SSRI Withdrawal Effects Are Brutal and Long Lasting

by | Aug 12, 2013

SSRI Withdrawal Effects Are Brutal and Long Lasting

In a New York Times article published in March of 2019, the serious side effects of those coming off psychiatric SSRI drugs is explored. Apparently, doctors have been downplaying horrific symptoms lasting from months to years. Symptoms such as these:

  • Insomnia
  • Surges of anxiety
  • Sensations of electric shock in the brain

Thousands, perhaps millions of people are suffering severely after coming off these drugs. Despite their patients’ complaints, psychiatrists have insisted they come off the drugs according to their own poorly researched advice. This has resulted in horrific, sometimes very long lasting side-effects.

Psychiatric Advice on How to Come off SSRIs Proven Incorrect

In the UK, there was an ongoing debate between patient’s claims of side effects and what their psychiatrists were stating is true.

In fact, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists denied publicly the statements made by victims who suffered due to poor psychiatric advice on the method and speed of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.

Despite the fact that American psychiatrists came to the defense of The Royal College’s assertions, two prominent psychiatric researchers in Great Britain broke rank with their peers. They called the establishment’s position “badly mistaken” and the standard psychiatric advice on withdrawal “woefully inadequate.”

According to Mark Horowitz, a clinical research fellow at Britain’s National Health Service and University College London, and co-author of this paper, “many people have to pull apart their capsules and reduce the dosage bead by bead. We provided the science to back up what they’re already doing.”

This paper proclaims that “the field of psychiatry has conducted few rigorous studies of antidepressant withdrawal, despite the fact that long-term prescription rates in the United States and Britain have doubled over the past decade, with similar trends in other Western countries.”
Other researchers welcomed this study. Dr. Dee Mangin of McMaster University in Canada is completing her own 2 year study of Prozac withdrawal. She praised the study, saying that it “validates patients’ own reports of their experiences. It’s tremendously frustrating when patients describe a different experience than physicians expect, and don’t feel they’re being heard.” [1]

It is typical that psychiatrists, with their general attitude of “know best” have been unwilling to take responsibility for the pain and upset caused by their rush to prescribe drugs for almost every human emotion. And of course they have been unwilling or unable to safely take a person off these drugs.

It is rewarding that there are those among them taking a cold hard look at the disastrous effects of withdrawing from these drugs.

Dr. Horowitz has had first-hand experience with the pain of withdrawal. He himself tapered off of antidepressants after taking them for 15 years. He experienced severe withdrawal symptoms. The co-author of the British paper, Dr. David Taylor had his own experiences with these medications as well.

Thanks to these two researchers, light has been shed on the proper way to withdraw from these psychiatric medications. (ibid)

The patient complaint of withdrawing from  SSRIs has even been given a name, “discontinuation syndrome.”

In a publication by Harvard Medical School, an assertion was made that “As many as one in five people who stop an antidepressant quickly may experience at least a mild version of these symptoms. Usually discontinuation syndrome occurs when a person has been taking medication for at least six weeks or longer.” [2]

However, in an article published by Psychology Today, online, a new “mega study” on the subject  is quoted as follows:

“More than half (56 percent) of people who attempt to come off antidepressants experience withdrawal effects, and almost half of them (46 percent) describe the effects as “severe.” [3]

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms, Described in Victims’ own Words

Studies on improper withdrawal are necessary, but reading what the actual victims of this sloppy science have gone through is compelling:

“I was given Seroxat (same drug as Paxil) I took my last pill, after 5 years use, in September 2004. Since then my life has never been the same, even now 6 years later, I suffer debilitating symptoms daily, I have never had a full day without some symptom of WD. Ongoing problems that were not present prior to taking this drug are: anxiety, panic, depression, headaches, sinus problems, recurring infections, fatigue, heartbeat irregularities. The list is endless … after 6 years of pure hell and loss of social life, work life and family life that this drug has taken from me, I really just want my life back now.  I’m not kidding myself I really don’t think I will ever be what I once was.” 

“The insomnia from Paxil WD for me was horrible! I went for weeks with NO sleep. That was 17 months ago and I’m still only getting 3–4 hours of sleep per night. I am tired ALL the time. Before taking the Paxil, I was an excellent sleeper! NEVER had a problem sleeping in my life. Now I don’t know if I’ll ever sleep well again.

“The first time I stopped taking Zoloft was after jaw surgery, and oddly enough after 5 days was more concerned with the WD symptoms from the Zoloft (although I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time) than I was with my broken face. This is while on pain meds. I thought they might be the cause. I realized at about day 5 that I hadn’t taken the Zoloft and that might be the cause. I took one dose and the brain zaps stopped. That scared me.”

“I began having very scary and unusual problems such as electrical shock sensations in my head, dizziness, disorientation, inability to concentrate, and loose stools among other things. I was very frightened because no one seemed to know what was wrong with me. I started taking the Zoloft again and my symptoms disappeared, that’s when I realized that I had been suffering from Zoloft WD.” [4]

Psychiatric drugs have always been a poor substitute for getting to the root of a person’s mental upset. Taking these drugs as well as coming off of them can result in devastating side effects.

It is time the psychiatric industry took responsibility for the horrific effects their drug epidemic has created on the population of earth.

Article Updated – August 14, 2019


  1. Meredyn

    To Melinda whose daughter is withdrawing from Cymbalta – for the love of God, please, please don’t pursue Ketamine for your daughter!!! This is the very last thing she needs, as it will further destabilise her already destabilised nervous system. The last thing she needs is more drugs that target the CNS! Please DO go over to the RXISK website and Surviving Antidepressants where you will receive excellent help, support and guidance on how to help your daughter heal from the withdrawal she is suffering. All of the information on both websites is trusted and based on scientific facts about what these drugs do and what withdrawal symptoms are and their trajectory. Please save your daughter from the further horrors of pschoactive polydrugging. And also read the excellent book ‘Anatomy Of An Epidemic’ – you can order a copy from Amazon. Please make the right choices – your daughter’s whole life and future depend upon it.

    • Georgia

      Thanks for those resources. I’ve been on 200mg sertraline (Zoloft) for 25 years now.
      I have tried tapering in the past when I felt mentally strong enough, but ended up so suicidal I begged my doctor to let me have ECT. This time I’m trying it while I’m mentally at my weakest: I’m already unemployed, wildly unstable, impulsive and suicidal, so what have I got to lose?
      I will definitely make use of the sites you mentioned. 💜

    • Sharon

      We are a bunch of monkeys in a circus. We have been duped.

      We do not need meds.

    • David William

      I get the brain zaps very bad if I miss my venofloxacin 75 mg in the morning or in the night even a half an hour late and I’m getting powerful surges in my brain I want to sue my doctor I want to sue the company that makes them what the hell did they put us on

  2. Henrietta

    I was tired of the memory issues with my anxiety med. Years ago, the initial problem was depression and Prozac helped me see that the depression was chemical. I could feel clear-headed and not depressed. I’ve been off and on with meds for years. Prozac’s main side effect was the shakiness… even visible hand shakiness but i felt it all over.
    The last few years, an anxiety med helped anxiety but it really messed with my short term memory. And it didn’t get better. It was frustrating to me (and more frustrating for the person who needed me to remember).
    Two months ago, I was trying to trust in God more and gave an offering–an act of faith. I quit the anxiety med cold turkey. So dumb! I could’ve tapered it. Within a couple of days my anxiety was more severe than ever. I felt FEAR all the time. Nothing like i ever knew.
    I was praying for help. I finished one over-the-counter supplement, which maybe helped a little. But then I found another by Zhou that worked!! I have only started a second bottle, so I don’t know about long term. But it has my anxiety way down.
    I don’t know if I did permanent damage by my sudden withdrawl. I recommend you do NOT do that.

    • joshua

      Can you share what the Zhou supplement is called?

  3. malka

    I took one cymbalta
    It reacted me so badly….muscle weakness/nerveless legs and arms. I cannot carry anything.
    My chest got flat.(according to the doctor, tissues and muscle are still there.)
    Dried eyes for 3month.
    Tingling pain while I’m sleeping.

    Does anyone knows how to fix the problems?

    I’m waiting for responses.

    • Toshi

      I literally only took 20mg of escitalopram, one time, and I’ve lost all my health. Year later I feel like death. I have so many symptoms, I am 180 degrees of what I was. I think it somehow stopped my SERT from working. I have insomnia, massive muscle / weight loss, wet cough, crazy brain problems (massive agitation, can’t focus or concentrate) headaches, wet cough, zero libido, weak, no energy / massive fatigue, chills, constant muscle twitching, foamy smelly pee, hands and feet fall asleep all the time if I cross them, bright red testicles, if I try to nap I wake up sick. I’m sure I am forgetting some but this shit is crazy. All from one pill. I never had any of these issues before. But I should note I did a lot of drugs in my youth that might have damaged my brain a little already but physically I was fine, no issues.

  4. Tracey

    Here in the uk it is impossible to get a gp appointment and everything is geared to be online, we have a mental health meltdown going on regarding covid policy. i have been on citalapram since dec 2019. i went on this because of physical symptoms of anxiety, i never really got any relief from this medication, then covid set in, doctors surgeries and mental health support vanished almost over night. I spent 2020 and 2021 in a kind of fear based fog as we were constantly told to save the NHS, most folk interpreted this as “dont bother us”.
    This year should have been so joyful for me as i had 2 granddaughters born, being on this med made me feel nothing, no joy towards my grandchildren. i have since decided to stop this vile drug.
    Im 4 weeks in and feeling pretty crap, heat palpitations, breathing issues, crying episodes and overwhelming feelings of fear, even to have a shower, im determined to see this through as i want my life back and to enjoy the babies and my family.
    I wish everyone well.

    • Nicola Brown

      Hi Tracey,sorry to hear all of this is still taking place. I had to stop immediately due to serotonin toxicity which in its self was hell. My advice although your stomach will feel awful try and eat well stay hydrated . Get a book of blank papers call it I’m a hero and write down one good thing each day. I don’t want your present situation to turn into ptsd, even after 20 years I can recall this hell like it was yesterday. I’m fighting the nhs on behalf of those who suffer and having the weight of the nhs thrown at me. Guess they don’t want to listen but I did read an article in the Times yesterday warning about risks. Tracey you will get through more better days than bad just round the corner for you. Take loads of time out for yourself your body will need this and although sleep will probably be nearly impossible some sleep will come be really clear to thank your body and make peace with yourself its not your fault . Tell your body its not alone that you will do all you can if your body does like something let it have more, lazy bath, warm pyjamas, Sun on your face nice book with a magical story even tears . I went on to take my degree set up my own gardening business and of course I fight, fight fight to stop the horror you going through. Take care I truly wish you well.

  5. Evan

    God, its so helpful to see that im not the only one. Ive never felt this bad in my life. Uncontrollable screaming rage, then weeping, then back to so irritated I cant contain myself. I was only on zoloft for 6 months and slowly tapered off. Its been 4 weeks now, and its gotten worse and worse. I considered having myself committed last night as I was having suicidal thoughts and the buzzing and brain zaps were so bad I felt like I couldn’t possible handle it any more.

    I’ve read that one of the most powerful ways to build new brain cells is the autophagy caused by fasting. Does anyone have any experience with this? I’m going to a cabin in the desert tomorrow to fast for 5 days and really hoping it helps detox some of this poison from my body. I had no idea whatsoever that the withdrawal would be this incredible challenging, and it makes me very very angry that doctors continue to give out this medicine without telling people that it is going to do to their body.

    • Dana

      Any chance you could follow up on the effects of the fasting experiment?
      I’ve gotten down to an extremely low dose but as soon as I stop I get all the common WD side effects.

    • Adam

      How are you now Evan?

  6. James McDonald

    My wife stopped taking Trazodone 1.5 years ago. But, the symptoms continue. Insomnia, fatigue, imbalance are on going. I am looking for a therapy or treatment. HAS ANYBODY FOUND ANYTHING THAT HELPS???

    • Vera

      Bach flower essence Rescue Remedy helps with the anxiety. It was a blessing to me.
      Yin yoga……please have your wife try it. It also helped me. Acupuncture was helpful, though I didnt try it until later. Dry brushing may help too…by nourishing the lymphatic system.
      God bless you all. My journey thru ssri hell has changed me profoundly.

    • Sara Y

      You can try neuropathy doctor. Natural medications 🙂

      swimming everyday.
      A lot of exercise/stretches.
      Take a bath tab.

      Eating very very healthy.

    • Lisa N.

      I’m so sorry your wife is suffering. Could the symptoms you mention be due to certain vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies? Among the most common in the US are magnesium, potassium, certain B vitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

      Magnesium and vitamin D3 can ease insomnia. In addition, magnesium helps relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, while vitamin D3 facilitates absorption of important nutrients, improves immune function, supports the health of bones and muscles, and reduces depression and fatigue. B-vitamins are co-enzymes in energy metabolism and relieve fatigue. And all of these, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are thought to boost nerve health. Unfortunately, multivitamins don’t always furnish these nutrients in the most readily-absorbed and effective forms, if at all.

      Note that people still taking psych drugs are sometimes sensitive to vitamin and mineral supplements and may need to get some or all of their nutrients from food alone (or in the case of vitamin D, sunlight). People who have already tapered are generally better able to tolerate supplements. (At least, this is what I’ve gleaned from reading posts on forums like and

      My partner, who currently takes 40 mg citalopram and 1.75 mg clonazepam daily, is able to use Morton Lite Salt (for potassium), Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast (for vitamin B-complex), and Nordic Naturals Arctic-D Cod Liver oil (for vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids), but he reacts poorly to magnesium supplements and instead eats magnesium-rich foods like an ounce or two of 90%-cacao dark chocolate, Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter, and dark green leafy vegetables in order to get enough magnesium to fulfill his daily requirement. He finds that avoiding sugar, grains, highly-refined seed oils, heavily processed foods, and starchy vegetables improves his gut health and reduces his anxiety.

      I don’t know if one would call these therapies/treatments, but they’re relatively non-invasive actions that cost little to implement, and they offer health benefits that go beyond simply treating symptoms. Of course, your wife should check with her doctor before implementing any of these suggestions. Hope this helps.

    • Melinda

      Have you heard of Ketamine therapy, or transcranial magnetic therapy? I am going through this with my adult daughter and her withdrawal from Cymbalta is VERY BAD. She was down to 3 beads and became so anxious and sleepless that she had to be hospitalized. We are going to be trying the ketamine therapy soon(I hope). But it is pretty pricey and of course not covered by her insurance.

    • RN

      please let us know how the ketamin therapy goes Melinda for our info

      best wishes

    • kformanova

      I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s lingering issues and, no, I don’t really have a solution. I took low dose Trazodone (50 mg) for approx 5 years for insomnia. I tapered down to just dust before going off completely 4 months ago and I still have ‘bad brain days’ as I call them. Lots of pressure on/in the brain that comes and goes, the shakes, fatigue and general yuckiness. I can say that things are improving, albeit VERY slowly. I had no idea this would linger so long, scares me really. I am just now trying an amino acid called L-Theanine. It supposed to help ‘promote relaxation’. I take 1 at night and 1 during the day if I’m having trouble managing my anxiety. It’s only been a week and I feel I have slept a bit better and feel calmer in general. We’ll see. There is some good research out there about amino acids and brain health. I am also doing most of the suggestions below, many are just good healthy habits/diet. This thread has given me comfort because I had begun to think there is something more serious (tumor?) going on in my brain. The published expectations for going off these drugs are misleading! I hope your wife is improving. Please pass on my well wishes for her recovery.

  7. G91

    i took paxil 10mg for 5 months did a 30 day taper 9.8mg 9.6mg 9.4mg and so on. after 2 months extreme anxiety and sleeplesness.
    Doctor told me to reinstate. i Reinstated first 2.5mg then 5mg and then 10mg i felt paralyzed and sick, doctor told me it where start up symptoms. After 8 weeks i had to quit the meds because my legs felt cramped, horrible paresthesia full body, and suicidal ideation.
    so my last dose was 8 months ago.
    I don’t now how i made it until today. But i’m still in hell. I can’t walk properly anymore. I can walk 3-5 minutes and then i have to sit because my legs feel dead and cramped, numb and heavy. Skin burning/paresthesia, nerve pain, flu like pains, burning joints, depression, suicidal ideation and this every single day. So i’m lying on the couch and do a short walk outside when i can.
    (Sleep is good 9 hrs a night)
    I hope that i can make it for my family, and that i’m able to walk again in the future if i keep hanging. I’m 30 years old.
    I’m really trying to reach the 24 months mark (so surviving another 16 months from now, even if i don’t now how) and if i’m not improved i think i will not go on, it’s no life anymore, just surviving every minute3.

    • Frank

      Best of luck to you. I just quit Paxil cold turkey, six days ago, after six years. Nightmare. I am 51, and have a goal of getting off big pharma. This weekend was frightening, and I write this now because of the insomnia. It’s hell, but we will get through. I met a D.O. last week, and he couldn’t really say anything because I wasn’t his patient, but he told me it would be rough, and to constantly remind yourself it’s just your body coming of the drug. So, I’m practicing that, and praying, I don’t hurt anyone, or myself. I have two young children, and want to be in it for the long haul. Got lots of fresh air and outdoor exercise this weekend, which definitely helped. Also, discovered today that medical marijuana helped my craziness. Miraculously, I was able to be pleasant around my family ALL day, after having been some monster we didn’t know for the previous three days. Wish you well. Stay strong. Big pharma is the devil, and when I got my competitive nature up to fight their drugs, it gives me extra motivation to push through. Be well.🙏

    • GV91

      please don’t do it Frank, youre 1 month out. Re-install and taper slowly. taper max 10% of your dose every 4-6 weeks. Cold Turkey is years long suffering. I’m too late i hope i can safe you from this mess

    • Sara Y

      Please do sudo scan test abkut your nerve test. After the result, you can follow what’s to do.

    • Laney

      I feel the same way. I have been trying different meds for EIGHT years and still ended up hospitalized back in October. I can’t keep doing it. It is a battle every single day. I want my old life back and am now wondering if meds have actually made me worse.

    • sha

      I took citalopram for 6 weeks in 2018. I am almost back to normal. The sun will come out again and your body and will recover. Your anxiety will be drastically reduced once the drug finishes leaving your body. Your vision will clear up color will return. you will be able to enjoy nature again. Everything will look as it should. The drug exits your body through sweat, excretion, baths You will go through changes its just your brain regaining what was taken from you. Continue going through your storm.

    • Edna

      I have just read your article , I have exactly the same symptoms and was wondering how you are now 16 months later .
      Regards Edna Grove

    • Sharon Lanier

      It is a living hell! People beware DO NOT TAKE ANTIDEPRESSANTS!!!
      I tried to go cold turkey but that did not work. I have begged God to help me. I also take 1mg of Ativan. I am determined to get off of all of this poison.
      I was in bad shape while fully on these meds also suicidal. Now I can be okay one second and the next second I am sweating, panicking, brain zapping, and stressed out!! and I thought I had problems before I started these meds but I would give anything to have never went down this road. We live in a fallen word and I as well as many other people have had traumatic events in our lives from childhood on and we are sinful people too. All we need is God and a Godly counsel to navigate this life.
      Drug manufacturers are of the devil!!!

      People DO NOT TAKE THE KETAMINE THERAPY!!! This is just another dead end street that will leave you with more problems than you have now.

      I hope God helps all of us get off of this stuff as that’s all I have left, Godly hope.

  8. Donald

    Real lasting effects from exposure to SSRIs sometimes show up after few years of stopping. We’ve understood this with toxins for many years but the world of psychiatry is one where such considerations are swept aside.

    Tardive akasthisia is a good example. This horrible result is an indication of some kind of brain damage. It frequently won’t show until later.

    In my best guess the number one unrecognized reason people keep getting back on the drugs after what seemed to be a successful cessation is the emergence of some kind of intense symptoms that are sometimes only relieved by reintroducing the probably cause to begin with. It isn’t recognized by either the patient or Doctor and the cycle continues.

    Much worse is that some psychiatrists are largely indifferent (especially in the past) or seem to have a thoughtgful set of intrinsic values that makes iaotrogenic outcomes acceptable.

    I urge everyone to consider alternatives, I have been SSRI free since 2015 after being off and on them since 1990 and there are still lingering issues but there have been improvements. There was no benefit in the years of taking the drugs, there was a reduction in creativity, intelligence, emotions, sex – nearly everything was washed with apathy..

    I suspect we’ll read in the future about more robust links between the SSRIs and dementia as has finally been acknowledged (40+ years of use and still going) with the anticholinergic/tricyclic ADs.

    • G91

      took paxil 10mg for 5 months did a 30 day taper 9.8mg 9.6mg 9.4mg and so on. after 2 months extreme anxiety and sleeplesness.

      Doctor told me to reinstate. i Reinstated first 2.5mg then 5mg and then 10mg i felt paralyzed and sick, doctor told me it where start up symptoms. After 8 weeks i had to quit the meds because my legs felt cramped, horrible paresthesia full body, and suicidal ideation.
      so my last dose was 8 months ago.

      I don’t now how i made it until today. But i’m still in hell. I can’t walk properly anymore. I can walk 3-5 minutes and then i have to sit because my legs feel dead and cramped, numb and heavy. Skin burning/paresthesia, nerve pain, flu like pains, burning joints, depression, suicidal ideation and this every single day. So i’m lying on the couch and do a short walk outside when i can.
      (Sleep is good 9 hrs a night)

      I hope that i can make it for my family, and that i’m able to walk again in the future if i keep hanging. I’m 30 years old.
      I’m really trying to reach the 24 months mark (so surviving another 16 months from now, even if i don’t now how) and if i’m not improved i think i will not go on, it’s no life anymore, just surviving every minute3.

    • Frank

      Thanks for your responses. Part of me wants to follow the advice of going back on, then tapering off, but, physically, I am feeling great. Better than I have in years. Finally sleeping again. There are just days where I feel as manic as one can feel. So frustrating. Some days are great, others are a walking nightmare, when I’m feeling angry all day long. Mean angry, which is not how I’ve ever been. Progress has been made over the last few weeks, but definitely not out of the woods yet. I never want to go through that hell again of the first few weeks. Shame on Doctors, but then again, most have disregarded their Hiippocratic Oath’s these days, as the almighty dollar is their objective.

    • Rita Kelley

      I really appreciate your comments. I have been on Zoloft 20 years. Have tapered off slowly. Now, 4 months in, anxiety and irritability. No ideation–yet. I had that while I was on it. After reading yours and others’ comments, I think I will take magnesium and see if that relieves those symptoms. Best.

  9. Lisa is a new website to raise awareness of the risks of antidepressants.

    Its aims are:

    to share stories of people who have been harmed by antidepressants and other depression medications.

    to make people aware of the side effects of antidepressants and the difficulty of withdrawal.

    to explain that adverse reactions to antidepressants can cause suicide, violence and homicide.

    to draw attention to the potentially life-threatening conditions of serotonin syndrome and akathisia.

    It also features a comprehensive list of useful books, films and links to other organisations.

    The team on are Professor David Healy, Katinka Blackford Newman, Sarah Culshaw and Dr. Ed White.


    I suffer severe and long-lasting, possibly permanent complications from the use of and withdrawal from Paxil. I wanted to share my story, hoping to bring comfort to others in similar situations and an understanding that they are not “crazy” nor alone.

    There are countless documented cases of severe untoward reactions related to paroxetine that, when taken together, show a failure of the pharmaceutical industry to identify inherent problems with SSRIs and withdrawal them from the market. That said, admitting there is a problem would open the industry to litigation, which frankly, is the only way that progress will be made on this issue.

    Due to inadequate research, many psychiatrists, GPs, and family doctors alike are unaware of the severity and magnitude of problems inherent with SSRIs. Reported complications are attributed to anything other than SSRIs. Many patients are labeled histrionic. Others simply misdiagnosed and treated erroneously. My symptoms, broad, numerous, and severe, have resulted in numerous psychiatric diagnoses, where only one existed before. Medical diagnoses as well. That said, I have made a habit of informing health care practitioners of the actual pathogenesis of my complaints so they can attempt to treat me accordingly. Unfortunately, all treatments to date are palliative (versus curative) or ineffective.

    Where I came from says a lot. I am a psychiatric nurse who worked in acute care, intensive care, and geriatrics (all psych) for ten years. I founded IMC, a home health staffing, private duty care, and medical health and wellness company, with seventy clinics in Florida. I also had a one-third stake in Fusion HealthCare, a Medicare-certified home health agency group.

    Where I am says even more. After an eight-year battle with opioid addiction, I’ve lost everything, millions in net worth. Opioid addiction took me down; Paxil has kept me there. I am incapacitated from, for lack of a better term, Paroxetine toxicity, otherwise, I would have recovered from addiction and resumed a lucrative career in health care. As it is, I write books about how I lost it all, making light of the situation using humor, satire mostly. Better to laugh…

    Clinical History

    I began Paxil 20 mg in 2015 for major depression with mild depressive psychosis. Fortunately, I gained 50 pounds (180 to 230) and developed Type-II Diabetes, forcing me to discontinue Paxil. After one year on paroxetine, while under the care of a psychiatrist, I began tapering using a digital scale, shaving off a fraction of a milligram at a time. Regardless of this slow tapering, I experienced severe withdrawal symptoms. The doctor prescribed Zoloft 50 mg to assist in the withdrawal. After completing the withdrawal from Paxil, I used the same method to withdrawal from sertraline without issues.

    Within thirty days of cessation from both medications, the onset of withdrawal symptoms reoccurred (see symptom list below), resulting in a restart of Paxil. I have attempted stopping paroxetine four times, each time unsuccessful. The longer I stayed off, the more severe the consequences. And as of today, although off paroxetine, I remain floundering in Paxil’s murky waters. Zoloft is unable to cover the damage.

    A Critical Point

    While tapering from Paxil, and after discontinuation, I experienced severe cardiac symptoms: palpitations, shortness of breath, arrhythmia, angina. Using empirical knowledge, specialist consultations, intense research, and trial and error, I was able to determine that small fragments of paroxetine, especially powder, absorbed through the mouth (or esophagus) caused a toxic reaction. And it is in this way that Paxil has damaged both my central and autonomic nervous system. Long-lasting or permanent damage is the only question remaining. Any drug that requires a multi-year withdrawal is toxic (poisonous) to the human body. Complications persist despite using Zoloft and other antidepressants, with the notable exception of one drug: Paxil itself. To be clear, restarting paroxetine renders my condition benign. This anecdotal is diagnostic for Paxil toxicity/poisoning.

    It is important to note that during severe episodes of major depression, with and without psychosis, the bulk of these symptoms did not exist. The symptoms that did exist were less severe. Therefore, the symptoms and complications listed below are directly attributed to Paxil.

    All medical and psychiatric remedies have failed, both to diagnose and to treat. With one notorious exception: Paxil. The drug that brought it on in the first place.

    Symptom/Complication List (partial)
    • Frustration and stress intolerance, severe to profound
    • Anger turns to rage within seconds
    • Following an average workout at the gym are palpitations, tachycardia, and arrhythmias for forty-eight hours
    • Obsession-compulsions
    • Psychosis: atypical, constant voice-like clutter, tinnitus, hallucinations (shadows, lights, etc.)
    • PTSD-like features (hypervigilance, radical reaction to external stimuli)
    • Extreme mood swings/lability
    • Negative bias of thought (severe)
    • I often think and say the opposite of what was intended (symptomatic of brain damage)
    • Dementia: slow thoughts, severe S-T memory impairment, measurable L-T memory impairment, indecision, etc.
    • Chronic postprandial fatigue syndrome (not an actual diagnosis): I become stuporous after eating, regardless of quantity, type, or frequency of meals
    • Uncoordinated (lifelong competitive athlete/drummer)
    • Unable to type efficiently or at all (use dictation)
    • Food intolerance: my stomach cramps, hurts, and contracts like a boa constrictor
    • Heat intolerance–I live in Florida
    • Vision: red, blue, and yellow dots occlude by 50% night vision
    • Stamina: unable to improve cardiorespiratory status
    • Absolute insomnia
    • Skin sensitivity: I can feel dust impacting my face
    • The signal to urinate has been dramatically reduced, at times cut off
    • Palpitations occur intermittently and always after exercise, continuing for eight to twenty-four hours
    • Heart arrhythmias
    I invite your comments and stand ready to listen and share.

    • Penelope

      I started taking Paxil back in 1993 when I was 21 because my doctor said it would help me get over a bad breakup. What a mistake that was. Anyway, after 2 years from hell I am Paxil-free (took last pill May 1, 2020) but I now have a resting tremor in my right thumb that is fairly constant since last February. As a side note, I developed the same thumb tremor back in 2008 when I started taking Paxil diligently on a daily basis (before that I was on and off of it because of pregnancies). The tremor disappeared fairly quickly and only resurfaced when I would skip some days or when I was tapering to get off. My question is this: Has anyone experienced a permanent resting tremor from this garbage? I’m scared. Whenever you read about resting tremors everything says Parkinson’s. I would truly appreciate some feedback.

    • Melinda

      Hi Kevin. I am so very sorry for your suffering. My daughter was tapering from Cymbalta and it has gotten very bad. She was down to 3 beads, when crippling insomnia, agitation, hyper anxiety sent her to the ER(more drugs), and then suicide attempt, and a week stay in a psych hospital. She also has a cubital tunnel nerve pain issue, which was why C in the first place. She is back to 30mgs Cymbalta, but her sadness and depression about her old life are debilitating. She was trying to get pregnant with her fiancé which was why the taper. She now cannot sleep without the prescribed Ativan and continues to be suicidal. We went to a Physiatrist(sp?) who is recommending Ketamine therapy-very expensive at 700/per session. I am going to finance, but have you had any experience with this?

    • Jennifer Sandowsky

      Hi I have gone through long standing withdrawals as well, it becomes difficult when the people in treatment positions aren’t aware of how horrible it can be to experience this, sometimes they think it is the mental illness and not a side effect, my FB group People Think I am Nuts was formed to keep the dialogue open, it is great CCHR has given us this platform, especially Florida, as I enjoy their immense efforts to bring truth! I find that we the people are the platform to change the direction.

    • Sharon Lanier

      We are fools this is all about money not our health.

  11. Lisa

    The FDA has recently added black-box warnings to benzodiazepines, based on the number of adverse event reports the agency received.

    If you have experienced adverse events resulting either from taking antidepressants exactly as prescribed or from tapering off of these drugs under a doctor’s supervision, please consider submitting a MEDWATCH report.

    Unless injured patients speak out, ADs will continue to be prescribed by doctors who either don’t know about, or think they won’t be held accountable for, the consequences of putting patients on antidepressants that result in physical dependency and severe protracted withdrawal symptoms that can persist for months or years.


    I am withdrawing from Paxil after five years. I have been off for three months and am using Zoloft, now, to assist. Regardless, my symptoms are many and severe. It feels as if my CNS and autonomic nervous system are damaged. Temporarily I hope.

    To be concise, I am experiencing the following symptoms which are disabling. Before I begin, I am a registered nurse nationally certified in psychiatry. Palpitations, especially at night which prevent sleep. Intolerance to heat and I live in Florida. Severe insomnia. Agitation that bordered on rage (until Zoloft). Chronic fatigue. Dementia-like cognitive disturbances. And more…


      Adding to the above…extreme frustration intolerance.

    • caroline

      I’m withdrawing from celexa and it is horrific.


      Are you able to taper VERY slowly? I use a digital scale to measure tiny decreases in dose. Also, I pause as often as I need to to allow sleep. The loss of sleep, for me, is what sets off the worst of the withdrawal symptoms/complications.

    • Laurel Gorney

      As of October 8, 2020 I’ve been free from Celexa for 3 years. After seeing a doctor and being told to cut from 40mgs to 0 in 6 weeks after being on it for 10 years I went through hell. I feel for all of you. I remember reading these comments back then and wondering if I’d ever have a decent life again or ever sleep again. I came back to tell you to hang in there! Your brain needs time to recover. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself. I had no other support but God and I made it through. My life is now better than it’s ever been. Sleep is still somewhat erratic but I’ve learned to accept it and just talk to God when I’m awake at night. (Usually can get 4-7 hours with no help but magnesium and prayer.) Prayer is calming and peaceful. If you can find someone to pray over you that can be a huge help. I wanted all the help I could get outside of medical. I have no trust in them anymore. All the other side effects from celexa withdrawal are gone. I had a lot of trouble with restlessness in arms, legs and everywhere. Dizziness, headaches, gastro problems, you name it. It’s finally gone. I think it honestly damaged my brain and it took time to recover. Please hang in there! You all are in my prayers!

  13. Lisa

    My 68-year-old partner has been taking prescription citalopram for about 13 years. For most of that time, he took 20 mg/day. Eventually the doctor increased that to 40 mg/day–despite the fact that daily dosage over 20 mg is contraindicated for people in their 60s. Now my partner is trying to taper back down to an age-appropriate dosage.

    After reading that SSRIs should be tapered at a maximum rate of 10% per month, he began his taper a week ago by reducing his dosage to 36 mg daily, using a combination of tablets (3 x 10 mg tablets) and citalopram liquid (3 mL x 2 mg/mL liquid).

    Starting last night, he began experiencing WD effects in the form of chills so severe that he turned off the air conditioning (despite our hot, humid, sticky weather). He is also more nauseated, bloated and constipated than usual.

    The GI tract side effects first showed up about a year into his original citalopram regimen. It would have been nice if the doctor had informed us that those were tolerance side effects. But when we asked if these symptoms could be due to the SSRI, we were told that the nausea, etc., usually disappear within the first month of initiating the medication. So my partner wound up having a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, which showed no problems. Then the doctor prescribed a smorgasbord of anti-nausea and IBS meds, none of which worked, and some of which actually worsened the GI symptoms. And that’s when the doc upped the citalopram dosage to 40 mg, never warning that such a high dosage could be bad for my partner’s heart health, nor cautioning my partner how hard it would be to reduce the dosage.

    At this point, I have read enough posts on the survivingantidepressants website and watched enough terrifying youtube videos of people in withdrawal that I myself have developed iatrophobia. At 61, I have some health conditions that probably warrant treatment but would rather die a natural, if premature, death than be robbed and poisoned by a necro-capitalist medical system geared towards further enriching the already-wealthy.

    Now that we find ourselves in the midst of the COVID crisis that threatens the health and economic stability of our citizenry, we are more vulnerable than ever to the temptation to take anti-depressants in a misguided attempt to lift our spirits. Woe to those who get caught in this trap! Until our country’s legislators lose the financial incentive to put the interests of pharma lobbyists ahead of the interests of constituents, we will continue to be tortured and injured by the drug companies and any doctors who are complicit in the careless prescription of these dangerous drugs.

  14. John

    Does anyone have severe burning sensations. My hand and feet burn all of the time since I quite 30mg of Paxil feels like I’m in hell. It’s been month 2 still the same.

    • Char

      Yes, mine is not constant but the whole length of my arms will burn on and off. It’s been a year and a half for me. And the burning is different from the pins and needles effect.

    • Carmen

      Yes, I stop using all my psych medications and the burning in my mouth, inside my body. My feet, my hands is horrible.

    • bernard

      Yes, but for me the intense burning sensations were on my shoulders , upper arms and thighs. Each SSRI I tried affwcted different areas of my body. I got these while taking Paxil, but they still bother me years after going off all SSRIs.

    • Heather

      I also have burning from antidepressant use. It started 14 months ago when I began an SSRI. I’ve been off of it for 12 months now, but I still have one med to taper and I’m hoping that it stops at some point after I’m off of everything.

  15. Jennifer Sandowsky

    First I want to say that I love CCHR! They are true Trail Blazers in revealing truth to a multi billion dollar business, I worked in the industry for many years selling anti depressants and anti psychotic medications. I graduated with a Psychology degree. I did all this in an attempt to understand what happened to my Mother, Brother and Aunt, i watched my family suffer profoundly, the things I witnessed as I went into the psychiatric wards both with my family and then when I was selling the drugs. The protocols being afflicted on this vulnerable population was an atrocity. The things I heard while in business meetings “push the starting dose to 15mg instead of 10mg bc it’s worth this much to the company and to your bonus checks” I ran into the bathroom and cried my heart out, what they didn’t know is they pushed the dose on my mother, brother and aunt. They were pushing the dose on innocent people desperately seeking answers to their symptoms. Yes it is a business and it is big money! Unfortunately overtime I became afflicted myself, I refused medication and suffered without it for many years. I finally caved when my ex boyfriend at the time went on an antidepressant and convinced me to try it, I did, the only drug I was on was Ativan for sleep, but the antidepressant gave me such severe withdrawal symptoms “major brain zaps” along with other horrific withdrawals, I titrated down very slowly still that didn’t matter. I am still suffering Ativan withdrawals almost everyday my head hurts I get severe anxiety when the drug is coming out of my system since it is fast acting. My head hurts terribly and yet it isn’t a headache. I can’t function properly many days bc of these withdrawals. I am angry beyond measure that for all the suffering. Nobody wants to look at the root cause, the why’s that a person has symptoms. People have faced losses, abuse, neglect, abandonment, and these things manifest in each person differently some have physical symptoms and conditions, others have mental, emotional and spiritual discord, rightfully so, people’s feelings are being controlled with pills, these pills won’t help us to feel safe, many people don’t have trust because they have been violated deeply, or people can’t relax bc they are scared that the second they let their guard down they will be left behind. These are the behind the scenes issues, a pill cannot address any of that, also 90% of our neurotransmitters are communicated to our brain from our gut, making organic nutrition and detoxing a key player in healing. I can keep going! There could never be enough words to express all that is inside my broken heart to see what I have and to experience what I have, I am grateful for this organization for standing up for human rights. For those taking medication that seems to be getting relief with minimal effects then this may be the right solution for you, but there are many of us who have suffered in indescribable ways. You all are my family! ❤️

    • Vickie Britton

      Andrew hang in there. I was on celexa for 5 years. Tapering off was hell. I do feel somewhat better now and they are trying to put me on lexapro. I said hell naw! Seriously after the hell I went through! I talk with my counselor and live. I still have symptoms but I allow myself to cry. I think on positive things to keep going. It’s not easy but I fight it. I pray and stay in Gods Word! I cry out Lord help me!


      I cannot diagnose you, but will try to clarify what you are experiencing. Ativan withdrawal is unlikely to cause long-term effects. Research supports this (I use only NIH-published studies). SSRIs do cause in many cases a long-term withdrawal syndrome lasting an average of 91 weeks. You are not alone. Class action is the only remedy. The industry, both the pharmaceutical and psychiatric, need be held accountable: SSRIs are archaic. They need to be removed from the marketplace.

      My story is published here; I will re-post an updated version.

