Having tried numerous meds for my depression over the years I finally got my life back with Seroxat 20mg. 17 years later realising I’d forgotten to pack my tablets on arrival at my holiday hotel I decided to go cold turkey. Suffered horrendous stomach problems, vertigo sweating etc which ended up ruining the holiday, but decided to continue with the withdrawal. Now 10 weeks down the line physical symptoms have abated but have developed severe anxiety. This hit me out of nowhere this week and I can’t stop crying. Would love to know if this is my depression returning or withdrawal. Advice appreciated.
I would say this is definitely withdrawal from cold turkey after many years on the medication. I would suggest you look into potentially reinstating a small amount of the medication. There are websites out there that can assist you through the withdrawal process. Try Googling Surviving Antidepressants.
Firstly do not panic, don't be scared this is absolutely normal because of the way the seroxat was so abruptly stopped from your system.
Your brain stopped making its own seratonin years ago because the seroxat replaced it with a chemical equivalent, now it's having to really work hard to replace your chemical levels in the brain, this can take up to a year.
I was on seroxat for 21 years the first ten years I was put on 20mg then I decided to cut that dose in half ten years later and take 10mg without a glitch, fine UNTIL I reduced to 5mg about 5 months ago. Like you. I decided all I was getting was the negative side effects of a pill that quite frankly shouldn't be taken lightly!
So after ten years on 20mg then ten years on 10mg it was time to come off this. 5 months later I am now taking the liquid form of 0.5ml which is barely a dose at all but I had awful depression over Christmas which I'd never had (depression) mine was for anxiety.
Christmas is my favourite time of year and I start celebrating in November but this year it was just awful, low thoughts of no tomorrow, non stop crying, sheer sad lonely places my mind was stuck in for about 2 weeks.
This did pass! Like you I wondered is it the original problem returning?, but NO, no it isn't because I never had depression in the first place just anxiety so this was a very new horrific place for me and no disrespect to any anxiety sufferers out there but I'd take anxiety any day over this depression I had where thoughts were suicidal! Now I have everything to live for and a good family, home life, job so what the hell happened there but I never ever want to go back there but it did make me think this is all part of the withdrawal process!
So please don't be feel alone I promise you there are withdrawal sufferers all over different parts of the world who are at different stages and some the same as you and I, it is such a lonely terrible feeling, and frightening that all this can take place within your head and your head alone!
I am still far from being free of this bloody pernicious drug but thinking of your situation, if this continues for you week after week perhaps put yourself on 5mg so get some 10 mg and cut in half. Because what you've done is cut off totally at 20mg which is quite a significant amount to go cold turkey on as you've been on it for so many years this really will take about a year to totally be gone from your system and never fear of the old symptoms returning because things change an awful lot in 17 years and you may not be in that same place you once were in order to go on seroxat in the beginning, so you have to fight this and not let those awful thoughts get the better of you.
I am scared too, and I'm on a very low dose 0.5ml! You can't get much lower other than 0.25 then nothing!! I'm scared because I've been on it for so very long, 21 years it robbed me from being really slim which I always was before being put on this, I gained 49lbs over those 20 years but since coming off ALL my cravings have gone and I eat normally again I can't believe it that I struggled with these really overpowering cravings to binge eat all those years that I couldn't control because it was the chemical controlling me.
Did you gain any weight in those 17 years of being on 20mg??
Anyway lost 28lbs in these 5 months it's dropping off me and I'm not dieting, just eating normally and NOT over eating which I did. All those precious years!
Still get short tempered, shout, anger outbursts now and then but the crying has levelled off but then it had done in November but came back worse than ever in December like I'd never had, so I'm scared too, scared that it will return, thinking about trying some CBT therapy. Cognitive behaviour therapy (maybe this would help you too?) Dr suggested I go along and talk to someone as he is very reluctant to put me on Wellbutrin which I asked for. I like the sound of it (except the early stages but hear it's not so good for anxiety, it does give you high spirits, energy, lust for life, get out and about more.. Yes please I'll take me some of that! Have you thought of trying a less pernicious drug to help you through this?
