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Creating a new self after withdrawal


Claudius

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I have no idea who I'll be when this is over..I was 17 when I was first put on them and I once again often feel like the scared alone 17 year old most of the time, even although 15 yrs have passed. Who I was before wasn't great, during the drugs not so great after? I've yet to see.

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • 2 months later...

I totally relate to what you are all saying. 

 

I feel like a photocopy of my old self, don't know who I am anymore - if I could go back to who I was 10 years ago I was at least capable of having fun.  Now, I'm scared to have fun, because I can't drink alcohol, can't dance due to back pain, too tired to stay up late, I just want to sleep - the list goes on.

 

Midlife crisis? you could say I am in the middle of a major life crisis which; like you all wonder, when will the chaos end?? When will I get my life back? I just want to feel normal again......

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)  Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018  Diagnosed with: 5th August 2021 PTSD/C-PTSD Diagnosed with: March 2022 Interstitial Cystitis (IC)/Painful bladder syndrome

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I think it's hard to get a handle on what we'll be like after recovering whilst in the throes of withdrawal.

 

I started tapering Pristiq in February , and the past 10 months have been the best , most fun , least

scary period of my life in the last 26 years , i.e. since I started on antidepressants.

 

I can enjoy activities and other people again , I have a wicked sense of humour , and I've been able to learn

a bunch of new skills that were overwhelming in the past.

I have a deep core of strength now , perhaps due to my experiences , perhaps in spite of them.

 

The future's looking a whole lot rosier than it did 12 months ago , that's for sure.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

bump

 

* 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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  • 2 months later...
On 7/12/2012 at 8:11 AM, GiaK said:

I know lots of people who report that once the horror is over that life is delicious in a way they never knew possible.

@giak and everyone else who has posted with similar sentiments. I cannot wait. This helps me to keep going.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse  reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg 17/09/2023 0.8mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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On 2/10/2014 at 8:22 AM, mammaP said:

It is an amazing feeling when you suddenly realise that you

can remember, think straight and appreciate things. It's good to cry, laugh and feel things when there was no

feeling on meds.  It's good to feel angry and know you aren't going to lose control, to feel hurt and get over it. 

 

 

@mammaP  this is what I want: to remember, to think straight, and to feel angry (when appropriate) but know I'm not going to lose control. 

 

thanks for bumping this thread @ChessieCat

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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Even just to imagine the "after withdrawal" is difficult. I'm scared. Definitely don't know who I am currently, although I knew very well before all this. 

 

I really want to be able to do this, to find myself again and embrace life. 

 

It's just that I might still be housebound after withdrawal because of chronic illness. Which certainly gives me a feeling of not being able to leave it all behind and grow from all this. 

 

Sure hope I'm not a complete lost case... 

Escitalopram August 2015 - 20mg

Some time in winter 2017 down to 10mg with no problems

May 21 2018 5mg, June 4 2018 2.5mg, June 18 2018 0mg 

October 2 2018 arriving in hell

Reinstated 0.25mg

October 27 2018 0.35mg, November 23 2018 0.5mg, November 24 2018 0.6mg

November 28 2018 0.5mg and holding since 

June 2019 Finally stable at 0.5mg

January 2020 - Dezember 2023 tapered to 0 without many issues, jumped from 0.02mg 

January 3 2024 crash

Taking fish oil and magnesium 

L-Thyroxin 75 for Hashimoto's

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7 hours ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

Sure hope I'm not a complete lost case... 

 

just from your signature it's way too soon to think that way - just a few months ago you were in hell. it takes lots of time to come back from that bad.

 

it's natural to be scared; I don't blame you. but try not to look so far ahead. like, if you were mountain climbing, don't look at the peak and say "I can't imagine ever getting there!" - instead, look down and say "I can take this step, right in front of me". 

 

there will be time enough to look ahead when you feel better. 

 

 

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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  • 4 months later...

