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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/26/2020 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    My introduction topic: Female, 26 years old. Drugs I was on: Wellbutrin (Voxra) 300mg and Escitalopram (lexapro/cipralex) 20 mg. Valium 15-20 mg very sporadically, around once a month. Numbered in case someone wants to only read specific parts: 1: Hope 2: Backround 3: Tapering 4: Symptoms 5: Improvement 6: Experiences with doctors, nurses etc etc 7: Recovered, lessons learned Post after this one is about things that helped me. 1. The first thing I want to say, because it seems like such a common feeling for people in withdrawal, is that in my honest opinion it will get better, no matter how much doubt and hopelessness you feel. I think many here have felt that we're the exception because of how much we're suffering and it's hard to believe we can get out of it. The symptoms will lessen with time. So even if the recovery in total can take years, it doesn't mean that you will feel this bad for that whole time. The eighth month is most likely not gonna be just as bad as the first or second month (This is also why it's a good idea to keep some sort of record or journal, because we don't always see the improvement until we look back). Everyone is different, so just because our own recovery doesn't look exactly like others that's not a good reason to give up on hope. It seems like the thinking is extremely skewed for many during withdrawal. It's like we hold on to negative information a lot more than people usually do, and that's also important to remember I think. Just because we think something doesn't mean it's true. 2. Went on Escitalopram 20 mg and Wellbutrin 300 mg at 17 years old. I had severe depression and it was (I thought) my last resort. The first two years they seemed to be helping, later on I noticed I wasn't myself though and strangely numb/careless which led to questionable decisions at times. After a couple of years on them I started to feel very mentally unstable for seemingly no reason at all and read about antidepressants being a potential culprit. Second year on meds I also got benzos (valium (diazepam), 2 mg but I always had to take at least 15 mg for it to help) to calm my very sudden anxiety. I somewhat knew the risk of benzos, so I was careful about not taking them too often and managed to avoid creating a dependence on them. I decided I wanted to start tapering both antidepressants when I realised they might be the issue. My (one and only good) doctor agreed with me and thought it was a good idea to start tapering. Unfortunately this doctor retired. 3. Tapering Wellbutrin: 2015 I quit the wellbutrin completely by tapering from 300 mg straight to 150 mg. Went on 150 mg for around a month, then started taking 150 mg every other day for two weeks as instructed by doctor. From what I can remember tapering wellbutrin went relatively okay for me. Tapering Escitalopram: Started tapering beginning of 2016, 5 mg at a time with 4 weeks in between every taper. So for four weeks I'd be at 15 mg, then four weeks at 10 mg and so on. Tapering this drug gave me issues almost right away, but the more I tapered the worse it got. At 5 mg I started getting the most symptoms which got worse when I quit completely. Very important thing to mention I think, is that most of these issues I had never had in the past. In case someone not in withdrawal reads this I want that to be said because I was being presented as the issue by the doctors I met, rather than the drugs being the issue. I was not a worrying person before, and I barely knew what anxiety was despite being very depressed. Unlike many with depression I did not get anxiety with it, until I started taking the drugs. 4. Here are the symptoms I wrote down when it was happening: Tooth grinding, when awake and asleep. Often lead to headache Very severe anxiety, anger, irritation, sadness, stress, restlessness, self loathing, wanting to die Suicidal thoughts daily Very tired Weight gain Difficulties falling asleep Upset stomach Severe stomach ache from the constant worrying Ache in different parts of the body, mostly legs, stomach, neck and head A lot more timid and shy, couldn't walk out the door most days and waited until it was dark out. Difficulties breathing (anxiety symptom I assume) Heart palpitations and heart flutter Sensitive to noise Very easy to cry, often for no reason Strange yawns that would never be complete. Like feeling the need to yawn and not being able to fully do it, this could go on for long periods during the day. Bad time perception and short term memory Derealisation Severe semi voluntary motor tics, mostly in feet and hands but sometimes in other parts of body. Paranoid (thinking people want to do me harm and so on) Very easily frightened, skittish Strong and impulsive self destructive urges (this was very frightening and new to me) Strong sense of losing my personality and who I am, at times it was as if I was grieving my old self Occasional bed wetting Very depressed Burning feet syndrome Burning/warm sensation in head Later on I also felt manic some days, euphoric and over active for no reason (This would explain why the doctors suspected bipolar despite me not ever showing symptoms in the past) PGAD which went away after about a month more or less, caused pain as well. 5. I would say when it started to noticeably get a little better was in the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019 several of these symptoms were gone, for example the tooth grinding, restlessness and self loathing, among others. 6. During all this time I got no support what so ever from any hospital. I told several different doctors, nurses and therapists what was going on and no one took me seriously. One laughed in my face. Another one asked what I was doing there if I was gonna refuse medication anyway despite me expressing concern about the new symptoms. When I once chose to mention that many people experience the same thing as I did, the first and only response I got was her questioning my credibility before moving on. Later in my medical journals I could read that most of my doctors were convinced I was bipolar and I was the reason for getting sick, not the drugs. It wasn't considered once that the drugs could have caused all of this. I also lost an old close friend because they didn't believe me or supported me, simply because they had never heard of this before. The reason I mention losing friends and not being believed is because it's a huge part of experiencing withdrawal for many, I think. It makes you feel extremely lonely, disappointed and betrayed. This lack of support and not being believed is dangerous when someone is in drug withdrawal and is already often suicidal. 7. Today the only symptom that I still have to deal with is the motor tics. I suspect I will have to live with that but that's okay. It doesn't stop me from being happy and moving forward in life and I can say for the first time in a very long time that I feel genuinely happy. I have my life mostly under control. I still have to work on my social anxiety but being happy and physically healthy makes it a lot easier to work on. I no longer experience mania or depression either. The most important thing to me was that I would someday feel like my old self again, and I do feel like that today. I also felt that all this added more depth to me as a person in a good way. It forced me to improve my ability to cope on my own and finding strategies that worked for me. Life feels more easy to take on after going through withdrawal (which probably isn't worth much to hear when in the midst of it, but so valuable afterwards). I'm so thankful for this site and everyone on it. It has been the only place where people have been willing to help and understand during the worst thing I've experienced. There is more I could say but this is already very long. I'll do a second post under this one where I'll write down specific things that has helped me.
  2. 6 points
    Hi everyone! First of all, English is not my native tongue and this is the first post I have ever written on a forum, so please bear with me. Writing this success story and sharing it with you have been a dream of mine for a long time. I never thought I would reach this milestone. I have mixed feelings posting this, as I know some of you might find it discouraging. If you are new to withdrawal, please stop reading here. This is a post for those of you who have been suffering badly for years and need proof that it's possible to recover even after a very long time. There is a brief summary in the end of this post if you can't or don't want to read the whole story. I also listed my withdrawal symptoms. Background I was on Paxil for 8,5 years (15-30 mg) and I made several quick tapers and CTs from low doses during the years. I took my last dose 11 years ago after a fairly slow taper (15 months) I started Paxil when I was 19 after having struggled with anxiety/emotional crisis for a few months. I was very skeptical of psychiatric drugs but my parents wanted me to try and I eventually got desperate enough to give in. I could just quit if it didn't help, couldn't I? I'm not going to describe in detail the long, sad and all too familiar story of what happened next. I tried to quit after five months, developed a delayed wd with intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety, and was told I was close to becoming psychotic. I gave up after half a year of the worst suffering I had ever experienced, and reinstated. I didn't believe in the broken brain-myth but I assumed my emotional problems must be far worse than I first thought and that I needed to solve those problems before coming off. A few years later I tried and failed again, same story but this time I also had severe physical symptoms. And then, after I had lost hope about myself and thinking I would be dead by now without the pills, I raised the dose from 20 mg to 30 mg, became euphoric and saw myself change into a new, much ”happier” person. I deteriorated quickly the following years, and spent more and more of my time in bed with muscle weakness and pain. I started having internal bleedings in my hands that no one could explain. I was somehow too drugged to really understand how serious my symptoms were. By now I had a decent list of ”psychiatric disorders” and had been on disability for years. I was considered a chronic case that should medicate for life, something I refused to accept. I would probably have kept deteriorating and died if I hadn't come across a forum for people struggling to quit prescription drugs. I finally understood what had happened to me. I was in the middle of my third serious attempt to quit, so I just continued to taper. I thought I would be ok if I just did a slow enough taper. I wasn't. Withdrawal hell I can go on and on and list my symptoms (see end of post) but as you all know, these lists don't do justice to the suffering. At 5 mg I started vomiting and it didn't stop. My main struggle during the following 16 months was to keep myself alive, physically. I was underweight and dehydrated, more or less completely bedridden, so nauseous and anxious that I lived minute by minute. Me and my fiancée had no support except the forum I found. I was too ill to write myself, but my fiancée did. (Mixter, if you are reading this: I honestly don't know if I would have made it without your knowledge and support. I am forever grateful.) Some people say that it's terrifying not knowing when the wd torture will end, and I agree. But the worst part for me was that I had lost hope that I could live without Paxil. I was afraid that even if I made it through the withdrawal I would still be tormented by my own mind. I wanted to live so badly, and I was afraid that I would eventually have to end my life to end the suffering. I remember sitting in my bed rocking back and forth and vomiting, or crawling around on the floor with an unbearable sense of impending doom, convinced I would have to die. The only reason I didn't raise the dose again when the wd got really bad was that my fiancée threatened to leave me if I did and I didn't want to live without her. The worst symptom I had is difficult to explain, and makes no sense to me today. I developed a severe phobia towards people, also my fiancée. I missed her so much but I couldn't handle being in the same room. I longed for people, but their presence triggered intense feelings of terror, unlike anything I had ever experienced. The intrusive thoughts, "ocd" and my extreme sensory sensitivity made it worse, but cannot completely explain the terror I felt. I was afraid that this was me without the drug and that I would have to live the rest of my life in complete isolation. This is hard for me to write about and I still have very little hope that anyone will understand what it was like to live with this intense terror for years. Then, about 11 months after my last dose, I had a few better weeks. I was still bedridden and the majority of my symptoms had not improved, but I remember being able to listen to music and eating solid food. I felt how reality and my personality was coming back, and I realised the world around me looked and felt completely different off Paxil. I started to feel glimmers of hope. Shortly after, my fiancée left me. I lost the person I loved the most, I lost my dog, I lost my home. I left without my belongings, too ill to pack, and spent the following nightmarish three years in my parents small guest room in the other end of the country, still far too ill to take care of myself. I was no longer in acute withdrawal, but many symptoms had not improved. I had stopped vomiting but the muscle weakness was still so severe that I couldn't sit up at a table and eat. I struggled with extreme sensory sensitivity, especially movements. I had to eat with my eyes closed as it was unbearable to see my hands move. I was nauseous, paranoid and hallucinating. 