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Ariel

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ariel: lost in translation
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Welcome, @Ariel

 

Well, that was quite the opener! Congratulations on surviving.

 

On 2/22/2022 at 10:53 AM, Ariel said:

it's very, very hard. i do feel like things are getting better ... lately one of the odd things about feeling better is that the WS symptoms have decreased somewhat in intensity, and now that some of the WS symptoms are less extreme

 

I am relieved to hear you are feeling a bit better. Which symptoms have changed, what are your symptoms now? 

 

Many people have those existential questions. It would be surprising if after your long career as a psychiatric patient, you did not. But clearly there's a lot of misdiagnosis in your history. We are all about unpatienting oneself, turning a new leaf.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Altostrata,

Thank you for your response. It's an honor to "meet" you. Thank you so much for all your hard work, your generosity, courage, fierce intelligence, and leading by example. (Also, I admire your succinct writing style. #goals)

 

On 2/27/2022 at 3:51 AM, Altostrata said:

Which symptoms have changed, what are your symptoms now? 

 

I appreciate your question. It's difficult to answer, I'm not sure I can competently convey my experience. I guess that's one of the symptoms I still struggle with: verbal articulation feels very challenging. I find it extremely taxing to gather/focus my thoughts, choose words, form coherent sentences and paragraphs. My brain feels heavy and tired, overloaded and overwhelmed; my mind feels exceedingly noisy and chaotic. There are constant ongoing "discussions", lines of thinking, chatter, clutter; it feels very messy and loud. It's unpleasant. Is this normal outside of withdrawal, or is this a withdrawal symptom? I don't remember what "normal" is, if I've ever known it. Is the idea of a quiet mind, or having stillness apart from a particular given task, is that just a fiction? I wonder whether it's an unattainable fantasy. Mindfulness meditation seems to exacerbate the cacophony. All of these thoughts clammering clattering rattling their cages, it makes it very difficult to concentrate or relax. Sometimes even when I am supposedly sleeping, the warped thought soundtrack sounds away in the background, scoring whatever dreamscape may occur in the foreground. Very strange. Sleep is something that remains tricky in other respects as well. I take 2mg melatonin every evening at 9pm, and am usually able to fall asleep by 10:30pm. Most nights I can reliably sleep until around 2am, sometimes 3am if I'm lucky. I do still consistently wake up at 2 or 3am, though. Sometimes I'm able to fall back asleep around 6am and get another hour or two then, but not always. It's far from enough sleep, and the quality of sleep is lacking. I don't ever feel rested. Overall I feel stressed, exhausted, thin-skinned -- that underslept, transparent, frazzled feeling. Daily life is accompanied by a droning upset-ness around the clock. 

In addition to struggling with cognitive gridlock and poor sleep, the mental/emotional aspect of things is quite demanding as well. My last discernible window was about 5 months ago. Since then there have been a few clear longer-lasting waves. For the time being it's not obvious to me when/if there are new waves, it feels like I'm swimming around in circles in a long, drawn-out withdrawal-baseline phase that has my mood pitched pretty low. I kind of just feel crappy every day: fatigue, muscle/joint aches/pains, digestive issues, negative thought patterns, noisy chaotic constant thought activity, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and other disjointed neuro-emotions. I feel little to no joy, motivation, pleasure, peace. There is a pervasive blanket sense of meaninglessness, lack of agency, a feeling of being out of control and unsafe, unprotected. No creativity or constructive reasoning. I do not feel alive to the world or even to myself, really.

It is not as severe in intensity as it once was. I still often think, "I would rather die than live like this," in fact every day an area of my thoughts dedicates itself to circling the subject of death and suicide -- not because I want to die, per se, but because my current quality of life feels unacceptable and unmanageable, and this bullsh*t has been going on for years, and I'm f*ing tired. 

And yet, here I am. Doing my best to practice acceptance, doing what I can to take care of myself, and clearly somehow I'm managing bc I'm still here. But it sucks. It doesn't feel like a victory, it feels like an endless, thankless slog. The other day I heard someone on tv say some version of, "your struggles make you stronger," and I wanted to scream: "Bullsh*it! This struggle is literally making me feel WEAKER!!!!" (the vehement indignation made me laugh, and laughing made me feel better for a few seconds)

Oh yeah, and depersonalization/derealization. DP/DR still permeates my waking life (and sometimes also my dream life, although it does happen that I have a dream in which I'm fully present and it is so delicious to experience respite from dissociation, albeit only while asleep! isn't that funny?!) and while I do my best to live with it, and it has decreased somewhat in intensity, the truth is I still find it very unpleasant and sometimes quite distressing. I just don't feel like myself (whoever that is), by which I mean, I don't feel at home in my own skin, I don't feel at home in the world. There is a very strong feeling of alienation and profound existential discomfort (like, a remove that keeps one captive and fragmented) and it's painful. 

I don't know where I'm at in the PAWS process. Obviously there's no way to know. Due to multiple CTs and ignorance and a complex history leading up to this moment, etc., I'm in my 5th year of protracted withdrawal from escitalopram, and in my first year of withdrawal from lisdexamfetamine. About one year ago there was an unfortunate vortioxetine bout that lasted 7 weeks (at the time I didn't yet know about withdrawal, I had yet to find this site, and I went to my GP bc of extreme suicidal ideation -- it had reached a point where I was genuinely afraid of losing control and harming myself -- so I turned to my GP in anguish and he repeatedly pushed vortioxetine over a series of appointments; I was so desperate I finally agreed to try it; I *hated* its effects and stopped as soon as I could, but ultimately this adds another CT to my roster, and I've read on this site that if you take a drug for as little as a month you may run the risk of incurring withdrawal syndrome, and I took it for 7 weeks total, so I suppose it's possible that I am concurrently in withdrawal from three different drugs, staggered over time which may be prolonging the whole thing ...  ugh, that's awful to think about, I try not to think about that and just remind myself that I don't know and there's no way to know and regardless, the only way to get through this is one day at a time). It's impossible to know how long this will last. I find it a bit curious that it's been so long since my last window, and that right now it seems like one very long stretch of muddy, murky WS baseline without clear waves -- does anyone have any experience or insights into similar pattern changes?

 

Thank y'all for listening. I'm grateful to you. 

Love,

"me"

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Administrator

You're welcome.

 

15 minutes ago, Ariel said:

I feel little to no joy, motivation, pleasure, peace. There is a pervasive blanket sense of meaninglessness, lack of agency, a feeling of being out of control and unsafe, unprotected. No creativity or constructive reasoning. I do not feel alive to the world or even to myself, really.

It is not as severe in intensity as it once was.

 

I realize this may be of scant comfort, but this state is normal for protracted withdrawal. You have seen lessening in intensity. That's exactly how it goes -- very slow and subtle resolution. Count that as a win, you're moving in the right direction.

 

Have you tried fish oil and magnesium supplements? see

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Many find them helpful. You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Please let us know how you’re doing.

 

Succinct! Thanks for the compliment.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks, Alto. 

 

13 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I realize this may be of scant comfort, but this state is normal for protracted withdrawal. You have seen lessening in intensity. That's exactly how it goes -- very slow and subtle resolution. Count that as a win, you're moving in the right direction.

 

This is indeed reassuring. I needed to hear that. Thank you. 

 

I've just revisited brassmonkey's chapter on WDnormal, which was useful to re-read. (Shout-out to brassmonkey, thank you for your excellent, highly accessible contributions site-wide! Reading your posts has helped me a lot, and continues to do so.)

 

 

18 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Have you tried fish oil and magnesium supplements?

 

Yes. I take magnesium daily (listed in my signature). 

I don't currently take fish oil. I've been trying to get these nutrients from regularly incorporating fish into my diet. Maybe that's not enough? Thanks for the reminder, I'll look into it. 

 

Kind regards to all, 

Love

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Mentor

@Ariel  Welcome to SA....Wow I am so sorry you are in so much pain.... these drugs can make a mess out of us.  It is so sad to see so many of us that have been poly drugged.  I agree that the drugs could have caused the your craziness in the hospital......Some how we have to wait and let our bodies heal and get back to some state of normal..  The drugs make so many foreign changes in our own bodies natural state......... 

Have you watched Medicating Normal Documentary?  https://medicatingnormal.com/     

Here is a link to Bayliss Frederick's web site https://baylissa.com/  she has some really helpful things on her website.....She recovered from protracted WD  form benzo's and is a practicing therapist/counsellor. 

 

This is a really comforting story about a women that recovered from Benzo's....... "What is happening in your brain

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/10914-what-is-happening-in-your-brain/

 

Now that you can function a little bit, it can be  nice to each out and talk to other members.......Some how knowing that you are not alone is a small comfort.....

