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Arcticjessy

Arcticjessy: Please help

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Hi

I'm 31 years old I have taken prozac since I was 18 for mild depression. I have not had a relapse in all this time so I'm unsure why I was left of it but I was. For the last 6 years I have taken 20mg every other day so in June last year when I saw my GP and said I wanted to quit she said I could just stop so I did. I was in a very good place in my life new job, I was a very keen sportswoman and in a good relationship.

 

Over the course of the summer I noticed I was getting more stressed but put it down to life without ADs my sleep was also getting worse I would toss and turn for hours unable to settle. In October I started with what I thought was a virus I ached all over could not walk very far felt weak like I had ran a marathon, I also had chest pain and felt very anxious, this got worse and worse until I went to see my gp who said I was having a relapse of my mental illness I pleaded with her saying this felt nothing like my original illness but she would hear nothing of it and gave my prozac again, I took one and within hours I felt ten times worse my jaw clenched shut and I slept maybe 2 hrs in 48 hrs.

 

Since then things have got worse I have a fear I find hard to put into words it is like torture, A simple act of looking up or going to speak fills me with a terror I never new possible. I find it hard to sit for long but soon as I stand I'm exhausted and have to sit again, I have had hrs when things lift slightly but then bang it's back, my sleep is horrendous I manage maybe 3-4 hrs. I wake often in the night unable to move my body but my mind it writhing around in some kind of anxious agony.

 

I have days I know I will die if not from this from myself as I cannot stand to stay like this one more minute. This is not me I'm not a suicidal person I have so much love in my life I have always considered myself extremely lucky. I have read a scary article saying this May be permanent, my rational science mind says this is not possible what evidence is there for this, ssri have only been around 30 ish years so how can they say this is a permanent damage ? But my terrified mind says what if?

I have a young son who is being cared for by my parents as I cannot care for him. I no longer get paid from my job as I have been absent so long I'm losing everything yet 1 year ago I was completing in bike races, working and loving my son and family.

My dr wants to to try mirtrazapine low dose, I have put this off for 3 months thinking this nightmare will end but It has not.

Please someone tell me what to do. I don't want to die I love life.

Edited by cymbaltawithdrawal5600
added line breaks for readability

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Welcome to the site, Arcticjessy. Before I give you too much to digest as far as helpful links for you to read, I want you to know that this is not 'permanent' and you are most likely suffering from 'withdrawal syndrome'. Your doctor was in error, you cannot just drop a drug you have been on for so many years and not expect to feel some pretty scary symptoms.

 

So you are on no medication right now? Or are you still on the prozac the doctor told you to take? Please don't take the mirtazapine, that is not a 'cure' for what you are feeling and may make things worse. For now, I just need to know if you are taking anything, including supplements or over the counter drugs, ok?

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Thank you

 

I'm not taking anything apart from multivitamin and magnesium. Sometimes I take benilyn cough medicine as it sometimes helps me stop wanting to move all the time but not always. My doctor have me proprananol but that just made me very dizzy. Thank you for your help

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

What does your benylin contain? Look on the bottle: some formulations contain codeine and some dextromethorphan and if they are for multiple symptoms, pseudoephedrine. None of these are helpful for what you may be feeling and might make you feel worse.

 

If your multivitamin contains any measurable B vitamins it may be 'activating' you and you might be better off with only a good quality magnesium, one that is well absorbed by the body. The cheaper formulations let the magnesium pass right through, in a sense.

 

When did you last take any prozac?

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Addax   
Addax

Hello Arcticjessy. Welcome to SA. First, you can recover from this. It is not a permanent state. You are suffering withdrawal symptoms.

 

I'm so sorry you're going through what you're going through. I am also a longterm user of prozac, although at a higher dose. Unfortunately doctors still think that because of its longer half life prozac is self tappering and therefore can be stopped without tapering the dose amount. Prozac should be tapered as well. Your feeling the effects of the sudden cessation.

 

An administrator or moderator should be along shortly and will be able to offer guidance and suggestions beyond what I can offer. You may need to reinstate a very small amount of prozac. I don't knoe enough to be able to make any reccommendations, a moderator will be able to do that, but here's a link to the thread that discusses that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

It's also helpful to people if you can put your drug history in a signature like this: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I know (and most people here do too) how hard it is to put what you're going through into words. It's not like anything else. But You won't always feel how you're feeling now. You will get through this and there will be relief. The people here are great and they'll help guide you through this.

