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Dez

Dez: Antidepressant Hell, Need support

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Hello, everyone.

I'm new here and wanted to tell my story in hopes of getting help with something I do not understand. I was originally diagnosed with dysthymia, a type of depression, probably back in 2010? Hard to recall a lot of details because I was so out of it. My doctor prescribed me Fluoxetine 20mg and I did fine, felt better. I had to be moved to Celexa 20mg due to some financial issues and still had no issues with the change. Early this year I did notice some problems, mainly just some depression coming back but it was pretty easy to deal with, hardly noticeable.

Once again due to problems with moving, money, and getting into a new medical group I went off Celexa. It was a slow taper, can't remember exactly how, but I was only taking it one every other day to help make it last longer so maybe that's why it was easy to taper.

Three months later, October, I was able to get back on it. Wasn't a bad depression but I felt I needed the drug, maybe because I was on it for awhile and was afraid to go back to my high school, depressed self. Worst decision of my life. I had my first panic attack, scared me so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. Had them again the next day and discovered it was the Celexa. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks were constant the rest of the month. My psychiatrist decided to try me on Paxil 20mg (let me throw in she didn't even speak to me, just had a relayed message to her that I was having bad reactions) and a week of that made me suicidal for the first time in my life. I was so scared of myself, the way I thought, the crying spells, and even chest pain, shivering like I was freezing, couldn't eat much, even scared to go to the bathroom because of how it made me feel.

P-doc decided to try me on Buspirone 5mg twice a day. I was scared. Terrified to try anything else, but my counselor told me I couldn't do this on my own. So I tried it. It definitely helped with the anxiety, to the point I didn't need someone in the bathroom with me when I showered. I did end up feeling like I got the flu and my chest pains scared me to the point I went to the ER. I was give and they said it was from anxiety, stay on the Buspirone and talk to my p- doc.

Was getting better, but still had derealization. So, I decided to try the Venlafaxine XR 37.5mg that I was supposed to be taking around the same time as Buspirone. First day gave me a bad migraine that carried on to the next day. Second day I was a zombie. Today, the third day I was supposed to take it, I couldn't. Woke up panicky, severely depressed, chest pain worse, and couldn't stop crying. Still couldn't talk to my doctor, couldn't get anyone to tell me if I should or should not try it, despite the fact I was a bawling mess. I've never felt so bad and so scared, with the terrible intrusive thoughts, the headaches, the blurred vision, the racing heart. Didn't want to go back to that time of taking Celexa again. So I'm not taking it anymore.

So that's my story, but I'm left with confusion and many questions. Why do I have anxiety now despite me never having it? Can medication really cause it? Will it go away? Will I get better? I know my situation is so light compared to others and those who are dealing with worse are so strong. They give me encouragement! But now I'm wondering if I should go off Buspirone too or if I should stay on it while the Venlafaxine is working it's way out, then go off it? Should I stay on it? Kinda don't have faith in my doctor or counselor, always leaning towards meds, meds, meds. Can anyone give advice or experiences?

Sorry if the post is long. I'm on a phone and can't see it's full length. Thanks ahead for reading and responding!

Edited by scallywag
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Dez, welcome to the site.  A moderator will respond to you shortly; I'm just a member expressing sympathy and solidarity. I'm not an expert on these matters, but after reading this site regularly for the past six months, it sure does sound to me like you are having bad reactions to/side effects from these drugs.  In my opinion, the antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs (like Buspirone) that you are being so freely prescribed are way more dangerous than any of your doctors will let on. You are right--it's meds, meds, meds, because that's what they know how to do--prescribe meds. They do not really know how to help people, and the drugs often end up doing more harm than good--especially in the long run.

You've come to the right place.

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Thanks, DrugfreeProf.

