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My name is Beth from Toronto, Canada and the last nine months of my life have been hell due to severe akathisia caused by Cipralex. I was prescribed Cipralex in a difficult time of my life and took it for over 4 years, without my doctor reviewing my need for it. For the last few years I was taking it, I began noticing severe panic attacks, which I never had in my life, and worsening anxiety and depression. I was also extremely emotionally numb and had no fear response. Upon seeing a psychiatrist to get help with my worsening symptoms, I was told to increase my Cipralex. That day started the downfall of my entire physical and mental health. I immediately began experiencing severe akathisia, which I had to research and diagnose myself from going online in desperation. With the akathisia, I also experienced suicidal thoughts, no appetite, extreme weight loss, despair, constant movement of my legs and rocking my head side to side, crying fits, brain fog, derealization, depersonalization and air hunger. I knew something was wrong so I decreased my dose back down and somewhat started stabilizing. My next psychiatrist visit had him doubling my dose and that’s when things became utterly unbearable. Without knowing any better, I fast tapered myself off thinking it would help me feel better. I was very wrong. Following my fast taper, I was hospitalized inpatient due to the unbearable akathisia and put on a low dose of Mirtazapine. The Mirtazapine has caused its own awful symptoms but I’m not even sure what symptoms are from what sometimes. I’m currently slow tapering off Mirtazapine as I believe my brain needs to heal from being off everything. I will never touch another psychiatric drug in my life and I’m still unsure if I ever will heal, and to what degree. My days are filled with anger, grief, sadness, despair, confusion and never-ending mental and physical pain I never knew existed. I’m unable to work which causes even more stress and despair.
I’ve learned immeasurable things on what has happened to me, what’s happening to other people taking antidepressants and how dangerous these drugs are. I never received informed consent, I was rarely believed that I had akathisia and I am still suffering from being put on a second antidepressant, which didn’t even help my akathisia and I now have to come off of and experience withdrawal again. The only hope I hold on to is that I will heal and that I can help others avoid any and all of this kind of suffering.

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Beth suffered severe akathisia from Cipralex

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