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Has anyone recovered from being on antidepressants for 10 years or more?

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Downbutnotout

I feel like you do. I somehow got through the day today. I had my grandson come over. He wanted  to watch the shows we used to on tv. He remembers a loving grandma. He knows. He told me he loved me. I patiently sat with him. But my feelings are barely there.  It’s mostly the memory of what used to be 8 months ago. He’s only 4. Before he came over, I went and did the elliptical machine a little, I sat and exercised, something I used to love doing, now I can barely move. . I went out with my husband for lunch. I ate my lunch, but I had to force myself. I don’t want to give up. If only I could believe my brain would reset itself. If only I could believe this will work itself out. IT will get better. I pray every night. Am I doing enough, and in the right way?  I don’t want to cave. 

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Terry
On 8/18/2017 at 4:55 PM, fightback72 said:

It's so good to see people that have healed or are on their way to healing. I just started on this journey of withdrawal and the anxiety from it has really been getting me down. For months I was going through withdrawal but didn't even know it and wondered why I was getting anxious again. I had forgotten what it felt like to have a panic attack or anxiety like this. I have been recovered from panic attacks, generalized anxiety and depression for almost nine years now but the withdrawal is bringing back those old feelings of anxiety and I have to keep reminding myself that this is not me, it's the withdrawal. It's so so difficult. Plus I know certain foods and beverages interact and cause anxiety. I try using the skills I've learned (CBT) but it doesn't always work in the case of withdrawal. 

I hope that everyone here perseveres and overcomes all their symptoms and obstacles. We will all be stronger people for having to go through this.

Please keep the positive healing stories coming. They give me faith in this most difficult of times.

Peace, love and calmness to all.

 

In your signature you stated "Reduced the dosage to 3.125mg switching to homemade liquid on August 9, 2017. "  Please tell me how you made your liquid dose.  I am also tapering generic Zoloft and am down to taking 12.5 mg by pill cutting.  I'm wondering how best to taper from here on.  Thanks, Terry

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thecowisback

i'm looking for positive healing stories too. i've been off prozac nearly a year now and apart from the odd good day here and there the last few months have been total hell. i need reassurance that i have not f****ed up my brain for good by coming off too fast, that i will heal. i need some hope right now really badly. 

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apace41
1 minute ago, thecowisback said:

i'm looking for positive healing stories too. i've been off prozac nearly a year now and apart from the odd good day here and there the last few months have been total hell. i need reassurance that i have not f****ed up my brain for good by coming off too fast, that i will heal. i need some hope right now really badly. 

 

Have you read the Success Stories on the site?

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thecowisback

i have read through them but find them disheartening as they all seem to only report success after many years. that seems like a long dark road from here as i'm barely managing day to day right now. the thought of years ahead of this torment is enough to make me want to give up completely :(:(:(

 

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Offforgood
39 minutes ago, thecowisback said:

i have read through them but find them disheartening as they all seem to only report success after many years. that seems like a long dark road from here as i'm barely managing day to day right now. the thought of years ahead of this torment is enough to make me want to give up completely :(:(:(

 

I feel the same way. I am disheartened also. I was on antidepressants for almost 28 years blindly following my psych dr hoping it would get better with each new med he threw at me! I can’t tell you how many meds I started and stopped ct .. I finally decided to stop all meds a year ago since I felt like a zombie! I was on massive doses when I decided to stop. 5 mg of zyprexa which dr told me to just stop in a few days, 200 mg of sertraline he told me to stop in a few weeks reducing in big chunks and finally did my own taper of 6months of 450 ( yes not a typo) 450 mg of Effexor xr, which I found out was still too fast. So I have been off all meds since end of July 2017... I still have no motivation,  lost all pleasure in anything in life in general and walk around very glum.  I also look at the people on this forum who have not taken the massive doses of meds I have taken and seen that it is taking years to even make little progress and I don’t know if I can make it.  I wrote to you because I wanted to let you know that I also live a life of quiet desperation. 

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thecowisback

no wonder you're feeling so rough, after coming off that many. i keep telling myself that we never hear the stories about people who recover more quickly as they're less likely to post on a forum like this as they're feeling fine. i keep telling myself my brain will heal - i just need to give it time but at the moment i'm in a very dark place. 