Hello , I wanted to share some experiences of withdrawal from an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds and some of the discoveries I'm having by working on my issues with a fellow traveler. I grew up in a very abusive environment and took alot of wounds from both parents. As I've been withdrawing I've realized after a long 4 month hold that this process is not about 10% drops or schedules entirely its also about learning how to heal not only our brains and bodies but our frozen sometimes panic-stricken emotions that were traumatized years ago and start to reemerge as we reduce the numbing meds. I know I have viewed this tapering process from one dimension and that is what I can control, the physical. Well emotions positive and negative will come to the surface not only in feelings but hypercritical voices from our past that the drugs have kept quiet. It helped me today to recognize I'm holding right now to practice self care and let these wounded emotions surface in a safe environment and the Parent of that safe place has to be me!

February 3rd 2021 1.5 mg Clonazepam

13.4 mg Nortriptylene

doing a water taper on the Nortriptylene but have been holding due to adverse nervous system activation

supplements 200mg Magnesium carbonate, good quality fish oil, vitamin E 400IU, B6 B12 Folate one every 2-3 days. 

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  • Administrator

Valuable insights, rafa. I joined your post with this existing topic about many of the same concerns.

 

I agree, for many people, going off the drugs also requires acknowledging old wounds and moving forward in our understanding of ourselves.

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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  • 6 months later...
On 7/12/2012 at 3:59 AM, MrAnxious said:

Angie I am really curious how you are doing to this day after withdrawling?

 

 

Thanks and look forward to your response,

Well done I'm happy for you

  • 13th of August 2019 started to take 20 mg citalopram
  • 😀24th of August 2019 down to 10mg stopped citalopram altogether on the 30th of August 2019
Quote

Short term citalopram

 

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  • 3 years later...

I lost myself too. After so many years of using meds and after 6 years off hell of a withdrawal i dont know who i am anymore and what i am capable of and how to trust myself. Still have many issues that dont seem to getting better. Neuropathy is not improving a bit after 10 years and i am thinking to try gabapentin, cos i cannot bear my pain anynmore. I lost years when i had a chance to have a family. After this i dont see myself having a child because this world is too cruel. So yes all those years lost is causing me depressed. All trauma i got from this are now effecting my future. I am scared that with my fears of future ill be again on meds and in hell again. How can we cope with this trauma? I am seeing therapist. But my body pain is affecting my live miserable.  

2007 - 2011 Paroxat (Paxil) 30mg

2011 - 2012 Paroxat 20mg

2012 - 2013 Paroxat 10 mg

2013 februar Paroxat 0mg

2013 - 2013 6 months of 6 diff ADs switch every month

2013 October CT Wellbutrin and Effexor

2014 July Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 150mb, Seroquel 75mg

2016 October CT Cymbalta, Lamictal, Seroquel 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I also lost myself in this process of psychiatric drug use and withdrawal. My recovery is pacing up, even if it's still slow. I want to share what I found useful to start recovering my lost true self:

 

1. Learning psychology, specifically trauma related content: traumatic emotions, how they manifest in the body, trauma/stress responses, the impact of trauma and traumatic environments, etc. Many many many mental health services users have a traumatic background and lots of unprocessed trauma, all that trauma can shatter your sense of self. I specially recommend using the Power Threat Meaning Framework, and learning about oppression and alienation.

 

2. Journaling. A lot. You need to rebuild the story of your life, your own narrative, and take the power back. You need to be the main character of your own story, to really be in charge. This can help you to figure out many things that you forgot about yourself and your life and start making sense of your experience. It can take a bit of practice, but it's worth it.

 

3. Accept that maybe you're now a different person than the person you used to be and that it's possible that that person is never going to come back. Because things happened, and those things changed you, for better or worse, it happens to everybody. I strongly recommed learning about Theory of Positive Desintegration, by Kazimierz Dabrowski. Maybe it's not for you though. It's about personal development and self-actualization. It helped me to gain new perspectives. In any case, change can be an oportunity for growth.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Thanks, @Gonzo Please tell us more about Power Threat Meaning and what you've realized from it.

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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Well, I discovered this approach, that is actually a trauma informed approach, when I was looking for alternative views on mental disorders/illnesses.

 

PTMF is out of the psychiatric label/diagnosis system for the most part, it's about how power operates on people, people reacting to these powers in their lives and giving meaning to all this.