  16. Andrew

    Might as well post this since I might die soon anyway. Look, I’ve been on supplements before in the past to deal with my anxiety and depression and they didn’t work out so well. Might be a good reason why I decided to take antidepressants in the first place. August 2018, I started to try out some like Zoloft and Lexapro. Didn’t try them out for long though. That’s when I had thoughts about cutting my stomach and turning myself into the police and being medicated so I would be classified as “sane”. I went through bouts of crying and tense anxiety quite a bit so my mom and I both agreed to get off the medicine. And I felt better for awhile but the effects from these meds never fully went away. I still experienced weird dreams months after I stopped along with tense anxiety sometimes and overall unusual behavior. Sometimes living in my house was unbearable and my family didn’t make it any easier for me. PERIOD. Got to a point where I almost killed myself with painkillers. I slowly got worse and worse. I took another supplement around September of last year and I think due to the meds and stress, things became traumatic for me. More nightmares, anxiety, and stress and disorientation. For months on end. I wanted to die. Finally a little over a month ago, I decided that I wanted to try out a new antidepressant to hopefully make things a bit easier for me. I went on Paroxetine for only 1-2 DAYS. AT A LOW DOSE. And things got worse than they ever did before! Heart palpitations, tingling all over my body, high blood pressure (160/105 high), constant visits to the ER and other doctors with them not finding anything wrong. They think it’s just dehydration. But tbh they don’t know what’s wrong. My parents think it’s because I don’t get enough water sunlight and exercise. And just think that whatever I’m experiencing is all in my head and I should just push through it. ITS LITERALLY HELL. Dizziness, migraines, seizures, risks of heart attack/stroke, disorientation, memory problems!, ringing in the ears, hearing whispers, nightmares, the suicidal thinking…..It just never ends. I don’t know how much longer I will last. And due to this pandemic I can’t really go anywhere for help. Don’t think my parents want me to go to the ER since I might die from the virus. Although since the meds might kill me anyway it doesn’t matter. These drugs completely ruined and destroyed my life and with nothing left I might commit suicide soon. Or succumb to a stroke. And there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s my story. Maybe somebody out there will listen to this. I’ll just be busy thinking that I’m crazy and go off to kill myself through overdosing.

    • Beth Moore

      I’m here, I see you. You’re not alone. I don’t know where you are, but I’ll help you find someone who can figure this out for you. Based on what you’ve said, and please know I am not a doctor so I can’t diagnose you, but it sounds to me like you might have something different going on than just anxiety and depression, in which case the medications you’ve been taking are the exact wrong ones which are causing the awful problems you’re experiencing. I say this from my own experiences of being misdiagnosed and having everything fall apart for me on the wrong medication. I couldn’t possibly recount the hell ive been through: hospitalizations, meds, ECT, IOP, etc. but I finally am better enough to get the sunshine and exercise part going and I’m in the process of buying my own business. There is always hope. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but there is. Are you seeing a therapist through Zoom or anything?
      If you are feeling desperate please call the suicide hotline: 1 (800) 273-2433 or you can text: 741-741

    • Tina Barrontine

      Andrew, I’ve been there. I know what you’re going thru and it’s hell. It took me months to get thru it. But I did get thru it. And you will too. I had God there for me. I prayed ALOT. I gave my life to the Lord and He helped me overcome this. I was on Lexapro for about a year and a half when I quit cold turkey. It took a few months for the withdrawal symptoms to start so I didn’t know what was going on because I thought I was done with that. I found this page several years after getting better and everyone’s comments made me realize that’s what I was going thru. I pray you get better soon

    • Kate

      Andrew, I hear you.
      Wish I could be with you in person to share.
      But you’re probably not in Australia?
      Love, empathy and recognition.
      I hear you xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • Jennifer Sandowsky

      We are in this struggle together, we suffer deeply, and the help offered to us comes with a price, I have been going through withdrawals for a couple of years now, it started when I came off antidepressants, it was horrific and then the withdrawals continue from benzodiazepines that I take modestly, each one of us are loaded with potential, we have endured many trials, having even a small support system can be valuable, filling ourselves up with good nutrition, and healthy options is always worth striving for, prayer and faith isn’t always immediate but it can play a beneficial role in offering us wisdom comfort and strength, anyone of us who suffer this way we are amazing! A top notch above the rest, it may not feel like it but we are leaders, because we have felt things deeply. May God himself bless each one of us, assist us in our difficult life circumstances and provide us viable answers so we can heal and be purposeful. May we encourage one another and stay focused on being the best versions of ourselves, let our pain be the very thing that shines the light, as our world is suffering too, we warriors have been there and done that, let us rise from the ashes and shine for others to see. I love you all! I believe in the power of healing, no matter how dark it appears, we just all light a candle of hope for one another. Let’s make healthy choices and keep the faith, no matter what! Xoxo

    • Jordan

      Andrew, are you okay? You’re not alone. We can talk and get you the help you need. You don’t have to keep suffering through this… the right dr and Meds are out there for you

    • Harry

      Andrew hang in there brother there is hope. If you have a Bible start reading it. You are very valuable and important. See if you can find a medication that will help there are many. May God bless you

    • Clare Urquhart

      I was on citalopram for anxiety for over 5 years. Tapered off them in April and had the most severe withdrawal symptoms, nausea, headaches, dizziness, a dumbed down sense of taste and smell. The tiredness can be debilitating. It makes me mad how doctors just hand out antidepressants like smarties 😡 3 months later still have no real sense of taste and smell although the nausea has declined. I do feel better not taking them and have focused on other alternatives methods for aiding my anxiety. I swear these tablets made it worse. I just keep focusing on the positives and know I will feel 100% better soon. Citalopram is deemed an easier antidepressant to withdraw from…. I certainly would not say that. People need to be more aware of the actual length of time the withdrawal symptoms go on for and how debilitating they really are. I hope people on this page find some useful information to help them, don’t suffer in silence… God bless ❤️❤️

    • Janis lechner

      Hey! My daughter is dealing with same! She has 4 small kids here and 2 baby daddy idiots in the mix as well! Realize it could be worse having 4 of ur kids watching u go thru this! Be blessed u have a roof over ur head and get out of ur head!! Read and read and read and read some more! Stay the course of high vitamins and nutrition and exercise and wait this out chemically! U will recover if u just realize take no medication! No alcohol and no pot! Only eat and read and sleep and walk! U need to get ur brain back to baseline! Oh and did I say pray!! Pray and pray! Watch YouTube- Kim clements and the leak project! Watch x22 report and in the matrix! Do not listen to any music other than religious! It is mind poison! Get off ALL social media!! Get outside and breath! Walk read and listen to praying medic! This is a spiritual war!! Hold the line patriot!!!

    • Sandra Lee Ross

      Are you you still here, are you doing better?

    • Light

      Andrew the love of god surrounds you & in fact all of us. weird I know! If your interested & anyone else reading maybe look up meditation online but also prayers I find they can be very helpful together I found one in google images it goes like this, The Love of God enfolds me. The Light of God surrounds me. The Power of God protects me. The Presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am God is. I think its worth trying! Also I found this helpline Just go to the website & put in your country it looks very straightforward so not hard to navigate!

    • Sharon Lanier

      Dear God i completely understand. The meds made me suicidal as well. That was always in my back pocket, the end of my pain.

      They are trying to kill us! I am so determined to get off of this poison. Two weeks in and I don’t know where two weeks went.
      I am still on 75mg of Effexor and 1mg of Ativan I seen my dr Friday and she is helping me finish getting off of this poison. Hopefully it will work. I have just been breathing for a long time and I know if I don’t get off of this stuff I will not be able to continue living.

      I hope you make it though, pray to God for help as that’s all we have.

  17. Silva

    My life is ending has been a year after reducing tramadol after a large dose and my symptoms are extremely severe and still getting worse.

    • Kate

      Send you my love and understanding from Australia


      Rather than die, do what I did. Go back on (I know, hold on!!!) then taper off over one year using a jewelry scale (Fuzion Digital Pocket Scale). Try .01 mg to .05 mg reduction per day. It beats death.

    • Toshi

      I honestly feel your pain. I wish there was a doctor who could help us.

  18. Daniel

    Have been on Zoloft for more or less 12 years. Decided to stop cold turkey in May 2019. Now, after almost 9 months, after many set-backs I had to overcome I have developed a type of “burning feet syndrome”. Received different types of treatments with nothing really helping so far. Nobody ever mentioned to me that this could be a withdrawal symptom. Only, after incidentally having discovered this website, the idea occurred to me that there is a possibility that what I am suffering from now is a long-term ssri withdrawal symptom instead of it being something like Morton’s neuroma, small fibre neuralgia, plantar fat pad atrophy and others. But, I want to tell all you people, suffering in many different ways from antidepressants’ withdrawal symptoms: don’t give up! Come hell or high water, I will get through this eventually, no matter what it takes. It is my sincere wish to see all of you getting to that point where all of this will be nothing more than an experience belonging to your past.

    • Mary

      Daniel has the burning in your feet gone away? I’m terrified. I’m so worried. I was only on Lexapro for a short time but this issue started a week in and now is worse since I stopped. Please reply if you can.

    • Tina Barrontine

      Mary, I never had the burning in my feet thing but I had several other withdrawal symptoms. It took me a few months to get better but close to a year or so to get really better. I had quit cold turkey taking Lexapro. If you can at all, stay off them. You will get thru this. I am on Lexapro or the generic version anyway again. It has been about 6 years I’ve been back on them and I’ve been scared to stop but I am taking a smaller dose than when I started and I’m gonna eventually get off them again and hopefully without any major withdrawals symptoms.

    • Ashley C

      Oh gosh I am having the same issues! It’s been six months since I tapered off (8weeks taper) and I was on highest dose of citalopram for 15 years plus buspirone and occasional Xanax. It has been utterly horrific and I’m in constant pain but it’s getting better everyday a little so I’m hopeful someday I’ll feel okay. I’m afraid I’ll be like this forever or end up being forced back on medication and possibly have worse side effects. I’m trusting in god bc he’s my only hope 🙏🏻

    • John

      Does anyone have burning in their hands and feet after a few weeks of withdrawaling. I have it and it’s the absolute worst.

    • cheri

      I am 9 -10 months in on withdrawl from Zoloft. I think my last dose was 25mg. I went cold turkey after self tapering from 100mg over 2 years. The withdrawls didnt get real bad until about a month ago. Major insomnia and loss of appitite. I am down to 90 lbs forcing my self to eat. I think I made a mistake by taking a 400 mg sam e tablet today.
      I have an appointment with my GP dr. in 2 days time. This is tourture

    • Sharon Lanier

      While on antidepressants I developed burning mouth syndrome. God help us.

  19. Sandals

    well I am glad that it isnt just me and something strange I stopped taking my meds over 3 years ago and it was hell brutal Brain zaps when I tried cold turkey but then I changed up and went the slow route that took months cutting back just enough every week so that the Brain Zaps were not as intense until I couldn’t lesson the dosage then finally it went away for a while with only slight zap now they are back again not as intense but hey are back its been happening for the past 3 weeks ( I am not on any medication at all I dont do drugs the morning coffee and Ido not drink) I am wondering if it would have anything to do with my cspine injury that I had 20 +years ago that seems to be causing pain like my spine being pulled from my body the zaps are usually hardest in the morning then go away only slight zaps off and on through out the day. I have to say it really sucks because it takes my energy waway even with them being small when compared to the ones I had years back and I need my job if this continues it might start interfering with my job as security .

    • Kate

      Am hearing you xoxo
      I took venlafaxine, Effexor FX, for a year…
      My ignorant doctor said to halve the dose for 2 weeks, then discontinue and it “shouldn’t be a problem”…. !?!
      Shocking brain zaps, vertigo, confusion…
      I went back to him, three days into halving the dose, told him how I felt.
      His response?
      “Oh, it shouldn’t be a problem, it should pass soon…”
      A**hole neverlnever to me, he downplayed my worries and palmed me off. I felt so angry and sidelined.
      So after my own research, I decided to take it very slowly.
      Open capsule, take out ONE granule, put back together.
      Take for two weeks.
      Then remove TWO granules, repeat.
      A year later, I was off venlafaxine.

    • Alex Bee

      Hey there. I took venlafaxine for a month and called my doctor to switch me because I was so emotionally unstable and I was waking up eith black bruises all over my body with no idea wherethey came fromh. They never called me back and everytime I would call, it would go to voicemail and I would still get no answer. After a few weeks and many calls all around, and all of them pointing to me trying to get ahold of my doctor, I remembered I still had a lexapro script that I could go pick up. I figured since it had a longer half life, maybe if I took it for a month and tapered off, I would be fine. Nope. I’ve gotten off lexapro without bad effects but as soon as I took the venlafaxine, its fucked my whole body up. I have noticed benadryl and a hot shower help immensely, but I can’t take benadryl or a hot shower while I’m at work. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to help with the pulsing migraines, the disorientation, and the nausea and vomiting? I even have a script of zofran, and it doesn’t do anything at all.


      This to Cheri: Beautiful name. What worked for me, using a jewelry scale (500g/0.01g High- Pocket Scale Accurate Kitchen Scale) I slowly reduced my Paxil (Zoloft, too) dose by a fraction of a milligram over three months. This prevents serious withdrawals. If I were you, I would go back on Zoloft and begin tapering super-slow. It may be worth trying.

    • Sharon

      I understand about the job. This is from the antidepressants!
      While on the antidepressants and Ativan I haven’t laughed in years. I rarely smile, I am a body with no emotions except anger rage revenge agitation aggression. This is a living hell while taking and coming off. I know if I don’t complete the process of getting off these meds I will not be here much longer.

  20. JVC

    Hey there foiks, I was on Prozac for 20 mg for a couple of years, I stopped and had no side effects. I don’t write this to rub it in that I was lucky. Just that it is possible. Prozac helped me immensely at the time.

    • james hopkins

      Its because prozac has a 5 day half life. While many others have hours. Many uk docs now move people onto prozac in an attempt to make coming off easier

    • RN Alli

      I know this comment I s a year old, but I have had WD symptoms coming off of Prozac 20 mg. I’ve had brain zaps, GI issues, and confusion. I’m going to try a very slow taper at this point. My doc switched me to bupropion per the advice of my counselor. It’s horrible. The side effects are unbearable. I want off all of it. I feel everyone’s pain on here. This is for real.


      That is correct. Prozac is the easiest to w/d from. That said, I found Prozac destroyed my drive. All drive. A very slow, tapered withdrawal, say over six months, is the best way. I use a tiny scale (professional digital mini scale Model: PL-50) and cut the dose very slowly. I, like RN Ali, am an RN but in psych.

  21. The Trooper

    The helpful information here is absolutely staggering. God Bless You All!!! And thank you for this website.
    I started taking Zoloft in the mid 90’s when I was in high school. I took it for 10 years until the health problems it was causing necessitated me stopping. I had begged 3 different doctors over a 3 year period to take me off of it. In the meantime I weened myself down to 1/4 pill every 3 days. When I tried to go a 4th day, I would pass out. So once I found my “breaking point” I held this dosage for about 2 years. Eventually I developed terrible edema in my legs and grew a hump on my back. I did not have Cushing’s but was told I had overactive adrenal glands. Only then did a Dr agree it was this poison causing these issues.
    I found a Dr to help me through it with medication for all the various symptoms (including buspar, wellbutrin, mobic, adipax, halcion,allegra D). The medication period was short term, as I had no intention of trading one pill for another! The wellbutrin made me jump out of my skin all day long, so I stopped it immediately.
    I did not sleep more than about 2 hours a week for 3 months. I constantly felt like I was falling backwards in a chair, had horrible ringing in my ears, a out-of-body rage that I never want to experience again and suicidal ideation. I was unable to work or drive for 6 months, and I was fortunate to have a Mother taking care of me during this time. It was literally like a 6 month heroin withdrawal. And no one believed me, or would say out loud: “SSRI WITHDRAWAL”
    Besides having a support system, one thing that really helped me was Bach Flower Remedy Stress Drops. The other suggestion….Walk. Just walk.
    I still have significant ringing my ears, sensitivity to lights/sounds, vertigo and difficulty turning quickly (even on stairs; I used to love roller coasters), stress intolerance and significant sensitivity to emotional highs and lows.
    Yoga has helped me significantly in the years since. And am currently using acupuncture to see if I can free up some of the leftover hump on my back.
    I pray for each of you on your journeys. I am so sorry this poison is still being given to humans. It’s truly sickening.

  22. Char

    I am 25 and was on antidepressants for less than a year, I came off antidepressants 4 1/2 months ago ready for the withdrawal symptoms-I knew I would deal with anxiety and depression worse than before- what I wasn’t ready for was the nerve pain. I have chronic pain down through my left arm and from my lower back through my leg and foot. I have been in pain every moment of everyday, the intensity varies throughout the day and from day to day; some days I cant walk and can’t get off the couch- I have become nearly completely housebound because of how limiting this is; walking/standing/sitting up straight flares up my pain. My doctor told me that this does happen to some when they come off antidepressants, that this can last 6 months to a year just depending on how long it takes my nerves and brain to heal and that there is a rare possibility for this to be permanent. I have been doing research and looking into others’ experiences, some have experienced this but it doesnt seem to really be spoken about and people arent warned about this. I know I am not alone but it almost seems like I am. My doctor’s only solution is to put me on nerve pain drugs but I am not about to try Lyrica when I was already screwed up by simple antidepressants.

    • wholelarderlove

      This is me 100%. Been using lexapro for 13 years, this it my third attempt trying to get off them. 4 -5 months of WD symptoms, dizziness, sore arm/chest/back, panic attacks that send me to ER, sleeplessness, hand shakes, irritability, I cry all the time at dub things, I feel no joy most of the time, every day O wake up and ask, what’s going to happen today? I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but my cholesterol and blood pressure are nudging high which are also side effects of Lexapro, even when I watch what I eat and exercise heaps, lose weight it doesn’t help. When I talk to my GP he just says its in my head, super uncool. This is the third attempt to get off lexapro, the same symptoms every Time and as soon as I break and decided to go back on them because I can’t cope, all the symptoms go away after about 6-8 weeks. Then I’m back as a lexapro zombie and I don’t feel life. I’m 5 months in and I’m determined to keep going. I want to feel what it’s like to be me again.

    • Sharon

      Do not take nerve pain drugs. I also stopped gabapentin cold turkey. A living hell, all of it.

  23. Edie

    Can you get withdrawal symptons if you only been on for 3 weeks and then get off cold turkey. Having some problems..dr want put me on another one..was taking generic of lexapro. Feeling bad…dizzy..general bad feeling..heart palpitations..body feel heavy

    • Tina Barrontine

      Edie, I believe it is possible to have withdrawal symptoms after a short time. But if at all possible, stay off them. You can get thru this.

    • Alli Duf

      I am.having an identical experience! Took lexapro for 3wks, stopped cold turkey and have had stomach issues since day 1 of starting and it worsened after I stopped.

  24. kaylee

    i just stopped taking lexapro due to making me feel worse. i am now having the worst joint pain. my hands and feet are the most effected and its killing me. i have never had issues with my hands or my feet and now it is starting to ruin my everyday life. has anyone else had any kind of joint pain coming off of any anxiety meds?

    • Jovany

      I know you wrote this forever ago, I hope you’re doing better, I’m currently going through this, took Lexapro for 1 year, then stopped cold turkey, now my back, legs and arms are killing me, even have numbness, tingling in legs and what I can only describe as cold shocks in my feet. Did you find help, is there hope? I’m so scared

  25. Ed Frye

    Hello everyone. I stopped taking paxil after 20 years. Hasn’t been a piece of cake but the withdrawal symptoms are easing slowly but surely after 2 1/2 months. I researched what was going to happen so I was sort of ready for everything. However, my memory has become spotty, something that I didn’t have trouble with while taking the paxil. Other people are noticing. And my thoughts are scattered. Anybody know if there is a permanent problem with memory after long term use or will this return to normal at some point? What an adventure this has been and not in a good way.

  26. Josh

    I was on 20mg Lexapro from 2004 – 2016. Went down to 10mg for about a week, then stopped completely, Felt mildly impaired mental clarity for a couple of days, other than that I experienced no withdrawl symptoms.
    My heart goes out to all of you struggling with this.
    To anyone currently on SSRIs who is on here to research their own situation with a view to getting off their meds, know this: It’s not always a horror story. Sometimes it’s ok. You’ll never know unless you try. Definitely take all this information into account, but understand that it’s usually the people who have extreme experiences that are motivated to share those experiences online. Rarely do people, such as myself, who didn’t have any withdrawl difficulty, bother to describe their experiences online. Therefore it is impossible to get an accurate, holistic representation of the facts via anecdotal evidence published online. Talk to your GP, tackle this with their assistance and give it your best shot.

    • Amelia

      Was on Lexapro (Escitalopram) for 2years for generalized anxiety diagnosed by a neurologist. Recently stopped cold turkey after having issues with refills through my pharmacy. Also realized that while I was on the drug, it made me emotionless and made me concentrate only on negatives which kept me from focusing on my surroundings giving me what I thought were memory issues (which only made my anxiety worse). I had 0 sex drive. I’m 1/2 way through week 3 and let me tell you…this is the first day I’ve felt any amount of sanity in the last 2 years (especially the last 3 weeks.) Week one I had brain zaps (felt like my brain was doing flips with every movement I made with my head) and extreme brain fog along with memory issues. End of week 1 and beginning of week two started my suicidal thoughts and extreme anxiety beyond anything I’ve ever felt which has continued on until last night. For the last 3 weeks I’ve barely eaten and havent had any control over my thoughts. Ive been shaking like crazy and havent been able to sleep right until a few days ago (still with help from benadryl) I’m holding on. I feel myself coming back. I’m not out of the woods but today is better than these last 3 weeks of hell. Stay off of it. It’s not good. If I wouldve known this would happen, I would’ve just gone through therapy in the first place to manage my anxiety. This has changed my life and I’m not sure if it’s for the better or worse rn. All i know is I missed myself and i feel her coming back after 2 years of being suppressed by this drug. I’m going to therapy after this. This drug has made me need therapy more than I needed it before. You can make it. Hold strong. I didnt see any light until today. The only reason I’ve made it this far is because of the support I’m blessed to have at home. Seek help! You will get through it!

    • Tina Barrontine

      I think it’s great that you didn’t have many problems. It’s rare for most people. I quit taking Lexapro cold turkey in 2011 and only had the weird sensations if I turned my head for a few weeks. But then a few months later, it got awful. I was having so many things happening and I had no idea what it was. No Dr could figure out what was wrong with me. I didn’t find out until a couple years ago that it was withdrawals from the Lexapro. I’ve been back on it since 2014 and if I had known then, I wouldn’t have started taking them again. I’m down from 20 mg to 10mg and some day I’m gonna go down again. Butt I’m definitely stopping it slowly this time. I never want to go thru that again.

  27. ken

    hi i was on citalopram 20gms for 10yrs, doctor changed my medication 6 weeks ago to zoloft 50 gms, they wernt suiting me so i came of them, citalopram as well cold turkey i am on day 15 now i feel awfull, i dont no what doesnt hurt in my bodyache head to to, i cant stand up very long and its a struggle to walk just a few yards, i am spending most my time in bed ‘ i only hope i can get better soon, by the way i quit alchohol to, i didnt drink much butthoughti would try to cleanse my system, i only hope you peole out ther in the same boat as me some a lot worse, can only get better soon love and god bless you all

    • Tina Barrontine

      ken, I quit cold turkey in 2011 and it was a few months later before I started having bad withdrawal symptoms. I went thru those feelings too and so much more. Just know, you can get thru this. God and prayer helped me the most.

  28. ken

    hi i have been on citalopram 20gms for about 10 yrs, then 6 weeks ago doctor put me on zoloft 50gms, i decided to quit the antidepressants cold turkey, i not been able to walk properly, or stand without shaking, ears ringing, brain fog just felt so hopeless couldnt do any thing as i was dizzy all the time, i am on day 10 now withdrawing, i hope it gets better soon

  29. Rachel

    Has anyone ever gone back on the SSRI in protracted withdrawal with success? I’ve been sick for 3 years and the insomnia is hitting me HARD right now. A couple months with 2-4 hours of sleep. The past week with 0-2 hours of sleep. It’s too much to bare. Do we all have to go on benzos for life? What’s the answer here? If heroine addicts have methadone…what do we have? Will methadone help?! Lol😭

  30. Toni Simard

    I have had emotional/mental issues since the age of 2, according to my family. My childhood was also filled with abuse(s)/neglect & my issues grew. I saw school psychiatrists starting in 3rd grade, until I dropped out in my junior year. I spent Jr. High in detention, suspension, & finally, I was expelled in 8th grade. My High School years consisted of, special schools/non-mainstream classes. Back then…1980s, they labelled us as “Behaviorally/Severely Behaviorally Challenged. And, we all know that, mental/emotional issues & drug use, go hand in hand. And due to my drug use, I was misdiagnosed as having, Bipolar 1 in my 20s & & finally, in 1999, being put on loads of different antidepressants. Zoloft seemed to be the ONE for me. After about 10 months, I noticed that, when I went without my pill for more than 2 days, the zaps hit me hard. (I was quite an unique person & during these periods, friends/family/co-workers, were extremely entertained by my “attacks” & other personality issues, so, I let myself suffer through) I did tell the Nurse Practitioner who wrote my scripts that, I absolutely believed that, the medicine was 1000% ADDICTIVE PHYSICALLY & I WAS HAVING BAD SYMPTOMS!! She replied with, “I have never heard of anything like what you are describing & nobody else has claimed any “addictive” symptoms.” I believe she was lying to my face. Then, 9/11/2001 happened. Tons of people were prescribed antidepressants, to cope, short-term! When they attempted to quit taking them, many reported “electrical zaps” & other symptoms & they got to sue at least one pharmaceutical company that made this crap!!! Why aren’t we able to? Because we actually are mentally ill & those people weren’t? Sounds like discrimination to me. In 2009, they put me on an antipsychotic, as a “mood stabilizer”, due to my new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder not Bipolar 1. Anyway, I hated how it made me feel all around & after about 10 months, I quit cold-turkey!! NOBODY TOLD ME NOT TO DO THAT, AS IT COULD CAUSE PSYCHOSIS (LEGALLY INSANE DUE TO THAT GODDAMN ANTIPSYCHOTIC, FOR A MOOD DISORDER!!) I had gone back to school & had a 4.0GPA, until the psychosis began. I went to a 2.9 in a few short months, tormented one of my professors, relentlessly for over a full semester, dropped out of school, became a drug trafficker/dealer for a iwhile, & let’s just say that, I was in that psychosis for nearly 4 years & managed to get back on the same pill to get somewhat “normal”, so I could be there to help my mother die at home. That was in 2014 & I am no longer the “unique” individual that I mentioned earlier. I am BLAH!! RARELY SMILE/LAUGH! NOTHING I ALWAYS FOUND INTERESTING REALLY BRINGS ME ANY JOY! MY FAMILY & FRIENDS HAVE GROWN TO DESPISE ME!! INCLUDING MY GRAN, WHOM I WAS HER FAVORITE SINCE BIRTH & COULD NEVER DO ANY WRONG ON MY OWN. ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT. SWORE SHE’D ALWAYS LOVE ME MOST…HATES THE SIGHT OF ME & NOTHING I SAY OR DO, IS EVER GOING TO GET MY FAMILY/FRIENDS BACK…ALL BECAUSE OF THESE FUCKING MEDICATIONS!! I honestly believe that, the pharmaceutical companies are having these medications created, in fact, to do us much harm, because they HATE MENTALLY/EMOTIONALLY ILL PEOPLE!! Think about it, how many decades & they can’t fix the extreme weight gain or dead sex drive? And EVERY GODDAMN ONE OF THESE MEDS, HAVE THE SAME SIDE EFFECTS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE FOR DIFFERENT ISSUES!! They want us all so grotesquely fat that nobody wants us & just in case they do, they killed our sexual desires anyway…PLUS, THEY DON’T WANT US BREEDING!! MAKING MORE LIKE US OR WORSE EVEN!! The pills make us depressed & suicidal, cuz they want us dead!! I WANT TO SUE THESE POS, GREEDY, UNEMOTIONAL MONSTERS!! THEIR POISON & THE ABSOLUTE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE BEING PASSED TO US ABOUT THEM…THEY NEED TO HEAR US, HELP US, AND PAY FOR OUR UNENDING PAIN!!!! They basically murdered me!! My lifelong personality, which was me…into an unlikable freak!!! I am outraged & want help addressing this. They don’t have a leg to stand on, with the whole “you should’ve read all 200 pages of shit most of you don’t understand!” Bullshit line! Most mentally ill people will not read the paperwork & those companies are very aware of this fact!!! Because, most of us do NOT UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE THEY USE & OUR DOCTORS ARE CONNED INTO LYING TO US FOR MORE MONEY!! WE ARE VICTIMS & SOMEBODY NEEDS TO DO RIGHT BY US & HELP US! I could work before that pill & that psychosis…now I am on disability & I don’t even get $700/month! How am i supposed to live on that? My Gran reluctantly allows me to stay with her, but she’s 88 & not in great health! I am going to lose my pets & be forced into homelessness & then.death!! I can’t live on the streets!! I will end my life first & this isn’t fair!! I am not the first to face this & I won’t be the last, unless someone stands up for us!!

    • Sharon

      I went through neglect abuse 2 head injuries teenage pregnancy and much much more. My life has been hell from the start. I let all of this baggage weigh me down and started taking antidepressants. What a huge mistake. When you go through trauma how can someone say you have issues, mental disorders??? These parents need to tell the truth about what you have been through. Unfortunately we pass this crap down to our children when all we need is God and a Godly counselor at the first sign we are struggling.

      Hope a is well for you.

  31. Nicholas Page

    Just now getting off Lexapro (20mg /day) for a year during a bad divorce. It’s been 7 days. I have horrible “brain zaps”, which is what lead to this page . I have some increased and noted irritability, extremely low energy. Also to note I’ve gained 40 lbs over the last year without a change to my diet or activity. I’m a little guy with a super fast metabolism, I’ve never weighed over 140 my entire life (even in my prime athletic days) now I’m 160 and it shows. I’m extremely unmotivated in my job. I’m in the military (10 years) and my motivation to do thing in the job has been through the roof. Since I’ve been on Lexapro and coming off I just don’t care, not sure if this is the drug or the incident which put me on the drug. Either way it’s refreshing to hear all these similar stories, and mine is a great deal not as bad as most of you guys.

    • Micalle C.

      Wow….. I am equal parts relieved and terrified after stumbling upon all of these comments. I have been on Sertraline/zoloft for about 8 years. For the most part, I’ve stayed at 50 mg. At one point I had increased as high as 150mg but after a chance conversation with a friend who is a MD I was informed that if you take an SSRI long enough, your body will stop the production of serotonin on its own all together and so I slowly started to reduce….. but then went through a brutal divorce and time got away from me and left me at a 50mg balance for many years. I’ve always been reminded when I’ve forgotten to take a pill by the “brain zaps” as you all call it (I’ve always described it like hitting a funny bone in my jaw or temples) after a day or so. About two years ago, I tried to taper off slowly but found myself having VERY dark thoughts about hanging myself from my living room light fixture where I was convinced I’d remain for weeks until anyone found my loveless ass….. and so I jumped back on to full dose and felt better right away, leaving me petrified to try that again. A few months ago I mentioned to my doctor that I would like to transition off and he seemed unconcerned with my desire for a scheduled tapering, mentioning the short half life and seemingly disregarded the horror stories I’ve heard. So, around mid-September I just went cold turkey. 10 days into it (at a much better place in my life) I was like “Wow! What a cake walk! This has been smooth sailing” nothing like I had experienced before and so I chalked it up to being “ready” in lifes place. But then I was up against a very important public speech and was nerve wracked over it and behaving a bit irritable or short leading up to the day of the event. So, out of fear of visible trembling, I took a half dose a few hours before I spoke and then 2 days later another half dose for the flight home. NOW, rather than feeling better and kicking the brain zaps as I had before….. its been 10 days since I’ve had anything and the brain zaps are WORSE than ever, I almost pulled my car over the other day because I became so disoriented and night before last I suddenly sat up and ran to the restroom as if I had food poisoning and MISERABLY laid on my bathroom floor for hours after emptying my body of all liquids possible. Because the brain zaps haven’t gone away after the medication should be out of my system, I got online to search for information about how much longer I should expect this……. and THAT is where I have been left terrified……. I feel like tapering off was bad for me two years ago and that I screwed myself by putting those small doses in after I had been off in a breeze two weeks ago. Maybe that doesn’t make medical sense though. I just want to know what to expect, how long to expect, what I can do to remove or ease these brain zaps???!!!

  32. Todd

    These posts have been incredibly helpful as I try to sort out my recent usage of Celexa. I would truly appreciate any insights into my situation, which may be a bit different based on low dosage and limited usage.
    Nurse practitioner prescribed 10 mg Celexa for GAD with a one week ramp up of 5 mg daily. I was very hesitant to try, but I finally gave in. He felt there was underlying anxiety that was contributing to my elevated blood pressure.
    Huge mistake.
    I took the 5 mg daily in the morning for only 6 days before quitting. Pick a side effect… I think I may have had almost the entire list.
    Super nervous, increased anxiety where there was none present previously, sweaty hands and feet, nausea, nightmares and disturbed sleep where before I slept like a rock, lightheaded, and dizzy.
    At day 5, I started reading about withdrawal symptoms while I was deciding whether to quit. Most posts and information are from people who had been on higher dosages and/or had taken for longer periods of time.
    I’ve been off my brief usage of Celexa 5 mg for 5 days now. My withdrawal symptoms seem to mirror those of people taking higher dosages for longer periods of time, unfortunately.
    My question: Should I be encountering these horrible withdrawal symptoms after a low dosage for only 6 days? My psychiatrist (who later approved of what the nurse practitioner had prescribed) chalks my withdrawal to preexisting anxiety. Shocker.
    Again, any help or insights would be a major relief. Good luck to everyone getting off of this drug.

    • Shannon

      Did you stay off and when did your withdrawal get better? I’m going thru the Same thing after 5 days on lexapro

  33. Adam

    Hello. First time talking about this on a blog. I am off Lexapro for 5 months now. The Hell started at about the fourth month, or a bit sooner. Loss of all pleasure, fear of losing everyone around me, feeling like I am Crazy, wanting desperately for it All to Stop, thoughts that I never had before, and on and on. I am writing this in the hope of feeling better somehow by sharing. Quit cold turkey, told my GP about it and he said, “OK”. That was it. No warning of withdrawal, no concern for his prescribed treatment going downhill. Why? Why? I cannot go back, only forward. All the posts have been enlightening, to say the least, and the idea of being unwell for years is truly terrifying in itself. Will Joy ever return? Who am I now? What will happen to me? My overwhelming Fear has all but taken over my life. I Pray like crazy more it to subside. I walk every day and repeat Mantras about healing and safety and wellness. I have drank an Ocean of Tea, and walked hundreds of miles, still hoping for some happiness. Happiness. What is happiness? That drug gave me Such a Powerful feeling od well Being, much more than I knew, or could have produced on my own. I was Cocky, to say the least, thinking that I am Right about everything in every situation. I Bullied my way across the spectrum of personal relationships, ruining some family ties and professional opportunities. The Unreal sense of Wellness on Lexapro was an altered state on its own. My body could not have felt that well without it, so the drug artificially produced Wellness. I was Productive beyond imagination. Artist, Chef, Athlete. All gone now. Once the drug is out of my brain, I can’t perform any of my previous desires. Perhaps I had an Unreal sense of Hope before, but now all Hope is gone. Seem crazy, and no one around me gets what I am going through. Trying to explain the Excruciatingly Insane Thoughts to a loved one is futile. They cannot help at all it appears. No amount of Love and Support can make this go away. I am at the 5 month mark now, and working with the Head Psychopharmacologists at Upstate Hospital in Syracuse NY. I am now on Bupropion and Mertazapine for about a month now. The Severity and Intensity of my Fear has decreased some, but so incremental that I feel I will never be well. All I do now is ask God to keep me, to not Forsake me, to Protect and keep me Safe. I am spiritual yet not Religious by nature, and hope that a Loving God will Forgive me my Sins. I have to forgive myself for taking the drugs in the first place. I have to forgive Myself, for So So So many things I have done wrong. Redemption seems almost impossible, with a Normal Life off in the far distance. Perhaps I was this Ill before taking Lexapro, and should have dealt Holistically somehow. I don’t know at all anymore. I will post again each Month to gauge my “Progress”, in the Hope of helping someone else. All I do now is Pray for Calm. Please love yourself enough to Live through this. It may be all chemical, but our minds cannot distinguish between artificial thoughts and Real thoughts right now. I love my self enough to fight on, and I love you too. Please, love yourself enough. Love, love, love.

    • Lisa Stendel

      Sending support Adam! How are you doing now?

  34. Help

    Omg at least I know I’m not crazy. I stopped prozac a month ago and now I’m so severely sick I can barely function. I can’t eat because stomach is in a constant state of nausea, it’s also tied in knots with anxiety,I can’t sleep,I’m dizzy,I shake, I have ear pain,numbness, headaches,crying bouts,feeling terrible fear, can’t regulate my temperature. What the hell is this? I know people who have had an easier time kicking heroin!

  35. Arashi neko

    If it gets too bad I’ll just go back on a very low dose but it’s been 2 weeks and it’s ok just zaps mostly I was on low dose sertraline for 10 years and tapered v. Slowly.

  36. Arashi neko

    Hello, was on a very small dose of sertraline (zoloft?) For 10 years, tried to quit twice b4 but couldnt,c reduced the dose in half a year ago then by quarters then just a little dust and then stopped so tapered very slowly. So far 2 weeks since I’ve been totally off and it’s going ok. The first 2 days I was in excruciating pain like a heroine junky so I had just a little speck since then I’ve been better, but have severe brain zaps a lot. My doctor denies these exist I said-do you tead??!! One of the reasons I quit was because I was only having like 2 bms a month and could barely eat without gaining weight down to 1200 cals a day and I kept stopping breathing and waking up gasping as soon as I laid down. It’s too early to say but libido is back and I seem to be digesting food more quickly, still stop breathing in sleep though. Anyone else stop breathing except me and Karen? I’m thin so it’s not typical sleep apnea. Hang in there all!

    • Sharon

      Yes. I have weight gain and a CPAP. I was in hell while fully taking the meds and this is hell coming off.

  37. sanniafatima

    I was put on 10mg Lexapro for post partum anxiety and panic attacks. I could easily go down to 5 mg in 3 months without any withdrawal symptoms. Then I decided to wean myself off the 5mg cold turkey. It was like a living hell. I was disoriented, dizzy, extremely anxious, battled chills fatigue hot flashes each night. Pin please sensation in extremities and brain zaps. And felt breathless most of the time. Now I’ve decided back to 5mg again and taper more slowly this time. My just doesn’t believe that a 5mg pill can cause so many oroblems. He things it is recurrence of my anxiety and not withdrawl. But I can easily tell that I just had a much lower intensity anxiety than what I have now.. never had any other symptoms either. After reading the experiences of people on this forum I see a ray of hope. Thank you all.

