Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Prozac Story

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March 2, 2015 | 272 Comments


  1. Another fairly typical story. Not too much terribly wrong with you, GP prescribes an SSRI and before you know it you are on the polypharmacy merry-go-round. You find yourself locked into a hell you can’t escape and you can’t get back to who you were before you ever took one of these permanently brain damaging chemicals. These drugs should be a last resort which comes in miles behind all other treatment options.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Psychotropics should be a last resort – most ‘mental illnesses’ are actually quite normal and nit diseases per se.
      Exercise, nature, talk therapy, meditation for some works as does yoga.
      Remember .. what you are experiencing might be a spiritual awakening of sorts. It’s different for everybody. Don’t simply accept what doctors especially psychiatrists want to prescribe – ask questions and know the risks. There are no medical tests that prove you have a mental illness. (blood work, saliva, urine specimens) – nothing. It’s hit or miss and shrinks know this is to be true. They go by symptoms – what you tell them and then more often than not the “let’s try this ” game begins. Ask them if they’ve ever cured any of their patients.

        • Maybe you just don’t understand? Don’t dis things you don’t understand… stage one to a spiritual awakening 😉

          • I agree. It’s the best reawakening I’ve ever had. I will never use antidepressants ever again. I’m off them after 3 years. I feel great! Feel like a new person.
            I realized that they gave me even more health problems than I started off with.


          • Michelle,
            How did you taper off your Prozac? I am trying to taper off of 40 mg.

            Thank you!

          • I am tapering off of 30mg and this is my schedule…… Alternate 30mg and 20mg for 2 months. If ok then go to 20mg for 2 months.. If all is good I alternate 20mg and 10mg for 2 months if still good 10mg for a month. Then alternate 10mg and 5mg for a month. Then 5mg for a month. Then 5mg every other day… It’s a long process but I wanna do it right

          • I’ve got a friend who was taking 80mg daily for several years and was told recently her sodium level was to low and was contributing to confusion and memory loss. Doctor recommended that she taper down on the Prozac aka fluoxetine to 40mg. They since put her on other meds still with the fluoxetine and now she’s complaining of hot flashes. But these hot flashes are random in different areas of her body. Tried to find if this is a side effect of taper withdrawal is proven to a headache for me. Did ya experience such durin your tapering?

          • How long did it take before you felt normal again? I was on 20mg prozac for 19 years. I have been off for a little over 2 months. I am extremely anxious, irritable, and tearful. It almost makes me want to get back on it.

          • I just took myself off prozac after 25 years. I’m so depressed.. I have no joy in life.. don’t want to do anything..cry all the flashes then energy at all..feel useless and worthless. I don’t know what is going to happen to me.

          • Sounds like we are in the same boat, Janet. I can hardly get out of bed. I don’t know what to do! Feel like I am in a hopeless situation.

          • Joy I see this is a post from over a year ago. Were you able to get off of it? Sounds like you were going way too fast

          • I’m need some encouragement! I’m a 41 year mother of two teenagers and currently had a full hysterectomy… I’ve been on Prozac for 12 years and seemed A ok on 10 mgs, but last year my father passed away and I increased to 20. I’ve been having lots of ringing in the ears, low energy etc etc (I know it’s a lot to do with my hormone therapy. I’ve decided to start my taper from 20 to 15 for about a month then down to 10… these past two days I’ve had a horrible headache, dizziness and the sleepies and these crazy muscle twitches. Is this normal? I’ve had some very traumatic events in my life and have been thru some hard ass stuff but lord feeling so wonky is for the birds. Someone please tell me this will subside… thank you!!!!!

          • From my personal experience with Prozac and all its withdrawal symptoms (not a Dr) you need to go on a much slower taper plan if you are having those symptoms & unfortunately that’s srill not a guarantee you won’t experience any. Prozac has a long half which is good in some ways but it also means it’s not completely out of your system until around 25 days (at each dose level). Hence further out protracted withdrawal can be common if you’re sensitive to it. Get your Dr to help you do a liquid taper and go down by 10% every few weeks but if any withdrawal symptoms return stay on the dose until they disappear.

          • Hi Joy,
            Was wondering how long it took for the symptoms to subside after you stopped Prozac? I have weaned myself down and didn’t have any problems for about 2 weeks. Now all of the sudden I seem to be very weepy and irritated. Also wondering, if 1/2 a xanax when things get really crazy, is a bad idea???

        • I struggle with PTSD and Anxiety. I need something and I am so afraid. I stay dizzy as a bat and hyper and I am 50, I don’t feel like the ADHD movements I once could work off. Any suggestions? Scared of meds.

          • Jenn, I have to chime in and mention- if you’ve added or changed your hormones while on a ssri you may be accidentally over raising your serotonin levels. There are many things that can give us Serotonin Syndrome and your symptoms sound like the beginning stages. If you’re dizzy, having headaches, can’t stay awake and having muscle twitches you have to cut back on the hormones or Ssri causing this. An easy way to monitor this (in addition to the symptoms you’re having) is to check to see if you have extra big pupils, sweating and sometimes irrational irratiion. It starts off minor but can become serious, so be careful. I know firsthand because I went through it.

          • Kava, CBD, (THC if you can), valerian root for sleep. Stay away from kratom or benzos these have their own horrible withdrawls.

          • I agree on Kava, THC, Valerian. Benzos are devil. But i do take Kratom. It helped me to stop binge-drinking, helps with pains/aches when I am tapering SSRIs, anxiety and mood. I realize it’s an addicting substance, but I prefer it to Prozac or other pharmaceuticals.
            Don’t advertise or recommend but I do need to work, take care of children, pets, house and my man. Can’t afford to lay in bed. Kratom gives energy and takes away the anxiety, pain and constant fatigue.
            I would rather be free of everything but it is what it is. People had successfully quit Kratom so maybe one day I will as well.


      • This is so good to find others that are saying my words and experiences. I am looking to magnesium melate, I -tyrptophan, vit b complex, and perhaps 5htp, but it is only for short term, be wear.

    • So it’s ok to leave people with iatrogenic schizophrenia? It’s not ok to use them as a last resort. No-one deserves chronic apathy, sexual dysfunction, cfs, and no replenishing or rem sleep for the rest of their lives. Your soul is gone, the essence of who you are, your personality wiped without a trace. That’s not life. ”May cause a worsening of suicidal ideation”.

        • I’m having Intense hot flashes and sweating/ no energy. It feels like a mixture of a diabetic crash and menopause, but I’m 30. I just got tested for diabetes and hormonal imbalances bc of. It’s been an absolute nightmare the last 2 months. Until I just googled possible withdrawals from Prozac (which I’ve never heard of before) I had no idea this could be the cause. I too fantasize abt dying just so this will be over. I could kill my dr. 2nd time he hasn’t told me about or minimized the possible effects of getting off of meds I’ve had intense withdrawals from. So angry.

          • Michelle,

            Please share your tapering story with us.. would love to hear how you are surviving now without prozac


          • I 35 and have been on antidepressants for since 14. I don’t even know who I am without them. I’ve suffered with side effects for years. The past two years I have switched multiple medications and nothing has seemed to work for me. I’ve been on prozac for 2 months and was feeling like a mindless zombie. I recently decided to ween myself off and see how I do without the meds. It’s only been 4 days but I haven’t felt this good in years. My mind is clear and I wake up feeling refreshed and have energy. I’m worried that this won’t last and I will have a bad crash. I’m also wondering if all the meds were making me feel worse off than I actually was. Has anyone had success quitting their meds? All I have read are reviews saying it gets really bad. So far the only bad is that I have a mild headache every day but nothing I can’t handle.

          • I’ve been off for two weeks and I’ve been in bed for two days with the flu. After reading this article I think I better start up again. I really never had a problem with being on it, I just don’t like having be dependant on anything. I think big pharm got me 🤔

        • Another Survivor: I see you said you were doing terrific after 1 1/2 weeks, then at 3 weeks, and said you were blogging about it, but 3 weeks is hardly in the clear with this drug, as it has a long half-life.

          I also see you removed your entire blog. I’m assuming things didn’t go so well. People can still learn from your experience- hope you’ll share it with others here.

          Blessings to you.

        • I bet you didn’t stay happy though did you. Anxiety and depression creeps back, it takes months not weeks but for me every time it creeps back!

    • I apologize for this long post, but I have a very serious question I would like answered if possible!

      Here is my Prozac story:
      I was put on Prozac (60mg) when I was 12 years old for PTSD and depression with suicidal thoughts. I can’t express how enraged I am at the doctors decision to put me on this terrible drug at that vulnerable age. I had just experienced a very traumatic accident that was fatal to my father a year prior to starting this. If I would have known what I do now about Prozac, I would have never started it, but at the age of 12 you think that doctors know best, right? I couldn’t tell if the horrible things I was feeling were from my already known PTSD and depression, or side effects from Prozac. Because of this, I continued taking it. It has also worked for my father, and as a child I thought that If it worked for him, it’s gotta work for me! I am 21 now, and still taking this. Over the years I would try to taper, but the side effects were so bad, I went back up. Eventually, I slowly tapered down, probably as slowly as your can go. Any faster and I would experience terrible side effects.
      As the years went on, things were how they always were since I was 12. Triggers right and left, panic attacks, fear to leave my own house. It eventually got better. I had met with many doctors over these years, more natural-like doctors, who recommended I go down on the Prozac. I was at 30mg at this point, and went down by 10mg to 20mg.
      This was especially hell for me. Due to unknown causes that are still trying to be figured out by my doctors, I had gotten very ill a few years ago, and ever since than, I have never been the same. I have no energy, I always feel like I have the flu, I have symptoms of IBS, fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, and the list goes on. I am miserable everyday. I have only been 21 8 months now, and I can’t live my life. I am bedridden most days.
      Aside from this, I had some people tell me they think that these problems could have possibly been caused by the Prozac, so I went down from the 30mg to 20mg as stated above. I can’t put into words just how much of a hell that was for me.
      I had to drop high school, because I couldn’t even think clearly enough to write a simple paper, I had to have people talk to me like a child in order to understand simple things, I felt like a zombie. Everything was dream-like, I always felt like I was living a false reality and everything wasn’t real. I could hardly tell the difference between when I was awake and when I was asleep. I was very depressed, very scared of many things, and could hardly leave my house. I felt like this feeling would NEVER go away. It took three months for me to feel back to normal, a torturous three months.
      Skipping forward to now, I am trying yet again to taper from the 20mg, but even SLOWER by 5mg. So I am currently on 15mg. I am very sensitive to medication and tend to experience many side effects, so I have been trying to be gentler than I have been In the past. I have no idea what my life would look like right now without the Prozac, It’s been almost half my life.
      Since tapering, I am experiencing symptoms I felt around when they first put me on the Prozac at the age of 12, which are thoughts of self harm, more depression, lack of hope, fits of anger, random crying spells, worse anxiety, confusion, very foggy headed, and physical changes such as headaches, body pain, and much more.

      My question to anyone out there is: Have you experienced getting sick or unexplained illnesses while taking Prozac? Did it show up years after taking it? My physical problems didn’t arise till 2 years ago, so is it unrelated to Prozac? Do you feel any of these symptoms and like you just can’t be yourself anymore?
      I am very afraid that this is permanent. Not only physically over the 2 years has it gotten worse, but emotionally I just have more brain fog and feel like I can’t ever concentrate or wrap my head around simple things, things feel filtered, almost as if im drugged. Can someone please give me their opinion? Do you think the Prozac is ruining my body? I have always been such a healthy person until recently. My energy is just shot and I can’t live my life. Please come forward and reply, It would mean a lot to know i’m not alone or crazy!

      • So sorry to hear your story. I have been depressed most of my life, but luckily developed a distrust of doctors and medicine (mostly within reason). I say lucky because I only went on Nardil for a month long ago (didn’t do any good), but that also delayed my seeking help by a decade or so.

        I finally went for psychological testing, which I believe is underappreciated: I was the only adult being tested, but the psychologist wrote a detailed report on my condition and was able to direct me to the right type of therapy and recommended a great therapist.

        While this was all happening, I was also dealing with the discovery that I had been celiac all my life but didn’t know it. A *good* nutritionist (stay away from hospital dieticians!) recommended lots of blood tests which showed several nutritional deficiencies. I began researching diet, gut health, and nutritional supplements. I believe this has helped me greatly.

        I began to take SAM-e for depression and joint pain and it has helped greatly. It helps me sleep well, and I definitely notice my mood slowly drop if I stop taking it. There is info on the website about dosing for depression; take between 400 and 1200 mg per day, tapering up until you feel the effects. SAM-e is one of your body’s metabolites, so no side effects, but withdrawal can happen if you don’t taper off.

        Finally: I discovered some therapies such as emdr, and dynamic psychotherapy (there are a few varieties) which are very good for trauma and attachment disorders. Hope this helps.

      • Merrick I ‘m sorry to hear your story. I was in a similar situation being on Prozac for many years and now I ‘m on my 4th month since I decided to go cold turkey. It’s quite a nightmare but Hope keeps me going. I was geeting sick all the time while I was on prozac. Different kinds of symptoms but Drs could never find sth. Looking back I think that I my sick mind created all these problems. Also not having the appropriate familly suport system and regular psycho-therapy made things worse.
        I reached a point where I had to take control of my downward spiraling life. I went from an A student with agreat job in a bank to a jobless mess with no personal life.
        I ‘m 30 now and I wish someone have told me earlier about the horific results this drug can have to someone’s life. You have to start asking the right questions to the Drs, ask for blood tests and eliminate the possibility of any other problem (food allergies and gluten intolerance included).
        I believe that we are the right Dr for ourselves. We have to listen to our body, take opinion of several Drs and find the strength to get off antidepressants even if life looks awful nd hopeless. It was not not easy for me either. My life is full of uncertainty but there is never the RIGHT TIME. It gets worse before it gets better but it will…. If you decide to do so. Don’t waste your 20’s as I did! Address your health issues courageously. I ‘m sure Prozac hasn’r ruined your body. You just need a lifestyle change! Best of luck!

        • Hi Valentina!
          I am sorry to hear of your sad experiences as well as all the others. I have been on and off meds since my 40′ s. I have a tough time deciding at times which is worse when I am on them with a few side effects, coming off of them, or not being on them at all. I see a significant change in my overall moods and motivation when I am on the right medication. I have to fight daily from within everyday without medicine to accomplish anything or feel any type of purpose to life. But I have such a determination not to take them that I often even loose out on their benefit due to posts that pooh pooh them. I can say This e en with a horrific past of deadly withdrawal effects from paxil which I even dated to go back on to pull me out of another dark hole from switching to another that did not work. In the past several months I used the prozac to bridge coming off the paxil. It made the transition smoother and tolerable. I am presently weaning from the original 20mg for the bridge. I was comfortable at 10 mgs. But I am rather weak and unmotivated now on the 5mg. That I have been at for threes days. I may go back up to the 10 with no issue and sit there for a while longer.
          In closing there is no shame in taking an antidepressant if need be. If one desires to come off them they should evaluate all sides and have a doctor that is willing to work closely with you with respect for your desire to be drug free but an understanding of how each of the meds work while on and coming off of them.
          Happy to support your struggle.

        • Hi Valentina!
          I read your story & your situation seems a lot like myself. I stop taking Prozac 40 mg cold turkey about 2 months ago. It wasn’t easy! Alway sweating & much more. Now I’m at the point to where I’m just mute-lay on the couch, don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want it go anywhere, I just want to sleep & cant wait till it time for bed. I now have crying spells and I don’t know why…how lon did it take you to get back to normal?? Like I said it’s been 2 months.

          • Hi crystal I quit 40 mg 2 months ago too! So your maybe a month ahead right now…my secret is excersize and getting out in lots of nature!!!! Just got my bike up and running. My biggest hurdle is what goes in comes out a bit quicker, but I’m overweight and I see this as helpful keeping the crap out of me haha punny! You have to make yourself! And I still get into tired slumps but allow them, I’m in slump now, but I’ll get back tonight!!!!

          • I feel like crap after being on fluoxetine for 10 years and stopped taking it cold turkey, it was a dumb thing to do but because of a Medicare change on a copay cost I could not afford to pay, I said screw it and my prescription ran out so I had to stop. It has been 5 weeks and my whole body aches. I am craving carbs like crazy have put on 10 pounds I believe that has something to do with my blood sugar but won’t know until I get to have blood work done, hopefully in a couple of weeks. Anyway I have to force myself to get up and go to work. My job is more mentally draining than physical and I feel like I too am in a state of duh! I have basically fallen apart mentally and physically. I am 67 years young and can’t stand feeling this way so I will go back on an antidepressant ASAP.

          • Hi! Did you end up going back on? I am on my second week without SSRI and it is pure hell. I crave carbs like crazy too. Ur post is the first I’ve seen about this.

      • Hi…try to get medical marijuana card for PTSD…GET oil, wouldn’t advise smoking until or if your body develops tolerance. Start with 2mg oil, edible two times a day. I would lean more toward Indica, because sativa can make you anxious. I am right there with all of you. Chronic pain suffer…with horrible side effects from meds. I weaned my fentanyl patch with oil, now I’m starting to wean the Prozac. Be careful with oil until your body builds resistance to the THC. good luck…

      • Hello Merrick
        I have been dealing with the same type of illness that you are describing. It started with me getting Mono many years ago and i never fully recovered. I feel like i have a low grade flu everyday for years. That is why i was put on Prozac in the first place to treat this illness. Prozac withdrawal is hell. And it takes a long time to recover but the illness you are talking about i don’t believe has anything to do with Prozac. It sounds like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which can be triggered by a virus. I hope this helps. Get back to me if you want to chat.

      • I know it’s been a while not sure if you’ll even see this, but here is my story from hell. I suffer from PMDD and would get such bad bouts of anger around my period, so I got on Prozac. I wasn’t 100% consistent as far as I would miss a day here and there I would up the dosage lower it and finally I stopped it after about a year of being on it. So, initially I felt good and then as time passed I was picking up on things like I was more sensitive and offended easily. Suddenly, I was getting severe anxiety into panic attacks to the point I couldn’t be far from home. I worked at a place for half my life and it was a comfort zone for me until this new me. Now, I was terrified to drive, fo to work, and was afraid I was crazy and worried I’d self harm. I felt foggy, lethargic, lacked motivation. It’s been like 6 months and I feel it’s at its peak and I was about to restart Prozac, but no I’m questioning doing that. I just want to feel better!

      • Hello! I just found this article while looking to see if this horrid nausea is from coming off generic Prozac. I can almost guarantee that the brand name Prozac is/was so much better for me. I started on it in 1991 as what my doc called a case study. He was getting hours for something and I’d get boxes of this med with only paying an office visit. I remember about a week from starting, I came bouncing down the steps and my momma was at the bottom. I remember clearly I got this big smile from ear to ear. Those were the good old days before the generic poison was created. It prevented my IBS from even occuring actually. I dropped with and was smaller than I had been in the Army, I think. Made me extremely thirsty.
        Somewhere around 2007 maybe, doc started trying every single antidepressant on me since the generic Prozac “pooped out” on me. I became diagnosed as bipolar. I read there is such a thing as antidepressant induced bipolar.
        At some point I was receiving bags of meds, my VA psychiatrist was heavy handed with his Rx pad. He did explain that the brand name Prozac is either a right handled or left handled molecule, and the generic is the opposite. VA goes generic with everything they can.
        I recently got back on the generic in May of 2017. I decided that the depression I was experiencing then wasn’t so bad, as to the other drugs that didn’t work. I was glad to be depressed but on a long known drug ( by then). I had two babies after lots of miscarriage while being on it. I’ve had many surgeries too. I used recreational drugs and lots of alcohol for many years even on Rx meds. My sex drive is insane-not hindered at all.
        I am weening off again because doc thinks this recent weight gain is from the antidepressant. I just got off 20mg a few days ago. Doc wanted me to go to 100mg shortly after starting. I told him 80mg is Max effectiveness, any higher wasn’t going to make a difference. I did not take over 80mg. I had great pressure in my head, only I knew of it due to pulsatile tinnitus. This doc I have now is not one who substitutes giving a drug up to giving a replacement drug. I am seriously sad, I cannot convince myself to get up and go to the store. I having an online shopping addiction.
        And…I am now reacting to electromagnetic frequencies and dirty electricity. This started last year after a colo/Endo.
        Do try turning off your WiFi to see if anything you are experiencing lightens up. Fibromyalgia is possibly diagnosed and can usually be due to EMF exposure. Government has know we are being radiated for at least 50 years and even Steve Jobs did not allow his kids NY electronic devices. There’s a clause on your cellphone probably under settings<general somewhere there that covers their butt by warning you about RF exposure. There are insurance companies that do not cover this type of environmental illness" and there are so so many countries acknowledging this toxin. Research is paid for by the manufacturer, so numbers look good. This is being referred to as the second tobacco industry. All that has to happen is for them to plant a seed of doubt. That's been said by these monsters behind their closed doors.
        I'm sorry this is so long. I just know we have to help ourselves now.
        Turn off WiFi and limit exposure. Just try it. And 5G will bring everyone into this gd nightmare because it will be absorbed in the food and water. Enjoy..