 

Our society follows a hierarchy structure, people at the top have more power because people at the bottom have less power, that's why it's oppresive and alienating by nature. Your value as a person, because the narcissistic/extrinsic values that guide our societies also depends on your capacity to fill a role in society. If you're more productive, you are rewarded, because you're more valuable. If not, you're punished, you have less value.

 

All these things, put psychological pressure on people, different people have different reactions, and many families are also a rigid, oppresive and alienating hierarchies.

 

PTMF call these reactions threat responses, while psychiatry use its diagnosis system to describe them, which is built around the biomedical model of mental health for the most part. The different is where the source of the suffering is mostly located, PTMF says it's on the environment and social/family hierarchy, psychiatry says it's on the brain, people and their reactions, thoughts, behaviors, feelings...

 

Psychiatry is about shaming, PTMF is about empowering. Bad things happen to people, and we react as best as we can to survive.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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I want to add one more thing. Sadly, many psychiatric drugs users have traumatic stories, that means stored and unprocessed traumatic emotions and stress, emotional pain, and living under oppresive and alienating circumstances in the present or in the past, that creates this painful emotional reality for which psychiatric drugs can offer some relief, disconnecting from it more or less. When the withdrawal happen, specially cold turkey, we reconnect with this painful emotional reality that actually never went away, but now is stronger than ever before and we lost tolerance for it, coping skills, etc. This emotional reality for some people comes from the past, specially if its related to childhood trauma, but for some people it's present, because we live in a high demanding social environment/hierarchy that puts a lot of pressure in us to be productive, to achieve certain standard, to be valuable. It's really confusing to come back to reality after years being disconnected, when you're suffering withdrawal, or after overcoming the withdrawal, only to find more pain, no relief indeed, because sometimes life sucks, and suffering doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you, but that in fact you're healthy, because you're responding in a healthy way to the difficult, alienating, oppresive circumstances that many of us experience in our environments and social hierarchy, it means that you're emotionally connected to your environment. After withdrawal, maybe there is more suffering, or the same suffering that never went away, and it can make you think that there is something bad going on with you, but there isn't, sometimes that's just how things are, which is sad, and painful, but true.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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On 9/24/2023 at 3:40 PM, Gonzo said:

Psychiatry is about shaming, PTMF is about empowering

 

I wonder if it's any better in other countries?

 

 

On 9/24/2023 at 8:36 PM, Gonzo said:

suffering doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you, but that in fact you're healthy, because you're responding in a healthy way to the difficult, alienating, oppresive circumstances that many of us experience in our environments and social hierarchy, it means that you're emotionally connected to your environment. After withdrawal, maybe there is more suffering, or the same suffering that never went away, and it can make you think that there is something bad going on with you, but there isn't

 

 

in theory, it's possible to get better at dealing with the reality so while there may be as much or even more that is difficult, perhaps the ability to appreciate what is good improves and, over all, life is then worth living?  

 

I think the current Zeitgeist is not helping!  

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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I'm from Spain, I know people from other Western countries and is almost the same everywhere. It's just the way this society works and approach mental/emotional distress, and psychiatry, with its biomedical model, is keeping the Status Quo.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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I'm learning that this new self or whatever it has to be adapted to the reality of our society. Our society can put a crushing psychological pressure in people, many dysfuntional families being a huge part of that psychological pressure, and some people, understandably, can't stand it, so to find emotional relief we take these drugs. We have the hope that after withdrawal things will be better, and in some ways it is after the withdrawal and the suffering it causes comes to an end. But the reality of this society has always been the same, with or without psychiatric drugs, and it's alienating and oppresive by nature, that means psychological pain. There is nothing wrong with us as I said previously if we feel this pain, due to the psychological pressure we are exposed in our social, work and family environments, in fact it's a sign of mental health, because we are connected with what is happening around us. The problem is when psychiatry tells us that there is something wrong with us because we feel this pain and that we need medicine, treatment, whatever, basically shaming us for feeling this way, this pain. That's gaslighting, and adds even more suffering to our existing suffering. We don't need that. It's true that psych drugs can offer emotional relief, and that therapy can be very helpful to deal with underlying issues, but our suffering is not wrong, is quite right. So after the withdrawal maybe there is more suffering awaiting, the same suffering that never went away but that we disconnected from. In some ways, I see this as the blue pill VS red pill dilema in Matrix. Both options are legitimate. But if we "come back" to the painful emotional reality of this society, of our lives, we need to tolerate the distress again, tbe psychological pressure. These drugs make us lower down our tolerance.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • 8 months later...

