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  1. I could use some feedback about this if any forum users have seen their anhedonia go away completely. If you have, what does the process for recovery look like?
  2. 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.
  3. I beat withdrawal and in the process I beat a depression that had been plaguing me for half my life. I’ve been meaning to share my story for sometime now but have failed to take the time to do so. When I was in the thick of it back in 2016 I heavily utilized this site for answers, for comfort, and for inspiration. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be a lot of success stories but I am proud to say I am one. It was quite a daunting task writing this all down, I swear I could write a novel based on my experience with depression and antidepressants. Irregardless I hope my story can help encourage those currently in the midst of withdrawal just as stories I had read on this site encouraged me during my withdrawal. I am a 27 year old man and I took antidepressants from 2010 to early 2016. My first year was on Zoloft and the next five years were on Effexor 150mg. Depression entered my life around the age of 13 and it more or less stayed there up until recently. Sure there were periods of time where it subsided but eventually I would always return to my depressed default state. When I was about 13 my father died unexpectedly, a few years later my grandfather was murdered. My teenage years were very lonely. Affected by the deaths and trying to understand my sexuality pushed me into a state of isolation, it was during this time where I developed a very strong pornograghy addiction. Rather than talk about my issues through friends and therapy I chose to keep them hidden and use medication to do the work for me. Soon after starting college I got on Zoloft. It suited me, I felt calm and content but I craved something more stimulating. I had previously been prescribed adderall, but I recognized the ill effects it had on my personality so I stopped taking it. The campus doctor recommended Effexor, he said I might find it to be more stimulating. Therefore without question I took the prescription and worked my way up to 150mg where I would remain the next 5 years. During this time I was also taking ambien nightly, and between these two drugs I was able block out any of the persistent issues that were bothering me. I was numb. Years later I was living in a house with two very supportive roommates. These two guys would become my best friends and for the first time in my life I actually opened up about the things that truly bothered me. I also finally decided to get into therapy. In retrospect I could see that I was not actually happy on the antidepressants. I was just going through the motions, numb to the good and numb to the bad. I could see my growing disconnect from people. Up until those roommates I didn’t have close friends, I wasn't dating, and I certainly wasn’t having sex. I was almost 25 and still a virgin. The antidepressants removed the desire to be intimate with people, I was living in perpetual loneliness. So in January of 2016 I made the decision I was getting off Effexor and that was that. As with most doctors, my doctor had no idea how to get me off. There are no established plans to get people off of antidepressants, once your on them your expected to stay on them. So every two weeks I would half the dosage, and at the lowest dosage I was to take it every other day. That was completely idiotic as Effexor only has a 12 hour half life, essentially I would be playing ping pong with my brain chemistry. Fortunately I did not follow that last part of the plan but I did get off too quickly. After five years on the drug, six weeks is not long enough to get completely off. My first day off of Effexor was also my first day on a one month solo trip through South America which was during my birthday month when I would be turning 25. The trip was fantastic but it gave me a false sense of security as to what life would be like without the drug. While traveling you are processing so much new information and your brain is naturally producing tons of dopamine through all these new experiences therefore I was not accurately feeling what real withdrawal would feel like. I had some minor headaches the first week of the trip but that was really it. By the time the trip ended I thought life without antidepressants was going to be a piece of cake, boy was I wrong. When I came back it was time to face reality, and I had to do so without relying on Effexor. We were moving from our house, my two awesome roommates were going their separate ways and I was on my own. On top of that I had a very important all consuming project at work to figure out. My anxiety was through the roof. I had a prescription for Ativan that I used very sparingly to get me through, but the anxiety was so bad I thought I needed a more permanent solution. I had to do whatever it took to get through this move and this project so I went back to the doctor to try a different antidepressant. He put me on Lexapro, I believe it was only 5mg but I could feel it instantly. I was finding I was hypersensitive to everything now. I was only able to tolerate Lexapro for 5 days because on the fifth day I was contemplating suicide. Whatever fire I had inside me that had always gotten me through the tough **** felt extinguished and I just wanted to die. I ended up going back to Effexor only taking 10 or so beads from the capsule, just that small amount made a tremendous difference in my anxiety. I did this until I had settled into a new place and my project was complete. While my anxiety was calmed my emotions were neutralized and my libido was extinguished. These were the exact reasons I got off in the first place so I knew I had to stick with the plan of staying off for good. Things were calming down but I was very depressed and had a complete lack of motivation. I was trying a lot of things like B-vitamins, Magnesium, L-theanine, and Fish Oil. I could feel some benefit from each of them but after a few days I would be back in my depression. I had very low energy and I was sensitive to everything. Just eating bread would make me feel terrible even though I had no apparent gluten intolerance previously. It was around this time a good friend of mine talked me into doing Improv. I thought it was crazy but I had nothing left to lose. So even at my worst I did Improv