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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. I'm a 27 year old female and I was prescribed to Wellbutrin a year and a half ago. I had never taken any type of psychiatric medication previous to this, and was prescribed to Wellbutrin by a physician that insisted it would help with the depressive symptoms that I was experiencing due to a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). My primary disorder at the time was GAD, and the only reason that I was experiencing depressive symptoms, is because of the change in my demeanor since becoming constantly worried about the possibility of having an anxiety attack in any social situation. The first time that I went to see a general practitioner about my general anxiety disorder, she immediately wrote me a prescription for Prozac, I took the medication a grand total of three days before having a pretty bad car accident while driving my brother to school. I went back to the doctor and she decided that it would be better if I tried going the antidepressant route. At the time I started Wellbutrin I was in my first semester of graduate school and the effects of Wellbutrin were welcome. I was able to concentrate better than ever before, and was getting all A's in school. It went this way for a little over a year, until 3 months ago when I started seeing a return of my panic attacks. I went back to the doctor and she told me that it sounded like I was building up a resistance to the dosage of medication that I was taking. I was taking a once daily immediate release dosage of 75 mg of Wellbutrin at the time and she decided it would be a good idea to up my dosage to 100 mg of sustained release in order to get me back to a base line. I went home with the medication and thought about what the up dosage meant. I had a lot to consider... I didn't want to be dependent on the medication for the rest of my life. Especially since I was taking an antidepressant medication when I didn't even actually have depression. That day I decided that I was going to quit the medication altogether.. without my doctor’s consent… I had NO IDEA how bad of an idea that would turn out to be. Fast forward to a week and a half after trying to quit wellbutrin cold turkey and I was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I was experiencing suicidal ideation (the first time I’d ever had ANY thoughts like this), MAJOR anhedonia, memory issues and extreme fatigue. I went back to my doctor to get help, because I was scared of what I was going to do. Long story short, she ended up putting me on the Wellbutrin SR 100 mg anyways so that I could level out before I started my taper process. I took the 100 mg SR every day for about 2 weeks and was having some really uncomfortable side effects. So I decided it was time for me to start weening myself off of it. I took the 100 mg SR every other day for two weeks and then every two days for another two weeks, so all in all I tapered off of the medication over a month. I know now that this was WAY too fast, but it’s too late for me to try to go back on it for a slower taper. I’m just wondering if anyone else has a similar story to mine, that can tell me what kind of recovery timeline I’m looking at. I’m experiencing some pretty sever anhedonia and memory/concentration issues that present themselves in waves.
  3. I was just feeling a little disheartened by the disparity between how many people post on this site and how many write success stories. I know that this could mean that people just don't want to return to the site because the memory of withdrawal is so painful for them once they've recovered. But it's also scary knowing that another reason for the lack of success reports could be that people have a really difficult time healing and more often times than not it takes YEARS to heal. I've been off for 6 and a half months and I'm still dealing with brutal mental symptoms, and it's discouraging that when I REALLY need to read reports from people that have recovered, and I end up reading the same 5 stories that I've already read hundreds of times. Is it possible that some people just DON'T heal from this and we need to learn to live with the new circumstances that we've been dealt? I know this post is a little depressing, but I could really use some encouragement. Thanks to any of you that can provide feedback and/or reassurance.