    • Melanie Uebele

      I was also put on lexapro 10 mg for post partum anxiety. I had gone to the emergency room 3 times thinking I was having a heart attack, my heart checked out fine. I had 3 miscarriages after my son was born. I became terrified that I would die and leave my son without a mother. I was terrified to take the medication and repeatedly asked my doctor if it was safe. She told me it is very mild and no problems. So I reluctantly agreed to take it because of the anxiety. My side effects didn’t start immediately. After about 8 weeks of being on it, I developed extreme nausea and dizziness. I went to my doctor thinking i had a stomach bug except no vomiting which seemed weird. She diagnosed it as labyrinths, an inner ear inflammation. I believed her. I didn’t realize it was actually the lexapro. I suffered through this dizziness and nausea for about 2 months, all the time thinking it was from my ear. Finally I got to the Ear Nose and Throat Doctor who said my ear was fine. I continued to take the lexapro for 4 years. It did help with my anxiety. After my body adjusted to the medication, I had less side effects. Mostly it was not feeling like I had my full range of emotions (never crying, even at a friend’s funeral) extremely vivid and bizarre dreams, wanting to sleep a lot, and occasional nausea and dizziness. My doctor NEVER asked or suggested to discontinue it. When I decided to stop, I now had a new doctor because the original doctor had left the practice. He said just take half for a week, then half every other day for a week and then stop. 3 days after stopping, I got terrible electrical sensations in my brain, especially when moving my eyes side to side. It felt as if a sparkler, or a live wire was loose in my head. Then came feeling like I was slurring my words, feeling like I was drunk and not able to talk clearly, disorientation, fog, dizziness. Just the slightest movement of my head brings on feelings as if I just did 10 flips. I ended up going back on the medication after the doctor and neurologist both said ” I’ve never heard of anything like this”. It made me feel as if i were going insane.
      The second time I tried to stop the medication, I did a longer taper. Down to 5 mg for 6 months and then 4, 3, 2.5 and then off. I was able to taper down to 2.5 without too much discomfort. Now I realize although the doctors will say ” that’s a tiny dose, it wouldn’t even affect you” and ” I have patients stop from 10 mg all the time with no problems”, 2.5 mg is still A LOT on lexapro. Again, 3 days after the final dose all the above symptoms reappear. Electrical zaps in my brain, constant tinnitus, extreme dizziness and nausea, feeling like I can’t talk clearly, like I can’t control my tongue to enunciate my words, extreme anxiety-worse than the original, anxiety that lasts day after day. Bouts of crying for no reason, I just can’t stop crying. My body feels like lead, like I’ve been unplugged from my power source, zero energy, Symptoms I NEVER HAD prior to taking the drug. Yes, I had anxiety, that is why I took it. I am trying to be as objective as I can. I do believe this anxiety is far worse than the original anxiety, I don’t know if I am in denial. I am having extreme difficulty focusing at work. Not able to get a full night sleep, waking early with a racing heart.
      It has been almost 5 months since my last dose, and I feel like I am on some weird drug. Like I am under water and can’t get to the surface, like I am disconnected from the world through some weird dimension. Not clear or focused, it is so hard to describe.
      I am trying to ride it out, but I don’t know if I am strong enough. I read my Bible, pray, meditate, do mindfulness, still forcing myself to exercise. (prior to lexapro I ran 5 miles 3x weekly, ate well, swam, biked, hiked, very physically active and good diet) Now it is all I can do to get out of bed! I have NO REASON to be depressed! I have a wonderful son and husband, a good job, but I am crying all day, so dizzy and nauseated that nothing is fun, everything seems like a chore. And the anxiety is getting worse, so is it a relapse of anxiety? Do I really need the drug? I don’t know if I do or not, but I do know I can’t function like this.
      The new prescribing doctor says she never heard of discontinuation symptoms lasting more than a few weeks, and this has to be anxiety returning. So if I assume she is correct, then what about the other symptoms? Am I creating the dizziness and nausea from being anxious? Why didn’t I have those symptoms from anxiety prior to taking the drug? If it is anxiety returning, then do I need to take this medication for life because it is so painful to try to stop it? When I google discontinuation syndrome, it lists anxiety as a symptom of such. I feel like I’m in a Catch 22. I need to take a leap of faith to get out of it. I don’t know if I can. I really don’t know what to do. At this point is it a recurrence, or is it my brain still adjusting and trying to balance out? I need to be present and not crying all day for my son and I need to be professional at work. The problem is as soon as someone asks me how I am, I start to cry, no matter how hard I try not to. I go into the woods and cry and cry. I am hoping I can persist and make it past this horrible dizziness and nausea, heaviness, lack of energy and crying.
      I really don’t want to go back on the medication now that I know if causes all of these symptoms, but I don’t feel like I can push through it much longer. My body is both physiologically dependent and psychologically dependent on it. I feel like when it is prescribed for anxiety, it is creating a dependence. The anxious mind believes this drug will make the anxiety go away. The brain enters a drugged state and associates the state with not having anxiety. The drug changes the structure of the brain, as it down-regulates serotonin to make up for a surplus provided by the drug. When the drug is removed, not only does the brain have to readjust to the lack of serotonin, the mind has to readjust because it associated the drugged state with no anxiety. The mind formed it’s networks in the presence of the drug. Now it has to form new anti-anxiety networks while the brain is physically adjusting at the same time. It takes a strong mind and will to get out of this, I don’t know if I am strong enough.

    • Drew

      Melanie it can ABSOLUTELY last longer than a few weeks. Don’t listen to them. I’m 19 months on and still in the thick of it. Some things have improved, others have gotten worse. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it, the depression is so bad

  38. David Heugly

    I have recently tapered off Zoloft after 15 years of use @ 20 mg. It has taken me 10 months to discontinue completely. Zoloft was prescribed to combat depression and anxiety. My doctor decided to end use due to my nightmares. I have ALL or most of the symptoms described by the many users of SSRI’s. Bottom line, a person cannot quit taking an SSRI after being prescribed. Depression issues come about because of a lack of Seratonin being produced in the brain. We all know this. SSRI’s help many folks but you may have to try several at different doses to hit the magic combination. DO NOT quit your SSRI as you will still have low levels of seratonin and will relapse to your initial state as well as develop some or all of the side effects associated with SSRI’s. After 71 years of life including 14 months in Vietnam, a divorce, the cancer death of my 30 year old daughter, just to name a few, depression, anxiety and PTSD are a normal state for most humans. Diet, exercise and a relationship with God are the only real answers that will provide relief. Thank you.

  39. Cara

    Has anyone had success withdrawing from Paxil by switching to Prozac? I recently began tapering from 40 mg Paxil by reducing my dosage by 2.75 mg every two weeks.
    My doctor mentioned switching to Prozac, then withdrawing from that if Paxil withdrawal symptoms become severe. I know Prozac has a longer half life so in theory it is easier to taper off Prozac. I am concerned about introducing another SSRI and having to adjust. Has anyone had experience with this?

  40. Sani

    I had been on benzos and ssri, for post partum depression and panic attacks. I used benzos mainly during SOS so could taper off easily from it. I was initially put on 10mg Lexapro, then tapers of to 5mg after 3 months. As I felt better, and my dose of 5mg got over, I stopped cold turkey. But my symptoms started in a week. Id have burninghot skin, shivering at night, then suddenly lost appetite, low mood, anxiety like hell. Brain zaps, disorientation… I felt crazy… Then I went back to my 5mg laxapro again… I feel better after four days although I still have brain zaps. I’m planning to taper off slowly this time.. hope it helps…

  41. Piotr

    Greetings from Poland.
    I would like to add something, that everybody knows already. Getting paroxetine for 5 years erased me completely from my social life. Gradually I lost my education, job, relationships, creativity. Nobody told me that this drug will make me numb and emotionless and leading me to irrational thoughts. Today is another day of the escape from the pact with the Devil. Tremors, vomiting and brain zaps are amongst other withdrawal symptoms.
    We have to find justice! I lost my mid-20s and I see that I am not alone. Let the world hear us.

  42. Vickie Britton

    I also have withdrawals from tapering off Celexa. My body shakes all the time, headaches, I can’t enjoy my family from all the withdraws I’m going through. It’s horrible and I sweat and can’t sleep sometimes. I almost feel the same as I did before taking this medicine. I know I will get through this but how long will it take I’m not sure. I believe in the Power of Prayer and I know that God is our source. I Pray for all of us, that we will be healed of every symptom that these medicines have left us with.And that it be made know what one can go through when getting o these medications. Prayer is Powerful and I know God is able to heal us.

    • Tina Barrontine

      Trusting God and standing on the word and pleading the blood of Jesus is what really got me thru this

  43. Clare

    I too have been dealing with SSRI withdrawal for many yrs. The only thing that helped to ease the extreme symptoms which had me on disability was to go back on a lower dose and then begin a very very slow micro taper. I got a lot of information and support from the website They help thousands of people dealing with this.

  44. Donna

    I am wondering if anyone has had problems with belching after coming off Celexa ? I was on Celexa for 2 years for anxiety and decided to stop because I was feeling better but since coming off #wwait my symptoms are alll returning. I stopped taking it about a month ago. Anxiety is bad again, insomnia and panic. But the worst is the belching and pain between my shoulder blades on my back..I did have some belching before the Celexa with my anxiety but this is extreme, anyone ??

  45. Sue

    I was on citalopram for a decade. Started taking it because of a stressful job, teaching. Every teacher I know is on meds. Decided the job wasn’t worth it so started tapering off, 40 mg to 20 to 5 mg to nothing. I am miserable. Chills one minute, sweating the next. Extreme vertigo and nausea. No doctor ever told me there would be withdrawal symptoms. A few years ago, I went out of town and forgot my citalopram. Day 3, I was in a panic and my doc called it in to a local pharmacy. It was the pharmacist that told me I was going through withdrawal. Why hadn’t a doctor told me that would happen? Do they not know?
    Every teacher I know is on these types of meds, not because of depression, but because of the high stress of the job. Wth! I feel duped. Here, take these and you won’t be stressed at work anymore.
    I’ve been off it a week. I would love to check back in someday and tell you all it stops and life goes back to normal.

  46. Elle

    I’ve been on some sort of SSRI for about 23 years now. The last one was Trintellix. I can tell you that I became so angry and suicidal that if I hadn’t stopped it cold turkey, I would have ended my life. Now I am in week 3 of this hell of withdrawals. It’s worse than any I’ve ever had. I have brain zaps almost constantly, flu-like symptoms including low grade fever, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, aching in my joints, muscle spasms in my legs, sudden twitching of my face and arms, heart fluttering, the glands under my neck are swollen, insomnia and my eyes are terribly sensitive to light. I’m dizzy and have bouts of feeling like my equilibrium is off. It feels as if my brain is damaged. I don’t know if anyone will even understand how that is a feeling, but it’s there. I am going to see this through and hopefully recover from the side effects and withdrawals of this drug. One thing that has gotten better is that I no longer want to end my life. I think that’s my motivation to keep trudging through this. It helps me remember why I’m going through this. When I feel like I can’t stand the withdrawals for another second and want to take the Trintellix just to make it stop, I google Discontinuation Syndrome and it makes me feel like I’m not going to die and I’m not alone in this, I just have to keep going. Even though I’m in the throws of this and sometimes feel so bad I think I might be dying, I know that there is a light at the end. How far away that light is, I don’t know. I hope every person here gets through! I’m rooting for us all! 🙂

    • Daffodil

      Hello Elle,
      I have all of your symptoms too. Was on 10mg Citalopram for 10 years. Started yoyo’ing with my dose and a year ago started reducing. I’m now on 5mg and still getting withdrawal symptoms. These meds have ruined my life. Like you, I just want this nightmare to end.

  47. Fontaine, Tanyia

    I was on cymbalta 60 mg 1 week had reactions down to 30 mg
    Doc said take 30 mg for 4 more weeks then take every 2nd day for 2 weeks then quite. I couldnt stay on it made me itch all over like crazy i would scratch till i bled. So after 6 days of 30mg i bought empty capsules and divided in half to 15 took every 2nd day then same thing split to 7.5 every 2nd day for 3 days then to 3.75 every 2nd day for 3 days then agai to 1.75 for 2 days then skipped a day .
    Suffering still with nautious, dizzy,tummy aches,throwing up (both ends) severe head zaps, body zaps brain feels like its got pressure and ready to explode, irritable suicide thoughts ,crying,heart palpitations,loss appetite, ,twitching and horrific body sweats every 15 min. Loss of thought i forget what im saying in middle of conversation. And Exhausted all day. HELL its been.
    It is now day 6 without any and every day is a wee bit better. Appetite slowly comuing back,interested in intimacy again,brain zaps slowing down but the headaches and nuatious dizxyness is still horrific. No memory or concentration at all still. So horrible. Ill stick with the fibermalgia pain b4 ever touching another drug. 🙁
    And NO ONE told me of the side effects.
    I am just grateful i was on for a short time . And unbelievably it still had /has this effect on me. Couldnt imagine if i was on longer!!

  48. Jennifer

    My at the time 15 year old daughter suffered severe altitude sickness on a trip to Colorado that lasted for months giving her severe vertigo, nausea, vomiting, motion sickness etc. From all of this she developed anxiety fearing her next vertigo attack. During this time our PCP prescribed her 10mg of Fluoxitne, 7 mg of Busiprone and Meclizine for nausea. Our doctor said that it would take up to a month to get into her system and begin working. It did work for a few months and then she began getting worse daily. We went back to the doctor and the increased her Busiprone to 7.5mg twice daily, ran several tests on her all came back normal. She would have severe abdominal pain, vomiting, dizziness and insomnia. The symptoms increased her anxiety because of the intensity of the spells when they would come on. We had her in ER several times because of the abdominal pain and vomiting. She then developed a rapid heart beat, back to the ER we went. Sent her to a cardiologist, all tests came back normal. I was at my wits end watching my baby girl suffer every single day, she was missing school and had to stop playing sports. We had been to so many different doctors and hospitals trying to figure out what was wrong with my daughter. Each visit we would give a list of medications and symptoms and we left with no answers. I had exhausted google by trying to search her symptoms to try to bring some relief to my daughter. I decided one day to google fluoxetine and see if that could be the cause. Sure enough, article after article discussing serotonin syndrome which is caused by SSRI’s she had all of the mild and several of the severe symptoms, we have called our doctor several times with no return call as of yet since discovering this. We decided to try to take her off all of the pills for one day to see if her symptoms improved and sure enough. My happy go lucky girl was back, no nausea, no motion sickness, no vertigo. Now we are dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. She has had acid reflux, skin breakouts, seeing spots, etc. I should have researched these toxic pills before allowing my daughter to take them. Our doctor prescribed her 3 daily drugs that are SSRI’s, and what kills me is every single doctor we saw including two different hospitals had a list of her medications and symptoms and no one thought that it may be the drugs causing this except for me. We were not able to step her down off the drugs due to her serotonin sensitivity, I am hoping that this does not do any permanent damage to my daughter.

  49. Linda

    Here’s a story of a SUCCESSFUL WITHDRAWAL technique. I spent 15 years on Nortriptylene (Pamelor) for sleep issues and I tried to get off of it so many times I lost count. I asked every new doctor how to get off and none of them ever had any helpful suggestions. I took 75 mg/night. They prescribed both 25 and 10 mg capsules and I tried tapering using those dosages but I could never get below 60mg without the horrible withdrawal symptoms taking hold. I white knuckled it for a full month on numerous occasions but that never worked. The symptoms were relentless and I eventually always went back to the original dose.
    Finally I went to see an Integrative ARNP. She had me taper using liquid form of the medicine instead of capsules. I used a syringe to measure the amount (I didn’t inject the stuff I still took it orally). I tapered off really, really slowly. With the capsules I had to drop by 10 mg at a time whereas the liquid I could go down by small increments-even 1mg or less. She said that it might take a year but I was actually off of it in several months.
    I have now been off for 11 years. Yes, I do have quite a few of those symptoms from the second list, even now. However, there were some horrible symptoms that I had while on Nortriptylene that I would never go back to.

  50. Jennifer

    I just want to say how sorry I am for myself and every person who has fell victim to the severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms “brain zaps” etc…… it is horrific, I used to sell these anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, we were told to have patients taper off slowly due to withdrawal symptoms, but never once did they explain what this was, and ironically tapering off slowly didn’t stop me from having unbearable and long lasting effects. There is no accountability. I can’t begin to share what I have witnessed with my own family, experienced myself, and have seen in others. I will just offer a prayer that for anyone who is going through this, that our Heavenly Father pours out his love and grace upon our souls, lifting us up in his image to be bright lights, and beacons of such strength and HOPE. May blessings pour upon each one of us that has endured so much pain. We may not know each other, but we are all in this together, from my heart to yours, keep the faith. Sending loving thoughts and prayers for healing and recovery. Amen. Xoxo
    PS. Remember to research quality products, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin C, organic greens, get some exercise in, a walk, anything that gets your body moving, purified water, organic fruits and veggies, fill your bodies with good stuff to reduce inflammation in our brains and bodies, nature, some sunshine, and make sure whoever is in your life that they speak words of inspiration, encouragement and love. Be kind to yourself, you have been through so much already, and let’s pray for each other, as I need to be more consistent in practicing what I am preaching.

    • caroline

      Thank you for this. I’m suffering horrible celexa withdrawal and brain zaps. Praying for you too


      Paxil victim here. The lack of accountability is frustrating, maddening. A class action is the only remedy to prevent millions of others from falling prey to what amounts to gross negligence. I have my story posted recently (up top). You are definitely not alone.

  51. Veera

    DEPRESSION is NOT an ILLNESS! It is simply a symptom of either other mental or physical disorders/illnesses/traumas or nutritional defficiencies. The truth is this: This fast-paced society doesn’t want to give us time to heal from natural depressive states because that means becoming unprofitable.
    Medicine for ‘depression’ is ALWAYS therapy! Drugs numb you, especially antidepressants and especially in the long haul, they actually destroy receptors, often completely. You have to work through the emotional pain that comes with loss or other crisis. Or there may be something seriously wrong in your life and you need a big change (abusive or dysfunctional relationship, wrong line of education, awful boss or co-workers, etc) but you are not being honest with yourself yet. People take all kinds of shite when they really shouldn’t. Depression is nature’s way of telling you need a change and you need compassion and company, you need to sort those feelings through with other people, someone who understands.
    You might now scoff like ‘how would you know?’ Trust me, i know. 15 years of searching for help and many misdiagnoses, drugs, crappy therapists. Depression, anxiety, severe panic attacks, once i had to go to the hospital after a fit of rage, cutting myself, suicidal thoughts, catatonic states, etc.. But when you are young, you trust the doctors more easily. You don’t know then what you know now, and truthful information is much more accessible now than 15 years ago.
    I was sexually abused when I was 4. PTSD emerged when I was 16: the memories came back and at the same time I was in a relationship with a violent narcissist whom I was with until I was 19. Did the psychologist dig deep enough? Not a chance. They sent me to psychiatrist who described Zoloft. I soon stopped because my mom said i became cold and emotionless.
    I tried to manage without drugs until I was 21, I had a meltdown and mom helped me to get help. I went to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Cymbalta. Sure it numbed me, made me eventually functional. Of course it does, it zombifies your receptors. I was on it for 2 years, then my energy levels declined, my psych changed my meds to venlafaxine (Effexor,Venlafaxin etc). Yes it seemed to work a tiny bit but no one gave me any advice on my life situations. I went to a crappy expensive therapist for 5 years. I only realized a few years after how crappy she was when i finally received GOOD help.
    I didn’t have a single friend in my life, my only friend was always a boyfriend. Now I can think; yeah who wouldn’t feel lonely and depressed. I had a low self-esteem and PTSD because of my childbood abuse and an abusive relationship but no professional told me that although they knew! No one gave me any advice on how to manage and develop healthy ways to cope. Just drugs. And what these drugs do to your brain they make it much more vulnerable to stress because you are relying on it. When on it you can’t really improve your behaviour. You’re not doing anything, the drug does it for you. Unfortunately it comes with a high price. And how can you really grow as a person when you treat a natural symptom with drugs. LIFE IS HARD, for some it’s more difficult than for the others, some are fundamentally more sensitive and some seem to be as if nothing can break them.
    I was on venlafaxine for 5 yrs and tried to quit it after 2 yrs cold turkey, the withdrawal was awful but I made it through but soon depression came back with a vengeance. Sure I was ‘depressed’. I still didn’t have energy, I was in a relationship with a drug addict and I still didn’t have any other friends. He was a good, kind and faithful person though, it was the lies about the drugs that hurt and not being able to trust him in that area. No wonder i felt depressed!
    I went back to the drug and continued for 3 years, I have a new boyfriend now and I clearly had a PTSD because of the drug abuse in the previous relationship of 5 years. He has opened my eyes on a lot of things, 1 being that I didn’t have any control over my everyday life (cleaning or organizing my house, or other responsibilities. I have been scattered all my life, always messy, unable to study, absent-minded, forgetful, dreamer, unable to concentrate, could start dozens of projects without finishing them. Turned out I have ADHD. This has been a huge relief and had this been figured out when I was sixteen, I would’ve saved my body from the nerve damage. After I quit venlafaxine slowly, after about few weeks from the last dose I started getting urinary tract infections, pelvic pain and inflammation, pain during intercourse, serious back pain, and interstitial cystitis. The genital and bladder problems are the worst kind of things to suffer from. It has also impaired my menstrual cycle. In addition to that i still have serious constipation, it was worse though when I was on the drug. I have done all kinds of nutritional changes without luck. So it has to be about the nervous system. These drugs make the whole body more fragile. It has been now about 4 months and I feel more hopeful, I had the lower dose,75mg so it is possible the damage isn’t too bad.
    And for those who think that maybe they shouldn’t quit it because of the possibility of these serious withdrawal symptoms. Think like this; each time you take it, you are damaging yourself more. And the longer and higher dose you take, the more you are damaging your system and more irreversible the damage can get. But you have to try! Quit before it’s too late. People can heal even after 20 yrs of use and how can you know if you don’t try and wait patiently? Body has an amazing ability to restore itself, if you just give it time, it can take years! Be patient and while waiting, eat healthy, lose weight if overweight, exercise, be positive, don’t drink alcohol, quit smoking.. It helps your body to heal faster. And most important thing; seek help from friends, spouse, good therapists which can be hard to find, listen to yourself, don’t hang on to people who hurt you, write a journal, anything! There is always hope.
    Ps. There was a Finnish study on venlafaxine of 1500 people which showed that it increased suicidal thoughts on over 60% of patients. That was the last straw for me and I decided to quit. My BF and family say I have been happier. And do you know why? I have made friends because I decided to believe I am wanted and loved and because I’m in a healthy relationship! Drugs don’t make you happy, the right life choices do!

  52. palle1966Paul

    I am now on Venlafaxin (Efexor) 75mg which is a next dose after the 1 week initial 35 mg starter. I am using this for depression after loss of my 18 yo son in an accident. This drug does “even” me out somewhat. I no longer spend 4-5 hrs a day planning my suicide, almost like compulsive disorder. This dose counts as low. I plan to discontinue this in spring as long, nordic winters can be a real pain for people with depressions. Ive heard a lots about wd for Venlafaxine / Efexor…I hope that low dose and short usage time will not make getting of this to painfull.

  53. Connie

    Hi there. In my case, I have been on either Lexapro or (now) Zoloft for 15 years. I have tried several times to quit but with no luck. These posts are explaining a lot about my experiences with the zaps and extreme moodiness. A week ago, I cut my dosage in half. At the same time, I started using CBD. I don’t know if it’s the CBD that is responsible but I have not experienced the side negative side affects as before. I am feeling tired, achy all over and a bit gloomy but nothing like the extreme sensations from other times I cut my dosage by less. For the first time, I really feel like it’s going to work. I hope this helps.

  54. Tristen

    I have been on anti-depressants since 1988 when I was 16. I am now 46. I started on Prozac, then took Effexor for years. In 2007, I was able to wean myself off the later with my doctor’s help. I was good for 6 months and then had a full blown anxiety attack with a psycotic break. I was originally prescribed SSRIs for depression. I went on a low dose of Paxil after this. I weaned off 3 months ago and had headaches the first month which quit, but now have constant anxiety that becomes worse with loud noises, and I have developed IBS. I do NOT want to go back on the meds. What I have found, though not a panacea, is that breathing meditation and long walks help to alleviate symptoms and positive self-talk to remind myself that everything is fine, I’m safe, and there is nothing to worry about also helps. I am committed to getting through this using these aids, no matter how long it takes. It sucks, but I will not be a slave to these drugs any longer.

  55. Blaine

    EVERYONE SHOULD READ THE BOOK, “TOXIC PSYCHIATRY”, written by the psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Breggin. I cannot begin to tell you that i went beyond hell,,, way
    beyond hell, beyond EXTREME neurological agony, after starting on several psychiatric drugs.. It all started with addiction to Xanax, but got worse and worse and worse with:::Especially Neuroleptics ( VERY VERY, VERY TOXIC ), and many, many antidepressants, minor tranquilizers, benzos. From Neuroleptics, I developed Tardive Dyskinesia.
    This is permanent neurological destruction of which there is no solution. Many antidepressants can cause the same permanent damage !!! And also many anti-depressants can
    cause permanent dysfunction of sexual funtioning and cause permanent impotence. Everyone please read any information regarding any psychiatric toxicity. We must all get the truth out to combat the propaganda and false information spread by the drug manufactuers and Psychiatry itself. Eventually the truth must prevail over the money making
    machine of Psychiatry and its abuses.

  56. Kevin

    About 6 weeks off of Prozac now. Can’t say the withdrawal symptoms are fun. I had taken the meds for about 2 years, and I won’t lie — they improved my general disposition after about 4 months of taking them for the first time. I was on a pretty low dose of 20mg a day, but even so, the effects were clear: I felt more sunny and was able to be more enthusiastic about things. HOWEVER, I was experiencing one missing aspect after taking my meds that I didn’t want to go the rest of my life without: strong emotions. I felt like I couldn’t cry at movies, couldn’t react to strong emotional events anymore — basically, I had become very machine-like in terms of my emotions. Even though I generally was “sunny,” that’s all I ever felt: artificial sunniness. The mental utopia just wasn’t for me. I abruptly decided to stop taking my medications while studying abroad 6 weeks ago. I’m home now, but since I stopped taking them, I think I’ve had about 4 major emotional breakdowns, and my checking/reassurance habits have rebounded to pre-medication levels. HOWEVER, the strategies I use nowadays let me feel the full spectrum of my emotions, as opposed to defaulting to Prozac’s SSRI capabilities and just riding turbulence out. It’s time for me to fight, and you all can to. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to let go, and compare your experiences to the successful in the past: if a successful SSRI quitter took 10 years to quit, then I need to wait at least 10 years before I even consider quitting. You can do this!

  57. Mike

    For me the most destructive med turned out to be: BUSPIRONE (not an SSRI but messes with 5-ht1a receptor and who knows what else). And I have good perspective – before it I’ve eaten almost all ADs.
    5 months of tapering-hell and still having serious additional problems (like my illness wasn’t enough).

  58. Amanda

    I came across this article when doing research on Lexapro withdrawal. I have been taking 20 mg for about 6 years and felt so numb emotionally that decided I would stop taking them. That was one week ago and let me tell you I had no idea SSRI withdrawal was like this! Brain zaps, crying all the time, anxiety, disorientation and weird feeling all over my body. I so wish my doctor would have told me before the impact of withdrawal. I have a very stressful job and am moving to a different province soon and can honestly say I have no idea how I am to cope with everything on top of this. I really believe doctors should be required to inform their patients.

  59. Melissa B Bennett

    I also have a story of going off Celexa because of the brain zaps….. At menopause my undiagnosed ADHD went haywire with the loss of estrogen – I no longer had control over the stereotypical symptoms of rapid thoughts, impulsiveness, speaking forthrightly, and getting bored easily. The joy and positive energy I had was gone and in its place was a lethargy I had never felt before. My mind felt “stuck” and couldn’t think – I had no memory, was in a fog most of the time, felt angry, sad, frustrated and ashamed of my uncontrollable impulsiveness and or perceived laziness. My dr never asked a single question, did not recommend hormone replacement, and put me on Celexa and Trazodone to quiet my anxiety and sadness. I stayed in a drug induced fog for 12 years – losing three jobs and being unemployed for more years than employed. I LOST all that time. When i was at rock bottom, with no money and no hope for the future in my chosen profession, I went to a county mental health department and was sent to a social worker with ADHD who diagnosed me at the first session! It took another 2 1/2 years to be formally diagnosed and another 1 1/2 yrs before I got on the right cocktail for improving executive function. Before I found the psych that put me on the right meds and appropriate dosage I saw a psychiatrist who really had no clue about ADHD, I found out a year later her specialty was eating disorders… I wanted to get off Celexa so she increased another drug for ADHD called Wellbutrin, which had not been working. As I tapered off – and I really mean tapered off (over 4 months of going from 40 mg down to 5 mg, then 2 1/2 mg for a very long period) and the brain zaps got worse and worse. Not only that, I cried at the drop of a hat, very confusing since it is not a known side effect of withdrawal. After all this time I tried a non SSRI, which had no effect whatsoever. I started back on a very small dose of Zoloft, another SSRI, and the tears and brain zaps stopped WITH THE FIRST DOSE! After a year and a half of every increasing doses due to a toxic work environment and an unexpected and painful break-up, I want to withdraw back down to the smallest dose again. I am not looking forward to this!!


    I have come off 4 drugs this past 8 months plus quit smoking. Now I am. Working on lexapro my last one. I’ve been on it or Prozac for 20 years. I just don’t wanna be bothered anynore. Some of my symptoms r just continuation of prior ones from other drugs but exacerbated st about day 3 to 5 of lowering my dose 5 mg. Like the right side of my face between my eye and ear and upper part of each arm either freeze burn tickle or feel like they r being peeled off. I also have vision changes in my right eye then it goes normal again. My jaw grinding gets worse over the day but seems to stop and relax in my sleep. Lately I’ve been having to take a bath at night to stop minor muscle twitches. My memory gets bad, like I’m thinking through a fog and stuff gets lost, but it’s still better than before. My parents r caring for me through all this and they r 65 and have to drive me all over, shop and cook for me because I get scared. I talk like a damn baby and always think something horrid is happening now. It eases as the week of my withdrawal goes by though before I lower the dose again. I get very irritable very fast and blow up like never before. My poor parents get frustrated at me then I practically freak out like scared hurt baby. I am disappointed with myself and others. However I’ve been actually doing more in total with my days with parents help. It seems to help until night fall when symptoms just worsen. Also at one time I found symptoms bad but I was at the beach I a restraunt. And ordered one Pina. Colada. It was my first drink since, a. Month before. I did all this, liquor wasn’t ever an issue. The other things I was over medicated on for what r real health issues I had but after the hurican and my evacuation I thought I don’t wanna worry about these things anymore. Anyway, one drink and my symptoms eased and they stayed that way tell i lowered again. I have not done that sense. Anyway I’m down from 20 mg to 5 mg now. My dna says my brain doesn’t absorb ssris very well if at all, according to promethius, so I pray things will level out, but I am terrified I am altered forever and ever. No one told me about these side effects and some were added as the years went by. I am very angry they still push these. When I got off my muscle relaxant I had the jaw grind for instsnce. I asked to be sent m to a dr to get jaw Botox to ease it as i did not want to restart a muscle relaxant thst tool me 5 months to reduce and I hadn’t had the issue before so I knew it was wd. I was told no and I’d need to see if a muscle relaxant worked first. Um ok? I was very very upset with my dr at that point. I’d been hmthere 7 years and this? Seriously? No support from her even though she was so so happy I stopped. She was not taking my sobriety seriously. Anyway, I hope this story helps someone.

  61. Mitchell C Sheldon

    I have been off Prozac and olanzapine for two weeks now and it has been sheer hell. I was taking Prozac 60 mg for two years along with 5 mg olanzapine for that period. The first 7 or so days I would only sleep three to four hours every 3 days, I felt like I had the flu, felt nauseous and didn’t eat hardly anything. I also felt dizzy, dissoriented, had brain zaps frequently and any physical activity exasterbated these symptoms even more so I could not work at all. Also I got really angry and had severe mood swings. These symptoms have slowly morphed into extreme sleepiness to the point where I literally don’t have the energy to get out of bed (haven’t all day) not even to eat. I can at least sleep 6 hours now but I usually can’t fall asleep until 5 in the morning. I still get massive head rushes, brain zaps and am dizzy/disoriented but these symptoms seem slightly better. My prayers are with anyone who is getting off this drug

  62. WD

    i was on Lexapro for years. I’m a physician and have social anxiety which made it difficult to talk with patients and families. I was started on Lexapro which was like a miracle. I was on it for years. But then I had an unusually busy schedule and kept forgetting to go pick up my refill. after about 2 wks, I decided that I was doing fine without it, and I wasn’t having any withdrawal symptoms so I decided to stay off of it. about 6 weeks later, I went to bed on a Fri night feeling completely myself. But woke up at about 3AM with a panic attack. I’d never had a panic attack before. I decided it must be due to stopping the Lexapro. I tried starting it back but the symptoms kept getting worse. My doctors thought it couldn’t be withdrawal because I had been fine off of it for the past few weeks. And because going back on it didn’t help. I had depersonalization, shocks, disorientation, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss. I couldn’t take care of my kids, had difficulty doing my job, or even just leaving the house. And for the first time in my life, I was suicidal. I just wanted it to end. I saw a psychiatrist who put me on Xanax to control the anxiety until I was back on Lexapro. And I’ve been on an SSRI since then. Hands down, the absolute worst experience of my life. And now I feel trapped on this medication.

  63. Misty

    I weaned off of Cymbalta, and took my last pill 3 weeks ago. I have hit my first wave, the only part that really bothers me is the dizziness, how long does it last? I’ve had It for 3 days now.

  64. Corinne Pier

    Hi my name is Corinne I was on fluoxetine it gave me bad anxiety attacks I went to a different doctor she put me back on them but a lower dosage after 3 weeks I stopped taking them made me feel bad again now after 2 weeks later I’m getting bad headaches, lightheaded, stiff neck , is that withdrawal symptoms

  65. Corinne Pier

    Hi my name is Corinne I was on fluoxetine for a couple days it gave me bad anxiety attacks I went to a different doctor she put me back on them but a lower dosage of 10mg to start but I was feeling worse again so I stopped after 3 weeks but now 2 weeks later I’m feeling lightheaded , bad headaches, neck pain are these symptoms of the medication and how long do they last for? Please help

  66. jay

    I am in total despair. i am doing an intensive training course that is really important to me and have been taking zoloft for about 15 years ( have taken others in the past) i suffered with migraines so severe that i was on morphine at one time. i was then prescribed Amytriptaline as a prophylactic for migraine which greatly reduce the number of them. i also had rizatriptan to take at the first sign of migraine aura. this went on without issue for 3 years then 2 weeks ago i got a migraine. i took a rizatriptan which helped slightly but also made me a bit tired and sweaty. next day the migraine started to build again and i again took a triptan. what followed was a week of sweating profusely, palpitations, electrical current sensations, zapping, aches, fatigue, involuntary movement , eyes like saucers, skin flushing and shortness of breath. worst of all was the cognitive impairment. I felt i had lost all of my learning from the past 3 months. i called my gp and couldnt get an appointment, the emergency doctor returned my phone call and mumbled about a possible reaction to the combination of meds then said she would see me on the Friday….. this was Monday. I was terrified that i had seretonin syndrome. next day i took my usual dose of sertraline and it was like pouring fuel on a fire so i didn’t take any more. i went to the gp that friday to be told she ”wouldn’t have wanted me to stop them but i had done it now”. gp could now get a BP reading ( they never can) then gave me a talk on how i should lose weight as this would probably sort my bowel issue (IBS) and tummy issue / bloating ( hiatus hernia) and would mean they could monitor my BP. i again spoke about how i was feeling and my concern about my mood becoming low and my migraines coming back. she has said she will see me in a fortnight after I’ve had my colonoscopy and abdo ultrasound. so since then i am trying to carry on and work and study with all these symptoms plus itching, severe cramps and diarrhoea too. also experiencing extreme sudden scary mood swings. all i know is i dont want to take these and risk any more damage

  67. Grace Cognetta

    I tapered off of Celexa after 21 years. At first many of the symptoms I have seen mentioned. Mood swings, depression, panic attacks poor appetite, unable to get a sound sleep, severe anxiety, a lot of depressed mood swings zapping as I have seen it called. I am 6 months off , I would say symptoms are a little better BUT certainly not gone. I fear I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life. (Hope not) I want to be happy. I am being treated by a Ayuvedic ,naturopathic physician and so far the herbs he prescribed seems to lessen the symptoms. Although some days pretty bad for hours. Also the sluggish feeling is awful for me as I am normally very peppy. At 65 yrs old I certainly want this to subside BUT worry it never will. This drug helped me years ago but I was never informed about these long term side effects. I would scream this from the roof tops just to end this misery now. Grateful I am not suicidal this time around..

  68. Jacqueline Grande

    I tapered of citalopram and have been completely off for 3 weeks now and I am miserable. I had decided to quit because I felt this anti-depressant was responsible for my bruxism. I started taking this 20 years ago in response to a drug I was on for a health issue that was known to cause depression. (and it did). so now I am off the Citalopram It’s like being on a roller coaster and I don’t know from day to day what my WD sysmptoms will be.. High anxiety, depression, irritability, some random crying, extreme fatigue with feeling like I have the flu, some insomnia caused by really strange (psychedelic almost) dreams that create anxiety and wake me up making it difficult to get restful sleep. I want to jump out of my skin! I had no idea about these awful withdrawals when I started taking this drug. I am an active, working 64 year old and have a great life….until this. I refuse to succumb to these symptoms and hopeful they will subside soon.

  69. Chris Ricker

    Is there any solution to this? I feel completely hopeless about 8 months after withdrawal. Is there anything that helps? Other than going back on it.

  70. Stephanie Gonzalez

    I started weaning off the lowest dose (50 mg daily) of pristiq in mid February. I have been on this medication since 2008. This past week has been physically terrible. Mornings seem to be the worst. I’m nauseous and my brain feels like it’s moving around inside my skull, along with my eyes feeling like they are moving inadvertently and have pressure behind them. Both of these symptoms make me feel dizzy. I also have new onset heartburn and anxiety, both of which I’ve never had before. I worry about how long these symptoms will last, and do not want to restart medication only to go through WD again to try to eventually be antidepressant free.

  71. Sher

    I was on 20 mg of prozac for 9 years. Starting tapering in January 2018. Went to 10 mg for five weeks, then 10 mg every other day for 2-3 weeks. I’ve now been off completely for 10 days. I had very few withdrawal symptoms until today. Woke up fine this morning, but as the morning progressed I started aching all over, my head was making a rushing sound and I was absolutely freezing. I got back into bed and turned my electric blanket on high. After a few hours of being miserable, I took a 10 mg capsule. It told hours, but I finally warmed up and the rushing in my head has stopped. I’m still absolutely wiped out. I’m so frustrated. I thought I was in the clear. What happened?

  72. Amanda

    I have been on anti depressants for over 5 years. As soon as I had my daughter I felt like I was having trouble breathing when going to bed. My throat felt like it was closing… I had never experienced any type of anxiety before this so I called my doctor thinking something was really wrong. Immediately they prescribed me an SSRI. I was scared to take it but they basically said that I needed it because I was going through post partum depression (this was not even 3 days after I had given birth) and that it would help me be a good mom and stay calm. Looking back now I should of told them to shove the medicine up their ass (excuse my language) because my life hasn’t been the same since. I regret 100% EVER taking it! After taking it for about a year, I experienced my first anxiety attack. It was so bad that I actually passed out. Went back to my doctor to get something else and once again another medicine that did nothing good for me, only making my symptoms worse. Last summer I randomly developed a “driving phobia”! I have an attack every time I try to drive somewhere… I have NEVER had any type of fear when it comes to driving. Never been in an accident, nothing. The phobia has cost me my dream job, family get togethers, my independence, and so much more. I stopped taking Paxil 3 weeks and 2 days ago since they were only making things feel worse. I was only on Paxil for 2 months but the WD was horrible! Brain zaps and vertigo lasted about a week, I stayed in bed that whole week, still have nausea, headaches, extreme anxiety, and fatigue. Brain zaps and dizziness started back up today randomly… I started feeling better, now I’m starting to feel bad again. I’m miserable everyday 🙁 I’m praying i can get my life back but at this point I’m slowly losing hope.

  73. Brooklyn

    I’m 18 years old and was on 10 mg Lexapro for only a month but decided that I wanted to go the more natural route instead of taking meds. My doctor told me I’d probably experience dizziness when tapering off the meds, which I figured I could handle but there were so many more WD symptoms than just dizziness. I went from 10 mg to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then I completely went off. I had a bit of dizziness when switching to 5 mg and then when I completely went off the meds, a few days later I started feeling absolutely terrible. My anxiety is through the roof, I feel terribly dizzy a lot, especially in the morning, and I feel incredibly nauseous pretty much most of the day. I thought I was getting the flu but haven’t had any other symptoms of that so I figured it was just the medicine. I feel like a different person now. I’m not myself anymore. It take me so long to fall asleep now when I used to be able to fall asleep in no time before the meds. Now I have restless leg, and I wake up multiple times especially in the early morning. I also get headaches pretty often and I feel like weird electric shock feeling throughout my body when I move too quickly, and not to mention that my body feels hot all the time and I sweat a lot now. I’m going insane, something I think I have something more severe than just WD symptoms like a brain tumor or something and it’s scaring me so much. I don’t know what to do anymore, I feel so miserable. I’ll probably go back to the doctor tomorrow and tell her my symptoms. I feel so alone right now.

