At age 33: "I ran into a situation that required me to confront someone. As that time approached, I became increasingly anxious about my ability to handle the situation....I went to my doctor for help. He immediately threw 20 mg of Prozac at me...." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"I left my GP & sought out the top Psychiatrist in my city...By this time, I was such a mess due to the effects of the Prozac, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder....We tried several other types of antidepressants...." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"we tried several other types of antidepressants over the following months....Each one effecting me the same way....Over the last 20 years I ran into a few occasions that required the medication to be increased....Again, I would lose my mind!" survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"It would take weeks, sometimes months for my brain to absorb and metabolize the increase of Prozac...I was told this was happening because I was “sensitive” to antidepressants and that I’d have to tough it out because I needed to be on them forever." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
After 20 years: "....hating the Prozac...He switched me to Lexapro in 2014...same story...massive anxiety....All this time I prayed fervently that God would tell me when I could come off of these horrid drugs that were on the verge of destroying my life" survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"I started in March [2019] with a razor blade, scraping off “dust” from the 10 mg of Lexapro. I had heard of withdrawals from antidepressants but thought if I took it extra slow I could avoid them..I tapered all year." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"All went well until August [2109]. I had gotten down to 2.5 mg [escitalopram] and thought I could stop there. So I did. After 4 days I started getting nauseous and dizzy. I called my doctor...(he was the one who told me I would be on them for life)..." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"He called in liquid Lexapro & told me to go back on where I left off (2.5 mg) & taper more slowly....with the reintroduction of the medicine, I LOST MY MIND YET AGAIN! I became almost suicidal...I stuck with it....took my last dose on November 11, 2019." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"Here I am 4 1/2 months out.....I don’t have to tell you how difficult it has been....I have experienced constant anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, dips of depression and hopelessness at times." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"I’ve needed constant affirmation from my support group that all that I’m going through are withdrawal symptoms and that I’m NOT relapsing or going crazy. I...have not missed a day of work since that last day of meds in November." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
"I am 4 1/2 months out...I’m about 85-90% healed & my symptoms are decreasing consistently. I’m certain that I will reach 100% at some point this year...but am still having good days & bad days...I am so thankful & encouraged by the bravery & courage...." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
July 2020: "I am 7 1/2 months out from my last dose of Lexapro...I don’t have to tell you it’s certainly been a most unpredictable roller coaster ride. Progress is not easily seen day by day but better seen looking back over the weeks and months..."

survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
7.5 months post-escitalopram: "I’ve had some decent windows that I am most thankful for...I have days I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the see the next sunrise....I reread your success stories often & they give me such hope."

survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
The tragedy is, this story is not a bit different. THIS IS A CLASSIC STORY of the misdiagnosis, #antidepressant overprescription, difficult tapering, & post-acute withdrawal syndrome #PAWS suffered by millions.
survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…
7.5 months off fluoxetine: "The withdrawal symptoms change so often it’s difficult to settle in, hunker down, to endure....I’ve never had a panic attack in my 54 years...But I certainly have dealt with my share of high anxiety during this withdrawal...." survivingantidepressants.org/topic/22572-by…

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More from @Altostrata

Apr 15
FACT: “Chemical imbalance” or "neurotransmitter deficiency theory" was deployed by pharmaceutical companies to advertise their #psychiatric psychotropics. Never been scientifically proven, debunked many years ago, still circulating as rumor 20+ years later.
See sources below. /1
Read 8 tweets
Mar 24
@_pem_pem Why this is nonsensical: "Jeffrey Lieberman, a professor of #psychiatry at Columbia University...“The problems that they’ve been criticized for have more to do [with] the way they’re used by doctors & the heterogeneity of the condition that they’re indicated for.” /1
@_pem_pem What Lieberman is saying is that if #antidepressants were prescribed to a population for which they are known to work well, they would have a much better track record. This is true, because it is a tautology. /2
@_pem_pem The reasoning is circular, if #antidepressants were prescribed for those people for whom the drugs worked, they would work. /3
Read 38 tweets
Jan 28
Monoamine hypothesis aka "chemical imbalance" & other synonyms, arose circa 1965, but was known to only #psychiatrists, who were unhappily prescribing TCAs and MAOIs to a niche market. Patients hated the many adverse effects of the drugs. /1
Until mid-1990s, monoamine hypothesis (aka "chemical imbalance", "serotonin deficiency" etc.) was not circulating as a "folk model", not in medicine or in the general public. 1990 is ~center of this chart, when #psychiatrists, many paid by pharma, started churning out papers. /2
As a meme or "folk model", monoamine hypothesis (aka "chemical imbalance", "serotonin deficiency", "neurohormone imbalance", etc.) was diligently planted by dozens of #psychiatrists -- not a few -- many paid by pharma. Not something that arose organically out of nowhere. /3
Read 15 tweets
Jan 1
Lewis, et al. respond to letters to the NEJM editor, demonstrating they do not understand basic concepts of #antidepressant withdrawal @ANTLERtrial

Maintenance or Discontinuation of Antidepressants in Primary Care | NEJM nejm.org/doi/full/10.10…
@ANTLERtrial Some in non-discontinuation group were taking their drugs inconsistently. Lewis, et al. missed potential withdrawal symptoms in that group: "but participants reported some new & worsening symptoms while continuing to take #antidepressants"
@ANTLERtrial Lewis, et al. claim "an increase in depressive symptoms might lead to an increase in “new & worsening” symptoms that are recorded as withdrawal symptoms" EXCEPT they also recorded physical withdrawal symptoms, failed to identify who had both, & did not exclude them from "relapse"
Read 4 tweets
Nov 4, 2021
@sanilrege @markhoro @SenadHasanagic1 Not at all, Sanil. Among my site members, many people come off #antidepressants & other drugs with slight or no withdrawal symptoms except an emotional anesthesia, which they may describe as depression, anhedonia, various kinds of malaise, even "relapse" but.... /1
@sanilrege @markhoro @SenadHasanagic1 ....it's a "relapse" unlike anything they've experienced before. While they may use #psychiatry's vocabulary, because that's all they've got, this emotional anesthesia is actually a result of long-term psychotropic exposure, not "relapse"..../2
@sanilrege @markhoro @SenadHasanagic1 Post-drug emotional anesthesia is well known among those who have gone off psychotropics classified as addictive & considered a feature of those protracted withdrawal syndromes. There is no reason to think chronic #psychiatric psychotropics are exempt..../3
Read 10 tweets
Oct 6, 2021
With all due respect to the fine @awaisaftab, these are the varieties of #antidepressant withdrawal syndrome:

1) WS with only physical, no emotional symptoms
2) WS with both physical & emotional symptoms
3) WS with only emotional symptoms
4) WS manifested as emotional anesthesia
@awaisaftab Of the above, types 1 & 2 are WS, not "relapse", even if "depression" is present. Emotions such as those that compose "depression" do not exist apart from experience. Emotional reaction to feeling neurobiologically out of control should not be diagnosed as "depression".
@awaisaftab Type 3 may include the waves of intense anxiety, fear, & "black holes" characteristic of WS. Characterized by intense sensations with interludes of relative calm. Typically, these very gradually abate over months.
Read 14 tweets

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