      • I have the same type of illness. It was triggered 9 years ago from Epstein Barr Virus aka Mono. It feels like the flu that never ends. For the first year i couldn’t barely even get out of bed. With every passing year i get a little bit better. I have recovered at least 75% but still not 100% better as on yet. I was prescribed Prozac to deal with the physical illness only. I don’t have other mental problems. I am now withdrawing from Prozac. Both Prozac withdrawal and illness are hell. But i don’t think your illness has anything to do with Prozac. The only side effects i ever got from taking the Prozac was anxiety and insomnia because it was very stimulating for me (which was what i needed because of this physical illness). However Prozac withdrawal symptoms can mirror many of the symptoms of this type of illness. These drugs cause MAJOR dependancy with HORRORIBLE withdrawal. All this is just my opinion based on my personal expierence. I am not a doctor. Please feel free to ask if you have more questions. I will try to answer.

      • Dear Merrick,
        I realise its 5yrs since your initial post are you still utilising this platform?
        If so I’d love for you to message and discuss this further, as up to reading your comments I was unaware of a boat load of physical issues I have that this medication could be a root cause or certain catalyst. I hope you are feeling well and managed to find some way forward. In specific response, no you are not alone, and certainly not going crazy. Food for thought: It’s said that if you feel you are going crazy, or you are crazy that in actual fact you are not. Variables considered, a crazy person would not differentiate their perception of one’s own mind with others reception of said crazy behaviour. Like suppose a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing…. The crazy will act and do so willingly as to them it’s everyone else that’s got a problem. Much regards Tracy

    • Omg this is me week 6 of Prozac. Unbearable pain upper muscles tense muscles spasm pain and fatigue I can’t stand it I refuse to go back on this medicine please help me

  2. Descent into hell is a perfect description. I always called my struggle to get back – the crawl back from hell.

    It’s strange how these side effects come and go a long time after improvement. I think this indicates a permanent change or damage to the neural network. I’ve heard this referred to as windows and waves. Windows of relief and waves of recurring symptoms. I have experienced this for the last 8 years.

    What’s terribly clear is that those who think they are professionals in the field of SSRI prescription are amateurs at best. These drugs are experimental and dangerous but treated as if they are almost benign.

      • My withdraw was very scary. I thought I was having a nervous brake-down.. my mind was racing and I was having hot flashes and my anxiety was very high.. I went to my doctor and my dose was adjusted. I will never stop taking Prozac and my doctor says that it would be years before she would even consider dropping the dose of Prozac. The doctor said I will be on this mecication for the rest of my life… Yes Prozac does give me breathing space, but if I was told ahead of time that I had to take this medication for the rest of my life I would have not taken Prozac. I would have requested something else.

        • My story exactly! It’s been a life changer for me. I’ve been able to be the mom and wife I want to be on it. I couldn’t imagine my life without it! I just wish I had of known my body will never be able to come off of this! I would have probably tried something else in the beginning! 13 years later, I’m still on it, still doing great but I will never go through the hell I went through trying to get to off. (The only reasons for wanting to come off is due to 10 lb weight gain with each increased dose) I guess I would rather be a little fluffy and happy than miserable and not living my life! Kiesha

          • Hi Keisha I’m Teresa I’ve been taking Prozac for a while few years I ran out about a week ago didn’t think nothing of it I don’t have insurance now so I just figured I’d be all right dear God I’m crazy right now I got to get my medicine. I got to have it dude without Prozac I’m so angry and I cry so hard in my legs hurt

      • My decent to the grave was when I tried to come off of Zoloft after 25years heart raising crying spells paralyzed feeling in legs black out’s ruminating all night no sleep for 6 months it stop a few days then start again so after 8months reinstated 25 my and now am functional can’t. Stan the pain of withdrawal

    • wdtony exactly ssri causes changes in the brain what happens is while on ssri new neurons which are crated every day by the B vitamins and copper that you ingest get misdirected in the brain by that i mean the neurons connect to the wrong receptors this can bring on many conditions in the body which one is susceptable. these conditions can be fibromyalgia chronoic fatigue syndrome and even depression made worse by excessive amounts of serotonin yes i said it excessive serotonin look at the newest reseach and you will find that it is actually too much serotonin can cause depression not less of it.

  3. I can’t see why anyone would benefit from these synthetic toxins. Even those who think they have been helped have only had their real issues masked. Is that helping? I recommend people seek out a functional medical doctor to rule out disease, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal issues, etc. No one was born with a Prozac deficiency. I lost a loved one to Cymbalta. It was an avoidable death. Doctors themselves need to be FULLY educated on the very real side effects, (often they don’t believe their patients reporting side effects and withdrawal problems because it isn’t in the literature) look for other less toxic approaches (But will they? They went to pharma-backed med schools and have been fully indoctrinated), fully disclose to the patient all the possible side effects and a plan on when to get off the med(s), and lastly, how to safely wean off (and many doctors really err here- with Cymbalta for example they often tell patients to skip a day or two -sending said patient into horrible withdrawals).

    • Toni, your statements are spot on. You’ve captured some of the hallmarks of conventional medicine and its use of psychotropic drugs. After watching this nightmare since 1990 and working for many years to change it, I still don’t know how to get through to the majority of practitioners who prescribe these drugs and trust the drug companies’ over the many patients who suffer so horribly from these drugs.

  4. Being TOLD you are depressed! OMG! I went through this over and over. It sure felt physical to me, and I now know it was. Docs have just been trained to call any female physical issue they don’t understand “depression.” I, too, went through years of meds that did not help and made things worse.

    I’ve been off that roller coaster for just over 10 years now and am so thankful, although an antibiotic (Cipro, in the fluoroquinolone class along with Levaquin and Avelox) 7 years ago has made my life hell. These days I refuse ALL meds, including aspirin, Motrin, everything. I’ve learned to let my body heal itself and assist with supplements. I strongly believe all meds have long-term negative effects. We never hear of them because no one is looking. Docs believe that once a med “clears your system” it can no longer damage. But there is no proof of this. They base drug studies with this hypothesis and don’t check or believe otherwise. People with MFTHR dysfunction know differently.

    One big help for me is the book, “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. I believe as much as 80% of depression in our culture is driven by fake foods and nutritional deficits. That, at least, should be the first thing to be addressed before docs go to the easy way out by not listening and pulling out a Rx pad.

    • Everyone is right here. Whats going on here is being stuck in pergatory. Opiod crisis??? How about an SSRI crisis Mr. President?? I asked you a question Mr. President. Well when I reformed health care…??…. The govt. doesn’t care about any of this nor do a lot of Dr’s that we PAY to see.
      Dr. Healy is absolutely right when he talks about this prescription only crap. If Prozac, Zoloft etc.
      were sold in drug stores, over the counter we wouldn’t be having these discussions. If someone did try to alleviate their depression/anxiety with this crap in 2 weeks they would be in the backyard vomiting and burning this crap. Perhaps even consider it heresy to take it. The majority of the Dr’s prescribing these pills know nothing, absolutely nothing about Psychopharmacology. Ask them what a re-uptake inhibitor does and they look at you like you have 2 heads. I find it amazing how we patients know more about the pharmacology of these drugs then the actual prescribers!!!! I can’t imagine the hell you guys have gone through when you stopped these drugs. My withdrawl from zoloft was mild. I took it for 15 years. The funny thing is I feel better then ever now that I am off it. The Adderall, Wellbutrin and Mirapex I’m taking elevate my spirits for sure. LOL. I’m sick and tired of hearing about how benzo’s-Xanax, Klonopin are SO addictive. Dr’s state, I can’t prescribe that its addictive. What the heck do they mean by addictive?? What am I in second grade?? Do they mean they are concerned about PHYSICAL dependence??? Can’t be that because they give me prozac which is worse. Are they talking about Psychological dependence??? Perhaps. I’m not too sure if they are talking about any of it. We will give you a hefty dose of Paxil but we can’t give you a small dose of Ativan. Really??? Yes, I am sorry but Ativan @ 0.25mgs BID can be habit forming. But Dr. I had good results with Ativan many moons ago and it never became a habit!!??? Sorry sir but Paxil is the answer not Ativan. Ok Doc I’ll try it 🙁 Anyone familiar with this little situation??? See it all the time. The Dr. just happens to leave out the little tidbit about suicide, weight gain, anxiety, insomnia, somnolence, aching bones and joints, irritability, becoming angry over trivial things or situations, nausea, vomiting, impotence, a DEAD libido. Alcoholism, increased intake of etoh. I can go on and on. Somethings wrong here and we all know it, but yet these pills are being given out like candy canes at christmas. For the most part these pills are making people worse. The side effects are worse then the problem they are supposed to be treating. I myself, having a degree in Psych. and being a nurse like many of you have studied pharmacology for many years.
      I still can’t even for the life of me find out with a sensible answer as to how in the hell does lowered serotonin, metabolites and/or pre-cursors cause depression?? I didn’t get it, I just didnt get it until I heard Dr. Healy lecture on it. There is NO LOWERING of serotonin in depression. My antennae go up…What the hell is he talking about??? This is all we have heard and all we have been reading about. In the finest medical text books researchers state that a “Chemical imbalance” of serotonin..OR nor-epinephrine depending on which drug they are pushing is due to low serotonin. Ecstasy increases serotonin. How come the govt. will not let us take that???? There’s even a stimulant in it which gives it an extra “Kick”. Yes it increases serotonin BUT…Always a but. This SSRI crap talk, elevated or lower serotonin is nothing but psychobabble. Hypocrisy, contradictions, + and -, nothing is what it seems in terms of these drugs. Have they saved lives?? I guess. Have they destroyed lives?? Unequivocally YES. Again I feel bad for you guys who went through withdrawls. GP’s and many shrinks who always want to tell you how these drugs will help you get out of bed are always hiding under their desks when you need them because you need help for this misery. Dr’s who prescribe these drugs without proper knowledge of their effects paint us patients with a broad brush and do great harm to all of us. Who’s actually the scientist here?? The Dr.??? the Shaman?? It seems we the patients are. Don’t you think….??? Keep up the good work guys in terms of these posts. 🙂
      Thanks for reading this.

      • About 20 months ago my GP wanted to give me Zoloft for anxiety – I had it bad from a health scare that put me over the edge. Almost recovered now, but I do remember my GP seeming to consider SSRI’s as a cure all…..
        Anyway I felt uneasy about the med after reading up on it. Eventually I tried it and OMG after about 3 days I thought I was going lose my mind. I immediately stopped. Weeks later I tried Lexapro….same result. So I thought OK, enough of the SSRI’s. Curious thing was my GP wanted me to try Luxov next. Yeah right.
        He was anti benzo – the root of all evil – in a matter of days you will end up on a street corner pimping yourself because you can’t get enough (Xanax) kind of thing. Yeah well I’ve taken Xanax before years before and seemed to have survived it somehow. So decided that this dude didn’t know what the f*ck he was talking about – so eventually saw a nurse practitioner and told her I wanted to give Klonopin a go. She said fine – but told me that they wouldn’t work if I didn’t take them….see I explained to her that I had a tendency to suffer rather than take pills. Fear of dependency. But took them I did. They helped.
        Benzo’s are not the root of all evil – they work almost 100% of the time for anxiety and depression, and w/o those funny little side effects you can get from SSRI’s…..

        • Jeff, I totally agree with u about SSRIs. I rue the day 25 yrs ago when I was prescribed these “miracle drugs” I highly doubt I will ever be free from. But I have an entirely different experience than u with benzodiazepines. I barely came away with my life when I tried to come off of klonopin. If the Devil made SSRIs then his boss made benzos. The experience the woman who’s article about Prozac we are all commenting on could have been talking about my klonopin experience. I ended up in the ICU and have not been the same since. I eventually tried to take my own life. I did miraculously get completely off of all benzos. My anxiety went away. I am however stuck on a lot of other meds I may never be free from. Most of my adult life has been ruined. NONE of these drugs are safe. And doctors refuse to see the obvious and keep prescribing them with impunity.

        • I disagree benzos are the route of all evil go look at the forums on fbook and the other forums online and see the suffering. They have totally destroyed …crippled me beyond belief mentally and physically.

          • I quit Prozac 40 mg over 2 months ago along with Clonazapan.. I went through the mental/physical withdrawal, been on both drugs for over 12 years….this time. Last week, I started experiencing severe body pain usually at night only. I was sure it was Lyme disease, MS; you name it. Could this be part of the withdrawal? I have never experienced this before. I am truly afraid. Thank you.

          • I have begun experiencing pain, in my shoulders and heel. On prozac for 16 years, stopped June 2016.

          • Going 2 weeks without fluxotine, body and joint aches, exhausted. On them over19 years, tired of being masked. Put on them after my dad passed from cancer then my husband of 22 years had another affair and this time took it to divorce. Had 2 small children and at home mom. Now not sure they are helping. I want off of the dependency and fighting with dr.and insurance to fill perception. My mind feels like a whirlpool but getting better. I have to fight this and win. Sparatik sleep and some anxiety. Friends and family don’t want to be bothered with the emotions. More of a burden….that’s ok they will.loose in the end.

          • Was on 10mg for years,tapered off tapered off in 2015 was fine for about 6 months then very mild depression started in April 2016 phyc Dr. Put me on 5mg Prozac made me crazy sick stayed at ER.went back he wanted to put me on 10 mg .I thought no way,I quit 2 weeks ago,even at that small of dose I feel awful what are Drs thinking if you can’t take 5mg how are you going to take 10mg.Im taking Xanax it helps some but I still feel bad it does take along time to leave your system I liked you story it’s so true.Thanks for sharing it I know I will have to go back on Prozac very slow I dread it.

          • My whole body hurts, I can barely walk in the morning. My heel hurts too, I wonder why? Was on it for 10ish years. Went off Summer 2016. My whole body is in pain.

          • Same for me Linda. I’ve been tapering off 40mg over the last two months. Two weeks at 20mg now. I feel like my physical structure is disintegrating. I work out at the gym regularly (force myself some days) but find I’m sustaining more injuries/strains than I should. I’ve been on Prozac for the best part of 20 years. Don’t be scared. I’m sure it’s all part of coming off this poison (the irony being it actually saved my life on a number of occasions over the years). I take bone/joint supplements as well as high potency “green” power food to help me. I still have a way to go before coming off completely and yes, I’m scared of the repercussions/withdrawals (tried once before and it was hell, so started taking them again). If you can go for a massage, try yoga and/or take health supplements these will help. I know I’m looking forward to “connecting” with myself again. Lots of love and keep going. xxx

        • Did the short course of ssris leave a permanent mark on yoir sexuality?

          Alex, pssd sufferer..

      • Thank you 4 your article. I have insomnia and was prescribed Prozac which I bought but never ingested. Your comments and those of other ssri sufferers have helped save me from a polypharmical merry-go-round through hell. When I find a cure i’ll publish it. In the mean time I am clueless.

        • Mike G ~
          As you, and others, are looking for help to escape “a polypharmical merry-go-round through hell,” do please test the value and benefits of hypnosis. There’s plenty of information and websites on the internet about how to teach yourself self-hypnosis. And, if you feel you would like a guide, there are plenty of adequately knowledgeable hypnotherapists and hypnotists around, too.
          Hypnosis is just language, the most basic of placebos. And yet, as British Author and 1907 Winner of the Nobel Prize Rudyard Kipling said about language, “I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

          Many of you were prescribed a variety of drugs that were barely better (if better at all) than placebo during their FDA trials. Test this. At the very least — the very least — hypnosis will not work at all. No relief, no better sleep, no balancing your mood, no improvement of your well-being. And still, you will be ahead, if only for the absence of malevolent side-effects.

          And, unlike a drug in your bloodstream, all hypnosis is self-administered and self-controlled; within your mind you must say “yes” to the supportive, health-oriented words said for them to have any potency. Therefore, at the very best, you will find the words you choose to have said and which you repeat to your deep feeling self (subconscious mind) will begin to open a window to that better life you remembered living or onto one as good or better.
          I offer this suggestion for health and sanity. And to qualify my entry, declining drugs offered by various doctors, I, myself, crawled away from the edge of a very high bridge by embracing words that dared me to invest my belief in a worthiness inside me and a reliable goodness outside in the world.

        • Tryptophan 1000-2000mg at bedtime will help you sleep and helps serotonin production. You can’t take tryptophan if you’re taking a SSRI.
          I took Prozac for 2yrs. Weaned about 2mos ago. Been seeing a naturopathic mental health doc. One of the cures to depression and anxiety is Amino acids, our bodies get low, we need to fill the tank. I’ve been taking tyrosine by Thorne 500mg 3 x per day and tryptophan at night 1000mg. I feel like a new person. No more anxiety no more sleepless nights no more fatigue.
          Hope this helps

          • Hi Monica…I’m so glad you mentioned these amino acids…I’m going to try them and get off my product soon..thanks for this info!

    • Before doctors start poisoning their patients with chemicals, which cause irreversible damage, they should address dietary deficiencies and start prescribing some supplements.
      Research has shown that a great improvement in mood changes and depression takes place when vitamin B12, B6, and Folic acid are taken. They are also being considered for the prevention of Alzheimer!

      • also mention vitamin b3 niacin….Google niacin and abram hoffer , andrew saul….also very important is interview of dr mercola with andrew saul on niacin vitamin b3.

      • Yes. I Also take the B vitamins, along with the B-12 injections. I was on Cymbalta for almost 20 years. Although, I quit cold turkey 8 months ago, along with 10 pills I was taking for heart meds. I got myself into shape, eating those things that are wholesome, natural, organic foods and stayed away from ANY processed crap. “If it came straight off the farm, it’s good to eat. Food isn’t supposed to come from a factory.” That was advice from my 100 year old grandfather, that passed away from natural causes, with no Alzheimers.

        This mainstream medical system is a joke in this country. No drug is a “maintenance drug.” I have been totally off the heart meds, which were making me sick, for almost a year now, and my numbers are still perfect. I feel better than I have in 20+ years. The real struggle has been getting off Cymbalta, but I am mad, that these doctors who prescribed this shit, really know what they are doing. I am 8 months being off Cymbalta now, and still get the “brain zaps” at times, and the symptoms that go along with getting off this crap. I will put up with the symptoms, because I am mad, and no way am I going back. I have learned that 5-6 months out, the symptoms reemerge, and the symptoms come in waves at times. I am pissed, what this stuff has done to my brain, but they can’t keep a good man down. I am taking all natural supplements now, and haven’t felt this good and healthy, in so long.

        • I would like to know how you are in 2022. Was it worth the nightmare? If so how long does one have to suffer ?

      • Hi @Nana, I also started taking Prozac to come off effexor xr. I have started tapering the dosage from 5 months. Effexor is worse.
        Were you able to quit Prozac?

  5. sorry for your suffering.its alot like my story.
    only mine has gone on for over 7 years of severe pain and mental stuff.
    after tryin to go off 40mg cold turkey.
    on my dumb docs very stupid advice that it was safe to do that.
    theres alot more stuff that ive been through too.
    including very severe psychosis and thoughts of suicide and homicide.
    my body has ached so bad for over 7 years.
    but im not going to go into it.
    i dont want to try to talk bout my suffering very sorry .and sympathise completely with your utter talkin bout it.
    if anyone wants to know my story.
    search on youtube for the video.more than hell by paulopezz.or this link.

    i have other videos too on there bout it.
    i hope you can get off the poisonous shit and recover fully.
    i am off.i still suffer.but i will never touch another psych drug.
    i wish you luck,health and happiness.