  74. Maria Earl

    Hi to anyone and everyone out there. I have never posted on anything before but I have stumbled across this after sheer desperation. I have been on various SSRI’s over a course of 20 years and ended up on Sertraline for a vast number of years. I reached the maximum dosage of 200 mg per day and I realised recently that my depression seemed to be getting worse again. I was just like a robot, getting on with the routine of life but not feeling anything, no joy, no happiness and even losing the ability to cry. I have very slowly (over a course of 4 months) come off the antidepressants altogether as I didn’t see much point being on them when they weren’t even doing their job. I have now been off them for approx 4 weeks and to be honest I am really struggling, besides the physical side affects, which I am coping with, it’s my change in personality that is really worrying me. I have a lovely husband and two children, but I am so angry and moody, which I have never been. I cry at the drop of a hat and basically just a horrible person. I don’t want to feel to like this anymore but I don’t want to return to the medication. Is there any hope for me to start feeling better and more normal? I don’t expect to ever be the same person I was 20 years ago before medication and I accept that my depression will never fully go away, but will my personality get any better with time? Please help!

    • John

      I understand your pain as I too am is a very similar situation. Other than the Lord, who is my only true refuge, I remind myself that longterm WD syndrome is well known and has an average recovery rate of 91 weeks. I know that may not help you but sometimes I stare at that word longterm and my brain translates it as “forever”. The VAST majority don’t last more than two years and I’ve never read an account of it lasting the rest of someone’s life (not saying it didn’t exist, just that it’s exceedingly rare). We have to keep going. Keep fighting. Together. I return to this site often to read the encouraging posts and they help me immensely. I hope you experience relief soon!


    • Sharon

      Antidepressants make us zombie’s exactly what drug manufacturers want. This crap does nothing for depression etc. we have been scammed big time.
      Coming off is a living hell.

  75. Rachel

    After reading so many comments, I think I need to share my story with Celexa (citalopram). I started taking this drug for my panic attacks and moderate/sometimes severe anxiety my senior year of high school. My beginning symptoms when taking it were unpleasant. I was a straight A student, especially with math and science. It always came easy to me. When I began taking it, my brain was foggy for a few weeks. I had trouble focusing, memory problems, falling asleep in class; all of which were out of the norm. Those symptoms subsided after about 3 weeks. I took it regularly after that for 13 months. In October of last year, I decided to take a trip driving cross country with my boyfriend. Halfway through my trip, I ran out of medication. My dad was supposed to send me more, but for some reason my psychiatrist took 2 weeks to send in my prescription. At that point, I did not want to start on it again because I had read so much before about all the issues Celexa can cause if you stop and start it again. It has been 4 months since I cold turkey stopped taking the drug, and like all of you have said before, I do not feel like myself. I get severe migraines every day, I often feel nauseous, I have a sort of syntax error when having conversations (I mix up words or just cant think of a word I am trying to say), I get very bad dizziness, sometimes I feel as though my joints are all locked up and it is painful to move them. I get stomach aches and constipation, insomnia, shortness of breath, heavy congestion. The worst symptoms come at night, especially when driving. Headlights trigger migraines instantaneously, which is usually followed by blurred sight, ear ringing, dizziness, and nausea. This symptoms make it really hard to be at work. I work in a noisy kitchen, where I must talk very loud, making my symptoms more pronounced. I know everyone says that it is going to end soon but it has now been almost 2 months of having these symptoms and I get emotional almost every day because I am so sick of feeling sick. My panic attacks subsided months ago and my anxiety is very minor now, but these symptoms are almost worst than the panic attacks and anxiety. It is so hard to focus and spend time with people now. I feel as though I am going insane, but at the same time I know I am not. I am almost 19 and already dropped out of one college because of my difficulty focusing. I feel like these symptoms are causing me to doubt the future I laid out for myself, because I just cannot focus or comprehend things the same as I did before. I really just need some advice for the headaches. Have others felt these things? I had a few more questions, but I simply just cannot remember what they were after typing all of this out. I do not want to go back to my doctor, she really just tries to get me on other medications instead of listening to how I am feeling.


    Hello, I started on 20 MG of PROZAZ in March 2017. I had anxiety and depression issues after my father had died. Well I went all of 2017 in 20 mg, saw my doc in November and asked if I could go down to 10mg. He agreed. I took that throughout Dec 2017 and I stopped it first week of Jan of 2018 as I was feeling better.
    About a week ago, I started on the 10mg dose again and since then I have nausea, vomiting, tingling, itching, isolated panic attack, anxiety. I cannot eat anything in the AM without vomiting. I put in call to my PCP to find out if there is a way to stop this. I have not taken any since Sunday 2/25. I am not sure what to do at this poinit? Am I stuck on Prozac forever? Is there a way to get off of it and mitigate the side effects? Please help………….50 year old single male here.

    • Tina Barrontine

      I don’t know the reasons you started back on it but if it’s making you sick, don’t take it. Stay off any of the antidepressant stuff. I stopped Lexapro cold turkey in Jan 2011 and it was a few months after that, that I started having horrible almost debilitating withdrawal symptoms that lasted for months. My only way I got healed was trusting God to heal me

  77. Gary

    I was on Celexa for 8 years from the age of 16-24 and was gradually ratcheted up from a mild dosage of 10mgs to 80mgs per day. It was not until i ran out of medication while overseas that i experienced how excruciating the Withdrawal symptoms of that wretched drug can be. I experienced a migraine for the first time, incredible sensitivity to light and sound where i would get nauseous if the room was too bright. I would be sweating like a pig constantly, have severe bouts of depression/suicidal thoughts and this lasted for two whole weeks!
    When i finally got over the WD symptoms I felt better but not the same as i did before. I was more quick to anger, not as articulate. I would distance myself from everyone, friends and family, I wanted nothing but to be left alone. I developed a stutter within days of the migraines ending and became more and more anxious. I never went back on Celexa.
    But the biggest problem was what i would call a muddling of the mind. I could not concentrate and my memory was terrible. I could no longer make critical decisions at work and had to quit my job. I have discovered this strange disorder is actually termed “Brain Fog” although it lacks sophistication it is a very apt description of the illness. It is most visible when i try to read something. I can not even read for fun anymore i get distracted after a few sentences and can not focus. When i do manage to finish reading i retain next to no information. Keep in mind prior to this I was a teacher for a private school so you can see why suddenly losing the ability to retain written information would be devastating to someone with this kind of job.
    As a result my lifestyle changed drastically and I now work in the low level IT field building and setting up desktop computer systems, Servers, performing data recovery etc. all repetitive tasks which can be learned by doing. It has been ten years since i withdrew from the medication and I have seen very minimal improvement. I have adapted my learning style however and get by.
    all the bull i was fed about having a “Chemical Imbalance” was just that, there was no CT Scans, no blood tests. just a “Hunch” from some half-baked psychiatrist. When i looked back on my life and the source of my depression It was a result of severe emotional trauma which needed counselling. Not a long term dependency on mind altering drugs.

    • Sharon

      Absolutely!!! Me too!!!

      God and counseling.

  78. Ken

    I hope my story can offer help and support to you. In 1999 I started on Zoloft after having a panic attack while driving through a construction zone on an expressway. I had always had social and general anxiety disorders but was not yet diagnosed and didn’t know it.The panic attack sent me to my doctor and the beginning of a year on Zoloft. I sought out therapy with a good PhD counselor. When the Zoloft began working in a few weeks I felt so much better. I could not believe that THIS is how everyone else feels. I was no longer an anxiety ridden person. I worked on the core of my issues over time. I did not like the sexual side effects of Zoloft so I was switched to 40mg of Celexa in late 2000. By 2012 Celexa was not working as well and I was not really feeling anything at all. I decided that I wanted to begin to taper off of Celexa with my doctor’s guidance and use the coping skills I had learned in therapy. It took me about 3 years to get down to 2.5mg before stopping it in 2015. Oh boy.
    Gastrointestinal issues started immediately with frequent diarrhea to the tune of 11 times a day. it was debilitating and exhausting day and night. Brain zaps, equilibrium issues, disorientation (momentarily not knowing where I was….terrifying!), acid reflux, suddenly needing reading glasses, trouble digesting food leading to vomiting all started in the weeks after being off the med. I had blood tests, stool tests, a colonoscopy, abdominal x-rays, checked for parasites, infections, etc. I had food allergy tests as well. Every test came back negative, fine, normal. How I managed to continue to work through these horrible first months, I don’t know. Maybe the distraction from how poorly I was feeling helped me endure this. All the doctors I saw did not seem to be concerned or even link these issues with my SSRI cessation. My Gastroenterologist said it was likely IBS-D. I said I never had that before and that it started as I stopped Celexa. Blank stares. I was told to take Metamucil every day and non-dairy probiotic VSL#3 both of which I still take. 2 years into this ordeal and things have gotten somewhat better but are far from normal. The brain zaps stopped after a slow decrease over a year’s period and my equilibrium is ok. I still can tear up or cry at the drop of a hat and I get sudden bursts of anger and irritability. My eyesight is listed as 20/20 but I still need reading glasses. That literally occurred over a one week period. I still have gastrointestinal problems but bowel movements are down to between 2 and 5 times a day. Most often it’s 3 times. The urge to go is very sudden especially as I awake. I have learned where bathrooms are everywhere I go. It’s not a fun way to live and it is on my mind constantly. I guess the positive is that it’s mainly soft/solid with bouts of just mucous. I now sleep through the night. I can exercise 3 days a week and that does help, at least with my spirits. I am hoping that over time that my digestive system will return to normal and that the damage is not permanent. I still am trying my hardest to never go back on the SSRI. Doctors I have seen don’t have solid answers.That is just stunning. Had I known that these withdrawal symptoms would go on and on, I never would have started on the SSRI’s. I know what many of you are going through. Be strong. Stay the couse. Exercise if you can. Keep a journal of your daily symptoms. It’s hard to see the minor improvements unless I write it down and look back. It gives me hope that I have improved. I’m still looking for a doctor who can determine if I will recover completely or if I am as good as am going to get.

  79. Jordan H.

    In 2015 I was put on Lexipro during a very difficult period of depression and stress. It seem to help some but I realized that though I was not as depressed or as anxious as before, I also could not feel any of my previous higher limits of happiness. I could not really enjoy things I normally did. It removed all the lows but also all the highs. After 6 months I told my doctor I was going to stop taking it. She told me to be careful and taper it down. I asked her why and she said it could have side effects.”You mean withdrawal?” I asked. I was furious. Why, I asked her, was I not told that taking this drug was addictive. I can’t even remember what she said, I was so upset. I thought it couldn’t be that bad. I was wrong. After ONLY 6 months I experienced a full month of major withdrawal (severe insomnia, head zaps, shaking, major intestinal upset, hot flashes, difficulty concentrating). Then I had at least 2 more months of medium to mild symptoms. I came very close to loosing my job and my severe agitation damaged my friendships. The only reason I didn’t start back on the drug was because I knew it could only get worse. Who, I ask you, but the most desperate and foolish person would ever take such drugs if they knew the truth. One of my employees said he started on the drug and I asked him if his doc told him it was physically addictive with withdrawal symptoms on par with opiate use. He said no but he seemed to think it wasn’t a big deal. Reading these experiences on this site makes me upset and sad for what my friends here have suffered. It’s wrong. And what’s worse? It’s preventable. How can an agency manufacture an addictive substance that has withdrawal symptoms up to and including death be deemed safe for general consumption? If there is a movement I can join to raise awareness and fight this injustice please let me know.

  80. Ryan Lorance

    Hey everyone I’ve read most of your post an dear god but wanted to share my experience I’m on 4 weeks off citalopram I was on it for a year st 20mg and yes I withdrawal’d as well all the physical symptoms for first week but tolerable the worst was the insomnia and restless legs but here’s what I did I loaded up on vitamins before I quit em I didn’t taper I jumped off at 20mg an waited 24 hours then I started 5htp an St. John’s wart and lots of omega 3’s an vitamin regime daily and juice’ing is huge you need tons of fruits and vegetables drink tea lots it’s good for you an lots n lots of water an I also found holy basil which is nature’s zanex an kava root which is relaxing at night time and exercise even if you don’t feel like it just do it I promise you’ll feel better music is big just anything you enjoy I know it’s difficult but try to force yourself you’ll be surprised but that’s pretty much it and I’m fine like I said it’s only been a month off I still have irritability an kinda down some days with low energy still but I’m fighting threw that’s all we can do I hope this helps someone and I’m sorry for what all of you are going threw but we also need to take some ownership an quit blaming the doctors yes they prescribe us this crap but we’re the ones that decided to take it that’s why they call it a practice they don’t know what they’re doing and we’re the lab rats but I truly feel they are trying to help but just don’t know how and they definitely need to change the way they’re doing it and stop prescribe’ing these meds like candy because someone feels down that’s life but I think the main root of all our mental issues is from poor diet we have vitamin an mineral deficiency’s an not enough exercise but I definitely love that people are telling they’re stories an even if just one person reads this who is contemplating takin antidepressants that they see what they do to people an the hell they went through and are still going through say no way an toss the poison pills in the bin!! God bless ✌️

  81. Beth Moore

    I came here to just receive a bit of hope. I was diagnosed as bipolar a year and a half ago (after the Celexa I was being given for anxiety caused mania) and was given prescriptions of lithium, lexapro, gabapentin and lamictal. I had to get different insurance, and thusly a new psychiatrist, and she felt like I was on too much and couldn’t see how I was functioning every day under that much sedation. (I agreed.) She said to stop both gabapentin and lexapro immediately. When I asked about WD symptoms, she said it was normal and that I shouldn’t worry about it.
    Zaps, excessive crying jags, disabling dizziness, confusion and irritability have been my life for the past 3 weeks and I can barely make it through a part-time work day. I had assumed I’d feel better by now and now I worry I might be in for a long and terrible recovery.

  82. Ben

    Stay away from Doctors and stay away from SSRIs. A Doctor who prescribes that stuff has already given me his credentials. Clueless! There are many natural herbal remedies that work chief amongst them are Ashwagandha, Valerian and 5 HTP (derived from the seeds of an African creeper) of course with a heavy daily dose of B6, B Complex and Fishoil.

  83. Jaime

    Started Paxil at age 14 and was on it for 25 years. After experiencing a variety of strange symptoms for years, I finally landed on info that indicated long term use of this med had these serious side effects. It took me 6 months to taper, and I am officially free of it as of 2 months ago!!!!! I figured out a way to manage my WD symptoms, and wrote it up on a blog post, if anyone is interested. Symptoms still surge on occasion, but other than that, I feel better than I have in years- mentally, physically, and emotionally.

  84. Scott Stabile

    Hi my name is Scott Stabile I was taking Zoloft and kolonipin for over 8 years in 2015 I lost my insurance and had to quit cold turkey since the I went through the most horrific withdrawals I had the most intense electrical sensation I felt like I had the worst flu all my muscles were so tight I could barely move my whole body shook and trembled I had a vibration feeling all through my body at one point I had a rash all over my body like lines all over every limp noid in me body was swollen as big as they could get I felt like I had an infection through out my body and my blood had turned black at one point this all and other stuff lasted about 2 years in the last 6 months things have gotten better but my muscles feel sprained and bruised the ringing in my ears is still there and I still have a vibration and electrical feeling in my legs for some reason the whole time this was happening my wife of 27 years didn’t believe this was happening to me she said that I have mental issues and what I was going through is impossible in December 2017 I was thrown out of my house and no one will talk to me even my 3 sons who believe their mom and think I just made all this up because of those drugs I have lost everything my entire family my wife’s name is Renia Stabile I was hoping someone could contact her and tell her everything I went through was real so I might have a chance to save my family please help me I have nowhere also to turn her email address is I don’t want to loose my family because of pharmaceutical drugs that poisoned me and I believe almost killed me any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated

  85. Diane Mata

    I am glad I found a site like this. I had been on citalopram for about 6 years, from a Dr, who loved to prescribe meds. I can’t say I really think it helped me, but I was urged to continue. Going into about the 3rd year, I sometimes would feel shaky, and no energy. Then a different Dr, since we moved, wanted me to go to 40, when I was on 20. I got really worse. I went back to the 20 once a day. About a year ago, I dropped down to the 20 every other day, then about 7 months ago, I skipped a day in there yet. Then about 4 months ago, I went down to the 10’s every other 3rd day,or so, then quit. It is going on 3 months now off that stuff, and I am still having bad side effects. That lack of the pill makes me feel like I still need it or can’t function, there is depression, and anxiety, can’t sleep, and I lost my taste of food. I can’t taste what I am eating or drinking! I hope all that will disappear finally, but not so sure anymore. I won’t get rehooked on that tho. It made me want to eat more and gain weight. Does anyone have any of this happening?

    • Wildflower

      Hi Diane, my heart goes out to you! I was on citalopram for over 10 years. It started causing bad side effects that I wasn’t aware was from the celexa until I got off it. It will be 5 months this week that I’ve been completely off it. I’ve lost 25lbs. My appetite is finally starting to return. I’m finally getting some sleep after months of horrible insomnia. I still struggle with a deep feeling of restlessness in my body. Like electricity is constantly streaming through me. It’s a horrible feeling..but it’s less than it was even a month ago.
      Hang in there! You will heal and feel better. Unfortunately, it just takes time. It’s sounds like you cut down slowly and that’s good. I went too fast but it’s too late now.
      Just take care of yourself as best you can. A lot of people recommend supplements like HTP-5 and SAMe to get through the depression. SAMe overstimulated me and the other was hard on my stomach. I seem to really have a problem with things causing overstimulation. I did find valerian root helps at bedtime.
      I wish you well!

    • Diane

      Thankyou for answering me. I have a Dr appt, but can’t get in until next week. The side affects are so awful, along with a lot of stress, my live in mother is giving us, that I had to take a 20 mg, to not break down. I think if I didn’t have that extra stress she puts on us, that I may be able to handle the getting thru the withdrawl. That is why I made that Dr, appt, and I also wonder if the citalopram has to do with loosing the taste of food and drink, from the withdrawl.

  86. Carla Clarey

    So I was sick and couldn’t get to the pharmacy to pick up my refill of Citilapram. I decided to just go off of it . been on it and wellbrutrin for 10 years. I have had dizziness, headache, pain in my hands and wrists and goofiness for 3 weeks. Now that has calmed down, except for the dizziness, I have had a terrible taste in the back of my throat and nausea and a heightened sense of smell. Nothing tastes right and the odors make me throw up. I see on here that this may go on for years…don’t know if I can do this for years. Should I go back on the Citilapram? I have been wanting to get off all my meds for years.

    • Jim

      Hang in their, it can take a long time to get better. It’s been 4 months now for me off Zoloft still get nauseous light headed and many other symptoms. Just take 1 day at a time that’s what I’m doing.

    • Jo

      I’ve been on Wellbutrin n Prozac for years n am terrified of thinking of even trying to get off it. I’m pretty old (58) so am thinking to just stay on them n not worry about it
      If damage has been done there’s no need to worry about that now it’s done. I can’t handle the withdrawal

  87. Greg

    Been on Zoloft since 1995 the first time for 5 yrs then year later for 17 yrs . no withdrew probs . The last 5yrs I have been on 300mg and now started going off the zoloft I have slowly been taking off 25mg per week. This is the 7th week . At present the only noticeable difference is I am having trouble with severe itchy ness around my torso, but that is it. My symptoms of low hypo agitation alternating with severe depression seems to be more tolerable than usual. But i am willing to admit I could be going through a prolonged hypo upper that has been a part of my past history, time will tell.
    So, that is where I am . I am going off them because I owe it to my self to go without , let’s see.

  88. tony

    I stopped taking ssri’s almost 10 years ago. I didn’t sleep more than 2 or 3 hours a night after discontinuation. This lasted for years. I have only started sleeping in the last 2 years or so. I can not take a drink of alcohol or it will flair up again and last for years (even on as little as one drink). I believe it has something to do with the blood/brain barrier. I have a severe intolerance to alcohol now. My life is completely changed. I lived with the zaps for years and still get them. For example if I take a multivitamin or any other seemingly inert medicine the zaps will come back. The doctors all thought I was crazy. At the time (10 years ago) very little was known about ssri discontinuation. I tried to describe these electric shocks and I think they wanted to lock me up. My worst problem right now is that I do not perspire when I am asleep. This causes severe overheating problems when I am asleep. My life turned into a hellish nightmare for years. The only good thing I guess is that I am still alive. I fight daily but I am fairly sure this is how the rest of my life will be. There is one good thing however. Due to whatever strange interaction the drugs have had on me, I haven’t been sick since I can remember (many years). No colds, no flu. I have found through years of trial and error that I have to carefully monitor how much protein I eat, otherwise severe insomnia still. I still feel like I have severe nerve damage. Burning feet, thighs, ringing in ears, headaches. Good luck to all of you.

  89. SeasideSally

    Shortly before Xmas (2017) I was prescribed a low dose (10mg) Fluoxetine (Prozac) to help with menopausal symptoms because I am unable to have HRT. 20 days later I had become an agitated trembling wreck. I spoke (over the phone) to another doctor in the practice who told me to stop the tablets immediately and that they should have left my system after about 36 hours. That was a fortnight ago now and I am feeling worse than ever. I wake up to internal tremor. Take ages to get going. My mojo has gone awol. Just attempting to go through the motions until bedtime. I can sleep for about 4 hours before the horror starts all over again. Is this par for the course?

  90. Jo

    I’ve been on wellbutrin (150mg) and Prozac (40mg) for well over 19 years. Many years ago I felt as though neither were working for me so my doctor suggested stopping the Prozac and trying Abilify. If I tell you I thought I was losing my mind – I was HORRIBLE-yelling screaming being upset 24/7. Lasted a week before I went back to my doc and she suggested sticking with the Prozac/wellbutrin.
    So at this point I’m still on these meds and honestly are terrified to get off them, especially reading what happens. I cant tell if they’re working but afraid to find out they are if that makes sense. I can be a real short tempered and depressed person medicated I don’t want to remember how bad I was unmedicated.
    My concern is I take my meds same time every day-maybe accidentally skipping a day but lately I’ve been getting the Prozac WD zaps and I cant figure out why??? Would there be a reason I would be getting zaps and still be on the medication?
    Also what are the long term effects of staying on these meds? I’m almost 58 and wonder if they are doing any damage?
    thank you all for your advise and especially sharing the difficulties you are facing/ have faced 🙂

    • Karen Wilkinson

      Hi Jo
      Almost exactly the same as you I took Wellbutrin and citalopram together for 11 years. After tapering citalopram for 9 months and a clumsy every other day taper of Wellbutrin 150mg I stopped both in September 2016. (There is no way to taper Wellbutrin as it comes in 150mg extended release tablet only)
      I have had a horrific 15 months of withdrawal syndrome. Truly awful and the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’ve been really really ill, in bed for much of it and certainly unable to work. But, I’m much better now and it’s taken this long.
      Initial symptoms were of course intense brain zaps – they lasted 4 months then stopped completely. My periods stopped completely and I had intense sweats and chills every 10 mins night and day. My period returned after 6 months.
      Had awful acid reflux all the time which I’ve never had before. Also lots of weird food intolerances which again is never had before. These intolerances made me seriously unwell. I am also unable to tolerate any other medications or vitamins especially magnesium.
      I felt ill, depressed, empty, lifeless, weepy and unreal for a long time then small windows of normality would happen and I could smile. Eventually those windows got longer.
      The very worst symptom was problems breathing, especially at night. This is a fairly common symptom but not one any doctor will understand- but it commonly happens with people addicted to opioids. It happens with AD withdrawal too and it’s terrible. You feel like you’re forgetting to breathe all the time an you need to fit e yourself to breathe. I’d also wake with huge jolts over and over like my heart had stopped – this happened every night for about 11 months but that too has finally stopped.
      If you’re going to even consider coming off taper for a long long time and talk to your doctor about tapering the Wellbutrin- there must be a better way.
      Do your research- and do not listen to your doctor, they really don’t have a clue. Research on the internet and join the Facebook group ‘Cymbalta Hurts Worse’ – even though you e not taken cymbalta, the experience is the same and there are loads of very knowledgeable people there offering brilliant, expert advice.
      Best of luck

    • Sharon

      Get off of them!!’

  91. Mary

    I just recently got off of Zoloft and began Buspar. I gained so much weight on sertraline that I wanted to change meds. I have been having brain zaps for almost a week and it’s such a terrible feeling!! I will never recommend an SSRI to anyone now knowing the withdrawal effects.

  92. Cliff

    I was on lexapro for nearly 15 years and then on Zoloft for over two years. I am a male, but had severe hot flashes – my doctor sent me to an oncologist to rule out carcinoid tumor. After that was ruled out, and after I discontinued taking any ssri for over three years now, I continue to have hot flashes and other side effects/withdraw symptoms.

  93. Caroline Abbott

    I’m 21 and have been on Fluvoxamine for about 5 years, I’m not going off of it yet but I’m scared for when I do. Just missing one dose I feel irritable and electricity in my arms and hands.

  94. Susan Karpy

    Yes! Validation that I am not crazy!

  95. Kathy

    I have been reading this thread to see if my tiredness is caused by my sari withdrawal. Don’t know if it will help anyone but I have been able to withdraw due to help with my severe anxiety from my doctor. She correctly assumed my high copper levels (and therefore my low zinc levels) were to blame. Since taking a pyrrole primer my anxiety is 109% better. I wouldn’t say perfect because I think you develop certain behaviours to cope with long term anxiety, which I still have to address. Please investigate if you’re interested. I’m in Brisbane, Australia. Greenslopes

  96. Susan

    Been on Prozac for 10 years. Decided to come off so that maybe I would feel sexual again. I’m fine depression wise, anxiety is manageable. But I am literally dragging once I get out of bed. I ache like crazy while I’m in bed. I get up and I exhausted. Sleeping very hard. I bring nothing to this table but a need for support. Help me. I don’t want to die. I am afraid I will become suicidal if this doesn’t get better. Physical crap makes my emotional state suck. Tell me I’ll be ok

  97. Tina Barrontine

    I started taking Lexapro a few months into 2009, and I quit taking Lexapro cold turkey in January of 2011 because of a snow storm. Everything was closed and couldn’t get to the pharmacy for a few days and i ran out of my pills so after those few days, i was like might as well not get it refilled. I had some wd symptoms but not many. I do remember one of them real well. For a couple of weeks or so, if i turned my head too fast, the feeling was like my head turned and then my brain was catching up to it. I always describe it like it’s a woo woo woo woo movement like in a movie when they slow motion a scene, if that makes any sense. After reading some of these comments, i realize now that i had alot of other symptoms a few months later. I also got saved around the same time my symptoms started so i also believe satan was using that to get me down so much that maybe i would kill myself (suicide never once entered my mind) Anyway, i was in a relationship that was not good, arguing all the time, on again off again and i wasn’t working & i was going to church. All my symptoms include anxiety, no appetite, fatigue, pain, waves of heat like feelings/anxiety would wake me up in the mornings, i would literally have to roll out of bed onto the floor on my knees til i got enough energy to stand up. I would manage to get in the shower & spent some of that time on my knees, after getting out of shower i would usually lay on the bed or couch and rest for a little bit then get up, which took more strength than i had (thank you Jesus for your strength) Some nights i would go to bed and pray that God would take me home, I wanted to go to sleep & just not wake up the next morning. (I never considered suicide at any time during this) I had depression, i felt hopelessness, despair, helplessness, felt like i had no purpose for even being alive, I felt like no one, not even family, cared about me, I felt like i had no one, I would cry so heartbroken from being lonely, even tho my youngest daughter Shannon was at home & i knew i had family. I had a one year old grandson that i couldn’t even keep overnight because of how i felt every morning. I was so sad all the time. I wanted to go out but didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t care about cleaning my house or doing anything, i had to make myself eat at least a few bites a day cause i knew it wasn’t healthy to not eat so my daughter would fix me eggs & toast and i started drinking Ensure. I would eat maybe 10 bite size Frosted Mini Wheats & i had to make myself finish it. The one place I could eat a little more was at my sisters (thank you Aimee) In August that year, i got a job and had to go thru all this while dealing with the public. The only way i got thru each day was calling on Jesus to help me. I tried different prescriptions but none of them worked. The last one i tried, the side effects were just making everything worse and i was so tired of going thru all this so i prayed one day & i claimed the blood of Jesus and I said i stand on the word of God that i am healed and i stopped taking the medicine and each day i got better and better. I was off Lexapro til 2013 and i started becoming depressed so i got back on it and i’m still on it now but i am getting ready to stop taking it, only this time i think i will slowly taper off & see how it goes.

  98. Trish

    After being on antidepressants and Klonopin for 13 years I was able to get off of them. I first tapered the benzo and ended up in a rehab facility because I had withered away to nothing and my family was concerned for my life. The rehab facility took me off my anti-depressants cold turkey and after 5 weeks I was severely depressed and had to go back on them for 6 months and taper off. It has been a little over a year since I have taken anything and I have been having chronic pain since then. I have had frequent eye infections and bladder infections. I have had too many bouts of tendinitis to count and I wake up stiff and sore every day. I have no energy and I have been struggling with depression because I am so tired all the time and in pain. Has anyone else had issues like this? This is really getting to me and I don’t want to go back on the anti-depressants because I believe this is what has caused all my pain. HELP!

  99. Gen

    I live in China and usually bring enough Lexamil 20 mg to last me before my next trip to South Africa, however this time I miscounted the number of pills I brought with me and suddenly ran out resulting in stopping cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms have been horrific. I am always fatigued – I could sleep all day. I have terrible gastro and GERD problems and the dizziness and brain zaps are constant. It has been 3 weeks and it is unbearable. I am heading back to South Africa for a week soon. Should I start taking a lower dose to ease the symptoms?

  100. Amber Gray

    Tapered off Prozac after decades. Was on 80mg for at least the last five years. They say to taper off slowly, but how can we do that when the lowest dose that pills come in is 20mg? There is no way to taper off gradually. All websites advise reduction by 10% at a time… well at 80 mg that would mean less than 10mg each dose. Not possible.
    The drug companies do not cater for the time when we need to quit. The last three years of hell that I have been through nearly fininshed me off; and it is nowhere near any sign of improvement yet! If only there had been a way to take much smaller doses maybe I’d have been ok.
    Prozac created very severe OCD and tics, anxiety, panic attacks, fibromyalgia and more. I was suicidally depressed for the first two years. I am in the worst hell anyone can imagine. On top of that Im covered in painful and severe psoriasis and the arthritis to go with it. It has affected my eyesight; cant see clearly anymore… and now I have tinnitus and hyperacusis so I have to wear earplugs just to go shopping.!!! Thank you Big Pharma for destroying my brain and body, and my life.

  101. Jane Chung

    I’ve been taking lexapro 10mg for about 9 months now. Has anyone tried strict diet, exercise, meditation etc before trying to taper off the medication? Does it help at all?

  102. Sam M

    As someone who took an SSRI for 6 years (citalopram) and then tapered, I find a lot of these stories hard to believe. I did, in have discontinuation effects like you would expect; however, these effects pretty closely matched the research. Within about two months of total discontinuation of the medication, I was back to normal. Yes, my anxiety levels were much higher, but this is to be expected since I was taking the SSRI primarily for anxiety. So part of me wonders when I read stories about discontinuation effects that last for years–the brain does not work this way, so it would be more appropriate to discuss these effects as permanent effects of the medication on the brain in any case–I find myself wondering: are these really related to discontinuation of the medication, OR are they related to the resumption of the underlying symptoms of what the medications were used to treat in the first place? As I am unaware of any scientific evidences that SSRIs can cause discontinuation effects lasting years, other than those aggregated from people self-reporting symptoms on the internet.

  103. Morgan

    I’ve been on Effexor for 2 years now, 150 mg, I can be off of it for about 36 hours before the withdrawal becomes unbearable. The trick you all are forgetting is that you need to be weened off of it extremely slowly. I have XR capsules and have a 5 year plan, where with every set time interval that passes, I remove a tiny tiny ball of Effexor from the inside of the capsule, I counted the amount in my pills and evenly distributed it out over a long period so I wouldn’t risk withdrawal hell. Do it slowly. I study neuroscience and cognitive psychology so I’m very aware of what my medications are doing to my brain, body and behavior

  104. Claudia

    I’ve been suffering greatly from Zoloft withdrawal. I went from 1/2 to 1/4 to 1/8 and have been completely off for about five days now and am still having those terrible zaps, sweats, distress and overall sick feeling. The worst symptom and what gives me the most distress are the zaps. It’s the worst feeling and it’s scaring me that they won’t go away. I want this to be over.

  105. Tina smithson

    Why can’t we stop them from giving out these antidepressants for everything? This is criminal? I’m a nurse in my 50’s and they take our pain meds away for antidepressants and every other disease now This has got to stop before we all go insane or kill ourselves.

  106. Yvonne

    I had been on and off anxiety depression meds for 15 yrs. Nothing I tried seemed to actually make me feel better. Stopped my 200mg day zoloft. Had no idea would be worse than original issues. Itching, compulsive movements, headaches etc. Seems I am not alone in these. I just didn’t know. How do I explain that all to my Dr. She just upped my xanax. That doesn’t even seem to help half the time. I am only 56 but also have copd ,clogged arteries, thyroid decline. I am a hot mess on a good day and those patent often enough. My resolve is to stay off these med s, but would take anything that really helped.

  107. Gino

    Hi all took Zoloft and Prozac in 1998 8 weeks. Felt like bomb went off in head. Stopped and then WD until 2004….fast forward given steroid in 2005 BIG mistake all WD symptoms back again 2010 got better again. Even today infacr this past week mini flare up. Never been the same but much better then used to be. I think aspartame sets me of and so do certain b vitamins

  108. Bekah

    I’ve been on Zoloft (doses between 50-250mg) since I was a child, and I’ve only just started to go off of them.
    My doctor said the withdrawal would be mild and that the symptoms would be gone within a week. However, it’s been nearly a month and I’m nowhere near okay. I’ve spent days on end in bed, crying, unable to get my life back together. I don’t feel like myself, I feel ‘naked’ without my Zoloft, like I’m vulnerable and exposed. My suicidal impulses from childhood have come back with startling intensity – I can’t live like this. After hearing people feel like this for years on end, I don’t know if I can go on. My breathing is off, my skin has broken out in scabs, and my brain will ‘reset’ itself often, leaving me in discomfort and confusion.
    I don’t know what to do..

    • Jennifer Sandowsky

      CBD oil, Kannaway has great products, can’t tell you how great it helps. I wish I could talk to you directly but this site doesn’t allow it, I don’t think. Good luck. Also Omega Brite fish oil and Cardio B helped me too, and young living essential oils, these are what I use. CBD being most important in my opinion, for me.

    • Linda

      I’m so sorry! I just don’t know if I should stay on my Meds either. Im only one month into it. I can’t imagine what you are going thru. If I had your symptoms I might think about getting some consulting to help me. Thank you for reaching out to me. I just needed to tell somebody who would listen. I’ve read so much on the withdrawal and how bad it is. I have a lot of anxiety about getting off this shit. I’m doing it without a Dr. They want me to stay on it. This is the third time in 9 years that I’m trying this. I started crying in the past and got back on it. This time I’m sleeping a lot. So far so good but I’m expecting it to get worse.
      Bekah please find a good friend that can help you. Talking it out sometimes helps. Contact me again if you want to talk. We can find each other on fb. I live in Florida. I’m 55 and have two grown kids. I’m a widow and single. Please don’t try to do this alone. Be strong. You got this. We can do it! Linda

    • Karen

      Hi Bekah
      Oh. My. God.
      I cannot BELIEVE that’s all the ‘help’ your doctor has offered you, he should be struck off. Honestly, I’m furious just reading your message.
      Protracted withdraws from any type of antidepressant is widely reported on and discussed.
      Firstly and most importantly you MUST be on an extremely slow tapering before you can stop. For some people this will happen over a year or longer, slowly reducing the dose over tiny, and I mean tiny increments to allow your body and brain to re adapt. Only then can you finally stop.
      Then will definitely come withdrawal symptoms, almost everyone gets them to some degree and a large percentage of us will suffer for a long time, some for years.
      It’s very very hard I will not lie to you but you must get help online from others who have been before you. There is a lot of online help. Do NOT expect your doctor, or a psychiatrist to help you. They deny there are any side effects. Don’t believe them please. Many hundreds of thousands of people damaged by this medication will happily tell you otherwise.
      Please, before you go on, check out this valuable website
      It’s been running for a long time and offers the most solid and helpful advice I’ve found to date.
      Best of luck to you xxxxxx

  109. OliviaS

    So… I posted in 2014 when i was 2 years off. I am now 5 years off all antidepressants and my life is ruined beyond comprehension. I am suffering severely still, everyday. My symptom list is too long. Doctors cant pick up anything wrong with me. Ive had a 16 month severe insomnia stint… Been a month now that i can sleep, but now i suffer from hypersomnia. I cant function any longer.

    • Stephanie Carpenter

      Let me guess…
      They want you to go back on another SSRI? That is the “solution” for my MD. I refuse. 10mo and still fighting “psychosomatic” illnesses. I gave good days, but for the last 2 is had been severe insomnia, severe stomach pain and chest pains (the newest mystery symptom). I swear that Trying to rid this poison has only caused us all a stack of medical bills for mystery conditions that can’t be diagnosed or fixed. My heart hurts for your past and current state. My hopes are that all of us receive compassion and a cure!

  110. Amber Gray

    Went on Prozac in my early twenties for mild depression and binge eating. Stayed on it because each time I tapered off I became depressed again. Twenty five years later Im now in my late forties and had to quit because of tinnitus. I read a lot about seretonin and tinnitus, and I was on 80mg for many many years so I m guessing it was the cause. It seemed it may be the high dosage causing it.
    I tapered as gradually as I could but there are no smaller increments than a 20mg jump at a time so it can never be THAT gradual. Im reliant on NHS, in the Uk because I am very poor; they do not believe in ‘protracted withdrawal syndrome’ and think I simply now have new psychiatric issues. They think it is a coincidence that I suddenly have all these new symptoms… and won’t listen. The tinnitus is still just as loud two years after trying that damn Setraline.
    I get no sympathy from the psy department because they say I should now be on anti depressents AND anti anxiety/pschotics. Despite the fact I never had ANY anxiety ever before, ocd or anything! It isnt even in the family! I so wish Dr Peter Breggin were my psychiatrist!!!
    I had no idea that when I quit SSRI’s that I’d be in for this roller coaster ride from hell, I expected to go back to how I was. No one tells you. It created the most severe and disabling tic based OCD, other forms of OCD, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, phobias, and it keeps deteriorating. My adrenals are exhausted and I now have fibromyaligia and chronic fatigue, and am hyper sensitive to sounds to the point that everything is painful. I cannot even watch a movie without the sound off and subtitles on, the sound effects jar my nerves and hurt my ears too much and I start violently tic ing. I cannot go out because I cannot stand the stimuli, and I used to be an artist but I cannot touch pens because of the OCD so it has stolen everything from me. I have been suicidally depressed because of how disabling it is, for two long years now. I fight it of course. I have people who love me so I won’t do that. But it is utterly horrific.
    It has been two and a half YEARS now since I quit Prozac and my life is an unbearable nightmare.
    Ive tried all the ‘therapies’… CBT, hypnosis, counselling, etc; they didnt help at all. I even went on Setraline (another SSRI) at the GP’s recommendation, but the tinnitus DOUBLED in volume and never went back down!!! The Psy dept are not listening, and there is nothing I can do but wait and hope that it hasnt become permenant. I read about so many people for whom it has… and it fills me with the deepest dread you cannot imagine. What can I do??? I can’t bear this much longer.
    By the way, so you know: I dont smoke or drink, or do drugs; I eat a healthy wholesome and natural diet, no MSG no additives, nothing highly processed, no sugar etc. I take plenty of omega 3’s, good vitamin and minerals, eve primrose oil, B complex and so on. I have tried all nutritional approaches and had no effect so far. Ive been under a herbalist for a year, an adrenal and nervine mix, but feel nothing is helping. I tried alsorts… everything I could find online. The OCD has become so extreme that I have no life now. I mean NO life. I wish there was something… I have reached out and begged half the internet, everyone I think may listen. I get a lot of sympathetic replies, which is nice, but no one can think of anything I haven’t already tried. I don’t think I’ll make it.

