to this date - depression, anxiety, DR, DP, paranoia, anger, irritability, crying spells, apettite loss hot flushes, extreme trembling, inner trembling, jitteriness, suicidal thoughts, self harm thoughts, migraine headaches, fatigue, dizziness, mental impairment, insomnia, vivid weird dreams, sensitivity to light and sound etc. I felt like I was going crazy. Taking any supplements would send my anxiety to the roof. Symptoms would rapidly come, go away and come back again. Depression and anxiety are still here. I get some mild episodes of DR and DP. My insomnia got better, but it is still here as well.I have almost committed myself to a mental hospital three times. The symptom I am most worried about is tinnitus. I do not even know if it is somehow related to this adverse reaction. I developed my tinnitus on November 1st, 2016. At first it was almost unnoticeable until I had a migraine headache on November 4th, which made my tinnitus 3 times worse. It is not severe, but I am quite mentally unstable at the moment and it really brings me down. I have not exposed myself to unusually loud music or anything. Tinnitus seems to be quite a common symptoms for those in a benzo withdrawal, but I have not really heard anything about antidepressants. Mine sounds more like a metallic hiss in my head and is usually quiet in the morning. All I want is for this pain to go away. I hate myself for taking those tablets as I was absolutely fine without them. I used to be so happy. Great relationship with my parents, tons of close friends, partying, travelling, career prospects. I had so many plans but my life seems to be ruined and I am only 20 years old. I will never forgive myself. Have a peaceful day.
  13. I am 43 years old. When I was 20 years old I had my first depression. They got me on paxil in October 1993. I was 21 years old then. That helped. The next 21 years following I head no depression or anxiety. 21 years I lived a normal live: married, made a career, sported a lot. During my student period (1994-1997) I was sometimes a heavy drinker. Occasionally I was dizzy for a couple of weeks, but that always ended. In those years I tried to quit paxil (20 mg) sometimes, but never succeeded because of the brain-zaps (withdrawal) Flash forward to 2014: I worked way to hard (I was manager for about 100 people) and got a burnout. That's where my tinnitus kicked in. I went to a psychiatrist (for the first time since 1993/1994) and he increased my paxil from 20 to 40 mg. Did not help much for the tinnitus and burnout, so I started slowly tapering from 40 to 0 mg over a period of 12 months in 2015. At the end of 2015 I was on 10 mg and went to 0 mg in one week. All hell broke loose: terrible headaches, heavy increase of tinnitus, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, anxiety an I even fainted a couple of times, etc. Was it the 23 years of Paxil that took its toll? At the end of 2015 I wrote a goodbye suicide note. The withdrawal effects where to heavy especially the tinnitus. I got hospitalized and at the hospital they gave me clomipramine (anafranil) and sulpiride (dogmatil). The effect was terrible. More tinnitus and double vision. Only solution was, according to a psychiatrist: back to paxil. So since the beginning of 2016 I am back om 30 mg paxil. With that I take 1mg lorazepam for the tinnitus and 7,5 mg mirtazapine for sleeping. My head feels terrible. It is extremely sensitive, especially for noise. Besides that I have a constant pressure in my head: most of the tome I feel the electricity in my head. This year I started neuro-modulation for my tinnitus and they made a scan (a QEEG) for the pressure in my brain which saw an overpressure in my brain. I am not sure but I think I have a sort of withdrawal discontinuation syndrome. My marriage ended because of the horrible situation in 2015/2016. Strange thing: I always knew that something would happen. 23 years on paxil took its toll. I am more stable now when I was 1 week off paxil. On the other hand: I have not tried to get off for a longer time and my brain feels so fragile that I cannot work anymore. I am afraid to stop taking paxil again. On the other hand: I want my brain, nerve-system and immune-system to heal. What should I do?
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