1,5 years off I estimated that I had about 0,2 % of my normal physical and cognitive abilities, judged from what I could and couldn't do compared to before Paxil. (automatic functions like heartbeats, breathing and so on not included.) Recovery I have to say that I saw only minor improvements the first years. 2,5 years after my last dose I remember thinking that I now had 2% of my physical and cognitive abilities, which after all, I kept telling myself, was an improvement with far more than 100% since the year before. The years went by. I never really had any windows. My improvements were very gradual, so slow that I had to wait at least six month before I felt certain that there had been an improvement at all. There are exceptions to this rule. A few symptoms cleared up rapidly and more or less completely. The symptom I feared the most, the horrible intrusive thoughts that I suffered the first times I tried to quit, was ironically one of the first symptoms to disappear. After about 3 years, I was able to be in the same room as another human being without fear. Most symptoms improved slightly, became worse again, got better, became worse again, until one day they didn't get as bad as before. And so on. The turning point It's hard to say when exactly I reached the point where I felt that I wouldn't have to kill myself even if I didn't continue to improve, but I believe it was in 2014, five years after my last dose. I would say I literally lived minute by minute during the first three of those five years, with few exceptions. I don't understand today how it was possible for me to live through that time but somehow it was. I wish I could say that I was brave and optimistic, but I wasn't. I was scared and alone. The thing I had that saved me was that I really wanted to live, and that I was lucky enough not to experience depression. I'm also a person with a lot of grit and with a somewhat autistic ability to thrive in complete solitude which I believe saved my sanity (well, whatever was left) those years when I was too ill to socialise with anyone. I remember thinking that I wished I could have been sentenced to five or ten years in prison instead, just to know that I would be free one day. I no longer feel that way. Addiction Most people don't experience this, but some of us do and I think it's important to talk about. I spent a lot of my time in recovery longing back to my Paxil-years. My life on Paxil may have been miserable in many ways‚ with self harm (I occasionally cut myself), aggression and lack of judgement, but I enjoyed being euphoric. Coming back to reality and getting used to having normal feelings again was sometimes as hard as managing the physical torture. I felt as if I had lost the beautiful world I had lived in, that I had thought was reality, and now was forced to live in a world that I recognised from growing up but now longer belonged to. Everything looked and felt so different, and I felt like a complete stranger here. I longed ”home” and had strong cravings at times and the cravings triggered some of my withdrawal symptoms, and that continued to be a big and somewhat embarrassing problem for several years. (The cravings are not gone but they are much less frekvent now) I wasn't consciously abusing Paxil, but I had built my whole life as an adult on a drug and created a fantasy-world where I could enjoy things I used to find boring, like socialising, or watching series, or other perfectly normal activities that just isn't my thing. Where I no longer felt alienated and different, where I no longer hated society, where I either was euphoric from increasing the dose, or hypomanic after tapering, and as soon as either the euphoria or hypomania was wearing off I just increased or decreased the dose, fooling myself than I was trying to quit when I was no longer even trying. The hardest part of going through withdrawal was that I knew deep down that my fantasy-world would fall apart, and it turned out I wasn't really ready to let go. I just wanted back, desperately. I had to be dragged out against my will until I was completely off Paxil and could think more clearly. I owe my life to my ex fiancée but it was a very cruel process at times. It’s hard to explain how you can love a drug that you know has ruined your life completely, but that was how I felt. It was like a once wonderful relationship that had turned abusive. When you realise what is happening you are already to weak to leave. It dosen't help that you know your loved one will kill you if you stay. I often felt like two different persons in one during recovery. The memory of Paxil-me that I still felt was the real me, and real me who I had to get to know again. It took about 7 years until I could accept that Paxil-me was gone for good. Looking at photos of Paxil-me today is more like looking at a younger sister, with a very different personality than mine, that tragically and unexpectedly died at age 28. I have stopped crying over her, but I keep a few of her belongings in a box as a memory. It breaks my heart every time people claim SSRI/SNRI can’t cause addiction. It may be rare, but I'm certainly not the only one. I guess those of us that have experienced this need to be more open about it but it's hard. Choosing reality over drugs was a question of life or death for me for a very long time, and the most difficult part of my recovery. It's the loneliest feeling, knowing that I might have to live the rest of my life unable to explain to people what I have been through. I fear that the most difficult time in my life will never be understood for what it was. Some advice regarding muscle weakness To all of you who have been suffering from debilitating muscle weakness for years, with little or no improvement, don't give up. This symptom was one of the most persistent for me and I remember feeling like my arms and legs were literally dead. I felt like I was damaged for life. I had no windows, although I had days that were worse than others. I know how it feels to be bedridden for years, locked up in your own personal prison, unable to participate in anything or do anything, even unable to write on a forum like this. But please don't give up. I finally did recover, and so can you. Try to remember what it was like being able to stand up normally, no matter how painful it is to remember what you have lost. Try to visualise yourself being able to run and jump, help your brain remember what it was like… When you finally start to see improvement, please be aware that you have probably lost most of your muscle mass and it will take time to regain it, and exercise is the only way to do that. It's not fair, but it will probably take a few years of hard work if you have been bedridden for years and developed severe back- and neck problems like I had. Even taking a walk may be very difficult, but don't let that discourage you. Try exercising in water if you have recovered enough to leave your bed. The water will carry your bodyweight and offer you some resistance. I strongly believe that exercise helps to heal brain damage. Today, I am more fit than most people my age, but it has been a very slow and gradual process. On year 4 I was able to increase my walks from five minutes, to ten. The next year from ten to fifteen, and so on …Walking have been especially hard for me and I'm not back to normal, but I have been able to walk 26 000 steps in one single day, which I think is amazing. Exercise made me worse in the beginning but I slowly got used to it and I never experience any bad reactions now days. Keep trying. A few words on diet You can't cure protracted withdrawal with a healthy diet, but it might speed up your recovery. I can't make a double blind study on myself, but I saw improvements in mood, cognitive abilities and speed of recovery after switching to a raw vegan diet in 2014. I do believe it makes my mind clearer and it makes me happier as well. If you want to try this diet, make sure to take natural (not synthetic) b12 and d3 supplements. Also try omega3 from algae instead of fish. My life today I celebrated 11 years off Paxil this spring. I lost 8,5 years of my life to Paxil, and another 10 years to recovery. Was quitting worth all the suffering? Definitely yes. Am I 100% recovered? No, I'm not, but I'm getting closer. I still struggle with some muscle weakness and cognitive problems. Walking still feels weird at times. I have a bad back and muscle twitches. Some sensitivity to light, sound and smell has remained, but it's very mild. The only symptoms that appears to be permanent are a few that resembles HPPS HPPD. My visual perceptions are still slightly distorted, but no where near what I experienced on Paxil. ( mod note- HPPD is an acronym for hallucinogenic- persisting perception disorder) I wondered for a long time if my lingering psychotic symptoms was wd or if the experience simply drove me mad, but I believe it was wd as hallucinations started shortly after my last dose and became more and more rare and ”mild” during the years (from occasional full blown visual hallucinations with eyes wide open, to waking up from sleep realising I'm hallucinating) I stopped panicking over hidden cameras and spys several years ago but I still struggle with interpersonal paranoia at times, which I actually find more difficult to deal with because it's more subtle and harder to keep at an arms length. This has improved a lot the last years though. This may seem depressing but it's not that bad. I would say I'm more than 95 % recovered and I'm staying hopeful that I will regain all of my former cognitive abilities, the only symptom that still makes me sad at times. (My problems are no longer noticeable to others, but I notice them.) I can live with back pain and a dash of madness if I have to. I even miss my visual hallucinations, the only symtom I actually enjoyed as they gave me a much needed break from reality. They were incredible beautiful too. My emotional life My personality came back to a large extent after 4,5 years, but my feelings started coming back much earlier. I regained an ability to feel ”real” emotions after about 1 year, although I can't say for sure whether I am 100% recovered or not as I don't remember what it used to be like. I do feel intense happiness and a wide range of other emotions, but I sometimes feel detached from them and from other people. I have a hard time relating to others, they seem ”overly emotional” and appears to be ”upset over nothing”. I do struggle a lot with empathy because of this. I’m sometimes puzzled over how I function on a social and emotional level now days, but whether this is my personality as an adult, the result of years of isolation/torture or Paxil itself is hard to tell. To be fair, I did have these tendencies before Paxil but these traits are much more pronounced now. Or maybe I just have a hard time taking my armour off. There were not much room for emotional needs during wd. Being a logic-driven observer was the only way I could handle the situation as I couldn’t trust which emotions was real or wd/psychosis. This is an incredible useful strategy while managing wd but I feel that I would like to become ”human” again. Just not sure how to do it as