  111. limericksavant

    I have been taking sertraline for about 5 years and requested a refill from my doctor about a week ago. My pharmacy still has not received a response from the doctor. What should I do?
    I have been taking some left over lower dosage pills but I am afraid of suffering withdrawal symptoms when I run out.

  112. Karthik

    I have been on ventab and slowly tapered it. I have problems with concentration and memory. How long does it last?

  113. Kim

    I have so many health issues that I honestly forgot to take my Cymbalta, 120 mg, for almost two weeks. It finally çlicked in my mind to check on that because I’ve been feeling really bad for the past 3 days with awful thoughts. Bed dreams, moody, nauseated, headache, achy, unbalanced, dizzy, etc. Two days back on meds and don’t feel much better. Very sensitive, pity party, isolating because I don’t think I can control what I might say which is out of my character. I don’t curse and I want to curse some one any one.

  114. Allyson Elizabeth Chesko

    Hello Everyone
    I am finding myself in a similar situation as most of you have already described; except I have only been taking medication for about four years I’d say. I was on Paxil for slightly over three years. I think the highest dosage I was prescribed was 40mg but it eventually went back down to only 20mg. I actually found the medication to be extremely helpful for the first year and a half. Then I found myself growing used to it and eventually the medication plateaued. I’m not sure if upping the dosage would have helped or not but instead of trying, I truly wanted to take a break from the medication. I’ve been wanting to see if I could pull through without it – if I was in a better place now. Unfortunately, I allowed my psychiatrist in talking me into trying a different medication called Effexor. This literally just took place in the beginning of May. I started off on a low dose and had only been on it for two weeks. I know it takes time for new meds to start working but I felt like this one was making me even more emotional. So I argued with my doctor about going off all meds completely like I had originally planned. But of course now I’m suffering through a lot of the same side effects thatect have been mentioned; especially the sweating and chills, twitching, irritability, balance issues, etc. it’s been about two weeks of this so far and I just wish I knew if it was worth hanging in there. I didn’t want to go back on the meds but I’m scared. I’m terrified of losing my boyfriend over this, which I know must sound so jouvenile but he’s been a great support but ever since I went off the meds completely, I can tell it’s been harder on him: probably because my emotions are all over the place. I know no one can really tell me what to do but I desperately need advice. If these symptoms are never fully going to go away so I can start to feel even a tiny bit of normalcy, then what’s the point? If I knew that things would get smoother within a couple months, maybe I’d stick it out. I’m just starting to feel like being off the medication might come at a horrible price I’m not willing to take. I can’t afford for this to ruin my relationship; not to mention the fact that I’m going to be starting a new job this week. I don’t know what’s right anymore: and I can’t even talk this through with my psychiatrist because it’s no joke when I say he is the most uncaring individual.

  115. Abdullah Al-Saraireh

    I took a medicine named Faverin which is basically made up of fluxomvamine for two years my doctor decided that I should go cold turkey, I used to take 50mg every night before I sleep. After a few weeks I started to get joint pain, headaches, a sore throat, mouth ulcers, and muscle aches, they didn’t all happen at the same time, and i’ve become much better after three weeks of feeling these symptoms, my question is are these symptoms attributed to me getting off my medication which was Faverin.

  116. Verity Jackson

    I told my psychiatrist, I did not want to take drugs any more. His reply it’s
    Pointless seeing a psy then, as all they do is prescribe drugs. Outrageous! anyway you will be pleased to here I stopped seeing him and am drug free.

  117. abidale001

    hey there guys ! wow, i feel like i m in the proper hivemind that i’m supposed to be, same set of issues i have gone through, honestly nothing to add !! i was a successful person, i had an independant new thesis in artificial intelligence, i did it through 6 months when i was 20 years old, this is when my ordeal began, that thesis was overlooked and disqualified, my licence diploma was reset to review and my grade was requestionned after my complete banishment from university due to protestations i led, that was tooo f*ing much for me as an early mature adult in the first year of his twenties, they ecrewed my life i hope they are feeling better now, but what i will never forget myself, is the part i took to screw the last surviving part in myself, my brain ! my lovely brain that never let me down !!! i let it down now.
    Zero ability to hand a pen and solve an equation, no tending to do graphs even the least complexed, me , who had the aptitude to conceive the hardest logical puzzles ever , cant now even solve my own ones !!!!!! what kind of sht happened inside my skull !!!! i went straignt downhill, me the kinda persons who was ablde to pay his kidney for one supplementary gray cell !!!! they lied to me !!! they told me it relieves the depression and helps in concentration !!!! i willl never forgive anyone, i swear, never !

  118. David

    I’ve struggled with severe depression for a number of years and I’m currently in WD from Prozac (6 weeks, having tapered down over the previous 3 weeks) and facing a daily battle with suicidal thoughts, that’s the only effect from withdrawal that I have experienced but it isn’t a nice one, of course.

  119. Logan

    I just wish these brain zaps would end. I wish I never ever went on an SSRI. I will never take those evil drugs again. They should be banned.

  120. Melanie Uebele

    I have been off Lexapro for 12 weeks now. I tapered as per my doctors instructions. three days after the last dose, the brain zaps started. When I move my eyes to the side there is a reverberating zapping and dizziness. There is a feeling in my brain like a live wire is just zapping around uncontrollably. It is not a ringing in my ears, but a zapping in my brain. It has progressed to being constant and is increasingly difficult to deal with. My doctor said to “ignore it like you would a back ache”. He has referred me to a neurologist. I can’t wait to find out if I have brain damage or what is going on. I do not have anxiety, I am at peace in my life, I have nothing to be anxious about, except these electrical sensations which will not cease. Each morning they are gone for about an hour after waking, and then they resume. I get glimpses of hope, and then they return. I want to know what is going on, why is this occurring, what are the long term affects on my brain? Before I agreed to take the medication I asked my doctor if it was addictive and was told definitively NO. That is a lie. If you have to wean off and get these “discontinuation symptoms” withdrawal, then they are addictive. I just want to feel like I did before taking this. I never had brain zaps before. How can it be legal to prescribe this extremely addictive medication that leaves users with debilitating brain zaps? What is going on in my brain?

    • Karen

      Hi Melanie.
      Brain zaps are usual for almost everyone, if you do any research almost everyone experiences them. For me they took approximately 4 months to go completely, but that’s just me. You’ve taken something which has artificially elevated serotonin levels in your synaptic fluid causing a die back of your own serotonin receptors.
      Start doing your research, do not rely on your GP. They are usually very unhelpful. Go to – for lots and lots of help and information.
      Best of luck, withdrawal can be brutal and long lasting, expect other symptoms to come and go but you do get better slowly

  121. Amber

    2 years on Celexa, three weeks off and I have ringing in my ears, even had migraines for the first time ever in my life, dizzy and most frustrating is constant blurred vision, can’t focus on a screen to read. When will it get better??

  122. Madalyn

    I was on Paxil for only 2 years. I’m currently on my 3 week of withdrawal. The insomnia and the buzzing feelings have gone away, but the dizziness, headaches, and nausea are still there. Every time I turn my head, everything is blurry for a second and then the headache worsens. Tylenol, Naproxen, and Ibuprofen do not help. My mood swings are terrible. I get extremely angry and then extremely suicidal. I was never told there would be any withdrawal symptoms.

    • K Richardson

      I am now three months off Paxil and am suffering with anxiety, suicidal thoughts, skin crawling, etc. I feel like my whole life just stopped. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get through this, I’m all ears. So wish I never started these SSRIs. I’m trying to do this through exercise, vitamins, but I’m really beaten down.

  123. JW

    Fuck em’ all!!

  124. Erica W

    I have been going through lexapro withdrawal and it is worse the depression that started me taking it in the first place. Zaps, memory problems, ER visit for abnormal heart rhythm, daily panic attacks and the list goes on. I had been on 25mg of lexapro for 10 years and am still tapering 10% every 2 months. I started rTMS (magnetic stimulation for treating depression, OCD, anxiety and other disorders) as an alternative to restarting lexapro and over a month of treatment my symptoms vanished completely. I thought I was gonna give up and go back to Lexapro. But know I feel like I legitimately have a chance of going if completely. The good news is it may take a bit of work to get approved but Most insurances cover it now! I’m all for drug free options. Peace and love all my fellow humans struggling❤

  125. ray

    I understand everyones pain on this form.. I am taking FLUVOXAMINE for OCD. Im convinced tho it is hurting me and making me very angry and homicidal thoughts. No I’m not a bad person the drug just makes me very angry for some reason.
    Ive been tapering now my first day today and I am experiencing flu like symptoms.
    I suggest to taper down 10% when coming off an antidepressant, I’ve heard that that is best when going off..

  126. Jessica

    I was on Prozac for over 20 years. I took 6 months to ween myself off of the drug. The WD symptoms were absolute HELL for over 1 year. I have been off Prozac now for 2-1/2 years and the depression and anxiety is low/tolerable. The insomnia isn’t as bad but still needs to get better. The worst of my WD problems is the cognitive impairment. It actually is getting worse as time goes on. I am looking at trying a acetylcholine and dopamine supplement now so hopefully it will help. Prozac saved my life many times during my younger years. Sadly, the long-term usage has now ruined my life.

  127. bri

    To summarize most comments here: “I felt horrible enough to have to start a med. Now that I stopped it I feel horrible… it must be the bad med.” Or, “I started taking this 12 years ago when I was 22. Stopped it now in my 30’s and my health is not as good… it must be the bad med.” Been on SSRI’s for a long time? Feel worse when you don’t take them? Maybe just keep taking them. Prozac is cheap.

  128. Stephanie

    I will apologize in advance for the length of this response. It is long because I’m trying to give as much detail as possible; I know when I read the “that’s me” responses, it validates that I’m not going completely crazy, that I am not alone. My life has turned upside down and is far worse than when I first started taking Effexor (venlafaxine) 18yrs ago! Yes, I read all of the warnings & packaging that came with the drug. In reality, we think of the side effects of what a medication will do to us while we take it, not after we come off of it. I guess I relied on my doctor(s) for doing what was the best for me. I also relied on the diagnosis of depression and anxiety that I was being treated for, when in fact, I am actually bipolar (with a multiple family history of such).
    I have suffered with depression/anxiety/panic & more as far back as I can remember; 6yrs old was the first memory (hiding on the side of my house to avoid going to school due to extreme panic/anxiety) I have that began the cycle. At 15yrs old, I tried to commit suicide the first time. I went to a therapist that wanted to put me on Zoloft and I refused. It was 1989 and that was for “crazy people”. Treatment went nowhere and I was labeled a drama queen or attention whore. At 20yrs old, I caved and took the Zoloft. I gained weight and having sex was a non-thought. After adjusting doses, we moved to Prozac. That didn’t seem to help much, either, but the doctor said it was helping more than I thought. I stopped taking that at 23yrs old when I found out I was pregnant with my son. Looking back, the sickness was probable a blend of withdrawal and the pregnancy.
    I stayed free of meds, living with the mood swings, anxiety, migraines (which I never had before), panic attacks and more for several years. I couldn’t take it anymore. I began seeing a new doctor and he prescribed the new wonder drug Effexor 37.5mg. Over the years, I raised concerns of not working. My dosage was increased and it was said that my increased issues were due to situations beyond my control; a series of family deaths. I bought into that and continued as prescribed. I was careful not to miss a dose due to the one time I missed due to the rx mail order plan not reaching me before I ran out. I thought I was going to end up in the hospital. I went to therapists several times, but it seemed they didn’t want to know about family history, childhood experiences, etc. They wanted to focus on “what’s going on to bring you here”. A great concept, but it was years of situations and experiences, a line of mentally ill relatives, shunning society and things I could not physically or emotionally control that brought me there. Things that “going to the gym”, getting fresh air, forcing myself into social situations were not going to fix!
    About 2yrs ago, I began seeing my doctor’s PA because he was so overbooked. I expressed concerns and she suggested adding Welbutrin for my increased anxiety. We played with it and I felt better in ways. After a few months, I came to her with the concern that I just didn’t buy my diagnosis. She was appalled that I was never “formally” evaluated. With family history, full symptoms and questions upon questions, she came to the same thing that my husband and I had suspected for so many years: bipolar! She put me on Lamictal as a mood stabilizer. After we played with it, I came to a good place. I expressed my concerns about the Effexor that really didn’t do much for me and asked if I could quit it. Reluctantly, due to the withdrawal I was facing, she agreed. She also added that if I found it to hard to do, start taking the medication again at full dosage. In July 2016, we began the down dosing process from 225mg. As of the 1st week of November, I have been Effexor free.
    At first, it was the normal withdrawal hell of migraines, brain zaps, GI issues, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, fatigue, ticks and crying. After about 10 days I started to feel a little better, having good and bad days. Then it was time to down dose again. Repeat cycle. I was okay, even though miserable because I knew it would be temporary. I was wrong! Since November, I have left my house 17 times because of how sick I have become! I have had sex 4 times! I went almost 2mo vomiting nearly every single day. To date, I suffer from cluster headaches, migraines, GI issues, extreme nausea that made morning sickness a joke, vomiting, crying spells daily (even when I’m not sad), suicidal thoughts, ticks, stomach migraine symptoms that seem to cycle, worse brain fog that I’ve ever had (even with the for my ADHD), blurred vision (Lamictal has a side effect of vision changes, but it has been rapid since stopping Effexor), worse pain than the chronic pain I already suffered, brain zaps, depression due to my lack of enjoying anything in my life, insomnia, fatigue…I could go on, but my brain fog is creeping in. I’ve tried eating zofran like candy for the nausea and vomiting and it does nothing. We have tried omeprazole and it has done nothing. Migraine medication helps, but I have to take it often (not suggested by manufacturer). The stomach pain feels like a gallbladder attack at the belly button (no, I have no gallbladder and have had zero issues since removed 4yrs ago). One would think that I may have lost 1lb with all of the vomiting and low calorie intake (due to not being able to eat, limited diet, etc), but NO; I’ve actually gained weight! For crying out loud, God, can you at least give me that? And, I can’t eat bacon! I can’t smell bacon! Who can live without bacon, lol?
    Friends have stopped calling and texting for the most part. There is no way I could think of having a job (and we could use the money). My husband is a saint. He keeps telling me “it will get better”. I guess that my strong fingernails, hair that no longer falls out and less adult acne should make me lift my chin up, but it doesn’t. I appreciate the words, honestly, but after 7mo of hell, I’m beginning to believe that this zero quality life that I am living is all I am going to have. If I didn’t have my dog by my side 24/7, I believe I would not be here. It is hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel when your life consists of being in bed full time without the label of a chronic illness that any outsider would acknowledge or believe…

  129. Marianne

    after weaning off lexapro and going through the ‘usual’ withdrawl symptoms,I now have excruciating joint/muscle pains.I wonder if those will ever go away,had them for over two month now?I completely stopped lexapro three and a half month ago after taking it for more than 8 years

  130. Scot A

    Everything said about ssri and snri withdrawal applies to tramadol, with the addition of opioid withdrawal.
    In 45 years I had never needed to see a psychiatrist. Now after tramadol withdrawal I’ve been Baker Acted 8 times and am disabled.
    I was told by doctors and nurses that tramadol was like strong Advil. It was a lie.

  131. Sachin

    Ssri medications is very bad and its side effects is unexplainablely worse there is no one n only single side effect to tell anyone.. these drugs effects ur hole system ur hole particles of ur body.. not a single part of ur system n body will survive from its side effects.. i take fluvoxamine. i have no words to tell the hole story n hole side effects which i feel you lost ur own control physically and mentally..if u feel side effects then take my advice don’t do anything stop medicine slowly then full stop and don’t xpect any good just wait till naturally ur body comes in normal nature it takes a lot means a lot time and u know from inside xactly how much time for this for that. may nature will forgive u. i take hole 3 months for recovery n still not fully. do what makes you feel good in this period.. …..

  132. Sidney

    I would rather go through heroine withdrawal again than come off Zoloft ever again! I was on 100 mg.. this is day 3 of my taper being completely “off” Zoloft and it’s crazy. The zapping feeling in my brain, the runny stools, loss of appetite, crazy dreams.. At least when I was an ex heroine user I knew it would be a week MAX that I would be having symptoms.. with Zoloft I honestly have no idea when it will stop. If it even does.. everyone hang in there. Xoxo

  133. Heather

    I have been on Paxil since 1997 when I had gotten depressed and overwhelmed after having my first daughter. I have tried to go off of it a couple times since, very very very slowly tapering the dosage with a psychiatrist’s instructions and know that it is true HELL ON EARTH. Between the temperatures of up to 103 at the beginning, the constant panic attacks, physical pains, severe depression, and feeling like a complete psychotic mess, I ended up going back on it. I just couldn’t handle being without it and being a horrible mother and wife. I’ve kind of figured that I’ll have to be on it for the rest of my life. I wish everyone who was prescribed it had to at least read a disclosure about these withdrawal effects before they could start taking these medications.
    Now my 83 year old mother has been prescribed Prozac to help with her non motivation. I am very against her going on Prozac or any other SSRI.

  134. Jennifer

    If anyone is dealing with citalopram withdrawal brain zaps, I am looking for support of those going through it to. Cell 8185248983 Jennifer

  135. Jennifer

    I am having withdrawal brain zaps from citalapram I titrated off very slowly and these zaps won’t go away. Please call or text 8185248983 to discuss your story, I am seeking people who are suffering from citalapram withdrawal brain zaps to discuss options, these are torturous. Jennifer

  136. apAy1GCMdOTJiS+E+O3T5I00z5DVYSceXlS6KIa+ttg=

    Hello, I was on Citalopram (20mg) for 10 years then Fluoxitine (20mg) and back to celexa for a total of 20 years. I was prescribed this for bad anxiety and OCD. I am very VERY sensitive to medications of any sort. I was a 33 year old adult and wanted to see if I really needed this. The first time I weened off I did it in a month which was WAY to quickly. It did not give my brain enough time to learn how to produce serotonin 100% on its and was not enough time for my brain chemistry to balance out. I had horrible horrible side effects to the point where I was not myself. My emotions were completely out of control, sometimes nausea, I could not understand or rationalize lots of things, my anxiety went through the roof, I was severely depressed, it was as my whole body was out of whack. The experience was way worse then it sounds but it was hell. I missed a ton of work. I am VERY stubborn and was so angry that a doctor kept me on this for so long that I refused to go back on. After a month of misery and hell I went back on 10mg which immediately made me back to normal. I waited another month since that was a lot for my brain/body to go through. I then decided to do it the right way. I got the liquid form. My dr. didn’t even know it was available. I had to do my own research on ALL of this. YOU are your own best advocate. Lots of things my doctor told me over the years was completely inaccurate. It took 6 months to ween off and I only had slight withdraw syndrome effects. Its been a year now and I’m doing just fine.

  137. katherine

    I am in withdrawal from sertraline. Brain zaps, dizziness/pressure waves in head, headaches, stiffness. I’m on my phone with a bad headache looking for an answer of how long? That doesn’t come from a medical site that says “don’t stop your lifelong medication you idiot doom gloom”. I’m in week 2 of discontinuing after cutting down for a few weeks. I have been through this before a few times, all before these symptoms were something I knew others experienced. I know it takes a while, just want to know lol. I never mentioned these symptoms or factored them in to deciding to start another type of antidepressant in my 25 year plus career as a mental health consumer. So I’d be badly depressed and go to a doctor and end up back on the antidepressant, desperate for a solution. I have, I should mention, a bipolar 1 diagnosis with comorbid panic disorder and have been hospitalized for mania. There goes my credibility with the medical profession when describing brain zaps etc* So I just go wayward and stop taking the meds and maybe this time it’ll stick as I have an arsenal of self-care methods from exercise to saunas and a vegan diet to draw from. As opposed to medicine’s answer – medication as the front line and a referral to a psych. No what do you eat? How do you exercise? What toxic people surround you? It’s not all the doctors’ fault, we have to do the work educating ourselves and laying in self care methods and a support network when we are not suicidally depressed / crazy anxious and incapable of doing anything but swallowing pills that may stop us killing ourselves and allow us to start shuffling outside but at the cost of down the track feeling cut off, fat, and dull. People are on these things way too long in general. They should be last resort and crisis stuff, not long term.
    *so thank you for sharing and putting it out there, your testimonies. It has a name now, something to tell our doctors. May help when everything we say gets filtered through and labelled as symptoms of mental illness rather than being seen as information that may merit further investigation/ be taken into account when originally prescribing. Cost/benefit should be done with the patient so informed decision can be made. Prevention is better than cure so again, we need to be the experts because doctors are not. I have not met a doctor or psych that has a lived experience and it shows. They exist, but are so amazing they’re on Ted, not my area medical centre!
    I feel better reading these and sharing my words as it puts things into perspective for me. I will get over this withdrawal and forget how bad it is. I’m sorry that some of you have permanent effects. Perhaps there is an answer/ therapeutic change to help and you’re going to find it. I hope so. I might have residual brain pressure surges, I seem to recall those being a long lasting thing… oh well. So long as they ease. Right now it’s constant when I move. Ugh.

  138. Karen Wilkinson

    I was on citalopram and Wellbutrin together for quite a few years and finally had my last crumb 4 months ago. I’m still suffering horrible hot/cold flushes constantly, especially at night – I had thought I’d hit menopause but they started as soon as I stopped the meds, and now I’m reading it’s a withdrawal symptom! Also, most disturbingly I can’t seem to tolerate any medications like over the counter sleep medication, cough medication or anything which will vaguely affect my brain. I’m getting awful symptoms like serotonin syndrome – uncontrollable tremors in my arms/legs/stomach – shivers all over, freezing cold lasting for hours. Right now I’ve got tremors in my lower body and I’ve not taken anything. I’ve had visual disturbances and awful insomnia. It’s lead me to research which has brought me here. No one seems to be able to tell me how long this will last. It’s pretty scary.

  139. Meno

    In January 2014 my GP prescribed for me citalopram 10mg ، I took it for 11 months .I am in withdrawal for 14 months . I am ill in these months and cannot function. My symptoms are headache , nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and weakness. I never forgive GP that told me you can withdraw every time you want without any problem.

  140. Michael

    Hello All!
    I stopped cymbalta cold turkey in 2010 and have never been the same since. I have not slept in 5 years mayb 3 hours per night at thee most. No appetite, lost my good job, my family does not speak to me,etccc. I rahter brak my neck, ribs and skull then go thrpough this horrific nightmare!

  141. Kristin Anderson

    Hi my name is Kristin and I was perscribed lexapro 10mg and have been taking it for about 2 months. I discontinued it myself about 2 to 3 weeks ago and only had flu like symptoms for 3 days. Will I go through such extreme withdrawals later?

  142. Kathy Budd

    I’m currently being weaned off of Paxil. I’ve been taking it for about 5 years. If I had known the hell I’d be going through coming off of it I never woild have started it. I’ve had a constant headache for 3 weeks. Dizzy, nauseous, brain zaps, heart palpitations, insomnia, dry mouth. I eat candied ginger for the nausea, an ice pack on the base of my skull for the headache, dramamine for the dizziness. Due to the severity of a headache I almost caved and went back to my full dose, but I’m determined to get off of this poison.

  143. Kathy Butcher

    I was on Paxil for 20 years. When it stopped working over the years the professionals (family doctor and one psychiatrist) just upped my dosage. When I started to have heart problems last Spring my heart doctor suggested that maybe it was due to being on Paxil. My “heart problems” have ceased since lowering the dosage and eventually going off Paxil all together. I started to wean myself off very slowly. Every time I went down 10 mgs I would have an “adjustment period”, where my depression, anxiety and overall mental and physical health became worse, but it would even out eventually and things would be bad, but manageable (barely). I would hang in there until I felt I was ready to go down another 10 mgs. When I reached 10 mgs a day, that was when my withdrawal symptoms became more than just difficult. When I say I weaned slowly, I went from 60 mgs a day to 10 mgs over a period of six months. I simply could not just go two weeks (as often recommended) and decrease my meds, then decrease again in two weeks. It was too scary to do so. When I say I would “hang in there”, I mean I fought like hell to just make it day to day. I would find myself crying as if I had lost everything and everybody I loved. I tried a couple of times over the years to stop, but it was too painful, extremely difficult, and I would go right back on Paxil. History will show, and is starting to show right now, that there will be a generation of people that doctors put on Paxil, with good intentions, only to find out later that it is almost impossible to get off them without severe withdrawal and without literally going through hell. I needed something to help me 20 years ago, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have tried other alternatives. Paxil may have saved my life 20 years ago, but the price I am paying right now is inhumane. I took my last 10 mgs of Paxil on 10/28/16. Today it has been 30 days. It is getting better, but I still do not sleep well. I wake up sweating and disoriented every morning. I only cry for a couple of hours about once a week instead of daily. My body aches constantly and I am depressed. I have very little joy in my life, I have trouble concentrating or remembering things. My stomach bothers me every day. Some days are better than others. I won’t ever go back on Paxil. I am watching myself and being watched by others to be sure I do not become suicidal to the point of actually doing something. For those who are withdrawing or considering the process, gather your friends and your loved ones around you. MAKE CONTACT. Be kind to yourself. I have bought a light that simulates sunshine that I just stare at in the mornings and keep lit while I get ready for work. I am not drinking alcohol. I take vitamins such as Vitamin C, a multi-vitamin, and Vitamin D and other supplements. I use essential oils such as peppermint and other oils that I put in my lotion which I then apply to my wrists, the back of my neck and my forehead, every morning. I drink ginseng tea for my stomach. I get as many full body massages as I can afford. I don’t watch the news or other TV shows or movies that may trigger me to be in a darker mood. I take hot baths with epsom salts and essential oils. Get out and walk when you feel the depression grip you so tightly you just can’t see an end to your misery or, don’t wait that long!. Try to laugh. Try to read positive materials, watch comedies, even if, like me you are drawn to darker types of entertainment such as horror films or The Walking Dead. If you find that something puts you in a bad mood stop that “something”, at least for a while. You can revisit it later when you feel stronger. Do not tolerate friends or family who can not tolerate your journey. They do not know how difficult this is, but there is plenty they can read if they truly care. If you feel suicidal, get help now. This will probably be the hardest thing you have ever done.

  144. Arash

    I was on citalopram for several months and Fluvoxamine for a year for depression combined with Ritalin(Adderall) for my ADD. After a year i decided to taper off the Fluvoxamine and quit ritalin. It was hard and i experienced the withdrawal symptoms for months. Right after i thought it was over i noticed I’m still not as same as i was before. I had almost all of the symptoms listed above, i experienced hell for months and then after a year it all started again. I was extremely anxious, had many panic attacks very bad mood swings, i had a very bad fear plus the other symptoms mentioned above. 3 years has passed now since i quit the ssri. Everything is better since 2 years ago and thank god i don’t have panic attacks anymore, and the fear is almost gone but sometimes i think it might come back again like a horror movie. I still have a bit anxiety. I definitely have depression. I have poor focus. Severe Mood swings. All of this because of 1.5 year of ssri (i also abused ritalin in that time) i was thinking of going back to ssri but reading all the comments on this page reminded me of the hell i lived in before. I’m anxious depressed wnd i don’t have a life but At least it’s not as bad as the time i tried to quit.

    • Ian Mac

      I have been in that hell too. I know the intensity of the fear you speak of. I am also working on the anxiety still, I have been doing some research and the science says that cognitive therapy is equally as effective as SSRI’s. Go figure

  145. Jay

    I had taken Zoloft for about 6-7 months. It’s been a year now, I have many of the withdraw symptoms. How long do these last.

  146. Therese Dick

    I was on Luvox since 1994. Then 2 years ago I had a few experiences of uncontrollable tremors over that same 2 year period. No action by docs. February 2015 sent me to the ER with 8 hours of nonstop tremors. They didn’t know what it was and sent me home. My GP took me off Luvox over 6 weeks. Only got 2 weeks relief and they were back for days at a time. It took 5 more months to see a local D.O. and then Neuro doc at UCSF followed again by the GP. To make matters worse the UCSF Neuro doc blamed it on OCD. I’m not stupid! I did research proving it’s SSRI, Triptans, and pain meds. To make a long story short docs don’t all admit it when they don’t have an answer or are wrong. Sooo, 8 months later it’s better but not gone. The above drugs have warnings by the FDA when given together. After 3 months of depression from the way medical people treated me, I’m getting a grip and realize they are dead wrong! Don’t know if the tremors will ever leave, not to mention other symptoms that came with them – but I am learning to cope and have learned not all docs are worthy. My Psychologist has been my mainstay – a man of ethics! Sorry you are all going through similar things, but know you aren’t alone!
    Medicine doesn’t have all the answers. I sure hope that’s not the only thing you believe in!
    Do your research and trust yourself when you know something is wrong with an erroneous diagnosis! Chances are you are right on!

  147. Anxiousgirl09

    I have been on lexapro for 8 years or so. I also tried few other medications in between (Paxil Zoloft Prozac Effexor Wellbutrin buspar the list goes on ) but I never felt normal or like myself . I was initially prescribed lexapro for general anxiety disorder and panic attacks . Even when on medication I didn’t feel anxiety free . It did help with panic attacks though. I am 3 months off lexapro and I am still not feeling normal / functioning . My exhaustion is extreme I have hard time concentrating at work and all I want to do is sleep. I have no emotions and I am indifferent to pretty much everything . I have some anxiety and had a couple of panic attacks . I don’t know what to do I have to go to work and function but this is so debilitating . If anyone has any tips I would greatly appreciate any advice . How much longer will this last does this get any better :(((

    • SarahJoy

      Hi anxiousgirl.
      Your symptoms sound similar to mine. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice other than to hang on in there. I was on Prozac for a couple of years and found that every time I tampered with the dose it took about 5 months to stabilize. Ivebeen off for just over 6 months now and made the mistake of taking zopiclone for a few weeks to get over the insomnia and set myself right back again. I’ve been feeling terrible, just like you describe, for nearly 3 months again now. It’s just started to ease and although I still feel awful I have periods of a few hours and even a day or two occasionally of feeling a bit more awake. I would advise not touching anything else to ‘help’ get through it but to remember that this will end. It seems to me by going on a few of these forums that it’s usually about 5-6 months before it starts to ease. Sit tight – it will end.

  148. Mona

    Hello All,
    My name is Mona and I took Prozac for 4.5 years. I began taking it inconsistently last December and noticed odd symptoms and my anxiety creeping back. In July I gave into the doctors suggestions and increased my dose to 3 times what I was taking before (I was on a very low dose). 3 days after increasing my dose I had my first severe panic attack with palpitations in 4.5 years !!!! I quit cold turkey. 15 days later, begging of august I’ve had some insaine and random symptoms ranging from random muscle twitches to heat sensations on my hands to immense fatigue, headaches and migraines, brain fog,numbness and tingling of my arms and feet, upper back and neck pain, facial tightness, pain in my legs and joints. All my tests and X-rays come back clear-the docs want to leave it as ‘Fibromyalgia ‘ but I know my body and I’m 25 and I just know I didn’t develop Fibromyalgia overnight. I’m completely convinced it’s the Prozac.

    • SarahJoy

      It sounds like the Prozac. You are describing my symptoms exactly. I was on 20mg for 2 years and stopped overnight in April. I’ve been suffering with intense fatigue, drowsiness, muscle aches, tight neck and upper back, tingles up and down my back and legs and ringing in my ears ever since. And a numb face. I know it’s the Prozac because they’re the same symptoms I had when I lowered the dose. Stick in there – it will end, although it might take a few months. Im pretty sure it’s not fibromyalgia. All the best with it.

  149. Dawn

    Wow…thank god i found this post…ive been off lexapro and wellbuterin for over two weeks now…and i thought i was going insane. Yes now i know what that feeling in my head is…brain zaps. I had no way of describing it. And the intense irritableity…and feeling so tired. And the wanting to crawl out of my skin. And being so angry for no reason . Its insain. When will it end? God help us all!!!!

  150. Sam

    Really sad to hear what some of you are going through or have been through. I’ve been off Zoloft for about 3 weeks, although every few days taking half to begin with and now half every 5 days. This is after around 2 years at 100mg tapered down before stopping but still it’s horrendous at times. For me the worst things are the Zaps and dizziness scary just have to remember what is causing it when it happens and why I stopped taking Zoloft. I wish this was all explained to me when prescribed as I wouldn’t have taken them but then again guess I should have researched a bit more. Benzos were made out to be really bad by the Dr but SSRI fine and non addictive but it’s all BS the withdrawals on SSRI is horrible. Anyway just wanted to say that despite all of the above it is very, very slowly getting better and can see the light and the end of the very dark tunnel that was a week or so ago. Anyone currently going through this you really are not alone it’s hell but if you can get thru the first 2 weeks then you are awesome and it is getting easier for me.

  151. SarahJoy

    I stopped prozac nearly 6 months ago – I had been on 20mg a day for 2 1/4 years. I struggled with it as it made me feel pretty bad while i was on it for much of the time and I had to stop it overnight in the end. I suffered terrible physical symptoms for the first 3 months like intense drowsiness, brain fog and headaches. They then faded but have come back in the last few weeks with a vengance and I can barely function. I did take a very low dose of zopiclone for 5 months which started to affect me too and I stopped it 3 weeks ago. Could that be part of the problem? I am desperate now and feel like I am never going to recover. I’m trying to finish a big paper for my PhD which is due in in 2 weeks and I can hardly focus on it never mind think about it.

  152. Crystal Gunter

    I have been on various ssris for 15 years. The last 5 or so were valafexine. I tappered off from 250mg to 0 over the course of 7 weeks. I have been on no meds for 8 days. The withdrawal has been up and down. At first it was severe dizziness, insomnia, and GI issues. Now I have weird brain pops that fill like a subtle “heartbeat” but with a slight impact to my vision. Just a fraction of a second. My IBS is so bad. I wake up with my abodmen completely desdended and have been working from home to deal with the frequent bathroom trips. I hope this gets better soon. Having my gut hurt like this is pretty awful. It is impacting my work and my social life.

  153. Joy

    I have been taking Zoloft for over 15 years. I’m almost 45. I started taking it for depression. Have tried to get off countless times over the years, and I recall more than once doctors telling me “That’s just your depression coming back.” Depression never made me nauseated, sweaty, gave me brain zaps, dizziness, or total brain fog — but they tried mightily to convince me that it did. I gave up for many years, but in December 2015 I began cutting 50 mg tablets in half. I made it, and about two weeks ago, began cutting 25 mg tablets in half. It is incredible to me that such a small reduction can wreak such havoc on a person’s life. I work as a legal secretary and concentration, multitasking, patience, ability to tolerate stress — are all huge in this line of work. In my 30s I was laid off from a job for poor performance, and it was at the same time I was trying to reduce my dose. I have had issues this time around as well, but I’m at a slower-paced firm right now so that helps. however, my boss has notice, and I have been “talked to” about my lack of focus more than once. I don’t dare tell him, as if he smells weakness he will pounce on this issue for every mistake I make (the legal field is not kind, people! lol!). Anyway, nice to see a forum where others have had similar experiences. This week I realized that my fatigue is coming from this withdrawal as well. I used to practice hot yoga 4-5 times/week, and haven’t been for 3 weeks now. i keep starting, and stopping, thinking if I get enough sleep I’ll be able to pull it off. And I can’t find the proper words to save my life when trying to speak; it’s put me in a couple of embarrassing positions, where I apologize and claim I have not been getting much sleep (which is more socially acceptable, for some reason).

  154. Melissa

    I posted previously this summer about weening my 17 yr old daughter off of Lexapro and Vyvanse. We had gone back to her doctor in August and let me tell you the argument I got into with her doctor over this subject of side effects. She said once you stop the medication there isn’t side effects as it leaves the body after a day or 2. I said well that is funny because I have read COUNTLESS forums of patience trying to come off of SSRI drugs, reading about the side effects they are having AND seeing it first hand myself with my own child who is having the exact same side effects as they are! My child cannot see! Her vision is a total mess! Optometrist said her vision is perfect. Whatever these drugs do to a persons vision it is not detected in a routine eye exam. My daughters doctor still says “I think she needs to be on medication.” I have since taken the steps to find someone else to try and help her with out medications. We have not tried this route yet and she really wants to give it a try. It is Gestalt and Mindfulness Base Cognitive Therapy. We are optimistic that this will help and get her on the right track. I hope you all can get some relief from these side effects soon! I hate seeing anyone deal with these drugs!

    • Melinda

      Hi Melissa. Did you ever have success with your daughter? I am going through this with my adult daughter, from Cymbalta.

  155. Boris

    Same happen to me

  156. DW

    Has anyone tried tapering off 20 mg of Lexapro in a 2 mg decrease/month? Doing it this slowly should take me 10 months, which seemed logical after all the research I’ve done. I’ve been on Lexapro 20 mg for genetic depression and Trileptal 600 mg twice daily for bipolar for 10 years. I’m on month 4, and should be down to 12 mg, but I had to repeat a dose of 14 mg for another month due to depersonalization, anger, headaches, dizziness, nausea and extreme fatigue. I am extremely fatigued where it’s difficult to get out of bed. Not the kind of fatigue of being depressed and not wanting to get out of bed, this is different. Less severe are the bouts of dizziness and nausea, but still they are there. My psychiatrist told me to “just cut it in half for a month and wean off”. Yeah right! I can’t believe how severe my symptoms are for weaning so slowly. I am using meditation, a healthy diet, B vitamins, and holistic healing to assist with it, but it’s still hell. Most of these comments are from people who stopped cold turkey or weaned too quickly, I’d love to connect with someone who is weaning off slowly like I’m trying. There is zero support for this out there! I’m seriously considering starting a support group!

  157. Anna

    I quit citalopram 10 mg four weeks ago. Initially I had no symptoms, but after my period a horrid reaction set in. I was very scared of it because I had tried to stop the drug before and hadn’t been able to. After the restart, I had a new set of awful symptoms set in. BUT NOW, after the reaction passed, I have a very strange feeling. Of positivity, creativity and strength!!! Initially the drug helped me get through work when I had depression. But as months went by it did cause anxiety, strange pains in my face and jaw, a constant muddy feeling, feeling old and having problems with memory etc. If I ever have depression again, I would consider a milder drug for perhaps 3 months maximum, and never continue longer. It seems the drug had prolonged my illness when underneath I was fine. For me the trick was to quit cold turkey (although the dose was very small), which meant my hormones were only confused once, very strongly, but then it was over. Good luck to you all!