  6. Still suffering 10 years off Seroxat , ten long years of suffering and all because of panic attacks .

    • Hi Ruth I took Seroxat for panic attacks and still suffering terribly 4 years off can you tell me what symptoms you still suffer with and has it got any better. I hope one day I feel better than the last four years they have been hell this drug should be banned.

  7. Horrible story, I wish so bad we all get vindicated one day.

    FRED>>>> You are absolutely right, these drugs should be used as a last resort. Preferably in a hospital Environment. With full disclosure of that they target ALL human emotions, SSRI cannot discriminate between wanted and unwanted emotions. Long term use renders in a high probability of dependance.
    Violent behaviour can occur in the most humble and kind-hearted individual. Some individuals become suicidal on ssri. And so on.

  8. I’m 4 weeks into complete Luvox withdrawal after tapering down over 4 months to 6.25 mg. It is a combination of emotional ability, suffocating physical and mental exhaustion, and a daily struggle retrieve the “person” I once was before starting these drugs.

    what has helped (though miles from a cure) is a low carbohydrate diet (no sugar, starch, etc.) However, I’m now even MORE of a diet soda fiend than I once was. Caffeine feels like a lifeline, though there could be worse things than that. B12 (1,000 mcg) and B6 (25 mg) help with the peaks and valleys.

    So SSRIs aren’t “addictive”?!! I beg to differ. :-/

    • I sympathize with everyone who has gone through terrible drug episodes (sometimes lasting years!) I cried for my friend (a college student at the time) who was given one pill after the other in varying doses for depression–then prescribed pills on top of pills for the side effects of those various other pills. He was up and down and all over the place–both emotionally and physically. He even missed his brother’s pre-wedding dinner–he was such a mess from an increase of a dose of some drug (adderall?). He was/is suicidal much of the time–he often talks about wanting to die…and that he hates himself and his miserable life. I tried many times to help him…I’d take him for walks (helped a bit), cooked him highly nutritious food (helped more), talk therapy (not so much–in fact talking did not help at all during his low points). If it were me (and once upon a time it was me) I would definitely wean off ANY prescription medications, improve nutritional intake (e.g. NO processed foods, organic food as much as possible, no artificial flavors, colors, etc) + take therapeutic amounts of vitamins and minerals (being careful to see how much is too much) to re-tune my body. Also, finding things I like to do…painting, hiking, playing tennis, listening to classical music–really helps me. As for negative thoughts, I find listening to, and recalling pieces of classical music is far better than ruminating about my past (which is over and done with anyway). I’ve learned it is important to move into the present–and simply try to do better. Prayer also helps. But if I am tired and feeling blue, I have to remember to be good to myself–to take time off without feeling guilty, especially about not being able to keep up with the rest of the world. I recall the words of my wise mother, who would often tell me “don’t beat yourself up”. Being human is hard for many of us. Weeach can only do what we can, rest when we need to, and try not to worry so much (or at all!– there’s no profit in worry). Bless you all and I hope this helps someone. Time to be medication free….(for most of us anyway)

      • Thank you for your comments. I have a long history of depression, on 40 mg of Prozac. Got physically ill late last week, I’m taking care of terminally ill husband, had to take week off work this week, first physically ill, then husband became ill, then our dog had to be put down, (she lost use of back legs, she was 15, it was time, she was hurting but still awful, )massive depression, lethargy, guilt about “letting others down”, can barely do anything right now, feel hopeless, helpless. Have to go back to work next week or I’ll lose job. I’m a nurse and I feel like I have nothing left to give. For me the Prozac has helped when I’ve taken in past, but now it seems like it’s not getting the job done.

  9. P.S. I just wanted to mention that CORIANDER CURES EVERYTHING (and no side effects that I know of) Just kidding off course, but who knows? I tried putting a few dashes of coriander in my coffee…and wow! It tastes so good that I tell myself it cures everything–all my ills. All power to the placebo! I feel better already. If “a merry heart doeth good medicine” then how much more a delicious spice to improve the mood? (please note I am NOT minimizing the horrible side effects that people are currently dealing with). Years ago my MD said he would have to “experiment” on me, regarding finding the right drug and proper dosage (at least he was honest) but all I really needed was to be able to SLEEP!!! After a roller coaster of side effects from various drugs, I told him, “Look, I just needed to get some quality sleep, let me take care of my depression part myself…” He helped me with the sleep issue, then we were done.

    • What did he give you for sleep? I’m having the same issues myself. Almost 2 months off Prozac and going a bit crazy, on Tramadol for pain, doc pushing remeron. I have 3 kids. And I don’t know what to do.

  10. I have almost every side effect described in this post (only notable exception is the leg pain). At the end of January, my psychiatrist used Prozac to begin weening me off of Pristiq (50mg). Over a month, I had discontinued both drugs. It is now March 10th and all of my symptoms are at their peak, with new ones arising regularly. My worst symptoms at this point are as follows:

    Vision Blurriness (Made worse by driving)
    Dizziness/‘Spaced Out’/Fogged Feeling
    Disequilibrium (feel like a zombie, not ‘myself)
    Neck & Upper Back Pain (Particularly the top of my neck; stiffness of entire neck)
    Sensation of Brain “Moving” (Sometimes like a shakiness or bobble head type feeling)
    Muscle Spasms/Twitches (and general ‘shakiness)
    Motion Sickness
    Drunk (in a bad way)
    Trouble Concentrating (hurts my brain to try)
    Memory/Recall Issues
    Constant Headache (feels like a tension headache)
    Temple & Ocular Pressure
    Nausea (constant but generally mild)
    Occasional Ear Pressure
    Hair Loss

    Can anyone else relate to such symptoms or advise on how long they lasted? I will not go back on this poison – but I also cannot go on like this. Any advice and/or support is welcome and appreciated. Good luck to everyone.


    • Jaclyn

      Could last a long time. We are working on a position paper on these issues that might give people a way to view the problem – in the hope that this might lead to answers.


    • Jaclyn – Yes, Dr. Healy is right that some of these things can last a long time.
      Everyone is different, so it is tough to be definitive.
      The important thing is to have hope and to believe in your heart that you will be okay.
      There are some concrete steps that can be taken.
      I got reassurance that my pounding heart was fine by getting a thorough cardiac workup.
      I stayed low key, quiet, in the country, near nature, with friends.
      Ate the best diet I could get my hands on.
      Worked hard not to judge myself harshly. Only saw friends with whom I was super comfortable and avoided the rest.
      Even at that, I think (looking back) that for me it took at least a year – longer than I realized at the time. And my life has been very different “out the other end”, a better life… but at least it is my life – warts and all – not a life in which I wasn’t sure what was me and what was a drug.
      Best of luck to you.

    • Stop taking this poison. Concentrate on a good, healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and supplements like B12, B6, Folic Acid, and Vitamin C.
      But do a good DETOX to clean your system out first. Just remember that nobody seems to have done a study on the CUMULATIVE effect of these dangerous poisons.

    • I am about a year and a half coming off of Prozac and I still have a few of those symptoms! I thought I was crazy but apparently I’m normal since there is others that are suffering as well. I feel that permanent damage has been done. I still battle with anxiety but it has been improving. How long have you been off and has your symptoms gone away completely?

    • Im so relieved to read all these comments. The physical pain I’m suffering was scaring me so much. Didn’t realise that would happen. Having pains all over my body but particularly in my legs. I love walking but feel like I’ve ran a marathon now after walking a short distance. I’m determined to persevere though.Have been taking prozac since 2010 after losing my daughter in a car accident and I wish now I’d coped without these awful drugs. I’ll get there.

    • I too have experienced all of those and then some I four weeks ago decided to as well quit cold turkey Prozac 40 mg and I have experienced everything you’ve talked about and then some especially really bad vertigo to the extremes of hospitalization I have no idea how to get myself out of this hell.

    • Jaclyn- Thanks so much for your list! I am going to pick up my prozac, but since it will be 5-6 days by the time I get it from the pharmacy, I am pretty sure that it is going to be a cold turkey quit. I commented farther down the page here, but I can tell you that the things you have listed are all things I intend to go through. I have always thought that my reasons for starting it were so long ago and are now gone, why should I continue…so here goes. I tried to quit xanax once- even with the very careful tapering, the symptoms are dangerous and very fast…one day whooshing head, next day brain zaps. I am only on 40 mg, never had trouble adjusting at the beginning and take other meds that should mask some of the worst. I wish you luck- and thanks for the encouragement! If the health care system goes awry, I will be in trouble, as most of my meds are low or no cost now.

    • Hi Jaclyn
      I know it’s been many years, but can you help me.
      My doctor switched me from Pristiq(50mg 3 years) to Prozac(20mg 2 weeks).
      I am also facing similar issues.
      Are you still taking Prozac?
      I want to quit it.

      • Hi Neo, My doc also switched from effexor(50mg 3 yrs) to Prozac(20mg) this January.
        I hope your issues might have subsided within 2 weeks of taking Prozac that time.
        Are you still on Prozac?

  11. Thanks for your response, David. So your guess would be that these symptoms could last “a long time”? Do you mind elaborating on what type of time frame you are referring, along with if you think I will be with all of them for the duration? Appreciate it. Feel like I’m dying…

    • J

      The hope is to get a target article up there that outlines a slightly different view of what is going on and at the same time offer everyone with a problem a new tool to help you – and all of us – to research possible ways to put things right. Hopefully all this will be in place before the summer and then the race is on to find something that makes a difference


      • David, this sounds like the first glimmer of hope for all of us – I wonder if it will apply only to SSRI withdrawal? I have taken every class of psychiatric medication in the past, but antipsychotic withdrawal was the point when everything went berserk, Since then I have been very struck by the similarity between the withdrawal/aftermath of olanzapine and SSRIs. Antidepressant withdrawal is better documented, but presumably because so many more people take them…?

        One of the very worst aspects for me is the fluctuation of symptoms – mentioned by people who have been off SSRIs for a while – sometimes years. Some good days – hey, it’s all gone – followed by appalling re-emergence of the whole shebang. Which makes me think that there has to be some broad overall damage to brain/CNS function caused by the psychotropics (and other drugs). Hence wondering whether there might just be a new approach which could help all of us, regardless of the precise class of drug.

        Very best wishes to everyone who is struggling on.

      • Hello- i have been on 10mg of prozac for 8-9 months. I weened myself off about 1.5 months ago. I just started to get these electrical shock symptoms over the last 2 weeks. Has anyone else ever heard of this? Any idea if it will go away?

        • My daughter calls these “brain zaps”…I tried to go off xanax and couldn’t take it (zaps are the beginning of a serious problem that needs medical intervention), but with Prozac, it may be ok. The drug will take years to leave your system as it was. I have been taking 40mg for 8+ years and don’t expect an easy ride…I have the head whooshing after 5 days….but marijuana helps enormously. If it is legal, try it.

          • Karen- I read both your posts, & thought in your first one stating you were on 40mg. Xanax, was a typo…but repeated it in your second comment. Did you mean 4 mg? I’m on 3mg. a day, & my Dr. says this is a high dose. I’ve been on it for 20 yrs. I started at 0.5, 3xday after a “breakdown”, along with 20 mg. Prozac. I forgot to refill my Xanax one weekend, which happened to be Labor Day on Mon., so had to do w/out. I went into immediate w/drawl…major panic attacks, feelings of no control, crazy thoughts, suicidal, not to mention the physical symptoms. I’ve researched it, & have found that weaning off Xanax at my dose can actually take years! It scares me to know that i’m that dependent on it, & will be on it the rest of my life, i’m sure. I have major panic/anxiety disorder, & even on this dosage, still lead a sheltered life due to my phobia’s. I’ve weaned my Prozac dosage down over the past year, but now that i’m down to 5mg. day, have no energy or motivation, nausea-many of the symptoms all other posters have listed. Prozac initially helped with my depression, but as years went by, my mind became cloudy, memory probs, indifference, moodiness. I also started having incontinence, barely & sometimes not, making it to the bathroom in time. That has improved on the lower dose, but that’s the only positive. I feel bad for all who are going through these side effects, & feel we’re all nothing more than a long term study group for the manufacturer’s of these drugs. Best wishes to you all.

          • Hi. How long has the head whoosh been going on? I have that it scares me. Does it end? I feel like my body is falling apart and gained 30 pounds since off of it. Have not changed my eating but no desire to DO anything. I dont want to go back on it but don’t know what to do.

        • Hello,

          I have been off prozac for about 2 years now. Last dose around early 2015 or so.This year i began experiencing what I would call electric zaps in my toes and legs mostly but sometimes on my stomach too. I was on prozac for anxiety for 5 years and it worked for me no problems except for a skin rash. However i stopped because i lost insurance and didnt have money for the doctor and continued to feel ok during withdrawl until now. I have never been “depressed” but now I have awful thoughts along with the panic and feel at times normal and then out of nowhere like a cloud is hanging over me.

  12. Exercise, meditation, yoga, all wonderful and therapeutic and shown to improve emotional, mental and physical health. Part of what I lost during my crash into hell was the desire and energy to exercise. This was devastating in a way because exercise had always been a big part of my daily routine and life. Even knowing how much it could benefit me it felt like it was so far out of reach. When I began to exercise again after reinstatement it actually made me feel worse. Once I stabilized after reinstatement exercise became my goto therapy again.

  13. This is what I experienced after quitting Effexor abruptly as advised by my then-psychiatrist. It seems to be a very clear-cut syndrome. The midnight awakenings, the cold/hot, the akathisia, the misdiagnoses. The doctors who refuse to see akathisia should be diagnosed with ADS, or Akathisia Denial Syndrome. Is there a pill for that?

  14. Tried unsuccessfully to give up the SSRIs (effexor). Did manage to change to Zoloft, now off that and still in horrible WDs. I gave up the effexor due to high chol. Only off it have I realised it has destroyed 10 years of my life. All horrific physical things have gone (including 3a Kidney disease, that I wasn’t even alerted to?). Poor liver hads greatly improved. Just gotta retrain by brain, it is horrific. Ten years of losing money, losing family, becoming nasty, angry person.
    On disability for 8 years, but thank god, I got part of my brain back I now know why I was and am unemployable at present. Oh why was I on effexor? Bad reaction to Zyprexa, a gp gave me cause I was tired, that sent me nuts in 3 days. If only I had known, just stay off everything! but docs dont work that way? Maybe encouraging more meds, hides their poor prescribing. Never told what Zyprexa was.

  15. The longer I am off SSRIs the more I am able to isolate, identify and confirm the damage it has done to me. The worst of it is that I know the damage is permanent.

    When a patient enters a GP’s surgery with a troubled mind he is told he has depression. This is as helpful and uninformed as entering a GP’s surgery with physical symptoms and being told you have “illness”, for which you can have anti-illness drugs such as antibiotics and analgesics, so let’s try giving you some of those and if they give you side effects we can start to add in things like antiemetics and antiinflammatories. How are your symptoms now?

  16. I want commend each and every one of you who have been brave enough to tell their own personal experience with the dangers and suffering brought on by the very medications that are prescribed to help us. I too am suffering….my memory from years of having been on Paxil and Remeron and Klonopin, I feel is severely impaired. To withdrawal from Paxil was beyond hell and lasted a year whilst I lay in bed with constant migraines every day. I am now on Prozac 30 mg. I don’t want to be on any pharmeceutical med for many reasons. I am angry at BigPharma for allowing these drugs to destroy lives, instead of first doing no harm. I lack motivation and apathy prevails. Yet, it feels as if my brain has been permanently rewired after years and years of taking ssri’s etc. I am very much into holistic med. and try to research on my own how to rewire my brain. My story is much too long to write here. But, I did want anyone reading this to please please know you are so not alone. NEVER compare your experience with that of someone who simply does not understand our plight. Try to honor yourself for how incredibly brave you are. I know it’s hard. But, it is these stories of poor souls suffering that bring solace to me and I am beyond grateful as makes me feel in company of kindred souls. Bless you all. May God be with you as you go thru your healing.

  17. My heart – and my hopes – go out to all of you who are suffering.
    The only thing I can say is at least you are still alive, and where there’s life, there’s hope.
    Not much to say about my withdrawal after thirty odd years, from psych drugs I never needed in the first place…
    Lost a few friends and family members but here I am, out the other side…

  18. I went through 3 years of withdrawal hell when I discontinued Paxil. I have been drug free for almost 7 years, but I still am not right. My health continues to be an issue and I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia due to the chronic pain. I also have other weird neurological symptoms that cannot be explained — I honestly think that by taking an SSRI for almost 10 years, I have damaged my body and brain permanently. I consider myself a victim of the Pharmaceutical Cartel.

  19. What I find disturbing is that whenever you read about a suicide in the papers due to the victim’s depression, it never writes about the medication the victim was taking. These poor people are victims of doctor’s irresponsible actions, and IGNORANCE.
    How can you control, or regulate such a complicated organ as the brain, when so little is known as to the way it functions.
    I suggest that doctors should take these drugs before they start prescribing them to patients, then they might begin to understand the symptoms the patient is going through, ( if they can still think straight after the experiment!.)

    • Vera is right. Some of us who have spoken out are branded as “conspiracy theorists”, “Scientologists”, and on and on. Makes me appreciate even more what Dr. Healy has done and is doing.

      Here’s hoping a reporter in the Mainstream Media (may be better in Germany?) will look closely at this complex issue and put the questions baldly. Then, perhaps, there will ultimately be both more understanding and less suffering of innocents.

  20. I quit an SSRI eleven years ago after having taken it for just over a year. One morning I woke up red and very hot with a completely stiff body and face. I couldn’t move, open my mouth, move my eyes or talk due to muscle stiffness. I had to quit. The first three days off was a relief, my muslces relaxed and then all hell broke loose. Dizziness,´nausea, extreme shortness of breath, coughing up all kinds off stuff, itching all over, vomiting, muscle weakness, dropping everything I tried to hold, ice cold arms and legs and very low blood pressure (90/60), tinnitus, confusion and lots of infections. I had never had anything like this before the SSRI. I tried to go back on roughly half the original dose but the symptoms that had forced me to quit came back. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. At that point I considered it safer to remove the poison than continue taking it and I was convinced by my doctor that the withdrawal symptoms (“that are really only some dizziness”) would go away in a week or so. Hmmmm….it is now eleven years and none of it has gone away except the nausea and the burning skin. During the first five to six years of this hell that I have been living in, I got infections in my gums causing the loss of six teeth, I lost almost all hearing on my right ear. After that the tinnitus in my right ear stopped and started in my left one and I am now loosing my hearing on that one too. During these years I have been hospitalised twice for hypoxia, pneumonia and inability to stand on my feet. It has been eleven years of inability to work, dizziness, muscle spasms, stiffness and other problems that just refuse to get better. I have made two attempts to reinstate with the same horrendous results on both occasions. I have tried every remedy under the sun. Supplements and diets of all kinds, yoga, meditation and physical excercise (that only makes it worse). I have at this point no hope of ever recovering. A drug that i got for problems falling asleep (!) that I took for one year and that didn’t help anyway has now stolen almost twelve years of my life.

  21. Many years after quitting these destructive SSRIs, apart from the permanent physical and emotional sexual deadness and chronic fatigue, the worst lingering symptom is the inability to remember. My memory doesn’t work anymore. Everyday I have to try and work out how I got here. Thinking back across the years, what I can remember from my time on SSRIs is all unreal and fragmented, there is no continuum, like it’s all from some kind of drug trip and like it wasn’t really me and now I don’t know who I am. It’s a burned out mental deadness. Memories from before SSRIs are all real and that was me, then I went off on the SSRI trip and none of that is real and now here I am years later, not knowing who I am or how I got here. I was in my early 30s, now I am in my early 50s and all is lost. How did I get here? Who am I? What the hell happened? I know what happened, SSRIs happened, but I still don’t know who that is in the mirror, because they are 20 years older than they should be and they look tired out, lost and troubled, with no way back to themselves.

  22. Once upon a time in an enchanted kingdom called Venlafaxineland…
    And there the fairy tale ends.
    I came late to the realisation that cocktails of inordinate amounts of prescribed drugs were possibly the cause of my ever-increasing instability and ever-increasing physical ailments. Not the standard side-effects or adverse reactions often commented on.
    In 2013/2014 I had a season-ticket to the hospital carpark for investigations into suspected Cushing’s (negative), suspected ovarian cancer (negative), suspected Meniere’s (negative) to name but a few.
    I suspected that my body was yelling at me to stop poisoning it with Venlafaxine (SNRI) and Depakote.
    So after 27 years of polypharmacy I took a leap of faith and began reducing Venlafaxine.