I more and more have come to believe that emotional reactions are a choice. This also means that I don't really know what to feel about everything I went through, or how to process the whole experience on an emotional level, and my attempts to figure it out with logic has failed for very obvious reasons. The happy end is just the beginning A few people I know of who were healthy and happy while I was in wd hell, have now died in cancer or become ill with no hope of recovery. I have learnt that although I have gone through a difficult time, I am also very lucky. I may no longer be gasping in awe during my short walks, crying of joy and gratitude over being alive and being able to see the birds fly, but that gratitude is always with me. The last 4-5 years have also taught me that you don't need to be completely recovered to live a deeply meaningful and happy life. I can't say that life is back to normal, because I was I teenager last time I was here. It was long ago in another life. Things will never be like that again. But I'm reaching a point where I feel like I don't regret what has been. I'm hoping for a long life and it's far too early to tell whether this journey was a bad life experience or a good and useful one. If I could choose a soundtrack for this post, then it would be Ordinary world by Duran Duran: "What has happened to it all? Crazy, some'd say Where is the life that I recognize? Gone away But I won't cry for yesterday There's an ordinary world Somehow I have to find And as I try to make my way To the ordinary world I will learn to survive" You will learn to survive too. No matter how hopeless things may seem right now, just keep going. You only have to go through this once, and your future self will be so, so grateful that you didn't give in. Being free again and being yourself is worth waiting for, even if it takes a decade, or more. One day you will be writing your own success story. I know you will. Thanks for reading this long post. You can ask me anything you want, I'm happy to help. Aurorax --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary and milestones: 2001: Starts Paxil at age 19. 2001-2004: Two failed attempts to quit. 2005: Increases dose to 30 mg. Close ones concerned about me being all wired up and lacking judgement. 2006: Life is falling apart: my carrier, my health, my relationships, my cognitive abilities. My plan to taper over two years is not going well, there always seems to be a reason to raise the dose again. 2007: Increases the dose to 30 mg again but it’s no longer ”working”. I consider increasing the dose to 40 mg but that would be like saying I'm worse than ever and that's a frightening thought. 2008: Third attempt to quit. Finally realising that my ”illness” is side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Decides to make a slow taper. 2009, April: Last dose of Paxil. End of 2008 to beginning of 2010: Lost in withdrawal hell, struggling to keep myself alive. Loses my spouse, my dog and my home. 2010-2012: Still minute by minute most of the time. Bedridden. 2013: 4 years off. I have a home of my own again but struggle with household chores. Too ill to go to the grocery store. Too ill to sit up in a chair. Too ill to do anything else than surviving. Bedridden most of the time. Mourns having been gone for so many years, feels like I came back too late. No one remembers who I am off Paxil, not my parents, not my siblings. Longing back to Paxil-land. 2014: Still spend a lot of time resting in bed. Having a home is manageable but feels like running a small business. Nausea is almost gone. I can read books, browse the internet, write in my diary. I realise that I have survived coming off Paxil. Still a lot of physical symtoms but I’m happy for the first time off Paxil. I can live without drugs! 2015: I'm starting to realise the extent of the damage done by Paxil and the wd experience regarding my personality and emotional life. I no longer feel ”human”. I feel disconnected from everyone, empathy nearly gone. I feel like nothing can really bother me as long as my or others life aren't threatened. 2016- 2017: Year 7-8. I continue to improve. 2018: I have recovered enough to return to the town I had to leave, and start my new life. I don't know anyone here but it dosen't matter, I feel no need for friends. No problems taking care of household or go shopping for the things I need. I feel lika an animal released from its cage. I'm really happy. 2019: Celebrates 10 years off. Working part time from home, self employed. I can sit up in a chair without pain. I eat out, I go to the movie theatre, I travel overseas for the first time. I go to gym classes. It stills feels unreal that the person that is running with high knees, doing burpees and lifting heavy barbells is me. 2020: Life is no longer about recovery. There is so much I wan't to do that I don't even know where to start. I sometimes feel like a young adult making plans for the future. I'm less on guard and my ability to feel empathy is improving. Things that happens to me and other people have an emotional impact on me again. I recently decided to end my lone wolf lifestyle and have just found my first friends here. Feels like I'm in the beginning of a big adventure and can't wait to see what will happen next. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Symptoms are 100% resolved unless otherwise stated: Physical: Air hunger Arrhythmia (Improved but not resolved) Blurred vision Brain zaps Burning sensation in skin Chilling sensation in legs Convulsions Diarrea Digestive system ”shutting down”, unable to absorb water for 1-2 days during worst part of wd Difficulty swallowing Difficulty walking (Still feels a bit weird) Dizziness Dry eyes Exhaustion Exuding small, round wounds, mainly on my back but also arms, chest, head, face (Not from self harm or scratching) Fatigue Feeling of electricity running through my body Feels like hands and arms are gone Feels like muscles are melting (Various other painful or unpleasant sensations all over my body that I don't bother to list) Fever Flashing blue lights inside my head Flu like symptoms Fluid running from nose and mouth Freezing Headache Heart palpitations Heart racing when I’m trying to stand up on my feet Internal bleedings Involuntary movements in jaw and feet, usually when falling asleep or waking up from sleep Itching Legs kicking Loss of appetite Muscle cramps Muscle pain Muscles shaking Muscle twitching (Still have this a few times a day) Muscle tension (Greatly improved but still have this. Could be many other reasons for this though) Muscle weakness/low muscle tone (95% resolved, still comes and goes in waves) Not able to eat solid food Not able to eat fluid food Nausea, very intense and relentless for years Numbness (Still a bit numb in my toes) Out of breath Pain in stomach and chest Passing out Poor balance Poor coordination Pressure over head Restless legs Sensitivity to light, sound, motion, smell (not completely resolved but very mild) Sensation of insects crawling over my skin Shaking Shortness of breath Slurred speech Sounds echoing in head Stress intolerance Sweating Temporary hearing loss Tinnitus (Greatly improved but still there) Vomiting Weight loss Weird attacks/blackouts, not sure what this was. Seizures? First one had me crawling on the floor, my visual field was rotating back and forth and I was vomiting. Second I felt like my foot was stuck to the floor while strong electric current was running through my leg, woke up in bed later after blackout. Whole body jerks Whole body suddenly numb, can't walk Zaps in jaw and legs (still have occasional mild leg zaps) Distorted visual perception: These resembles HPPT HPPD and seem to be permanent with no improvement last years. It's very mild, except the halos (I have had my eyes checked) No prior use of hallucinogens/street drugs. Floaters (Improved) Halos (Some improvement) Seeing sparkling lights (Improved) Things moving in the corner of my eyes (Improved) Things moving in weird ways (Resolved) Trails (Improved) Visual snow (Resolved) World stills looks/feels a bit weird in a way that reminds me of ”Paxil-land” but not near as intense. This comes and goes too) Cognitive: Brain fog, it literally took me half a day to write a few sentences on a postcard. (95% resolved) Confusion, like having to think to remember whether its winter or summer right now Difficulty finding words Difficulty speaking Difficulty understanding speech Disorganised and slow speech Exaggerated three-dimensionality (Still experience this when reminded of wd-hell. Not sure this is a wd-symptom, feels more like dissociation related to the trauma) Feeling drunk in an unpleasant way Feeling like I have lost my intelligence (Still not sure if I’m 100% recovered) Impaired memory Phrases repeating themselves in head, random words and images popping up out of nowhere Panic attacks or nausea while trying to read Poor concentration, could take me half an hour to read a page in a book. Used to be a very quick reader (95% resolved) Unable to process information Unable to se TV/watch movies Emotional: Aggression Akathisia (Most likely resolved. Still pacing and moving feet and hands a lot, but the intense inner torment is gone. Maybe I'm just a fidgety person) Anxiety Crying spells Delusions Drug cravings (Still happens if I'm triggered) Feeling of impending doom Hallucinations, mainly visual Hearing ”silent” voices while resting. Not auditory hallucinations, but not ”my own” thoughts. Usually incoherent and absurd phrases. Always different ”people”. Harming self Harming others (hitting, biting) Helplessness Homicidal ideation Hopelessness Hypomania Insomnia Intrusive thoughts Irritability Mood swings Nervousness (95% resolved) Nightmares and dreams about craving drugs ”Ocd” (Improved but not resolved. I had tendencies before Paxil so could be my personality.) Panic Paranoia (Still experience mild paranoia occasionally) Phobia towards people Psychotic break with reality Rage Ruminating Screaming Strange ”panic attacks”, mostly during night Suicidal ideation Terror Waking up crying/screaming/hitting/kicking (Still happens a few times a year) Walls bending
  3. 6 points
    Hi @sunnysideup69 Thank you for dropping by😊 Hope you are well. I have been waiting for some stability in my progress, and I didn’t want to give an update until I could feel a consistent progress. But here is my progress since last time 😊 I want to start out by saying that my experience on this journey was by far the hardest after I reached zero. That’s when I really had the most difficult time. My improvements are: I can walk fast paced for 40-50 min now My blurred vision has improved tremendously I can be in a crowded area with out any problems My connection to people has taken an amazing shift, and I have been told by family and friends that they see so many positive improvements in me😊 My sleep is mostly good I have more energy My anxiety is improving slowly and surely. I don’t wake up with a knot in my stomach anymore I am much calmer over all Depersonalisation is improving greatly My concentration is improving, that is I can feel that if many things are thrown my way I don’t get as overwhelmed. I have so much connection to my body, and I am learning to listen to it I have made many mistakes along the way, my biggest one pushing myself way to much, and being impatient. I wish I could give you ( who ever is reading this) the feeling I am getting being drug free. I have had doubts creeping in along the way, that I have been damaged. So I know the feeling for sure. I have the utmost respect for you all. And without all the great tips and people on this site, I would not be where I am today. Thank you and I am so grateful for all of you💖
  4. 4 points
    Aurorax, I don't think you realize how much you are helping others who are in the middle of such torment. Thank you again. 💟
  5. 4 points