  4. Hi there, I have been reading quite a few topics on this website, and would like to see if anyone has suggestions for my situation. I was put on effexor and wellbutrin over 5 years ago. I am not exactly sure of the exact time length I have been on it, and what doses I have tried, but the past few years I have been on 150mg of effexor and 150 mg of wellbutrin. My dr and I decided I can come off the effexor on a tapered schedule. Basically I was tapered from 150 to 75 to 37.5 to nothing in just over a month or there abouts. I didnt keep a track of the dates, which I probably should have. The tapering was ok, I didnt really notice anything happening. Then when I went from 37.5 to nothing, it really hit me. I had all the discussed symptoms and was a mess. I think July 25 was my last day on effexor. In August I think I had two or three good days, and I use the term good loosely here. September I had about 10 good days, October, is only at 8 good days so far. These day are not all in a row, they are very sporadic. I recently started a new job, but it only goes for another month. That has me really stressed out, as I have no savings to fall back on and no job lined up yet. My job I am currently at is good though, it has me outside in the forest, getting lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. Since about October 11, I have been having these crazy crying fits. I just cry, and cry. When I am not crying, I feel ok, but then I start crying hours later. I did go to the walk in clinic, as I cannot get into see my fam dr with my work schedule, and the dr at the walk in suggested I try doubling my wellbutrin either every day, or I could double it up every second day. He said this will still take a month before I start feeling any better, if I do. This morning, out of desperation, I took a second pill and I will continue with this, unless someone has another suggestion... Does anyone have any experience with this? When I have a good day, I still have a tightness in my chest, and I know I am so close to tears, but I am able to ward them off. I find I have to keep myself super busy to not cry, or think, as htinking leads to tears. Today is another rough day, lots of crying already. I do not want to go back on effexor, as my mind has never felt so crisp and clear. I feel unfogged and alert, I do not remember ever feeling like this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  5. I have been on Wellbutrin for the last 10 years. I am currently on 300 mg of bupropion extended release. This will be my third attempt to taper off successfully. This time I have prepped my body and created a conducive environment to successfully taper off. I've followed the pre-taper protocol of a few holistic psychiatrists, mainly Dr. Kelly Brogan. Can anyone who has successfully tapered off Wellbutrin recommend a tapering schedule? Also, did you have the drug compounded into a liquid to taper or just taper down using the tablets? The compounding pharmacy said that they couldn't create a compounded version of the extended release of the Wellbutrin; it would just be immediate release. Is this true?
  6. Hi everyone, I am new and super happy to be here. I have been on Prozac 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300 for twenty five years. I have tried to get off a few times but was not successful. I started to taper in Jan and was down to half doses on May first. The withdraw, specifically anger and self hate became too intense and I went back to old doses two weeks ago. Now I feel like crap. Side effects are harsh and benefit little. I feel like I have let an angry tiger out of the cage and can't get it back in. I am thinking of going back to the half doses and just dealing with the emotional stuff by working out. I started yoga in Jan but maybe harder cardio is the way to get the anger out. Problem is that I am also very tired. I work and come home and go to bed. I journal, go to AA meetings been sober over 15 years. I feel like I am a mess. I am wondering about some of the natural antidepressants like SamE or 5HTP? I just feel like my brain is raw and hurts. Any ideas on how to supplement and sooth my brain? thanks, and I also will stop the taper and work with my doctor but can't see him for another month so that is why I am thinking of going back to the Prozac 10 and Wellbutrin 150 that I have been taking for the past couple of months.
  7. I've been taking these meds for years. I've been on them mostly for extreme anxiety and depression. What do I need to help with anxiety and depression as I try to get off of them so I can stay off of them. Also, how bad is getting off of fluoxetine, trazodone, wellbutrin compared to getting off of Effexor? Getting off of Effexor was pretty hellish.
  8. I'm sure I'm going to leave something out, but here is my brief history: 1989 saw psychiatrist - took Prozac 1991 - 1995 was on various depression medications, none really helpful 1996 heard about wheat allergy from friend - began eating all natural, using supplements 2003 went to natural clinic - took megadoses of vitamins - set me back, never recovered ability to work full time 2013 read about MTHFR mutation - yup, I've got it. At least it gave me some hope. 2015 moved home, can no longer cut it in the real world. Saw Judy Tsafrir - put me on regimen espoused by William Walsh. Worked! To some degree at least, no SAD. Still no energy. 2016 Seeing naturopath to see what I can do about MTFHR, etc. Things seem to work some days, not others. Strange. I'm currently trying to withdraw from Abilify, under supervision. Thing is I have no medical symptoms, am super-healthy. Nothing touches the depression/fatigue though. Also, some days I'll miss taking Abilify and feel really great the next day. Is this common? Feel like the meds gave me just barely enough functioning to survive, and only that. Am supposed to start Wellbutrin (?) in 4 weeks, and stop Abilify. Have looked over this site for a long time now, I know I'm decreasing too fast but would love input/would welcome making suggestions.
  9. Hello Everyone, Has anyone had a successful taper from wellbutrin 300XL? I would appreciate any feedback. The doctor wants me to drop to 250 mg, but I'm kind of scared because that's more than a 10% drop. He says that wellbutrin is easy to withdraw from. (?????) Thanks so much!
  10. Hellbutrin

    Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

    Hi all, Are there any success reports of individuals who struggled specifically with anhedonia and recovered? I've searched but I haven't found any. All of the results that I've found when I've searched are pretty grim.