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Addax   
Addax

Oops! It seems CW arrived while I was writing! CW is one of the moderators I was talking about.

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

The cough medicine had diphenydramine In it I don't take it everyday only when I am really agitated. I will cut the multivitamins. This also gets a lot worse during my period is this normal ?

Thank you

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Thanks for your advise

I last took prozac 20mg the end of October. I stopped taking it in June this year

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coldturkmama   
coldturkmama

Cold turkey is so hard, you can feel pretty decent for a while at firsg and tben be slammed with these horrible symptoms. Things will improve, as hard as all this is...it will get bettee in time. I am 15 months out of a cold turkey after 15 yrs of paxil and I have suffered a lot, but things have improved from where I was, and it will continue as time passes. I take a high quality fisbh oil, that may help you. Exercise and healthy diet is mandatory for brain health.

The only thing that got me through the first of it was praying and reading my bible and talking and reading on sites like this. Knowing other people recovered helped so much.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

I would not take it (the benylin) then. When did you last take the prozac? I saw your reply.

 

You may want to start reading through the Symptoms and Self Care forum on how to deal with what you are going through. I would not try any other supplements except maybe a small dose of good quality fish oil. If you buy it in a liquid and keep it in the refrigerator, you can see what dose might be helpful.

 

It is safe to say that prozac does not 'agree' with you and you probably should not take it (or any other antidepressant) ever again. I will also give you a link to information about withdrawal syndrome. In the mean time try to cut down on any stimulation: use dark or blue blocking sunglasses (even indoors). Block out all light when you are trying to sleep. Use distraction techniques. Drink plenty of water to flush your system and get at least 1/2 hour of gentle exercise every day (walking is recommended). And do it whether you want to or not, If you can't get outside then walk purposefully inside your house. Keep your lights dim.

 

It may take a while for you to feel better but do not get discouraged. Many people have been where you are now are and have come out the other side.

 

Links will be in the next post.

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Fresh   
Fresh

Hi Arcticjessy ,   welcome , and sorry to hear you're having a rough time.

 

Lots of people get hit hardest with withdrawal symptoms (like you've described) , between 6 and 9 months after stopping.    So you're right on track.

 

It's not permanent and you cannot die from it.

 

Sending prayers ,      Fresh

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Fresh   
Fresh

For a moderator , or anyone . . .  would it useful to try reinstating Prozac after this much time?   If that helped Arcticjessy could get stable and then taper slowly.  

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

I have wondered if reinstating would help also but it's been nearly 8 months since I stopped cold turkey. What about a very lose dose of mirtrazapine 3.75mg ? I don't want to take anything but I'm desperate. Thanks for the replies

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Fresh   
Fresh

Is there a section on reinstating?   

  

I'm not in a position to advise you ArcticJ.    I did a taper from Cymbalta :   stopped July 2013 , hit with severe withdrawal

January 2014 , suffered it out for 4 months at home where it just got worse and worse , May 2014 had 9 day hospital admission

where I was started on Mirtazapine (and Seroquel)  and got much much better after 4 days. . . . and went home.

 

So I reinstated (sort of)   after 10 months.      Honestly , I believe now I let things get too bad and should have restarted earlier.

 

I'm sure others will have input from their own experiences.

 

Keep us posted    ,   Fresh

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mammaP   
mammaP

Hi Arcticjessy, welcome to SA. I am sorry to see that you are suffering so badly. No-one can say what reinstating

would do for you after 8 months, especially when you had such an adverse reaction when you tried to reinstate in October.

We always recommend a very tiny dose to start when reinstating because of the risk of adverse reactions like you experienced.

 

Doctors aren't taught about withdrawal and usually try other drugs or combinations which can help some but make others worse.

If you wanted to try prozac again it would need to be a miniscule dose of maybe 1mg, but given the bad reaction you had before

I am reluctant to actually advise it but understand how desperate you are, you just want some relief.

 

I have no idea if the mirtazepine will help but again I would be extremely cautious if you do go down that route,  We find that that

for most people in protracted withdrawal time is the best healer. I know that is not what you want to hear and there may be others

who disagree but looking at what happened when you tried to reinstate it will be a gamble. 

 

CymbaltaWwithdrawal has offered some good suggestions for you that may make things a bit more comfortable. If you read her

story you will see that she has also been in the throes of protracted withdrawal and understands the hell and torment that you are

going through. 

 

Here is the topic on reinstating  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

which will explain why we are reluctant to recommend it so long after quitting.  