Do you have support with/around you?  

Please feel to reach out if you want to chat......We are all here for you.

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Lexapro  Taper> Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- Split dosing 2x a day All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg  slow taper to  Aug/12/2022 2.04mg  2023> 2mg,  1.90mg, 1.80mg, 1.70mg, 1.5mg, 1.4mg, 1.3mg 1.2mg, 1.1mg, 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.8mg, 0.7mg 0.65mg, 0.6mg, 0.55mg, 0.5mg, 0.45mg, 0.4mg, 0.35mg, 0.3mg, 0.25,mg, back to once a day dosing 0 .1mg, 0.07mg , 0.05mg 4/1/2024   0

Lamictal  taper  4/17/ 2022 25mg, 9/9/ 22 -20mg, 9/25/22- 15mg , 10/20/22-   0

 Trazodone..2023.>down to 14mg, 7mg, 6mg  July 2023   0

Xanax  0.0625mgai 3 x a day,  2023>  0.042mgai 3x a day  2024> 0.034mgai 3x a day

Supplements  Magnesium glycinate, Omega 3, D3, vitamin c , zinc, NAC 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today I noticed something that I take to be a clear sign of improvement. I am sharing this here to record the incident for myself, and also in case it may be of any use to anyone else. 

This morning I attended a new exercise class. This is in and of itself positive, and is connected to a significant overall improvement in WDnormal that has occurred over the past month or so, especially in terms of general energy level. Even just three months ago it would have been unthinkable to research a new gym, let alone surmount the complex challenge of going there and participating in a new class. 

Going to this class for the first time meant meeting the instructor for the first time, too. She had a certain manner that I tend to find tricky (without passing judgment, I'd describe it as "dominant"). As soon as class started the instructor turned on music at a high volume. It so happened that I was right by the speaker. In addition to my unfortunate position, the loud music was unexpected, as this gym claims to differentiate itself from others by offering "an oasis of calm" (ha!) (hence its original appeal to this WS sufferer; I selected it because it was supposedly quiet!). With the music blaring loudly right next to me, in combination with the instructor yelling over the music, and the whole class situation being otherwise new to me -- it was a lot to handle. I felt my system brace for overload. Uh-oh, I thought. Well if nothing else we can just leave! I felt the stirrings of an inner flight response. 

I asked the instructor whether it would be possible to turn down the volume a little. She flatly said, No, and then continued barking over the music. A few minutes later, she actually turned the music up. 

This was a very challenging exchange for me. In addition to having my (reasonable, I thought) request denied and being faced with the prospect of a full hour of too-loud music thumping through my sensitivities, I felt myself being triggered by the experience of attempting to advocate for myself and getting shut down, with no apparent empathy for my inquiry. I found myself experiencing multiple unpleasant emotions and thoughts related to the instructor and the situation, incl. a nascent panic around how I would possibly make it through the class when the sensory stimuli were overwhelming, e.g. Oh no, what if this triggers a wave? What if this triggers XYZ symptoms? The flight response began to grow in intensity, and my thinking churned around getting out of there. 

Through this I was somehow able to contain my inner response, registering the various swirling emotions and thoughts and letting them be. I told myself I could continue to monitor how I felt, and if I started to feel a lot worse, if my condition became unbearable, the option of leaving early remained available to me. In the meantime, I would wait and see and give the class a try for as long as I could stand. True, it was less than ideal that the sound volume was unpleasantly loud and the instructor was not accommodating. However, I wanted to exercise, I wanted to do this class, I had decided to do it and there I was, and I would give it a go and see how it went. I was thus able to make it through the entire class, concentrating on the exercises as best I could, focusing on following instruction and paying attention to bodily sensations along the way. There were moments when the instructor would turn up the music and I'd feel a painful jolt to my system due to the sensory stimuli, and I attempted to register these sensations along with the other feelings in my body. I practiced being present in my body and holding capacity for both wanted and unwanted experience. 

And somehow ... it worked! I made it through. 

This is, to me, a beautiful sign of recovery in progress: that my system was able to work with(in) the reality of an imperfect, and even somewhat challenging, situation without going completely awry. Somehow it was possible to contain the multitude of responses and stay the course. This would have been unthinkable even three months ago! 

Not long ago I could very easily have gotten so freaked out by the instructor's vibe (nothing personal, just not my preferred wavelength; I enjoy a lighter touch) that I would have spiraled into overwhelming neuro-emotions and adrenaline response, possibly leading to a larger, longer-lasting reaction. This kind of thing has happened countless times before throughout WS, which plays a major part in my having developed a pervasive wariness in regards to even the most seemingly mundane social interactions. However, today my system managed to navigate the totality of the situation. Thanks, system, way to go!

Was I tired after class? Of course. It took deliberate effort and attention to manage the complex demands of the challenge at hand. Afterwards I felt spent, and probably more tired in my brain than in my muscles. It was not the ideal workout. I did not feel particularly appreciative of or warm towards the instructor, and I do not anticipate seeking out her class again anytime soon. But the point is, that's okay. I managed. It turned out fine, and I was fine. And after class, on my way home, I stopped off to purchase foam earplugs to wear to my next class -- henceforth, I come prepared!  

I feel so grateful for this experience today, which, in more ways than one, is a true marker of healing. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share this story with you today. Feels good to share it.

Love to you all, 

A. 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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I'm writing to add a few notes to yesterday's account of the gym visit. 

The exercise class was in the morning. In the afternoon, once I was back home, I went on a sugar binge eating a lot of non-dairy frozen dessert. This is not part of my usual WS diet, as I avoid sugar (I learned early on that it doesn't agree with my WS-addled system). It had been a long time since I'd last had sugar. However, yesterday afternoon post-exercise my brain was sending strong urges for hyperpalatable foods. I am interpreting this as a kind of decompensation related to the multifaceted exigencies of the morning gym class. I think my system was more overwhelmed than I was consciously aware of and in its stressed state demanded sugar (a familiar mechanism). 

Also, one aspect of the exercise class experience has really stuck with me. I happened to be next to the loudspeaker because that's the spot to which I was assigned by the instructor when I arrived to class. Since I was new, the instructor selected for me this strategic placement in the room, based on a good line of sight to where she would be so that it would be easier for me to follow her instruction (and vice versa). It just so happened that this spot was by the loudspeaker (I don't think the instructor thought about that element at all). The point is, when the music got really loud and the instructor refused to turn down the volume, it wasn't possible for me to move to another spot in the room. I was in a disadvantageous position and felt trapped there, and it is this feeling of being trapped that was very triggering for me. That feeling of somebody else forcefully directing one's circumstances and then being adversely affected by said circumstances -- that connects to deep-rooted responses to feeling powerless, out of control, captive (my childhood, etc.). I can see how my nervous system reacted very strongly to the dynamics of the situation, which it perceived as being both implicitly and explicitly threatening to its liberty and safety. The sensory pummeling of the loud music and the confined space compounded the issue. 

I am going to take a few days to be very gentle with myself, checking in to listen and feel where I'm at. That exercise class was intended as self-care, and it looks like my self-care experience is now going to require some concerted self-care! Haha 

It still feels like progress to be able to attend an exercise class outside my home, make it through, and be able to journal about it here. The totality of the experience also suggests that I'm feeling very eager to find signs of progress -- I was quick to judge and claim this as a victory. It's true, of course I'm on the lookout for markers of healing. As much as I'd like to play it cool and as much as I try to practice taking it one day at a time, moment by moment, of course I would like for this ordeal to be over ASAP. Whenever there's anything even remotely interpretable as positive, I get very excited. (Excitement is interesting to contemplate, actually. In the midst of WS anhedonia, it seems my nervous system is functioning on a rudimentary binary, shuttling between excitement and inhibition, arousal and shut-down. There's not much emotional nuance at all, it's just like, accelerator, brake, accelerator, brake. Sometimes it seems my mind assigns and fills in fictional emotions from memory, though they're not actually present. Interesting. But I digress ... )

I trust recovery will come. Healing is happening with every breath. It will take the time it takes. Back to practicing patience and presence and paying compassionate attention and holding space ... 

Love, gratitude, all that jazz --

A.

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, Ariel said:

I think my system was more overwhelmed than I was consciously aware of and in its stressed state demanded sugar (a familiar mechanism). 

 

Stress creates cortisol which uses glucose which can cause carb cravings.  From what I have learned on the internet it may be better to do HIIT so that you do not raise the cortisol too much.

