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Hi there, 

 

I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country.

 

My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. 

 

I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point  - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live.

 

I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. 

 

My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off.  And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. 

 

The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure.

 

I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help.

 

I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know.  I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition.

 

Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. 

 

PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression. 

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to AnastasiaA: Surviving through withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  You have come to the right place.  No worries about your nationality, we are a diverse community and we welcome all people.  

 

You said "I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life." 

 

Let me give you some information about these drugs.  They may help in the short term, but in the long term, they may actually worsen anxiety and depression.  Please check out this video: 

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic video (11.5 minutes)

 

It sounds to me like you are in withdrawal, because of a fast taper off venlafaxine.  Please read on, I will give basic information, and then suggest a possible solution for this.  

 

 

Can you please give us specific information in your signature about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise vertical list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Use this format:

 

Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…

Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…

Etcetera

 

Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

You may be able to do a very small reinstatement of the venlafaxine.  This could help to lessen your withdrawal symptoms.  This is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved, and we need more specifics about your drug history before we can suggest a good dose at which to reinstate.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Please read all this over, think about it, and let us know if you want to try a reinstatement.  

 

We also have nondrug ways to help with intrusive thoughts.  Here are some links for that.  

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Acknowledge Accept Float

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

 

 

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Hello, @getofflex!

 

Thank you very much for your help! I'm studying and watching everything carefully. I'm already taking omega and magnesium (bought them even before tapering off). As for the signature, I tried my best to do it.

 

On 4/8/2022 at 9:54 PM, getofflex said:

Please read all this over, think about it, and let us know if you want to try a reinstatement.

I think I'm ready for everything just to feel a bit better.

 

Thank you again so much.

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

No problem, you're welcome.  The only way to heal these symptoms is time.  Be gentle with yourself and pace yourself.  Eat healthy, do gentle exercises like walks if you can, stay away from negative toxic people if you can, give yourself plenty of rest, ect.  Most of us have found that things like this will support the nervous system in its healing.  It's good that you are watching and reading the information in the links I gave you.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Keep us posted. 

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment

Thanks a lot. I wanted to ask you about reinstatement. Do you think it can help in my case ? What dose can the best for me ?

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
34 minutes ago, AnastasiaA said:

I wanted to ask you about reinstatement. Do you think it can help in my case ? What dose can the best for me ?

There is a possibility it may help, but I cannot predict that it will.  I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to try a reinstatement.  If you do decide to try, I would suggest a very small dose to test the waters, and if you do OK on that, you can always gradually increase it until it helps you.  I would start with a very small dose of 5 mg of venlafaxine.  Give it at least a week, as it takes about that long to register with your system. But if you feel significantly worse, then stop the reinstatement immediately.   Please read the link above at the end of my first post about reinstatement.  Think about it, and let us know what you decide to do.  

 

This link will explain how to measure a small dose of your drug.  

 

Tips for Dosing and Tapering Venlafaxine

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Thank you again for useful information.

Yeah, I understand that it's only up to me whether to reinstate or not. I don't know why but I can't decide right now. I want to feel better, but, at the same time, sick and tired of all these drugs.

And agree with you that time is the only doctor in this situation. Of course, I'm frustrated about my future and have thoughts like what if this condition stays with me for the whole life. And I'll never feel comfortable in my body and my clothes. But I hope and pray.

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello @AnastasiaA

Welcome to SA. You have come to the right place! The mods are brilliant and I trust you'll find this is a very supportive healing community.

 

How are you feeling?

 

I'm sorry you are suffering through withdrawal on top of a history of polypharmacy. I can certainly relate to being given confusing, discouraging messages by doctors and bouncing around from one drug to the next to the next. From my perspective your choice to taper off medication and try to experience yourself and your life without it is very brave.

 

I don't believe anyone needs to be on these drugs for their whole lives, or at all really. For me it's an ongoing process of healing not only the damage done to my body and brain but also healing from the many harmful false narratives I've been fed for most of my life. It takes time, but I'm learning and exploring and finding meaning along the way. I trust that I will heal, and I trust that you will, too. 