    I kept a relatively upbeat personal account of how I felt and what I experienced. Note I still referred to them as medications then, had not been acquainted with ‘critical’ psychiatric thinking:

    Within first two weeks (150mg):
    Rhinitis, hoarse, “thick throat”- hard to swallow, dry cough, blurred vision, very drowsy, vomiting , bloating, constant lower back pain, nausea, sweats, chills, “ERUPTIONS ON FEET”( later diagnosed as POMPHOLYX?/DERMATITISY-KIND-OF-THING-?/VASCULITIS??!), dizzy, palpitations, low-grade temperature (recurrent).
    During second two weeks (75mg):
    Burning sensation on face, knuckles , palms, “vibration” sensation under skin, “fizzing” lips, dry cough, hoarse, dizzy, unsteady, clumsy, loss of balance, very bad backache, very nauseous, throat feeling constricted, puffy fingers, burning swollen toes, consistently cold and feeling exhausted.
    August 2nd (started venlafaxine 75mg every other day)
    August 4th BACK TO 75 MG EVERY DAY because of adverse reaction: – at 2 am was still awake (mainly because of extremely painful elbow tendonitis). Tried to lie down and close my eyes but suddenly hit by violent brain whooshing. Felt like being pulled into a whirlpool. Opened eyes, sat up, waited a few minutes and tried to lie down again. Same happened, only worse. Limbs jerked a couple of times, but now couldn’t open eyes, couldn’t move at all, breathing was shallow and difficult. Tried to shout and eventually could manage a grunting noise (even though no-one else in the house). Kept trying to reach for the phone, couldn’t move, still couldn’t open my eyes. Then finally with great effort opened eyes, but for several seconds could see nothing (even though lamp was on) – just looked like dark blurry lines. Then suddenly vision back to normal, sat straight up, felt exhausted, heart pounding.
    Didn’t try to sleep anymore and restarted Venlafaxine every day.

    TAKE 2 – JANUARY 2014
    I decided from the start to stay as active as possible as a distraction from the withdrawal symptoms. This was my ploy during my reduction from 225 mg to 75mg last summer, and found it worked for me.
    From what I’ve read, and also from my own past experience, it makes no difference whether you go from 75mg to zero or from 37.5mg to zero by gradually cutting that last tablet into tiny bits over several months. The moment you go to zero Venlafaxine your brain goes mad.
    You know that strange sinking feeling you get in your guts when you just gave yourself a fright, or when standing too close to a perilous drop – well that’s there constantly but …. translate that ‘sinking feeling’ to your head/brain. Hard to do if you’ve never experienced it, but that is what the ‘brain whooshing’ and spinning feels like to me. Even if I just move my eyes (as in ‘looking’!), like when reading, driving (am being VERY careful). Bright light is too bright, eyes feel so tired.
    Tuesday 14th January 2014

    Just got Gabapentin (hereafter referred to as Gaba) 3 x100mg per day for sciatica in right leg (pain in bum). Already taking:
    – Venlafaxine 75mg (hereafter referred to as Ven) x 1 in the morning;
    – Tramadol 2 x 100mg (hereafter referred to as Tram) per day for elbow;
    – 2 Paracetamol 3 to 4 x a day prn for elbow (any anything else);
    – Valproic acid 1 x 500mg at night (hereafter referred to as Dep) as ‘mood stabiliser’;
    – 1, 2 or 3 Diazepam 2 mg (hereafter referred to as Val) prn to get to sleep!
    Venlafaxine was not in stock today so…
    As Venlafaxine and Tramadol seem to share a similar ‘something’ (warnings about serotonin syndrome), and because Gaba may make me a bit drowsy, this seems like the right time to stop Ven as it may mask the ‘withdrawal’. Discontinuation syndrome they may call it, but that’s just a nice euphemism.
    I’ve researched as much as possible on UK websites regarding other people’s experience of withdrawing to find any helpful tips. Quite a few people mention using Benadryl (But not clear to me which one) as the antihistamine ingredient apparently counters the withdrawal. This is anecdotal.
    I eventually found a blow by blow account by a Brit (midwife called Rachel) who wrote an excellent and positive and well-informed account of her experience. There was also mention of the fact that the ingredient diphenhydramine (found in Nytol here in the UK) helped counter the withdrawal symptoms.
    Also it seems that even going to 37.5 and then cutting it into tiny pieces over months still makes no difference when you then take none at all. Your brain will still go mad.
    Tuesday 14th January 2014 was my last Ven 75 mg. after a 14 year relationship with the drug.
    Went to bed at 10pm after an easy day and about 36 hours after last Ven.
    Kept busy. Slightly headachy. Nothing of note until I went to bed at 9pm.
    Familiar brain whooshing and spinning started in earnest. Simply could not sleep. Eventually after 4 x 2mg Val fell asleep after 2pm.
    FRIDAY 17TH JANUARY 2014 – DAY 3
    9 am: palpitations
    9pm: been asleep for a couple of hours. Was spinning and racing, hyper all afternoon. Had English conversation class; talked far too much, the work I’d prepared yesterday evening for the students was full of errors, was too complicated and didn’t make sense any more. Felt really spaced out. Enhanced sense of smell – YUK! Slightly headachy.
    Went to bed 10ish, watched some TV, finished a book (had had 2 x 2mg Val). At 1am took one more Val plus 1 Tram.
    This time no major spinning and whooshing like last night. Just slight sweeps of anxiety and restlessness inside. And then fell asleep very quickly over the Kindle.
    10.15 am
    Going to take meds now (next Tramadol due 4pm-ish), feeling reasonably ok. May spread the dose of Tram (i.e. one at 2ish) as I’ll be with E. and don’t want to talk her hind legs off if I start getting a bit hyper again.
    Felt ok until sudden spinning at 4ish. Took Tram, then rest of the evening kept busy and felt ok. Off to bed now.
    In the night 4.20 am got up (for loo), also hot and very sweaty, stuffed up, dry throat.
    Back to bed at 5am.
    SUNDAY 19TH JANUARY 2014 – DAY 5
    11.20 am
    Just up again. Slept a lot after am pills. (backache, but not sciatica at the moment). Kept busy, indoors, was OK again except sudden ‘spinning’ at 5ish. So took evening Tram and Gaba. Bed at midnight. 4mg Val and fell asleep rather quickly. (Didn’t need loo in the night – that makes a change!).
    MONDAY 20TH JANUARY 2014 – DAY 6
    9.30 am
    Been up since 7ish. Was really spinning. Took morning meds. Kept busy but still slightly ‘spinny’. (Got dressed and took 2mg Val – didn’t help).
    11 am
    Still very spaced out and dizzy.
    12.35 am
    Coffee at Tesco’s Costa. Very dizzy, brain ‘whooshing’ every few minutes, sort of hyped –up, driven inside, very unsteady on my feet and clumsy (as though a bit squiffy). But otherwise ok – no more headaches and no other withdrawal symptoms). Oh forgot, regular bursts of profuse sweating (particularly during slight physical or mental exertion).
    9.50 pm
    Been to pharmacy to get diphenhydramine (Nytol, in this case). Taken 25mg, already feeling better.
    The ‘vertigo’ was worse today than any other day since I stopped. In fact the last 2 days the spinning and whooshing was getting increasingly worse. Have an enhanced sense of smell, also phantom smells (I think) for a few days. Let’s see if Nytol really helps with the withdrawal.
    Well, sleeper worked – just woke up on the sofa! Spinning stopped very quickly after taking the Nytol last night. Going to bed now!
    9.15 am
    Up 15 minutes – slight vertigo. Taken morning meds.
    11.20 am
    Back from GP re. sciatica. Increase Gaba to 3 x 200mg till Saturday then increase again to 3 x 300mg. After a few days of that, ring gp and report back. (+ call from hospital, re gynae referral next week).
    Brain behaving quite nicely today, so far. Occasional ‘mini-whooshes’.
    Starting to feel spaced out (already taken increased Gaba).
    Back from town (and X Street physio). Was so tired, dizzy, spaced out, hot and sweating (even though only about 3 C).
    Time for meds. Brain whooshing now, palpitations.
    7ish pm
    Just woke up. Palpitations calmed down, whooshing stopped. Taken half a Nytol 25mg. Already ready for bed as must be up and out early tomorrow morning.

    7 am
    Not spinning!!! (Not getting up for the loo in the night last few days + back ok on getting up but elbow = ouch).
    Question: is extreme tiredness, dizziness and spaced out feeling possibly a side-effect of the Gaba?
    Slept last night with no more Nytol and no Val.
    12.50 pm
    at E’s. Just taken lunchtime Gaba. Not been dizzy and no brain whooshing at all this am (but just been sitting quietly).
    Back home. Apart from slight headache, NO VERTIGO, DIZZINESS, WHOOSHING AT ALL TODAY. (Sitting on sofa nearly all day done my back no favours – but you can’t win them all).

    Update 2015 Out of the frying pan into the fire
    Have not taken venlafaxine since, despite rebound ‘depression’
    Stopped Gabapentin as feet swelled up.
    Stopped Tramadol as it didn’t help with pain relief.
    Pain and ‘remaining unidentifiable symptoms/conditions’ resolved after stopping Depakote.
    Stopping Depakote and being drug-free for the first time in 27 years resulted in an intolerable neurostorm – only option offered more of the same, stuck on Quetiapine, barely functioning – no longer quite so upbeat.

  23. I decided to quit Prozac, that I had been prescribed 12 years ago for depression, in October 2014. At the time I was prescribed Prozac, I was experiencing leg pain, fatigue and general malaise. I mentioned this to my doctor and because of a family history of depression she prescribed Prozac. Fast forward to February of last year, I inadvertently was reading about vitamin D deficiency and all my symptoms were listed. So at my next appointment I asked my doctor to check my vitamin D level just to see. My levels were so low he immediately put me on 50000 iu every two weeks. I noticed a difference in two weeks but my symptoms completely resolved in a couple of months. Then I was mad. I hated taking Prozac but was to scared to quit because I had been convinced that I needed it to function properly. Anyway, without telling anyone, I quit. For about two months I was a mess but I slowly returned to myself.

    I think we need to be proactive when dealing with our health and our doctor. Do our own research? Ask questions? All I asked was ” Can we check my vitamin D level?”

  24. I’m going through this now for like the 10th time in my life…you’d think I’d be used to it and that it would get easier,but it doesn’t. It’s just something you have to go through in order to be free of these drugs though. And yes,it can take weeks and sometimes months to feel normal again. I just withdrew from Klonipin in April and now I’m doing Prozac. Most of the year has been spent feeling badly!

  25. A few years ago my PCP started me on Effexor, with no warning that the punishment for attempting to flee my new master would be swift and vicious. I found out by accident in July 2014, when a chore aide failed to refill the script, then went on vacation. The unexpected cold turkey withdrawal caused such rapid, violent mood swings that a close friend said, “If I didn’t know you, I’d think you were bipolar.”

    Since I’m usually very even-tempered, I was horrified as well as miserable. I tried to stick it out, since someone wrote in a blog that the withdrawal only lasted 30 days (HA!), and I was already up to day 17. I gave up, and decided to ease off the stuff instead.

    I reduced the amount slowly over the next several months, and I was pleased that it was going so well. At the beginning of April, I thought I was ready to quit. I got a rude awakening about 2 weeks later.

    I didn’t experience the symptoms a lot of people have described- in fact I think I’ve gotten off easy. The main things was the mood swings. Every few minutes, all day, every day I’d go in the snap of my fingers from being angry with everyone and everything- with no cause for the anger- to being in tears because everyone and everything was so horrible, again with no actual trigger for the feeling. Then, snap- I was furious and raging. Snap- crying and abused by all. Snap … and so on. I think, although I can’t prove, that the problem was intensified by having the flight or flight reaction going all day long, pouring adrenaline into my system to try to deal with whatever the threat was.

    The only things that helped calm me down were melatonin (not to sleep, just to relax) and Valium, which I have as a muscle relaxant because of my MS. Some days I could get by without taking anything. Other days, I needed huge doses.

    I found that if I put on a low-key movie (along the lines of “The Land Before Time”) and worked on my crocheting while I watched it, it would help because it distracted me from thinking about people or things that might serve as a focus for my anger or hurt. I told friends not to bring their children around me. I didn’t believe I’d physically harm them, but I was worried about the vicious things that might come out of my mouth. You can’t undo telling a pre-schooler that you hate them because they’re the most awful person you’ve ever met. I avoided abusing my dog by yelling at him non-stop by ignoring his existence whenever possible.

    After two weeks of this, I felt like I was myself again. I’d read, though, that Effexor withdrawal could come back to haunt you for a couple of months, so I wasn’t especially surprised when I started having “Effexor days”, when I was either sluggish and not thinking clearly and/or more easily upset or angered than normal. Through the summer those days would come a couple of times a week, and I’d be just shifting moods every several hours, rather than every few minutes, so I kept reminding myself it was better. And it had to stop soon, right?

    Right now, I get spells of 2-3 days when I’ll be unusually irritable. The usual switching back and forth between feeling abused because others aren’t viewing my smallest problem as something that should be the center of their world and being furious with them because of their selfish outlook only occurs once or twice a day, and may go away for hours at a time.

    Sometimes I would like to just go off into the woods and camp, and never have to see another person again. I’d probably just feel abused if no one came to check on me and angry if they did, so it wouldn’t really help. I can feel that way at home.

    The movie/crocheting system still helps calm me, but you can’t do that all day. I’ve been trying essential oils, and rubbing a drop or two of cedarwood right under my nose seems to help a bit.

    One other problem I’ve had, which might have other causes than the Effexor withdrawal, is chronic diarrhea, which started as my dosage was winding down. I also had a bad bout of bronchitis *after* the diarrhea started. It was treated with heavy antibiotics, which may have messed up intestinal flora and worsened the problem. I’ve been eating Activia (which is a major luxury when you’re on disability) and, during the last few weeks, using small amount of essential oil of orange internally. Whether it’s one of those things or if it’s Effexor wearing out (or pausing to get me off-guard) I don’t know, but I’m not having to take meds 2-6 times a day just to keep things normal, like I was for for several months.

    Today, nearly six months after the last dose I’m still angry that I wasn’t warned in advance that I was being given an addictive med. I decided as a teenager never to use illegal drugs, because I didn’t want some stupid chemical controlling me, let alone the person who supplied it. It just never occurred to me that my PCP would give me something as bad as a street drug.

    I’m slowly improving, though. While today I’ve been unreasonably angry twice at my niece for thinking that an upcoming Housing inspection and a sick child were of greater importance than my library books she was supposed to return, on the up side, when said sick child informed me he’d accidentally signed me up for Amazon Prime, which I can’t possibly afford, I just quietly told him not to use anything from Amazon- even if it was “free”- until I had it canceled and only muttered a little about Amazon’s greedy policies while I was typing the “Cancel it NOW!” e-mail.

    Also positive is that I don’t, at the moment, wish I would just die and have it all over. And I do know that, compared to most who’ve posted here, I have gotten off very easily. Right now, I’m grateful for that, and wish I could help those who are suffering more. It won’t last- Effexor days will be back and I’ll be either crying or snarling, and I’ll be wondering why I *can’t* be dead and be rid of my physical problems. Worst of all, I won’t care if others are suffering more. I’ll be too self-absorbed. Surely it must end eventually?

    • I just realized I worded something wrong. “I avoided abusing my dog by yelling at him non-stop by ignoring his existence whenever possible.” That sounds like I yelled at the poor dog non-stop to avoid battering him. What I meant was that, to avoid abusing him *by* yelling at him non-stop courtesy of Effexor, I just ignored him as much as I could until I was able to not yell and scream at him.

  26. I was recently hospitalized for serotonin syndrome after only 5 days of 20 mg generic Prozac for post partum depression. This was the scariest experience of my life and I truly thought it was the end.

  27. I had anorexia as a teenager and was prescribed effexor 37.5mg. I took it for 5 years as was unable to get off it despite being told it was a psychological addiction i had. I was advised to stop in cold turkey and the withdrawal was horrible, i was put on prozac to help with the withdrawal and was told this would be much easier to come off. I took it for 11 years as they lied and it wasn’t easier to come off at all it just took longer for the withdrawal to kick in. No words could do justice to the horror i experienced after coming off prozac. 16 months later and i have gone from a marathon running picture of health to a house bound wreck that cannot remember the name of friends. i just don’t know what to do, i’m a tough person but this has me on my knees

  28. I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad. A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsyness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline. Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again. (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time.

    • OMG I thought I was going Crazy!! I have been on Prozac for years ever since my hysterectomy when I was 32 I’m 55 now and have been on every dose there is. I tried to get off of it a few years ago but I couldn’t do it my brother and sister were going through cancer and I have as going crazy then they passed away and I really needed it. I’m on welbutrin the dr said ween myself off of Prozac for 20 day go every other day. I did that and I’m totally off the Prozac and I’m on the welbutrin. I have every single system still after a week of being on the welbutrin I just want to feel better and have my life back. I live to be outside I have not done anything yet outside don’t care about anything or anyone. This is NOT ME!! I will not go back to Prozac but how long is this crap going to last ? I called the Dr and she said well you can either wait it out or we can put you on something else? What? I said I will just see how this goes. She wants to see me after I’m Done taking the first bottle of welbutrin. Lord Help Me


    • Grace I am trying to help my wife. She is in extreme withdraw pain and we have started back today on 40MG. What techniques or what systems are you using to help your friend?

    • I’ve been on antidepressants and antipsychotic for 30 yrs trying to withdraw for 2nd time first time blackouts severe nerve pain seizures none stop crying so I returned after 6 months of suffering will I ever get free from drugs no short term memory left bipolar disorder

  30. It will for sure last a month, they say up too 3 months, consider yourself one of the lucky ones if you have less then that.

  31. I’m glad I came across this article and subsequent comments. However, reading it has frightened me even more, especially when I know what I’m taking is potentially causing irreparable damage to my body and mind. I’ve been on 20mg of Prozac for about 23 years to treat, what in my day, was termed as manic depressive disorder.

    I’ve tried several times to withdraw (once successfully in the early days and I was off them for about 4 years with no perceived withdrawals), however in more recent years, with disastrous consequences (severe mood swings, anger, self-harm, cramps, apathy, headaches etc).

    I’m absolutely terrified to go through the withdrawals again, but know I’m going to have to do it at some point to get this poison out of my system. I pray that I’ll be able to find something to help me through this process.

    It’s soul destroying to be cognisant of the fact that something that used to help you, is actually now extremely detrimental to your future wellbeing, especially when it does not appear to be working anymore. It seems I’ve hit “Prozac poop-out” suffering from apathy, hopelessness, thoughts of “what’s the point?”, etc. I’m now going to consult my GP about Wellbutrin, but God help me with the transition. Will I be jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

    If anyone knows anything further about Dr David Healy’s post where he states:

    “The hope is to get a target article up there that outlines a slightly different view of what is going on and at the same time offer everyone with a problem a new tool to help you – and all of us – to research possible ways to put things right. Hopefully all this will be in place before the summer and then the race is on to find something that makes a difference”

    PLEASE share.

    All the love in the world to those who are suffering, whilst trying to help themselves move on to a better, drug free, life. There has to be a way.

      • Reading all stories, may need to investigate how their bodies are or able to use folic acid. May be missing gene to metabolize folate Need MTHFR
        Methylated Folate. please forward to those to try. When you can’t metabolize you will suffer from depression and feel like losing your mind. Can do cost effective labs to see what your genes may need. Please read!!! Please let me know what you find. God Bless all. Just want all to not suffer and enjoy every day.

        Methylated Folate: A More Effective Supplement
        As synthetic folic acid has been proven to be an ineffective folate alternative for nearly half the population, methylated folate has been used to support a range of health concerns, including…

        Mood disorders – Methyl folate represents a better option for patients due to its greater bioavailability and lack of side effects. [4]
        Homocysteine reducer – A folate enriched diet, or supplementation with bioavailable methyl folate has been shown to lower homocysteine levels, an amino acid associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. [5]
        Diabetic peripheral neuropathy – A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that patients with diabetic neuropathy experienced quality of life improvements with methyl folate. [6]
        Skin disorders – A recent 2013 study found high proportions of methyl folate in the epidermis, even as serum folate levels dropped. This has suggested it as a potential UV skin protectant and an option for skin conditions such as psoriasis. [7]
        Prenatal supplementation – Methyl folate supplementation ensures adequate folate levels necessary to support normal neural development.