and I also continued training in the martial art Krav Maga. No matter how bad I felt I would show up and make a fool of myself in Improv or hit the **** out of something in Krav. I always felt much relief whenever I did either and I credit both of those activities to helping me beat my depression in the long run. I opened up a lot to my friends and family about what was going on in my head, and whenever my anxiety felt high I would challenge myself into doing something that made me uncomfortable. I performed on stage, I did sparring at my gym, I went on dates with guys, and I opened up to my Mom about my sexuality. My motto was “oh you think you’re anxious now? Wait till you do this!” While all these lifestyle changes helped build up my confidence I still struggled to find relief from my depression. I thoroughly researched the neurotransmitters and what vitamins and supplements help support what. I determined that my issues seemed to lie with Dopamine. So I went back to my doctor to get on Wellbutrin. I was not happy about throwing in the towel again but I also wasn’t ultimately finding relief. I was open to Wellbutrin because it supposedly did not have as severe of sexual side effects. I started taking it and I actually felt pretty damn good. Unfortunately I also broke out in hives. So it was back to the drawing board. I tried St. John’s wort and SAM-e, neither of those did anything. Finally I tried L-Tyrosine, this seemed to make the biggest difference. Like I hypothesized, my problem stemmed from dopamine and L-Tyrosine is a precursor in the creation of dopamine. While I found some relief, it was very finicky. Taking too much made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack, too little of course did nothing at all. It was also very easily influenced by the digestive process so it was hard to find consistency and consistency was what I needed as I was about to hop on a very stressful 6 week project. I threw in the towel again this time looking at Cymbalta. I had read that it was less likely to cause the sexual side effects that Effexor does. It was true, I found my libido did not seem to suffer as badly however I downright felt badly. I felt achy, my head hurt, I felt dehydrated, and I was terrified to force my body to adjust to this seemingly toxic drug. I knew that I had no intentions of staying on antidepressants my whole life therefore if Cymbalta feels this harsh to adjust to in the beginning then I can only imagine what it would feel like to get off of. This whole withdrawal process shook me to my core. While I was desperate to find relief so that I could function at work I also knew that I never wanted to withdrawal from an antidepressant again. I tossed the Cymbalta and I went back to taking a few beads of the Effexor. Once again I felt relief but once again my libido vanished as did my emotions. The most striking difference I noticed once I was back on the Effexor had to do with a coworker. I had a thing for one of the girls I was working with and I knew she felt similarly. Whenever she smiled at me I could feel an electricity rush through my body. When I got back on Effexor and she smiled at me, I felt nothing. That was it, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I could be depressed, anxious, and barely able to function but I was not going to lose the feeling of being human. I was not going to lose feeling a connection with someone, caring about someone, and I sure as hell was not going to lose my libido, not at 25. Antidepressants were out, I had to find another way. That’s when I discovered a different form of L-Tyrosine called N-Actetyl-L-Tyrosine, this form is less affected by digestion and crosses the blood brain barrier more easily. It took a lot of experimentation with how to dose the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. It caused a lot of headaches but it was relieving my depression and anxiety. Finally I developed a regimen that included several of the vitamins I had previously tried that offered relief but couldn’t fix the problem as a whole. My regimen consisted of a B-complex, Fish oil, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D during the day; at night I would take Magnesium, melatonin, and every other night 150mg of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. After 6 months of suffering and countless experimentation I finally found stability again with my own personal regimine. I more or less stayed on this particular plan for a year, and the extreme depression and anxiety stayed away. I had never felt better because I was actually feeling everything like a human being should. I was also very in tune with my emotions, as soon as I felt depressing thoughts creeping in I would identify them and root out what may be causing them. I continued challenging myself with the improv, krav maga, and anything else that my old self would swear I could never do. I also continued therapy and being open and honest with those around me. I beat the depression that had been plaguing me the majority of my life. I didn’t stay on that particular set of vitamins and supplements indefinitely, I started dropping things along the way. After about a year the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine started acting finicky again, I was suffering headaches similar to when I first got on it. I ended up dropping the Tyrosine several months ago and instead started experimenting with Rhodiola Rosea. So far it has been working well. If the Rhodiola Rosea stops working I’ll try something else, the important thing is that my mindset has changed. I’m extremely self aware, I’ve accomplished so many things I thought I could never do, and I know that I no longer need antidepressants to function. Depression will always be something I will battle but I’m finally now in the driver's seat and I am not going to give up my spot so easily this time. Withdrawal is horrible but its an important process in forming a new and better self. Just because L-Tyrosine and Rhodiola Rosea have helped me doesn’t mean they will help everyone. It took a lot of trial and error to find what seemed to click. Ultimately it was challenging myself, being honest and open with those around me, and learning mindfulness that truly brought me into the light. I hope my story can provide some ray of hope for all of you out there in the thick of it. It can be done. It’s not the end of the world to reinstate just know what your ultimate goals are and stick to them.