 

Since you mentioned an eating disorder, I just wanted to mention that some people find that psychiatric medication exacerbates compulsive behavior, e.g. compulsive eating. I have read numerous accounts of iatrogenic eating disorders (all kinds). On these drugs some people spend lots of money, some people shop compulsively, some people eat too much. I have experienced all of those myself while medicated, too. I know it can be hard but we mustn't judge ourselves. When it comes to my own struggles with unwanted behaviors I find it helpful to remember that my brain and body have been temporarily hijacked and the altered operating system is not what nature intended. It's not your fault. The key word here is "temporarily". Things get better as our bodies find their way back, slowly but surely.  

Also -- and you probably already know this -- dieting often leads straight to disordered eating. This is a documented phenomenon. There have been many studies demonstrating that prolonged calorie restriction affects us in such a way that we subsequently crave more food and higher-calorie food. On top of this, dieting is stressful for the brain. I doubt that it's fun for our poor withdrawal brains to be hit with what they interpret as "starvation mode" in the midst of everything else they're trying to accomplish. In withdrawal our brains and bodies have a lot of work to do -- better to make things easier for them, if we can. To be perfectly direct: don't diet. Nourish yourself with wholesome, unprocessed, nutritionally dense food. Eating healthfully will assist in your recovery. 

Honestly, I am not happy with my weight right now, either (one of the reasons your post spoke to me). It bothers me. I am trying to practice acceptance that this is how it is right now. I'm trying to practice trust that as I heal, this aspect, too, will eventually stabilize and sort itself out (and I will be increasingly better equipped to facilitate that process). 

 

That was a lot! No pressure to respond, feel free to ignore completely. 

I'm glad you're here (even though I'm sorry for what brought you here) and I trust you'll find the help you need. 

Best wishes to you on your healing journey,

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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 @Ariel!

Thanks a lot for your reply. I  find your words really supportive and kind.

 Well. I feel really bad right now. It's hard for me to get up in the morning, put on a mask of being OK and go to work. I think I don't have any emotions at all and don't get any pleasure. Nothing interests and attracts me. I do nothing: work and surf the net day by day. I've read that sport makes it better, but after 1- min of home workout I feel hopeless and can't do anything and just cry. I guess I do it not to feel better but to lose some weight. I completely agree with you about diets. But it seems I just can't accept some flaws of my body, and hate them every day more and more:(

I feel that people around me are tired of me and my problems, and, of course, it's not their fault. To be honest, sometimes I really want to go back to my pills just to feel relieved for a moment. 

 

What about you, Ariel? How are you feeling now after almost a year of being drug-free? I even can't imagine not taking any medications for such a long period of time!

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
10 hours ago, AnastasiaA said:

I think I don't have any emotions at all and don't get any pleasure. Nothing interests and attracts me. I do nothing: work and surf the net day by day. I've r

this sounds like anhedonia, which will eventually go away in time.  

 

Anhedonia

 

If I were you, I would try a walk outside each day instead of a home workout. This is very gentle on your body, and the sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for you.   Not only that, it does burn calories.  

 

You are in early recovery, the hardest time.  It will only get better from here, as long as you take proper care of yourself.  

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Thank you , I really appreciate everything you write. I hope that some day I will feel  just a bit better, I don’t ask for more. 

I just have one question and would be extremely grateful if you had an answer. The reason for going to the psychiatrist 11 years ago was my intrusive thoughts, which didn’t let me live my normal life. Each time I tried to quit antidepressants,they immediately began again. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have them while being on drugs, they existed but their power was not so great. 
I try to work with them and to accept them but nothing helps now. So, I guess that antidepressants don’t treat intrusive thoughts, they just make them less annoying , am I right ?

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 4/28/2022 at 7:31 AM, AnastasiaA said:

So, I guess that antidepressants don’t treat intrusive thoughts, they just make them less annoying , am I right ?

I don't believe antidepressants treat intrusive thoughts, or anything else, for that matter.  I believe that they blunt our thoughts and emotions.  It's sort of like when the dentist gives you novocaine to numb the pain while he is doing a filling in your tooth.  However, the nervous system becomes dependent on them, and actually changed the structure of it.  So then, when we come off the drugs, our nervous system must revert back to it's prodrug state, which takes months to years.  