        • My younger daughter has low bi-polar disorder and suffers from both anxiety and depression. Her most effective methods for removing these toxic drugs (and assortment from Cymbalta to other ssri’s) is marijuana and pre-natal vitamins. She is slightly edgy, but can feel it subsiding. She was medicated for nearly 10 years and has been clean for over 4.

  32. Since halting prozac after 12 years amongst other issues have had a almost constant feeling of being on the edge of orgasm. I hate it, it’s frustrating and distressing.

  33. You feel bad and start to take a med for feeling bad. At first you really start to feel better and think, ok, this med is the right thing for me. Then, after a year maybe, you notice that you feel bad again. That whatever it is, it’s back, and with a full force. Then, maybe, you try a bigger dose, which does seem to work for a month or so. Then, again, the bad feeling comes back, and you start to wonder why you’re using this med. Maybe, in that confusing situation, you decide to quit the med to see how you feel without it. THEN, suddenly, you feel worse than when you started the med in the first Place. And you start to wonder are you feeling so bad because you actually NEED the med, or because you’re somehow addicted to it. This confusion can go on for months. It wasn’t good with the med, but it’s certainly worse without it. Maybe THEN you decide to try some other med, different but similar, with the exactly same end result. And then what? You STILL feel bad.

    I have experienced this process many times already, and I’m still confused. Not good with the meds, not good without them, what to do, I don’t know.

    Am I a typical antidepressant user?

  34. I have been on prozac for just over 12 months. I started with 10 MG and increased over time to 40. I am being treated for bulemia, which I had suffered from for over 15 years before seeking professional help. While I have never been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, it goes hand and hand as triggers for the bulemic episodes. I have been free of my hell of bulemia since July 3. And I won’t go back. I truly think the prozac saved my life. I am now coming off the prozac. It was a tool. I never intended to use it as a crutch. I am slowly taking myself down and incorporating whole foods and exercise into my life. I have suffered minimal side effects from the prozac. What I have noticed is leg cramps and decreased sex drive which is a small price to pay for giving up a life of obsessing over food and where I’m going to puke it up at. As I’m coming off the prozac, I’ve noticed a feeling of depersonalization, but honestly nothing else. I guess what I’m saying is that there is use for prozac and responsible ways to take it and to come off of it. I can not stress enough the change in my life from one year ago to today.

  35. And, after watching all David Healy Youtube videos and thinking about them, the Basic question about depression still remains. That question, of course, is: What to do? What SHOULD I do? What David Healy (and many others) tells us about the dangers of antidepressants is all true, what patients who are happy with their medications tell us is ALSO true, it CAN go this way, it CAN go that way, these kind of meds save lives and destroy lives and it’s ALL true. I mean, all this is extremely confusing. There´s a lot of anti-med people who say that you shouldn’t even try antidepressants because they can’t CURE anything anyway, that a healthy life is the answer: Eat right, sleep right, exercise every day, be active, no smoking, no alcohol, etc. And all this is, again, true, BUT the thing is, when you already ARE depressed, it’s too late, you CAN’T do these things. You can’t “live right” BECAUSE YOU ARE DEPRESSED. That’s the problem. You would be happy if you would be happy, but you’re not, and no matter how hard you try you just can´t go out and be happy. And, what´s left in a situation like that, really? Meds. Antidepressants. My experiences with the antidepressants have NOT been good, there haven’t been any lasting help, there have been withdrawal symptoms, the usual side effects, tiredness etc, but once again I´m in a situation where I’m depressed and I MUST do SOMETHING about it. Exercise, yes, completely alcohol free life, yes, I have, of course, tried everything, but the problem, depression, still remains. This is the reason why people want to try different antidepressants again and again – because, really, when you ARE depressed, there ISN’T ANYTHING ELSE. People aren’t depressed because they just forgot to be happy, the problem is very real and it isn’t about will power, people can’t just decide that they’re not depressed anymore, if they could, we would all be happy all the time. So, yes, this message is all about my confusion about depression and antidepressants, but unfortunately that’s all I can say about these things right now. I don’t know. I SHOULD know, but I don’t. Doctors SHOULD know, but they don’t know either. I mean, if the problem is diabetes, then the solution is insulin, right? But if the problem is depression, the solution is…?

    • So if you find that Gin is not helpful – do you turn to whiskey or to wine or to beer? There isn’t a huge difference between SSRIs, benzos and alcohol – all tranquilize to some extent.

      The next issue is whether your condition is an existential problem or medical illness. Alcohol may help both but its worth knowing what you are doing.

      Another is even if the condition is a medical illness, such as Type 2 Diabetes or hypertension, the best answer may not be a drug.

      If the condition has been induced by prior treatment, then you are possibly faced with a condition for which no one at present knows the answer.


      • Think I’d rather off had a gin or pint than have took Seroxat to cope with my initial possibly transient anxiety disorder. Funny thing is over four years off Seroxat can’t even drink a pint because the next day my withdrawal symptoms are a lot worse for several days cheers Glaxo.

        You could say you feel awkward when your offered a pint by a friend and then have to explain how you took some pills and if you drink even one pint you will have physical spasms and symptoms for days after. Not good for your social life and you come across as bonkers explaining to them they look at you with utter disbelief.

    • Don’t take ssris if you can because when you come off your experience mental distress on a level unimaginable or even on them. If you do take them because there’s no other choice plan to get off ASAP long term use your In unchartered territory. I don’t believe any off these drugs are safe but I’m sure some off the older ones are safer imipramine etc. I wasn’t so lucky because in the 90s doctors were being pushed by pharma reps to prescribe these so called safer alternatives I got Seroxat like many others. Remember my gp having a Seroxat mug and pen now that’s cunning marketing.

    I decided to switch from citalopram to escitalopram,the doctor thought since they were similar then it should be fine. It wasn’t long before I started suffering. Diarrhea, sweats,insomnia,intense fear of the dark.being alone and death,shaking,
    anxiety, stomach ache, all at the same time every day for 23 days. Each day near the end feeling better by one hour. The first hour I felt relief was at 11pm till I slept then it would start all over again the next morning weather I slept or not. I have been traumatized by this still months later. Although I have regained a lot of my functionality I still have morning anxiety and a lack of overall motivation. I am currently very slowly coming off the Escitalopram and I am fine. I take 10% less every 10 days,exercise and get lots of rest and sunlight. I have found taking vitamin D3 1000UI per 25 pounds of body weight helpful. I hope to get off of these drugs that have masked my emotions for 30 years. My only worry is that some else might make the mistake I made and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  37. I have been on SSRI and NSRI antidepressants for 19 years after being prescribed them by my GP for exhaustion and ‘inability to cope’ when my daughter was a baby. I believe I was wrongly prescribed and diagnosed and I that these meds have actually caused major depression and anxiety. I have tried many times unsuccessfully to come of them for exactly the same reasons mentioned in this article. Severe withdrawal symptoms, the worst of these being intolerable anxiety and abnormally random sadness alongside body aches and pains. I never suffered the terrible sadness and anxiety before taking antidepressants that I have subsequent;y endured each time I have tried to stop the medication. I feel they have taken control of my life and destroyed my life. I’m not the same person I used to be. I feel that since I have been on the medication, I have become detached, aggressive, numb, vague and apathetic to life.
    I’m so glad to have read that I am not alone in this psychiatric medication hell and that people are beginning to speak out about it and that at least some medical professionals are becoming aware of the horrible and frightening reality. I want to stop these drugs forever but I am so so scared of the withdrawal torture-hell and being in a completely vulnerable and dependant state whilst trying to recover.

  38. I cant tell you how long I have been on prozac because I can no longer remember things…15 to 20 years. I have read all of your stories. What I find different is in my case is most of these symptoms have happened to me while I have been ON the prozac!!! I have chronic pain in my muscles and joints that move from one place to another. Migraine headaches that put me to beds for days on end with sensativity to light and noise. Numbness of skin on my face, arms, and legs. Also a feeling of hair on my face or arms that i am constantly trying to brush away…only to have it dawn on me nothing is there. I feel sick and tired all the time…barley able to function most days. Every day feels like a mountian that I just cant climb.I have generalized weakness to the point that it is difficult to dress…so i dont. Bathing takes so much energy that I wash important areas and let the rest go.I have so much weakness and pain in my hips and legs that i wear 2 back braces every day. Hips and legs feel like lead. I have massive night sweats but my skin feels like a block of ice to the touch. This is some of my physical limitations. My mental and emotional illnesses is like a roller coaster…all over the place. The only blessing is I stay in such a fog it all feels like a dream…or nightmare. I have kept this very well hidden as I dont leave my home often. If I have to go out I try to clean up and dress up pretty nice and paste a fake smile on to mask my pain…and anger ..dont want people to know the thoughts going through my mind. I laugh, talk, cut up and cut the meeting very short, all in the back of my mind knowing I have to hurry to get back home, get out of the clothes and shoes that I feel I can hardly breath or walk in.Then comes the crash!!! It has taken every thing I have. Back to bed and the numbness of knowing that I am not living a normal life …hell im not living at all…and so I exist in this nightmare…k

  39. I was 17 when my parents thought I m suffering from depression they took me to a phycatrist.he gave me antidepressant with name clonazepam.after taking the pills my depression got from normal to worst.he increased dosage by adding other antidepressants which resulted in break down of my nervous system I had fits even sizzers as well at present I’m 27my current condition is like a fish without life has been completely destroyed by these so called antidepressants.i pray to God everyday that please gift me death as early u can as I can’t suffer more pain..sorry for my bad English…may my soul rip someday

    • Hi Karan,
      Are you from India?
      The same thing happened to me,
      I went to a doctor for sleeping problems, but he gave me antidepressants.
      That was the worst decision I ever made.
      I was not having any depression but after stopping the medication I tasted what depression and anxiety are.
      Unfortunately, I am on Prozac. I am trying to quit this poison.
      How are you doing now?

  40. This is a great article. My question for the group is did anyone lose weight with Prozac only to start gaining? If so, what did you do? When you stopped Prozac all together, did the weight go away? If so, how long (# of weeks or months) did that take?

  41. I was just prescribed Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) 50 mg a couple of days ago after having trouble rebounding from a bad breakup and financial trouble. My doctor did not mention any of these side effects except dizziness and headaches and told me I only have to be on it for a couple of months. When I asked him about withdrawal symptoms, he simply brushed it off and didn’t really give me answer. He made it seem like nothing would ever go wrong and this medication that most people don’t have problems with it.. I think he is VERY wrong. After extensive internet research and reading this article there is no way I’m going to start taking pristiq! I don’t want to be stuck on an antidepressant rollercoaster for the rest of my life.. i’m only 22 right now. I may be battling a bout of depression but I don’t think it’s severe enough for treatment via SNRIs. I’m going to leave medication as a last resort since I don’t want to create a worse situation than what i’m in right now. I’m going to spend the next few months doing the absolute best I can to better myself, including exercise, relaxation, going to counselling, eating healthy, and taking plenty of vitamins and supplements.
    I’m so sorry for all of you who are suffering, but thank you so much for enlightening me! I hope you all see the light at the end of the tunnel soon

    • Stay away from pristiq. I am trying for the second time to withdraw from it. There is no way to taper thus drug as a 50mg is the smallest dose. Just stay away.

      • Don’t take SNRI like Effexor,
        I took it for 2-3 years and when I tried to quit it,
        I went through the hell I wish no one ever goes through.
        I tried tapering from 50 to 25 to 12.5 , at 12.5 it doesn’t works.
        Judy is right.
        I have been switched to Prozac and I will talk to my GP to prepare an exit plan.

  42. Thank you so much. It is great to know I am not alone. I have been on Prozac for 7 years and decided to come off middle of last year. Everything was OK until about a month or so ago when I started waking up in the night in a panic which would last for hours. I decided to go back on the Prozac at 40mg again as that was the dose I had been taking (against the advice of my doctor who recommended starting at 20mg). Bad move! I have been unable to sleep for several days with the anxiety 100 times worse than before. I recognise many things in the story above and can describe the last few days as absolute hell. I haven’t taken a tablet now since Saturday but am still suffering at night and during the day. Saturday night I stayed up all night watching TV as I was so hyper I couldn’t even consider sleeping. I phoned the out of hours doctor demanding he come and visit me at home and give me something to stop the hellish feelings and eventually phoned the Samaritans! The doctor has given me Diazapam (2mg) for when I need it and it helps a bit but only lasts a couple of hours. Then at night I dread going to bed as the whole thing starts again. My doctor has been less than useless apart from the tranqualisers as I think they see SSRIs as a pretty harmless drug. He is more concerned about me getting addicted to Diazapam than the mind altering effects of Prozac et al. When will this end!!!

  43. I wish all of us harmed or family members of those harmed could all come together and break down the wall that is currently up. Its like a sick joke what going on and its only getting worse. Pharma has drugs for all ages and for all of the made up diagnosis they came up with. I like most people have been 100x more harmed by SSRI withdrawal than the original anxiety/condition I was put on it for. The original anxiety is an aboslute joke compared to SSRI withdrawal. People are being harmed at an alarming rate. I hope you succeed Dr Healy

  44. It became difficult to focus or sit still. I was unable to concentrate and began to feel agitated. (akathisia, Lubitz)

    Melatonin made me more dopey the next day. My vision became blurry. It was as if I had a film over my eyes that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t rub off. (Lubitz)

    I had never had insomnia until this. While I could fall asleep, I would be awoken at 2am by dread, panic and those horrible ruminations. (Lubitz)

    Stranger still was this feeling of numbness and weakness in my right leg, only it wasn’t numb and I don’t think it was weak, it just felt like it was. I began to think I had had a stroke. I was terrified. To be honest, my description here doesn’t do what I was feeling justice. It was simply horrific and scary. (Possible case of encephalitis) Any psychosis?

    Fatigue set in. It too worsened and became exhaustion (Malfunctioning CNS and Fight-Or-Flight)

    Anhedonia became severe for several weeks. I almost can’t explain it. (Malfunctioning SNS)

    Conclusion: Was the Serotonin Syndrome, it’s basically a mild form of encephalitis.

  45. I had every singe one of these experiences while on and coming off Seroxat. At times they were worse, usually during withdrawal. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and from what I can see, what most people seem to be reporting when on or coming off SSRIs looks like cases of encephalitis. The SNS is responsible for feelings of apathy and anhedonia. The SNS can’t work if the immune system is damaged. Andreas Lubitz reported vision problems and insomnia. His actions seemed to stem from akathisia and/or psychosis. I checked the internet to see if Mirtazapine (the drug he was on) can cause encephalitis, and it says there have been cases. It would explain why he did what he did. The debilitating CFS I’m left with after being on Seroxat for 15 years is more than likely due to long-term effects of untreated encephalitis which came about as a bad reaction to Seroxat. Most Seroxat withdrawal cases report high fever or flu-like symptoms. I had a severe case of akathisia brought on by Seroxat withdrawal in 2007, but feel it came with encephalitis. I read antidepressants weaken the immune system. What if withdrawal actually causes the immune system to attack the brain? I believe I got encephalitis and it went untreated because I didn’t know serotonin syndrome was actually encephalitis. As a result my SNS crashed and it’s the reason I have chronic fatigue and sexual dysfunction ever since. You could at least look into it. I have no emotions whatsoever. I know it’s down to having been on Seroxat.

    • Muave,
      How are you now? Do you still have encephalitis symptoms? What were your symptoms? I’ve made the connection as well as I’m in lexapro WD and have extreme fatigue, lethargy, fog, insomnia, stiff neck, etc. I’m reading that this lasts for some time. How long did it last for you?

    • What you said about encephalitis is interesting the headaches I’ve had for nearly five years off Seroxat have been through the roof not like normal headaches constant head pressure gurning jaw did you have this constant head pressure I’m sure there some kind off seizures I’ve been having last four years like fits and head pain jaw gurning must be seratonin related don’t take any drugs illegal or prescribed they do pass but are terrifying think I’m going to die but nothing like a panic attack physical in nature but terrifying.had Mri eeg told it was all normal.I was cold turkeyed after thirteen years off seroxat. I read about encephalitis once and it sure matched the symptoms I was getting. When my jaw starts gurning and the seizure like symptoms start it remind me off seeing people in nightclubs when I was younger on excstasy which I never did. But the jaw gurning must be Related to seratonin I’ve also had pins and needles in cheek one side off face going numb feel like a stroke victim when these attacks happen convinced there some kind off seizure I wish there was someone you could see who could assess you and believe what your telling them about what’s happened to you after coming off this drug feel like I’ve been left to rot so easy to see how people end it after being like this for years. It’s criminal I feel maimed

  46. I have taken pristiq 50 mg for three years. This is my second attempt to stop. My first ended when the taper my doctor recommended left me crying, sleepless, and feeling “depressed”. I thought my depression was still present. A year later after losing insurance, I decided it was time again. I bought a pill cutter and began a taper. My son successfully weaned himself off Paxil by doing the following…he took a pill only when the brain zaps started. Little by little they got further apart and he cannot recall the last time he took a pill. Currently I am 7 days since taking 1/4 of a 50 mg tablet that I cut myself. I chose to follow my sons lead as he has been successful. I was in the depths of dispair and brain zaps when he suggested I try his method. I have increased my distance between each dosage each time. I hope to be free of symptoms and pills by summers end.

  47. Started taking gabapentin last November due to nerve pain. In January I developed major depression , which I never had before. In early February I was prescribed Prozac to deal with the depression,20 mg. about four weeks later, I had to go to the ER, because of severe dizziness , weakness, and confusion. Turns out I had hyponatremia , low sodium count, which is one of the possible side effects of Prozac. Almost three months later, and I am about 70 percent better. What a trip, no more Prozac for me!

  48. Regards to all of u..I was on klonipin, a benzodiazepine, for 25 yrs. I became very I’ll about a year ago. I went into a drug treatment center a year ago after trying to taper with no success. It was the most horrific experience of my life. I am 57 yrs young. I had hallucinations on day 7 of withdrawal. Ended up in the hosp. 2 weeks into withdraw, I couldn’t walk or tLk. I am a nurse, and I knew it would be hard, but not this hard!! But I never gave up hope. U must be very optomistic when facing withdrawal. I am now 11 months from my last dose. Things are great now. I can drive again, balance checkbook, and cook. I don’t feel like I’m at 100 percent, bUT I remain hopeful. I think it’s important to grt up and bathe each day, whether u feel like it or not. Take supplements tgat are goid for the brain like fish oil and coconut oil. Go for walks, get outside, listen to music, take good care of yourself. Above all, attitude is everything.

  49. I failed to mention, I’m on remeron now and I’m in the process of weaning off it..I’ve gained 30 lbs and need to lose anxiety is better since being off the benzos..the klonipin actually made my anxiety worse..

  50. Have been on antidepressants for 20 years following a diagnosis of MS, including Prozac 20 mg for the last 8-10 years. I would like to taper off them but have been so alarmed after reading all the horror stories on this site.

    Has nobody out there come off Prozac successfully? If there is please let me know how you did it.
    Thank you

    • I quit in 2012 (I was 44) after 5/12 years on Zoloft then Prozac for 6 months (for depression). I quit cold turkey, first week I was so dizzy I just stayed in bed… I wasn’t willing to go through the dizzy stage again so just hung in there,
      then the real fun began it started with agitation then uncontrollable anger for no reason at all. I’ve never been an angry person so the anger issues made all the other symptoms irrelevant, after about 6 months I was a full blown raging maniac, all day, every day I was extremely pissed off.
      I found out you need something to focus the rage on so I’d have to find a new target ever so often, person, barking dog, ugly cat it didn’t matter. this crap went on for 2 years straight.
      I can’t describe how being angry all the time wears you down(I tried to fight it the entire time).
      Around the 2 year mark I was completely exhausted, saw no end in sight and it finally occurred to me I can’t keep going. I didn’t ask God for help, I begged, the next morning it was over…… I still had plenty of minor issues to deal with but the living hell was finally over!