    I have some perspective on this now. So much has happened to me since I last posted here that It all feels like an echo in time. Something that happened to someone else. Was it really real? I read the words that I wrote all those years ago and I sorta remember the sheer terror of it all. I somehow survived something so dark, so frightening, so monstrous that there will forever be an indelible mark on my soul. Thinking back on it, quite literally, makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Unimaginable to all but those who have experienced this particular horror story themselves. But, I got through it. I weathered the storm, the darkness lifted and I made it safely ashore. And, with perseverance, patience and determination, you will too. You may not have the time to read thorough my back story. There is rather a lot of it. Probably too much of it if I'm honest. So, I'll summarise the main points to save you a bit of time. I once existed in a constant state of anxiety. All day, everyday, my heart would be trying to burst forth from my chest. Every thought, every emotion, replaced with abject fear. What a truly awful state of existence... Thankfully, not much worries me now. Whatever life throws in my direction, and it has thrown rather a lot at me in the last couple of years, I ask, "Is this worse than withdrawal?" The answer is always no, not even close. Even the global shitstorm caused by Covid is a minor inconvenience in comparison. The truth is, nothing can ever be as bad as withdrawal. I just shrug my shoulders, dust myself off and get on with it. Meh. My friends and family treated me appallingly during withdrawal. It was too much for them. They abandoned me. They moved on. I moved on. A shame really, but too many harsh words were said for there ever to be any kind of reconciliation. Withdrawal has far reaching consequences for everyone it touches. New friends and colleagues never witnessed me in withdrawal. They think I'm chilled out, relaxed and unflappable. I want to keep it like that. I don't talk about withdrawal. I even have some friends who take meds. People don't always want to hear the truth. I think it's better to just keep quiet rather than risk destroying a good friendship. Sometimes, there isn't an answer. Let it be. Sleep, or rather the lack of it, was always a huge issue for me in WD. I genuinely feared going to bed. If I was really lucky I'd get a few hours of nightmares that would inevitably result in waking into a cortisol infused state of panic as soon as the first glimmers of daylight peeped through my inadequate blackout curtains... I sleep like a baby now. The light doesn't bother me too much. The birds can tweet, squawk and call. The wind can howl. The neighbours dog can bark until its throat is sore. I'm blissfully unaware of it all. Cog fog was another really bothersome issue during WD. At one point I completely lost the ability to read or write and my speech became monosyllabic. There was no logical structure to my thought processes and pretty much nothing made any sense. I can recollect looking at flowers in my garden and having absolutely no idea what they were or why they were there... I seems bizarre when I think back on it all, especially as I now run a successful business that requires me to consistently use language, memory and logic. The tinnitus never went away. I think it probably never had anything to do with WD and was just coincidental. Maybe, years of working with power tools, riding motorcycles and going to concerts were the real culprits. Whatever caused the tinnitus is irrelevant. I've come to terms with it and it doesn't really bother me anymore. What's next? Trying to make up for the time lost to those wretched pills. Picking up where I left off. Casting aside the burdensome shroud of apathy. Rebuilding my life,.. My head buzzes with ideas where once it buzzed with zaps. I work so hard nowadays. 18 hour days are not uncommon. It's not about the money. I've been homeless and penniless and genuinely couldn't give a toss about money. I just enjoy the challenge of working and feel great when I'm totally focused and in 'the zone' and also the tremendous sense of purpose I get from it all. I've rediscovered the joy of music. I can't get enough of it. I've even picked up the guitar and made a few raucous noises once or twice... and beer, I enjoy drinking that too. Yes, I'm fully aware that beer is bad for you. I couldn't touch the stuff during WD and now I can. This makes me happy. 😜 I also quit television. It wasn't an active decision. I just got bored and stopped watching it. Funny really, as my entire life revolved around the TV schedules when I was on the meds. A square-eyed zombie no more. Not forgetting walking. I did a ridiculous amount of walking during WD. Possibly akathisia. Whatever it was, walking was one of the few things that could keep me from mentally spinning out of control. Anyway, it's something that I've kept up and will continue to do so for the rest of my life... or at least until my arthritic knee finally gives up on me. I find walking dramatically improves my mood. Give it a try if you're struggling Anyways, before I disappear over the horizon again I'd like to offer a few words of wisdom. Learn from the wealth of experience on this site. Learn from our mistakes. Cold turkey will make you very sick. Reinstate before it's too late. Please, please, please, don't rush your taper. Don't race to the finish line. That last 1mg can bite back. Getting to zero isn't the end of it. You will be healed, healthy and whole again. What's past is prologue. Bye for now. Hmmm. This looks suspiciously like a success story 🤔
  6. 4 points
    Hi everyone- just wanted to let anyone reading this thread know that I've made contact with zeegee in private messages. I just didn't want anyone to think I disappeared. But, about your recent post zeegee... I believe what you are experiencing is what some around here call "neuro emotion." If you search in the group, you can find lots of posts about it. I even made this video about some of the intrusive thoughts and OCD-like things we can experience in both benzo and antidepressant withdrawal. It's horrible while we have it but doesn't last forever.
  7. 3 points
    Hello, @Frogie, @Adili13, @Cigale, @mstimc, @mustafa : thank you, I'm always so pleased and grateful when I read kind words of support on my thread ❤️ Feeling a bit selfish too : I've tried today to read others'threads, but I can only notice that I'm still very easily triggered and after a few posts my mind was already gone in a catastrophizing mode. It's like if I don't manage to come on SA these days without panicking or feeling overwhelmed. I'm also feeling a mix between anger and hopelessness when I read so much sufferings because of foolish doctors. The same story, over and over : i'm sick of this sad scenario. And so angry. And astonished by the strenght and the generosity of those who come here and work hard to support, share their knowledge, explain, ...day after day. Thank you, thank you, thank you 💞 So I guess I'm going to keep on working on "real life" and coming less on SA for now. Hoping I'll feel strong enough to give support soon ! On my side, I'm still holding everything steady : 7mg Fluoxetine at 8am + 1mg Diazepam at 4pm + toothpick Paroxetine I'm seeing improvements, and I chose to see these improvments as a sign to keep holding rather than lowering my Fluoxetine dose for now. Let's share some nice improvements : - I get 6-7hours of sleep most nights, sometimes even more ! - The physical kind of "akathisia", need to move, is GONE - Violent intrusive thoughts-impulses : they are now very low or nonexistent (!) with occasionnal spikes. - I'm not living in terror anymore. Anxiety fluctuates, with some challenging spikes but also nicer times. - My mood is overall better and more stable. I'm often "blah", and compared to the dark hopelessness, blah is wonderful ! - I'm more "active" and able to engage in activities. Also felt some interest for the news (with moderation ), for the "real world". Current symptoms-situation : - I'm still dealing with chemical anxiety and agoraphobia. Fluctuating, ups and downs..working on trying to live with them. My most challenging an disabling symptom. - I've developed a kind of "social anxiety" and I'm isolated (trying to work gradually on that) - I'm very easily irritated with no reason. - I have random spikes of depression/doom/hopelessness : working on managing them with my toolkit - exhaustion spikes : there are times during the day while I suddenly struggle to keep my eyes open, feeling exhausted - spikes of genital pain, like if I had my periods (don't have them since 60 days). - strong headaches, it comes and go. And a strange one : since 2 weeks, I woke up during many nights with an irrepressible need to laugh, and I can't stop laughing during 10-15 minutes before it calms down. And I have absolutely no idea why I'm laughing, it is uncontrollable, physical. Might sounds nice, and to be honest it IS much more nicer than to wake up because of terror. But it is also a very strange feeling and experience, not so pleasant. I'm getting used to it, but at first it was very disturbing. Actually, it is a pity : perhaps I'm creating the best humorous show during my sleep and I'm missing a great career because I can't remember my jokes ! So, to make it short : struggling mostly with chemical anxiety, and some unpleasant symptoms, but definitely improving and doing better (and sometimes giggling stupidly under my blanket) ☀️ Sending lot of love ❤️
  8. 3 points
    Thank you so much for sharing!! I am now at 13 months and am feeling a bit better day by day. It took me the longest time to learn to accept this process, but now it is much easier for me once I realized this will just take as long as it takes!! Every symptom I have that becomes less intense truly lets me know that one day this will all be over with and I will be healed as well
  9. 3 points
    @Terry4949 Terry4949, your comment made me cry. Thank you for reminding me that I still can feel for others. I know this process is cruel beyond words, and I can literarily feel your despair, but healing is inevitable. Never give up, ever. You are soon four years in and might be turning a corner anytime. I sometimes wish I could teleport myself to everyone on this forum that feels the despair that I felt. I wish I could sit by your side and tell you everything is going to be ok as long as you keep fighting. You are not alone in this. Aurorax
  10. 3 points
    Things that helped me Even if this part is obvious to many I do not recommend alcohol even if it feels like it helps at first. Especially because alcohol cravings is another common symptom during WD and can become very risky. I say this because I drank at first to cope and later noticed it made things worse, even if it didn't right away. Avoiding overly emotional things if it dragged me down. I had to stop watching most movies and carefully choose the kind of music I listened to. Avoiding the news completely and reading sad things in general. Meditating if possible. One can do this while sitting, walking, laying down, doing yoga, mindfulness, chanting etc etc. For me laying down while listening to a guided meditation worked best (Youtube is a great source for this in my opinion). Being around animals. Spending time in the forest or in nature in general. Some kind of heat felt nice sometimes, like showering, drinking a cup of tea or warm water, having one of those microwaved rice bags against my stomach or shoulders, blankets etc etc. Exercising if possible but while listening to the body and not overdoing it (swim, walk, dance, small exercises at home, yoga, biking to name a few. Swimming worked the best for me) Doing a hobby even if you have to force yourself and even if it's just for a little while. For me it was art. Repetitive tasks helped me in the beginning for some reason. I could put my focus on something easy, and whatever it ends up being it's okay even if it feels a bit silly I think. For example I picked a lot of dandelions, then collected the petals to potentially make wine out of it. But when I was done doing that I felt that it had helped calm me and to be present. So picking flowers, watering plants, repetitive crafting like decorating things. Stuff like that. Sorting papers if needed. Puzzles was another one of these tasks that I started doing. Resting. Doing things that are pleasant but not bad for you. I thought of it as taking care of myself as I would with a sick or sad friend. For tics: Epsom salt baths (be very careful and try a small dose at first), a foot bath can be enough or hand bath depending on what body part is affected. Temporary solution that worked for me was squeezing the body part that's being problematic. So if it was the hands I sat on them, for example. Strong passion flower tea. To minimize and prevent it: Getting good sleep Reducing stress and worry Reducing sugar intake Things that I wrote down to remember, mindsets and reminders: Live moment for moment when you can't do anything else, especially when suffering. Don't think about future or past. Just take every minute or second as it comes. Practice on letting go of any negative thoughts. The more often it's done the easier it will get (be persistent). For