  4. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about something that I found online that REALLY scared me. I know that googling our symptoms related to withdrawal is not beneficial to our healing, but I stumbled on this information when I was trying to research foods that would help with receptor repair. It's related to anhedonia and it expresses that dopamine receptors can permanently down regulate and often times only have the ability to recycle themselves, so once they are damaged they are rendered useless. The only drug that I took was Wellbutrin and it's main mechanism of action works on dopamine so this really concerns me. This is the quote that I found that really freaks me out. "Wellbutrin tricks the brain that it doesn't need to make dopamine, and dopamine is the only chemical in the brain that once it is damaged, you never get it back." Can someone please provide me with reassurance and/or feedback on their experience with drugs that act on dopamine receptors and if they have experienced any change in their anhedonia/depression when they got more time behind them in withdrawal?
  5. 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.
  6. I was wondering if anyone can give me some feedback on an issue that I've been having for the last week. I've had constant 24/7 brain fog since I first started into withdrawal, so bad to the point that I can't concentrate on anything, but the last week has been way worse than anything I've experienced thus far in withdrawal. I can't hold onto a thought for more than a couple of seconds before it's gone. Is this just part of withdrawal or should I be worried about this further cognitive decline this far into withdrawal?
  7. Sorry if this is too much information. I haven't had acne since I was in my early teens and I'm now 28 years old. But for the last couple of months I've been getting some REALLY bad cystic type acne on my chest neck and chin. I did some research and the only information that I could find about this said that it could be related to hormonal changes. I'm just wondering if this could be related to withdrawal and if anyone else has experienced this and had it go away? Any information is much appreciated!
  8. Since C/T from Wellbutrin completely 6 months ago I have noticed that I am beginning to feel very fatigued and sore in random parts of my body. I know that antidepressants can serve as a shield for your body's nerves, so I'm wondering if I'm feeling mild aches and pains that I've had since I've been on the drugs and I just didn't notice them before because the antidepressant was suppressing the nerve pain. Is the fatigue that I've been hit with lately a normal part of withdrawal that slowly dissipates like everything else in withdrawal? Or should I be checking into supplements and trying to exercise more in order to address these issues? Any feedback is welcome, thanks! My main concern is and will remain to be my extreme withdrawal depression symptoms, but I've come to terms that this symptom is likely going to stick around for a long time, and hopefully when it leaves my intrusive thoughts will go with it.