      I’m not the same person in some ways but I’m better in others, nothing on earth can make me mad anymore, my short term memory is bad but improving along with everything else.
      If I had to do it again I’d taper off by waiting until I got dizzy before I took another dose,( I actually did that with zoloft and it worked) then follow Madonna’s advice, everything she said is dead on in my experience, especially positive attitude.
      you need to stay positive no matter what. you can get through this, tons of good advice on this site.

      one more thing, I found taking MSM sulfur and Apple cider vinegar before bed completely eliminates brain fog the next day.

      • Please JSK how much MSM sulfur and apple cider vider do u take for brain fog that’s my biggest with the awful sweats

  51. I started taking Prozac “Fluoxetine” 20 mg after a deep depression from 2010 to 2016, basically from 30 to 36, i stopped taking it cause i wanted my body clean of those drugs, and i felt i could take measures to improve my situation by doing daily exercise, improving my self esteem and improving how my brain functions.

    The first couple of weeks without the drug i felt some nasty symptoms, lack of energy, depression, anxiety.. lot’s of it, but at least i didn’t piss my bed anymore “happened since i first started taking prozac” and my sexual function and libido finally work normally, i feel that i’m not an “half man” anymore and i snore a lot less, almost 6 months later i feel great and i was able to overcome the momentary depression by doing daily exercise and changed my diet drastically, the only problem is the insane amount of libido that was “awaken” as soon Prozac left my body, i’m sexually more active than i ever was even before the treatment.

  52. The article begins with stating this individual was diagnosed as bulimic. Generally that is considered atypical behavior, that impairs functioning substantially but, because the effects and relief binging and purging gaver her doesn’t come in a capsule, created in a lab it makes it’s a better manner to damage your body. If you asked a paranoid schizophrenic who does respond to psychopharmacology (not all do) I think they would choose the side effects over the daily ambush of delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized behavior. some truly benefit from medication, some don’t. Clinicians aren’t gods, they use the information they have in front of them, if you don’t do the research of a drug you’re about to put inside your body that’s your own choice. Moderation and balance, how many of you relied solely on the pill for relief and when it wasn’t enough added more of the pill or another pill instead of changing daily habits like exercise and diet. It’s so typical for individuals to point the finger, no one held a gun to your head and forced you to take SSRIs. Most importantly if you are accepting prescriptions and diagnosis regarding your mental health from medical doctors you’re ignorant, would you go to a psychiatrist for chemo therapy?

    • There are two problems with this comment. First its not possible to research data that is unavailable. Second medical doctors are probably better in lots of respects than psychiatrists given that only 5% of the serotonin in any of us is in our brain.


  53. Prozac makes me crazy. Apparently I suffer from mild bipolar, prozac make me psychotic and feeling very unwell. I attacked my parents in a rage and drove my car into the wall at high speed. I became suicidal and didn’t care about anyone or anything, even my children were victims of my inner rage, I have never felt such anger frustration and manic thoughts ever before in my life. Prozac should be banned from being prescribed by a normal doctor, until the patient has been assessed by a therapist or psychiatrist. After nine months I attempted suicide by taking an overdose of coding, luckily I was found collapsed in my bathroom by the neighbour. For me the nightmare was ended or so I thought. The withdrawal symptoms from Prozac were terrifying. I am so happy that I am now back to my abnormal self who believes some weird stuff, but people refuse to believe me and say it’s just me? How wrong they are and now I’ve had a hysterectomy, I no longer suffer any ill self thoughts or delusions, extreme highs or lows? The exasperating fatigue and lack of enthusiasm that I followed up by rebuilding the whole house have gone? Could my problem have always been just hormonal? Now I live alone as my kids left for law school, I still get ashamed and deeply embarrassed by some of my actions during my ‘carefree’ angry world of Prozac. Feeling that whatever you do is just normal while it takes over is just something you have to experience to believe. My heart goes out to anybody who has emotional problems but Prozac might make them worse. If somebody shows a very acute change of personality after a few weeks on this drug they need taking off it, the patient might not even realise so it’s always worth monitoring them. Good luck to you all Steph xxxx

  54. It sounds like you could have a case of stage 3 adrenal fatigue?

    I am on the better side of this at the moment, slow and steady, and II’m in the process of coming off meds ( started 2 weeks ago).

    Nutrition has a HUGE part to play in recovery and withdrawal. Magnesium in the morning and evening helps regulate sleep patterns, cutting out caffeine and sugar is another big one, you would be SO surprised the changes you feel -Feel crappy for 4/5 days (but when you feel like that anyway why not try?!)

    Good luck to everyone

    • The truth is we can read all this stuff but the only one can help us is our trust and faith in God. I’m still living a life I hate but I have to try to do everything I can to live I’m praying for everyone right now that this will end the sad part people make fun of us push us back on the burner mental Illness is a sickness too

  55. Please help me I am into two months coming off prozac I have been on it for almost ten years I feel a lot of these things my head is so foggy most of the time I’m so tired I try my best to feel good but it’s a roller coaster ride very small things happen in my life become huge

  56. I think about killing myself ever day but know I will go to hell don’t want to talk to no one!!! I close myself off to the world which prolly makes things worse!! I feel like I’m trapped in someone body I hate who I am

    • Dear Tina, no one who has suffered like you and no doubt thousands and thousands like you, could possibly go to hell, you are dealing with the only hell there is, now. You are so incredibly brave! Please do keep holding on, cos I’m certain that behind the scenes people like Dr Healy are working tirelessly to find ways to understand what these meds are doing and how to help with the awful feelings. If you can manage it, write in a notebook what you do, how you feel etc every day, keep anchored, try a small distraction each day, maybe a doodle, knit a square, then another next day, get a habit going. I know it sounds totally daft and you’ll think what does she know, but I do a little cos my lovely son was feeling like you and he lost hope. I wish so much I’d realised exactly how terrible he was feeling. Now I’ve read hundreds of messages like yours, I get it. I maybe could have kept him going if he and I had known about RxISK 4 years ago.. I am certain he didn’t go to a hell but I know he’d say to you now, hold onto that thing you said about trust. Cos I do believe there is a power of good that watches over each of us, maybe like we all have a guardian angel, and from somewhere, a solution will come. You are SO brave, and what you have written will help so many others who will have read it and are feeling so bad they can’t even type in this blog. I send you love with so much admiration. Keep posting on here, keep in touch.

  57. I was put on a low dosage of Prozac when my father died. I took it for 3 months. Now I don’t feel “right” I have started exercising and doing other activities that give me purpose. It is hard but it is life and we must cope and move forward.

  58. Was this all ‘managed’ by a primary care physician? That wouldn’t be right, IMO, for a person having such problems weaning off a psych med. There’s an awful lot of variation in both reactions to meds & to getting off of them. I have complex PTSD which mainly manifests in anxiety & depression, & the right meds (that took a long time) make my life worth living. But what happened to you obviously shouldn’t have happened.

  59. Omg I’m so happy I found this site!!! And all of you!!! I have been on Prozac since I was 17 years old & I am now 29 years old, so 12 years now. I was on 20 mgs… At the start of September I just got so busy with every day life I forgot to take it for like 3 weeks… I’ve been taking it again for hmm a week now.. But I am experiencing EVERYTHING you have spoke about!!! Yet the only difference is that going back on my medicine is when it makes it, it’s worst.. The muscle stiffness gets so bad I have to take a muscle relaxer on top of it.. And I can’t keep my eyes open for the life of me, I’m twitching all over my arms & legs… I’m anxious, gittery, my thoughts race, my right leg is swollen and feels weak/numb, my eyes are dry & blurry, my mouth is dry, I am just getting my appetite back, for 2 weeks I hardly ate or drank anything and lost 5 lbs in a week & half, felt like I had the flu and just all around horrible!!! This month for me has been hell!!! I went to urgent care & the doctor told me to just start taking it at night time with a muscle relaxer and see how I feel in the morning and that the symptoms should go away within a few weeks… That the Prozac has to work its way back into my system properly…
    Just curious is there any advice you could give me or anyone here for that matter?… when will this hell end?!!!

  60. I’ve been on Prozac (Fluoxetine) 20mg for over five years now and earlier this year I ran out of my capsules and missed taking them for about a week, I went through two weeks of paranoia and other assorted strange symptoms, I really felt I was descending into madness, my husband was to say the least bewildered, however I renewed my prescription and have been back on them for the last six months.

    I recently read an article by Dr. Mercola who warns of the dangers of Prozac on his website. (Have a look for yourselves) He also gives dietary and advice on supplements eg the importance of taking oil supplements for brain health.

    I have just started on liquid prozac today, prescribed by my GP. The reason for this is so that I can taper at 1mg at a time. My first dose tonight was 19mg. I will continue on 19mg a day. When I feel ok at that dose I will taper down to 18mg and so on. I expect to be tapering off for some time, perhaps years, as I realise from my own experience and from reading the comments on this blog that to come off it quickly after having been on it for many years is not a good idea, although that is the mainstream standard medical advice. I’ve been on it a long time. I will be coming off it a long time.

    I also have to change the lifestyle which contributed to me going on Prozac in the first place, I didnt eat properly, high sugar, high carbohydrates etc and only exercised occasionally. I believed that Prozac would give me the breathing space I needed to get myself sorted out but it hasnt turned out like that, it has anaethestised my emotions.

    I have ordered a book from Amazon called Prozac Backlash as I have heard that it is helpful and gives advice about tapering.

    As you can see I am at the beginning of a long journey, I hope that all who are in a similar situation can find a way to motivate themselves to rid themselves of the poison that is in their system and get back to some kind of normal life, and yes prayer is powerful, our creator cares about us very much, prayer is not just an emotional crutch, God is the hearer of prayer, may he help all who are in this sad situation. Lots of Love and a Big Hug From a fellow sufferer X

    • Ellie, and anyone else looking for help tapering. Check out Dr Ann Blake Tracy’s website. She has a tape called help I can’t get off my antidepressant. It can be downloaded now I think.

      Go very slowly and only reduce when you feel you have stabilised on the does you have cut to. And when you are down to a low does don’t think you can keep going as fast. The last bit needs real patience.

      Good luck all you fellow warriors..:-)

  61. I’ve tapered from lyrica, prozac, zyprexa, seroquel, benzodiapines during my course in the Mental healthcare system.

    I don’t like to see so many kind and loving people suffer.

    Zoloft is, unlike what big pharma and your doctor tells you not a 100% “pure” ssri
    (serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors) It affects serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

    Serotonin is a a inhibatory neurotransmitter
    Most people think of neurotransmitters as something only located in your brain, but there is actually serotonin receptors in your gut, reproductive organs (Penis, vagina)

    Noradrenaline is a natural stimulant made in the brain and gut from the aminoacids we get from our food (Protein) Noradrenaline receptors are reletivly few in numbers, but excert powerfull effects in the skin and cns (Central nervous system)

    Dopamine is a natural stimulant like noradrenaline, dopamine controls focus, sleep, energy, orgams, anxiety etc.

    So here is what happens when you taper from Zoloft:

    You reduce the dose by the SMALLEST amount possible.
    What you need to take into considuration is:

    Halflife of the mother drug (Mother drug = the primary drug)
    Every pill (Without exception) goes to first pass metabolism in the liver
    Because most drugs, natural plants included are large molicules the need to be broken down by the liver to be excredet either by sweat, renal or trough urin.
    You should look at it like this: You eat a protein rich meal, the protein needs to be broken down into amino acids.

    Halife is important, a term used in phramalogy called steady state is eaqully important. Note: Steady state is not the same as halflife. I will get to that in a minute.
    Metabolites are important to.
    Genes etc.

    What happens when you reduce, in this case Zoloft is you are leaving your brain in a state of neurotransmitter defiency, because the neurotransmitters have been raised to a unnatural level. Note: Im not saying the reason the drug was taken, what due to a defiency. ill get to that in a minute.

    This is ONE of the reasons why Zoloft can, and often is pure hell to withdraw from.

    When the drug is tapered or removed cold turkey you are leaving you brain in a state of shock. Your brain has becomed dependent on the drug to function.

    Serotonin is important for mood, appetite, libido, sleep etc.
    What happens is you raise serotonin to a unnatural level by taking Zoloft.
    When the drug is tapered the brain levels of serotonin drow BELOW what they were before you even toke the drug.
    This explains why many people get insomnia during withdrawal. Your brain is deficient in a calming hormone/neurotransmitter BECAUSE of Zoloft. During this you might feal like your appetite is off (either increased or you can’t eat)
    This is because there are serotonin receptors in THE GUT. Those serotonin receptors in the gut, tells your brain if your full or not. Serotonin in the gut controls LEPTIN, where do we know leptin from? Leptin is a hunger inducing hormone.
    So you are leaving your brain in a state of serotonin and leptin defiency (And you sure didn’t have one to begin with)

    Now to noradrenaline. Noradrenaline, or norephedrine to be 100% correct) is a neurotransmitter, stresshormone and natural stimulant located in the brain, gut, skin etc. Have any of you ever experinced nightly sweating or sweating during the day while taking Zoloft? This is because Zoloft is raising the noradrenaline level to a UNNATURAL level.

    Dopamine: As the drug is tapered or removed the levels drop BELOW what the drug were before you even toke the drug. Which in many people result in a inabality to focus, sleep and keep anxiety at bay. The brain recoveres at it own pace, and the different neurotransmitters at a different rate. This can be the eksplanation to why you experience the Wax and wane of symptoms.

    The CNS is fighting to keep homestasis = (The correct balance between the stimulant and inhibatory transmitters in the brain, gut etc) So unlike what big pharma tells you, anxiety, depression, stress is not simply a matter of high or low neurotransmitters. Its a matter of the RIGHT Balance between the different neurotransmitters. Drugs are rerely a cure, its symptomatic. They are not treating the cause, they are treating the SYMPTOMS. Big pharma are not finding cures for for the problems in the world. They could in theory, but if you think about it what generates the most money. Curing people? Or having them taking a drug for the rest of there lives. You know the answer. I am going to stop now because i have so much knowlege about this and i don’t wan’t to bore you. If any of you wan’t to keep in touch or need advice, comfort or whatever. Feal free to email me. Im here to help.

    Note: English is not my native language, which is why there are grammar, mispelling etc mistakes. Pleace excuse me 🙂

    Kind regards Kristian
    Denmark (Scandanavia)

    • Kristian.. Will the brain eventually reset itself? Will my brain make serotonin naturally again? I’m really suffering please advise. Thanks

    • Thank you for your post. I would like to talk with you more about this. I am going through a hard time right now and I believe it’s because of these medicines.

    • Interesting. The problem I am having is insomnia and headaches.I am in the US, florida.

      I am taking Prozac and Wellbutrin (2x 150XL) -prescribed for both depression and anxiety; along with klonopin and (formerly) tramadol
      I am 67 now and have been using Prozac off and on for 40 years.

      Lately, I have experienced horrible insomnia and this has been for 4 months or so.

      I was on and off prozac several times – in 2005 I stopped it cold and went into what seemed like a complete psychotic breakdown; a visit to a psychiatrist informed me that in most cases, if you start and stop Prozac, once you start for the third time (as I did ) it highly recommended to stay on it.

      The Wellbutrin worked well when I started it later on.

      But, I had problems taking 3 – 20 mg pills of Prozac (my dose) at one time so I spread them out during the day; of course I eventually
      started to miss doses and now I remember that by last October or so I was down to 20 mg a day.

      The insomnia started sometime later – I would say maybe in December 2017 or January 2018; I had stayed on the wellbutrin xl 150mg)

      Now the insomnia is terrible – plus, I have been having headaches since about 2007 and was treated by a neurologist who then put me back on Wellbutrin and picked up the Prozac again – he also ended giving me Tramadol for the headaches but it actually helped only a little.

      wow – there is more to this story!!!!!!

      So I ended up being on Prozac, Wellbutrin, Tramadol and small dose of klonopin at night to try to sleep better – this regimen started in 2007 but I had on/off the Prozac twice already before I saw the neurologist.

      The prescribed level of Wellbutrin is 2 – 150 tabs a day but i only take one in the AM – mostly due to the cost.

      I know this a lot of information, probably not presented clearly, but I wonder what your thoughts might be on this horrible insomnia?

      My primary physician treats me now and he will not prescribe any sleeping pills


  62. I was prescribed prozac for anxiety and depression in 1998. I took 20mg initially but i found that made me giddy and hyperexcitable so I cut to 10mg and happily took that for the next 15 years. In 2014 I decided to quit, I knew nothing about these meds and I can honestly say in all the years I received repeat prescriptions not once was I told to stop slowly.
    Nothing I write here will do the experience justice, Iv lived in hell for the last two and half years. I wish so much I had reinstated the prozac but as it took 4 months after quitting to get really bad I literally had no idea what the hell was happening to me and after a dr prescribed me sertraline which made everything a lot lot worse I became so scared of medication that I never even attempted to get back on prozac. Two and a half years on i’m still in hell. Constant Tinitus, vertigo, chronic stiff neck and shoulders, constant migraine type headache, muscle pain, chronic insomnia with dream sleep, chronic fatigue, depression, derealisation, awful feeling of fatigue but never being able to rest or sit for long periods.
    Iv lost my career, relationships, house.
    Surley after 29 months I should have improved? someone give me hope. Im 38

    • I’m still suffering 56 months after stoping Seroxat all we can do is hold onto hope I have had all the symptoms you describe and more its unbelievable this has been done to us.I was nothing like this before I took these tablets or while on them I believe the damage is permanent in my case but try not to give up. I am not the same person anymore and find destraction the only coping mechanism I have the odd okay day but I would say symptoms are present 24/7 at different levels off severity. A lot off people recover so don’t give in. Like you before I came off the pills I would never imagine the symptoms to be possible my withdrawal started 5 days after stopping worse at four months and after a year got even worse physically slept an hour or two at night for first eighteen months after never having insomnia in my life. Sleeps better now but symptoms have stayed the same since. Had an mri eeg because the head pains were so bad etc everything it is all denied if you say you’ve had this since withdrawing to gps neurologists etc they spout the rubbish there told about withdrawal lasting a couple off weeks etc and want to mask/hide your symptoms by giving you more drugs. I know my body and without exaggerating I would rather have had my limbs amputated any day than this it is torture no human being should have to endure with no respite or antidote and mine hasn’t gone away. I believe it it brain or nervous system damage whether it’s permanent only time can tell but to end up like this after being treated for panic attacks I’d have them back any day. Panic attacks are a picnic compared to this intermittent this is constant with no relief it’s disgusting it is hell. I refuse to give in this is the hardest battle off my life.

    • Have you not improved at all? Usually, if you can see some progress in your symptoms, that’s an indication that you’ll keep healing. I recommend for advice from others as well as success stories. Healing is different for everyone, but there is hope.

  63. In January 2016 – I started to have severe headaches so i was told by my GP to com off my meds straight- then found out my 3 inflammation marks had been up for 3 years without them letting me know and my b12 ,Vitamin d on the floor ,Only managed to hit 53 days – was admitted to a rethink centre – They put my back on a lower does of 10mg Citalopram -after 4 days bads headaches again -Come off Citalopram for 32 days -headaches went but the withdrawal and other systems were to terrible to cope –Tried 3 other anti depressants -all caused me the same problems -horrendous head –I spoke to my psychiatrist who agreed that a cannot tolerate antidepressants after 17 years – Now again i am on 61 days today -still struggling – seeing a psychiatrist ,Cpn nurse , using Crisis , doing meditation , Mindfulness , i am having some bad systems and i have no way back – My GP said that there is nothing to help discontinuation syndrome ..My psychiatrist has given me some Lorazepam to help occasionally with stress and anxiety which i try not to use as it can be additive .
    I am still struggling so i have decided to go to Hypnotherapist to see if this will help — Tried 5HTP and is upsetting my head — And does anyone really know how long it takes before you feel yourself after Anti depressents discontinuation syndrome ?? .As it is driving my head crazy -i cannot stop it – do not feel to eating much – changed to eating things like Kale -fish -to see if it will help .. Take the dog out for a walk in the evening for exercise .Not sure what else to do to get the old me back ..
    There does not seem to be much data .. I read that you could feel yourself after approx 3 Months to 3 Years — Anyone been through this i would love to hear from anyone -who has succeeded and are Free from Anti Depressants ..Thank you

  64. My doctor started me on Fluoxetine 20mg, in 2004 July, and upped it to 40mg in 2006, when i was primary caregiver to both my parents who were dying of cancer. Dad passed away in 2007 and Mum in 2010. I’ve been on 40mg since then. The numerous attempts to wean off the meds in the past have been ‘descents into hell’ too. My marriage of 27 years broke last year, and my son has gone abroad for his master’s studies. I live alone with my labrador retriever puppy…
    This time I’m determined. I’ve stopped the 40mg to zero. I am not taking any substitute meds. There have been bouts of hot flashes and slight tremors, muscle aches of varying intensities and occasional panic attacks. It helps to know that this is normal.
    I’m 52, so I’m ‘peri-menopausing’. Flip-flopping hormonal imbalances help the confusion. I’m aware that this is par for the course and am focussed on regaining my mental composure.
    It is time to grit my teeth and haul myself out of this and I do it everyday. If I have to claw my way out, I will…and i can see each day getting progressively better.
    Sleep is better than earlier…funnily… Iyengar Yoga classes and practice helps tremendously. I walk instead of driving, read and work harder than before.
    I have declared that there is an expiry date on moping about the past and I am not going to let it affect myself or anyone around me! That feels good!
    I am going to eat right, get healthy, keep moving – ! Get to the gym.