 

I think that being close to the speaker added to your stress.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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@Arielhello!

Well done on your visit to the gym and staying the distance with the overwhelming teacher👏you did very well, and so gracious and magnanimous o the light of a very challenging situation!

Also thank you for your vivid description re the process and your feelings, I identify so much with everything you said as regards the stress and trauma of getting out, and getting to a very demanding gym class, with a challenging teacher. You held the line and stayed to the end despite the physical and mental stress. What a win!

Also interesting to note what you said regarding the cravings afterwards. I made the mistake yesterday of having a KFC, first time I have had fast food in a while, and it almost put me in a coma afterwards!

I wonder how you manage to avoid sugar in your diet? Is it a question of simply avoiding sweets, chocolate and sugary drinks? Or is it more involved? I know sugar can have an inflammatory effect, would like to know more, however.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend 🙏

Will reply to your response to my post on my own thread at some point(brain drain is incoming and I have some things I need to do this afternoon, which require some cognitive processing!)

With all good wishes, Kris

Mostly Fluoxetine since 1990/91 - February 2021, at varying dosages, however mainly 20mg.

?2016-17 was on Effexor for a short while before being swapped back to Fluoxetine.

I also recall being on other AD in the 1990's - citalopram/seroxat, always ended up back with Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine 20mg stopped 23rd Feb 2021 cold turkey

Fluoxetine liquid 1mg reinstated 24th May 2021

Other: omega 3 fish oil, 300mg magnesium, Vit D 2000 IU, cerazette, fybogel

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Hello ChessieCat (I am not tagging you, as per your signature), and thank you for your insightful post. The stress-cortisol link makes sense. And THANK YOU, ChessieCat, for all your hard work and wonderful contributions on this site. Your words have helped me so much and continue to do so.  

I might have to go back to only doing gentle yoga and wait for a while with the resistance training. I'll feel it out. At the moment I feel like I'm juggling multiple, seemingly contradictory bodily needs. My skeletomuscular body yearns for sweaty, cardiovascular exercise and weight lifting; it's been years since I've been able to do that kind of training and I miss it so much. However, my nervous system wants none of that. My nervous system posits that being swaddled and held is the only form of exercise we need. (Btw, if I could find someone to swaddle and hold me, I would. Where are the gyms for that, I wonder? Maybe I should start one. Adult cradling facilities ... ) My brain would rather not get involved in any of it. It prefers to send an out-of-office reply to most of my inquiries! I'm not sure where that leaves me. Am I the one trying to keep the plates spinning, or am I maybe just one of many spinning plates? I don't know. I dream of a time when I could get a good workout in, get my sweat on and enjoy that lovely clear-headed feeling. Not to mention that I feel quite uncomfortable being as out of shape as I am now. Oh well. It was worth a try, I guess. I am recalibrating and will further investigate supportive forms of exercise that manage to mediate the bodies' various needs (what a household!).

 

@Kris73Hiya, and thanks for your message. No worries about replying to anything, ever. Take what you can use and toss the rest, and feel free to ignore as you see fit. 

Thanks for your question about diet and avoiding sugar. I will get back to you on this when I can. I'm currently in the midst of a flurry of unexpected cravings so I imagine it will be quite helpful to refocus via recounting when the storm settles. 

 

Kind regards to you both, thanks for checking in. Goodnight,

A. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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3 hours ago, Ariel said:

I might have to go back to only doing gentle yoga and wait for a while with the resistance training. I'll feel it out. At the moment I feel like I'm juggling multiple, seemingly contradictory bodily needs. My skeletomuscular body yearns for sweaty, cardiovascular exercise and weight lifting; it's been years since I've been able to do that kind of training and I miss it so much. However, my nervous system wants none of that.

 

How about going back to the gentle exercising and gradually adding in the resistance training.  There are things that you can do/use at home to start.  And then you could go to the gym for shorter sessions to begin with.

 

A runner or cyclist is not going to go out and complete a long run/cycle their first time out after not having done it for years.  And you say it has been years since you have done that kind of training.

 

It is not "all or nothing".

 

Edited by ChessieCat

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Good to hear you challenged your system and found you can do more! Don't overdo it, you're on your way.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi ChessieCat, 

Thank you for pointing out the possibility of a middle ground ... Further to that, I was wondering whether you might help put this recent experience into WS perspective -- ?

Since the gym visit (3 days ago) I've been feeling activated. I've been struggling with increased unpleasant sensations of stress, e.g. intense anxiety, negative thinking, akathisia, suicidal ideation, rage, etc. I've also been besieged by bottomless food cravings, like being possessed by an insatiable starving demon that cannot stop eating. It's a bummer. 

I feel confused as to how to interpret or understand this sequence of events. I'm not sure what conclusions to draw, if any (I am never sure as to the cause-and-effect aspect of the withdrawal experience, it often seems semi-random, as much as my mind would like to think it can make clear sense of things in order to gain some semblance of agency). I get what you are saying about the stress-cortisol link, I accept that. What I mean is, in the aim of listening to my body -- I'm listening but not sure I know what it's saying ... What does it all mean? 

Is the idea to experiment with working out X amount at X intensity to where I do not have an activated reaction afterwards? (In which case it's trial and error, I guess, as to how much my system can handle without decompensating.) Is the idea to gradually increase exercise time and intensity in order to habituate my system to being able to tolerate more without unpleasant reaction? What's the takeaway, exactly?

I read that the more a body gets used to exercise, the better it's able to regulate exercise-related cortisol responses. This makes sense, of course -- for a non-WS body. Could this also be the case for a WS body, or is it different for us (as with so many other things)? 

I think what is confusing to me is that my skeletomuscular experience of the workout was fine. I completed the class without issue in that regard. Immediately afterwards, as evidenced by my initial account, it felt like a positive experience. Today, three days later, I view the experience more negatively, in light of the difficult days I've had since then (I suppose I am indeed making a subconscious assumption as to causal relation). What felt like a triumph on Friday feels like a failure on Monday. Am I just looking at things through WS-colored glasses? 

As per your advice, what's my guiding principle in terms of exercise? Is it to try to find a quantity and quality that does not subsequently exacerbate WS symptoms?

Hope this makes sense. I'm feeling confused, maybe I'm asking questions that you've already answered. I guess I'm just feeling that "upside-down-opposite-world" downward pull of WS negativity ... I logged on to complain about my exercise fail, and before I could manage a single whine, I encountered your and Alto's supportive, encouraging posts. I was like, Huh? But what about my self-pity?!  HAHAHA  

Thank you ChessieCat and Alto for the support. 

Btw, @Alto, I love coming across a post where you've written some version of: Nobody seems to like withdrawal. Always makes me laugh! I imagine a perfectly dry delivery and it delights me.

Gratefully,

A.

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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P.S. 

I'm not sure it was the exercise exertion in and of itself that exacerbated WS symptoms in the days since. It seems plausible that the ingestion of large amounts of certain foods which (for good reason) are not usually part of my diet may have tipped the scale (in more ways than one, ha!). If the stress of the workout experience raised cortisol levels, and if the elevated cortisol led to cravings, that has not been the problem per se. It's all connected, of course, but the issue is then of an arguably secondary nature: the reality that I have been unable to withstand those cravings and have acted upon them, consuming copious amounts of unadvisable, activating ingredients (e.g. refined sugar, chocolate, whole grains -- none of which I eat otherwise). Kinda like the Buddhist parable of the second arrow ...

Which begs the question: any advice on how to resist food cravings?

These were not garden variety food cravings. They were monstrous, mutant, overgrown, super-sized, amped-up food cravings of unprecedented power, magnitude, and insistence! (Haha, dramatic enough? It's truly how it felt, though -- like the Godzilla of cravings! I felt like I was being *commanded*, especially given the shadow of DP/DR, it was quite bizarre to experience.) 

There's a great set of resources by author Kathryn Hansen, who has written a book called "Brain over Binge". Her website is here, in case anyone's interested (am I allowed to post a link to an outside website?) https://brainoverbinge.com  In her own life, Hansen successfully recovered from binge-eating disorder and has since dedicated herself to helping others heal (sound familiar?). For anyone struggling with or interested in binge eating disorder, I highly recommend Hansen's no-nonsense, non-psychiatric, non-pathologizing, un-storied, un-neurotic, practical, compassionate approach. Truly refreshing and utterly, easily applicable. My point in referencing Hansen's work and book is that part of the "Brain over Binge" protocol is learning how to resist the urges to binge. The idea here (crudely paraphrased) is that one binges because there is an urge to binge. The urge is generated by the "lower" or "primitive" brain (i.e. automatic thoughts); whereas the "higher" brain has the agency to decide whether or not to actually act on the urge. Recover from binge eating thus entails learning to identify the "lower brain's" urges as such, and practicing engaging the "higher" brain's autonomy to register the urges without giving in to them. Eventually, Hansen posits, the urges, without being reinforced through action, will weaken in intensity, becoming fewer and farther between. The habitual link will be weakened and over time, one may become urge-, and therefore binge-free. Hansen draws on personal experience as well as information about the neuroscience of addiction, among other sources. It's interesting stuff. 