  11. Hi, I am triple m. I found this support site as I was trying to wean my bupropion. 8.5 years of taking this med for a mild situational depression way back then. Never thought to get off, nor did my PCP think of it either. Up until one year ago, felt quite good on it. One year ago in March, as I was beginning to notice a new noice in my ears, and researching possible side effects of med, decided, hey, I need to get off of of this med. Also, wanted to be off. I knew I needed to wean off, so got some MD information on wean schedule. I was afraid of damage occuring to my ears so wanted to get off NOW!!! I started the wean at my dose of 150XL mid June of 2015. I was told I could start by altering days taken. Every month I would change the wean. First month, skip one day, Second month, skip two days, until I could not stay at this rate by the fourth day. Wean was OK up to this point. I then needed to switch to IR. So, My Dr. gave me the IR tablets and I started them at 37.5mg last October. The change from XL to IR was quite difficult all by itself. However, I made that transition but now looking back, NOT over enough time. Through this past fall and winter months, I have made 2-4 week reductions but, the percentages were too high. 25 to 15 percent. Made mostly at 3-4 week intervals. I thought this would be OK as this was taking longer than the PCP wanted me to do. He wanted me to stop at the 37.5mg IR last fall, However, when I recently got down to what I thought was a tiny 1 mg cut at approximately 13mg, I went into terrible discontinuation. I was already struggling with the last cut but I waited 10 weeks to stabilize and then made the last one that turned out to be too much, ( a Math error on my part) and also, had no real way of knowing what dose I was on due to tiny cuts. I now have a mg scale. The discontinuation came on about 7-10 days out and it was horrible. I was frightened for my well being. This , being yesterday was the first time I had to miss work. I have had many of physical and psychological d/c symptoms along the way and have struggled to get through them. Also, I find NO SUPPORT from medical community in this. Many times, MD and others, have told me get on something else, or Why get off??? I have read some articles by James Heany and others and they have been helpful in understanding. Yesterday in desperation, I found James Heany's article on re-instating your SSRI. I did reinstate, not even at the last dose. I went up to the fall dose of 37.5mg IR, twice a day. I am praying that the worst of the d/c symptoms will settle down. What I have learned and Hard is how very dependant on this medication my body has become. SCAREY!!!! I did get Dr. J Glenmullens book and it was very helpful for information. James Heany and now also you guys have all discussed the 10 percent method of discontinuation going from the last dose cut. Maybe I have gone back up too much?? I don't know, but what I do know is that I was very fearful for my well being. I know I am extremely sensitive to any medication. 40 minutes after moving up to the higher dose, I felt immense relief. WOW!!!! I am praying I will stabilize out here. I know it will take at LEAST one month. James Heany mentions if the up dose is too small, it will just take longer to stabilize out. However, what I am most overwhelmed by is that I had no Idea how much my body would come to depend on this med. " Theraputic, easy to get off of med." Not so!!!! What I am committed to now is since I increased to the 37.5mg dose, I am committed to this for a minimum of one month. From here on out, 10 percent cuts. I need some encouragement though, I have felt somewhat defeated as I had to go back up but I can say, " I GET THIS". The extreme dependancy and need to now go so very slow. Now I know the road to recovery will be one of patience and perseverance more so than ever. THis will be hard because I want so badly to be free of this medication. Hoping for support. Thank you. triple M.
  12. Hi new to the forum here. 10 year history on various drugs for anxiety/mild depression with the longest use being 8 years of celexa. So i felt like I was stable in life and the side effects were making me crazy so I talked to my PCP about tapering. I tried to reduce the drug 5mg every 2 weeks (starting at 30 mg) and of course after I was off it was hell (physically - brain zaps, vertigo, motion sickness, etc) for the next 6 weeks until I decided to put myself back on the drug. So I recently went back to my PCP and he recommended genesight testing to find which antidepressant would cause fewer side effects . Results came back that Wellbutrin was he best. I quite celexa cold turkey the day I started taking Wellbutrin. I'm having w/d symptoms again but not as strong - yet. It's been 3 weeks. Mood is fine but body feels bad. I'm reconsidering tapering off drugs completely again. What should I do? Should I d/c Wellbutrin and go back to celexa and taper using 10% method? How does that work??? Should i keep up wii Wellbutrin hoping it kicks in soon and the celexa w/d goes away? One thing that concerns me is that I've learned celexa isnamd SSRI and Wellbutrin SNRI. I've read Wellbutrin acts more on dopamine and norepinephrine than it does serotonin. This probably explains the celexa withdrawal symptoms. I honestly don't want to go back on celexa but if that's he best chance of getting of meds altogether it might be worth! Thanks for your support !!!