  158. Annel Yarber

    Ive taken sertraline for 16yrs and i have become bipolar mood swings when i try to get off it i have brain zaps seizures bad mood swings delusional schizophrenic like behavior so i get back on 100mg sertraline and 25mg abilify otherwise i can’t function

  159. Karamjit

    I took remeron at low doses for only 4 months and I am off of them from seven months. I still suffer from heart palpitations, insomnia, I was an excellent sleeper before I took the medicine, and itchy nose and eyes. I pray to God every night to make my life little closer to the way I was before the medicine.

  160. anna

    I tried to quit citalopram 10mg 6 months ago. I did it by reducing the dose to every second day. I was bedridden for weeks, unable to function and very stressed. After abt 5 weeks I couldn’t stand it anymore and started taking the medicine again. But I did not return back to normal. After a bit, I started being very anxious, horribly depressed, experienced depersonalisation and severe memory problems. Then facial nerve problems and numb legs. Only after 3 months or so did I return back to normal. I am now attempting to stop taking the drug again. Approximately 8 days after a reaction kicked in. I had to leave work for extreme dizziness and nausea. Now I have slept an entire day with crazy dreams, and if I try to get up and do something I have heart palpitations and dizziness. My eyes hurt. However, I am determined to continue because I know I can only prolong the experience by reintroducing the drug. I am afraid of the second phase symptoms which had me feeling like a complete nervous wreck which I never was before. It would be nice to hear from someone who succeeded in their withdrawal.

    • Mary

      Can you tell me if your issues have resolved and your health is better?

    • Stephanie G

      Mary, I am better! It took several months for all the withdrawal symptoms to subside. The jaw clenching was the last to go. I’m hopeful that you will get relief after you wean off even the lowest dose. Best wishes!

  161. HowdyDowdy

    I was on paroxetine (paxil) 20mg for the better part of 5 years. I tapered off, quite quickly without doctors orders over a span of 2months. Please don’t do this…
    Four months later and it has been absolute hell. Severe general anxiety, social anxiety, depression, panic attacks, hypersensitivity, extremely self aware & negative. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks house bound with panic attacks, a huge range of extreme emotions as my brain tries to figure out what’s going on. An incredible anger at the stupidest things. Feeling that my brain was just not functioning.
    Each day I fight the urge to return to paroxetine, but feel so close to giving in. Not sure it’d work again though and even if, i’d be prolonging withdrawal symptoms
    next time and they’d be much worse. My cognitive abilities are slowly coming back, but memory is terrible and thinking is very slow. I’d never want to put those supporting me through this again but it’s nearly impossible to beat this anxiety and crave relief.
    I only started for a bit of social anxiety, and now I have so many other issues. I wish i’d never taken an ssri.
    I feel for anyone that is experiencing withdrawals from ssri’s and from the bottom of my heart wish you the speediest recovery

  162. abdou

    hello, i took an excessive dose of seroplex (70=10×7 mg as a whole) during a middler stage of treatment then i stopped taking it for once, i want to know either is there a permanent effect on the brain after such behavior and how to disintoxicate it, thanks.

  163. Helena

    It’s comforting to read all your stories. I’m a long time antidepressant user. More exactly 20+ years. I was also on benzodiazepines for 15+ years. I took a daily dose of alprazolam totaling 6mg. I weaned myself off the benzodiazepines almost 3 months ago after numerous previous failed attempts. I was determined to get off this horrible medication.
    It was not easy going off the benzodiazepines, however, the attempts to wean myself off the SSRI’s are a complete different ballgame. One, I so far have not been able conquer. My attempts to wean have resulted in all symptoms described and a few suicide attempts.
    In my mid 20’s I went for counseling and was immediately offered an antidepressant to act as a cushion (per Doctor) as I worked on issues that came up. I was so discouraged and put off, refusing to take an antidepressant I decided against therapy. I returned one year later and in order to get the therapy I wanted agreed to start an antidepressant. Prozac became my new best friend for about 6 months, it then abruptly stopped working. That’s when my mental health nightmare began. I’ve tried them all; Wellbutrin, cymbalta, Effexor, celexa, vybriid, serzone, trazodone, abilify, lamictal, and the list goes on.
    I will continue to fight and I hope I one day win the battle against SSRI’s. It’s so important to get word out there what these meds have turned us into. They won’t be able to close their eyes on this issue forever.

  164. Renee Donnelly

    Was on Zoloft 100mgs for over 10 years. Weaned over 30 days off. My biggest issue being off over 3 weeks is extreme joint pain. I feel like I am 100! Anyone else have this? The brain zaps, vivid dreams etc are fading but I ache all over. Interferes with sleep.

    • Judy

      Going through this blog. I stopped Zoloft about 3 weeks ago and I just feel achy. I’m hoping this subsides soon. Hope you’re doing better

  165. kenny

    Hello, I’m posting on regard to my father. He went for back surgery & was feeling very down due to the fact his legs were healing and are going to take about a year to recover. He was seeing a psychiatrist & ultimately had anxiety, and was just worried about everything and anything. This is because he was an avid bike rider and professional runner. So, as you can imagine he was not the happiest guy. so here is the problem the Doctor prescribed him Paxil 20 Mgs like twice or three times a day for his anxiety. He was on it for about a month and he was not feeling like himself what so ever. So he decided to just stop taking the drug kind of like any other drug you know. so 4 weeks went by he was feeling a bit sick not very himself still but ultimately was on the road to recovery. He went to the Dr. and wanted to know if there as a drug he can take to make quitting SSRI’s easier. The doc then prescribed Prozac. He took that and immediately the following day he was coughing making tons of mucous and his ears were clogged. So he tries one last pill of paxil to maybe bring him back to normal. But then he immediately is freaking out. Did that start the cold turkey process all over again? And As the days go by his ears get worse and gets sinusitis then he finds out the sinusitis created inflammation in the Eustachian tube in his ears. That is the part of the auditory system in charge of equalizing pressure. His ears are pressured everyday and he is in constant pain, he is taking the proper steroids to try and stop the inflammation. What is confusing to me is that he has cry spells and questions his fatherhood, and says its all his fault that he is in pain and hurting everyday. He is scared now to be in large groups of people. And he is starting to think clearly now but he is still in pain. So he has a very bad end of the stick. He has been getting this headaches at night in his forehead, he describes them as pressure. So is he still going through Withdrawals while he is battling his ear pressure??? And are these headaches similar to paxil withdrawal??? How long does it take for his serotonin to normalize. ?? PLEASE HELP THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  166. Chris

    I’m coming off seraguel an citolopram I gained a100 pounds an became diabetic the joint pain is so bad i can barley walk I saw a spine specialist ruemotologist an the doc that prescribed this garbage all they did was prescribe more pain pills it wasn’t untill I saw this sure of what’s goin on with me till I read others stories on this page thanks for takin the time to write yours it gave me hope I think the doctors that prescribe this junk should at least know about withdrawal from junk they prescribed iam very disappointed with the docs I saw an the makers off this garbage

  167. Carol

    I am having terrible withdrawal. Nausea continually. And metal taste in mouth

  168. Karen

    I was put on Prozac at 16, in about 1989. After taking it a few months, I researched it. I found that the longest clinical trial lasted 6 weeks. Therefore, I had been on it longer than anyone in studies. I realized all of us taking these drugs were the true test subjects. Now that the long term effects are showing up, we are the ones suffering. We are the test population.
    I ended up on zoloft long term, and my one attempt to discontinue left me with anxiety disorder, a new issue for me. I won’t try that again.
    We are screwed for life, it seems. Unless Big Pharma invents a new drug to combat withdrawal! Then we would rush to that solution and become long term, unconsenting test subjects again.
    My questions and fears: did I truly need this drug? Do I still need it? Who am I without it right now? Who would I have been without ever taking it? I feel these questions can never be answered.
    The worst part is that we are not acknowledged as guinea pigs, and our doctors seem to be as ignorant as we are. No, actually the worst part is that ssri’s are still be prescribed like candy. Future generations beware!
    As the victims, it is up to us to get the word out. It’s become quite obvious that the medical/ pharmaceutical community is not interested in helping us. Unfortunately, it feels too late for us. Hopefully we can somehow help future generations.
    Thank you to this website and all the people who are sharing their stories. I hope the battle has begun. It’s been a long time coming.

  169. martin p

    I am experiencing WD from Zoloft. it really sucks to have these Zip, chills headaches and a lot of other ailments that everyone is having. I suffered from panic attack. Always in Er for all kinds of stupid reasons. I can’t say I enjoy these symptoms. I most certainly don’t if I compare my life now to what my life was before Zoloft it is a small price to pay for a normal life. I was never told of the wd symptoms. If I were I probably wouldn’t have started but hind sight 20/20 I am glad I did. I am going to try to get back on valium to help with Wd hopefully that will help.

  170. therese

    I was on Luvox go about 22 years, then suddenly experienced tremors of the head, neck, and body. I was started on a 6 week discontinuation plan. All Through the tremors came and went. After 8 weeks they were gone and are now back with a vengeance in week 9.How long will this go on? I think the pharmaceutical companies knew of this and shined us all on! There’s no way I’ll go back on ANY SSRI! Funny thing is the FDA doesn’t stop these drugs. Now why doesn’t that surprise me?

  171. Phillip M.

    Is there anywhere I can go for help? 30+ months since I went off it, venlafaxine/effexor, and still terrible withdrawal. The doctors here at the VA are not helpng me, I will go anywhere in the country.

  172. Jamie

    I was recently put on lexapro for anxiety and depression and had a bad side affect. I experienced palpitations with a heart rate of 145, trouble breathing & tingling sensations. I quit cold turkey because of these side affects and now have been off of them for 12 days after only taking 8 doses. I still have the occasional panic attack, when will this end??

  173. Sally

    In second month of withdrawal from lexapro. Feel brittle with irritability , am exhausted from lack of sleep, can’t even concentrate to read a book and was an avid reader. Of course I’m depressed since this is depressing. I’m not young and wonder if this is now who I am for the rest of my life: an irritable anxious sleepless person. So sad.

  174. Poisoned

    What can we do to warn others? I’m in a complete debilitated state at the moment. I was on Cipralex for almost 2 years, and was switched to Effexor for a few month, only to hate the ill feeling when missing a dose (within the hour!!). Flu-like symptoms…the headaches, cold sweats, you name it.. I cut cold turkey. It was the hardest two weeks of my life. Zaps every two seconds. Just felt completely ILL and helpless. I have a husband and beautiful young son at home and all I want my boy to have is a happy mommy. Is that too much to ask? Our society is right F*CKED. Push us to our limits…work work work…push papers, spin that hamster wheel!!…Oh, but here are some pills our wonderful pharmaceutical companies came up with to help you with your racing thoughts and irritability – that should numb the pain!. It is just sickening!!! I’ve been off since January 27, 2016 and I am still feeling awful. Today I woke up and had a complete meltdown. Can’t even work. Can’t clean the house. I found this blog and I’m fed up. I feel sorry for all of you going through this as well. Is this what life is all about? Fight for our happiness and freedom? WTF – more like fighting for our lives. Don’t give up. There are people out there who love you. A couple of weeks ago I started back at the gym and it was starting to feel good after a hard workout. I am planning on seeing a REAL therapist to help me get to the root of my problems – help me figure out why I’m so anxious in the first place. I’ve read so many times that you can change the way you look at things and I’ve got to believe this as it seems it’s really the only option I have left. Talk to others before they consider taking this poison…What a wonderful thing you will be doing – saving someone else.
    Take care everyone. You WILL beat this.

  175. Clare

    I was left on SSRI drugs for 24 years following the birth of my child and the subsequent ‘diagnosis’ of post natal depression. After reading information in respect of diseases being created by psychiatrists, I firmly believe that this so-called ‘disease’ doesn’t exist. Mothers can feel low after the birth and I may have been one of them but I was in a situation where I had little or no support from my partner and was living in a house full of tenants which didn’t help me adjust to becoming a mother. It would have been far more beneficial to have talking therapy instead. I tried numerous times to withdraw from Seroxat and it was extremely difficult. When I finally did, I landed in A&E from an acute panic attack and was placed back on another SSRI immediately. No medical practitioner has ever advised me to withdraw. I have been left with disabling withdrawal symptoms and a new set of symptoms I didn’t have in the first place. The drugs took everything from me – my creativity, my personality, they have impaired my cognition and sexual function.

  176. Kendall

    I was put on antidepressants for PTSD at age 14 when I didn’t need them. I remained on various ssris for a total of four years. It has been a year to date that I have been off Lexapro, and my depersonalization and emotional blunting feel worse than depression did. I had brain zaps for about two or three months, and I still have unbelievable mood swings. I wish I just went to therapy instead of going on a drug for this. I hope this goes away soon.

  177. Annel Yarber

    I tried to come off 12mg zoloft after tapering down from 25mg for 5yrs and i suffered all kinds of shocking pains along with black outs and insomia so im back pm 12mg and thonk i will stay with this until i retire and perhaps can afford to be bedridden

  178. Miranda

    I have been left on SSRI’s for 24 years in the UK and no medical professional has ever recommended withdrawal from the medication. I was prescribed antidepressants for post natal depression but I don’t think I can still have this after 24 years. Each time I tried to withdraw, the symptoms were far too distressing for me to continue, however, just before Christmas I decided enough was enough and I am in the process of a very slow withdrawal now. I consider it abusive to have kept me on the medication for so long. I have lost myself, my talent and possibly my partner in the process. It is wholly unethical for medical professionals to prescribe this destructive and dangerous medicine. This medication shortens people’s lives considerably and the risks far outweigh the advantages, so I cannot understand how doctors, who want to save patients’ lives, can ethically prescribe such medication. As usual, it is always in the interest of profits….

  179. JAY

    My ex put my son on an antidepressant against my will and I fought tooth and nail to keep him off it. The court ruled in favor of the psychiatrist proceeding. I insisted at being at the first meeting and managed to keep the doctor from prescribing off label, i.e., higher than the recommended starting dose. He challenged me on this but I pulled the papers out of my briefcase and he had no choice. Luckily my son was old enough to reject the drug because it made him feel funny. I was wise to these horrible drugs early on because of one man, Dr. Peter Breggin, who wrote an excellent guidebook on the dangers of antidepressants. I recommend everyone here consult his web page for guidance, the most important part being SLOW WITHDRAWAL under a knowledeable physician’s supervision.

  180. Melinda

    Fourteen years ago, I began the process of weaning myself off Zoloft (which I had taken for about 7 years). On the advice of a doctor, I took a full year to go from 25 mg to nothing. I experienced a few minor withdrawal symptoms for a few days each time I decreased the dosage, but on the whole, it was a lengthy but easy process. One year later (12 years ago), I resumed a vigorous exercise program. I felt wonderful for about four months, then everything went to hell. I experienced a return of the classic withdrawal symptoms in full force. Others have described them, so I won’t go into detail except to say that it took about 8 months for the worst symptoms to subside. Three years later, I decided to try biking to work, a distance of about a mile. Again, after several months I began to experience symptoms, especially a feeling of being chronically overstimulated and intense insomnia. I have mostly stayed away from vigorous exercise since then, limiting myself to dog walking. However, for the past 7 months, I have been doing some strength and flexibility training, gradually working up to about an hour 3-4 times a week. I have been OK, and I would very much like to resume more strenuous cardiovascular exercise–running or biking–but needless to say, I’m fearful. For the past 12 years, I have taken no other prescription medication, I eat a healthy diet, and I generally feel good, but I still have the feeling that this may never really be over. I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced a return of withdrawal symptoms after such a long time off the drug and/or a recurring reaction to vigorous exercise.

  181. diane

    I was prescribed Lexapro for seasonal affective disorder. I found that it made me less anxious, so I stayed on it year round. I decided I wanted to go off it since I could be depressed while on the drug and I wanted to feel real joy again. I tried to taper off Lexapro a number of times and could not get past the first few weeks. I did research on how to withdraw and found that the best way to taper was very very slowly and only reduce 10% at a time. I use a combination of liquid lexapro and tablets — the first reduction, I did 5 mg pill and 4 ml of liquid. Reductions should be done every 3-4 weeks. This means if you are on 10 mg, it will take more than a year to taper off. I started in February and have had no physical withdrawal symptoms. I do feel a little emotional sometimes, but one reason I wanted to go off the drug was because it made me a bit numb. I am now down to 1 mg — when I got to 5 mg. I began decreasing by .5 mg. to make dosing easier while traveling, but it might have been better to stick with the 10% reduction. I am a firm believer that you cannot successfully taper off (detox) from lexapro by doing what most doctors recommend — coming off the drug in a matter of weeks. I have also been taking l-tyrosine and 5-htp. I also read The Mood Cure and Dr. Weil’s Spontaneous Happiness. It is possible to come off Lexapro and not go through hell.

  182. Nadia M.

    I am a 55 year old woman. I quit Zoloft, cold turkey, 10 months ago. I had used 100mg, of Zoloft, for 12 years. I agree, with many, that quitting cigarettes was far easier than quitting Zoloft. The first 90 days (of quitting Zoloft) I experienced brain zaps, severe flu-like symptoms, extreme muscle pains, vomiting, nightmares, uncontrollable crying, suicidal thoughts, etc. I was sooo debilitated — I was unable to function (normally). As time progressed, the symptoms gradually subsided and I thought I was (finally) on my way to full recovery.
    Last night, WITHOUT WARNING, I experienced the most horrific panic attack. I thought that something evil was about to break into my home. My heart was palpitating, I had difficulty breathing, I felt that something was pushing me towards committing suicide. I have never experienced anything like this! I, REALLY, thought that I was going to die! I was mortified. I kept praying and praying for God to help me. A couple of hours later, I felt that I was (almost) back to normal. I cannot, definitely, state that this was due to quitting Zoloft. Yet, I have read that Zoloft withdrawal symptoms may crop up without warning — panic attacks being one of those symptoms.
    Today, I am feeling much better. Yet, I am afraid of having another panic attack and following through with suicide. If I do have another panic attack, I pray that I have the capability to work my way through it.
    If you’re reading this and considering taking an anti-depressant, DON’T DO IT! Anti-depressants are poison! To everyone going through withdrawals, stay the course. Don’t give up on quitting. I, too, was tempted to go back to taking Zoloft. I am so glad that I stayed the course. Good luck to all.

  183. steve

    My son was on Abilify and Prozac for Tourettes. They made his tics much, much worse. Tapering down brought chills, paranoia, aggression, and more intense tics.

  184. Megan

    I am a doctor, so by definition must be in the pocket of Big Pharma, right? It’s strange, because was never taught this arrangement at medical school, never got the memo during my exhuastive hospital training, never received a dollar from Big Pharma. Perhaps I should be more paranoid? Who can we all trust – wait I have the answer – some spurious website called the Citizens Commission, which is faceless and answerable to no-one. If this post makes it onto this forum (!), consider this: speak to your doctor. I hold my colleagues in high esteem, and thankfully so does the vast majority of the general public. I have delivered your babies, excised your cancers, cried with you, helped keep you healthy. Not because of Big Scary Pharma mysteriously controlling me, but because we are in the caring profession. Try us.

  185. Henry

    Third attempt to write my experiences coming an SSRI…first two had to abort because I can’t seem to compose my thoughts, or find my words. I feel incredibly thick…and I’m not. In fact, I’ll come back in a while to finish, I hope

  186. bella

    This is for all people out there who is struggling. Aftet two years of having on and off withdrawals . Lately burning legs,weakness typical right side of body ,muscle twitches, extreme hedache, tremor and so on..brainfog my doctor sent me to an MRI and EEG but it all came back normal. From all tests and scans what so ever. There is nothing wrong on me.
    These.drugs are dangerous .
    I feel alot better today tho then i did one year back. But i wish to be fully back to normal within a year.
    Ive been off two years and 3 months

  187. LC

    I started on Paxil in May for increased anxiety that turned into panic attacks. I couldn’t tolerate the side effects so I was switched over to Prozac 20mg and increased to 40mg within 2 weeks. The 40mg gave me horrible headaches, so I went back to 20mg. Within 6 weeks I was still having more frequent headaches, increased depression, and felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster, so I quit cold turkey. All & all I was on the Prozac 20-40mg for a total of 3 months and through the withdrawal process I’ve endured brain zaps, daily headaches, fly like symptoms, crazy rhinitis, earaches, tinnitus, nausea, poor concentration, and muscle spasms. I’m going into my 6th week of withdrawal and the mental symptoms are coming back- anxious, mild panic attacks, etc. I’ve always been very sensitive to medications, and if I knew this was going to happen I would have never taken it to begin with. It’s caused me more health anxiety now than I’ve ever had.

  188. Zapp Oblappo

    I wrote this set of recommendations for my daughter who has been trying to taper off Lexapro for the past year. She initially tried going cold turkey, but two weeks later major withdrawal symptoms hit her. She resumed 10mg a day and then a couple months later took a big jump down to 7.5mg/day without much trouble. She then tried 5mg and it was “Whoa Nelly!!” She grew frustrated because splitting the 5mg pills into smaller than half is very difficult to do accurately. I talked her into getting the liquid form and over the summer she was able to drop to 6mg with the usual round of moderate withdrawal symptoms. After much web research on reputable sites, I gave her the following suggestions that she can take to her upcoming discussion with her medical provider.
    “Consider ordering a set of pyrex pipettes that can easily and accurately measure liquid amounts up to 10mL with better than 0.1mL accuracy (inexpensive online for a pack of 10). They were the best that I could find and amazingly inexpensive. I reworked the numbers to be both as close to the desired tapering (reduction) curve as possible (note diagrams here reference article ) while making it convenient for dosing: 6.0, 5.4, 4.9, 4.4, 4.0, 3.6, 3.3, 3.0, 2.7, 2.4, 2.1, 1.9, 1.7, 1.5, 1.3, 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.8, 0.7, 0.6, 0.5, etc.
    Also, the recommendation is that once you get below 3mg/day that you take half in the morning and half at night because the half-life of Lexapro is super-short at 27 hours. It’s totally fine if you choose to space out the reduction increments beyond 4 weeks. You can also go in half-steps and go slower. Most of the literature notes that you’ll have noticeable withdrawal symptoms after about 2 weeks from the time that you make the reduction increment. So don’t go faster than 4 weeks between reductions even if you’re tempted by “doing really well” Many of the anecdotal user stories point to the most difficulty with going straight from 1mg to zero, so these 10% reductions are super-important. If you look at the curves in the chart I linked in the previous message (2 mg Citalopram = 1 mg Escitalopram), you’ll see that the 1mg to zero range is the sharpest and fastest as far as the SSRI’s effect on binding up the SERT and that’s where the crucial biological adaptation challenge is going to be. 10% reductions will ensure that each reduction step is just like the last one for you.

  189. Linda

    I’d taken Paxil for 17 years for anxiety. Got off gradually, carefully weaning myself off. I was a heroin addict previous to my experience with Paxil. I snorted10 bags of heroin a day for about a year (which is a lot for a 110 pound woman). I detoxed from heroin multiple times until I finally got on methadone. Heroin withdrawals were tough but possible. Methadone was horrific with one year of a weaning period from 40 mg… I suffered for one full year after my final dose.
    Paxil is a monster. Doctors DO NOT know what it does to your brain and many will not admit it… to themselves or their patients. We are the Guinea pigs. I weaned myself off of paxil slowly. My sufering was so debilitating I could not function in my job (teacher and guidance counselor in an inner city school for 17 years). I left my job and took my retirement money, determined to heal even If I lost everything. I went so far as to visit the Amazon jungle for an ahyausca retreat, which helped more than anything, but I still could not pull myself out of the hell Paxil had brought me to. I changed my diet to all organic, drink a gallon of water a day along with exercise, yoga, daily walks in fresh air, meditation… I stayed off Paxil for 2 1/2 years, but became exhausted fighting callings of suicide and chronic depression, which I never experienced in my life before withdrawing from Paxil. I got back on a small dose (had to in order to save my life). I am weaning again.
    My heart goes out to all those who were misled by their doctors and are sentenced to a life of suffering at their hands. May the grace of heaven be upon us and provide conscientious healers who will guide us out of the darkness our trust has led us into.

    • Dave Harvey

      That was good stuff Linda. I wondered about ahyausca but thought due to my withdrawal I would have a bad trip. My story is so long, 25 years on wellbrutin plus about every other anti on the market. The last ten years has been weaning, swapping to different meds and due to the suffering right back on wellbutrin and pristiq. I am 66 year old man with so much to be thankful for. Its a struggle to put on a smile. Also I started wellbutrin for severe IBS and it worked over night like a miracle. Just quit taking the med when you feel like it the doctors all said and some still do say that. After 35 years of antidepressants you can imagine all the stories I have. But thats it for now. Good luck my suffering friends.

  190. VictimNr9999...

    I only took Cipralex tablets for 5 weeks, 37 10 mg tablets in total. I has been 10 months and I still suffer from complete sexual anhedonia (Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction), emotional blunting, general anhedonia. My life is misery and I’m suicidal every day. I call this Post-SSRI Syndrome, it can set in after just one pill and last the rest of your life. Saying this is withdrawal is a little misleading. It is brain damage. Brain damaging poison.
    The job CCHR is doing is EXTREMELY important! They are the good guys. I wish someone had warned me, I was so naive.

  191. Chastity

    I have been going through this for three years now. I can also relate to everything on here!:( I hope and pray for all of us that we will be healed from this. I miss being “normal” I would give anything just to be myself again. Love to you all. Your definitely all strong people. Can we not sue and make them pay and think twice about causing such destruction in people’s lives. I know for me I would like to think of my family more and me less. How can you focus on important things in life while your always wondering if your even going to be ok…?:/

  192. Mike

    Thanks for running this website to publish the research and opinions of users of SSRI (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors) medications used mainly to treat depression. I’ve been taking Paxil since 18 years, and am off Paxil since 7 months and last year managed 3 months without, it’s hell with the pill and hell without it. Don’t ever start SSRI’s unless you can take them for a short time during a crisis – holidays or spiritual healing, anything is better than those extremely dangerous pills :
    I’m a friendly male of 51 who was prescribed “Paxil” (Glaxo Smith) in 1996 after being part of the 60% of “normal” students flunking their 1st year of University and had stress issues as I was very motivated to perceiver and get through the remaining 3 failed exams out of 9 exams passed : second chance trail. My Psychotherapist/MD said “this will help” without mentioning any side-effects or warnings. After a few weeks the anxiety was reduced and I passed all my exams successfully after another year of work. Ended up getting my Master degree and working in Hospital research, social work, and as faculty teaching in academic settings.
    Yet each time I tried stopping or forgot taking the pills and started crying whilst driving or during a lecture – and continued taking them and seeing my shrink without really questioning the treatment as I though i was cured. Life moved on, I had interesting jobs got married to a wonderful wife and did not notice how Paxil was destroying my EMOTIONAL life ! Having a “cast” laid over you feelings also means you don’t feel so much and are quite rational in stressful situations. You don’t really laugh nor cry… emotional emptiness, I could even steal without remorse, that’s not me! But it also means you don’t recognize other people’s emotions as well. I decided to stop them as I was feeling increasingly tiered even though i was eating well and doing lots of sports regularly.
    Fist quit attempt last year 1/2 doses (20mg, 10mg, 5mg, 2.5 over three months period). I had most of the above listed symptoms – especially brain zaps, depression, suicidal impulses, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, hyper sexuality, itching of back etc. and had to go on sick leave. After 4 months I had to go the hospital emergency due to suicidal ideas. My wife was very nice and loving but could do nothing to help. I was put on Benzo’s (calming pills) and put on Cipralex which I did not tolerate and became sleepless. Back to Paxil my brain started feeling normal again, but the depression was really rough. When my doctor increased the dossis to 40mg i was just sleepy with headaches lying down all day not being able to properly interact. The Doctor said I had become “resistant” to the medication. Great, I decided to wean off them since they were not helping and I started seeing that Paxil was part of the problem not only me. The new doctor said must take them all my life like a diabetes patient and that that comes with side-effects. I stopped Paxil over 4 months very slowly and went through the full cycle of withdrawals which were awful again but my determination got me through them. Lot’s of vitiamines, sports, massages and positive thinking. Yet now after 7 months without Paxil I feel suicidal and anxious with panic attacks… I feel Paxil has destroyed my life, a life that can be so beautiful. This medication should be banned and warning made obligatory like for cigarettes !
    The Pharma industruy and doctors have flawed research and are uncritical with the use of these psychoactive drugs. They say they don’t make dependent as it’s only “serotonin”, but they do. The WD symptoms are horrendous torture ! The so called *chemical imbalance of the brain” is not really there, it’s normal to be anxious in some situations or to feel grief to loss and it should be shared amongst humans friends and loved one’s, not just medicated. After what I went through and read, I’m convinced that the SSRI’s actually crate chemical imbalances that are not natural.. some research on rats shows that receptors sites for serotonin dye off due to the abundance of serotonin available in the brain. So the brain reestablishes “homeostasis” (biological expression for “balance” in intra-cellular fluids) and when you take off the SSRI’s you create a huge imbalance!
    Never mind the fact that SSRI’s can create premature Alzenheimer, misformed baby’s and so on it is absolutely immoral what is going on with these prescription drugs for the general public. It’s a public health issue and an epidemic that mostly profits the industry and doctors. As mentioned by other posts, the FDA authorized them but the research was flawed and big money involved. It’s a scandal that should finally be uncovered. Thanks for reading.

  193. Caitlinator

    Before the doctor prescribed Lexapro, I was suffering from debilitating anxiety. I’ve always had an element of anxiety for all of my adult life, but it had gotten to where even leaving the house was a struggle. I had chest pains and shortness of breath that would last for days at a time, and I would break down into crying fits at night over nothing.
    Initially, I was given Xanax to try. I took one in the evening Sunday night-Thursday night and then had a couple glasses of wine on Friday and Saturday nights instead. With that regime I honestly felt spectacular–better than I had in years and really like myself again.
    Then, when I had such good results (Which I guess confirmed the anxiety diagnosis), my doc decided to try Lexapro as a “maintenance medication” because of the addictive nature of Xanax if taken as a routine for too long.
    I only took the Lexapro for three days, but I have never had a worse experience with medication in my life. The second and third days on the drug were horrible. It was truly a living hell. I was dizzy, had blurred vision to the point of nearly hallucinating (felt like the floor was bending), my pupils were dilated to twice their normal size, total insomnia, and the worst for me: I was in a complete brain fog and had no ability to concentrate or focus on anything at work.
    After three days, I honestly got too scared of this drug to keep taking it. I was worried–especially with the concentration side effects–that I was doing permanent damage to my brain.
    Two days after stopping, I still feel a little difficulty sleeping and concentrating. All other side effects are gone. Does anyone have any experience taking Lexapro or another SSRI for a very short time (a week or less)? I’m just wondering how long the mental side effects will last, and I’m honestly scared they’re permanent, even though I know 3 days is a small usage window.
    Honestly, I would prefer my anxiety to taking this drug and would never recommend it to anyone. While I know the addiction element is a concern with benzos like Xanax, using that in moderation was working wonders for me, and I feel like the Lexapro was ruining my life, even in such a short window of usage. I can’t imagine someone being on it for years and how they must feel. I would risk benzo addiction before I’d ever try another SSRI if I could.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Caitlinator,
      My name is Nicole. I’m 51. Before I was prescribed Laxpro 10mg. I went to see my PC Dr. because my stomach was hurting with bloating, heartburn and acid reflux. She said, “that sounds like anxiety. I didn’t know, I said ok. She never explained any side effects or quitting cold turkey symptoms. Well, after only 3 days I stopped taking them because I was sleeping all the time. I’m an independent person. Always doing for others, Sunday School Teacher, sing in church choir, and etc. Maybe the 1st or 2nd day after stopping Laxapro my granddaughter found me sleeping with my tongue hanging out and shaking. I began to have the following symptoms:
      panic attacks,
      heart palpitations
      Legs feeling heavy
      Hands, arms, legs and feet turning red
      Burning sensation
      Shocking feeling over body
      Blood pressure
      Brain Zaps
      Crying, couldn’t stand being alone
      Unable to sleep at night
      I’ve never had any of these symptoms before until after taking Laxpro. Only diagnosed with epilepsy in 2006. My Neurologist said, “PC Dr. should not have given me that medication knowing I have seizures. It also brought on a seizure while driving. I wrecked my car and thank God walked out with a few scratches. My Neurologist scheduled several test. MRI, EEG, EMG, Blood Test, and Spinal Tap. I feel slowly but surely I’m going to get through this. I’m taking it one day at a time with the help of the LORD. The only way I’ve made it this far is by reading scriptures daily, praying, listening to gospel music and listening to “Sleeping Meditation Christian Words” Dr. David Jeremiah, Steven Furtick, Priscilla Shirer and Joyce Meyers.

      Trust in God and read His WORD daily. Prayer is the divine energy that brings the power of GOD into the plans He gives us!

      My heart goes out to all of us, but I know with prayer we will get through this. In Jesus Christ Name. Amen

      God be with us ALL.

  194. Alicia

    It took me a year to get over the Prozac withdrawal-induced depression and anxiety. Also check your Vitamin D levels, easy blood test. Low D makes it all so much worse. Treat your body as well as you can with regular walks and healthy food. Best of luck and lots of love encouragement from one who made it through the forest.

  195. aris

    i have been on all these drugs and after coming off of them i have started suffering from rage attacks , i worry my marriage will end from this and i don’t feel the companies will listen to me on this symptom since my doctor refuses to.

  196. Elizabeth

    Does anybody ever go back to normal or this hell last forever

  197. Mia

    I came here because I was on Lexapro for about a year. I was on 40-60mg Adderall before I even got on 20mg Lexapro & took Xanax occasionally as well. I cold turkeyed off Adderal which left me glued to my bed for months. I slept 20 hours a day. After that, I tapered off Lexapro and tried to use Xanax less and less (I am off everything now). Lexapro withdraw was unbearable. I had to withdraw from all of my classes. I’m so terrified because I have this insomnia that won’t respond to anything and it’s been over six months that I’ve been off Lexapro which I wasn’t even on that long!!! I can hardly get to work and even if I am there I’m a zombie. I won’t be able to return to college until this resolves. I cry because I can’t sleep. I’ve tried Melatonin, Zzzquil, Teas, Calm drinks from the store. I was put on Gabapentin or Neurontin which made me completely depressed and useless as well as horrible stomach pain, however it did put me to sleep for a few hours. I was taking Xanax like tic tacs (about 12 of the .5 mg) until I ran out which put me to sleep, but that’s not safe. The doctor prescribed Ambien but I am absolutely horrified at the thought of going through another withdraw, yet I ended up in the ER a few days ago from no sleep. Please tell me, when will this end?! I’ve had this insomnia for weeks!!! This is insane. The Adderall withdraw was enough to kill me. I’m losing hope in ever being the person I was again. I can’t maintain any relationships. I’m only 20, so I’d like to live a little more. Help. 🙁

  198. sissy

    I will never go back on Paxil after this. I went off of it because it just was not working. I tapered but when I went full stop it was and still is horrible. The physical withdrawal I can handle,it’s so hard but I can handle the nausea, brain zaps, etc. It’s the mental withdrawal I am having such a hard time with. I do not remotely feel like myself. In fact, sometimes I feel removed from everything going on around me. All I seem to feel is either numbness, irritability to the extreme, hostility which is NOT ME, and sadness. I feel scared, like I am actually losing my mind. I am exercising, meditating, doing all I can to help mitigate these feelings but sometimes it’s just hard to ‘soldier through’. I let people around me know about the withdrawal and now, two weeks after my lats paxil, they are saying to me ‘well now it’s just you’ and ‘you’re imagining it’ and ‘what’s wrong with you? are you weak?’. It’s so good to hear that others have gone through this but it doesn’t help m e now. I can’t go back on it and I won’t but I’m stuck in this neverending withdrawal. I need to know when it will finally end. I need to know when I will feel like myself again, that there actually is a light at the end of the tunnel

  199. anna

    I was on lexapro for about six months for anxiety. My doctor keeps prescribing me antidepressants for my anxiety and it does not help!! I know that benzos are addictive, and that’s why they are the last resort. I decided to try to taper off of lexapro. I went from 10mg to 5 to 2.5. I decided to stop after 2.5. The withdrawals were horrible! I researched every website, and not one person experienced what I did. I of course had the weird roller coaster sensation take over my body, but I also experienced painful shocks in my feet that had me almost crying. My leg muscles ached and anything cold that touched my legs was painful. I had flu like symptoms. I also have become constipated and it’s hard for me to urinate. So I’ve decided to take It again because I couldn’t handle the withdrawal symptoms, especially being a mother of a 3 year old.

  200. tazie45

    I’m a 52-yr old woman, was on 20mg Prozac for 10yrs. (2005-2015) Initially prescribed for severe PMS symptoms, only to be taken 5 days a month before my period. I disregarded the advice and took it ‘whenever I felt like it’. I felt better on/off for awhile, and then would stop to see if I could handle ‘normal’ life. Always went back to it. All the time I thought I was ‘safe’ because I only took 20mg, and never continuous. January 2015 I never refilled my prescript and decided to quit for good. I had horrible dizzy spells, confusion, and anxiety. The dizziness scared me the most. The room would spin at night when I’d be lying in bed. I was scared to go out because the dizzy spells would hit without warning. Then the crying spells started, funny, I never cried while on Prozac, suddenly I couldn’t stop. I started therapy and it helped a little. I also made sure to exercise (I’m an avid runner, which I think ultimately saved me) and eat healthy. Lots of fruit, vegetables, good food. It’s been 6mos now and I still have lingering effects. My joints, muscles ache horribly at times, and I have constant fatigue. While on Prozac I had unlimited energy, stamina and no appetite, so lost weight. Now, I’m coming back to the ‘real’ me, and its been a weary journey. But I will NEVER go back on Prozac again. I think I suffered permanent damage, but I’m grateful that I had the willpower and fortitude to stop. It may help some people, but please be very aware of what you’re putting in your body. Everyone has different symptoms and reactions, just know that most SSRIs are relatively new (20-25yrs) and the long-term side affects are still to come. I can’t take back the last 10yrs of my life, but I’ve learned and grown, and will go with that. All the best to anyone out there enduring the journey.

  201. Cathi

    Weaned myself off luvox On for two years snd abilify For 6 mos. last was june 1. Started wellbutrin got 3 days, went so off. Started all if this because of depersonalization. Im mentally so lost now. I beg God for my simple life back, I have lyme snd other complications but I watch others live and I dont even want to be. It’s tsken everything from me. I wake up everyday in confusion, don’t recignize myself, husband and son, my life as I knew and loved it is gone, with the grace of God it’ll be back. Working with homeopath taking supplements.

  202. Steve

    I have been taking SSRI’s for over 10 years, since 2001. I started with Zoloft, then Paxil and finally Celexa. When i was taking Paxil I tried to wean off but the SSRI withdrawal symptoms in the beginning were horrible. I was at 40mg Paxil and even tapering down to 30mg was difficult. I experienced intense nausea, dizziness, headaches, cold sweats and vertigo. After a period of 3 weeks of tapering from 40mg to 25mg I decided to stop since it was affecting my life. (i.e. work, children, marriage, relationships, friendships, social life, physical life, exercise etc. etc.) My psychiatrist recommended I switch from Paxil to Celexa. I transitioned to 40mg Celexa and after 1 year I decided to wean off Celexa again. The weaning off of Celexa was easier than Paxil (which from what i’ve read is the worst). I weaned off the Celexa completely in Dec 2014. Over the course of several months I developed brutal GI symptoms. Lots of bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, loose stools throughout the day (sometimes up to 5 loose stools). EVERYTHING i eat results in immediate bloating and abdominal discomfort. The only time I have NO discomfort and bloating is in the morning (after “sleeping” and going through the night without eating anything). What do i mean by “sleeping”, you can call it that, but i have horrible insomnia. I sleep maybe 2-3 hours a night and wake up sometimes after 2 hours and can not go back to sleep unless i take Ambien. (now i feel dependent on Ambien just to get maybe…..3-5 hours of sleep). needless to say, b/c of the crappy sleep, i’m am ALWAYS TIRED. I cannot remember the last time i’ve had 6 hours of solid rest in the past 6 months. I have no energy throughout the day and I feel like i have no energy for my 2 beautiful children who deserve a father who has the energy to do things and spend time with them. However, with that said, there are some other things that may now seem out of the ordinary. My libido has returned in FULL force. I am HORNY all the time. This is affecting my sex life i guess b/c my wife cannot keep up with me and she feels like i pressure her for sex all the time. also, the SSRI’s suppressed my ejaculation and now i have Premature ejactulation. while i was on the SSRI, i could have sex what seemed like forever, but now I ejaculate literally after 10 strokes.