Oh yeah, my point! My point is that the cravings I've experienced in WS (this past weekend was not the first time) have been wicked intense. This makes sense in the "neuro-emotion" way of everything being wildly heightened in WS. I'm wondering whether anyone else has experience with food cravings being outrageously exaggerated in WS as compared to non-withdrawal food cravings -- ? Also, in my case, I am in withdrawal from lisdexamfetamine as well as SSRIs, and I'm wondering whether the lisdexamfetamine withdrawal can make food cravings particularly acute. I mean, from what I've read that is indeed the case; I'd love to hear from anyone else here who has experience with this. (I haven't seen a lot of lisdexamfetamine-WD members; seems to show up occasionally as part of polypharmacy, but I haven't found much reference to it specifically.) I wonder whether the ferocity of WS-fueled cravings may make them harder to resist, in combination with a cognitively impaired WS brain exhibiting poor executive functioning and therefore exponentially vulnerable to a craving assault, making it that much more difficult to disengage. (Heh, can you tell I'm fishing for excuses to justify my failure at being unable to not act upon the cravings?)

Bottom line, I guess I'm looking for help as to whether to accept cravings and resistance-futility as part of the WS journey, or whether I should fight more actively to resist. These past few days have really floored me. None of my usual strategies seemed to work. I tried: waiting it out; delaying; brushing my teeth; hydrating; eating something healthy instead; going for a little walk; trying to take a nap; etc. Before WS it was not difficult to implement such techniques with good effect: the cravings would pass, and all would be calm. This time around the cravings rapidly escalated into compulsive and intrusive thoughts, and it was like I was suddenly dealing with the brain of an addict. The urgency was impressive, it was really like: We need this right now, it's a matter of survival. Moreover, it was abundantly clear that these demands were coming from my brain and not from my gut. My gut had nothing to do with it, and when I checked in it really didn't want to deal with a binge at all. The gut does not like binging, ever, and especially not in WS. This was a top-down chain-of-command situation. My brain the bully! 

I wonder whether the WS brain may be more susceptible to addiction (e.g. "food addiction") ... Do we know anything about this? I'm just curious. I wonder whether what I experienced these past few days is at all connected to a dearth of appropriate chemical signaling in my WS system, and the body longing for "feel-good" neurotransmitters to help mitigate stress and upset. By which I mean, when it's difficult for the system to regulate itself and "self-soothe", perhaps there is a brain recognition that certain chemical substances, e.g. foodstuffs, can contribute to a neurochemical response that's perceived as desirable. I dunno. I'm writing myself into a stupor, had better stop now. Who knows how anything works, ever, at all, anyway? Haha

Oh, last but not least: can anyone speak to a positive experience with cravings subsiding and weight normalizing as part of healing from WS? I've read through numerous success stories and have noticed that many people mention increased fitness levels and exercise tolerance and improved digestion. I'm wondering specifically whether it's common for WS-induced weight changes (metabolism?) to normalize once one gets better. To put it bluntly, I wonder whether I'll ever be able to get back in shape and fit into my old clothes. Can I get my body back? I miss it! (I know this is one of those questions nobody can answer for me, there's really no way to know. Just looking for some hope.)

Surf on,

A. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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This is one of my least favorite topics but I feel compelled to write about it here. 

I was born into a family riven with intergenerational trauma. My grandparents were genocide survivors. They survived years of war, incl. enslavement, torture, starvation, the murder of their entire families and communities (to which they were, in many instances, eye witnesses), as well as countless other acts of unimaginable violence. The terror and loss are unfathomable. My grandparents carried heavy burdens, the weight of which I will never know. They survived, began their lives anew, made new families. My parents were raised in post-war, pressure-cooker households full of skeletons, ghosts, silence, mysterious unnamed ever-lurking danger. These were not post-traumatic homes, they were actively traumatic homes. Nothing was okay, and it was never talked about. Then, at the time my parents were entering adulthood, the political situation in their country exploded once again. Echoing the xenophobic, racist, eugenic, ethnic cleansing, nationalist ethos of my grandparents' earlier experience, both sides of my family were prevented from participating in the work force, had their livelihood taken away, their rights revoked, and were eventually stripped of citizenship. My family fled their native country, seeking political asylum abroad. By the time I was born, my parents were political refugees, navigating the complex aftermath of their own lives having been blown up. I'm an only child. Early on in my life, my parents went through a nasty divorce. In my mother's custody, I moved countries (and continents) many times over throughout my childhood, a neverending diaspora. I attended about a dozen different schools. Any time spent with one side of the family or another, in one country or another, was characterized by complex trauma dynamics, incl. emotional, psychological, sexual, physical abuse. It was a mess; and at the same time, this was what I knew. To this day I remain a sort of "displaced person", unrooted, not belonging to any particular culture or community. The country where I live happens to be the only one where I hold some semblance of bureaucratic residency (however flimsy), but it's got nothing to do with my native language(s), my personal identity, or ancestral historical ties. This is a fact of my life; it's also a source of unrelenting existential turmoil. I don't belong anywhere; I don't have a proper home; I don't want to be here. 

Around the age of 12, something in me snapped. I could feel it happening; the unspeakable tension building inside me from infancy reached a breaking point. By the age of 13 I had "left my body" and lived pretty much in a dissociated state. That feeling of wanting to die and wishing I'd never been born -- that's been a permanent, pervasive feature of my existence since I was 12 years old. 

A few weeks after my 17th birthday, my mother had me committed to the youth psychiatric ward of the local mental hospital. I believe she made this choice because she was genuinely worried for my safety and believed that this was the only/best option. My mother was a psychologist; my father trained as a medical doctor before pursuing a scientific career in biomedical research. To my parents (and everyone they knew), psychiatry was a normal, respectable, medical specialty, and medicine was science, and science was good and true. When I try to view the situation through my family's eyes, what I see is myself as a teenager, "defiant" and "non-compliant", "dysfunctional". For years I played hooky, cutting class or just not showing up, flunking out of multiple schools. I did not "behave", I didn't smile and act happy. I cut myself, drank alcohol, smoked pot and cigarettes, talked openly about wanting to die. Looking back I still marvel at how relatively polite I was to my family (it could have been a lot worse!), I still think I was stuck playing "the good girl"; however, from my family's perspective, my behavior was shocking. Their m.o. was keeping everything completely under wraps, not expressing vulnerabilities, sensitivities, or openly grappling with emotional trauma. Barring episodic violence, which happened and then "unhappened" without further acknowledgment, there was no official space for anything being wrong or out of the ordinary. That's my privilege. And I mean that -- I believe it is a function of my privilege, such as it is (at least in comparison to my grandparents' and parents' lives) that in my family I "get to be" the kid from "The Emperor's New Clothes" pointing out what's wrong with this picture. In some marginal space that I am able to occupy, and which my grandparents and my parents have not been able to access, I have been able to retain a certain sensitivity and honesty about the effects of trauma on me. My grandparents and parents have not had that choice; their experience of trauma has been one of deep, lasting survival mode, with the profound disconnect and necessary self-preserving lack of examination it entails. My grandparents and parents have not had the privilege of whatever figurative or literal space is necessary to be able to "feel one's feelings". That is my privilege. And when I was an adolescent, living through some very visible, demonstrative version of "feeling my feelings", I believe it was baffling to my family. Not only was it taboo on multiple levels, and "dangerous"/"threatening", it was confounding. What was I thinking, what was I doing? I had had a good childhood. There was no reason for me to act out. I had never known war, or genocide, or murder, or statelessness, or what it means to show up to a foreign country with nothing and start from scratch as a political refugee, having left behind everyone and everything you know. I don't know poverty, or starvation, or what it's like to have a gun to my head, or what it's like to witness a gun held to the head of someone I love -- and that gun going off. I didn't know and do not know any of these things. What the **** did I have to rebel against as a teenager? Why was I behaving that way, being all kinds of impossible and making my mother's life miserable? It was incomprehensible to my family. But perhaps the doctors would be able to make sense of it; and perhaps they might be able to help/fix me. 