 

There are non drug ways to deal with intrusive thoughts.  It may not make them go away, but help us reduce them and/or cope with them better.  I gave some links above for that.  Here is something else that may help.  I will say in withdrawal we tend to have intrusive thoughts, so yours are probably made worse by withdrawal, and as you recover, they should become less intense and compelling.  Try this apple technique - it can help.  Give it some time and be persistent - it takes 2-3 weeks to develop new habits.  

 

APPLE Technique

 

I just came across a very nice technique that really helps me.  It's called APPLE. I have printed it and have it where I can see it every day and be reminded of it so I internalize this technique. 

 

A - Acknowledge Notice and acknowledge the thought or uncertainty as it comes to mind. 

 

P - Pause Don't react as you normally do.  Don't react at all.  Just pause and breathe.   

 

P - Pull Back Tell yourself this is just the thought or worry talking, and this apparent need for worry or analysis or certainty is not helpful and not necessary.  It is only a thought or feeling.  Don't believe everything you think.  Thoughts are not statements or facts.   

 

L - Let Go Let go of the thought or feeling.  It will pass.  You don't have to respond to it.  You might imagine the thought floating away in a bubble or cloud.   

 

E - Explore Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, you are OK.  Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing.  Notice the ground beneath you.  Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell.  Right now.  Then shift your focus of attention to something else - on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the thought or worry, or do something else - mindfully - with your full attention.  

 

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I also want to share these links with you, that can help you understand more about our brains. This has implications for you about changing your thought life.  We can become habituated to certain thought patterns, and we can also work on changing those thought patterns, but it is not easy.  I've been working on changing my thought patterns, too.  

 

Neuroplasticity 

 

Norman Doidge - The Dark Side of Neuroplasticity 

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment

Thank you again so much. I'm reading everything you send. Yes, I'm trying to work with my thoughts and try to accept them though now it seems impossible to make them even a bit annoying. 

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @AnastasiaA

Thinking of you. 

How are you going?

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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
  • 3 weeks later...

@AnastasiaA

Sending you a little hello <3

 

I am revisiting this help topic today -- do you know it?

 

What is your cat's name? 

 

Thinking of you,
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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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
  • 3 weeks later...

@AnastasiaA

Thinking nice thoughts in your direction <3

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, Ariel. Thanks for your messages. How are you?

 

I'm really bad, musch worse than I felt during taking antidepressants. Today it is almost 4 months without them and my condition doesn't become better at all. Feeling exhausted and tired. 

 

Well, my cat's name is Busya. The full name is Businka. It means a bead  - in Russian))

 

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment

Hi @AnastasiaA

It's good to read you.

 

I'm sorry you're suffering and it's so hard right now.

 

From your drug signature it looks like you're dealing with a venlafaxine cold turkey (CT). That's really rough. It makes sense that the way you feel now is much worse than when you were taking antidepressants (ADs). That's how it often feels in withdrawal (WD). 

 

Your body, brain, nervous system are all healing from the change. During the healing process there are countless reactions happening in the body as it adjusts and repairs. We experience these repairs as symptoms. Do you know this essay, What is happening in your brain?

 

Do you feel like you have the resources and support system you need to help you manage through recovery? 

 

Here are a few links to topics I find useful, perhaps you will, too:

Techniques for Managing Cold Turkey Withdrawal

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Acceptance and Hope

 

What's important to remember is that it gets better. The symptoms are temporary and they will pass. Healing is happening all the time, even when we do not consciously feel it. 

 

Busya/Businka is a very cute name. There's a topic where people share pictures and stories about their pets. I've looked through it many times, it always lifts my spirits. 

 

Sending hugs,

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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

Ariel, I find everything you have written really helpful, thank you so much. The way I withdrew Venlafaxine was suggested by my doctor, but after I had found this website I understood it was too fast. As far as I understand, reinstatement now doesn’t make any sense , because I haven’t taken  AD for 4 months already. I guess it’s a long period. 
I try really hard to get up every day and fill my life with something, though suffering is so terrifying. I’d really like everybody here to get through it and heal. Hope that this permanent pain won’t last forever and finally stop. 

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment

Hi @AnastasiaA

 

I'm not a mod so I can't weigh in about reinstatement. 

Is reinstatement something you're curious about? 