  9. Hello, I am Sean. Long time depression and anxiety sufferer. 36y/o, male. Have been on various meds since being a young teenager. Have taken most types of psychiatric drugs at some point. Recently been dealing with hard depression and possibly BP2 diagnosis (if that matters), and am currently on lamictal, Wellbutrin, Gabapentin and Abilify. Sadly I stopped Abilify and Gabapentin improperly a month ago, and now am worried I am going through serious withdrawals and don’t know what to do. I have been on the Lamictal for about 6 years, and 1mg of clonazepam for sleep (or bad anxiety) for maybe 7-8 years. Recently, I had been taking 5mg Abilify since last summer (mid 2017) as an adjunct to treat depression and some psychosis, and also was given gabapentin for anxiety at the same time. I took the Abilify 5mg for a while, then would stop and start as I felt it wasn't doing anything to help, but eventually took is steadily throughout the last few months of the year. I would also take the gabapentin usually in the afternoons for anxiety attack flare ups. The gabapentin was prescribed as taking 1-3 300mg capsules 3x a day (for a potential max of 2700). I usually would only take 900mg a day, and that seemed to help me feel better. For the new year, I wanted to stop the Abilify and Gabapentin, and I had been tapering down the Abilify from 5mg a day to 2.5mg, but then forgot to take it with me on my christmas trip (December 22-28) and had to just stop. I also tried to minimize the gabapentin use and don't quite remember how much I took it over the christmas break, probably semi regularly. I came home from christmas on the 28th (2017) and wanted to be off so many meds as they weren't helping the original intent. I was still on the Wellbutrin, but also had these thoughts of stopping/tapering that down too. Well as of today it's been about 4 weeks without the Abilify, and maybe close to 4 weeks without gabapentin, and I am feeling very strange. Upon returning home, I have developed early morning awakening at around 4am every day (even when taking the 1mg clonazepam for sleep) and have extreme fatigue, obviously, through the day. But as I read more about the Abilify (and then gabapentin) withdrawals, I realized that I might have screwed up bigtime in thinking I could stop them. The gabapentin I was never told had to be tapered down, I thought it was an "As needed" for anxiety med, and I had been taking only 1/3rd of what was prescribed (900mg daily instead of 2700mg). So I've been nearly a month off that. At the same time, in my goal to reduce my drug cocktail, I also thought I could take the Abilify down to 2.5mg for a few weeks, then just cut that down to zero. That's been about a month now as well. But, now that I've read all through these forums, I realize that I may have screwed up real bad. It has definitely been a rough month of emotions and symptoms, but I attributed it mostly to some emotional strain over the holidays and a general continuation of my original depression/anxiety. But now I am wondering if I have thrown myself into a total loop by cutting off those two drugs so improperly, without doctor's supervision or advice. I thought I would be ok. So right now, my quandary is: it's been a month, do I restart the drugs and try tapering over again, or do I just realize that I made a big mistake and push through it now instead of starting back over? This is what I'm afraid of, I feel stuck! And I am not sure how much my pdoc knows or is informed on these withdrawal syndromes. Plus it's really hard to get an appointment with her. I just had one this week and I didn't explain myself well (and hadn't read these forums) so I wasn't aware of the 10% rule and the other possible effects of stopping. I could use some advice or insights. I realize if I'd read these forums before, I wouldn't have stopped like this. But now that I'm a month in, I don't know if it's better to try and start back up, and then taper down, or just figure I need to live through it. I am happy to answer more questions here or in other threads. Please help, thank you!
  10. I just had a quick question that I was hoping someone might be able to answer. Is it common to have more than one acute wave when you're going through withdrawal? I had an acute wave after my initial C/T and then I had a terrible acute wave at the beginning of November, and now I feel like I'm starting to go into another one. Is this common in withdrawal? Is it unusual to have more than one severe wave?
  11. Most of the reports on the forums and articles that I have read say that Wellbutrin is one of the easiest antidepressants with the fewest side effects to come off of. I'm really concerned if that is the case, because I've been in withdrawal for the past 5 months and from what I've read on this site and others my withdrawal experience is just as severe as a lot of individuals that were taking their meds for way longer than I was. Does anyone know of a case where someone had severe protracted withdrawal from taking Wellbutrin?
  12. 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.
  13. My name is Jim. I’m from pgh. I’ve been on some type of ssri for the most part of the past 13 years for anxiety and depression. I’ve also self medicated with drugs and alcohl for most of that time too. I’ve been clean from the drugs and alcohol for over two years now. And during those two years I’ve been prescribed 300mg Wellbutrin, 30 mg remeron and 100 mg Zoloft. Due to side effects and feeling like I was stable, I decided to wean off the Zoloft about 6 months ago. I did about a 3 month Zoloft taper, ending with about 3 weeks of 10 mg prozac per day.(at every dose reduction, I always felt very good/stable). Over the 4 months since my last dose, my condition went from good to unbearable. The past two weeks have been constant dread, and physical anxiety symptoms. Like all day long chest thumping and headaches from non stop worrying and depression. Two days ago, I gave in and started back on 20 mg prozac. Please help! i don’t want to be on this med anymore. Could this be withdrawal after 4 months of being ssri free? Or is my brain totally and permanently dependent on these pills? I’m all alone on this. Nobody understands what I’m going through, not even my doc. I could go on and on. Sorry for the life story. Any experience, strength, or hope would be greatly appreciated.