 

My uncle and brother can't take antidepressants because of these bad reactions so I'm wondering if I'm one of those people. Bad thing is I can't even talk to a doctor about it because they seem to refuse to believe these situations are as bad or worse than we make it sound. I'm scared I won't get my life back from this. That's why I'm here. You're right on this is the right place and I hope the community can help. I feel it can!

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Welcome Dez,

I'm sorry about what you're going through at the moment, but you have definitely come to the right place.  Many people here are experiencing similar symptoms from these drugs and from stopping them too fast. Recovery can take a while, depending on your particular situation and drug history, but in time everyone gets better and most people recover completely.

 

I don't understand your timeline of when you stopped and started the various drugs. Please can I ask you to add dates to your signature. From what I understand so far, it sounds like the Buspirone isn't causing any negative symptoms, so I would stay on that for now until your nervous system has settled or at least until we understand your situation better. When you have stabilized, which could take several months, or maybe longer, you could start a slow, safe taper from it. But for now, your nervous system needs a chance to stabilize from all the recent drug changes.

 

Some people can go back onto an antidepressant after being off them for a while, but others have a bad reaction. It sounds like you might be in the second category. I tried going back on them after being off for over 2 years, I was in protracted withdrawal, but didn't know. I also had a very bad reaction.

 

When we have a better idea of your timeline, we may be able to make some suggestions but for now, here are some links for you to read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dosage?

 

The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

 

 

What to expect from my doctor

 

 

 

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms.   Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

When we have a more detailed drug history, we might be able to suggest something.

 

Petunia.

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Hello and thanks for welcoming me!

 

I did my best to get all the dates that I could remember but as I've stayed it's quite a bad memory loss die to all the stress I was going through (don't remember most of high school). The more recent stuff is easier to remember but I hope it's a bit clearer now? Recently I've been documenting how I feel and done daily thoughts in hopes it'll help if something was to ever happen, but I wish I'd done it sooner. I'd recommend everyone do that if they start a drug but it helps when coming off them, too.

 

I've been feeling some anxiety tonight but I've fought it down. Doing everything possible to get life back in gear but it's so scary. I hope I can support others here, too!

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Thank you for completing your signature with dates, that helps a lot.

 

It looks to me like your fast taper from Celexa earlier this year, using the skipping doses method, which we don't recommend, destabilized your nervous system. The subsequent symptoms and drug reactions are probably because you are still in a sensitized state. Starting and stopping various drugs over the last few months would have caused more harm.  It may take a while to recover.

 

I would say you have become sensitive to antidepressants and can no longer tolerate them.

 

Please carefully read the links I posted for you, especially the symptoms and self care section, you will find a lot of resources to help you manage symptoms as you recover. For now, I would stay on Buspirone. Take the same amount at the same time every day. You might think about tapering that when you have stabilized and feel better.

 

You can use this thread to communicate with the community, come back here to ask any questions or let us know how you are doing and what you decide. You can use this as a kind of journal to document your progress if you want to.

 

You are going to get better and we will be here to support you as you get there.

 

Petunia.

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Thank you so much, Petunia!

 

I will say that I honestly had no idea of proper tapering methods, as it's something my doctors never helped with. Especially this new one. They just want to keep prescribing me things and it's been awful for my body, mind, and soul. I've never been so stressed.

 

This morning I woke up super early with slight panicky feelings in my chest that I've learned to fight down, but also with a really bad pain in my stomach and feeling rather nauseated.

 

I'll definitely look into the links you've provided! One of the reasons I wanted to join this community is the support and information everyone has gathered to cope without having to rely on medications. My mother has stage 3 chronic kidney disease because of a tiny pill she took for years so I'm very concerned about medicines now (At least she has a VERY GOOD kidney doctor). I'll keep everyone posted on my progress and do my best to support others. Together we can get through this!

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Hi Dez,

My story is similar to yours. I quit an AD and had no idea I was in withdrawal and restarted with bad consequences. Then my dr had me try 4 more drugs over the next 6 months. After that I found this site I put my foot down. It was all bad. Well still is as I had very bad adverse reactions to everything psychotropic & the last one was only 2 weeks ago. Your brain will heal. Just wanted to say welcome & that I know what you're going through.