 

You will find that recovery is in windows and waves, you are in a wave right now which is debilitating but in time it will give way to

a window when things will feel better. Then that window will give way to another wave, and the healing goes on. When you have 

a window hang on to the memory of it when a wave hits, it will remind you that healing is taking place. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

I think of withdrawal like having an accident and badly breaking a bone in your leg . It may need surgery but you would be

incapacitated for a while while it heals. Nothing will speed it up, the bone grows new bone to heal the break. You may be allergic

to pain killers and have to find ways of managing the pain. You need to take care of yourself for healing to take place properly.

Nourishing food, physiotherapy, rest and sleep.  Eventually the bone is healed and you start to recover. More extensive physio

and you progress from the bed to a wheelchair, then crutches, sticks next then you throw them away. It aches for quite a ling time

afterwards but the bone is as strong as ever.  Your nervous system is broken, and needs to heal. Take care of yourself while the

healing takes place and accept that it will take time. 

 

I hope you feel a little better soon, any improvement is good however tiny. Keep a track of symptoms, preferably on paper so you

can look back at them and see if a pattern emerges and if there are any triggers. Writing it all down is therapeutic too, when there is 

little else you can do writing is good for releasing some of the feelings. 

 

It will help if you can put your drug history in your signature, include any over the counter drugs and supplements. 

 

You will find instructions for that here. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

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Addax   
Addax

I saw where CW wrote that She didn't think prozac agreed with you but I couldn't find where you described the bad reaction. What was the reaction?

 

There's always a risk trying a new medication, but I suppose there's risk associated with reinstating as well. You simply don't know if it will work and there's also a possibility it could exacerbate the symptoms you're experiencing now.

 

I know the consensus maybe that you try and stick it out and the symptoms will eventually resolve, which may be true. But I also know that it's difficult to fathom that when you feel like the life you know is slipping away from you. I Ended up reinstating because I needed to be able to function. If my circumstances had been different I like to think I would have tried to holdout. It's a difficult choice to make.

 

In 2012 I had been off prozac for 4 or 5 months after essentially going cold turkey when I finally gave in and reinstated. It took several weeks but my reinstatement ultimately worked. I wish I'd known what I've learned fro this website because I wouldn't have reinstated at such a high dose. I probably would have benefitted from a much smaller reinstatement dose. I was told by Dr. Shipko, a doctor who is well respected by many on this site, that if prozac was effective before there is a good chance reinstatement would work and to stick with prozac rather than switch to a new drug if I chose to reinstate. He didn't guarentee anything, and included warnings that it may not work, etc., but it was like he was telling me that the devil I know is better than the one I don't know.

 

Unfortunately no one can tell you for sure what will and won't work or if you will experience adverse effects. I'm not comfortable recommending anything. I simply don't know enough beyond my own experience and everyone is so different. I can only share my experience.

 

And yes, from my own experience and reading others, it does seem that symptoms can be worse around and during one's menstrual cycle.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

I also had chest pain and felt very anxious, this got worse and worse until I went to see my gp who said I was having a relapse of my mental illness I pleaded with her saying this felt nothing like my original illness but she would hear nothing of it and gave my prozac again, I took one and within hours I felt ten times worse my jaw clenched shut and I slept maybe 2 hrs in 48 hrs.

 

From the poster's original post. I would find it difficult to recommend ANY antidepressant or psychoactive drug based upon a reaction like this. This is a little too coincidental of a reaction to consider quizzing the poster as to what else she might have done at the time that might have caused this reaction, other than attempting to take prozac again.

 

She quit prozac in June and by October was feeling what might be described as 'withdrawal syndrome' which she said felt like the flu but her doc convinced her to go back on the prozac and she had the above reaction.

 

Reactions don't usually get 'better' with the passage of time and may in fact get considerably worse. There is no way I would try to convince someone to take a drug again, even a small amount, which had the above reaction, especially at this far off the last dose. I would leave this one up to Alto to consider and advise because my knowledge is limited. To a poster just arriving here and being very sick the first thing to do is calm them down and collect a history and quiz them about current drug and supplement use and let them know what we think might be happening. Filling out signatures and talking about reinstatement doses can wait a bit, I think.

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indigo   
indigo

I'm also withdrawing from Prozac, though gradually.  The hardest thing for me when dealing with withdrawal symptoms is the overwhelming dread that I'll aways feel this sad, anxious, and obsessive. Worse. . that this is my natural state of being and that I just have faulty brain chemistry. I feel like that right now a week after a micro drop n dose, so I can hardly imagine how hard it must be for you going cold turkey. Take care of yourself any way you can and keep connected here. It will pass.