Never feel that alone where you feel there's no-one that can help you, or nothing that can be done, just remember it's all in your head! You are in control of you not the withdrawals!
Also write a journal, maybe this will help you. It just helps to surround yourself with things that take your mind away from you if that makes sense, be totally immersed in something else, anything that keeps your mind busy, active doing positive things.
I'm sorry I can't speed up time for you but in the click of a finger I know I would. Just be patient, time's a funny old thing when you have to wait. Don't let seroxat withdrawals get the better of you
Been to GP today. Felt as though I couldn’t go on like this anymore. Can cope with physical symptoms but not the torture that is anxiety and depression. Back on Seroxat. Doc said that if I improve quickly it was the withdrawal that caused my anxiety. If it takes longer it is the depression returning. Considered all other meds but unfortunately they do not work for me.
Thanks for your advice Jane. Have only taken half a 20mg tab and will see what happens. Will try the website you suggest. Doc recommended an online therapy site called Moodgym
Seroxatbegone. Thanks for your detailed reply. Perhaps when I’m feeling better I will try withdrawing the proper way, very slowly. The initial withdrawal symptoms of going cold turkey, although horrendous, were only physical. The way this anxiety and depression took over me 10 weeks later has left me floored. I too have suffered from suicidal thoughts in the past but do not want to go back there. Fortunately I am not that bad at the moment. My anguish is coming out in tears, which although embarrassing, can be quite a release.
Gosh, I so understand what you're going through Jaki, you just hang in there. Drs advice seems very good. It WILL get better and you'll start to feel less tearful quite quickly with seroxat back. Remember nothing lasts forever and these tearful sad feelings will be gone! You can do this. Sending hugs and support. Always here if you need to chat for support.
Your job sounds wonderful, it's in a similar style to me, my job is creative too. I'm a full time freelance Artist and sometimes as you say the pressure of deadlines and being told you have to be here, do this, paint that gets me really angry, makes me scared and gives great anxiety. Hey, don't write off Sunday just yet, maybe this may help you, just a thought? Maybe?
It is good you saw a friend. I am due to see my friend in the morning, I haven't seen her in a couple of months! and I have been cancelling seeing friends lately simply because I just can't face it, (all my fault), but part of me thinks what if you push yourself, and I hate to think I'm selfish thinking about me a lot because of the withdrawals but I am going to try this talking therapy and I'll let you know how it goes as you sound SO similar to me and we're going through the same that's for sure! Hey, it can only get better right! ((hugs)) chat soon (it's funny I have been putting most things off recently but I will always have time to help if I can and talk about this as it's so important to function! xx
I'm sure that seeing a friend will relax you a little. It is so difficult being in social situations trying to fight back the tears. I would always avoid seeing anyone during my previous bouts of depression and became quite isolated. I have learnt not to hide my emotions from those closest to me and, you know what, it is such a relief to have that shoulder to cry on.
I have just plucked up the courage to phone my sister to tell that I'm ill again She has always been a bit judgemental and I wasn't sure whether to tell her or not. I'm so glad I did because she was very supportive. Why do we feel so guilty about feeling like this ? I'm sure that if you open up to your friend you will feel better.
I was the same with my SSRI's after been on them for years and also on the Pregabalin, I went cold turkey and was going ok till about 3-4-5 months after stopping, started getting SEVERE PANIC ATTACKS again, was at breaking point so went back to my phychiatrist and went back on anti depressents
I was on this medication for depression for 13 years and decided to come off it cold turkey. The first 2 weeks were fine then I got very tearful and had awful sweating and tummy cramps. This carried on for 2 months. It’s been a year now and I still get tearful but it’s always for a reason ie sad film, bad news , bad day at work. When I think back to b4 I took this medication I was the same , . I will never go back on them. Good luck