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Hello, Waiting.

 

I'm so sorry that you have to go through so much! I read your story and am praying for your recovery. It's so sad that we try to get help for something and it just ends up getting worse because of the ignorance of doctors. But we'll get through this. Honestly my case is lighter than some others I've read and it's amazing how strong they are! You and other victims make me stronger every day, so thank you for hanging in there!

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Today has been a bit difficult physically. My mental state is still disconnected from the world but now I'm going back into not eating again. Should mention that during my time having panic attacks I lost a good chunk of weight for myself, especially since I've had near constant weight since early college. I keep thinking it's muscle I've lost since I've been very much indoors for the past couple of months.

 

I seem to get very hungry and nauseated at the same time, where only water or other liquids feel comfortable. It was getting better until Venlafaxine, now it's back to this. Ugh. Plus going to the bathroom a lot today and chest pain increase again.

 

Uuuugggggh~

 

Doing my best to stay positive and reading stories of successful healing on this wonderful site <3 Very inspiring, I recommend people read them when they feel down. It fills my hope a little more when the leak empties it a little.

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Help!!!!

 

Woke up early with a panic attack, been a long time since this happened! Is this from the two days of Venlafaxine? Keep feeling like I can't breathe, like my throat is closing and I'm terrified, please help!!

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Panic subsided for now but now I'm left with feeling extremely sick, stomach pain, bad headache, dry eyes, chest pain, all out not feeling well. Not sure if this is from the Venlafaxine but I was hoping this wouldn't happen again. I'm so tired and scared. Abdominal breathing helped with attack, I think. Maybe headache is from tension?

 

I just feel helpless. Was doing fairly well for awhile but now I'm not so sure. So many physical symptoms from something so tiny in size. Even burped-puked up some bad bitter flavor. I hope this passes forever. Soon.

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Thank you for posting on my thread. I am hoping you feel better. I always read the younger you are, the better it is for healing and I'm hoping that for you.

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Godiswithme,

You're very welcome, we all need support. Thank you for supporting me as well. I hope to get more on this site, as I'm up and down with my positive and negative thoughts. Some days are much harder than others. I pay for you and your recovery. Hopefully we'll all get through this soon.

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Hey Dez,

 

I know just what you are going through as I am having a similar experience as well.  Had multiple dosage changes, addition/reinstatement over the past two months and am having horrible anxiety and heart seeming to thumping out of my chest (never mind the insomnia for which I had been taking the meds in the first place).

 

It is hard to deal with and I hope if I survive a long hold, things will settle down for both you and me.  Yesterday had a window and thought that the hard times were behind me, but no such luck - it's back again with a vengeance.

 

We have to dig deep... Best wishes.

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Survivor1,

 

I'm sorry you're going through something do awful as well! So many suffering from this. I hope things will get better for you soon, but they will get better.

 

I've been having suicidal feelings today and ended up using the Crisis Text Line for some help. Sometimes talking with someone I don't know helps a lot. I've got to take it one step at a time, we all do, but it's very hard.

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Thank you, scallywag. I'll look into it. Just really hope all of this goes away soon, I'm having some serious problems dealing with it for some reason.

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New Year's and having such anxiety and panic. So upsetting and scary. Hope this year is a good, new one for not only me but everyone else too.

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Me too dez, I'm right there with you. Happy new year- a year for healing to all of us.

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Thanks, Waiting.

 

What's scaring me most is my heart will pound away, then suddenly get extremely quiet. Does this normally happen??? Is it even safe???

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Yes, it's been happening to me too. It was worse before- my heart rate was stuck in the 130s every morning and afternoon for a long time. Now it happens occasionally but still get the out of breath feeling. I think it has something to do with cortisol. This morning I woke with absolute dread. Couldn't fall asleep & Woke up 5 times in the night as well. Ugh.