 

Getofflex posted this in April (2.5 months ago):

On 4/11/2022 at 1:42 AM, getofflex said:

There is a possibility it may help, but I cannot predict that it will.  I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to try a reinstatement.  If you do decide to try, I would suggest a very small dose to test the waters, and if you do OK on that, you can always gradually increase it until it helps you.  I would start with a very small dose of 5 mg of venlafaxine.  Give it at least a week, as it takes about that long to register with your system. But if you feel significantly worse, then stop the reinstatement immediately.   Please read the link above at the end of my first post about reinstatement.  Think about it, and let us know what you decide to do.  

 

This link will explain how to measure a small dose of your drug.  

 

Tips for Dosing and Tapering Venlafaxine

 

I don't know how it works when one is 4 months CT, but if you have any questions you can try asking getofflex or another moderator.

 

14 minutes ago, AnastasiaA said:

I try really hard to get up every day and fill my life with something, though suffering is so terrifying. I’d really like everybody here to get through it and heal. Hope that this permanent pain won’t last forever and finally stop. 

 

This is really good, Anastasia. You're doing what you can. 

This is temporary. You will get through it and heal. 

Healing is already happening; healing is happening all the time, whether or not we consciously feel it. 

WD will pass and you will recover. 

 

 

 

 

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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

Thank you so much. Looking at your signature, I can see that you also went through a lot of medications. When I see - 0 mg, it really makes me full of hope. 

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, AnastasiaA said:

Looking at your signature, I can see that you also went through a lot of medications. When I see - 0 mg, it really makes me full of hope. 

 

Yes, almost 25 years of medication, dozens of different drugs. A real mess! 

I'm not fully recovered yet but am definitely healing. I trust you are healing, too. 

Healing is happening <3

 

Do you ever read the success stories

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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

You are a hero , Ariel. If it’s okay, can you tell me how you cope? What are the things which help you?

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Anastasia, here is a link with some excellent ideas and suggestions:  

 

Steps for Managing WD Symptoms

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, AnastasiaA said:

If it’s okay, can you tell me how you cope? What are the things which help you?

 

The help topic link that getofflex just sent is really good. I come back to that one a lot. 

 

To be honest, sometimes it feels like I'm not coping very well at all. I do my best at any given time. Sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's harder. 

I've written about some of my experiences and attempts at coping in my intro topic

 

Generally I try to distract myself and get through the day. 

 

I use Acknowledge - Accept - Float (AAF) as much as possible. 

 

I spend time here on SA, I find it very helpful to write and connect with other members. I feel very grateful for this community. 

 

Sometimes I read success stories

 

There are help topics I read and re-read and re-re-read, for example: 

Neuro-emotions

What is happening in your brain?

How to deal with emotional spirals

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

When I'm able to I go for walks in the park. Sometimes I do gentle yoga. 

I have made various changes to my diet and try to take care of myself via nutrition and intermittent fasting.

I've found that the food I eat can make a huge difference to the quality of my sleep, so I try to pay attention to that. 

For sleep hygiene I've put up a light-blocking curtain in my bedroom and also use an eye mask. Both help a lot. 

I watch a lot of tv series and movies, and I listen to interesting podcasts. 

When I'm able to I clean the house a little, this is not my favorite thing to do at all but sometimes it provides welcome distraction. 

I try to get through the days, sometimes moment by moment, and I keep telling myself: This is temporary, this will pass. 

 

Anastasia, what are some of the things that help you? 

Hugs to you and Busya

 

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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

I find this link really useful.

 

Well, it really helps me sometimes to get out and do something not in my flat like going to the grocer's, visiting friends, walking a bit, something simple. I try to do some home workouts, but find it rather difficult.  Also, I find it useful (to mitigate my anxiety and intrusive thoughts) to cook or to clean the flat. 

 

As for the reinstatement, I'm really frustrated and don't know what to do. From the one hand, I understand this may help, from the other one, I can't even look at these pills and hate them. Sometimes I think that I didn't taper in a correct way and that it won't make my recovery or just feeling a bit better possible.

I'm really curious about people who recovered after CT. I mean are there any cases of people who stopped taking AD, didn't taper as it was needed and recovered after it. 