  203. Klaus

    After 3 years off SSRI drugs, I still get brain zaps now and then, typically when I’m infected with a cold. These past few days, my brain zaps are stronger than ever, and I get a fuzzy feeling in my right hand fingers, when “zapping”. Oh man, I don’t hope this gets any worse now!

  204. Richard

    hello everyone, lots of good info here
    I wanted to ask if anybody has or has heard of poeple starting withdrawal symptoms months after stoping escitalopram? I’ve read many story’s on diffrent sites of poeple and their experience getting off the drug , what worrys me about my perticular case is that my symptoms started almost 6 months after I stopped taking escitalopram . I’m 28 years old and have been on n off antidepressants since highschool, this past September I took my last pill now it’s February . one day after a night of going out and having some drinks I got a huge panic attack that lasted all day somthing really crazy and that has never happend to me before, I’ve had lots of panic attacks before but nothing ever like that, usually would last 10-20 minutes , well after that day everything went to hell I started having pretty much all the symptoms listed, light depression (I’ve been trying really hard to stay strong and positive) anxiety everyday all through my body like if I had takin 20 red bulls or somthing, really bad insomnia with cold sweats thruout the night, disconnected at times and big loss of appetite . Has anybody else experienced this months after stopping their antidepressants??? any info or help would be much appreciated thank you

  205. Tim

    I was on Effexor XR for over twenty years. Many times I had attempted to get off, but had to get back on after months of feeling horrible. Over a year ago I had switched to Prozac in order to try to finally get off completely. I then tapered off of Prozac, and seemed to be doing well until a month or so after stopping completely. I lost my ability to sleep and have had constant cognitive impairment, along with akathisia, anhedonia, agoraphobia, weakness, hypersensitivity to substances and sound, and constant fear and dread of life. Sometimes I think I have seen some improvement, but lately I feel like I am just as bad as I was about a year ago when it first started.

  206. kate66

    I took escitolpram (Lexapro)for 2 years after a severe panic attack followed by intense anxiety. It took 3 attempts to get off ot due to sickness caused from wd. It has been 2 years now and i get electrical zaps mainly in my arms, overwhelming dizziness/feelings of going to faint, and feelings of being not real at times. My anxiety is still there, if not worse to go along with this and often worsens due to the symptoms listed. To get off lexapro i bought a pill cutter and cut tiny slithers off my dose every few days to decrease the wd effects.

  207. susanalbao

    First month was ok, now I pray everyday to have the strength NOT TO TAKE A NOT TO TAKE another lexapro, irritable tired, hungry and very weepy, should I give in or fight the moodiness and exercise and take vitamin supplements?

    • admin

      This is a list of recommended medical professionals who specialize in mental health and behavioral health symptoms. They share your concerns of the FDA warnings on these meds and they are experts in the field of alternative treatment as well as knowledgeable about what you are going through. You are welcome to contact as many of them as you need and speak to them about what you are going through to see if they can help. They are also human rights advocates so that you can book a phone appointment to speak with them so that you have full information and resources.

  208. Lee

    I was on sertraline/Zoloft for 11 years. December 3, 2011 both my GP and I decided I should go off it. Took a year and a half to go off it completely, May 13, 2013. Had many side effects while going off it. More physical. Though I had dizziness too, head pressure and visual disturbance.
    When off completely, that is when the really trouble started. No physical symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, leg and groin pain, they all left me. What I kept was the lightheadedness, head pressure, visual disturbances, sensitive to light. They got worse. Summer of 2013, could cope quite well with the symptoms. Symptoms got worse starting end of December 2013. Had a few windows of relief, but by June 2014 symptoms really escalated. Now January 28, 2015 symptoms are even worse…with depression and terrible visual disturbances, head pressure, pressure bridge of nose..crying, anxiety the works….
    I have never taking any drug in my life save for Zoloft and have never taken anything while on it or off it. Nothing. So now feeling of hopelessness…….
    Thank you

    • admin

      This is a list of recommended medical professionals who specialize in mental health and behavioral health symptoms. They share your concerns of the FDA warnings on these meds and they are experts in the field of alternative treatment as well as knowledgeable about what you are going through. You are welcome to contact as many of them as you need and speak to them about what you are going through to see if they can help. They are also human rights advocates so that you can book a phone appointment to speak with them so that you have full information and resources.

  209. Dennis

    Still got some w/d issues into my 7th year now off Paxil.

  210. stewart

    Why is no mention made of pssd.
    This drug has ruined my life and left me very damaged and it appears permanent.
    I’ve been left impotent, chronic fatigue chronic muscle weakness urinary issues flatulence issues insomnia decimated testosterone producing ability diarrhea stool issues eye issues emotional issues and intolerance to stress unable to make descions, the suicidal ideations were traumatizing and horrifying, and I was given this for off label use so never had any off this before paxil use.

  211. Dina

    I have taken escitalopram (lexapro) for 6 years for anxiety. In fact, the last 3 years of taking it were attempts to get off it: first time i have decreased from 10 mg to 7 mg: severe anxiety made me go back to 10mg. Second time tapered over 6 weeks and 2 months after the last dose went into severe withdrawal. By then, i thought it was my own problem and went back on the drug. Then tapered over 1 year to 1-2 mg. Back to anxiet and back to 10 mg. I have got stubborn at my 4th attempt. After a final taper of 15 months i have jumped off about 1 mg lexapro. I have not experienced serious difficulties during this time of tapering. But 2 months since my last dose, the hell broke loose: it has started with irritability and anger, very uncharacteristic to me. It mounted up very severe anxiety, depression, very negative thoughts, skin burning, sensations like moving through thick air, very very serious headaches, paresthesias etc etc etc – THIS WAS MUCH WORSE then the anxiety states for which i have taken lexapro in the first place. MUCH WORSE. This has me convinced it was withdrawal from the drug and not a condition of my own. I have been in these states during 10 months of hell, after which started feeling much better.
    I am writing this post to warn whoever reads and wants to get of these chemicals – 15 months is a very short taper actually. You will need about 2.5 years to get off 10 mg lexapro with less lengthy following horrendous time when i wish i were in a coma then what i have been through. Also: do not jump off 1-2 mg lexapro. This is a very powerful chemical so you will need to reduce to tenths of mg during 1-2 months.

    • Mary

      Dina, are you better? I was on Lexapro only for a very short time, but a week in I experienced burning and tingling in my feet. The burning is worse now that I have stopped. Would you please reply and let me know how you are doing?

  212. Raquel

    Was on Lexapro for 9 years, prescribed by my endocrinologist (who also prescribed 1 mg of Klonopin, all in my early 20s because I had hyperthyroidism. In truth, I didn’t even know what a panic attack was prior to these meds. I know now.
    I cold turkeyed the Lexapro since my doctor never explained how the drug worked and have been suffering protracted withdrawal for 2 years. I have not been able to sleep since May, have lost all savings to doctor visits, hospitals, ER visits, have lost my job and career. In short, I have lost my life due to a doctor’s prescription of an SSRI (and a benzo).

  213. Laura

    my name is laura I was on Prozac from 2009 until 2013. I started tapering off in December 2013 when I was 3 months pregnant with my 2nd child, and stopped completely in march 2014. since I first started tapering down life became a complete living hell for me, my husband and our daughter. I thought it would only take a few months to feel normal again, but I haven’t felt normal since. I have become a complete monster. the sound of people chewing or licking their lips makes me want to strangle them, literally. I have a take-as-needed anti anxiety medication that works wonders and is the only thing that’s kept me alive and my family together, but even this isn’t strong enough to keep my Prozac withdrawal symptoms in check. I have severe panic attacks almost every day and night. my daughter sees me struggle every day and I know its going to take its toll on her.

    • admin

      The FDA warnings on Prozac,as well as all the other mental health drugs, are quite severe. Those warnings also include withdrawal warnings. It can be very difficult. There is a list of recommended medical professionals, here:
      The medical professionals are also human rights advocates, so you can call and speak to them, free of charge, about any and all of this.

    • Paula

      Hi Laura,
      Are you sure it’s not your ‘anti anxiety medication’ that’s causing your symptoms? I am someone who has suffered from anxiety for 15 years and I’ve been on and off Prozac for about 8. I’ve now been off all meds for 7 months. My absolute WORST anxiety was caused by xanax. The last time I went on Prozac the doctor also prescribed xanax to complement the meds as I was loading (and experiencing increased anxiety). I would feel completely blissful once the xanax set in, but the next day I was horribly anxious, would have intrusive thoughts, etc. I have NEVER experienced anything like this. This only happened the day after I took xanax. Since then, I have never taken any benzos. I simply do not trust them. As I said, I am now completely drug-free. My Prozac withdrawal symptoms, which were only really bad for the first 3 months, have now disappeared. I do get mild anxiety and low mood once a month, but I think this is more related to PMS.
      Best of luck to you and stay strong! I really wish there was more independent investigation into the side-effects of these drugs.

    • Linda

      Hi Paula,
      I know it’s been two years since your post but I wanted to reach out to somebody who has actually weaned themselves off of Prozac. I have been on 20 mg for 9 years after my husband died in airplane crash. I’m in a really good place now and I want to wean off of it and the doctors keep telling me no but I’m doing it anyway I’m a month into it. Cut 1/2 down. I’m getting some headaches but the real problem is I itch everywhere and loss of appetite. I plan on continuing my taper from 6 pills a week for a month to 3 pills a week for another month then to two and so on. Will I make it? Any helpful suggestions for me. I’m a very happy person I know I can do it without these pills. Thank you for your time, Linda R

    • Tricia McCall

      Hi Linda how is your taper going?

  214. Michael Jay

    I can relate to all of the people posting about their horrendous withdrawal experiences. It’s been six month now since I’ve stopped taking SSRI’s (after being on them for over 13 years), and I still feel drugged up as if the drug/drugs are still working in me! They rarely worked while I was taking them and now it’s as if my body is producing more serotonin when it shouldn’t be producing any. Some days are better than others, but I still have worse depression and anxiety than I did before I started these drugs. Moreover, I have daily vision disturbances such as shadows and silhouettes in my eyes. Had I known this would happen I would have NEVER taken the drugs in the first place, or stayed at very small doses while taking LONG BREAKS from these evil drugs!!

    • admin

      SSRI’s as well as all the other mental health drugs, are quite severe. Those warnings also include withdrawal warnings. It can be very difficult. There is a list of recommended medical professionals, here:
      The medical professionals are also human rights advocates, so you can call and speak to them, free of charge, about any and all of this.

  215. Jenny

    I have been completely off of Lexapro for 8 weeks now and this is the worst hell I have ever experienced. I even weaned off slowly over the course of a couple of months. I went on it for severe anxiety and after a while it wasn’t helping anymore. I never tried to go above 10 mg though. After a year, i decided to wean off. Ever since stopping the medication I have been in chronic pain every single day. In the beginning i also had terrible brain zaps but those eventually stopped. I seem to have different symptoms every day but the aches and pains are pretty much constant. My mood swings are horrendous and I am so depressed from all this pain. I am 27 and feel like im 80. I just had a bunch of blood work done and I’m waiting on results. I am scared to death and want my life back. I’m so tempted to just go back on it so that maybe at least the joint/nerve and muscle pain would subside.

    • Marianne

      Hey Jenny,did you manage through tge lexapro withdrawl or did you have to go back on it?I also have horrible pain withdrawl symptoms

    • Marianne

      Hello Jenny,did you manage to get off lexapro?I also have horrible pain withdrawl symptoms

  216. Sophi

    I was on paxil for 3 years for depression and anxiety. They said it was unusual to have both. I quit paxil on my own, and found that it was harder to quit than the cigarettes or crack cocaine that I’d kicked on my own in my youth. The physical and mental withdrawal symptoms are near intollerable – but I did it, lost my head for a bit to do it, but I did it – and so can you. I missed doses a bunch of times, then finally went cold turkey. It really helped that I didn’t work for two months while I was getting it out of my system. I’ve been off Paxil for over a year an a half. I am concerned that there are long term negative effects after using the drug.

    • ashley

      “They” said it was “unusual to have both”??? Thats outrageous. They go hand in hand…SSRIs treat both

  217. Shadow

    Do not give up people, it will not last forever. Believe me I am going through it but going back on the drug means having to do this all again one day from scratch. Be strong, you are not alone.

    • Brian

      Exactly what I needed to hear Shadow! I’ve been off the meds for 2.5 months. Feeling emotionally unstable generally (waves & windows), insomnia, severe anxiety, rumination, & bouts of fatigue, depression, and irritability. My last attempt to get off the SSRI’s was a few years ago; I wasn’t ready, got scared and went back on the meds.
      Today, I have more support, awareness, ambition, and faith that I’m making a healthy decision this time around.
      When I’m feeling overwhelmed I naturally question whether I “should” be doing this, because I’ve been made to believe by society, the drug companies, and my pDoc’s, that I NEED to be on these drugs the rest of my life. I’m not buying it anymore!
      I was put on SSRI’s, in my early 20’s, prior to being diagnosed as Hypothyroid AND while still abusing drugs & alcohol. I think it was negligent on the part of K@!$3r to even put me on them in the first place, due to their lack of testing & understanding of my situation. I do accept SOME responsibility for this decision, but I def feel foolish & regret being so trusting in the medical care I was receiving. Sometimes I just need to hear some words of strength, compassion, and hope to continue moving forward despite the turbulence. Thank you.

    • Kimberley Richardson

      I am right at the same point as you, Brian. You would think after two and a half months it would be over. I feel like I dehydrate myself from crying so much. I wish there was a clear answer for this besides medication…

    • Laurel Gorney

      Hi Brian, it’s been a while since you posted. I’m trying to find someone who’s been off it awhile to tell me they are doing better. Can you tell me how long the horrible emotional state lasted for you?
      I hope you are much better by now!

    • Missy Rae

      I agree. I refuse to go back on it just because the doctor says that I need the celesta to stop the anxiety attacks. I feel horrible on it and I really am not depressed. I don’t want to kill myself, run away or feel like I am nothing. I never felt like that but now that I am off I feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxiety attacks, totally exhausted and feel like my life is out of contro! I never felt like that before the mess and honestly I was heading in a good direction until I fell at work and ended up incapacitated for over a year. I am hoping the anxiety attatcks eventually subside because I get them just relaxing in bed or doing something I enjoy. It is crazy what problems you have after you stop the medication. Then my doctor says that I need the medication to stop the attacks. Seriously, it is a constant battle at the doctors office. They don’t want to help or listen they just want to put you on mess which they say makes things all better. Honestly, on the Medes I felt like a totally different person. I had no more confidence in myself, no desire to do things with my children, no desire to better myself and just wanted to sleep and let people run all over me. That is not me at all. I agree with you that if you just hang on and ride the withdrawal symptoms out it will eventually go away. This is my second time going off depression meds and I have only been on them this time for 2 years. I was on them the first time for over 10 years and it took me a while for the w/d symptoms to go away. But once they did I felt like myself again. In fact I started making great changes to my life and got out of an abusive and loveless marriage. I loved him but he did not care about me or our kids and always made sure I was on meds to basically keep the blinders on my eyes so I didn’t see the cheating, abuse or just didn’t care because I had no self esteem at all. I wish these doctors would warn people of what these drugs can seriously do to harm the mind and body. Thank you all for your posts. It has helped me tremendously. Take care and hang in there.

    • Len

      I want to thank you for sharing your story!! I am currently having WD from Veneflaxin…This is my second time being on an antidepressant. I started with Citalopram last year treatment for anxiety and depression side note: when i went in i knew i had been suffering from burn out doctors would not and still wont acknowledge that i was and still am suffering from severe burnout due to over working, school and just life…they just prefer to only treat the 2 symptoms out of the 12 I’m experiencing from severe burn out and those symptoms are anxiety and depression. I started Citalopram around Feb last year and the side effects just starting the medication were difficult, strong gag reflex…it affected my sense of taste i felt like I was going to throw up daily. I stayed on it for about 3 to 4 months then went through the initial WD symtoms I rode them out but it was scary and concerning like many of you have mentioned with your withdrawl symtoms…if I had missed one day I would have extreme WD symptoms (Vertigo, nausea, or felt like I was dying. The good thing is I was forgetting to take it which showed I really didn’t need it anymore. I got in touch with my doctors office and followed the taper then rode out the WD then got busy with my life again forgot all about the med which my doctor told me I would…however getting back busy was good and bad because I noticed towards end of October 2015 my symtoms were slowly but surely seeping back… I typically am a tough cookie witg pain…I tried to wing it without any med until January 2016 by then I was out of control…but what I realized had I cut back on my stress…and activity and rested like my family orginally advised me to and slept more and tried to keep myself more calm and let the chips fall where they may and not plan everything out all the time I think I may not have needed to go back on an anti depressant. By February this year I finally budged went in I was started back on citalopram it worsened the symptoms of anxiety and depression and thoughts of hopelessness and many other thoughts that weren’t my own …my body freaked out…however i believe that these symptoms are stemmed from my untreated burn out symptoms and extreme exhaustion/ fatigue which just got worst once I went back to my busy life because I felt fine but the medication i believe masked it but of course was not a cure for it because the issue is deeper than just anxiety and depression my whole body and brain burnt out the thoughts I was having and are still having aren’t my own…. Doctors are willing to acknowledge the exhaustion as fibro mialgia or chronic fatigue syndrome but refuse to look deeper into severe burn out which is a brutal condition but is common amongst doctors, professionals, college students and people who work alot in whatever they do and end up pushing themselves over…I don’t wish this upon my worst enemy…here I am now end of April widrawing from Veneflexin after 3 tried medications failed….which has been hell I don’t recommend Citalopram because it worsened my symtoms or Venfelaxine I felt no support and it causes severe painful constipation. About two weeks ago my doc started me on wellbutrin and mirazapine which I’ve noticed support however my WD symptoms of vertigo, eye pain, head aching or feeling like a balloon about to pop has not subsided and sore throat and my right arm and wrist are in pain. Thankfully my doc is trying to be careful about what prescribes to me howver I am learning that I must be responsible for my own health and not soley depend on the words or diagmosis of medical professionals … because I know my body and I’ve been told that I’m not experiencing things that I really am like you all have also expressed and experienced…I encourage anyone who is withdrawing, or planning to withdawl to hang in there because it’s for the best. If a medication is worsening or causing symptoms that weren’t previously there you know what you are experiencing you know your body and you know what feels right or normal to you or what feels wrong don’t doubt yourself or let someone else have you thinking you are crazy or something else is going wrong with you…so you need to do what’s best for you even if that means changing your doctors. I’ve read many of people’s stories on here and have recieved so much warning and comfort and I will take heed once I am to a more stable place I will be withdrawing from the 2 SSRI’s and further therapy and conseling and make stress reducing life changes the only reason why I am on two right now is because of not understanding fully my burnout condition and the importance of rest i pushed myself further not realizing the burnout was still there and not being treated it was masked by the medication instead of doctors taking the time to treat my 12 other symtoms….because I have pushed myself over I have to be on these to get stabilized while making positive life changes then once I’m to a healthier state with my severe burnout/exhaustion I will be Withdrawing from these two meds ( I know the withdrawing will be brutal and scary but It is worth it to ride it out…the fact that all of us are going through this and we are all still here…I believe we can get to a point of standing on our own… because I don’t recieve, believe nor accept the report that I will be on SSRI’s the rest of my life and neither should anyone else on this page .I will be praying for you all…please pray for me…because one thing I’ve learned through this God has really been there a source for me even though I can’t feel Him right now because the emotional tailspin I am in is so severe everything is out of wack… but I know He’s there even in the midst of everything.
      He’s there for you too when doctors give me some bogus story on why I’m feeling what I’m feeling I have to remind myself like chuck horris said above I’ve got to hang in there…and ride the withdrawls out (Doctors can be helpful and not helpful at the same time) … we’ve all got to hang in there I’m learning that sometimes you don’t realize you were standing until the storm is over or calming and you look back and think how did I get through that. We can and will make it.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Len,
      I have been trying to stay off of paxil on and off since 2008. I was put on it in 2002 for anxiety. I have been off of it since February this time and went through the electric shocks which have stopped at this time. I am experiencing horrible depression and just feel like I am no longer who I used to be. I am a physician myself and am so angry that these drugs have been sold to the public at all. I believe they are poison and very destructive. No one really know how they work. They are highly addictive. I cannot tell you how many times I find myself saying “oh just go back on it” but I keep reminding myself that if it really worked I would not have had the desire to stop taking it. I just cannot imagine going through the initial withdrawal again but I feel so horrible I sometimes feel life is not worth it. The only thing that keeps me going is my belief in God. I saw your post and just thought I would respond. Thank goodness for this site! I wish you well!

    • Kimberley Richardson

      How are you feeling now? You may be able to give some insight on it. I am two months off Paxil. Feel somewhat better at times, but still have anxiety and anger and depression at different times and the crying is awful. Hope fully at three months I’ll feel better. There is no return to the Paxil as it made my blood pressure go sky high. At least that is back to normal and am off the blood pressure medication.

    • Mrs Mersmimsy's Sister

      Thank-you Missy. Your post more help than you realize. quit Lexapro in January and did not think all this trouble could be WD and be so prolonged. Its like they describe for meth WD, ISNT IT? i cannot feel pleasure over anything, can only hope for distraction.

    • Mike

      “no desire to better myself and just wanted to sleep and let people run all over me” – bingo, that’s what citalopram did for me too. I was never depressed until taking citalopram. It made me feel hopeless, sad, everything that people are supposed to take it for. My daily agenda became: put everything off because I want to sleep.

    • Melissa

      I am weening my 17 year old daughter off of Lexapro after being on it for 8 months. She wanted to try to deal with her anxiety without relying on medication. She decided to stop taking it without telling me and has been suffering terrible WD. Blurred distance vision, disassociation, agitation, fatigue and other things. I as her mother should have looked into this more before letting her Dr prescribe it. If I knew this would be such a b!tch to get off of I would have thought twice. I do want to encourage you all to read about taking supplements to help with your symptoms. My daughter is trying it. I have started her on L-theanine, B-Complex, Omeag 3, and a Multi-vitamin. Today was for first day so I will report back on how she is doing.
      I do want to encourage everyone that is trying to get off of SSRI’s to push through the best you can. I know it isn’t easy, but it will not last forever.

    • Shay

      I have been on an anti-depressant for about 20 years. I’ve been off meds since August. The withdrawal symptoms have been an absolute nightmare. I did go see a complimentary doctor who happens to be a psychiatrist that is trying to help me “heal” from the damage. I’m taking a ton of vitamins, but I’m also taking Daily Essential Nutrients by Hardy Nutritionals. I can say the “healing process” is slow and debilitating at times, but it’s been helping. My symptoms aren’t as bad as they were.


      I am currently helping my 23 year old daughter to survive her fluoxetine withdrawls. I am so angry! They took my mildly PMSing girl and wrecked her! She has these seizures that effect the left side of her body. She has angry hostile outbursts, then crying fits. She has shooting pain that feels like a hot wire running down her left side. She’s lost 60lbs in 3 months. I just want my baby girl back. The funny, happy girl. My heart is breaking. I know the guilt you are talking about. I wish I told her not to take it. Or that I had researched it first. I can’t believe this is happening.

    • Mitchell C Sheldon

      I’ve been completely off 60 mg of prozack and 5 mg of olanzapine for like three weeks now. I have been completely debilitated by this choice. I can sleep I can’t eat I can’t think I get angry for no reason, mood swings are horrendous and I can’t work as I am too tired and sickly to get out of bed at all. I am about to be homeless because of these symptoms oh yeah and I react with itchy hives to anything I eat and feel terrible afterwords. So just want to give a big shout out to ascend discover my treatment center for basically persuading me to take these drugs during a really hard time in my life. I even told them I believed they were harmful and didn’t want to take them but they eventually wore me down after about a year of being inundated in their dogma in the inpatient treatment center. Anyone who believes these drugs are good for people in any circumstance is either naive or just plain biased and in it for the money like my greedy treatment center and all of the medicine pushing doctors in America. Saying anything different would be to the tune of saying heroine is good for you because it does help some people. Absolutely disgraceful…

    • VictoriaD

      Hi Melissa how do things go? Tapering my daughter aged 16 off after 10 months on Sertraline – horrific! CFS can hardly walk most days; brain fog cannot concentrate at all; numbness; constant body aches, nausea, stomach cramps, frequent urination, high sensitive to light and sound, headaches, eye aches. Only blessing is she sleeps well. In one month we will be off but these have been going on for 5 months now as we’ve tapered. I’m am so so angry with the response from the medical “profession”

  218. Jonathan

    Been bad for me too. Was on SSRIs for 15 years until a week ago. Paxil for 4 years, Celexa for 10 years, and Zoloft for 10 months.
    The Zoloft withdrawal was (and still is) a live horror movie. The physical problems (zaps, vertigo and dizziness didn’t last too long, but it was the psychological that have been a nightmare. Violent dreams, sleep walking, disorientation in public, dysphoria, depersonalization, and (to my shock) thoughts of death. The last isn’t what I would call suicidal, per se, but almost as though a demonic force from deep within is taunting me, saying “C’mon you know you’d be better off!!…” I feel like my identity has usurped. I did not have a diagnosis of depression before I started meds; just OCD.
    I want to scream from the rooftops – DON’T….TOUCH……ZOLOFT!!! It is poison; poison to the body, mind and soul.

    • Nuck Chorris

      I know EXACTLY how you feel. I’m 16 years old and was prescribed Zoloft last year for depression. I decided to wean off it this year because I was so tired of taking it. I did NOT WANT pills to “improve” my life. That’s a bunch of lies. I’m now 1 month, 26 days without Zoloft and I feel like an emotional wreck. I’m still feeling really bad anxiety (but this can also be from my P.O.I.S., I believe), definitely fatigue ALL the time, DP/DR, and suicidal thoughts. I have no more hope in this world and in myself anymore. But I know that I HAVE to hang in there. I just have to. So to anyone who’s reading this: PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ANY PSYCHOTIC DRUGS! THEY WILL DESTROY YOUR BRAIN, BODY, MIND AND SOUL. I’m really sorry to say this but it’s the harsh truth. I really regret going on this stupid drug. I should have said no when my doctor asked me if I wanted to go on an antidepressant. I’ll be praying for everyone who’s suffering including me. God bless you all and take care.

    • Nuck Chorris

      Already 3 months in. Still getting really bad anxiety which DEFINITELY IS FROM THE WITHDRAWAL. My anxiety was NEVER this bad before going on the drugs. I’m worrying about things that I’m not supposed to be worrying about. I’m constantly worried that something bad is going to happen to me. It’s eating me up inside but I’m fighting it. I’m so angry with these pharmaceutical companies that I could sue them! I truly wish that we could sue these companies for creating such dangerous, terrible drugs.

    • Boris

      Same happen to me exactly the same ,hope you get better

    • Maria Stephenson

      Wow, that was a really good description of what Zoloft does. Thank you

  219. Adam

    I took Lexapro for 9 days. The dose for the first 6 were 5mg. On day 7, I was instructed to go to 10mg. About 8 hours after that dose, I started getting pin-prick sensations in my finger tips, intermittent burning skin on my palms and forearms. This condition lasted constantly for four days. I decided to cut back to 5 mg and the burning/stinging sensations subsided. After one day of 5mg, I decided to stop taking it altogether. It did nothing more than worsen my depression and anxiety and cause physical pain. I’m still in a bit of a withdrawal fog, but I’m managing. Still getting the occasional tingle/numbness in the hands/fingers. The intensity of this seems to be directly proportional to my level of anxiety. When I’m calm, there are little to no sensations. When I get worked up, they return…but never to the stinging level that I experienced while on the drug itself. While not as common as the other side-effects, I have seen several reports of aggravated parasthesia. It is listed as a known side effect, but it’s marginalized because it’s less common.

    • Mary

      Hi, I realize I am responding to a very old post, but the situation you describe is so similar to what I am currently experiencing that I wonder if you wouldn’t mind replying with an update. I was on Lexapro for a week when I started feeling tingling and burning in my feet. I stuck w it for a month, but the sensations persisted. I cut my 5mg dose in half for the last few days and will stop completely in a couple more. I’m still feeling the odd tingling, now in my legs as well as my feet—a sort of numbness and pins and needles. I just wondered if all your numbness and tingling resolved. I’m very worried that I have a neurological disorder. Thanks for reading.

  220. ed

    I’ll tell you exactly what happened with this medication. A pharmaceutical company spent billions on developing a drug, when they find one that it is ineffective many would say that they should just cut their losses. But they spent billions so what they do is have a “talk” with the FDA and “convince” (bribe, blackmail etc.) them that it is effective. The FDA approves it and then doctors around the world are misinformed and think that because its FDA approved it must be effective.

  221. ed

    I’ve been on Zoloft for 11 freaking years, and it is almost impossible to get off of in my opinion its worse than nicotine withdrawal, a hangover and being punched in the face all at once. I’ve tried tapering myself off and it is nearly impossible. In my opinion this is the worst drug ever invented and doctors give it out to kids like its candy. P.S it doesn’t do a thing to help with depression anxiety or anything else it supposedly can help. If you are considering taking Zoloft I would recommend taking a sugar pill, because it will be just as effective and you wont want to die if you miss a dose.

    • Dan

      I was on lexapro for about 4 mos. The doc decided it would be a bright idea to wean me off of lexapro and put me on wellbutrin. I began weening off of 20 mg of lexapro down to 5 mg in about a month. Then down to 2.5 mg a day then off what ensued then was I was more depressed than ever. My mind was completely blank, headaches, body aches all over my body, bad sinus pressure, my pupils are dialated, and eyes are distracted by everything making me feel very paranoid. I can’t remember anything can’t think strait, i m lashing out on people at work… Complete cognitive meltdown.

    • Jen

      I thought I was the only one experiencing this weird sinus pressure! The doctor tried to prescribe me steroid for the second time due to this. First time I experienced on zoloft and now during the prozac withdrawal. 4 weeks post Prozac and was only on it for 3 months!

    • Ben

      My girlfriend recently did a slow taper off citalopram. She was on the drug for 6 years at varying doses from 30 to 20mg, with multiple unsucccessful attempts at stopping the drug. We finally made a plan for a slow taper and were able to get her off by putting the 10mg pills in a liquid solution abling her to taper down by 1mg every few weeks. So far it hasn’t been easy; her WD symptoms consist of the general anxiety, depressive feelings and emotional turmoil and fatigue. She also has had extreme hot flashes in the first 2 weeks, which seemed to have passed, and also severe burning in either her palms or back of her head which would happen every 2 or 3 days usually in the evening. However, the worst of it all is a severe full body itching that can persist for days. Currently she has been in this severe itching state for 5 days. It is very distressful emotionally and physically for her and it is hard for her to function at work like this. She is on her 4th week since she had stopped the drug. Does anyone have any similar experience and know why this is caused and when it could stop? And anything that could help her get relief while we wait? Thank you.

    • Ian

      I am in the same boat. I cut a pill in half then half of the half then half of that so just over 1mg per 10 days. Horrible WD I don’t feel like myself.
      I take vitamin D,Magnesium,B12 and will start inositol B8 soon. I have gotten from 20mg to 10mgs. I am so tired of suffering I might need to stay here for a bit even tho my anxiety hardly ever lets up.
      I take Alprazolam once in a while to help me sleep. I would appreciate going thru this with someone else.
      Good Luck

    • Dan

      I’ve withdrawn from benzos so I thought I’d warn ya that as bad as it is coming off lexapro, it’s not even close to that of zanex.. I would ween off benzos a.s.a.p. as much as you need sleep. You will no your in hell when u withdraw from benzos. If your curious how bad I’m talking check out people n there stories on YouTube 😉

    • Willow

      Ben, I am experiencing the itching, too. Benadryl helps. I am on day 13 of we from Celexa.

    • Angie

      Hi, I am experiencing the same issues coming off Celexa. The only think helping me at this point is Xanax. It helps calm me down and makes my nausea go away and obviously the sleep benefits are wonderful. However, xanax can cause severe withdrawals as well, even fatal. They do not last as long though, a couple weeks tops. I don’t want to get hooked on the xanax either so I use it sparingly and only as needed. But, it is just a quick fix and doesn’t do anything to heal the actual symptoms. I am looking for something natural to help with the withdrawal from the Celexa. They helped me with my anxiety and depression but now it is worse than ever to where I never want to take Celexa again. Good luck to you all

    • Iris

      I’ve been sneezing my head off! I’ve tapered off prosak over the last month from 60mg to 30 mg. I’ve been on it for a year for ptsd anxiety. The sneezing started a few days ago. We did some early spring cleaning and I had to stay outside while my husband vacuumed. I do not normally have allergies. Chest was heavy and eyes and nose were itching like crazy. I’ve been able to deal with the WD symptoms up to this point. I’m going to be so pissed if a long term reaction to getting off this Rx will be allergy sensitivity! I’m 51 and have always been in good health. This sneezing is exhausting me; however my anxiety issues are much better. I’ll just be a happy and care free sneezing idiot.

  222. Anne

    I was 14 when my psychiatrist put me on Lexapro for severe OCD and depression. I took 15 mg for five months before stopping it as it was having no effect of my illness. It has been two months since I discontinued and they have been absolute Hell on Earth. I’ve had a migraine every single day, when previously I never had one before, have had to endure many tests to see if I had a tumor, as well as dealing with the horrendous pain. I have been betrayed by my healthcare professionals, whom I trusted with my life, because they denied that Lexapro had any withdrawal effects and led me to believe I could have a serious, life-threatening illness. These SSRI drugs should be banned!!!! I say, ask a psychiatrist if he or she would ever take one, and you can bet they’d say no… but they won’t hesitate to turn around and wreck your life with one for the benefits they’ll get from the pharmaceutical companies for doing so.

    • Sandra

      Did the headaches ever go away?

  223. bella

    I have been off cold turkey from citalopram for 10 weeks now and for the first week I couldn’t walk I had violent muscle twitching and jerks.
    After 4 weeks I was crying uncontrollably and I began to feel numbness in my feet. Now im left with cramp twitching muscles and a jumpy tongue.
    Its hellish and I was only on it for 6 months

    • Gisele DeAngelis

      The first two weeks were horrible – sick to my stomach and dizzy most of those two weeks. Am now post about 6 weeks and am having the burning and tingling in my feet. Was trying to find out if something else was wrong with me – now I know – you bet, I don’t trust the medical “experts” anymore – good luck to everyone who has even taken the SSRIs, because it is tough to regain our lives – I will pray for us.

    • Adam

      Pray for me, too. On Lexapro only 9 days before I essentially flipped out. Pain in fingertips…burning palms and forearms. Paranoia and worsened angst/depression. Feel a bit better now that I’m off of it, but this is one ride I wish I never got on.

    • admin

      According to Ronald J Diamond M.D.,’Every time a patient comes into your office, your emergency room or your hospital, there is a very real possibility that what seems to be a
      psychological problem is caused by some physical illness. The depressed patient may have an under active thyroid gland. The patient with panic attacks may have a pheochromocytoma, a tumor that secretes epinephrine. And the patient, whose personality change and increased irritability is thought to be caused by his marital problems,
      may actually have a brain tumor causing the personality changes and exacerbating longstanding marital issues.’ “

    • Sheri

      Adam, how are you doing now?

    • Anne

      I tapered off but before completely riding my body of Lexapro I started taking an herbal supplement containing St Johns wart. There are many natural solutions to ssris and they all seem to provide more than one benefit. After I got my dose down to 5mg every 2 days I just skipped it a switched to a low dose 125mg St Johns wart. Hope this helps. I am older so you may want to explore other natural SSRIs. I ran across this one but I have not tried it.

    • Mary

      Can you tell me if all your symptoms resolved after discontinuing the meds?

    • Mary

      Gisele, did the burning sensations In your feet go away? I’m so worried. I’m experiencing the same thing and wonder if I have some kind of permanent nerve problem? Would you please reply if you can?

  224. Isabella

    I was on citalopram for over 6 years , for over 4 years i tried to quit the drug, but the WD was too bad and i got too scared so i started it again. In aug 2013 i took my last dose of citalopram, from have been weaning it off slowly over a years time.. its 8months now from i took my last pill, still im suffering from many wd symtoms. It goes up and down all the time, ive had since i quit and still today extreme muscle pain in my right leg all way down to my foot. I suffer from tinnitus and loose my memory all the time. I have migraine and blurry vision, panicattacks (which i never had before i started this medicine) i cant tolerate stress, im sensitive to strong lights, loud sounds, and coffeine and some food. Im feeling ill all the time, like throwing up for no reason and the list can be soo long .. since my doctors are not supporting me and not believing me im suffer from WD not even from the start i find support from others going thru horrible WD symtoms.
    Love from Sweden

    • Jan

      Hi Isabella. I’ve been on citalopram 20mg for over 7 years and then tapered down within 2 months. It’s been almost 2 years since I tapered off it, and I still suffer very bad mood swings, severe anxiety, insomnia, and stress intolerance (actually sometimes I feel like I’m almost going to faint from stress, even when doing just simple chores). I’m also very sensitive to caffeine and get bad anxiety crashes from it.
      You’re not alone, I can feel your pain and despair.
      I was wondering how you’re feeling now, over 3 years after the withdrawal?
      Thank you.

    • Jennifer

      The zaps were horrible, I got rid of mine after 4 months, I would get zapped up to 100 times a day, and was miserable. I titrated slowly off Citalapram and the side effects were shocking, no pun intended. I use omega Brite fish oil, quality cod liver oil, cardio B, a multi vitamin and young living essential oils, and turmeric supplement with black pepper in it, for inflammation. No more zaps, zap free, FU zaps, also my mood is getting more manageable. Some days are worse than others, but the more I eat well, and exercise, and take these other supplements, the better I feel, I hope this is helpful info, as no need deserves to suffer like this❤️

    • Doris

      Hi which Young living essential oils did you use thank you

    • Wendy

      I too have elect. Zaps and what feels like neuropathy in hands and feet. I was on citalopram 4 hrs and weaned myself off. Have gone to chiropractor, acupuncture, and massage and the pins and needles feelings won’t go away. Hurts to walk.

    • Rhonda

      hello Jennifer,
      I am suffering many side effects from citalopram; 20mg/day dosage for 2 years. I took cymbalta prior to this, and experienced even worse side effects, so my Doc switched me to citalopram. Seems like the Drs. just pull a drug from a hat and hope it works!
      I first was prescribed prozac for postpartum depression after the birth of my first child 30 years ago. I suffered from WD when attempting to get off what was intended to be short term treatment for post postpartum depression. I did not realize at the time that the effects were WD, and thought my the symptoms meant depression was permanent and I would be on some type of medication for life. As I was quite young at the time, I trusted my doctor and followed his instructions to continue the medication indefinitely.
      The side effects I am experiencing are insomnia, increased anxiety, full body tremors (constant trembling that radiates from my body core) brain fog, leg muscle weakness; difficulty going up a short flight of stairs. Very low or nonexistent labido causing relationship issues, lack of energy, likely due to inability to sleep more than 3- 4 hours at night.
      I am retiring from my very stressful job, and with less stress on the horizon I hope to taper off the citalopram and stop taking it all together. I will resort to natural remedies, diet and exercise as alternative to citalopram.
      After reading most of the posts here, I am not very hopeful.
      Does anyone out there have a success story to share? Am I doomed to a life of misery with no hope for a normal life?

