Citation: ibeginagain. "Unexpected Relief from SSRI Withdrawal: An Experience with Anadenanthera peregrina (exp90799)". Erowid.org. Sep 12, 2016. erowid.org/exp/90799
I recently decided to reduce my daily dose of Setraline from 100mg to 50mg, with a long term view to quitting altogether. In my view SSRIs are a very ineffective form of antidepressant, and I have had far more success treating my depression by facing the underlying problems through use of psychedelics (I find salvia particularly effective) rather than hiding from them as Sertraline allows me to do.
Unfortunately, reducing dosage of any SSRI causes horrible withdrawal symptoms which usually last about 4 weeks. I am aware that tapering off a dose gradually (ie. 1mg/2mg reductions) allows much more manageable withdrawals, but I would far rather get off the antidepressants as quickly as possible. (I work from home so this doesn't really affect my lifestyle, save for my incredibly patient girlfriend.)
The worst of these withdrawal symptoms are the 'brain zaps' - they feel exactly as they sound, as though a surge of electricity passes through my brain for a split-second and is gone again before I can definitively say what happened. At their best they are an annoyance and a distraction through which I can persevere. At their worst these can leave me twitching on the bed unable to do anything but lament my state of restlessness.
Anyway, about 10 days into the withdrawals my girlfriend tells me she would like to smoke some ground Yopo seeds (these were ordered online as a pre-prepared powder) to assist her daily meditation, as she does from time to time. Usually I find Yopo to be a very mild psychedelic - something that I can function perfectly well on and even completely forget about if something else takes my attention.
Because of this, I thought I may as well give it a try - I hadn't tripped in a while and thought that I could maybe take a leaf out of my girlfriend's book.
To my astonishment, 10-15 minutes after smoking about 0.3g of the Yopo the brain zaps were GONE. Not masked or drowned out - completely GONE!!
You can imagine my relief - the next couple of hours were absolutely perfect. When my girlfriend had finished meditating I told her of my serendipitous discovery and we decided to go on a country walk. The peacefulness and tranquility of the countryside was a perfect accompaniment for my new-found peace of mind, and I completely forgot that Yopo had any psychoactive effects of its own save for relieving me of the brain zaps. (Although 0.3g is a very light dose for me anyway)
About 2 and a half hours after smoking, the withdrawals returned; though the brain zaps were less powerful and considerably more manageable (and have been ever since).
There is little known to effectively relieve the hell that is SSRI withdrawal - my doctor even told me the cure for Sertraline withdrawal is a small daily dose of Fluoxetine (!!)
I have read online that Kratom and Diphenhydramine are effective for some people, but neither of these have worked for me. I have found, however, that a daily dose of Magnesium Malate (ie. magnesium and malic acid) does reduce the severity of the 'brain zaps' after taking it for about 5 days.
I hope this is useful to somebody, and for those going through any kind of SSRI withdrawal: DON'T GIVE UP
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