 

Also, I started to have some sleeping problems. I can't fall asleep at night and sometimes have only 2-3 hours of sleep. I have read all the articles related to this problem here and try to solve this problem.

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Anastasia,

 

7 hours ago, AnastasiaA said:

Well, it really helps me sometimes to get out and do something not in my flat like going to the grocer's, visiting friends, walking a bit, something simple. I try to do some home workouts, but find it rather difficult.  Also, I find it useful (to mitigate my anxiety and intrusive thoughts) to cook or to clean the flat. 

 

This is all great! Keep up the good work.

 

7 hours ago, AnastasiaA said:

As for the reinstatement, I'm really frustrated and don't know what to do. From the one hand, I understand this may help, from the other one, I can't even look at these pills and hate them. Sometimes I think that I didn't taper in a correct way and that it won't make my recovery or just feeling a bit better possible.

I'm really curious about people who recovered after CT. I mean are there any cases of people who stopped taking AD, didn't taper as it was needed and recovered after it. 

 

Yes, there are plenty of people who recover after CT and incorrect (too-fast) taper! Including our very own Altostrata and Shep. 

Have you read any of the success stories? I sent you a link in my previous post. You can search the success stories forum and look for CT, cold turkey, PAWS, PWS. 

Very few people taper as needed before they come to SA because they don't have the relevant information, and neither do doctors. That's why SA exists. 

You will recover and before you recover you will start to feel better and then you will feel better and better and better until one day you will know you are healed. 

 

About reinstatement -- I'm not a mod, but if you are genuinely interested in exploring the possibility of reinstatement in order to stabilize and then do a slow taper, you could ask a mod's opinion. getofflex advised you on this back in April (see post at the top of your thread). It's been 2.5 months since then so things might be different now -- I don't know -- but if you'd like to ask again you could write a post with your questions. 

 

Hang in there, Anastasia. It gets better <3

 

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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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Ariel, thank you very much for your kind and supporting comments here. It's a real pleasure to talk to you. How are the things going with you? Now I'm on vacation and don't work till the end of August. It's strange but I feel worse compared to the days when I have to work. Maybe it's somehow connected with the fact that I have too much time to sit at home and do nothinf in general.

As for the success stories, I do read them sometimes to feel more positive and confident.

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

@AnastasiaA

Thinking of you <3

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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
  • Administrator

@AnastasiaAI am one of those who CT quit everything and survived. It was a long hard journey, but I consider myself healed at this point. Back to living a great life drug free at almost 3 years out now :) It can be done. It was hard to say the least, but I made it! You will as well. Just hang in there and realize that everything you are experiencing is temporary. You can do this!

 

 

2010-2011 - Tramadol - Can't remember dosage

2011 - CT Quit Tramadol

2011-2019 - St Johns Wart - Started out at 3 Pills a day (300 MG) and increased to 6 per day over the years

August 2019 - CT Quit St Johns (Told by Hospital Dr to Stop Taking due to increased BP)

September 2019 - Citalopram 10mg - Approx 2 weeks - CT Quit

September 2019 - October 2019 - Clonazepam .5mg - Approx 3 weeks - CT Quit

Drug Free Since October 5th 2019

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Hi there!

Last week was really horrible. Insomnia was so severe, couldn't sleep at all. Now I take Atarax before going to bed. Also,now I have extreme anxiety and sensitivity to clothes, skin cream, some smells.They irritate me. Does anybody here have this symptom?

Today I visited my doctor, she told me to take Atarax+chlorprothixene (1 pill) before sleep. 

Do you know anything about this medicine? Is it dangerous to take it for 2 weeks? 

 

@KenA it's really great that you're healed! Thank you for support so much!

Can't remember the exact dates and dosages at all

2011 - Venlafaxine (75 mg)

Since that time changed medicines and took (not all at ones): amitriptilin, zoloft, escitaloprame, phenazipame, atarax, alimenazine, citalopram, pipohezine, fluoxetine, resperidone. The longest time (about 3 years) was Fluoxetine (20 mg).