  13. This sounds a little ridiculous. But it's almost like my depth perception is so messed up that I can't see the wall out of my peripheral vision so I'm constantly running the side of my body into walls.
  14. Hi- I've been reading a lot of the supportive threads regarding successful tapering off various drugs. I weaned myself off of Zoloft and Ativan 10 years ago, after taking it for 8 months for PPD. I started back on AD 7 months ago, this time Wellbutrin with an occasional Ativan (which quickly became daily). I started on 100, then 150 for 5 months, and now 300 mgXL for 1 month in. But today I started having near suicidal thoughts and the depression has gotten consistently worse instead of better. I upped it to 300 thinking that would help, but even after 4-5 weeks, the depression is worse than ever. I know it does a lot of good- It stops many negative thoughts and stops those extreme emotional swings and outbursts, but the constant depression and flatness is too much. I do not want to go on an SSRI, as it took me 6 weeks to taper off Zoloft the last time and I don't wish to inevitably have to go through that again. I did cold turkey Ativan, and had severe withdrawals for 10 days, including NO sleep and flu symptoms. It was horrid. That was just a couple months ago. I read threads where it says it takes 1-1 1/2 years to taper from 300 Wellbutrin. I have only been on 300 mg for 1 month! I can't imagine being on any dose of this for another year! If I've only been on it for the shorter length of time I have, I am hoping I can taper a litter quicker? I'd like to start by dropping back to 150, and then stay there for a month, and then begin tapering the IR. I'm just so nervous of those flu like symptoms and no sleep like the Ativan WD. Does that happen with too quick taper for W? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  15. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  16. Jennifer78

    Jennifer78

    Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  17. Hellbutrin

    Texas members, please check in here

    I'm getting desperate. I can't stand feeling like this anymore. I feel like my brain is attacking itself and it's not getting any better. It's already been 9 months for me since my C/T and I haven't made ANY improvement. Is anyone from the Dallas, Texas area that can offer some advice on a doctor that I can go see that understands withdrawal? The only thing keeping me from trying to reinstate is the fear that it could make me worse.
  18. I'm getting desperate. I can't stand feeling like this anymore. I feel like my brain is attacking itself and it's not getting any better. It's already been 9 months for me since my C/T and I haven't made ANY improvement. Is anyone from the Dallas, Texas area that can offer some advice on a doctor that I can go see that understands withdrawal? The only thing keeping me from trying to reinstate is the fear that it could make me worse.
  19. I'm getting desperate. I can't stand feeling like this anymore. I feel like my brain is attacking itself and it's not getting any better. It's already been 9 months for me since my C/T and I haven't made ANY improvement. Is anyone from the Dallas, Texas area that can offer some advice on a doctor that I can go see that understands withdrawal? The only thing keeping me from trying to reinstate is the fear that it could make me worse.
  20. Hello, I really appreciate seeing everyone's stories and strategies, and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I am in my late 20s and have been on and off many meds since a hospitalization for depression in 2005. By fall of 2016, when I started the “taper”, I was on 4 medications: Cipralex 20mg, Adderall 30-40 mg, Abilify 2mg and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg. The first 3, I think I was taking for around 2 years after numerous failed treatments including various meds and rTMS; however, I have been taking the Wellbutrin for 12 years. On that regimen of 4, from something like 2014-2016, my mood was generally in-check but my life was beginning to fall apart. I graduated and got a full time job in the summer of 2016, but I was having horrible energy crashes randomly during the day. Sometimes I couldn't keep my eyes open or stay seated. I struggled socially. My memory and attention were affected, and I would cry randomly. I had trouble believing it could be from the meds because they were supposed to do the opposite. In Sept 2016, I was off work and on disability. It was an incredibly confusing situation, and everyone, including myself, blamed my brain. Soon after that I began having a gradual and profound shift in perspective as I realised that meds may have been more of a problem for me