Because there was no doubt about it: there was something wrong with me. Life was life, and people around me just got on with it. They were more or less miserable, more or less unpleasant to be around, more or less abusive, more or less calm, but they all carried on. And for some reason, something in me refused to carry on. I just couldn't. Today I know that my inability to just keep going was a sure sign of my health; but back then, the consensus was that this inexplicable, non-compliant sensitivity(/fragility/weakness) was a marker of my fundamental illness. Enter the doctors, cue the medications. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Oh I'm so sorry @Ariel that's heart breaking.

I'm sorry that this all happened to your family and that you are suffering the consequences.

 

I think intergeneration trauma has got to be so difficult. I think it's almost harder to process as you don't have the direct experience of trauma to come to terms with but instead, indirect trauma that you can't come to terms with because you weren't the one living it and don't have something tangible to deal with. But you also then you can't help but absorb the fears and your family being in survival mode and that not affect your brain wiring.   I'm struggling to string my words together today so i hope i made sense there.

 

My father had some significant trauma in childhood that I (and my Mum) only found out about in my late teens.  It explains a lot about him and probably about his inability to give my sensitive soul what it needed, which is part of why I am where I am now.   Not even close to being on the scale of your family but it gives me a small glimpse of how intergenerational trauma can be so damaging.

Sertraline (Lustral):  2014. Sept 50mg. Oct 100mg. Dec 150mg. 2015-2019. 150mg. 2019  Apr-May 0mg. Beg May 150mg. End May 100mg. Late June 125mg. Late Aug 100mg. 2020 Jan 75mg. April 50mg.

2022  50mg. 1Jan 45mg. 1Feb 40.5mg. Water T24Feb 39.5mg. 3Mar 38.5mg. 18Mar 38mg. 25Mar 37.5mg. 22Apr 37mg. 5May 36.5mg. 18May 36mg. 1Jun 35.3mg. 15Jun 34.5mg.  30Jun 34mg. 15Jul 33.5mg. 22Jul 33mg. 5Aug 32.5mg. 19Aug 32mg. 1Sept 31.5mg. 1Oct 31mg.  27 Oct 30.5. 16 Nov 30mg. 30 Nov 29.5mg. 14 Dec 29mg

2023. 2 Jan 28.5mg. 6 Feb 28mg. 10 Mar 27.5mg. 1 Apr 26.5mg. 1 May 26mg. 1 Jun 25.5mg. 1 Jul 25mg. 1 Aug 24.5mg. 17 Aug 24mg. 5 Sept 23.5mg. 9 Oct 23mg.

 

Desogestrel:  2014 -  present:  

Supplements Magnesium. 400mcg  Vitamin D. 10mcg.  Multivit/min. 1 tab. B Complex

 

Certirizine:   2022 May 10mg. Dec 20mg. 2023. 15mg.

 Omeprazole.:  2016 20mg. 2022  20mg.  15Jan 15mg. 9Feb 10mg. 25Feb 6.5mg. 15Mar 3mg. 3Apr 1.5mg.  15Apr 0mg   2023. 20mg. 15 Sept 15mg.

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18 hours ago, Ariel said:

What the **** did I have to rebel against as a teenager? Why was I behaving that way, being all kinds of impossible and making my mother's life miserable? It was incomprehensible to my family.

 

Because that's the job description of a teenager! 

 

So sorry this has led to so much additional trauma for you, @Ariel

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
21 hours ago, Ariel said:

What the **** did I have to rebel against as a teenager? Why was I behaving that way, being all kinds of impossible and making my mother's life miserable?

 

Something that I realised as I got older is that the teenage years are the time when people are trying to work out who they are, their beliefs and where they "fit" in the world.  They are no longer children but not yet adults.  At different times they may see the way they are being treated as "childish" or expected to be act like an adult when they don't know how to do that.  They are having to stand on their own two feet and face the world and at the same time deal with many hormonal changes that are happening in their body which they don't understand.  It can be a very confusing and scary time of life.  For so many years they may have wanted to be an adult but when it happens they may want to still have the safety and security of their childhood.

 

Just some things for you to consider which might help you to understand and be better able to accept your own situation.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thank you to everyone who has read and or responded to my posts. I don't really expect anyone to make their way through the verbiage (brevity is not my strong suit), but it feels good to be acknowledged. Makes me feel less alone and more connected. Thank you, I appreciate you. 

 

I'm experimenting with using my intro thread as a place to express some feelings and perhaps even organize my thoughts (although writing that now strikes me as ambitious). This week has been tricky and rather strange. I've found myself with decreased physical energy (feeling quite depleted and demotivated, having difficulty leaving the house). Simultaneously, I've been surprised at a burgeoning willingness towards verbal communication. It's interesting to me that I've written here as much as I have, and have been reading even more. Words have been feeling a little less tossed salad, a bit more crudité platter. Still crunchy, perhaps tough to digest, but a bit more clearly defined, retaining some integrity. Not sure whether that makes sense to anyone else, but I think I know what I mean ... maybe ... haha

 

Something I did this week is I tried to put together a list of my psychiatric diagnoses and medications in chronological order, as they were given. I can't consolidate the exact information, as there's too much I don't remember and can't access precise records. In my career as a psychiatric patient I've consulted with doctors (and been diagnosed/medicated) in four different countries, and many of those years remain a blur. Still, I've found it useful to compile this imperfect list, which I share below. I've included what I believe to be the gaps when I was suffering from withdrawal in a significant way. When I think back on it, there's overwhelming indication that I suffered from some sort of withdrawals or adverse reactions more times than I've marked here, due to the fact that I was often switched from one drug to another, and that I often tested a handful of different drugs before deciding on whatever specific cocktail du jour. Although the archivist in me wishes I could pinpoint dates and dosages in impeccable historical order, the messiness of this list arguably reflects the messiness of my psychiatric dramaturgy. Histrionism, if not history? It's Chinatown, Jake. 

Making this list also reminded me that for years I took diphenhydramine hydrochloride (a powerful antihistamine) to sleep. This was originally recommended to me (and prescribed, although it's available in most countries over the counter, in one form or another) by a psychiatrist who assured me that it was entirely harmless, non-addictive and that I could take it for the rest of my life in conjunction with any other medications I happened to be on at any given time. Today I'm not so sure ... It was indeed reliable as a sleeping pill, and I took it regularly (most nights, probably) for 8-9 years. At some point in withdrawal it stopped working, causing paradoxical reactions, so I stopped. This was about a year or so ago. Good riddance!

I now believe that almost all of the psychiatric diagnoses I've received over the years have been in some way linked to drug-induced symptoms that were misidentified as "mental illness". Starting from my very first "psychosis" diagnosis (aww, baby's first psychosis), continuing through BP-II (drug-provoked mood instability, etc.), and escalating through to the upper echelons of the illustrious schizos (one cannot help but feel a little proud of one's diagnostic accomplishments). And I am acutely aware that my list is far from an extreme example.  

Anyway, here it is. Maybe it will be of some use to someone for something, somewhere, sometime.

 

Psychiatric history – diagnoses + medications (approximate, incomplete list)

 

August 1996 – borderline personality disorder (BPD) with psychosis 

                         citalopram (celexa/cipramil); unknown benzodiazepines

 

fall 1997 – bipolar II disorder (BP-II) 

                 sertraline (Zoloft); lithium 

 

1997 – 2003 

            sertraline (Zoloft); fluoxetine (prozac); citalopram (celexa) 

            lithium; lamotrigine (lamictal); valproate (depakote)

 

fall 2003 – major depressive disorder (MDD)

                  citalopram

 

possibly 2006 -2008? * withdrawal syndrome *   -->  leading to next batch of diagnoses

 

spring 2008 – psychotic depression

                        olanzapine (zyprexa); quetiapine (seroquel)

 

fall 2008 – attention deficit disorder (ADD) 

                  methylphenidate (Ritalin, concerta, etc.) 

 

late 2008 – * withdrawal syndrome *   --> 

 

fall 2009 – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); dysthymia; eating disorders; generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)                                                             

                  escitalopram; venlefaxine (effexor); desvenlefaxine (pristiq)

 

early 2010 – agomelatine (valdoxan); bupropion (wellbutrin, zyban)

 

late 2010 – schizoaffective disorder                                                                                                 

                    bupropion (wellbutrin, zyban); methylphenidate 

 

spring 2011 – schizophrenia 

                       aripiprazole (abilify); escitalopram (cipralex; lexapro); bupropion; ritalin

 

early 2012 – * withdrawal syndrome * ? 