    • Eddie Copenhaver

      After reading many first person accounts of withdrawal from SSRIs, I am fully sympathetic to the difficulties people experience coming off them. I am an RN and have worked in mental health for 40 years. Many people are on antidepressants that maybe don’t really need to be but I feel a larger number of people that aren’t on them should be. I disagree with the studies that say antidepressants are no more effective than placebos – they may not be effective for folks who don’t really need them. Mild depression may best be treated with counseling, exercise, diet and lifestyle. True chemical depression requires intervention – 5htp, tyrosine, sam-e can all help but if these fail, medications may be needed. Yes, there are long term effects from antidepressants but they generally are not nearly as severe as consequences of untreated depression – job loss, relationship problems, increased rate of accidents, substance abuse and suicide – not to mention the subjective suffering. If and when discontinued, antidepressants should be tapered very slowly – I propose the taper should last at least 1/4 of the length of the treatment with the medication. Tinnitus, “brain zaps”, dizziness, anxiety and some mood swings may be part of the withdrawal. Extreme symptoms of insomnia, mood swings, depression and anxiety are likely a recurrence of symptoms, not a product of withdrawal. If you are on a medication and not suffering significant adverse effects, it may be best to stay on it, or at least search for the least effective dosage.

    • Sarah

      To Eddie- As much as I respect your viewpoint and experience as an RN I have to disagree with you.
      You say that ” Extreme symptoms of insomnia, mood swings, depression and anxiety are likely a recurrence of symptoms, not a product of withdrawal.” This is the standard view held by most medical professionals and of course the pharmaceutical companies who make billions on these drugs so you are not alone in your thinking. To anyone who shares this viewpoint I would ask you this- how do you account for someone experiencing new symptoms on discontinuing a drug? For example if I am prescribed an SSRI for anxiety but have never had depression and yet develop it on stopping how can this be a return of my original symptoms? If I am a calm, rational and loving person yet I become violent on taking an SSRI is that really me or is the medication causing strange thoughts and behavioral changes? There is a particular symptom Akathesia of which I’m sure you are familiar which can become apparent on halting an antidepressant drug. If severe its effects can be devastating and are linked to increased anxiety, agitation and suicide.
      Antidepressant withdrawal is much more complex than we give it credit for. You commented that “Yes there are long term effects from antidepressants but they generally are not nearly as severe as consequences of untreated depression” this isnt always the case. For many people, a little bit of temporary nausea and dizziness on halting a drug would be acceptable but the reality of SSRI withdrawal for those who have lived through it, is that it is a far more complex process than is commonly understood or recognised and in the case of protracted withdrawal (which is far more common than reported) it can last years and the withdrawals can be severe and enduring. The real tragedy of all this is the misinformation we continue to give patients and their families about the safety and effectiveness of these drugs.
      On halting an SSRI there are chemical changes in the brain and body that can affect almost everything from mood and perception to balance and sexual function. Long term antidepressant use can be truly disabling for some- giving way to a whole host of new symptoms and side effects which didn’t exist prior to drug treatment. People get too often caught in a medication trap- they try to come off their antidepressant only to experience withdrawal effects- depression, anxiety, despair, panic attacks, akathesia (the list goes on) except the GP will misinterpret this as a return of the original illness and either restart the original medication or perhaps even introduce a new drug into the mix and this is where people get caught in a loop. The withdrawals go away on restarting the medication thus confirming the doctors belief that they need the medication to treat their illness when in actual fact on stopping the drug they are in withdrawal. This is NOT the original illness but somewhat cruelly it mimics symptoms of the original complaint. There is little knowledge about how to wean someone effectively and safely off an antidepressant and many people try coming off far too quickly. I agree with your point advocating a slow taper.
      The only trials on SSRI drugs were for short term use. The truth is we know very little about how these drugs affect the brain especially after say 15- 20 years of use. We have to move away from blaming a patients original illness and look to the people who make and distribute these drugs and consider the very real possibility than SSRI treatment may be causing more problems than they solve.
      For anybody who has an interest in this topic I recommend researching the work of Dr David Healy, Joanna Moncrieff and/or Peter Breggin, who are all key voices in raising awareness of adverse effects of psychiatric medications.

    • Karen Wilkinson

      I absolutely agree with you here. Although I have no ‘control’ of me, no clone – I cannot say what would have happened to me had I not taken the 2 types of ADs for 11 years – whether I’d have been worse without, whether I’d have taken my own life etc. What I can tell you is that I have been through significant withdrawal symptoms since stopping which have lasted approx 18 months.
      I am much, much better now thank god, but the awful breathing problems I experienced every day were terrifying and debilitating and not a ‘return’ to depressive feelings! Nothing of the sort. Nor my brain zaps, severe acid reflux, weird food intolerances, restless legs and body tremors.
      I am not depressed though. I don’t feel depressed now

    • Eddie Copenhaver

      Sarah – You mention several very valid points. I appreciate and respect your knowledgeable opinions and thank you for being tolerant of mine. Long term use of antidepressants trigger actual changes in the brain – one of which is an increase in numbers of post synaptic receptors. This is one of the many reasons I feel tapering off an antidepressant should be done slowly (probably a dosage reduction of 5% no more often than every other month following long term use) to give the brain and body time to accommodate and adjust – there are neurotransmitter receptor sites throughout the body and GI tract as well as the brain. My analogy to promote slow tapering is the difference between walking down a hill or stepping off a cliff. Adequate taper time may prevent or reduce many of the symptoms triggered by rapid or abrupt cessation. Agitation or increased restlessness on initiation of an antidepressant is an adverse effect which would indicate (to me) that the person either does not need that particular medication or is on the wrong medication. I, too, am not particularly happy about the pharmaceutical world in which we live. I have, however, worked with many individuals whose lives have been affected positively by judicious use of appropriate medications. The bottom line for me is still concern over untreated depression and the havoc it can wreak on lives of the sufferers and their families and friends. Meds are not the only answer (and I agree, should be the last resort). Counseling, diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and over-the counter supplements can all be of benefit. Apparently, many persons have genetic anomalies which can limit their own production of neurotransmitters – methylfolate, methylcobalamin and SAM-e can help. Untreated sleep apnea is a great imitator of depression and should be evaluated and treated if indicated. The MDs I work with have diagnosed quite a few cases of B-12 deficiency – not hard to diagnose or treat but extremely important for physical and mental health.
      Back to the folks who are on long term antidepressants – if you are not suffering adverse effects, please do not stop taking them and, if you do, no abrupt dosage changes. To correct my earlier advice – search for the lowest effective dosage.

  225. Theresa

    I’ve been on SSRI’s since 2000 for loss of a loved one then it was menopause moodiness etc. I’ve taken Lexapro, celexa, cymbalta and the last one prozac. I’ve tried to get off of them many times but the withdrawal symptoms were awful. I ended up on Prozac because I was told it is the easiest to wean off of and less withdraw symptoms. I’ve been off of it for 2 months now. It seems to be getting worse. I wake up to ringing in my ear. a swishing in my head and dizziness. All this is constant. I feel physically achy and joint pain. I feel like I have the body of a 85 yr old but I’m only 62. I am to the point where I feel weepy all the time due to all this discomfort. I have nothing to be sad about my life is marvelous. Please if anyone is reading this don’t go on an SSRI. Read, read and talk to qualified person first!!! It’s so not worth it. It didn’t help me out anyway. Had I know these withdrawal symptoms I would of NEVER!! started.
    There are more symptoms I just can’t describe that just are awful. The symptoms are mainly in my head, inner ear. Sometimes when I stand up I get so dizzy and the pressure in my head feels like my head may blow up. It takes a while to ease out of this. I seriously am thinking about starting up again because I can’t take it.
    I don’t want to though.

    • Isabella

      I know how you feel! Im sorry you and anyone have to go thru this hell. I wish doctors could have been honest and told me from scratch that this could of happen the day you stop take your medication. How blind can the docs really be? My life is a hell atm going thru these WD..

    • Helen

      My doctor put me on Zoloft for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 20 years ago. I have tried to go off it a few times (half-hearted attempts), but in May, I had my annual physical, and when I attempted to refill my RX, my pharmacy advised me they had to get a “pre-approval authorization”. Knowing this would not be quick and easy (I was right), I thought perhaps it was time to try again. Not a good time with everything that was going in my life (my only child leaving home), but better than having to quit cold turkey because I didn’t have my medication. I tapered over a period of about 6 weeks, and it has now been about 7 weeks since I have been completely off. I went through a period of vertigo, and other symptoms, which were unpleasant, but tolerable. Now I find myself suffering depression, irritability, and anxiety, which I have never had before. I was beginning to wonder if this was really withdrawal, or if the SSRI had rewired my brain in such a way that this is going to be my life now, unless I go back on. I seem to have a few days here and there that are tolerable–even pretty good–but then it all hits again. I am 60 years old, and I am trying to hang in there, because from what I’m reading here, this most certainly CAN “just” be withdrawal! Best wishes, and God help us all!!

    • lsk1971

      Hi Helen. Did you recover?

    • Laurel Gorney

      Hi Helen! It’s been a few years since you wrote your comment. I was wondering if you were able to stay off the drugs and if things eventually got better for you?
      I’ve been off celexa for a month now. After 3 weeks of mostly physical withdrawal symptoms I’m dealing with insomnia and pretty bad depression amongst other things. I can’t really believe how bad it is.. I was put on the celexa after our baby died. I was in grief, not depression but I listened to the doctors and nurses telling me over and over how I “need” to be on an antidepressant, just in case.. that was 11 years ago. I stayed on it for so long because of an over abundance of life diffulties such as husband didn’t work 3 years, health issues, bankruptcy, foreclosure, moving to a new state, and on and on. We had our share of difficulties. Anyway, I want to stay off it and make it through this. I just guess I need some encouragement at this point. I tried getting help from the professionals but it seems they think I’m exaggerating. She actually said I may need to “suck it up”. No kidding!
      I want to know this horrible feeling will eventually go away. I want to know it’s worth it to go through this. I want to know My brain is not permanently damaged and I will eventually feel like living again.
      Helen, I hope you are doing well!
      Thanks for any comments!

    • Frankie

      Dear Laurel,
      I was sad to hear that your baby died and that’s not ever an easy thing. You’ve been through a lot and you’ve been courageous. Keep up the good efforts you’ve been making.
      ( side note: I stopped effexor xr 75 after taking it for almost 20 years. Meds were discontinued in June and I feel like my body is constantly swaying and my head feels “floaty”. I’m careful not to bump into walls or fall down. I’m not sure it will go away in the next year. I try force my mind not to concentrate on it even though it’s very annoying ) I’m sending kind thoughts your way, Laurel.

    • Laurel

      Hi Frankie,
      Thank you for responding! It’s been almost 5 months off the celexa now. It’s been so hard.. I think the insomnia is the worst part for me. After 2 months of not sleeping, I started Trazodone. It helped for a short time and stopped.. Now I want off of it too. I hate the way it killed my returning emotions. I guess if we hang in there, eventually we’ll make it. I would never have taken it if I had a clue this could happen. I hope you start to feel better soon. It’s been a half year for you! It’s got to get better!

    • Deb

      Helen, Your story sounds much like mine and I am wondering how you are.

    • Nancy

      Hi Theresa, can you please give me your email , I am also trying to get off my antidepressant and am 64.

    • Sumit

      Hello Ms Karen, My name is Sumit (40) and I am from India. Hope you are doing well. I read your post about withdrawal effects of ADs. Two points caught my attention and startled me . One is acid reflux. Another is difficulty breathing on lying flat and while sleeping. Actually I am having these two problems since 2015 and I started on ADs in 2013 and finally gave up last month. I am depressed with this insomnia and breathing difficulty so much that I have no energy left to even look for a job . I have lost two jobs so far due to my breathing and sleeping issue. Now, I wake up in middle of night feeling choked. I was a very good sleeper and used to sleep for continuous 8-10 hours till 2015. . Now I wake up totally tired and irritated. I have otherwise no breathing issues while walking or exercising. Even my lung function is around 120 percent ( FEV1 ratio is also good at 77%) . I wish to ask how you coped with this menace and how long this breathing difficulty lasts ( I know it can vary from person to person). I just do not want to start ADs again. I would be very much obliged if you could reply to my query. Like you I am also a scientist but lost my last two contracts ( one in Germany , another in India) due to my sleep issues. Thanks & Regards, Sumit.

    • Jim Verdone

      Hi my name is Jim took my last dose of Zoloft Oct 1 2017 after 17 years of 50 mg. Really tough! It’s Dec 30 2017 still having twitches on my face and other parts of my body. Also shakeniess in my body off and on. I thought I was the only one having problems. Come to find out from some research this can go on for months, everyone is different, it’s scary. I thank you for your post. Please respond back I need some moral support. Thank you!

  226. Andrew

    I took 10mg of citalopram for less than 6 months after I became depressed about dropping out of university. Since I stopped my life has been a living hell. I have experienced the vast majority of symptoms listed on this page at some point or another. It is a very unusual illness. The symptoms can come and go at any point in time, even if it has been weeks since I last experienced them. I have had symptoms everyday since I stopped the drugs, over 2 and half years ago. The problems only started once I discontinued the meds. Ban these poisons!

    • Jan

      Hi Andrew, I’m sorry to hear about your withdrawal struggle. We’re on the same boat, I’m too experiencing very strong withdrawal hell even 2 years after discontinuing citalopram.
      How are you feeling now? Did any of the symptoms improve for you?

    • Sumit

      Hi Andrew, Did you notice any breathing troubles with ADs? Especially while sleeping or lying flat ? I am going through this for past 3 years and these ADs have made my life a hell. I am a walking Zombie now.

    • lucia gregels

      hi Sumit, i too am trying to get off ads. i have taken ads for 20 plus yrs. i find that when things get really bad like hard to breath or brain zaps i do take a .5 mg of xanax and it helps. i have also taken xanax for a long time and have tried to stop and absolutely can not. that is even worse than ads. i wish you the best.

  227. Cristi

    I was on a low dose of Prozac from 1992 to 2000 as a treatment for chronic pain. I tapered off of it gradually after I realized that it was leading to cognitive dysfunction, making driving dangerous, and giving me sudden suicidal and homicidal impulses that felt like they weren’t even coming from me. In fact, I wasn’t me anymore. I went through a long period of serious illness from the withdrawal, but got better. The chills, fatigue, emotional lability, and terrible brain shocks lasted for another 8 years or so. At times I could only stop the shocks by sitting completely still in a quiet room with my eyes closed. They are gone now, but I still have stress intolerance, hypersensitivity to sounds and smells, memory impairment, hyperalert responses to sudden movements nearby, and the killing of my sex life appears to be permanent.
    All that for something that never even helped my pain.

    • admin

      I am sorry for all the difficulties that you went through. The FDA is clear in its warnings on these meds and it is so unfortunate you were not given full information prior to taking them. You would make a very strong advocate to help inform others. Would you be interested in doing so?

    • Randy Snyder

      Im in the same boat im having bad withdraws been off it for 3 weeks now and i have unwanted movement buzzing and ringing in the ears bad insomnia and i cant cry anymore and im a guy and now i have GERD and with irritable bowel everything upsets my stomach just me with the stress plus i yawn more during the day then at night plus i cant wink and my eyes stay wide open its scary

    • Tara

      I’ve had horrible symptoms while trying to get off of the Effexor as well. You asked if the last person was willing to tell her story. I am willing and am telling my story on a blog I started for this exact purpose. I want others to be aware of the horrible side effects of withdrawing from these meds. Please check out my blog if interested. Tara

    • CCHR

      Hi Tara, thank you for posting. What is the URL to your blog?

    • Beverly McCormick

      I started taking effexor in 2006. I attempted to stop the drug in 2012 with out any success. Last year, I decided that I did not need to be on this medication and was going to stop. I tapered off the drug starting in March, 2017 and completely stopped at the end of November 2017. Even though I had tapered slowly, I was hit with side effects. It started with extreme fatigue, couldn’t get off the couch & slept all the time. Then I started having extreme anxiety attacks which caused similar symptoms to hypoglycemia. It got so bad that I went to the emergency room thinking that I was going to pass out. The shaking &heart palpitations were extreme. At the ER blood tests were taken & of course everything was in the “normal” range. I was given a prescription for 20 mgs. of prozac. That was on a Thursday. I started the prozac on Saturday. Within 30 minutes, I started shaking & then heart palpitations came next. I was so shaken I couldn’t hold my hands still. By Monday, I was worse, plus I now had insomnia. Went to the doctor and was given buspar for anxiety. I took it one time & was so out of it I couldn’t function. Went back to the doctor on Friday & got a 10mg. of prozac. I Took it for about 3 days and my symptoms continued. I stopped taking prozac completely. It will be a week tomorrow. My symptoms have subsided somewhat. I’m sleeping a bit better and the anxiety has lessened. I did go to a naturopath and had a salvia test done. It showed high cortisol levels at night and high insulin levels in my blood. While conventional medicine does not recognize a diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, I believe that is what I have. The adrenal glands are responsible for sending messages to the brain to release hormones that are important in our bodies functioning normally. I believe that years of taking effexor has changed the wiring of my brain & my brain may never function in a normal capacity again. In the meantime, I have a doctor telling me that I’m depressed and writing a prescription to give me. Anti depressants can be helpful tools in time of crisis, but they should never be taken for years on end.

    • Brandi Knox

      I have recently come off Prozac after 25 years. It has been one month, and my naturopath says everything should be fully out of my system at this point. I have severe back ache, breast tenderness, uncoordinated movement, labile mood, intense bursts of anger, and general fatigue. I am hoping this gets better in time. On the upside, orgasms are back! Lol! Thank you for this forum.

    • CCHR

      You’re welcome!

    • Ryan

      Hi I am withdrawing off of Prozac currently. I was wondering if you have had any abdominal cramping and loss of appetite?? I’m on my second week of withdrawal.

    • Lisa

      Yes Ryan….the abdominal cramping subsided for me about 2 months into this process, but return off and on out of the blue….the flu-like symptoms, though, are even more awful and tends to return every 7-10 days. I found that the stomach cramps return after taking Advil for a few days in a row (for the flu-like symptoms)….then NOT taking it. I will not be taking that any longer either.
      My “end-date” for eliminating anti-depressants was Nov. 26, 2017….it is now February 21, 2018. I have had a few “blissful” days of feeling extremely well and normal….then suddenly it’s like a wave of “body hurt” that lasts for 3 or 4 days. I should also say that I have eliminated alcohol, also, to do my best for my body to “correct itself”

    • Drew

      I’ve been off of it due to bad side effects. turns out I can’t take it anymore. I quit taking it and after that I felt weird vibrating feelings in the back of My throat I enjoy singing and it was difficult to do that seeing as I’d feel scratchy and irritated afterwards. My speaking pitch wasn’t level. kept going up and down. I was short of breath too. to say the least I was losing My mind. anyone else? I’m now on Celexa. I’m waiting a few more weeks to see if it kicks in. so far My anxiety, panics and episodes of irrational thinking still come every now and then. I’ve read you’ll feel that at first and you’ll just have to wait it out.

    • Mick

      16 years of Prozac 80mg & Moclobemide 150 mg per day, stopped Moclobemide, a year and a half latter lower Prozac dose to 20mg then changed to Paroxetine then change to a Mirtazapine then change to Brintellix then changed to Edronax all at 10mgs or less over a period of a year or so stopped all meds completely 14 december 2015
      Current symptoms experiencing bad bouts of anxiety with depression horror scary thoughts it’s indescribable, these episodes cycle or morph from one symptom to the next they’re worse in the early morning and are there all day in some way i have a radio playing at night so i can try to concentrate and focus hard struggling to divert my mind away from this existence at night
      haven’t slept for nearly 3 years , anhedonia intrusive thoughts and fear mental fatigue and memory loss is a concern although some days are better than others
      I can’t afford to get to carried away with it reminding yourself of all things that are happening that is not you and its your my fault it is extremely and at times impossibly hard to try to be nonchalant and dismissive if you take it on board it can get worse
      Physically i have pain throughout my body like a fibromyalgia feels like something is pulling on my arms and legs nerves and muscles with constant micro spasms , twitches and leg cramps i get real sick in the stomach every morning i have to go to the toilet my number two have never been the same since i stopped the meds if you know what i mean, my skin itches and sometimes i can’t scratch the itch away it stays on sometimes its like having cat hair on you, my skin condition has deteriorated in this time
      It’s been 3 years of hell, i have been told to try and see if reinstating meds at a microdose at 0.5 mg could help or very very slowly build up the dosage over a long period of time to just so the symptoms are tolerable or diminish then taper of very very slowly…. this scares the christ out of me… if anyone out there has any suggestion please do tell

    • Lisa

      I want to become a serious advocate of educating the public on the SEVERE and ADVERSE effects of the use of anti-depressants. “Doxepin” was prescribed to help me sleep (I was not depressed) and was told it was not addictive or habit forming….WRONG.
      The withdrawal symptoms are torture even after 2 months! This should cause as much attention as opiod withdrawal….as I understand 3 out of 5 people are on some form of antidepressant.

    • CCHR

      We agree and thank you for being a voice in this battle.

    • Brandi Knox

      Doxepin caused severe side effects such as brain fog and dyskenesia. I almost lost my job while on this drug because of memory lapses.

    • James

      Hello folks , sorry for all the pain and suffering going on out there . I’m an 18 year user of (lexapro/escitalopram) and I am 55 years old . I am on week three in the second phase of withdrawal from the Lexapro product. With all of the other experiences out there attempting to withdraw from SSRI’s, this is not looking good , I’m see people posting multi year continuing bad symptoms from stopping these meds.
      Two years ago I hit my head mountain biking and was knocked out and subsequently had a TBI. Let me tell you , Stopping this medication is 5 to 10 times more brutal than the head injury I experienced. Not even close really.
      Just using logic and reasoning this may be a battle we can’t win . Once you go down the SSRI path, there maybe no turning back . I am approaching the why fight this battle decision. Some of these folks posting experiences of being “years” into the process of stopping their specific SSRI.
      I am Close to starting with the drug again, I will give it two more weeks(10/28 18), I cant’ afford financially to continue trying to stop. I am on the couch and can barely function.
      Good luck everyone, I wish you all the best.

    • Cindy

      Hi Lisa…. I was on Celexa for 2 years and decided I didn’t want to take them anymore. I stopped cold turkey in November 2017. I had also stopped my meds for cholesterol and after some blood work a couple of months later I noticed my cholesterol went back up so I started both my Celexa and my cholesterol meds again. A weeks later out of nowhere I got dizzy, lightheaded, shaky and my heart started racing. I honestly though I was having a heart attack and went to the ER. Did EKG, x-ray, and blood work. Everything came back fine. A week later back in the ER…. EKG, x-ray and bloodwork again… nothing. Both times said that I was having panic attack and diagnosed me with a anxiety disorder. Went to the Er 5 times with the same result. My Dr ordered a holter monitor which was fine with some pvcs… a stress test which was fine. So I go back to my dr again because I am still feeling sick all the time, dizzy, light headed… brain zaps…. chills and she said I need to go back on the Celexa. So trusting my dr and start my Celexa the next morning and within 2 hours I was dizzy, lightheaded feeling like I’m going to pass out…. again!! So I decided I am never taking this again. The was on Jan 31,2018. I still do not feel normal. I might have a good day… then out of nowhere I get dizzy… lightheaded…. chills…. ringing in my ears…. and I just plain don’t feel well at all. I cry all the time now because I am so tired of feeling this way. I can’t even eat anymore after I eat I feel sick. My dr just thinks it’s my anxiety and wants me to continue taking my Celexa. I’m so lost as what to do, I can’t live like this 🙁

    • Tina Barrontine

      Pray pray & pray. Ask God to help you. Rebuke the devil & plead the blood of Jesus over yourself. Claim healing in the name of Jesus! I also ask all this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

    • paula

      Hi Cindy,
      I stopped taking Pristiq 100mg and Mirtazapine 45mg cold turkey around the end of January 2018. I had been on Pristiq 50mg for around 5 years (100mg for about 2 months) and Mirtazapine 15mg then 30mg then 45mg since August 2017. One or both of these poisons almost killed me. I suddenly started to tremble all over and could not stop my leg muscles from moving and cramping. I did not know at the time that this was nothing compared to the hell I am now living almost 2 months later. I have never felt so physically terrible. My current symptoms are crazy itchy all over, sweating profusely all over, severe tinnitus all day, intense mouth/gum/face pain and tension, intense gum pins and needles, sinusitis, dizziness, unsteadiness, irritability, teeth grinding (wore down all of the enamel on my front upper tooth, have been to dentist/endodontist as the dentin is now exposed), memory problems, attention problems and cry every day because I wake up and must face another day. Even though this is terrible, some of the other (over 75) symptoms that I started with have gone slowly over the last two months. In all of the time that I was being prescribed these poisons, no medical “professional” EVER mentioned the negative impact they have on your CNS, liver, kidneys, heart, brain and everything else. I had no idea that once on them you would be on them for life or suffer unbearable withdrawal that for some lasts all their life. It was at about two weeks off of them completely that I started to look into what was wrong with me. I am so disappointed in everyone that prescribed these poisons to me but most disappointed in myself as I was not smart enough to realize you cannot stop taking them. EVER. If I ever get through this I will stop taking the two remaining poisons that I am still on: Elavil 25mg and Lorazepam 1mg. Good luck to everyone going through this and I wish you the continued strength to do whatever you feel works best for you.

    • Rhonda

      You poor thing! I had a similar experience but not as extreme. The withdrawal was not as crippling as the side effects I experienced while on the meds.
      The only thing that would ease the body trembling, anxiety, mood swings was medical grade CBD. This was a miracle treatment for me. I have been free of all meds now for several months and I have no regrets. I am beginning to have feelings again! Joy, love, happy, sadness (at appropriate times and not long term) and my labido has returned! Music, food, laughter, it’s all there to enjoy now.
      I will never put those toxic chemicals back into my brain. It was pure hell; and like you I was not made aware of the dangerous side effects that can be lifelong. Doctors need more training before prescribing these life altering meds. They should read these forums to see how real people have been effected.

    • Jacqueline Grande

      Ugh sounds terrible Paula, I am happy to report my withdrawals are almost over, after four weeks. Some light symptoms still remain and I am hopeful they will be gone soon. I don’t think anyone thinks about what it is like to come off of antidepressants when they start taking them. And unfortunately they are disbursed much to easily with little warning about the withdrawal process. Hope you feel better soon.

    • OliviaS

      Hi Christi. Im so sorry to hear that this has happened to you, too. I am 2 years off paxil and still suffering severely. I only took the drug for 4 years.
      How are you now? I would really like to contact you privately.

    • David Shaylor

      Hi everyone. I have been tapering yes tapering off Paxil now for 14 years have not slept in about 7. Original dose 20mgs and now 1.6mg things are brutal. Why would anyone want to go into discontinuation with experiences likely as detailed above after such a long time suffering with so many symptoms suffered during my taper

    • James

      Hi David, I am trying to get off Paxil again as well and only been as high as 20mg. Trying to get off has cause intense dizziness, nausea, and imbalance before. I want to be free of this drug as it is not even helpful for me any more. Iv tried many times but have gone back because it has affected my work and social life so much when I try. I would like to know how you are doing? I guess I’m still looking for the courage to continue. Thank you

    • Karen

      Hi, I’ve just seen your comment.
      I finally came off celexa and wellbutrin 6 months ago after a long time tapering. I suffered brutal sweats and chills non stop (every 10 mins)for 4-5 months but that’s now stopped thank goodness. I have really felt dead inside with short periods coming back to life, they seem to be getting better. I’m intolerant to any medication which crosses blood/brain barrier, all have horrible adverse effects – forget any sleep meds, have the opposite effect and are highly stimulating. I had some alcohol a couple of weeks ago and it made me really unwell for couple of days. The brain zaps took about 3 months to go completely and are now gone. I have constant muscle tremors mostly all down both legs and sometimes a facial tick which goes on for hours. I also suffer bouts of acid reflux which I’ve never had before. But again getting less frequent. As a woman, my periods stopped completely as soon as I stopped taking the AD’s and haven’t returned.
      Most disturbingly, my breathing has been affected when laying down or falling asleep. Feels like I stop breathing and jolt awake constantly.(this is all to do with damage to central nervous system) Slowly I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks that’s getting better too. I’m sleeping much better now.
      I do feel very tired still and flat and not a bit like socialising but I am definitely getting better.
      I cannot imagine trying to hold down a job and go through this. As far as I’m concerned- impossible
      I’m a sane, sensible, science based woman and not at all into pseudoscience or alternative medicine. These symptoms are all incredibly real and debilitating and I’ve done extensive research for months.
      I hope this helps

    • Billy

      That’s so interesting that you took prozac for 8 years and claim it never helped with your pain. Usually people stop after a month when they realize it’s not helping.

    • Abdou Abdou

      exactly what happened with me, i left this therapy after one month and half, after i took 70mg attempting to suicide, this medicament is horrific, i was not acting “myself” and everyone surrounding me thought i was making up stuff, while i was simply hypnotised, my brain now changed drastically i stopped this medicine because i felt like my immunity system was fighting it as a foreign mass, my capacity of retaining things reduced as hell, my creativity retracted, i cant mind something happened to me 4 years and earlier before, this med is a disaster people shouldnt be takiing it.

    • Kim

      I’m not sure what you are implying Billy. That is not even the issue. The point me of this discussion is that someone was given a medication, came off of it and suffered greatly. The medical profession needs to be aware and informed of this epidemic. That’s the point. Thanks

    • Joe

      I’m unsure who to send this to, but I am going through Zoloft WD > many years if use. I identify with many of these posts, thank you for the honesty. Karen’s comment…’feeling dead inside” is particularly notable.
      When I began Z over 10 years ago, I experienced a ” snap, crackle, pop” phenomenon in ky head slmost immediately and thought, “Well, this stuff is working!” And it did…for many years. I felt like I was the REAL ME… but over the last year, the opposite has occurred. The solution has now become the problem.
      What about any homeopathic treatments , vitamins, etc . To deal with WD???

    • Alley

      Joe I am going through the same horrible Zoloft withdtawals.

    • helene

      I have been in Zoloft for approx 16 years and was put on it when I was very young (around 20 years old) for very bad depression and anxiety after a difficult immigration to another country. I have attempted so many times to come off of it and am now from 100mg down to 50mg. This has taken me 6 months to achieve. The WD was hell and I think I will never be the old person I was. I did it bc I felt it wasn’t working any more and that I have been having a lot of issues that I feel the Zoloft has greatly contributed to (jaw clenching and grinding/ acne/ I still feel like I can’t relax ever and need to be on the go all the time/ Gerd and diarrhoea every day/ insomnia/ thyroid problems and very dry skin.)
      I feel like I’m at such a loss as I have tried so hard to get better but hits can’t get there. I have 2 children and the pregnancy specialist insisted I continue through the pregnancy with the Zoloft. Something I regret. I wonder how this awful drug may have affected my children. They were very difficult babies for the first few months, could they have been going through withdrawal? My eldest has learning issues and various problems. I have found a combination of nootropics helpful (GABA and Ltheanine) has helped a little.

    • Amy Woodcock

      I’m tapering off of Prozac myself and have also been taking Plexus products while doing so. Happy to share more.

    • Murph

      Yup. Bit nuts to take a dangerous drug for 8 years when it wasn’t working 🤔
      Medication always has risks of side effects and withdrawal, so it’s only worth taking if the benefits out-weigh the risks. I cannot fathom how anyone would decide to take a strong medication every day for 8 years when it wasn’t giving any benefit at all. Very odd.

    • Len

      I want to thank you for sharing your story!! I am so sorry Christi 🙁 I am currently having WD from Veneflaxin…This is my second time being on an antidepressant. I started with Citalopram last year… treatment for anxiety and depression side note: when i went in i knew i had been suffering from burn out doctors would not and still wont acknowledge that i was and still am suffering from severe burnout due to over working, school and just life…they just prefer to only treat the 2 symptoms out of the 12 I’m experiencing from severe burn out and those symptoms are anxiety and depression. I started Citalopram around Feb last year and the side effects just starting the medication were difficult, strong gag reflex…it affected my sense of taste i felt like I was going to throw up daily. I stayed on it for about 3 to 4 months then went through the initial WD symtoms I rode them out but it was scary and concerning like many of you have mentioned with your withdrawl symtoms…if I had missed one day I would have extreme WD symptoms (Vertigo, nausea, or felt like I was dying. The good thing is I was forgetting to take it which showed I really didn’t need it anymore. I got in touch with my doctors office and followed the taper then rode out the WD then got busy with my life again forgot all about the med which my doctor told me I would…however getting back busy was good and bad because I noticed towards end of October 2015 my symtoms were slowly but surely seeping back… I typically am a tough cookie witg pain…I tried to wing it without any med until January 2016 by then I was out of control…but what I realized had I cut back on my stress…and activity and rested like my family orginally advised me to and slept more and tried to keep myself more calm and let the chips fall where they may and not plan everything out all the time I think I may not have needed to go back on an anti depressant. By February this year I finally budged went in I was started back on citalopram it worsened the symptoms of anxiety and depression and thoughts of hopelessness and many other thoughts that weren’t my own …my body freaked out…however i believe that these symptoms are stemmed from my untreated burn out symptoms and extreme exhaustion/ fatigue which just got worst once I went back to my busy life because I felt fine but the medication i believe masked it but of course was not a cure for it because the issue is deeper than just anxiety and depression my whole body and brain burnt out the thoughts I was having and are still having aren’t my own…. Doctors are willing to acknowledge the exhaustion as fibro mialgia or chronic fatigue syndrome but refuse to look deeper into severe burn out which is a brutal condition but is common amongst doctors, professionals, college students and people who work alot in whatever they do and end up pushing themselves over…I don’t wish this upon my worst enemy…here I am now end of April widrawing from Veneflexin after 3 tried medications failed….which has been hell I don’t recommend Citalopram because it worsened my symtoms or Venfelaxine I felt no support and it causes severe painful constipation. About two weeks ago my doc started me on wellbutrin and mirazapine which I’ve noticed support however my WD symptoms of vertigo, eye pain, head aching or feeling like a balloon about to pop has not subsided and sore throat and my right arm and wrist are in pain. Thankfully my doc is trying to be careful about what prescribes to me howver I am learning that I must be responsible for my own health and not soley depend on the words or diagmosis of medical professionals … because I know my body and I’ve been told that I’m not experiencing things that I really am like you all have also expressed and experienced…I encourage anyone who is withdrawing, or planning to withdawl to hang in there because it’s for the best. If a medication is worsening or causing symptoms that weren’t previously there you know what you are experiencing you know your body and you know what feels right or normal to you or what feels wrong don’t doubt yourself or let someone else have you thinking you are crazy or something else is going wrong with you…so you need to do what’s best for you even if that means changing your doctors. I’ve read many of people’s stories on here and have recieved so much warning and comfort and I will take heed once I am to a more stable place I will be withdrawing from the 2 SSRI’s and further therapy and conseling and make stress reducing life changes the only reason why I am on two right now is because of not understanding fully my burnout condition and the importance of rest i pushed myself further not realizing the burnout was still there and not being treated it was masked by the medication instead of doctors taking the time to treat my 12 other symtoms….because I have pushed myself over I have to be on these to get stabilized while making positive life changes then once I’m to a healthier state with my severe burnout/exhaustion I will be Withdrawing from these two meds ( I know the withdrawing will be brutal and scary but It is worth it to ride it out…the fact that all of us are going through this and we are all still here…I believe we can get to a point of standing on our own… because I don’t recieve, believe nor accept the report that I will be on SSRI’s the rest of my life and neither should anyone else on this page .I will be praying for you all…please pray for me…because one thing I’ve learned through this God has really been there a source for me even though I can’t feel Him right now because the emotional tailspin I am in is so severe everything is out of wack… but I know He’s there even in the midst of everything.
      He’s there for you too when doctors give me some bogus story on why I’m feeling what I’m feeling I have to remind myself like chuck horris said above I’ve got to hang in there…and ride the withdrawls out (Doctors can be helpful and not helpful at the same time) … we’ve all got to hang in there I’m learning that sometimes you don’t realize you were standing until the storm is over or calming and you look back and think how did I get through that. We can and will make it.

    • Diane

      For one you can’t just take meds and be all honky dory it’s a process now when you speak of docs are you talking about a counselor or just your regular family doctor? I don’t believe all people should be on meds period many times depression and anxiety can be situational which I kind of see with you. I think your family gave you great advice and I think a behavioral therapist or a LPC could help you better than the meds! The first things regular docs want to do is prescribe you a drug because for one they make money off of it. I have been taking Cymbalta for many years as I have suffered major depression disorder, anxiety, social anxiety, PTSD ETC stemming from childhood experiences and adult experiences… It has worked for me and I think it’s simmering down but I take the highest dose there is! But not only do I take meds but I see a counselor and that has helped me the most! Just thought I would give you something to look into..I’m not just blowing hot air I have a degree in this stuff lol

    • nikoleta vrcelj

      Dear Len,
      I am also experiencing WD after taking Cytalopram for about a year (even my dislexia went worse).
      I justwant to truly thank you for your message and encouragement. It really helps moreover since talking to doctors about it is not possible in any soulution oriented way and with friends is difficult since they are really not in my skin. For my husband, it has been always a challenge to take time anyway.
      Thank you very much!
      I will be (praying) thinking about you all!

    • Sanja Baskarad

      Dear Christy,
      totally understand what you are experiencing. I have the same problem. I was taking SSRI for more that two years, actually about 4, when you consider stopping and getting back on them. I am now almost six months without it, and it is horrible. I had social anxiety,but now is much much worst. I barely get out of the house, I am afraid of people even more, I am angry all the time, and have mood swings. I am afraid to get out of the house,no motivation, lost interest for everything, my life is living hell. I am constantly tired,low energy, afraid to be alone. I would make these doctor take the same medicine for years,to see how they ruined so many lives. If anyone wants to sue this health system, I am definitely for.
      Hope we all recover!

    • Meghan

      Your post was from many years ago. I was wondering how you are doing now.

    • Bill

      This for everyone trying to get off of SSRI’s. I was on 20mg of prozac for 23 years and 300mg of Wellbutrin for at least 10 years. I quit cold Turkey from both 32 days ago. My symptoms have been mild to nonexistant… not one brain zap (which I had in the past just dropping to 10mg of prozac for a week several years ago). I did my research before stopping and I believe that the supplements I take are extremely helpful to get through this (it’s only a little over a month since I have been drug free so I don’t know if I will experience any future WD’s). I believe that the following supplements have been instrumental in easing this transition: I take 200mg of 5htp – time release every morning with 300mg of St. John’s Wort. I also take 2000mg of L-Tyrosine as well for the Wellbutrin (dopamine and norepinephrine). I also take GABA and L- Theanine, magnesium and fish oil. I still don’t feel like my old self yet, but I have not experienced anything near the symptoms others describe on this forum. I do take 3mg of Clonopin daily that was prescribed well before coming off of SSRI’s due to dealing with withdrawal from oxycontin due to a back surgery…I also try and workout every day (weight training). I sincerely hope that this might help some of you out there…


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