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Thank you for your help. I get the feeling that I can't stand to be like this one more second but some how I do. I know in my heart this is not my natural state. I find it hard to describe the feelings of anxiety it is like being tortured from the inside out. Do people really recover from this ? Even if someone told me a year I would hold on. I'm terrified to try another medication but if there was a chance of relief I would do it but to think of going back to square one is unthinkable. Are doctors really this ignorant ? My dr says she has never heard of delayed withdrawl and says this is simply a sign I need medication forever but I don't believe that at all.

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MollyN   
MollyN

What a devastating time Arctic and so horribly common for so many of us - the advice from our gps etc to stop or taper WAY too fast is incredibly damaging. You sound like an extremely normal functioning person who is suffering dreadfully from damage from these medicines...I would hate you to believe for a second what your doctor has said about you. You know your 'old' self, we need to trust you'll get back there xxxxx

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Addax   
Addax

Yes people do recover from what you are going through.

 

And it's an absolute fact that most doctors really are that clueless. You'll see the stories here to prove that, and I myself have heard it repeatedly in regards to Fluoxetine (prozac) specifically.

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westcoast   
westcoast

Hi Arctic. I m so glad you are here and aware of what the drugs have done to you. We are all in the same boat. We will not desert you. Please keep coming back. And may God (or the universe of connected souls) bless you.

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

I feel like I can't do this anymore, I feel like I have electricity running through me all the time. I can't do this anymore

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dalsaan   
dalsaan

Hi Arcticjessy,

 

I'm sorry you are struggling so much. Would you consider trying some very gentle yoga? One of our very experienced member who has gone through protracted withdrawal recommends this for calming the system.

 

You can read about it and see some of the poses here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5220-yoga-for-calming-very-simple-poses-can-help-greatly-httpwpmep5nnb-a3f/

 

Dalsaan

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Fresh   
Fresh

Hi ArcticJessy . . . the sensations you have of electricity running through you is called akathisia.     It will fluctuate in intensity. You may find pacing helps.

 

xxx   Fresh

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Martina23   
Martina23

Hi Arcticjessy, I wanted to say hi to you as i precisely know how you feel. Before two months I was also good functioning mom of two little children and having plans be a tax advisor and ground my own company. Then I stopped almost ct lyrica (antidepressant prescribed for pain). Since then all my plans are away and am struggling with an obsessive thoughts which I would not wish even my enemy. So please keep fighting, it can be only better!

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Thank you for your advise.

 

Why is it impossible to nap, I'm so tired but can't nap I feel like I'm on the edge of sleep but never quite get there it's like buzzing under my skin. Does anyone think a low dose of mirtrazapine would help maybe 3.75 ? Iv gone nearly 4 months like this waiting for some improvement and there has been none, I get maybe the odd day when I don't feel quite as bad but then slammed back. I need my son back I'm desperate

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Iv had absolutely no support from dr is this normal should I see another one. She just says I'm imagining it all. I start crying and that just adds to her diagnosis

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Martina23   
Martina23

Arcticjessy, and cant you take your son to you and organize some help? For example I have an au-pair for this hard time, because i would not like to be without children for longer time.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

AJ,

 

When you are this unstable we recommend reinstating a small amount of the drug you were on not switching to another drug entirely. You keep asking about mirtazapine. We won't recommend it but if you want to take it because your doctor says so we don't stand in the way of that. You do what you think is right, we have already stated our position. The longer you wait to try reinstatement, the less likely it is to work for you.

 

If you do not want to reinstate then see the recommendations for magnesium, fish oil and calming techniques like yoga that Dalsaan mentioned above.

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Rhiannon   
Rhiannon

Iv had absolutely no support from dr is this normal should I see another one. She just says I'm imagining it all. I start crying and that just adds to her diagnosis

 

Having skimmed through your thread, here are my thoughts:

 

1. You are considering taking a small dose of mirtazapine.  Unfortunately, nobody can tell you if it will help, it's up to you. We generally advise people to reinstate on a very small dose of the same med they were on to begin with rather than changing meds. In your case I would say something like 1-2 mg of Prozac, no more. Do you still have the old tablets, so that you could dissolve one and measure out 1 mg? do you think your doctor would be willing to prescribe you the liquid form so you could get a very small dose that way? 