 

2012 – escitalopram; diphenhydramine hydrochloride; ritalin

 

2014 – escitalopram; diphenhydramine hydrochloride; lisdexamfetamine (vyvanse)

 

2018 – rapid taper escitalopram; continued lisdexamfetamine; diphenhydramine hydrochloride

 

* withdrawal syndrome * --> ongoing

 

October 2020 – rapid taper lisdexamfetamine 

February 2021 – reinstate lisdexamfetamine

March 2021 – vortioxetine (brintellix) 7 weeks total; continued lisdexamfetamine

April – July 2021 – taper lisdexamfetamine

late July 2021 – drug-free 

 

 

In addition to the medications listed above, I have, at various times, trialed the following (listed in no particular order): 

Nortryptyline; amoxapine; clonazepam; diazepam; oxapam; alprazolam; propanolol; zopiclone; duloxetine; clozapine; amisulpride; levetiracetam; ziprasidone; anafranil; zolpidem.

 

It looks like I've somehow managed to avoid paroxetine ... Thank g-d for small favors!

Let's play a game: Spot the drug(s) I haven't been on. Please let me know and we will do a grateful little dance together! We'll call it the "small favors" dance. Or the "dodged a bullet" dance. I am imagining the gestures as I type this. Whaddaya think? Everyone's welcome to join in the fun!

See you on the dance floor, bust a move, 

A. 

 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Also, this happened: today I dipped my toe in the waters of writing to inform relevant professionals of my case. 

Since I first realized (about a year ago) that I was suffering from PAWS, I've felt responsible for getting the word out. Within the first few months I'd emailed friends who were either themselves on psychiatric drugs or considering taking them. It was difficult to know what to say, and I don't know whether I articulated my point adequately. I hope my warnings were clear, but I'm not sure. I plan on returning to this task when I'm better able to formulate a coherent text.

Of course, I wanted very much to contact all my current and past prescribers to inform them of what I was experiencing. I believe it's vital to provide my feedback, because if they don't hear from (former) patients, they may very well continue on in the dark, unwittingly harming people due to their own ignorance. I have encountered many psychiatrists and therapists over the past 25 years. They were not all equally competent, but I can honestly say that I've never met with anyone where I don't think they themselves in their own worldview were committed to helping people. I believe they had the best intentions. I believe that if they were to ever face the harsh reality of adverse, harmful effects of treatment they prescribed, they would be horrified and thoroughly, lastingly troubled by the implications. Perhaps I'm projecting, but I really think most people are doing their best and trying to help.

Due to my withdrawal-related limitations I haven't yet been able to begin flipping through my ex-psychiatrist rolodex. Partially due to cognitive difficulties, and largely due to extreme WS anxiety and paranoia. I just couldn't go there, and I'd tell myself, and still tell myself, that I'll start tackling this when I feel a bit better. I started today! 

This afternoon I emailed a former therapist with the information that I'm suffering from PAWS. I was in therapy with this person for about five years while I was in college, meaning that we started working together 25 years ago. It was at the beginning of my psychiatric journey. This therapist (whom I'll call T) helped me a lot and I learned so much from our sessions, wisdom that has stayed with me (incl. DBT skills). At the time I occasionally saw a psychiatrist for prescribing. T had little to do with the drug side of things, although there was transparency about it. Last year, before I learned about WS, panicking that I was in inexplicable crisis, I reached out to T after all those years. I guess I was looking for some familiarity and longing to connect with someone who knew me in my youth, someone I trusted and who was so supportive of me at the time. I was looking for some perspective, maybe. Happily, T replied and we had a meaningful exchange. I'd hoped to be able to work with T again, but we are halfway across the world from each other, and the time difference and costs proved to be prohibitive. Our contact ended with my confessing that I was in crisis.

Today I wrote to T following up on what I meant by that "crisis", clarifying what I've learned since: the name of the crisis is withdrawal syndrome. I included in the email links to the recent Nation article as well as attaching Alto's co-authored paper. I invited T to inquire further should they have any questions and to please spread the word to their colleagues.

Given that my relationship with this therapist goes so far back and I haven't seen them in decades, this is a relatively low-stakes reveal, but it feels like a big deal nonetheless. It's the first time I'm "going public", opening up about this struggle in dialogue with a health care professional. (I have, as a result of WS, developed a pervasive aversion to pretty much any sort of dealings and communications with medical authorities or anything remotely reminiscent of such, incl. therapists. The whole set-up just freaks me out on a visceral level, I get triggered by the mere thought of such a situation.) Writing to T feels pretty safe, or I wouldn't have been able to do it. There are many others I'm not yet ready to contact. However, it feels good to begin. I figure I'll start with the low-stakes people and work my way up the threat levels. And we'll see how T responds. I'm quite curious whether T's already familiar with this iatrogenic condition.

Will keep you posted! 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Mentor

I love the way you write and your sense of humor is delightful

 

Taking a break from mentoring, please do not message or tag me, thank you! 
Got some personal stuff to deal with and am not able to give you my full attention. 

I will remove this reminder when I am back. Keep on swimming, my friends. 

😊

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total) 
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. First attempt to get off it was 2007- WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". felt ok until  Sept, then acute WD hit!!  reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well. 
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content
  • PRESENT DAYS:  Loving life! ❤️ with all it's ups and downs ;) 
Link to comment

Hi @Happy2Heal Thank you for your kind comment, that's so nice to hear.

In my daily life I'm pretty socially isolated (for both withdrawal and other reasons), and it's been a positive development feeling more connected to others via this online community. Thank you for your support. 

How are you going? 

Well wishes,

A.

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hello @Ariel,

 

After reading your valuable contributions in other threats, I've come here to read your story.

 

I would like to thank you so so much for your honesty, openness and wise words. Even though it makes me so sad that this website has to exist at all, finding people like you makes everything less miserable. It sounds like, even though you have suffered so much, you have also done a great deal in introspection and understanding, well, life in general. You seem like such a genuine, empathic and curious person. 

 

 

On 4/7/2022 at 4:38 PM, Ariel said:

this happened: today I dipped my toe in the waters of writing to inform relevant professionals of my case. 

 

Wow, that is so brave. I have thought about doing the same many times, but I just dont find the moment or words to do it. So congrats on doing it. You are doing your part to avoid that this will happen to more and more people👏

On 4/5/2022 at 2:35 AM, Ariel said:

I had never known war, or genocide, or murder, or statelessness, or what it means to show up to a foreign country with nothing and start from scratch as a political refugee, having left behind everyone and everything you know. I don't know poverty, or starvation, or what it's like to have a gun to my head, or what it's like to witness a gun held to the head of someone I love -- and that gun going off. I didn't know and do not know any of these things. What the **** did I have to rebel against as a teenager? Why was I behaving that way, being all kinds of impossible and making my mother's life miserable? It was incomprehensible to my family. But perhaps the doctors would be able to make sense of it; and perhaps they might be able to help/fix me. 

 

The fact that we think that because we havent lived a life-threatening situation like that does not give us the "right" to be depressed, anxious or to have mental issues it is a proof of how our society is failing us. Please, do not take this as a judgement or something like that, it is just my opinion. I've heard similar statements in my life from older people and I dont think it is fair, just that. 

 

I hope any of this makes sense, as I am currently in a wave and my brain is not helping a lot😅

I send you a hug.

 

 

March 2019: 10mg Citalopram

April 2019: 20mg Citalopram

October/November 2019(sorry, I don't remember the exact date): 10mg of Citalopram without tapering, as suggested by my pharmacist. 

March 2020: Started "tapering", taking the 10mg of Citalopram every other day, again, following the recommendations of my pharmacist. 

April 2020: Stopped taking Citalopram.

I haven't reinstall since then. I've tried taking Magnesium a couple of times, but I found out it makes me nervous. I only take Paracetemol when the headache becomes unbearable (2gr every couple of weeks or so). 

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  • Mentor
On 4/8/2022 at 6:21 AM, Ariel said:

Hi @Happy2Heal Thank you for your kind comment, that's so nice to hear.

In my daily life I'm pretty socially isolated (for both withdrawal and other reasons), and it's been a positive development feeling more connected to others via this online community. Thank you for your support. 

How are you going? 

Well wishes,

A.

I'm doing well thanks.

 

I hope you'll keep writing as long as it's helping you

I can connect with so much of what you've said.

might compare notes later when my day to day life calms down a bit

 

 

Taking a break from mentoring, please do not message or tag me, thank you! 
Got some personal stuff to deal with and am not able to give you my full attention. 

I will remove this reminder when I am back. Keep on swimming, my friends. 