  65. I am ready to go to ER if I have to and try Wellbutrin but for now I am successfully off of paxil. I was on zoloft and then paxil since 1998. I feel I am successful right now coming off this drug, but also know I can hop in the car and get something at an ER or maybe even an urgent care, i.e. I feel safe. At times I have eye twitches and just read that someone else had that. I cry daily but not for long and I feel better afterwards. I want to make sure that anyone reading this realizes that I recently went to an obgyn and my blood was tested and I know I am in menopause so that is why I wanted to try going off of paxil so badly. I used to take 30 mg a day…

    Also I do not have any younger kids – that may have been the source of my anxiety – my youngest is 16 and so as you can see there are several reasons why I went off of it.

    I want to get back into going to a counselor or group or family therapy. I also want to go to a psychiatrist, group therapy and a prayer group. Thing is here come the holidays so I may not be able to take time out to go. We’ll see.

  66. I was prescribed Abilify ( aripiprazole ) and Fodiss ( fluoxetine ) for my depression from march 2016 onward until somewhere mid august 2016 when i quit cold turkey on both at the same time. So for 5 months while i was on that mix i was sleeping 8 hours per night and 3-4 hours in the afternoon . I was feeling rather well but always tired and out of energy . Now im lucky if i get 4 hours of sleep . Reasons i stopped taking meds was because i have met the most beautiful girl in the world and fell in love with her. I wanted to have fun and go on dates and have a normal life . I started smoking cigarettes and cannabis almost daily and casual drinking beer on friday nights and did that for 3 months after i quit Abilify and Fodiss . Everything was just fine. I didnt miss my meds at all until i decided to quit cigarettes and cannabis also and both at the same time – cold turkey style . The next few days i started experiencing some withdrawal symptoms typical for quitting nicotine cigarettes and a few days after that all hell broke loose . It has been 30 days now of symptoms and for the most of the time im experiencing panic attacks , mood swings , cry spells , anxiety , restlessness , extremely dry mouth , insomnia , sweating all over my body out of nowhere , adrenaline rushes , weakness , tiredness , fear , paranoia , no appetite ( i have to force my self to eat) , i have a constant fear i will die. all these symptoms come and go all day long…every day. When I’m calm , I cherish the moment and try not to do anything to set off the next wave of demonic withdrawal symptoms . I’m not sure why this is happening … was it quitting the meds or nicotine and cannabis … or all of it together …i don’t know 😛 … but its a hell of a ride . I lost 16 Kg of body weight in last 3 months after quitting my meds – I was actually happy about that ^_^ . Yesterday i went to see my psychiatrist and i was prescribed Trittico ( Trazadone ) and Lexaurin ( Bromazepam ) to help me deal with withdrawals but this last month took its toll and I’m now terrified to take the meds . I hope withdrawal symptoms will stop soon. Its a real nightmare . Hang on in there , I love you all <3

    • Some good and bad news from me , I gathered some courage and after taking Trittico ( Trazadone ) 50 mg last night , I feel much better today . I guess my serotonin levels were very low , which means i will have to take these meds for a while longer . Most of the evil symptoms are gone except for slight dizziness through the day and very calm sweating once in the morning so far . But i will take daily dizziness anytime over that hellstorm i endured for the last month .

      • a little update , being on trittico 50 mg since 1.12.2016 i still experience anxiety and panic along with dry mouth and little bit of sweating when anxiety stops , I started to sleep for 5-6 even 7 hours once in a while… that’s why i thought to try without meds again but it didn’t work well. I went back to sleeping 3 hours when i lowered the dose from 50 mg to 25 mg and the anxiety spiked up the next day and lasted for a few hours and the next day it was 6 hours of anxiety i had to up my dose which seemed to help. The anxiety was almost completely gone at 100 mg next day …. I really wish I could be meds free and sleep like a normal person like I used to and have no anxiety or panic.
        I’m not sure I’m taking the right meds , shouldn’t i be on the meds i quit cold turkey like abilify and fodiss and tapper those down gradually ? last week i also got kventiax ( Quetiapine ) 25 mg to replace trittico but i’m scared even though i was told to only take half I’m still scared . i think im doing more bad than good replacing all the meds all the time …and all this for excessive crying when i was depressed 5 years ago… i wish i could go back and never started this treatment with meds .

        • the latest update on my self… im now 1 month and a half without any kind of medication , for the last week and a half i didn’t experience any anxiety or panic that would make me unable to function normally and go to work or force me to chug a pill , i still experience blurred vision from time to time … never had that prior to taking trittico and also i still have trouble sleeping which i blame on prozac but i will persist not taking any more of *medicine* … im getting better and i can sleep for 5-6 hours now on my own…beside this im dealing with suicidal thoughts crying a little and raging. being meds free is … well , still hell but its getting better. i have hope somehow… this still keeps me going

  67. Oh Yeah- Been there done that. I ended 40 years of benzos with Cerzone which sent me into suicidal thoughts and the extreme hell of withdrawal. It took me over 2 years of hell to approach a normal life and it has now been 20 years since I took any mind bending drugs. I still feel the effects big time. What has helped me is a group called Recovery Incorporated. Started by a Doctor (Dr. Low) in 1938 before any of these drugs were thought of. He published two books, which are read at meetings and along with a sort of a mind management program when if followed can make a fantastic change in your life. I have been going to meetings for over 30 years and can honestly say that the teachings of Dr. Low are the most powerful that I have ever experienced. There is no charge for attending meetings, they are not a 10 step group, they provide no medical information and instruct you to follow your doctors advice first. They concentrate on controlling temper, anger, it being the basic reason most of us got nervous in the first place. How about this: “Endure the discomfort and comfort will come!” I never heard a doctor tell me that but boy does it work. “Feelings are not facts- they lie and deceive you and tell you of danger when there is none!”. “It’s OK to be uncomfortable in an uncomfortable situation!” “You cannot control your feelings and sensations, but you can control your muscles and your thoughts” “The humble muscles will educate the brain” And so it goes. Check it out, it has helped thousands myself included. Common sense and there are no helpless or hopeless cases. PS: You do have to stick with it for it to work.

  68. This is so helpful to me. I can’t see, I am so dizzy i can’t even speak, i fall when i try to walk. I even checked myself into a psych ward as I thought i would die. I could not eat for years. I drank all the time to offset the dizziness and panic. I have chronic pain in my neck and back. I was assaulted but now wonder if this was just aggravated meds. I have begged doctors to help me. They don’t even know what the meds do. I allowed my husband to cheat and abuse me for years as I was given the ability to self destruct and want to believe his lies. I was excellent before but had anxiety and anger. I thought everything was my fault. I became totally incapable of everything and then everyone despises you more. No one listens. They are all incompetent and do not care. I feel like my husband drugged me to die and to get away with his disgusting behavior and the doctors also tried to kill. me. I still don’t know if they have but the rare times I am awake, I am shaking and terrified. Hell would be a relief. I have spent so much time in ER. They are arrogant, careless quacks and this should not be an industry. i was so much better before and I don’t feel this can stop. It has destroyed my life and my son’s life and I am so scared and angry I cannot function. I wish i was dead and it would be better for everyone. Thanks a lot. I hope thsi can stop so my son is not so scared anymore and I can do what i am supposed to do.

  69. Took sertraline 50mg for 5years. Left off cold turkey 8 weeks ago due to side effects, suffering depression, how much longer? Pharmacist says it will get better.

  70. Sorry for my bad english, this is my testimonial from France :

    I took Paxil 20mg from 1999 (I was 19 yo), given for IBS (irritative bowel syndrom)… Never did anything, but I took it…

    December 2014/jan 2015, I low to 15mg, then 10, then 5. After 2 weeks at 5mg, my life turned to complete hell.

    Nausea, dizziness, tinnitus, electric feelings in head and eyes, etc…

    I tried to take again 10, 15, 20… No result. The doctors dont believe me. They tried to give me a lot of other drugs to stop my symptoms… No result.

    Now, 2 years later, my life is just an awful hell, where I just want to die each second !!!

    I stop completly drugs and paxil 3 weeks ago… But the hell goes on : satanic nauseas who give me the will to jump from a building just to stop them !!! Dizziness, sweating when I sleep, electric feeling, tinnitus, etc etc

  71. I am a pretty chill guy. Most people give me kudos for being a stabilizing force at work and home, husband and father of 3. However, in August 2016, I had a work related panic attack and became overwhelmed with severe anxiety for several days. I thought I was losing it and went straight to my doctor, although I hate going to the doctor. I thought maybe they’d give me one of these magic pills that I’d heard so much about and they did. Truth be told I had taken anti depressants for a short time in 2002 when my job situation was in crisis. Although I couldn’t completely remember what I took back then I thought it was Lexapro. I seem to remember having no ill effects and generally feeling a “whatever” feeling in 2002. It was good while it lasted, but after being laid off and losing my benefits, I could no longer get the meds. I ended up in the fetal position for most next couple weeks with horrific anxiety and brain zaps, happiness left me. After a couple weeks I felt like myself again and was good to go for years.

    Fast forward to this August. I started on 10mg Lexapro because the doc said that because I handled it ok before, I should be good. Seemed like a logical dose, I am 6’3″ 240 pounds. Within a day I started noticing that my anxiety was increased and my tolerance for handling stimuli was decreased. Over the next 2 days, my sleeping patterns were jacked and I couldn’t get myself off the couch. I lost a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of my life to dread, malaise, anxiety, noise stimuli, brain zaps, and had NO appetite. I literally thought I was losing my mind and cried several times to my wife, holding her as much as possible. I called the doctor and they advised me to halve the pills to 5mg. That allowed me to function at 50%, which was an increase from 10% that I had been. I stayed at 5mg for the next 2 months, but never felt good, never wanted to get out of bed, scared of work….all unusual for me. I could not sleep (always up at 2am with constant, miserable worry), lost joy, and libito was completely non existent. I napped in late afternoons and I have always detested naps. I still felt overwhelmed and didn’t even want to do things that pleased me in the past. I was constantly forcing myself to do basic tasks.

    Then I accidentally forgot the pills on a weekend camping trip. The evil tiny white pills, that I often stared at and thought, “is this tiny thing really affecting me this much?”. When I got back and didn’t feel like climbing in a hole I decided to ween off over the next 2 weeks because of Lexapro’s short half life. I hated giving my life to this pill. 1 week at 2.5mg, then 1 week basically taking crumbs from the pill cutter. After about a month, my anxiety had lessened, sleeping soundly had started to return, and all that I suffered from was an occasional jolt at a sudden noise. A couple weeks later, I dumped the entire bottle in the toilet and smiled as I flushed them. I am 3 months off and I sleep soundly, have sex regularly (thanks Babe), have a solid appetite and now am enjoying everything that I have always enjoyed. I saw a story about Kanye West having a meltdown and saw it disclosed that he had a problem with his Lexapro dose, and I felt or him. I informed my doctor that I self weaned and will tell anybody that will listen…….I WILL NEVER EVER TAKE LEXAPRO AGAIN. I will look for natural remedies for panic or anxiety issues that come about in the future. My wife has taken Prozac for years due to sexual abuse as a child and she is weaning off of her cocktail of pills which also included Klonopin. She went through true horror as a child and I give her all the credit for trying to find a way to feel better. She has experimented with Cannabis in assisting her in this journey with good results.

  72. Do you think there is irreparable damage to our brains after long term usage of Prozac?
    Because i wad on it for a decade +v and went off tapered down, been off for 3 years and my decent into nearly complete Loss of all caring and ability to even take care of hygiene is like a hell i cannot explain.
    Fibromyalgia diagnosis…muscle spasms, neuropathy, pvcs/tachy etc…my point being…

    I just decided, the hell with it, I’m going to try some Prozac again, just to see if the severe fibro pain will get relieved at all or not.
    Within 24 hrs my pain was cut in half and i feel like i have energy again.

    I seriously wonder if Prozac did some permanent damage, messing with our brain chemistry that makes it impossible to get off of it now and function normally.

    I’m wondering if anyone else feels this way or has experienced this? ( long-term usage paired with long-term discontinuation)

    Please…if anyone has any similar experience I’d love to connect.


  73. After being on an anti depressant since 1998, I am getting ready to start weaning myself off. It’s funny, the reason I found this forum was because my pharmacist told me as I wean myself off Pristiq, I can take small doses of Prozac to help the process. Plusses email said my weaning process should only take 3 weeks!!! Obviously the pharmacology and medical community should take a glance at these forums! I’ve scared myself just from reading the forums of how hard it is to wean from Pristiq and now I see it is no better for those on all the other SSRI and SSNI’s. This is scary stuff! The fact that these drugs change the chemistry in our brains long term makes me mad. I am thinking about seeing a naturopath to help with supplements while I wean. Good luck to all of you and please keep posting how everyone is doing…whether you were successful in the weaning process or not. Thanks!

  74. It is over 3 years since a CT prozac.
    Im suffering so much and at the point of trying something to relieve some pain.
    The muscles in my neck, shoulders and upper back are in constant spasm to the point im unable to hold myself in a chair or support my neck.
    I cannot sleep for more than 1.5 hrs at a time and wake at 3-4 every morning after 3 previous awakenings.
    I have constant tinnitus and my eyes have never worked properly since I came off the poison.
    I wish I could go back in time and go back on the stuff after the CT then perhaps very slowly wean but by the time I felt the true horror I was just too terrified of medication.I just dont know what to do

  75. Hi I’m currently experiencing extreme depression, anxiety and have just started to take 10mg of Citalopram, I have been on and off medication for 18 years, a majority on. I’m so worried about the effects this medication will have on my brain and think possibly its become harder to treat myself. My major concern is current suicidal ideation and how to battle this without medication. I have a 3 year old boy who lives with my recent ex and I am so worried I wont be there for him.

  76. I should have done the research on Prozac before I started it!! Because for dam sure my Doctor sure didn’t think to tell me the possible side effects. And also how hard it is to get off this stuff. I managed to go from 40mg a day to 20. Ended up with 2 10’s. One in the morn. and one at night. So then I thought I would try to ween off again since the lower dose, WRONG! Trying get off I just want to lay down all of the time!! But I have things to do!! My head always feels kinda num!! I’m sick of it!

  77. I’ve been on Prozac about 25 years. I take 80mg a day. I’ve also been on several other drugs along with it. Lamictal 300mg, Buspar 45mg and 300mg seroquel xr. I got to the point I could barely function. I was dizzy all the time, falling often. I was becoming afraid to drive even. I felt totally exhausted no matter how much sleep I would get. My son-in-law is a pharmacy technician at a Veterans hospital and when I told him how much lamictal etc I was on, he said there are patients with psychosis not taking that much. I’d been experimenting on my own trying to find out what was making me dizzy and debilitated but when he said that I had an “aha” moment. Although probably not the smartest thing I could have done, I weaned off the buspar in about 2 weeks while cutting the lamictal and seroquel doses in half. The dizziness quickly went away and I’m much steadier on my feet now. I still take enough seroquel to sleep well and so far my anxiety level is just fine. I don’t feel exhausted all the time and I can drive again. I haven’t changed my Prozac dosage and I’m not sure I’m going to. Right now it’s enough to feel”normal” again. I know I may still experience withdrawal symptoms so I thank you all for your posts that lets me know what may/may not happen as these meds leave my system. Hopefully each of us will come out the other side of this healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

  78. Im 11 months into withdrawing from Prozac and down to 13mg from 20mg. It hasnt been easy, each step down brought a couple of wobbly weeks and then I levelled out again. I wouldnt say that Im back to normal again, its still early days, the pain in my legs has increased, I get little flashes of anxiety at night before going to sleep, Im very very tired all the time, more so than usual, the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is still there at the change of every season but fades after a couple of weeks. Ive had metabolic syndrome for many years now which is explained in detail on many web sites. This has over many years resulted in weight gain, insulin resistance, low thyroid function. Ive stuck at 13mg for the present as my activity level has decreased, which may account for the soreness in the legs, and this low activity level is keeping my mood at a low ebb. I have always realised that to get off the Prozac completely I have to increase my activity and embrace a low GI diet but am finding this so difficult to do, so I am at a crossroads, do I stay on the current dose of 13mg indefinitely or break out of the vicious circle of inactivity – Depression – medication – weight gain and so on and so forth. I have supportive family and friends, but ultimately I know I have to take firm steps to change my lifestyle. Im just trying to be honest with myself, I do regret going on Prozac, I didnt know how difficult it would be to come off but I dont want to completely point the blame away from myself, I feel I have still got choices. Hope to get down to Zero within a reasonable amount of time before my legs give up and I end up walking with a stick. Watch This Space.

  79. I’m currently dealing with all these symptoms. I’ve been on Prozac 40 mg one a day for 10 years. Never in my life have I felt so sick. I can barely function, I wish someone would have told me when I was 15 that this medication caused this much physical pain.

  80. I was on Prozac for two years along with Wellbutrin and they both worked amazingly well for me. However, about a month ago I started noticing that my emotions had become significantly dulled and that my libido had essentially become nonexistent. After doing research, I concluded that the Prozac was the problem and went off it, after which I immediately started to feel like my normal self.

    About a week ago my psychiatrist put me on Zoloft, hoping maybe it would help and not cause problems like the Prozac did. Unfortunately, within two days of taking a 25mg dose each night I started to feel the same, completely and utterly apathetic to everything. I stopped taking the Zoloft and informed the psychiatrist, who confirmed that it was good that I’d stopped it and reassured me I’d feel better soon and to call in a couple of weeks.

    It’s been a week since I’ve gone off the Zoloft and I feel no better than before. I’m legitimately TERRIFIED of what’s happening to me because, again, I only took the Zoloft for a total of TWO DAYS and from what I can gather it should be out of my system by now. So why am I still feeling apathetic? I can’t feel joy, I can’t feel true sadness (I PHYSICALLY CANNOT EVEN CRY AND IT’S DRIVING ME ABSOLUTELY INSANE), I have no sex drive at all, and I feel completely emotionally disconnected from my loved ones. I have called my current psychiatrist and my old one, yelled at the customer service representatives on my healthcare plan, did every bit of Internet research possible, but NOTHING IS HELPING.

    NOBODY SEEMS TO REALIZE HOW SERIOUS THIS IS. Again, I am absolutely TERRIFIED that I am never going to feel normal again, that somehow my brain is permanently damaged and I can never be myself. I’m an extremely creative person so this apathy is like losing a part of my identity – I don’t care about any of my artistic pursuits anymore and to be quite honest if I can’t get that back I would literally rather die than live the rest of my life feeling like this. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. I AM SCARED BEYOND BELIEF, NOBODY HAS ANY CLEAR ANSWERS, AND I AM LEGITIMATELY FRIGHTENED THAT IF I DON’T GET ANY DEFINITIVE ANSWERS SOON I WILL TRY TO DO SOMETHING TO MYSELF JUST TO MAKE MYSELF FEEL PAIN/CRY/STOP THE NUMBNESS. I AM LOSING MY DAMN MIND.

    Does ANYONE have ANY information at all that’s better than a vague “it will get better eventually” or “everybody’s different, we’re not sure what’s going on”?? I AM SCARED. PLEASE HELP. PLEASE SOMEONE

    • The zoloft didn’t cause the reaction you had. Its a result of prozac withdrawal. Prozac has a very very long half life in the body before its broken down. Sometimes it can take up to 6 weeks to see withdrawals.hope you feel better soon tho. I’m currently in the hell of prozac withdrawal now.