me it was like creating a new habit for the brain that eventually started to happen automatically. For example random self hating thoughts often came up in the past for me, now comforting and forgiving thoughts come up instead in difficult situations. Accept not feeling well, don't beat yourself up or dwell on the fact. Go with the flow as often mentioned on here. (But avoid ruminating.) Look at obstacles as challenges when possible. It's okay to be scared, accept the fear as part of it (whatever the fear is). Convince yourself and be open to let others convince you that this will pass and you will get through it and be okay. To me this was extremely important especially during the days I felt the worst and wanted to quit, because I could always remind myself that I just had to wait it out knowing it will pass. Hold on to the good examples you hear about, not the bad ones. I chose to believe in the people that told me it would get better and also to direct my attention to the ones that got better. Write down a list of things you're thankful for every day. It's another way to teach the brain to focus on the positive. There is always something, you just have to look for it. Doesn't have to be anything big. Could be that you ate something good, or that the weather is nice, or that a person has been kind to you, or that you have a home. Try avoiding dwelling on the withdrawal. It won't help, in my opinion. Distract with what distracts you the most easily. For me it was a genre of videos that usually had a lot of comedy in them or games. Good friends that don't make you feel worse is also a great distraction. Stoicism in general has been good for me to read about so can recommend that as well for the mental aspect, maybe more so in later stages of withdrawal. Therapeutic writing. I think I first heard about it on this forum but I can't remember. I've used this a lot and still do when I don't feel good. The gist of it is you write whatever comes to mind no matter how strange or silly it feels. I can't find the link but somewhere it said that if you do this for at least 20 minutes and don't inhibit yourself it can be as effective as an actual therapy session. Something I added on my own because I found it helped me, was that after leaving what I had written for an hour or a few hours I could look at it more clearly after, and sometimes even find solutions to what was bothering me. Or at least pinpoint what the issue was. And even if you can't do any of those two, writing it down gets it out of your head which usually feels better and moves some of the troubling thoughts from the mind to paper. Supplements that helped me (be careful and always start at a low dose): CBD oil helped me a little. I took the kind with very low levels (almost none) of THC. Passion flower tea. I had to make strong tea for it to work. Magnesium and omega-3 are said to be helpful, I was unsure if they helped me during withdrawal but can imagine they would help in the long run. To manage relationships as best as I could I would do these things: Read brassmonkeys thread on emotional spirals, very informative and helpful whether it's anger, sadness, anxiety etc etc: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/13492-dealing-with-emotional-spirals/?tab=comments#comment-257833 Avoiding socialising if I really didn't want to, especially if you feel some people make you unhappy or evoke other negative emotions out of you. Trying my best to be around the people that did makeme happy. Forcing myself not to indulge in a conflict or something that can become a conflict. Remember that I always have a choice. Promise myself to never act on intense negative emotions like anger or the strong urge I often had to explain my stance. Wait for at least a few days, and if I still felt consistently bothered about something it might be worth bringing up. Regarding frustration about others not understanding the situation, Guilietta wrote something on this forum that I think is a great mindset to have about it (I'm possibly paraphrasing) ''Even though I feel their criticism as rejection - I like to think it is a way of showing love and concern for me. But they do not have the facts and live with this day in, day out, etc. We need to be strong and hold to our paths, it is not easy to believe in ourselves.'' I think many of these things have been mentioned on this forum before, but I think the least I can do is mention what has helped me. And some things are worth repeating. I wish all of you the best and I have no doubt you will all come out of this.
  11. 3 points
    @Deepu No, I never had any symptoms of PSSD (Post SSRI-sexual dysfunction). I was lucky in that regard. I’m still in the process of figuring out if my emotional and social differences (compared to the average person) are the result of long-term Paxil use, trauma, or my personality. I know that a lot of people here are trying to find out how these drugs affect our emotions long term. I’m looking for those answers too. I will probably write a post later with more details about my emotional life before, on, and after Paxil, in case someone finds it helpful. I’ll try to answer your other questions too: I could write pages about what helped me through this, but to summarize my most important rules: 1. No alcohol, no drugs. No mind-altering substances, no matter how innocent they may seem. 2. Make sure you eat and sleep enough, and that your diet is as healthy as possible. 3. Decide what you want to accomplish in life and break it down into smaller goals. It may seem like you are standing at the bottom of a stair that is impossible to climb, so take it one step at the time. Some of my first steps looked something like this: - Stay alive without drugs - Be able to eat and sleep. - Not end up in a locked psychiatric ward - Be able to walk a hill where I used to run - Have a home of my own. These things seemed nearly impossible, but I don't even have to think about them now. 4. Exercise as much as you can tolerate. 5. Don't see yourself as a victim. 6. Visualise yourself as recovered. 7. Accept what has happened and use it to your advantage. I can only answer questions about my own experiences. I can't give you advice on whether you should or should not use certain drugs, or what you should believe in or not. That is something you will have to decide for yourself. You mentioned that you have cravings. They will become much less frequent with time, but you may have to learn coping skills to avoid using drugs again. My strategy, in the beginning, was to distract myself. Now I try to sit with the cravings. No, this won't last forever. You will improve with time, but it may take a while. Try to keep as calm as possible, read all the information on this website, and remember that many people have experienced what you experience now and recovered completely. Aurorax
  12. 3 points
    @Elyssa143 Thanks for reading my story Elyssa145. I want to start by saying that nothing in this post is medical advice. I'm only sharing my own experiences. I've read your background story. I know you’re in a dark and frightening place right now but hold on, things will get better. I had the same symptoms and fears as you have now, including all kinds of intrusive thoughts. A lot of them were compulsive thoughts about harming or killing myself or others. Others were intrusive words or images out of nowhere. Some were neutral, others very disturbing. Some of these thoughts lasted for years. It took a long time until I could use a knife without intrusive images of how I could use it to kill myself. I went to a psychiatric intensive care unit and asked them to lock me in because of this. I spent 24 hours in a locked ward but felt like an animal trapped in a cage and decided that I had to get out of there. I had suicidal thoughts before Paxil, but they were of a very different nature. They were never intrusive or compulsive. I just wasn't sure I wanted to live for various reasons. They were like my ordinary thoughts, and they didn’t scare me. I believe this is much more concerning than intrusive thoughts during wd. If you start to feel like you want to act on your suicidal thoughts, make sure you reach out for help immediately. Always have someone nearby that keeps an eye on you until you feel better. Intrusive thoughts can be painful, probably because we tend to think that we are our thoughts. We are not, and that becomes very clear when we go through wd. You may have to live with these thoughts for a while, so why not invite them? Listen to them just as you listen to a radio or watch tv. They are not you, and you don't have to believe what they are saying. I know they can be deeply disturbing but try to see if you can laugh at them. That won't make them go away, but they may become less frightening. Yes, I feared not making it, especially during the 16 months of endgame tapering and acute withdrawal. I sometimes thought that I should be compassionate to myself and end it all instead of enduring more meaningless suffering. I thought I was too weak to live and that my life was over. I sometimes regretted that I found out about the pills and started tapering, thinking I could have had a few more good years on the drug instead of having to die now. All these thoughts were just various ways of telling myself that I needed my drug. I believe these kinds of doubts are a common wd symptom. Things got better when my personality started to come back, but I still had serious doubts that I would make it. I had very low self-esteem after all my years in psychiatry, and losing everything and having to rely on relatives for housing and help to get by made me feel like a failure. I doubted that I could take care of myself or have a home again, even if the wd-symptoms disappeared. I also had doubts that I would ever be able to be in the same room as another person without feeling terror. I knew that I could no longer tolerate SSRIs and didn't want to take benzo, so I spent a lot of time thinking about what other drugs I could take instead. I decided to give it a few years, and if didn't recover, then I was going to start morphine or heroin. That was a sad and comforting thought at the same time. What I’m trying to say is that it's easy to get the impression that those of us that have recovered from severe and long-lasting wd is extraordinary mentally strong or emotionally stable people. I don't think that's the case, at least not with me. The thing we have in common is that we didn't give up. You don't have to feel resilient or even hopeful to survive this. You only have to walk the distance no matter how you feel or where you believe you will end up. Make sure you have somewhere to live, eat, get some sleep if possible, and don't kill yourself. That's all you have to do. I know that's a full-time job at times, but you will get through this. You don't have to believe in healing, because healing is inevitable. What you are feeling and thinking about yourself now says very little about who you really are and what your future holds. Hold on to the memory of who you were before the pills. You will be a wiser version of that person when all of this is over. That got a bit long, but revisiting my past and writing about it is helping me too. I wish you all the best on your journey. Don't hesitate to reach out again if you need support. Aurorax
  13. 2 points