😊

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total) 
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. First attempt to get off it was 2007- WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". felt ok until  Sept, then acute WD hit!!  reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well. 
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content
  • PRESENT DAYS:  Loving life! ❤️ with all it's ups and downs ;) 
Link to comment

Last week I stumbled upon this quote. It delights me. I find my mind returning to it throughout the day. Its simplicity and truth nourish me and bring a smile to my face. Sometimes it makes me laugh out loud.

If "change the channel" is the strategy, this quote is the remote control.

 

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed. 

- Lao Tzu 

 

I mean ... hilarious! 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Mentor

@Ariel

I just finished posting to you on my thread lol  Thought I would stop by and give my two cents on a few things lol----Beware I can get long

winded  😬lol  But first I must say your a amazing and thanks for sharing your struggles and accomplishments......You write beautifully.  When you are ready you should do something with writing------novel?

On 2/22/2022 at 12:53 PM, Ariel said:

i clearly remember being so overmedicated that my hands were shaking non-stop, i couldn't properly hold a fork to eat or a pencil/pen to write. i fainted in the shower. i knew it was the drugs, i knew they were giving me too much, i know i said as much. i have no recollection of being listened to. my first ever "psychotic episodes" also occurred during this first ever hospitalization, subsequent to which my diagnosis was augmented to include my being labeled as "psychotic". i am convinced the sensory hallucinations were caused by the drugs they were giving me. 

I have to wonder how many people get label with some sort of mental illness that was actually the drugs.........How much Bi-Polar is brought up and use as a explanation for hypo mania and mood swings that could have been brought on by the drugs.....I am hoping that is the case with me......So far I think that as I go down on the drugs I am less hyper-less angry-but well see........How many of us are poly drugged to get control of the adverse affects from the first drug........I think that is how I ended up on  Lamictal -But again well see   ha-ha🙄

Here is a link on a interview with Robert Whitaker   https://youtu.be/5VBXWdhabuQ   

 

On 4/7/2022 at 10:38 AM, Ariel said:

I've felt responsible for getting the word out.

 

On 4/7/2022 at 10:38 AM, Ariel said:

Of course, I wanted very much to contact all my current and past prescribers to inform them of what I was experiencing. I believe it's vital to provide my feedback, because if they don't hear from (former) patients, they may very well continue on in the dark, unwittingly harming people due to their own ignorance.

I also have a burning drive to get the word out......I did with my therapist Molly and she says she is learning through me and a few other patience........She even had a client that was trying to switch to different drug and it wasn't going so good-----Molly told her to get off the drug---I think she even  thought that the one that was prescribing the drug just wanted to go up on the drug ---sound like the usual response- up the dose if it's not right lol The prescriber works in the same clinic.

I would really like to send my old physic doctor studies and information that is coming out of the UK--They even have a  book out called 

Guidance for Psychological Therapist-----this trains the therapist on talking to client that are taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs

https://prescribeddrug.info/  

Have you watched the documentary Medicating Normal?  Here is their website   https://medicatingnormal.com/

 

I started saving information but that's about it-----I haven't sent anything yet-------

 

I thought it would be fun to start a business making tee-shirts- bumper stickers- whatever else that can to  drum up public awareness.......So many are in the dark-as we were before it happen to us........Maybe say something like your mental health drugs maybe your problem and/did you know that you could go through some pretty hard drug withdrawal if you try to go off...........Then list website- like SA- Baylissa.com- books- you tube sites- Medicating Normal.com etc.

 I would love to ask both my old doctor and my new one if they can look back and see how many times their patients tried to go off and where told that their disease has come back or that they are having a hard time and their drug doesn't work so they get label drug resistant or 

were told that they have a new disease........When all along it could have been 1-withdrawal 2- drug poop out  3- the drug causing the problem

4-whatever else you can come up with lol🙃

 

3 hours ago, Ariel said:

"change the channel"

Easier said then done.....My poor brain has had 50 years of thinking one way.....Deeply trenched in the brain map lol.....I am like a truck trying to drive out of the rut that is even more hard in WD with a slippery, muddy trenched in path....lol  Therapy and hard work-----

 

Here is link to a talk about the human brain and neuroplasticity.  Fascinating -- maybe we will heal from this temporary chemical brain injury. 

https://youtu.be/sK51nv8mo-o

 

 

On 4/7/2022 at 9:26 AM, Ariel said:

It looks like I've somehow managed to avoid paroxetine

lol I wasn't so lucky I got to sample it..........Your drug history is a lot like mine-----Way to many I'd say......

 

You hang in there girl-----you are one strong and amazing person 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Lexapro  Taper> Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- Split dosing 2x a day All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg  slow taper to  Aug/12/2022 2.04mg  2023> 2mg,  1.90mg, 1.80mg, 1.70mg, 1.5mg, 1.4mg, 1.3mg 1.2mg, 1.1mg, 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.8mg, 0.7mg 0.65mg, 0.6mg, 0.55mg, 0.5mg, 0.45mg, 0.4mg, 0.35mg, 0.3mg, 0.25,mg, back to once a day dosing 0 .1mg, 0.07mg , 0.05mg 4/1/2024   0

Lamictal  taper  4/17/ 2022 25mg, 9/9/ 22 -20mg, 9/25/22- 15mg , 10/20/22-   0

 Trazodone..2023.>down to 14mg, 7mg, 6mg  July 2023   0

Xanax  0.0625mgai 3 x a day,  2023>  0.042mgai 3x a day  2024> 0.034mgai 3x a day

Supplements  Magnesium glycinate, Omega 3, D3, vitamin c , zinc, NAC 

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  • Mentor

Hello @Ariel I’m so sorry to read of your very difficult past and dreadful experiences with drugs, psychiatrists and the medical profession, not to mention your family’s difficulties. Congratulations on getting this far, you sound amazingly strong and self aware.
 

I have hope that our lives will be so much better for it in the end, even though we would never choose to go through this. I know my problems have been because of childhood issues that I have been forced to deal with - even while not being aware of them for decades.  I think these experiences force us to learn how to meet our needs - well done for advocating for yourself at the gym, even if it didn’t work on that occasion - you now have a strategy for next time! 
 

I’m sorry to hear the gym class didn’t go well.  I know the frustration of not being able to exercise as you want. I used to do and love Body Pump, but haven’t had the energy for the last 2 years. Just this week I have noticed a huge improvement in my energy levels. I’m doing an SA taper, the BrassMonkey slide, and the mirtazepine has now reduced to a level where it doesn’t make me physically tired / exhausted all the time - hooray! Yesterday I even ran with my nephew and played badminton briefly, I haven’t run for almost 2 years! 
 

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thank you for your contributions, I wish you all the best Faure xx

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

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Hi @Faure

Thank you for your message, it's lovely to read you. Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement. Much appreciated!

 

On 4/16/2022 at 8:58 AM, Faure said:

I have hope that our lives will be so much better for it in the end

 

Yes... Hope is tricky for me sometimes. It's one of those things that works better when someone else says it, haha -- so thank you for that! When I try to convince myself of hope, my monkey mind launches a counter-offensive and things can get messy fast. But when you write that you have hope for us something in me just accepts this as fact, and relaxes. It's very soothing. There's no part of me that argues with another's hope or faith. Isn't that funny? It's beautiful that we get to do that here at SA -- hold space for each other this way when it can be so very challenging to hold space for ourselves. Thank you for keeping a candle lit for me; I keep a candle lit for you, too.

And even though I'm a bit weird about hope, I do trust. Truly, completely. I trust the process, I trust in wholeness and that life is ever balancing and moving and healing, and that it's all much bigger and more complex than anything my tiny brain could ever even begin to fathom. Ultimately I just trust, and that's a very relaxing frequency to tune into when I remember to do so (withdrawal causes a lot of distracting static). Thank you for reminding me!

 

On 4/16/2022 at 8:58 AM, Faure said:

Yesterday I even ran with my nephew and played badminton briefly

 

I love this image of joy and vitality. However brief, such moments are huge! Thank you for sharing. 

Congratulations on your recent improvement in energy levels. I am so in awe of slow taper-ers, you are shining examples of patience and determination. It always makes me happy to hear when you experience positive developments. Well done. 

 

All the very best to you -- trust, faith, hope, the whole shebang!

A. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Hi @Arielstopping by to offer my encouragement and support. Last spring when I completely tapered off Amitriptyline I found myself having those massive food cravings you describe, I have never experienced anything like it before. Additionally, I found that my metabolism had slowed down considerably. It was very problematic to say the least. 
 

