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How I am recovering from severely crippling CPTSD with Internal Family Systems and EMDR therapy


MermaidsCantCry

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I'm disabled with Autism and grew up during a time when they did not understand autism very well at all and definitely not in girls. Autism for me, means being incredibly sensitive.
emotionally and to outside stimulus, Lights and sounds are painful. This makes the world around me pretty traumatizing, even before you factor in the atrocious physical and mental abuse I endured throughout my entire childhood and much of my adulthood too.
I no longer go into details about what I have gone through because it is so unbelievably horrific, I end up feeling incredibly invalidated every time I speak about it because I can tell people don't really believe me.

A few years ago I became physically crippled. Doctors told me it was arthritis, but I have discovered that is not the case. I am actually in so much emotional distress and emotional pain that my body reacted by crippling me.
After recognizing this and working on healing my inner wounds rather than constantly meditating away from them the pain is finally leaving my body. I am able to move in ways I have not been able to in years.

I am far from "recovered" I can't go outside and I still experience flashbacks through the day but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel a little better each week than the week before and people in my life notice the changes I am making.
not since discovering mindfulness meditation, has a practice been so noticeably life changing for me. 
Mindfulness meditation is only a PART of the whole solution for PTSD.

The traumas must be looked at, and given attention and filled with love, not just cleared from the mind only to come back again and again.

I recommend investigating EMDR therapy, and IFS therapy. they get to the real root of the problem - which is a nervous system stuck in trauma.
that being said I also recommend learning some "vagal toning" exercises of the Vegas nerve.

I am having real incredible healing and I haven't spent a dime and never had to leave my home.






 

Long childhood history of being on and off meds followed by more than a decade clean
Started taking Cipralex (escitalopram) 20mg daily in the summer of 2015.


 

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It is great to hear that something is working for such complex problems that come with CPTSD. I am genuinely happy for you. Are you working with a therapist and how did you learn about EMDR and IFS?

I have PTSD and adhd. Would be nice to find a therapist who might help. I am a counsellor myself. But I am an art therapist and help people with trauma using artwork. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
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I, too, have a form of mild high functioning autism, and also have had severe physical and psychological abuse in the earlier years of my life. I spent many years in therapy, and did have some EMDR therapy too.  I have found the books of Pete Walker to be very helpful in my healing from my CPTSD.  He wrote "The Tao of Fully Feeling", and "Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving".  I believe that I was misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety, when I really had CPTSD, and the drugs just numbed and suppressed the emotional pain that I was in.  Part of my healing is to fully face and feel and express this emotional pain in healthy and safe ways.  Getting off the psych drugs has allowed me to be fully in touch with my emotions again, and able to do this.  I'm very glad that you are healing from this as well.  

 

There is a website that is for survivors of abuse, and they will not invalidate or discount you.  

 

https://www.havoca.org

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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On 1/2/2023 at 2:12 PM, MermaidsCantCry said:

A few years ago I became physically crippled. Doctors told me it was arthritis, but I have discovered that is not the case. I am actually in so much emotional distress and emotional pain that my body reacted by crippling me.

Do you think there’s a possibility of Fibromyalgia? I have cPTSD, and had Fibromyalgia for years before knowing what it was. I thought everyone had daily chronic pain and we were all just trying to get on with it. I’m so glad you’ve been able to find relief! I find a lot of people I meet who mention having Fibro at some point mention also having cPTSD, and vice versa.

 

How have you been finding EMDR is interacting with cPTSD? It helped me a lot, but definitely “woke up” some childhood stuff big time. I spent so much of the year I was doing EMDR disassociated! 

Pronouns: they/them/theirs 

Started on Prozac in early 2000s to treat cPTSD, been on various cocktails ever since.