  81. The penny has dropped, I think the pain in my right leg is due to the Prozac withdrawal, Ive tried swimming and massage which helps a little bit. I thought at first it was a hip problem but it seems to be a common side effect in Prozac withdrawal. The leg is very weak, it is very difficult to lift my leg to get into the car. Is this akithesia, If so what can I do to relieve this pain other than painkillers. Im down to 12mg now, one year to go till zero…..hopefully.

  82. Thats 17 months tapering off the Prozac on the liquid, 1mg at a time. Im down to 7mg, each step down was difficult, took a few weeks to settle then okay, stayed at each dose until felt ready to go down another mg. Exercising regularly, given up the sugar (again), feel a bit better. The doctor was sceptical about the hip pain being akithesia, but swimming is helping a lot. Im not feeling absolutely brilliant, feel sort of flat at times, other times okay, but not tempted to up the dose again. Got another 7mg to go. Probably the biggest hurdle will be the last few mgs, it will be okay if it happens in the summer, more difficult if it happens during the later months of the year when the seasonal affective disorder kicks in for us poor souls in the northern hemisphere. The SAD lamp really works for that. So for me the gradual taper is working, going at my own pace. Hope this helps anyone in similar situation.

  83. I am 4 days in to coming off my ssri.. I have been struggling for over a year to get the right medicine.. I will not try another ssri.. Doc had me taking xanax 3x a day scheduled which was 1.5mg a day on top of my ssri.. I have never taken a benzo that long and refused to do it any longer it was just masking me more… It took 9 days to feel a relieve after withdrawl from the benzo… Then i continued to take ssri prozac and felt horrible for 6 weeks no thank you.. I have had enough so talked to the doc he said all the effects were from prozac wanted me to switch meds again i said no i am getting off the meds and then if i need something ill figure it out.. I havent felt sooo good in over a year getting off these meds… Yes still dealing with some withdrawl symptoms but if i can get off a benzo i can get off anything..

  84. 19 months now tapering, going down to 6mg shortly once the spring SAD settles down. Have been reading a lot about ‘good’ fats like grass fed butter, avocados, nuts etc being essential for mental health on Dr Mercola’s website so hoping to make some necessary dietary changes to include this much maligned source of nutrition. Apparently the brain and body needs good fats (not transfats) to function properly, but better for an individual to read it for themselves rather than my version of it. Need to now think about how to support the body and brain naturally as wont have the Prozac in my system by the end of the year. Its been a long slow journey, but its working.

  85. There’s a lot of suffering here. My heart goes out to those struggling, and I hope you find release from those awful states of mind and body. Here’s my story which seems different to most.
    I have been on Prozac (apart from a brief Seroxat / Paroxetine trial) since 2002. It’s hard to know how depression ‘compares’, but mine had become a bit scary in that I sensed that ‘falling into a black hole’ state. I haven’t had that feeling since, and i would have to say that I am very stable, and as a side effect of taking the drug, my self confidence is better than it ever was prior to taking it. I used to get the ‘electric shock’ symptoms with Seroxat, and that’s why I changed to Prozac. I once tried cutting down on the Prozac from 40mg / day to 20mg, but it made me feel very tentative and shaky – loss of confidence.
    Frankly, all the stories about the hell you have to go through to come off it have scared me into confirming my belief that the SSRI simply ‘rights an imbalance’ in my brain.
    I don’t know. Have I simply been lucky? Am I storing up a worse fate by continuing? My brother tried stopping and starting a different anti depressant (sorry can’t remember which one) but this was disastrous for him. I think I’m stuck with what I’m taking for better or worse and that I shouldn’t vary it at all for fear of triggering something.
    I would welcome feedback on this. Basically I am saying it works for me, but I’ve no idea what I’m doing to myself in the long run.

  86. I stumbled across this article just earlier this morning – I am coming off fluox myself and its almost like I could have written this myself. I feel like this past year, it hasn’t helped, made things worse even possibly and I am sick of taking it and have decided, enough is enough. I did go to my doc several times, dosage got upped, meds got swapped out (was on zoloft before). Anyways, glad someone put this article out here! I appreciate it!

  87. Back on Prozac and Welbutrin after cold Turkey quiting Lexipro. Maybe it was Zoloft. I’ve been on close to or over a dozen in twenty years. The only time I was off them I felt like destroying things, for a horrible 6 months. I fucking hate these things and what they did to me. My Dr was a peach too! Gave me anything I wanted. Oxys, Dilaudid, two different benzos for a number of 9 a day, and chloral hydrate. I’m just glad I’m still alive. These Drs should be shot

  88. I read the article. Behonest I don’t think it was the prozac it may was the wellbutrin. I sware I been off wellbutrin for 3 weeks.. and the first two weeks my mood was so crazy. My doctor said I may be bipolar. I told her yea going off this medication cause your mood go up and down. I cried so much. It give me anxiety bad and i still have it. I am on prozac now . It been one week. And 3 days after taking prozac I finally stop crying. I can’t get over these dammit tremor’s and anxiety. In my opinion the prozac is trying to cover wellbutrin withdrawls.

    • My heart breaks for everyone of you, as I read your posts. I too started taking prozac, probably 25 years ago. The only thing I’d ever taken. My LO was struggling with alcoholism and downward spiral was devastating and heart breaking. I was getting so severely depressed from trying to fix it all, I started prozac. Took for a few years. then stopped. Then had to start again. Took for many years then tried to get off of it a year or so again. Worked really hard with everything I had I was going to get off this stuff! So I thought.At one point I was on 8o mg for a long while then, back to 60, down to 40 down to 20, then 10mg. But would have to go back up,as started to fear the black hole. Which is terrifying. So this past year when I finally started going off of it I tried slowly. Well 60 to 40 over a couple. months then a couple months down to 20 and quite a while on the 10 and less. I experienced lots of side effects. However I exercised like crazy etc. That was March April of 2017. By August Was completely off of the stuff. I was so extremely happy and excited! Thought well I have made it thru all the side effects!! Then in the fall of 2017 maybe Oct. I started going down sadness, lethargic, not wanting to go on, fearful of m myself The Big deep black hole. Was so scared so after all that work I had to go back on it . Started back on 60 mg, because I was afraid I may not last another day alive≥I was devastated that I had to take it again After All the hard work I had put in!! Now here it is Sept of 2018 am still on 60mg daily of fluoxetine and I want off of it!!!! I don’t know how Im going to make it happen. 🙁 It is so heart breaking…..Dr. never told me how hard it would be to get off this poison. Now here I am scared not knowing how to ever get off of this…

      • This sounds a huge dose and also a very drastic tapering plan, however Im no expert. There is excellent advice on the home page of this website about withdrawal. Getting a liquid form of your medication, going down in small amounts, stabilising on that then going down another small amount. Please have a look. Surely commonsense would say that withdrawal should be a gentle slope not big giant scary steps. I am doing the above for two years now and it works, though I started on 20mg not 80mg. Its interesting that you went down again in October, could be SAD (seasonal affective disorder), I have to allow for that, when October comes I taper much more slowly than usual, I can stay at the same dose for months, then go down when feel ok. I also use a light box in the dark mornings. My withdrawal hasnt been fast, but it has been consistent, 1mg at a time from 20mg, Im at 4mg now. I believe the last few mgs take the longest. I go at the pace that suits me, but patience has been necessary. There have been times when I just want off the medication but I keep plodding on. Hope this helps.

        • 6th November 2019, thats me off Prozac after being on it for nearly 8 years. The last month or so Ive been on 0.2mg of the liquid every second day. I got a micro oral syringe from chemist. As we are now coming into the winter months something is needed to replace the prozac, so been doing research online for alternatives. Came across info for SAM E which seems to be good for low mood and also pain control. Feel okay although there has been very slight facial twitching, chronic tiredness, sleeping a lot. So in summary, doctors advice was to taper over 3 weeks. In reality its taken me 3 years to taper from 20mg to zero.

  89. I know someone who took cyprohepadine and it cleared the withdrawal restlessness. I would like to try this for prozac withdrawal

  90. I am 65 and weaned myself off of Orizac after taking it for 20 years. My dosage was very low the last few years 20 mg . The highest was 40mg. I wanted to be medicine free. Also dementia was a concern because my mother had dementia.
    I am back to feeling sad and angry and anxious. Part of this I can relate to family circumstances. I have retired in the last year and have been widowed 12 years. My kids are grown and my house is empty. I am lonely. I tried goi g back to work to get around people again but still am having breakdowns of crying. I hate my life the way it is. I look back with so many regrets. I have a 40 year old daughter incarcerated for drug charges. She is a heroin addict. She has a 2 year old baby and a 20 year old daughter. I cannot fix her problems nor her children’s pain. My other 2 kids are doing well, but I am struggling to have a positive outlook. I am not suicidal. I am lonely and sad. Should I go back on Prozac? I started talk therapy hopung it will help. Only had 1 session. I hate this feeling and cannot find my way into a positive frame of mind.

  91. Wow, everything that happened to you when you went off Prozac was my life before Prozac. I know some people get on antidepressants for weird reasons and crappy things happen, but as one voice to support medication, I’ve had days where I almost feel normal on Prozac, and I’ve even showered a few times since I started it! I wish I were joking, but earlier this year I was at an all time low where I moved from my bed to a chair to watch tv and back for weeks in a row, never once feeling depressed, just void of all emotion. Since taking Prozac, I’m beginning to feel love toward my husband again. It’s amazing.

  92. I have to agree with DJC. Life before Prozac was an almost unlivable hell. Once starting on prozac I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My depression is caused by lack of serotonin (chemical not trauma). These are a life saver for over the past 12 years. No matter how bad the side effects were I could never return to before prozac, I would never have lived this long or this well.
    My advice: Do not use a therapist, psychologist or psycho-pharmacologist for drug interactions. Only use a great psychiatrist. They have the training and will know what you really need (if anything). Yes prozac was over prescribed at times but for those with chemical depression it can give a happy life you never thought possible.
    just speaking for the other side of the coin. Good luck to all!

  93. I’m scared. I don’t want to take these anymore. I really didn’t want to start taking a drug, but I had prozac and had a bad day and said f it and decided to try it. My psych presribed prozac like he was handing out candy. I had taken celexa years ago for a year or so and just stopped taking them and never went through any withdrawals… I have been on prozac for 6 days. First 5 10mg and today I just took 20mg. I don’t want to take them anymore. I do have some side effects like diarreah, dry mouth, and insomia/lethargic (weird right).

  94. Iv taken benadryl 100mg for sleep for 30 years. I found out last year Benadryl is a ssri. I tappered for 4 months then stopped. It has been 1 year that i havent taken it and i feel like i have the walking pneumonia. Zero quality of life

    I need to retaper but dont know what dose to take. Thank u lp

    • Hi. I retappered at 6mg of benadryl (which was used in place of prozac decades ago) and feel 90 percent better. Going on road trips taking the boat out. Wish everyone the best in getting off SSRIs. It is hell. Please read everything u can. Knowledge is power. Dr. Heather ashton withdrawal manual is soooo helpful. Leanne

  95. Somebody help me please. I took prozac at 20mg for three days. On the third day, I had the worst panic attack I’ve had in my entire life, lasting for about an hour that left me hospitalized, I felt like I was going to die during this attack and even began saying farewell to my friends and family in my head as I called 911. The past few days have been absolute hell. There is a constant feeling of impending doom that I will never feel “normal” again. I’ve visited my doctor who says that I just have to wait for the prozac to leave my system but I cannot help but feel it is so much more than that. I used to treat my anxiety and depression with Marijuana but I stopped using it about a month ago due to pressure from my peers to quit. I’m afraid I will never be who I am again thanks to prozac as it has been a week now since I stopped taking it and I have noticed no improvement. My suicidal thoughts have never been as strong as they have been. Whereas before taking this drug those thoughts lasted temporarily before I snapped out of it, they now run rampant and without control. In addition, I experience PTSD-like symptoms around 5-6, which is when my panic attack occurred. I feel the only solution is to use marijuana again to treat my symptoms as it was the only thing that truly helped me as long as i ignored the opinions of my peers. Please somebody, anybody, I need help. The only thing preventing me from killing myself and ending this awful feeling is the knowledge of the damage it would do to my family. I can’t help but feel prescription medicines are a big government conspiracy aimed to make weaker-minded individuals kill themselves to control population growth. I hate to be THAT person but I’m at the end of my rope with solutions.

    • Hi grayson. Did u seek a doctors help. I felt the same way until i did a retapper and i am getting my life back. Hope your feeling better

    • There are natural, wholesome ways to combat depression besides what we are now struggling to get off of. GABA has worked well for me. AND NO SIDE EFFECTS! GO FIGURE! No drug that is supposed to “help” you should have ANY side effects. The body is one marvelous, intricate machine, and given the chance through natural means, will heal. Everything is connected to each other. Mainstream medicine in this country is a joke. Medicine should not be for profit. But, that is another discussion. There are remedies that are tried and true and have been around for 1000’s of years before this age of prescribed shit. I have been off Cymbalta for 8 months now, and I know the symptoms will come at me still in waves for some time yet. I quit cold turkey, and I am pissed at the doctors, big pharma, for what this has done to my brain.

  96. About 5-6 months out from taking Cymbalta. I have heard that this is can be a rough time to get past. It has… I have been feeling good being off Cymbalta for a few months, until this past month or more. Irritability, forgetfulness, panic attacks, and all those things that have been written here have come back hard. I keep telling myself, that this is apart of getting off this stuff, and also wonder when will I ever feel normal, and happy. I am so mad on what the stuff has done to my brain. My relationship has suffered with my fiancé, thank God she understands more fully than I do on what is happening to me. Through a lot of tears shed from us both, it has been quite the struggle for both of us. I am not liking what I have become, and how hard it is to see myself being so irritable, and mostly with disappear and dread. Panic attacks happen in the early morning. This has been a real bitch, and the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. I feel for all of you who are in the struggle to be happy and healthy.

  97. Still withdrawing from benadryl which was used instead of prozac from 1940 to 1970. Was taking 100 mg per night for sleep for 30 years. Sept 2019 wb 2 years that i stopped. It has given me barometic migranes. Got an aimovig shot. But tired 24 7

  98. I’ve been on Fluoxetine for about 5 years now and just in the last month have stumbled across CBD as an alternative anxiety medication, purely by accident when visiting a friend of my girlfriend. I’ve been taking it three weeks now – at first in combination with the Fluoxetine, but now have been solely on the CBD drops (20% potency, 2-3 drops daily) for ~10 days. I’d previously tried to slowly reduce my Fluoxetine dosage over the course of 6 months or so, but found increasingly that the longer I continued, the more my anxieties had returned to haunt me in a big way.

    It’s early days yet, but if anybody has told me that I’d be able to go 10 days without Fluoxetine even a couple of months ago I’d have been amazed and a bit sceptical. Hopefully things will continue to be okay going forward.

  99. Just to share an environmental volume control device I came across which might help some people who are suffering from extreme noise sensitivity – and which makes things worse.

    It may help to ease their days of constantly elevated stress levels at very little, of being too easily startled, of feeling like they’re going to have a heart attack at a bark or at a dropped fork etc. And get them more out of the house.

    (Especially useful perhaps for the perhaps too easily agitated or set off…)

    Post Seroxat years ago, which I simply had to get off and hugely distressing for me as I had not long qualified as an English teacher, I was then simply unable to teach, could hardly think, much less to handle a classroom (also afraid of being unable to control my agitation around kids).

    I remember the noise sensitivity being so bad (and which it would remain in my case) that I requested my brother’s huge industrial ear protectors and wore them around the house.

    This would look less ridiculous:

  100. “One thing which I still find strange is the fact that all these horrible symptoms, even on the worst days, would begin to subside in the late afternoon and by 5 or 6 pm I would feel almost ‘normal’. It sounds impossible, but it’s true, and it was one of the reasons I dreaded going to sleep at night. I didn’t want the feeling to go away and I knew it would and that the horror show would start all over again within a few hours of me falling asleep.”

    Unbelievable! Exactly what happened to me during withdrawal from Risperidone.
    Each evening I got relief from the Akathisia, and then I tried to figure out how I might survive the next day or find a solution. I dreaded going to sleep as I woke up feeling I got shot or something. I didn’t know anything about withdrawal and was not even completely sure it was due to the medication. I was very close to commit suicide and even made concrete plans. I actually couldn’t imagine staying in this condition for even two weeks.
    When I discovered I could drug myself with clonazepam it really helped. I was on some other meds since then and now I’m on no meds again but only for last 3 weeks. Hopefully I will be able to hold on this time.
    I just wanna say what we do when we go through withdrawal makes a lot of difference. It’s a mistake looking at it as if nothing we do matters. for better and for worse. That’s why preparing for withdrawal as if you’re going for the toughest journey of your life is the right attitude.

    • Prozac is the absolute worse drug they can give you!!!! I almost lost my son bc of this medicine not to mention over 4,000 suicides are contributed to this medicine! It has a black box warning and I can’t begin to tell u how many kids have taken their own life bc this medicine!!! I hope u get better I hope u feel better life can be brutal. There is help it gets better u have ur good days ur bad days but please stay away from meds like this it is crucial to ur health.

  101. So I need some advice. I’ve been taking fluoxetine for about a month now and I am very sensitive to medications. I experience every side effect there is. Some side effects went away maybe after a week but I everyday it’s a new side effect and after 3 weeks my doctor told me they’d go away but I just keep experiencing different side effects. I’m not depressed at all…never have been but my anxiety is really bad and I have OCD so thats why she prescribed this for me but with the side effects I feel like I can’t tolerate. My stomach’s been upset from the medication so she prescribed something for me to take for that and insomnia is still bad and she said she could prescribe something for that too. I just don’t wanna be taking all these different medications. I don’t know if I should try or just taper off? Btw…I’m on 20mg….started off at 10mg for the first week and then went to 20mg

  102. I’ve been off of it for 2 months now. Luckily my only side effects are crying at the drop of a hat and extreme anger, like losing it to the point of wanting to hurt someone. I can’t tell my family and friends because they get concerned and angry and want to convince me to start taking it again. I have been taking some kind of SSRI since I was 35 and I am now 68. I started them because I was going through some shit and was depressed and thought I needed help. But shouldn’t we be dealing with our problem without a fricken pill! I’m not going to keep taking shit just to make other people in my life more comfortable, screw them!!

    • Dorothy

      You should read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography – he has the exact same problems with crying at the drop of a hat after stopping his meds


  103. Hi there. Been in Prozac for more than 2 years 40 mg. I tapper the drug for a month. And been. Clean for at most 2 month. But the withdrawal been crazy on me. Specially insomnia and dizziness. And pain in my body which moves all over. Just wandering how long will take for withdrawal to let go for good. Any feedback thanks

  104. It doesnt get better. 9 years off paxil. Im still in hell. Still, no doctor able to help. I guess ill die with these symptoms because i dont see anybody doing a damn thing to help all of us suffering so much!

  105. Hello I have been on fluoxetine for 5 years now attempted to come off twice with no luck as I couldn’t control crying I’ve always been super sensitive and had issues that I struggle to deal with. However over the past years fluxotines side effects became some what worse to the point where I feel completely numb to all emotions people and things the depression and anxiety were there but I was to zombie/robot like to deal with them as I couldn’t really express emotions. The tablets have also reduced my sex drive to a complete non existent old memory. Basically fast forward to now I came off these tablets as I am due to get married in 2023 and start my family and my emotion towards everything is gone. about 2 weeks ago the withdrawals hit me badly my heart rate went through the roof and the chest pain and panic attacks kicked off this has lasted the whole 2 weeks it gets worse when I go out or my mind drifts off into overthinking or doubts I feel completely miserable I don’t want to move or do anything I have fear about the future getting married and doubts which I never had on tablets I have nearly completely stopped eating and lost a lot of weight in 2 weeks and I am a big eater. I feel sick all the time have tremors, funny like lights etc in my eyes and muscle stiffness it’s been the worst 2 weeks ever I’ve never felt so much like a sick person. basically I’ve been an absolute mess and I’ve sat here thinking I should go back on them but something is telling me I can get through this I can be me again and enjoy my life, relationships, future has anyone got through this before with these side effects.

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