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aliali
@aliali

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 02, 2019

STOPPING ANTIDEPRESSANTS MADE ME WORSE THAN EVER!!

Posted by @aliali, Wed, Jan 2 5:33am

I WAS USING ANTIDEPRESSANTS FOR 3 MONTHS OR SO, WITH EXERCISE, MEDITATION AND SLEEPING WELL. I THEN FELT HIGHLY ENERGETIC AND MUCH BETTER THAN EVER! I THOUGHT THAT I NO LONGER NEED ANTIDEPRESSANTS! I THEN STOPPED USING THEM WITHOUT CONSULTING MY PHYSICIAN!! I THEN FELT WORSE THAN EVER!!! THIS IS THE SO-CALLED "DEPRESSION RELAPSE DUE TO STOPPING ANTIDEPRESSANTS" OR "ANTIDEPRESSANT DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME" ! I THINK I HAVE THE FORMER RATHER THAN THE LATTER…

QUESTION#1: WHICH ONE DO I SUFFER FROM THESE DAYS: "DEPRESSION RELAPSE DUE TO STOPPING ANTIDEPRESSANTS" OR "ANTIDEPRESSANT DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME" ?

QUESTION#2: HOW TO COPE WITH? I HAVE NO ENERGY; I AM INACTIVE; I CANNOT CONCENTRATE; I WISH YOU COULD HELP ME!

REPLY

Hello @aliali and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect

I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so depressed right now. As I am not a medical professional, I can't say what your symptoms are caused by. But perhaps the doctor who prescribed the med can help you. If you decide to stop an antidepressant at any time it is VERY IMPORTANT that you do it with advice from your doctor and/or pharmacist. Withdrawing from meds such as antidepressants "cold-turkey" is never a good idea. Your doctor or pharmacist is best equipped to give you a titration schedule for weaning off the med in a safe way.

I encourage you to call your doctor's office or talk with your pharmacist regarding a titration schedule for withdrawing.

Will you post again and let me know how you are doing?

@aliali , I completely agree that you should consult with your prescribing doctor about what you did and how to follow up. Anti-depressants don't work by just making us feel happy or energetic (or just feeling less symptomatic), they work on the brain's chemistry in fundamental ways that require medical supervision for their use and for their discontinuation. Treating depression is not like taking antibiotics for an infection, and I think that doctors and pharmacists could do better to warn patients about this, even if it is described in the medical pamphlets that come with the pills.

@aliali – Hello. I don't think that the term matters right now for what you are feeling. You could google the terms. What's important is that you didn't taper off of your antidepressant and that's why you are most likely feeling the way you are. I also suggest contacting your physician to see how you can get your body balanced more comfortable. Please let us know.

@alkali My suggestion is the same as the other have posted. I am not a Dr, what worked for me was titrating off verrry slowly, over the course of 6 weeks. Your brain has gotten used to having the aid of the antidepressants, so to suddenly stop it now struggles again.
Ginger

I have gone thru each and every reply above. The main obstacle is that I am living in Saudi Arabia. The physicians here are poorly bad!! Some Saudis would consider their sole physician in no one but the internet!! In reality, I do not trust my physician. I feel him not keen to help! Actually I do not know what step I should do in this situation!

@aliali– Oh boy. Do you have any friends or contacts that you can privately ask for a new doctor's name? Are you in a large city or rural located? The reason that I ask is there are more options in a larger city.

@aliali

First, can you begin taking your antidepressant medication again? It may be helpful for us to know the name of your medication, if you can share that.

Second, how long have you been off the medication, days, weeks, months? That will help us understand your current situation better. I agree with the other responses above, but you being in Saudi Arabia changes things. As Merry asked, do you have friends you can ask for a reference about another doctor? What has your current doctor done or said that you don't trust him about?

Third, you probably know now that the good feelings and energy you had were an indication that your medication was working and that you needed to keep taking it. I had the same response when I first started my antidepressant once I had titrated onto it. Brain chemistry is different for each person, and the antidepressant can replace chemicals that are not on balance in your brain. Once that happens, you must slowly taper off if you stop. I will be taking my antidepressant for the rest of my life as it works for me. I've been on it for 7 years now.

Please stay in touch with us.

@gailb

@aliali

First, can you begin taking your antidepressant medication again? It may be helpful for us to know the name of your medication, if you can share that.

Second, how long have you been off the medication, days, weeks, months? That will help us understand your current situation better. I agree with the other responses above, but you being in Saudi Arabia changes things. As Merry asked, do you have friends you can ask for a reference about another doctor? What has your current doctor done or said that you don't trust him about?

Third, you probably know now that the good feelings and energy you had were an indication that your medication was working and that you needed to keep taking it. I had the same response when I first started my antidepressant once I had titrated onto it. Brain chemistry is different for each person, and the antidepressant can replace chemicals that are not on balance in your brain. Once that happens, you must slowly taper off if you stop. I will be taking my antidepressant for the rest of my life as it works for me. I've been on it for 7 years now.

Please stay in touch with us.