June 2021 - Duloxetine (30 mg)

Nov 2021 - Venlafaxine (75 mg), aripiprazole (2,5 ,mg only for 1 week then quitted)

Feb 15, 2022 - Venlafaxine (37,5 mg)

Feb 22, 2022 - Venlafaxine (18, 75 mg)

Mar 10, 2022 - no drugs, sometimes Atarax 12,5 mg for anxiety before bedtime

 

 

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Hi @AnastasiaA

I'm sorry you had such a difficult week. 

 

5 minutes ago, AnastasiaA said:

Also,now I have extreme anxiety and sensitivity to clothes, skin cream, some smells.They irritate me. Does anybody here have this symptom?

 

Yes, this is a known WD symptom. Sensory sensitivities are a manifestation of a highly destabilized, activated nervous system. It's part of the hyper-vigilance survival mode. This is how our brains and nervous systems try to protect us. If you think about it from an evolutionary, survival perspective it makes sense. Out in the wild if our safety is threatened it can be a matter of life and death to notice a smell (e.g. burning or toxins) or a sound. Heightened sensitivity to light, sound, scent, touch, taste are all part of biological mechanisms meant to help us stay alive. Our bodies are just doing their job.

 

I have had this a lot in WD, too. It's gotten much better than it used to be. It can still flare up sometimes, especially when I haven't been sleeping well (fatigue seems to exacerbate symptoms, in general). Something that helps me is to avoid all fragrance (incl. detergents, household products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. -- I only use unscented, fragrance-free everything) and anything/anywhere/anyone with strong scent. I also avoid bright light (sunglasses can help), loud/difficult sounds, challenging/sharp touch/taste. 

 

The other thing that helps is to practice non-drug coping techniques such as distraction, Acknowledge - Accept - Float (AAF), and change the channel. Sometimes it's not possible to avoid the stimulus; it used to be that my mind would then fixate on the irritant and amplify its effect, which could easily spiral into obsessive thinking, anxiety, and panic. It's important to stop the spiral. If an annoying sensory impression is bothering you, let it be and step away to do something else. Eventually it will fade into the background and or you will forget about it. It might help to remember that our brains are magnifying the impact of the sense impression because they are interpreting it as a possible threat. One might try reminding oneself, Oh yeah, the scented candle in the department store is not actually dangerous, this is my brain trying to protect me and keep me alive. And then move away from the scented candle, of course, and float above/ignore any lingering reactions.

 

Another thing that can be helpful in long-term, more indirectly, is to work with one's diet to eliminate possible food intolerances and inflammatory foodstuffs. This is a process where the goal is to heal and soothe the gut. An irritated gut alerts the brain and can set one's nervous system on edge, thereby increasing sensitivity. In this way working to figure out a calming diet can support healing and symptom management in WD overall. I also find that when I am careful to eat only the foods I tolerate and not to challenge my system with difficult foods, it has a beneficial influence on my sleep. 

 

25 minutes ago, AnastasiaA said:

Today I visited my doctor, she told me to take Atarax+chlorprothixene (1 pill) before sleep. 

Do you know anything about this medicine? Is it dangerous to take it for 2 weeks? 

 

I am not a moderator, just sharing some thoughts. 

 

Have you googled these drugs? 

Have you looked up possible drug interactions with venlafaxine? 

SA encourages members to carefully research any prescription medication and consider risk-reward before taking it. 

 

If I were you I would be very cautious about introducing additional psychiatric drugs at this point.

This is what psychiatry does, prescribing additional drugs, leading to polypharmacy and many of of us getting stuck on the drug carousel. 

There is always a risk of destabilizing the system further, as well as causing dependency and having to taper off of more drugs. 

 

If you do add another drug, please also remember the rule of making only one change at a time:  

 

 

Insomnia is a common WD symptom and can be challenging. Many of us struggle with it.

However, it is temporary and it does pass. It gets better. 

 

Have you considered melatonin? I don't know whether it is available where you live. 

Here is the help topic if you'd like to read about it:

 

See also Tips to help sleep:

 

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 fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); 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
  • 5 months later...

Something that helps me is to avoid all fragrance (incl. detergents, household products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. -- I only use unscented, fragrance-free everything) and anything/anywhere/anyone with strong scent.

 

Thought i was the only one. I've become really sensitive to this stuff too. Shampoos, cleaning agents, laundry list of foods etc.

 

Bye Sebas

  • 45 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
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