    I have now been off all medication for 3 years 1 month 6 days..... I got off of benzos first then tapered off of Risperdal and finished the taper on September 12th 2017. It has been a long hard road but I would like to report that I am almost back to normal. I think if I quit smoking cigarettes I will be 100% and completely back on track in life. While I was on medication I had anxiety and paranoia so bad I couldn't leave the house or talk to anyone and ended up on disabilities from it in my mid 20s. Now I am on track to become a Youth Minister at a large church and have 0 problems talking to people or public speaking. I actually initiate conversations and go out of my way to talk to people now and help people out whenever I can. The biggest key to my recovery was God. He put me on this path and let me know it was for a reason even though I didn't believe it at all and thought I was going to snap and end up back on medications MANY times during the first couple of years. When I first came off the medications I slept like 2 hours a night most nights for months on end and had to learn to reframe distressing thoughts and feelings as a temporary nuisance for long term gains. I also went from 240 pounds to 145 pounds in a matter of less than 3 months which shut down my gall bladder that I had to have removed. I became gluten and lactose intolerant due to all this and have had to completely change my habits but I don't miss my old habits at all. If you want to survive don't stick to the same things you have been doing day in and day out. Pay close attention to your sleeping habits and what you eat or do to see if anything is causing issues. DO NOT use any supplements of any kind and be VERY careful about using literally anything that can have a mental effect on you even exercise. I can still go into mild waves if I overdo it by doing too much work or exercising too much. My only lingering symptoms are massive fatigue and nerve pain that comes and goes but I know all my triggers now and sometimes do them anyway and just accept the consequences. But even those symptoms are becoming less and less and there is hope they will vanish one day. I hope this message helps anyone out there who thinks all hope is lost, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as you stay diligent about just accepting that there is nothing that can speed up the process and just do what you can to make it day by day. Link to Razmuk's Introduction Topic: Razmuk: getting rid of Risperdal
  14. 2 points
    Introduction topic: karenrose-what-a-journey Hi everyone. I guess this is my success story check in. I've been off for almost a year (just a few more weeks) and feel better than I have in years. This forum and the help I got here was literally a life saver. Thank you so much to the people who helped me when I was suffering so much I could not stand being alive anymore. I still struggle a little bit with blood sugar issues, mucus, and restless sleep but it's getting better. I am no longer depressed - amazing. Not anxious. I have had many waves but the last few ones have been tiny. I am prepared for bigger waves but no longer scared of them. And haven't had one for a while. I feel healed and withdrawal is becoming a distant memory. What helped me the most to come off and to heal? I am not recommending any of it - just saying what worked for me after trying just about everything for years. In case it can inspire someone. Ultra slow tapering - feel free to take a look at my journey. The key was listening to my body, not the numbers. It made all the difference and I learned it here. Whole foods super nutritious diet without allergens. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I used the AIP diet. Lots of clean water. EFT tapping and EMDR for pervasive trauma, emotional pain, stress and anxiety. Dancing for exercise and stress release (no need to go out - did it at home). Still working on getting back in shape. Coffee enemas for migraines and feeling toxic and achey. I know this is controversial and may not be for everyone. It worked very well for me. Meditation in the morning - five to ten minutes. I was convinced at several points I could not do it. If this is you, know that you can. Much support and hope, Karen
  15. 2 points
    Thanks, @Pawlove ❤️ I could write pages about getting rid of shame... Maybe next time! I understand your thoughts about not rocking the boat. I don't have enough knowledge about this, but I assume getting rid of all the other drugs means your body might metabolize Paxil more efficiently? Maybe it's wise to let your body settle down for a while. I was in a very different situation than you are now, my boat was already sinking, and I had to get out. I believe it was too late to regain stability for me. If I were you, knowing what I know today, then I would wait a little longer. Maybe celebrate getting rid of so many drugs and enjoy feeling better for a few more months. Gain more knowledge, educate the people close to you, make detailed plans for various scenarios…And then maybe start the new year with a very slow taper, less than 5%. It's better to taper too slow than to end up in a situation where you have to reinstate and stabilize. To everyone reading this that is considering to get off these drugs: Please don't make my mistake. Don't put yourself in a situation where you get desperate and start running for the exit and end up running through months and years of unimaginable hell because it's too late to reinstate. Not only for your own sake but for the people that will have to take care of you and maybe even make life or death decisions for you. It's a deeply traumatizing experience for everyone involved. Aurorax
  16. 2 points
    When I look back on some of the 'major life decisions' I made while I was 'spellbound' by all those psych drugs, I am filled with regret and even shame. Anyone else relate to this? These tides rush in, frequently in the mornings, and just crush me against the rocky shore. For example, I was in a management role at my last company and essentially demoted myself. I was so sick and frankly out of my mind that I thought it was the 'right' thing to do. The new role turned out to be a complete disaster that eventually drove me out of the company. I left on my own terms but I now wonder if I could have found a way to stay. I blame myself for not 'seeing' the complexity of executing a job move like that. I was so numb and disoriented by the drugs and WDs I just couldn't see anything clearly. Now looking back I wonder if I should have been more honest with the people I worked with about what I was going through. At the time, I didn't fully understand how powerful those drugs were and what havoc WDs cause on our interior lives. I thought I was just 'defective' and that it was 'all my fault' so I did the best I could and never told anyone what I was struggling with. Another example is while in the fog of ADs, we built a house that we really couldn't afford. My 'normal' alert systems were completely offline due to the drugs. If I had been in my right mind, I would have been able to feel the 'warning' signs like anxiety and such that could have informed my wisdom that 'maybe this ani't such a great idea' or 'slow down and think about this' but it was like I was mesmerized and totally fixated on accomplishing the task. I've not had suicidal thoughts that all the warnings talk about but I think these things were similarly spellbinding. Over so many years of those drugs, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. That person did a lot of things that I still can't understand...and yet wasn't that 'me'? If not, who the heck was it? Part of what makes this journey off of drugs so hard is it can feel so 'unique' and lonely... Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks.
  17. 2 points
    Sleepy, Hang in there. We're all rooting for you! And yes, many of us have faced the same with psychiatrists and Mums. And managed to come on out on the other side, just fine. It takes time, and a heck of a lot of patience, as well as hope for a better future. To some, they may never quite get it.......and that's their problem. I'm glad you are on the side of the "get it's " at an early age too. Take a look at that link Alto just gave, it'll help and then here is a copy of a sample note, from that link as well. 6 a.m. Woke with anxiety 8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro 10 a.m. Stomach is upset 10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast 11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour 12:35 p.m. Ate lunch 4 p.m. Feel a bit better 5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro 6 p.m. Ate dinner 9:20 p.m. Headache 10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel 10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy 10:30 p.m. Fell asleep 2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien") 2:45 a.m. Fell asleep 4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep Keep it simple, times on the left.......and medications, by name and dose on the right. Go through the whole day. Include supplements on the right, name and dosage. Activities, symptoms- brief description of, and sleep, all on the right as well. You are not paranoid, just a bit more enlightened than doctor and Mom. And any healthy distractions you can do now.....will really help. Dealing with Emotional Spirals Neuro- emotions Go to some music, if need be, and just some body calming stretches, or gentle dance. Sometimes when our nervous systems are on fire, so to speak, one has to step outside of the head a bit. Don't go to porn or over gaming or any of that........be looking for some soothing distractions. Elevator music better than hard rock or Punk, or whatever. You get the gist I'm sure. Thank you Alto!!! And thank you sleepy too, for all your patience.......especially that you can bestow upon yourself now. L, P, H, and G, mmt
  18. 2 points
    @LostRunner I am so sorry that you are going through this. It’s such a difficult road, I know. I get that you are angry about the doctors I have been too. This is spot on. You need to believe in yourself without letting doctors words impact you. I for one was told I had to be on Paxil for the rest of my life because of lack of serotonin. Well I have proofed them all wrong. Unfortunately doctors are still clueless, but I think some awareness is happening, which is a good thing. It is reversible. Never quit, never loose hope and tell yourself that you will beat this Our mindset is very important during this, don’t feed your thoughts on the negative, it can play a big role in recovery. One negative loop can spiral into the worse case scenario. Don’t ever let this beat you down, you are stronger then you think and more capable then you give yourself credit for. We are all rooting for you Come on lostrunner let’s go 💪
  19. 2 points
    Hi there @LostRunner just read your post coming out from seeing ENT specialist . having problem with balance coming of SSRI . he had been the first specialist I’ve seen ( seen two this week) that has openly said my balance issue is most probably due to coming off Paxil. He said “good luck” coming off these meds it is almost impossible because of what they do to the body and brain . He really doesn’t know how people do it . His words !! seen a neurologist earlier in the week that sounds like your doctor . Couldn’t possibly be down to my meds why I’m getting MS symptoms . Not possible he said. I’ve never had problems like this before by the way. he also said that some people need to stay on these meds for life because of chemical imbalance. cant believe they’re still spouting that old chestnut !!!! it is discouraging LR when specialists are telling the us meer mortals we are wrong and they are right . but here’s the thing ... we ARE right and they are so VERY wrong . let me tell you it most definitely IS your med . And you WILL recover . Most haven’t got a clue . After all these years . the ENT specialist also asked me if I am receiving support from my GP. None. he’s heard it many times before. He made me feel he knew someone close that was going through coming off this s*@t. don’t t be dismayed you will get there it’s just a long journey but the rainbow at the end will be worth it !! LRH
  20. 2 points
    Aurorax, I keep coming back to your posts and rereading. Plus I am copying bits of what you say and putting them in messages on benzo buddies. I tell them about the coolest young girl from Sweden who had the most amazing story and is an amazing writer. I have told you before how much you are helping but I keep being amazed at your thoughtful and detailed answers to everyone who reaches out to you. It is such a gift! I am friends with a lady from Sweden on BB who is 4 years into her benzo wd recovery and is not having any windows. From my benzo wd and my failed past paxil wd I can say that the sxs from both are interchangeable. It worries me for her to be so weak, to have so little quality of life and all the crazy sxs that can come along with this but your success story gave me great hope for her. I sent her your entire success story and I pray she reads it. Thank you again, a gazillion times, for caring for all of us! My scale has arrived today and I am ready to get this paxil wd going. I had a friend mention today that pills don't have the same amount of med dispersed through them so if some is removed the remainder doesn't necessarily have the assumed dose. That throws another monkey wrench into the equation! I am still conflicted about water or scale... I will ask the moderators. When I started my xanax taper I was obsessed with it being exact to the .001 mg. An experienced guy told me that it didn't have to be that precise. I just needed to gradually take a tiny bit less. I have got to get my plan and OCD self calmed down about it.