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The medication I stopped using is named “Depralex”, of a 10 mg dosage, for a period of time that approximates two months !! I have already retaken the above mentioned medication, but I complained about having a poorly poor memory and concentration, which led my physician to prescribe “Brintellix”, with a dosage of 10 mg. After weeks, I remained to complain when visiting my physician asking for ECT rather than medication. The reason why I asked him for ECT is that I felt myself unable to do any mental task during my day – I cannot even read a book for half an hour!! I HIGHLY BELIEVE THAT WHAT CAUSED THAT WAS NOTHING BUT THE ABRUPT, UNAPPROVED STOP OF TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS!!
My physician sometimes does not give me the chance to talk, and If I talked, he would not listen, and if he listened, he would answer a very short, useless answer; while having many academic accomplishments, he is not a successful “physician “ – rather, he is a successful “student”!
While indeed living in a large city, the options remain very limited when seeking treatment; there is only one reliable hospital nearby ; the referral from a hospital to other one, or from a physician to other one in the same hospital, is not easily obtained!! I have turned into other treatments besides medication and exercise: HERBS. I got a mixture of herbs which aims to elevate mood. WHAT I REALLY WISH IN THE MEANTIME IS THE REVERSE OF ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES THAT OCCURRED AFTER STOPPING THE MEDICATION FOR TWO MONTHS!

@aliali– we hear you but we aren't doctor's. We can not give medical advice. I agree that it was probably not having a doctor's guidance.
When chemicals are abruptly stopped that can cause a plethora of symptoms. Have you read through this thread? There are lots of suggestions.
Can you be more assertive with your doctor? Or go to another large city.
I hear your anger and frustration. But using capital letters in the USA is considered shouting. You don't need them. I can reassure you that small fonts get just the same attention as capitals.
Who recommended the herbs that you bought? There can be as many problems with them as with prescriptions. Taking any chemical can be like surgery with a dull knife.
I'm sorry that I don't have better information. There is no antidote for this. Perhaps your doctor can prescribe something that he is comfortable with that will help you.

@aliali

My father had ECT when he was in his 40s and was hospitalized for his mental illness. It was very intense and left him with no memory of large parts of his life. I can understand why your doctor doesn't want to approve that for you, especially since you did well on the Escitalopram (depralex). Stick it out a little longer. Has it been a month since you restarted the medication? Did you start taking the new medication, Brintellix, instead of the Depralex? Hang in there, good things take time.

@merpreb

@aliali– we hear you but we aren't doctor's. We can not give medical advice. I agree that it was probably not having a doctor's guidance.
When chemicals are abruptly stopped that can cause a plethora of symptoms. Have you read through this thread? There are lots of suggestions.
Can you be more assertive with your doctor? Or go to another large city.
I hear your anger and frustration. But using capital letters in the USA is considered shouting. You don't need them. I can reassure you that small fonts get just the same attention as capitals.
Who recommended the herbs that you bought? There can be as many problems with them as with prescriptions. Taking any chemical can be like surgery with a dull knife.
I'm sorry that I don't have better information. There is no antidote for this. Perhaps your doctor can prescribe something that he is comfortable with that will help you.

Jump to this post

@aliali Im just going to jump in here and echo what Merry said about herbs Ive studied herbal medicine along time and there are alot of them you shouldn't take and mix with what meds you take .Be under a Dr,s care M.D and holistic Dr for the herbal.

I went down to 30mgs from 60 of Cymbalta in September I have not wanted to leave the house I dont like to drive anymore I am totally the opposite person than what I was. So I am beginning to think it is from the new drug Cymbalta. But it did make my pain less but increased Depression. Anybody had this happen? I had a few people say this happened to them. I never realized how terrible drugs can be.

@catcatanzaro60

I went down to 30mgs from 60 of Cymbalta in September I have not wanted to leave the house I dont like to drive anymore I am totally the opposite person than what I was. So I am beginning to think it is from the new drug Cymbalta. But it did make my pain less but increased Depression. Anybody had this happen? I had a few people say this happened to them. I never realized how terrible drugs can be.

Jump to this post

@catcatanzaro60 The person I became on Cymbalta needed to be in a cage. It is interesting how medications affect each of us differently. I believed something was terribly wrong with me as these type of medications did the opposite. I was consistently told it was side effects and give my body time to adapt. Do you have fibromyalgia?

@gailb

@aliali

My father had ECT when he was in his 40s and was hospitalized for his mental illness. It was very intense and left him with no memory of large parts of his life. I can understand why your doctor doesn't want to approve that for you, especially since you did well on the Escitalopram (depralex). Stick it out a little longer. Has it been a month since you restarted the medication? Did you start taking the new medication, Brintellix, instead of the Depralex? Hang in there, good things take time.

Jump to this post

I would not recommend ECT for anyone. I am not a doctor. Have had them under care of very old doctors believing it was the only way. What a terrible thing to do to a human being when there were so many newer things available. You come out not knowing who you are and are never the same again. There is no way of knowing which memories will be remain. I have been trying to make new happy memories.
How I feel about ECT.

ECT can be good for a few people who have tried long-term medicinal treatment and not had it work. ECT is usually reserved for those to whom nothing else works. It can cause memory loss, even complete loss of memories. Since antidepressants have worked to some degree for you, then ECT would not be recommended for you. Depression can cause loss concentration, but so can antidepressants. It may be that you are resistant to the antidepressant you were taking so that it worked some but not enough. You may need to ask your doctor about increasing the dosage or trying another antidepressant. I took the medicine you are using and it did not work for me. I went back to sertraline at a higher dose and it works for me. Everybody is different in how they respond to medication. I tried Cymbalta and it made it worse, but others use it and have good results.

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