than a solution. At some point in the fall of 2016, I started my withdrawal journey. First, I stopped the Cipralex over a few weeks, and became incredibly anxious. It was really horrible; I would get spells of pacing and yelling at myself. I couldn't meditate or do anything to calm down anymore. After a few months of that, I then tapered the adderall over around a month. At that point, I became really exhausted, was getting frequent (but not ER level) suicidal thoughts, and had trouble doing anything. I eventually got accepted for a volunteer job to which I had previously applied, and reinstated half of the adderall to function. However, I was scared that the tolerance crashes might come back, so my doc switched me to Vyvanse 20-30 mg. It was smoother but I was still concerned that it was not a long-term solution. I finished the volunteer job, then I read about things that other people had tried and decided to do some lifestyle changes. I stopped sugar and gluten and got outside a lot. Then I tapered both the vyvanse and the abilify at the same time over around 2 months. It was not as bad this time, and after a few more months off of them, I was mostly able to concentrate and wasn't getting very many dark thoughts. My emotional depth and variety, as well as cognition, were even beginning to improve. Once I could sort of focus again, I decided to try the paleo/keto diet and taper the wellbutrin. The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal. So, I felt a little better on the paleo diet and dropped the WB dose from 200 mg to 100 mg on Oct 25, 2017 (right before I found this forum). I then became very sluggish with low motivation, but after a few weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning again and do a few things. It's been 5 weeks now and no terrible-delayed-withdrawal-depression yet. I'm mostly just tired with trouble getting started on tasks. I asked for an extension on my leave from work to finish sorting this out. Surprisingly though, my difficulty connecting with people and obsessive thinking are improving in intermittently - I'm not sure yet if that's from going off the meds or from the changes in diet, but I greatly welcome it. By reading other people's success stories here, I learned that my best chance at becoming free from the Wellbutrin is to do the rest of my taper extremely slowly. I have an appointment with my doc next week to make a plan. This doc is good so it should go okay. I would be interested to hear anything from you!
  21. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  22. Hi, my name is Asher and I have ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder. I struggled a lot with college after my first year and then sought help as I had done everything in my power to address my struggles. I started Zoloft in November of 2013 and have been on it since. My max does was at 150mg and that lasted about a month or two, as I was having decreased libido, thus I stepped the dosage down to 125mg (all this occurring in 2015). I didn't feel good about it still so I tried switching to citalopram for 4 months in February of 2016 into the summer. However, I became very lethargic on it and returning to classes in the Fall, I felt terrible. Thus, I switched back to Zoloft, slowly increasing the dosage while decreasing the citalopram. In 2017, I was back on Zoloft and up to 75 mg dosage, which felt great, until returning to classes in the Fall of 2017. I then went back up to 100mg and then 125 mg, and then back down to 75 mg, all by Christmas time of 2017. I decided to switch to Wellbutrin in January of 2018, slowly decreasing my dosage of Zoloft. I went from to 50 mg from January to February, then I added Wellbutrin in mid February and decreased the Zoloft to 25 mg. This was all up until last week when I stopped taking it completely (per schedule of my doctor). However, after a week I seemed okay but on Saturday, March 17th, I woke up feeling disoriented, having electric-shock-like feelings and a migraine. My symptoms have persisted since then, which has landed me here. I have read up on tapering and am so glad I found this place as once my doctor and I started the process of switching to Wellbutrin, I knew it seemed too quick to come off Zoloft. Today, I had to take an exam while my withdrawal symptoms seemed to be at there highest so far, and that was the last straw for me. I knew something was wrong and hopefully, I can utilize the resources and experiences of this forum to create a plan in which I can feel more normal again. After reading other posts, I am comfortable with mixing my own doses of Zoloft and just need to figure out the right process of doing so and am welcome to any and all feedback or recommendations.