  21. 2 points
    Thanks for the thoughts! It’s been an interesting progression. Early on I was so desperate for reassurance. Most days were so difficult and filled with fears and anxiety. Constant thoughts. I’ve learned the reassurance really feeds the anxiety. I’ve learned Eventually this will all subside and the best thing I can do is not feed it. So that urge to figure it out or that thought of ‘Is this permanent’ are so much less. My time to fully heal will come when it’s meant to be. I’ll continue to update as I go along. The guidance you’ve provided has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. I’m sure I’ll continue to have questions pop up so I’m sure I’ll be posting things but hopefully less frequently. thanks again!
  22. 2 points
    Hello dadtobe I just read your thread, and, even if I don't want to minimize your struggles, it really looks like you've seen remarkable improvements. Unfortunately, this process is about ups and downs and the unpredictable part of it can be challenging. But when I read your notes, I only see good signs : it sounds like you're on the good path. Holding sounds like the best option for now, letting time to your CNS to stabilise and consolidate improvements. Perhaps this is a good time to learn new coping skills ? What are your favourite tools to deal with anxiety ? Take care
  23. 2 points
    You will recover from withdrawal.
  24. 2 points
    Well, I'm afraid my suspicions were somewhat true. I've been working for about a month now. I've gone through days where I'm definitely fatigued and tonight, I went back to having "toxic naps" (meaning, I woke up from a nap and within an hour BAM, thick anxiety). I've been able to nap without ANY recourse for the past two months. The suspicion I had was that I had wondered if I had truly "turned a corner" between August and September or if it was just the lack of work was finally settling my nervous system down (I hadn't worked since mid-June, but the settling in started happening after August 10th- my year anniversary). Anyway, my husband reassured me that I probably am just bearing the shock of the work load, that I have actually healed, and that once I got used to my new routine, my CNS would start to settle down again and I would enjoy the feeling I had between August and September. We will see. I know I must be somewhat improved, as the freak-outs I used to do several times a week are not what I have been doing once the anxiety settles in, and I was much more accepting of my husband's coaching than I used to be, so I think my "spirals" aren't as acute as they used to be. I dunno. I hope for the best.
  25. 2 points
    It's not pointless, @Adili13, it just feels like it temporarily. You're doing a very brave thing- trying to rid yourself of these poisons. It's exhausting and not surprising you feel this way, 'battle fatigue' is real. Also, gotta agree with @Colonial...you did a fast lamictal taper, which is possibly still affecting you, and Autumn is a ba****d, what with the changing levels of light. Don't underestimate its effect on a sensitised system. You're going to be alright, I've got every faith in your process. Sending hugs xxx
  26. 2 points
    Your going to make it! Don't forget your still dealing with a very fast Lamactil taper only 2 years ago so don't beat yourself up for what seems like lack of progress. You've come further than most people have either the guts, the bravery or sheer determination to go through. Most people don't make it as far as you do, Adili, to end up here fighting it out. Most cave and stay on the meds. And that's not a right or wrong judgement on anybody for doing so it's just the reality of how bad the withdrawal is that so many can't even make it this far. Your one of the VERY FEW who can stick it out, and if you've done it this long, You can hold out to the end. I think it's just an instance of dropping dosages every week doesn't sit well with you. I can't even drop them every month! And I know I said this before but AUTUMN is a wicked time for alot of people with WD even if their not tapering, I know it is for Me. I get Wellbutrin symptoms every Autumn like clock work, they lessen as the years go buy but it just shows how long it can take... So give yourself huge Kudos for getting off the Lamictil and every other med that could be still making it tougher and don't despair. I think you just need to hold and stabilize and then we can think through a different schedule of dropping what percentage less often. I have every confidence, that continuing in both the heroic and good natured perseverance and good example you have been to the rest of us... That You will stabilize in a few months time and we can restart this journey again together... I'm very proud of You..
  27. 2 points
    After hearing that Louise Gluck had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I found this poem about recovery on the BBC Snowdrops Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know what despair is; then winter should have meaning for you. I did not expect to survive, earth suppressing me. I didn't expect to waken again, to feel in damp earth my body able to respond again, remembering after so long how to open again in the cold light of earliest spring-- afraid, yes, but among you again crying yes risk joy in the raw wind of the new world. End I look forward to us all reclaiming our health again....
  28. 2 points
    Yes, we do! So happy you are doing much better, too, @Cocopuffz17 I read your Success Story. I didn't have alopecia, but I lost about 50% of my hair on Paxil. It grew back once I was off, during acute wd. I was also diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. The symptoms of Psoriatic arthritis (very likely a misdiagnosis) disappeared as soon as I was off the drug. My iritis disappeared 3 or 4 years ago. I refused to medicate my "rheumatic disease" or to take the painkillers they offered me (opioids). I was already numbing my emotions with Paxil and couldn't stand the thought of numbing my physical pain too. I changed my diet, I tried everything I could come up with to heal myself, but I kept deteriorating. I was very close to give up and start the opioids when I finally realized what was going on with me. I love that you posted pictures of yourself. We need to remind the public that we are not just aliases on a forum or numbers in some statistics. We are real people that could have been killed by these drugs. Maybe one day I'll too be brave enough to post before and after photos of myself. Aurorax
  29. 2 points
    Hi friends! I have not been on in some time now, I figured I will give an update. I am off Xanax completely (4 months now). And I am doing okay. I also reduced Luvox from 200mg extended release to 90mg extended release (beads counting). My plan is to go down to 50mg before the baby comes. I really want to breastfeed, but I am scared of hurting the baby. I have an appointment to discuss my options in 2 weeks, so will see what I will ultimately decide on. I am still working from home and it has helped me tremendously. I started going in once a week and it is going well so far. I focus on the baby now and try to keep that as my mind set whenever I feel anxious. I believe being in a safe home environment and not in a busy office helped my nervous system to relax and somewhat desensitize . I still struggle with fatigue and dizziness and of course detachment, but it does feel more manageable. I am not sure if this is because of my attitude change, pregnancy hormone, drug reduction and ability to work from home but I take it. I walk my dog twice a day and have very little anxiety. I run errands and go to busy supermarkets and feel thankfully okay without intense urges of panic and escape. I am very thankful for that. Since moving in with my now husband (I got married too!), I don’t stay in bed like I used to. Seeing my husband up early doing things around our apartment motivates me to get up do and do things around the house, and at the end of the day I feel accomplished and more of a normal human doing daily work stuff which is actually nice. I remember days where I was in bed the whole weekend missing on life and feeling worry for myself. Now I just get up (even if I am tired) and I just push myself to do little things around the house, go for a small walk with my dog etc etc. I do think this change in the environment helped me with my anxiety. Now instead of worrying about anxiety and waiting when I will get better I tell myself it’s no longer about me, and I focus on doing things that I can and getting ready for the baby 👶🏻. I did a recent cut from 100mg to 90mg I do feel more detachment, but I know what it is now and I am learning to accept it. It helps. Baby is coming in 3.5 months and I cannot wait to meet him 🥰🥰🥰. I will make sure to check in more often. love, blondiee
  30. 2 points
    You exposed yourself to a histamine bomb brother. Alcohol, sugar, carbs and more. Even a thumb of chocolate is enough to send me into despair for few days. Please try to be away these ones until this journey finish. Then we gather somewhere no matter your country or mine and say cheers together. Please stick to a slow taper and then do a low histamine diet if necessary. I know it is for me and most people. So dont be hopeless. We are here to support each other...