  14. I've had a new symptom emerge in the last couple days. I went from having chronic insomnia to really bad fatigue. I slept for a solid 8 hours and I'm still exhausted. Is this common, will it get better? Or is it going to stick with me until my CNS heals?
  15. Just found these forums. This is 1st Post. I’m about 10 Days into withdrawal from Pristiq and Lexapro. (I’m assuming my “signature “ automatically attaches to this, so I don’t have to go into all the details again?) This has been shocking how hard this is. The worst for me has been the wild mood swings, accompanied by extreme anger and some outbursts. Also, a lot of shouting in the privacy of my car. I feel pretty out of control a lot of the time, with a hair-trigger temper. I used to be somewhat like this before antidepressants. But this is even worse. I’m scaring myself with how quickly I can become over the top angry. Also very anxious. The physical symptoms include one thing I haven’t seen mentioned, so I wonder if anyone has also felt them. It feels like my tongue is tingling, sometimes lips too, and I also get these zippy tingling sensations internally that make me think my heart is racing, but when I check my heart rate, it’s fine. My biggest concern is that I’ll be traveling soon, which always makes me irritable and anxious, so I wonder how I can handle it right now. I do have a small number of Valium, which I almost never take but I have it for fear of flying. Should I just go ahead and take it? Will it help? Or will using it just create more problems? Thanks for “listening “.
  16. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  17. I've read many first hand accounts of individuals who have temporarily returned to acute symptoms after 4-6 months (this was certainly the case for me). I developed significant depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation at the beginning of November and it lasted through the beginning of December. I was wondering if anyone has accounts or links related to why this occurs at the 4-6month mark. I've also read that there seems to be regular set backs around month 12 for a lot of individuals, but that the most common set back is around 4-6- months. What does this mean for recovery? Any feedback is appreciated!
  18. Hi everyone, i'm a 37yo male and I need advice on tapering. I seen a MD and first ever meds prescribed to me were in 2013. Wellbutrin 150 mg SR & 0.5mg Xanax as needed. Over the next 3-4 years was given effexor, Lexapro, prozac, paxil, Zoloft and others I cannot remember. Xanax was upped to 1mg 3x daily. Before seeing a psychiatrist was taking Xanax at irregular doses of 1-3mg at a time but usually not daily. Average 60mg a month. So I started to have lots of extra building up. After I was prescribed Valium from the psychiatrist I flushed all the Xanax down the toilet. Since then I've been taking 10mg Valium every 2 days. The psych said it would be fine to switch straight to the Valium. Didn't have any WD. Not sure if my body can go cold turkey on a benzo though because of what I've read on the internet. Glad I found this forum. In June at my first appointment with the psych I was diagnosed bipolar and prescribed trileptal 300mg twice daily which was tapered upwards over 2 weeks. 150mg SR Wellbutrin in the morning. I forget the lithium dose and the gabapentin because the bottles were huge and I refused to take them. I did take the trileptal and Wellbutrin and still do. I've been on and off Wellbutrin for 4 years. Mostly off. 2nd appointment told the doc I wasn't going to take the lithium or gabapentin. He convinced me to take the gabapentin and the dose was tapered to 2400mg over several weeks. 3rd appointment I was always feeling jittery and told him my short term memory was really bad. Got asked a bunch of questions and diagnosed with ADHD. Prescribed Adderall 20mg 3x a day. It was also tapered upwards over a few weeks. I asked to switch to Valium because I read that it's easier to withdraw from. I had not tried to stop taking Xanax since it was prescribed. I didn't tell him my plan was to quit benzos entirely but I was scared from what I had read on the internet. I'm feeling worse on these drugs than I did without them. What started with a visit to my MD because I was feeling down and maybe depressed has lead me to this cocktail of drugs. I'm not feeling myself and have no motivation or interest in things that I used to take joy in.I'm scared this is permanent and I want to get off all my meds. I read the forums about tapering but I'm totally lost on what med to start with. Can someone give me some advice please.
  19. Hi everyone, I've been getting sporadic tinninitus for the last couple of weeks. It only lasts for a couple of minutes and then it goes away, but I've read numerous reports on this site of individuals experiencing constant tinninitus once they start getting it. I was just wondering if anyone has experienced occasional tinninitus and not had it turn into a chronic issue. I've had plenty of new symptoms emerge since in withdrawal, but I'm concerned that because I've started getting occasional tinninitus that it might turn into a constant issue. I was also wondering why we get tinninitus in withdrawal and what it means about the stage of recovery that we are in. Thanks for any feedback that anyone can provide!