Excellent post from Rosetta:

 

On 9/21/2023 at 2:47 PM, Rosetta said:

At one point, I realized that who I was had changed with each dose of drug that I missed or when the dose was raised, and that the same thing happened as I healed from what was, essentially, a cold turkey from three drugs.  I came to understand that “who I was,” what I believed, my moral code, my strongly held values, were not immutable.  I did not grow up and decide on these ideas or even change them with experience and careful consideration.  With horror, I came to understand that these drugs and withdrawal effect from them, could change who I was without my consent.

 

I wrote this to someone today:
 

As to other moral grey areas you may be struggling to handle, one thing that prolonged withdrawal has taught me is that my way of thinking and my sense of morality when I was young was mine alone.  There were things my parents accidentally taught me that they never intended to teach me and that no one else believed.  I believe this is true for everyone as there is no universal set of moral rules, and our parents stumble through parenthood with no manual, no education pertinent to the task, and very little advice that is useful to raising any particular child. What is acceptable in one location might be very, very wrong in another.  From one household to another the rules may be drastically different.  Often, by the time I figure out what is best for my child, she has grown, she has changed, and she has moved beyond the stage of development during which I could have “taught her correctly.”  Even when I think I am doing a good job, there are unforeseen consequences.  

Guess what? Navigating my ship through prolonged withdrawal has been very similar!  By the time I decided on the right course of action, the time had passed, the symptom is gone or changed, and my brain had made me a different person.  At times, I had no idea what I was going to regret having done, what I might feel sad about in the future, or who I wanted to be!  Who I wanted to be changed week to week or month to month as my brain was healing.  When I realized this was happening, I became afraid to do anything at all.  However, I learned, as time went on, and I was ready to implement a new technique the next time I had a symptom that caused me trouble.  I learned to avoid big decisions and wait for healing to happen.  I decided to continue to hold to many of the same values I knew before the massive destabilization of my nervous system because they were like a harbor in a storm.  For me it was the safest decision I could make, and I felt the least damage would occur from that decision.
 

My entire world changed because of ADs even before prolonged withdrawal.  My sense of right and wrong used to change with the change of a dose of medication.  Then it changed again, over and over, as my brain healed from a taper so fast that I call it a cold turkey.  I have done things that I regret — things that had consequences and things that did not, other than causing me continuing guilt.  
 

Ultimately, I had to base my sense of morality on whether what I did caused harm because I recognized that every person has been exposed to various environmental substances that affect the way his or her brain functions.  There is a study that determined that the use of Tylenol makes people less empathetic!  In the United States, a fungus on wheat consumed by people is believed to have created the circumstances that led to the Salem Witch Trials long ago.  Car accidents that cause traumatic brain injury cause changes in attitudes toward morality.  There are far less dramatic and lesser known ways in which our brains are affected all the time, without our knowledge.  There are many different ways our environment and the chemicals we are exposed to make us “who we are.”  Who we are changes all the time.  Was it always this way?  I do not know, but, today, it can happen, at least slightly, to anyone whether she or he took ADs or not.

 

Who are you, and who do you want to be?  That is not something you should decide during prolonged withdrawal.  Do you actually have complete control over that in any case?  Doubtful.  For now, try to be the person you used to be and put off making any decisions that are important for the future.  Do what you need to do to stay safe, and make only those compromises that you must to avoid greater risks.  
 

If I were you, I would not taper right now.  If you believe you have found a dose that is most comfortable for you, stay at that dose for at least 2 years (unless something changes a lot to make that dose a problem.) Let your nervous system calm down and give your brain a chance to stabilize your emotions and your body.  You will come through this horrible time wiser and more aware of who you want to be.  Whatever you do, do not let the doctors “win!”  Do not let their deliberate ignorance and reckless disregard for the safety of your brain stop you from staying safe now, healing, and coming through on the other side to live on!

 

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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