What helped me was learning how to ride out the cravings, letting the thoughts and feelings be there without acting on them. Meditation helped me tremendously with this and I recommend a daily practice. What also helped me was not keeping any junk food in the house and allowing myself some healthy treats if I really wanted something. Nonfat Greek yogurt with cherries and a tbsp of dark chocolate chips is now one of my favorite desserts. I also found healthy recipes for almond flour cookies and also blondies, both recipes using maple syrup instead of sugar and then almond flour instead of regular flour. Still a treat but a healthier alternative. If you’re interested I’ll PM you the recipes.

 

If you find that you’re bingeing often maybe the 12 step program OA (Overeaters Anonymous) will help? I’m a member of the 12 step Al-anon program and found that it has helped me during my recovery from psych meds because it’s a spiritual program that helps with perspective. And I’ve really come to find out it’s all about how we’re viewing something that’s the real problem, not necessarily what is happening.

 

Almost a year later and I find that the cravings are not as intense and my metabolism is getting back to normal. It was long and sometimes really painful and frustrating but I also learned a lot from the experience. It’s how we grow, right?

 

 I think it’s great you’re challenging yourself to get out and join an exercise class. Have you continued with that? It can be difficult finding the balance between resting and doing but I really find that it can be helpful to push ourselves a little. It’s like working out, it can feel a little hard at first but then you find you can do a little more over time. 
 

I have used this experience, and continue to use it, as a way to empower myself. Instead of being a victim of my symptoms I use them as a guide to grow and push through the limitations of my mind. I used to be afraid of everything and now because of this experience I’m afraid of nothing. We can all do this, there’s nothing unique about me, it’s all in the way you see it. And what you’re choosing to look at. 
 

Keep pushing and growing and looking towards the light!!

Completely drug free 11/26/22 🎉

 

Supplements: Magnesium citrate: 250 mg; Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - Victor Frankl

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  • Mentor

You write so beautifully, do you have a blog? Publish anywhere? No need to share it if you do, I’m just wondering ☺️
 

I hope you feel some relief very soon x

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

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Hi @Mia1

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your encouragement and support.

 

It's a relief to hear that someone else has experienced unruly food cravings, and that this symptom gets better with time. 

 

18 hours ago, Mia1 said:

Almost a year later and I find that the cravings are not as intense and my metabolism is getting back to normal. It was long and sometimes really painful and frustrating but I also learned a lot from the experience. It’s how we grow, right?

 

I'm happy for you!

Grrr... I hate growing... hahaha 

 

Congratulations on your progress and thanks again for your generous post, it has been helpful to me.

Well wishes,

A.

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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15 hours ago, Faure said:

You write so beautifully, do you have a blog? Publish anywhere?

I feel exactly the same. I love reading your posts!

Sertraline (Lustral):  2014. Sept 50mg. Oct 100mg. Dec 150mg. 2015-2019. 150mg. 2019  Apr-May 0mg. Beg May 150mg. End May 100mg. Late June 125mg. Late Aug 100mg. 2020 Jan 75mg. April 50mg.

2022  50mg. 1Jan 45mg. 1Feb 40.5mg. Water T24Feb 39.5mg. 3Mar 38.5mg. 18Mar 38mg. 25Mar 37.5mg. 22Apr 37mg. 5May 36.5mg. 18May 36mg. 1Jun 35.3mg. 15Jun 34.5mg.  30Jun 34mg. 15Jul 33.5mg. 22Jul 33mg. 5Aug 32.5mg. 19Aug 32mg. 1Sept 31.5mg. 1Oct 31mg.  27 Oct 30.5. 16 Nov 30mg. 30 Nov 29.5mg. 14 Dec 29mg

2023. 2 Jan 28.5mg. 6 Feb 28mg. 10 Mar 27.5mg. 1 Apr 26.5mg. 1 May 26mg. 1 Jun 25.5mg. 1 Jul 25mg. 1 Aug 24.5mg. 17 Aug 24mg. 5 Sept 23.5mg. 9 Oct 23mg.

 

Desogestrel:  2014 -  present:  

Supplements Magnesium. 400mcg  Vitamin D. 10mcg.  Multivit/min. 1 tab. B Complex

 

Certirizine:   2022 May 10mg. Dec 20mg. 2023. 15mg.

 Omeprazole.:  2016 20mg. 2022  20mg.  15Jan 15mg. 9Feb 10mg. 25Feb 6.5mg. 15Mar 3mg. 3Apr 1.5mg.  15Apr 0mg   2023. 20mg. 15 Sept 15mg.

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@Faure

Thank you so much for your kind words. 

 

I think writing on SA is helping me to connect with my emotions. Maybe too much, sometimes... haha! I'm afraid I may have a tendency to get overzealous in other people's threads ... Working on it.

 

When I witness the courage, generosity, kindness, strength, wisdom, compassion, intelligence represented here across this site it moves me immeasurably. My heart feels so full and I am just in AWE. Reading and re-reading the many brilliant threads (I read much more than I post) and seeing how fierce and righteous and amazing the volunteers are and connecting with other members all feels profoundly healing. Awe-inspiring. 

And I've been noticing a funny thing about my emotions. On the surface, going about my day, on a conscious level I still feel blunted. My waking life feels dominated by lack of motivation, no drive, little to no desire, decreased pleasure, etc. as well as the more overtly negative, depressive elements, DP/DR, etc. In other words, I don't feel like good company, and I don't feel like myself. But when I log on here and start writing, it's as though the words come from a different place than my conscious mind. I notice that what comes through in my written words is more joyful, more capable, more true, and feels somehow more me than how I consciously feel even as I am writing. It's quite remarkable and mysterious (and tricky to describe, I don't know whether I can articulate it properly). It feels like a gift. It's like there's a part of me that is "ahead" of my conscious self, that's "ahead" in healing, or maybe it's just simply whole (and has been whole all along). And all I gotta do is catch up. Isn't that wild!? I don't know how to phrase it so that it makes sense but in my body I feel that it makes perfect sense. "I" (whoever, whatever that is) am whole; it's really just my brain and nervous system that are healing; and given time, they will catch up to "me". Truly.

Writing helps me connect with that truth. My conscious mind is utterly confounded by it, and even as I type this the confusion is swirling and my thoughts are like, What on earth are you talking about, this makes no sense!!?  Haha 

Not my circus, not my monkeys! I tell my thoughts today. Now what's that smell? I'd better clean our cage. 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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46 minutes ago, Ariel said:

Not my circus, not my monkeys! I tell my thoughts today. Now what's that smell? I'd better clean our cage. 

Oh @Ariel, you are a joy! 😆

Sertraline (Lustral):  2014. Sept 50mg. Oct 100mg. Dec 150mg. 2015-2019. 150mg. 2019  Apr-May 0mg. Beg May 150mg. End May 100mg. Late June 125mg. Late Aug 100mg. 2020 Jan 75mg. April 50mg.

2022  50mg. 1Jan 45mg. 1Feb 40.5mg. Water T24Feb 39.5mg. 3Mar 38.5mg. 18Mar 38mg. 25Mar 37.5mg. 22Apr 37mg. 5May 36.5mg. 18May 36mg. 1Jun 35.3mg. 15Jun 34.5mg.  30Jun 34mg. 15Jul 33.5mg. 22Jul 33mg. 5Aug 32.5mg. 19Aug 32mg. 1Sept 31.5mg. 1Oct 31mg.  27 Oct 30.5. 16 Nov 30mg. 30 Nov 29.5mg. 14 Dec 29mg

2023. 2 Jan 28.5mg. 6 Feb 28mg. 10 Mar 27.5mg. 1 Apr 26.5mg. 1 May 26mg. 1 Jun 25.5mg. 1 Jul 25mg. 1 Aug 24.5mg. 17 Aug 24mg. 5 Sept 23.5mg. 9 Oct 23mg.

 

Desogestrel:  2014 -  present:  

Supplements Magnesium. 400mcg  Vitamin D. 10mcg.  Multivit/min. 1 tab. B Complex

 

Certirizine:   2022 May 10mg. Dec 20mg. 2023. 15mg.

 Omeprazole.:  2016 20mg. 2022  20mg.  15Jan 15mg. 9Feb 10mg. 25Feb 6.5mg. 15Mar 3mg. 3Apr 1.5mg.  15Apr 0mg   2023. 20mg. 15 Sept 15mg.

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Hi Ariel,

Great read.  If you subscribe to the idea that we are tripartite (body, soul and spirit) perhaps your discovery of this inner you is your spirit. A place we were designed to live from and the part of you that the drugs have not and cannot touch.  Healing and time perhaps can unify and bring you to a place you've never been before.  Just a thought.

Again, enjoyed reading your story and pondering, blessings.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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