  23. In April 2015 I began taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg (1 tab then 2 tabs a couple of weeks later) for smoking cessation for about 10 weeks total including tapering on and off. It ended up making all of my nicotine withdrawal symptoms worse so I tapered off, each week cutting my dose in half. (2 tabs to 1 to ½ to ¼) At the time I was not aware of any potential of any crazy side effects of getting off of the medication except for maybe some tiredness and fatigue. My first day of having no Wellbutrin after tapering off, I had 3 huge panic attacks back to back. I went to prompt care and was given a small prescription of Xanax until I could go to my regular doctor the next day. My Primary Care doctor told me I was having a nervous breakdown and instructed me to take short term disability and start seeing a therapist. (I had also been on Lexapro 10mg since April 2015 as well, but was still on it at this point.) So that’s what I did. I couldn’t work anymore. I could barely function. Because I couldn’t work, I couldn’t keep my place and had to move back home with my parents…at 30. I lost my home, my job, and my social life. For about 4 months I just stared at the ceiling or played a game on my phone. It took me about 3 months to find a good fit for a therapist/counselor. After about 4 months, I went to an alternative medicine doctor who told me I had Candida and Leaky Gut Syndrome. They put me on a million vitamins and probiotics and allergy shots and told me to change my diet completely. (I was used to eating pretty healthy in the past so it wasn’t new for me.) It seemed like as soon as I changed my diet and took all of these vitamins, etc. my body jump started with energy and I felt great! I started a job working from home and could slowly start to function again. I started to notice these symptoms I was having, but they could all be explained away by other things. Dizziness, extreme fatigue, gagging and nausea, heartburn. Everything seemed to have another reason. Then my depression and anxiety got worse. So my (new) primary care doctor increase my Lexapro dosage to 20mg. A few months later, my depression was worse. Doctor said I was at the max dose and the only thing to do was to switch medications. Nope! I didn’t want to be on an SSRI in the first place. A few more months go by and I start doing some research online only to find that ALL of my symptoms are side effects of Lexapro! I was done. 2.5 years I had been on it. I had been encouraged to stay on it when I wanted to get off and I was done! I looked online and found a taper schedule. Every 2 weeks, cut the dose in half. So that’s what I did. (20mg to 10mg to 5mg) November 12, 2017 was my first day Lexapro-free. The tapering process was TERRIBLE. Everything was amplified. It would be really bad for about 3-4 days after each drop in dosage and then ease up a little for a few days and then ease up even more over the next week until the next dosage drop. Symptoms: -Increased Depression -Increased Anxiety -Constant Fatigue -Suicidal thoughts (not like me AT ALL) -Extreme Dizziness -Nausea & gagging -I could barely eat or keep food down -Brain Zaps (argh) After coming completely off, I was still struggling, but it was manageable. The dizziness and nausea were the worst and those seemed to have subsided along with the increased depression and anxiety. Then about 4-5 weeks after being completely off of Lexapro “Phase II” started. And that is the hell hole that I’m in now. Here are my current symptoms: -Crippling Depression (worst in my entire life) -Out of control Anxiety (worst in my entire life) -Extreme fatigue -Nausea -Gagging from Anxiety -Inability to eat very many foods without gagging -Vomiting from Anxiety -Varied Dizziness -Weight loss -Brain Fog -Forgetfulness -Decreased brain processing time -Extremely easily overwhelmed -Constant stress -Increased heart rate that will last all day -Sensitive to loud noises -Derealization (especially right after waking up) -Depressive Rumination (This is hands down the worst symptom. A thought or set of thoughts gets stuck in your brain on an infinite loop and you can’t make it stop. It drives me to near insanity.) I feel like the “real me” is inside of me fighting like hell to get out. None of these symptoms are “me.” I’m not myself at all and it feels terrible. I feel like my brain is broken and it’s not functioning the way it normally does. I’m frustrated, mad, sad, every emotion…except happy. I feel like since finding this forum, I have gained more clarity about what is happening to me. Because none of my friends and family really completely understand this…how extreme this is. The more I learn about WHY or HOW my brain isn’t functioning correctly, the more hopeful I become. Because I can try to find coping mechanisms to help me while my brain heals. Before I found this forum, I thought I was literally going insane and I was going to be trapped inside this insane body forever. I was absolutely terrified. So I just want to say thank you to the people that created this place. I’m pretty sure you’ve saved lives.
  24. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  25. Hi I have been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 4 years. I tried to cold turkey 2 years ago, and spent 5 days unable to get out of bed. Due to loss of insurance, and really wanting to be off meds, I am tapering again. I received Wellbutrin 75mg IR (immediate release). I was going to start off with a slow taper, however the IR pills have been a roller coaster. When I first take the pill I am irritable and agitated for about 3 hours. And then I become lethargic and tired until my next dose. Due to these ups and downs I had to reduce the dosage pretty quickly. I take 3 doses a day. 3/8 in the morning, 3/8 at lunch, and 1/4 in the evening. For a total of 75 mg a day. I started tapering 2 weeks ago, and finally now feel pretty stable. Honestly, the best time for me is when i first wake up. After I take my first dose I get irritable and agitated. I am planning on doing another reduction tomorrow, and just cannot wait to get off this medicine. I am supplementing with lots of Omega 3s, multivitamin, magnesium and vitamin B. Hope to use this as a journal, documenting my taper. Thank you for reading.
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