  20. Hello all, I have been taking sertraline for some years now for clinical depression. When I started to quit smoking, I took a course of Zyban for 4 months. I felt better almost immediately as the anti depressant effects of the drug made me feel sunnier. When the drug ran out, I felt awful and tried to get it again, but in Australia, it can't be prescribed twice within a year period. After a couple of years I had it prescribed again. I ran out a few days ago, and feel anxious and upset. I hadn't been told about tapering off the drug, but as I was loathe to give it up, I took 150 per day instead of 300 to make it last longer. I previously asked a doctor to prescribe me Zyban instead of Sertraline but he said no. Zyban wasn't for anti depressant use. I'm scared I'll get suicidal again which I haven't been for about a year. Has anyone successfully swapped sertraline for Wellbutrin?
  21. JustCallMeJane: introduction

    Hello all, Long time user of antidepressants, on and off from age of 7. Officially diagnosed MDD, PTSD; non-official (personal belief) BPD. Started last "round" of antidepressants 12 years ago, haven't been off since. I was put on Effexor 75mg, working up to 300mg. It stopped working after a few years and was switched to Cipralex. Started that at 5mg, worked up to 20mg, then began the "wanting to be off" stage a few years ago. Tapered it slowly back down to 5mg, before having a suicide attempt, putting me right back solid on meds, back up to 20 mg. Early spring of this year, meds stopped working again and asked for something to help boost the original benefits I felt. Was put on Wellbutrin as an accompanying drug to the Cipralex. Had been on Cipralex 20mg and Wellbutrin 150mg since. That is until end of October, early November when suicidal ideation became extreme and I was having acid reflux almost 24/7. Typically I get AR on nights when I have eaten too much, and 4 extra strength Gaviscon is enough to get rid of symptoms. For almost a week I was eating 25-30 tablets of Gaviscon daily, plus Zantac 150mg twice daily with no relief. I made an emergency appointment to get 2 weeks worth of Ativan, 0.5mg sublingual. In the past, the Ativan calmed me, however this time it didn't even have any effect. The AR continued, blood pressure had risen drastically to 185/94, and anxiety was at an all-time high. A week after starting the Ativan, I had missed a few days of meds, from lack of sleep, brain being foggy, or absentmindedness, I'm unsure, but those first missed doses were unintentional. Having had no adverse reaction from missing these doses, I stupidly decided not to restart the meds. For the remainder of November, with the exception of being easily weepy, I had no withdrawal symptoms. Sleep patterns were the same. Eating patterns remained highly carb influenced, but stable, as well as the suicidal ideations began to lessen. Also, the AR had disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Then, about 10 days ago, all that changed. I will do my best to explain my symptoms: agitation, easily fly off the handle for no apparent reason brain zaps, brain fog, lack of concentration (this post has taken a LONG time to write) blood boiling, skin crawling, jitteriness, "wired for sound" feeling shivering cold, shaking/trembling then suddenly the opposite, where I feel I need to remove all articles of clothing (and peel off skin) to cool down mid sleep (3-4am) waking in pure anxiety, fight or flight response, needing to get up and walk around extreme fatigue RLS, day or night For me, the worst symptoms are the brain zaps, jitteriness, shivering feelings. I wish I could explain it and will have to somehow do so in my appointment with my doctor next week, but it's almost as if I'm on fire from the inside. Not hot, perse, but electrical sensation, while being frozen ... I'm sitting here, in a house whose furnace is set to 70f (21c), with a ceramic furnace directly in front of me set to 74f (23c), slippers and house robe on, and I'm shivering, yet my veins feel like the blood is boiling inside. My heart is pounding and feels like it skips a beat. My senses feel heightened, almost in a paranoid sense, sort of the same way I've felt in the past on very little sleep. I have no other symptoms, no headaches, eye sensitivity, back pains, no pains at all. My symptoms seem to be internal sensations. Hopefully, this makes sense to someone here. I know my doctor, along with several I've seen over the years, do not understand mental issues and trying to describe internal sensations to someone like that is nearly impossible.