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apace41

I think the best answer anyone can give you is that over time the brain will return to homeostasis and healing will occur.  How long that will take  and what that means when taking a healing brain along with the passage of time and mixing it all up is anyone's guess.  The success stories, while they did take more time (in most cases) than any of us would like, seem to indicate that there is substantial healing and a lot of people come out "on the other side" feeling better about life and themselves than they did either before or during the use of the drugs.

 

It would be misleading and, frankly, unethical for me to tell you "don't worry -- you'll be fine in x months."  The reality, as you already know, is frequently different.  Having said that there are plenty of people who (i) come off with no problem or (ii) come off and see fairly rapid recovery.  My personal experience, however, is that most of the people that find their way to SA have been hit harder than that and are in a situation that is going to take time to repair.  I'm sure there are plenty of people on this site who came on scared, had a fairly quick recovery, and moved on.  There's no other way in my mind to explain all of the "sub-10 post" people (after all, we are a great site -- who would want to leave? :P).  But the "usual suspects" and a lot of the new people who have recently joined are going to be at this for a lot longer and need to think in terms of years as opposed to months or weeks.  

 

But, at the end of the day, the people who have been doing this for a long time tell us that healing will happen and we have no reason to doubt that.  The Success Stories bear that out as well and they also indicate that even those among us who are really sick and dealing with hellacious symptoms will, in the long run, see healing and recovery.

 

I hope that helps even though I know it's scary and not the answer you want to hear.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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thecowisback

that is very comforting to hear actually. i just have to keep convincing myself it will get better :) thankyou :)

 

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apace41
14 minutes ago, thecowisback said:

that is very comforting to hear actually. i just have to keep convincing myself it will get better :) thankyou :)

 

 

I'm glad it helped.  This process sucks but so long as you can keep your belief you will get through it.  Just be prepared for the times where those beliefs are tested to the very core.  Among other things, keep notes of the times you feel better so you can see it in black and white at the times you don't.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Tootsieroll

I can chime in here as I was on various SSRIs for a little over 10 years.  I did hit a little snag with a benzo withdrawal right when I finished my SSRI taper.  So with that said, I am about to hit my 4 yrs off any antidepressants at the end of this month and let me tell you what a difference time makes.  In the thick of it all I never thought I would see calm again.  

 

Albiet I'm not completely healed yet.  I still get short waves under stressful situations but to go weeks where I can enjoy driving my car or watching a movie without being negatively stimulated is nothing short of a blessing.  I've looked around my surroundings in a moment and reminisced how different things looked 3-4 years ago.  So much darkness, so fearful, so much pain within my soul.  

 

Now the colours are coming back to life.  I can see good within the day and within life again.  Things taste and smell sweeter on the really good days. Jokes are funny again.  I'm not in a relationship but the idea of love seems sweeter two (<-Ha! Typo but it's fit for two)  This is certainly not a linear healing but as a bigger picture, it does gradually get better as a whole.  There is an upside to this toxic mess that you don't know about yet.  You just have to wait to experience it.  And you will.

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Madeleine

Thanks so much Tootsieroll for sharing!   You made my weekend with your positive post. :-)

 

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Tootsieroll

I'm glad you took away something positive from my post.  I only want to shed light on a situation that is engulfed in darkness.   I know when I was early in acute I wanted to hear back from people who were further into healing.

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Happy2Heal

I am almost 62 yrs old.

I was started on psych drugs against my will at age 18

I was mostly given anti psychotics, lithium and other so-called mood stabilizers (lamictal, depakote, zyprexa, seroquel) plus tried on various antidepressants of several kinds. Then the SSRI's were added (and with them, meds for sleep and anxiety that I never had before the SRRI's- ambien, klonopin and the seroquel was actually given to me for sleep because I was on 40mgs of lexapro and was a bundle of severe nerves and sleeplessness!)

 

 I was started on zoloft in 1996 (possibly 1995)) Then I was switched to celexa, and in 2002, I was started on lexapro. I was on that until I finally finished my (poorly done) taper in Oct of 2107

so how long is that? 21 years total for all 3 SSRI's (about 15 on lexapro)  I was also on many other meds during that same time period and going back, as I already mentioned, over 40 years.

 

 

I am healing very well, almost fully healed, in fact.

 

It was hard, the past year or so was especially difficult. 
But it's almost over and I feel great most of the time.

 

 

 

hope this helps

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