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That sounds similar to me last night, only we had a really bad storm here too so that didn't help. I don't like the suicidal feelings I have but part of me wonders if that's hopelessness. I'm so scared and upset. I don't want to die so why am I feeling this way? Well it ever stop? I know I keep trying but this really scares me, what if I can't do it without finding a med? I'm terrified! I don't know what to do!

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Welcome, Dez.

 

You might want to try fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

The magnesium can calm that rapid heartbeat, as can taurine Taurine for heart arrhythmia

 

If you are jumpy in the morning, you might want to darken your bedroom. It's the dawn light that gets cortisol, the stimulating daytime hormone, going early in the morning, and your system may be hyper-reactive to it right now. See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

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Thanks, Alto.

 

I don't know anything about supplements, though before going through all this I took a multivitamin and calcium. I'm not sure what's a low dose and what's not, but I may try magnesium or taurine first.

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Today was a window day. I'm very grateful, thank you God! Still had to fight off negativity and anxiety, but I managed to get through a bad Wal-Mart day (just barely). I hope this lasts so I can stabilize and get off my Buspirone soon, which I'm still dreading. The anxiety is a lot easier for me to deal with than those suicidal "feelings" that tear me to shreds.

 

Not long before seeing my psychiatrist (6th), so some information will be passed her way. We'll see how she responds. Anyone have any recommendations on what should be said to her about withdrawal syndrome? Our anything else to inform her and gauge her competence? I'm ready to throw it all on the table at her.

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Thank you very much! I'll make it an important task to make notes on these to take with me.

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Dez -

 

I can totally understand having to fight off negativity and anxiety.  It is a constant struggle for me. 

 

Hang in there and good luck at your appointment. 

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Thank you, O.

 

Today has been hard with my anxiety. My mother has to visit doctors today and I'm trying to be supportive. But I nearly had a bad anxiety attack in the first office. Calmed myself down because I didn't want to leave but it was hard.

 

This is when I find the time to self reflect and ask "what am I afraid of? Why do I have anxiety? Why is it happening?"

 

Anxiety had never been a problem, EVER. Not until that second time taking Celexa. Do meds cause permanent anxiety? Is this something that will be overcome? Many things I don't understand. Part of me wonders if it's, in a way, a choice. That it won't just go away, I have to make it go away. I have to work hard to make it go away. If that's the case, is it possible? Am I strong enough to actually heal myself of these anxiety symptoms? Buspirone still has to be tapered but now I'm wondering if I can do that.

 

Sorry for all the rambling. Really needed to get it out and there's no paper where I am currently. I'd welcome any insight to this or other opinions, success stories, experiences.

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So I need some insight. Three days I've been doing better with the bad thoughts, thank God. It may not last long but we'll see. However it seems like my anxiety is having some unusual ups and downs. I'm not sure if the Buspirone is not working anymore, it isn't as strong or if these are withdrawal symptoms or what so I'm confused. Buspirone seems to help take off the edge after I take it for a few hours but I still get that anxious, panicky feeling in my chest (and I always have chest pain these days, more intense than usual).

 

Also, I've only been taking Buspirone for a short while so should I taper singer to reduce the time it's in my system? I don't want this in my system so long but if I have to then I'll deal.

 

Also have no idea how to reduce by tapering 10%, as I don't know how to cut my pills. I've read the pages here on tapering but my math is terrible (especially now) and I can't figure out how to fraction my pills. Hope that makes sense.

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Dez -

 

You are not rambling. You are expressing frustration because of how you feel!

 

I am sorry to hear that your are struggling today with your anxiety and I can completely relate. Great job getting through your mother's appointment. I am sure it was difficult but celebrate the victory that you did it!

 

I can relate to asking yourself questions about your anxiety. It would be nice to get answers as to why we suffer with anxiety. Did you come up with any answers? Do you have an idea of why you are scared?