2002-2004, 2017-2022: Buspar, tapered down to 0

2016-present: 100mg Seroquel for sleep -> May 2023: 90mg -> June 2023: 81mg -> September 2023: 72mg -> switched to brand name, much too strong, down to 60mg -> October 2023: 54mg -> November 2023: 50mg -> January 2024: 45mg

2016-Present: 100mg Wellbutrin SR -> January 2023: 75mg IR (37.5mg 2x a day) -> February 2023 (33.75mg 2x a day) -> July 2023 (30.37mg 2x a day) -> August 2023: 27.33mg 2x a day 

2018-present: 25mg Pristiq

2015-present: 600mg Gabapentin (200mg 3x a day) -> December 2022: 300mg Gabapentin (100mg 3x a day) per GP's recommendation after side effects -> March 2023: 90mg 3x a day (switched to liquid suspension) -> April 2023: 81mg 3x a day -> September 2023: bad generic, switched back to homemade liquid; too strong after bad generic, down to 70mg 3x a day, still bad. Adjusted slowly till at 60mg 3x a day, much better. Long hold till -> December 2023: 54mg, still feels too high after November Seroquel switch from brand name to generic, doc recommended 50mg which feels better -> January 2024: When Wellbutrin went down, Gabapentin started putting me to sleep, went down to 45mg, then 41mg to stay awake, so far so good -> February 2024: 36mg

Supplements: Multivitamin w/magnesium, probiotics, digestive enzymes, anti-viral nitric oxide nose spray as needed

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  • 4 months later...
On 1/2/2023 at 4:12 PM, MermaidsCantCry said:

I'm disabled with Autism and grew up during a time when they did not understand autism very well at all and definitely not in girls. Autism for me, means being incredibly sensitive.
emotionally and to outside stimulus, Lights and sounds are painful. This makes the world around me pretty traumatizing, even before you factor in the atrocious physical and mental abuse I endured throughout my entire childhood and much of my adulthood too.
I no longer go into details about what I have gone through because it is so unbelievably horrific, I end up feeling incredibly invalidated every time I speak about it because I can tell people don't really believe me.

A few years ago I became physically crippled. Doctors told me it was arthritis, but I have discovered that is not the case. I am actually in so much emotional distress and emotional pain that my body reacted by crippling me.
After recognizing this and working on healing my inner wounds rather than constantly meditating away from them the pain is finally leaving my body. I am able to move in ways I have not been able to in years.

I am far from "recovered" I can't go outside and I still experience flashbacks through the day but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel a little better each week than the week before and people in my life notice the changes I am making.
not since discovering mindfulness meditation, has a practice been so noticeably life changing for me. 
Mindfulness meditation is only a PART of the whole solution for PTSD.

The traumas must be looked at, and given attention and filled with love, not just cleared from the mind only to come back again and again.

I recommend investigating EMDR therapy, and IFS therapy. they get to the real root of the problem - which is a nervous system stuck in trauma.
that being said I also recommend learning some "vagal toning" exercises of the Vegas nerve.

I am having real incredible healing and I haven't spent a dime and never had to leave my home.






 

I LOVE IFS and am so glad you've found healing through it, as well as EMDR and vagal toning. That's amazing you've made such progress, even though I know the healing journey is long...therefore a journey, not a destination.

 

EMDR helped me the time I did it to deal with losing a loved one (in the same room...still traumatic, but revisiting it softened the horror and PTSD noticeably) and I've been working with an IFS therapist since last year. I feel like it's the thing. Because at the end of the day, if we don't meet all the parts of ourselves with love we're still kinda just avoiding them. 

1990s Zoloft, Prozac, and a litany of other drugs including mood stabilizers

1998 Effexor 140mg and Remeron 40mg (I think) - quit cold turkey 2006 and NO W/D! Oh, to be young again... 

2004 Lorazepam 0.5mg; switched to Klonipin 2010

2010 Klonipin 1-2mg/day - decreased gradually down to 0.35mg 2016-2017 & held, then tapered off April-July 2020

2012 Lexapro and Seraquil/Remeron - quit CT 2012 after 1 month of use

2013 Methadone 80mg (for heroin addiction;) decreased to 30mg 2016-2021

2014 Effexor 75mg - tapered off over 1.5 weeks by doc 2017

2017 Citalopram 20mg - started tapering Dec. 2019-March 2020; got down to 14.35 mg then paused to taper off Klonipin

2021 - Citalopram down to 12.8mg in April; July 11.52mg, August 10mg, Oct 9mg, Nov 8.1mg, Dec 7.8mg

2022 - Citalopram 7.4mg

2023 - September - off methadone! FINALLY OPIOID-FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supplements: Tryptophan, 5-HTP, Tyrosine, vitamin D, topical magnesium, ashwagandha, phenibut, lion's mane, CBD, GABA

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