 

If you do decide to go this route, either mirtazapine or Prozac, please start with only a very small dose, until you make sure you're not going to have a bad reaction. I would take no more than half of whatever dose of mirtazapine your doctor is suggesting.

 

When you took the one dose of Prozac in the past and had such a bad reaction, I am assuming you took a full dose. That was probably way too much and way too activating. But all the more reason, if you try it again, to try only a very small amount, until you're sure it's safe for you.

 

2. If it were me I would definitely be looking for a different doctor. But I know that's not an easy process, and I also know that it's really hard to find doctors that have a clue about this kind of prolonged withdrawal.  In fact, most doctors are really ignorant about the problems with long term use of psych drugs.  

We have a list here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/ and you might be able to find somebody on there.

 

3. Meanwhile, if you could take a look at this link http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/ it would be helpful to people following your thread and trying to assess your questions and give advice, if they could see at a glance what you're up against, rather than tracking all the way back through the thread.

 

Also, I highly recommend when you're feeling well enough, getting a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It will help you understand what's going on with psych drugs and why almost all docs are so ignorant about the long term effects and the problems. I also like the websites cepuk.org  and Mad in America, and you can find videos of interviews with Whitaker on YouTube. It's helpful to understand the controversy, since you'll be having to advocate for yourself with largely-ignorant doctors.

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Rhiannon   
Rhiannon

 

 

I also had chest pain and felt very anxious, this got worse and worse until I went to see my gp who said I was having a relapse of my mental illness I pleaded with her saying this felt nothing like my original illness but she would hear nothing of it and gave my prozac again, I took one and within hours I felt ten times worse my jaw clenched shut and I slept maybe 2 hrs in 48 hrs.

 

From the poster's original post. I would find it difficult to recommend ANY antidepressant or psychoactive drug based upon a reaction like this. This is a little too coincidental of a reaction to consider quizzing the poster as to what else she might have done at the time that might have caused this reaction, other than attempting to take prozac again.

 

 

That was probably a full dose of 20 mg. She might have had a very different reaction to only 1-2 mg. I agree there is cause for caution, but it might be worth trying a very small dose.

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Thank you I appreciate all advise. The prozac was so activating I just thought mirt may be less so. Please don't think I'm not grateful I'm new to this process. I just desperate and want to think I can tough this one out but not sure I can. I used to practice yoga regularly before this I always do simple moves when I can stay still long enough thank you for this advise also yoga is a fabulous exercise I used to teach it at my work

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Arcticjessy   
Arcticjessy

Rhi

 

Thank you.

 

Yes it was 20mg I also took 50mg or sertraline a few days before I forgot to mention this in my original post i was quite upset when I was writing it. But these are the only drugs I have taken.

I think the sertraline was just as bad as the prozac if not worse, these kind of drugs have always been very activating on me and when I got put on them when I was 17 I had to be given diazepam at the same time. But this was different way more activating I was literally pulling my hair out.

 

I saw a psychiatrist on Friday who also dismissed delayed withdrawl and he was a addiction psychiatrist !!! I told him he was wrong and that he should read this site. He did say that mirt did not work like the others and would not activate me that was the only reason I thought it may be better but I appreciate nobody can tell me what to do.

 

I also know that everyone is different but if I did tough it out how long until I see slight improvements I appreciate no one can say exactly I just wondered if they were averages.? I stopped prozac in June 2014 but this did not really hit till October.

 

Thanks for all your help

AJ

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Rhiannon   
Rhiannon

It appears to be a pretty common pattern among the folks who end up on this forum, to quit an AD either cold turkey or after a really fast taper, and to get through the initial withdrawals okay or to not have much in the way of withdrawals, and then to get hit with a delayed withdrawal anywhere from three to nine months out (Dr. Shipko says up to a year out, and I think we've seen that a few times).

 

So I'm not surprised by this happening to you. It's actually pretty common.

 

Doctors are extremely ignorant, but if they insist there are no long term problems and no delayed withdrawal, ask them for the studies that show that.  Ask them to please give you some references from the literature showing that there are no problems with taking these drugs over the long term (decades) and that people who have taken them long term do not get delayed withdrawal effects. He won't be able to give you those references because they do not exist. So what is he basing his insistence on? At the very least he should be saying "I don't know."

 

Nobody can say how long it will take for you to feel better if you just stay off meds and do nothing. We've seen anywhere from a few months to many years, and have no way to predict where you'll fall in that. 

 

I'm so sorry I can't offer you anything more solid and certain. It makes me really angry. I wish there were more I could do for you.

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