 

I went on Prozac for panic attacks that started in my early twenties. I blame a viral inner ear infections for causing them. I would get dizzy and freak out and that sent me down the path of panic attacks.

 

I would hope that coming off the medicine would not cause permanent anxiety. There are a lot of techniques to learn to deal with anxiety. They are things that need to be practice but I will tell you it is hard to practice during the middle of a panic attack. You need to find coping tools. There are different therapies. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. There are many resources in the forum, I just don't know how to attach a link.

 

Yes you are strong enough to get through the anxiety. It may not seem like it during a bad wave but you can do it!

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Thanks, O! You made me smile about celebrating. You're right, I should be proud of myself for getting through today! I hope your anxiety is better. It's a miserable thing to deal with.

 

As for answers, I think I came up with some. One, I think I'm afraid of having attacks, especially in public, which generally makes me focus on what's going on in my body, things that are more noticeable because of withdrawals and the like, and that seems to start causing it. Then it's a snowball effect and it gets worse and worse until I either calm it down or I freak out. Two, obviously by now, the things going on in my body freak me out. If I'm a little light headed or dizzy, headache, chest pain, all of it makes me think the worst and I start panicking.

 

I will say this is better than me living almost a month on the couch when it first started. THAT was AWFUL! I was terrified to go to the bathroom because of the feeling in my body it caused, how sad is that? Even the ladies in the ER my first trip though I was crazy. Kinda funny looking back on it now!

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Dez -

 

It is important to celebrate your successes.

 

...As for answers, I think I came up with some. One, I think I'm afraid of having attacks, especially in public, which generally makes me focus on what's going on in my body, things that are more noticeable because of withdrawals and the like, and that seems to start causing it. Then it's a snowball effect and it gets worse and worse until I either calm it down or I freak out. Two, obviously by now, the things going on in my body freak me out. If I'm a little light headed or dizzy, headache, chest pain, all of it makes me think the worst and I start panicking...

 

I can relate to that entire paragraph. I totally get being afraid of having a panic attack and the anticipatory anxiety that goes with it. It is an awful feeling. I have dealt with panic attacks for over 20 years. Being aware of every little thing going on with your body is very hard. When the wave of panic hits all you want to do is run and get away from whatever is causing the panic. I am working on allowing the panic attack to be there until it passes and it isn't easy. I try and remind myself that my mind cannot predict the future.

 

I am sure the ladies in the ER could not understand what you were going though. Only someone in withdrawal would understand and not think you were crazy. I have had some weird symptoms that I didn't tell anyone about because I thought they would think I was weird.

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O,

 

Wow, I had no idea you dealt with them for so long! You're amazing, in my eyes. I just started having them in October and can't see how people have dealt with them for so long. People are amazing.

 

You're right, only someone going through the same thing understands completely. Did you have throat tightness, too? I find it very scary and irritating at the same time, almost like I can't breathe normally. It hurts and feels tight a lot and almost like I'm going to hyperventilate, despite me being fine breathing. I've tried great and drinking hot tea. It eases it but it's still there.

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Wanted to post this here. I want to note that I don't take buspirone until 2pm and 8:30pm, specifically because this is how I started then and it worked for awhile. It's 7:25pm right now and I started having that weird headache again a bit earlier. Usually I have a headache a lot but only in the front area because of sinuses. This one is in the front, back, sides, all over. I'm sure the venlafaxine is out of my system and I don't know if it's still from that, as I haven't had headaches like this until then. However, throat tightness, extremely dry mouth, headaches could all be from buspirone, since they're side effects. I was sick first starting it but I thought I was literally sick. Checked my temp just now and it's 99.3, which is a slight fever.

 

I'll have to ask my doctor about it tomorrow but it's worrisome since these headaches seem to cause me my bad feelings. It's all confusing, I just want off all of them and back to normal, the longing makes me want to cry.

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