  22. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  23. i everyone:I have been tapering from a benzodiazepine for almost a year and now am ready to undertake the antidepressants. I guess some people say do the antidepressants first but its too late for that now. I am almost done with my benzo taper. I am copying my first entry from Benzo buddies here because the history is the same Current cocktail: 60 mg Cymbalta, 150 mg Wellbutrin SR, and .090 mg of Klonopin (Benzo). I won't bore you with too many details but I think an abridged version is in order. I was first put on a cocktail of Klonopin, Wellbutrin, and Cymbalta over 12 years ago. I had been on SSRI's for 15 years at this point. The Pdoc said this would help with anxiety and never mentioned a word about dependence, addiction or withdrawal. He continued to prescribe for the next three years till he fired me for missing appointments. My next three pdocs said nothing other than it was hard to get off but it had no negative side effects. One said I might need to stay on the rest of my life, after all it's cheap! My GP refused to offer opinions and would not prescribe psychotropic meds.Meanwhile my marriage was falling apart and it was getting harder and harder to do my job.In June 2014, a friend referred me to a Lyme doctor who had a great rep. He spent an hour talking to me and then said he wanted to do about $1200 worth of testing. Result? I definitely had Lyme disease and I spent the next 2-1/2 years doing antibiotics and herbal protocols to kill the Lyme. At the end of this, I still had most of symptoms and had almost been fired and then went on Long Term disability in late 2015. SSA denied me but my company had a private plan (I know I am blessed here). To the Lyme Doctors credit he had said initially that I should try to get off Benzos and he took me from 1 mg down to .75 mg in one cut. I then started seeing a number of homeopaths, naturopaths and other quacks. I got a new Pdoc and asked him to help me taper off K. I just had this feeling.....Fine, he said. Why don't you go from .75 mg down to .5 mg, the tablets are hard to cut more than that. Yes sir, I said in my most humble voice. Well, I am sure you all know how that went. I reinstated to .6875 mg (or therabouts) after 3 weeks of hell. By this time, I had found the ashton manual, and benzobuddies. When I asked him to slow the taper, he said he didn't know how. I finally found an oral K pill on my own that was .125 mg. He graciously gave me one month's worth. I begged for Valium. And, no way, he said, through his assistant. I have quit him and have another appointment with somehow who actually is familiar with Ashton in Late June.It is now over 2 months later. I am have ordered supplies for a liquid taper. My major symptoms haven't changed much and are brain fog, memory issues, severe fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, and muscle spasms (which got better after reinstating). I am also grouchy which explains why I am alone a lot. I try to be pleasant and avoid the topic of Benzos, but it is hard.I did two dry cuts and am now down to .53125 mg. (or therabouts). Symptoms have been simply outrageous and I have been holding for 1-1/2 months.I have no idea what the new Pdoc will do, so I am going to try very small cuts using water titration next. Still with K. What a wonder drug! It worked for all of 4 weeks back in 2005.Well, thats my story and I am sticking to it. Would love to get to know some of you. I listen well and I actually have other interests. I just don't get out as much anymore.Blessings,
  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. The more research I have done about withdrawal in the last couple of months the more concerned I become. I've read a lot of success stories over the last 5 months, and sometimes it feels like they are all that keeps me going when withdrawal becomes unbearable. My question for this thread is about the mechanisms of the brain that cause DP/DR and how they work. To my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the brain corrects itself by creating new pathways in the brain to compensate for the receptors that were damaged by the medications we took. When we are considering derealization and depersonalization are they more interconnected and caused by the damaged pathways or the down regulated receptors that are unable to absorb dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin the way they could premedication. My concern is that a lot of the success stories that I see on this forum and others mention that the individual started seeing progress in DP/DR area of recovery immediately when they stopped taking the medication, and that they felt as if a cloud was lifted. These individuals still dealt with horrific withdrawals, but they started to feel more like themselves if just slightly emotionally blunted. I felt emotionally blunted while on the medication, but I also had a lot more focus because of the stimulatory nature of Wellbutrin, so the lack of emotion didn't bother me as much. It wasn't until I started feeling legitimately like a zombie that I realized that the medication was effecting my quality of life and I decided to start taking it. So my question is, can DR/DP be permanent depending on the way our pathways regenerate themselves or is it just a matter of time before our receptors up regulate enough for the cloud to be lifted? This is really concerning me and making my anxiety a lot worse, so any feedback is so appreciated!
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