  31. 2 points
    Tapering while doing trauma therapy. QUOTE:”We strongly urge that you NOT START tapering or that you HOLD AT CURRENT DOSE if you... .... start or already participate in intense emotional therapy for previous traumatic events” in my experience, NOT tapering during trauma therapy actually inhibited my access to the deep feelings I needed to feel to resolve the trauma. It is something you should discuss with your therapist. Each case is different. When I dropped from Celexa 40 mg to 30 mg, I experienced withdrawal symptoms but I obtained more access to my feelings. If I had tapered more slowly, the process would have been more smooth. but staying on the higher dose would have kept me in the “numb zone“ so I’m thankful I reduced. Something to consider. Bruci
  32. 2 points
    Thank you for such a detailed reply . You are very kind to help others still in distress/WD LRH
  33. 2 points
    @Deepu, you had some important questions that I wanted to answer: Why did I start an SSRI? The reason I started Paxil at age 19 was that I didn't know how to handle my emotions. I started experiencing intense fear and unbearable emotional pain out of nowhere, which made me feel like I was losing my mind. I see many reasons for this that I didn't see back then. One of those reasons was witnessing a friend almost getting killed in an accident. He was hit by a car driving 45 mph and broke his back and skull. I sat by his side on the ground while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. He was unresponsive, his body was jerking, and he was bleeding from his head. He had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, was close to death, and immediately put into a medically induced coma. I was unable to talk to anyone about what I had witnessed, and I shut off emotionally for a long time. That was probably the main culprit for the intense fear and emotional pain I experienced 18 months later. I wrote in my diary shortly after the accident that I, too, wanted to be put into a coma to take the pain away, and I guess that's what I eventually achieved with Paxil. Is my original problem cured now that I'm back to normal? Yes, the problems I faced when I was 19 are gone. I know some of you have had problems since childhood and fear that those issues will come back if you quit your drugs. I believe this fear may be unwarranted for a lot of people. I had felt depressed and had suicidal thoughts several times from age 15 to 19. I had quite severe problems with anxiety on and off as a kid. That has not prevented me from feeling well as an adult, without CBT or meditation or spiritual awakening, or close and caring friends or the love of my life or other things that we sometimes tend to think we need to be happy without drugs. Why? Because I'm an adult now. I'm aware of my needs and are free to choose how I spend my time and which people I allow into my life. I can choose a life I enjoy, instead of having to live a life that makes me depressed. You might find that you are free to do the same once you are off your drugs. I want to point out that I don't believe my previous posttraumatic stress contributed to making my wd so severe. I had almost no physical wd symptoms the first time I tried to come off despite severe anxiety, even after five months of use and a very fast taper. Symptoms got increasingly worse after every failed attempt. I believe my long term use and the kindling effect are the main reasons I eventually had to go through such a severe wd. Can SSRIs cure our problems? No, I don't believe SSRI/SNRIs can cure anything. Antidepressants are just drugs, like alcohol or morphine. Drugs can be useful to numb emotional or physical pain, but that always comes at a cost. I think the risk/benefit ratios for SSRI/SNRSs are particularly unimpressive. Aurorax
  34. 2 points
    Wow @Aurorax, thank you for sharing your beautifully written and inspiring story. Your words touched me and brought tears. You expressed your experiences so poignantly. And I'm glad you were able to find words to express what many go through but have trouble expressing. Thank you for bravely walking this path and coming back to help others. It has helped me to read this. In particular, I'm going to print out these words of wisdom and keep your words nearby: "You don't have to feel resilient or even hopeful to survive this. You only have to walk the distance no matter how you feel or where you believe you will end up. Make sure you have somewhere to live, eat, get some sleep if possible, and don't kill yourself. That's all you have to do. I know that's a full-time job at times, but you will get through this. You don't have to believe in healing, because healing is inevitable. What you are feeling and thinking about yourself now says very little about who you really are and what your future holds. Hold on to the memory of who you were before the pills. You will be a wiser version of that person when all of this is over." All the best to you.
  35. 2 points
    Thank you @Aurorax for your kind replies, you seem like such a lovely thoughtful person. Yes its been very horrific. It's so strange how similar our symptoms are. its frustrating that testing is so limited and more cant be done when you're at your worst, just like yeah its something to do with the CNS... bye! Very helpful. The spine shaking definitely scares me the most as I can't imagine how it's going to stop. eurgh. Do you think you could ever run again? I cant imagine what it must have been like to rediscover yourself after the chemical bubble. Must be very strange and scary after a long time on these meds. I'm definitely struggling to have hope as I've lost so much and can't imagine that it will come back. That seems like a fairytale. I hope every day that I don't wake up tomorrow which isn't a nice place to be at all. I've never in my life felt that way before. I started the year with health and was walking and running fine and now i'm just a vibrating wreck. I feel very guilty and silly that I did this to myself! I really was so naive and didn't realise how destructive these drugs were.
  36. 2 points
    Hi, Thanks for all interesting discussions. Some bad news. I made a failed suicide attempt. Now I'm on forced Abilify injections since a few months and olanzapine tablets are back up to 2.5 mg. Not sure when I'll be able to taper. I've had troubling restlessness from Abilify making nights worse but I think I'm still healing from the cold turkey last december so nights are both better in terms of sleep ability and worse due to restlessness keeping me out of bed. Hopefully getting off abilify soon. Thought I'd also tell about scihub.to, a project to make knowledge free. Full text articles about adverse effects of antipsychotics are hidden behind pay walls. For example full text is hidden on this one: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2761879 But you can read that full article and many others on any subject for free on scihub.to: https://scihub.to/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.0036
  37. 2 points
    @waves12 Thanks for reading my story, Waves. I did some therapy at an addiction center during the end of the taper. They only helped people quit benzo and opiates and had little experience with SSRIs. The doctor was reluctant to help me, but the therapist had tapered patients off SSRIs before and knew they were similar to benzo. I had support for a while, but the therapist got worried when I continued to get worse weeks after my last dose. I needed inpatient care at that point, but there were no inpatient units for people coming off antidepressants. He eventually lost hope in me and said that there was nothing more they could do for me. I didn't do therapy after that. I was too ill most of the time during the first years. I had a hard time sitting up in a chair, I was very nauseous, had severe sensory sensitivity, and I was frightened of being in the same room as another person. Talking to anyone and trying to process their presence and speech was too stressful. I just wanted a dark room, a bed, water, food, and to be left alone. I probably would have benefited from therapy at year four and onwards, but the nature of my wd symptoms was a problem. I was paranoid and still hallucinated occasionally, and I was afraid of what would happen if anyone found out. I had an intense fear of forced treatment. Psychotherapy mostly seemed like a threat during those years. Listening to others (parents, psychologists, other well-meaning people) had nearly killed me, so I was determined to only trust myself from now on. I was also sick of relying on others. That is probably one of the reasons I never reached out for support here on SA. That is a decision I regret sometimes. I could have shared my journey with people here, made friends, and helped others, instead of doing this on my own. I eventually did a few therapy sessions last year while I was overseas. That was the first time I opened up about what I had gone through, things that I had never shared with anyone after my partner left me. That was helpful, and probably one of the reasons I'm writing about my experiences here. It made me realize that I, too, need to get things off my chest. I also realized that I had enough of hiding my experiences and feeling shame. I've read through your introduction thread. I'm not sure if you want my advice, or if I'm the right person to give anyone advice, but if I were you, then I would consider finding a therapist that is familiar with PAWS. Or maybe a support group where you can be honest about how you feel. If you fear that you won't make it and your anxiety and depression have gotten worse, then maybe it's time to find more support to help you through this. Not reaching out for help earlier is one of the things I regret looking back. I know you are in a dark place right now, but there is a lot of hope: If the anxiety and depression are wd, then they will go away with time. Four years may feel like an eternity, but it's not uncommon to have symptoms for this long. I saw huge improvements around year 4 and 5. You can turn a corner next month or even next week. You are only in your fifties, which means you might have 30-40 good years left when you are through this! If the remaining anxiety/depression is the result of everything you had to go through during wd, then psychotherapy might help. There is always a way forward, no matter the reason you feel the way you do. I'm not suggesting that you are no longer in wd, but maybe other things are contributing as well? Losing a connection with family and friends and potentially losing one's home would be very stressful even for someone not going through wd. If you feel suicidal, please reach out for help. Make sure you have someone nearby until you feel better. Do not keep those feelings to yourself. Did I have trauma to resolve and dragons to slay? The emotional crisis I faced when I was 19 is long since gone. I do believe that I have trauma to resolve from going through wd, but I don't feel anxious or depressed. I assumed there would be an emotional reaction when I finally could allow myself to feel again, but I'm doing fine. I still have a hard time relating to people, but I'm trying to open up now and see if I can connect with others again in a meaningful way. The only dragon left to slay is the drug cravings. That's the only thing I believe could wreak havoc on my life at this point. The jury is still out on whether I'll overcome that or not. I'm very sorry that you might lose your home. Are you well enough to find another place where you can live on your own? I'm asking because having to rely on relatives for housing was one of the more stressful experiences during wd, and I believe it delayed my recovery. I hope you can find a way to keep your home, but you will get through this even if you don't. Seeing one's life go downhill is frightening, but there is a way up. I'm not sure if you find this helpful, but one thought that helped me during that time was thinking that my losses were the price I had to pay for coming off Paxil. I had to let go of my home, my loved one, my dog, and my friends. It was painful when it happened, but it was worth that price. Don't feel like you have to answer my questions or continue this conversation if you don't find it helpful. I just wanted to share my journey and say that I relate a lot to your fears and losses. I see no reason for you to give up. If I could recover and be happy again, so can you! Try and gather all the support you can find, and all the strength you have, and keep walking. I know it's hard when you don't know where the finish line is, but it might be closer than you think. Aurorax
  38. 2 points
    @rowdybaby098 You're very strong. This stuff can take a very long time. It really tests our patience and durability, but you very obviously have that. I have hope for you rowdy.
  39. 2 points
    Hi Malon, I'm so happy to hear my post was encouraging to you. The tiredness is completely gone now, yes. I'm only tired when I'm ''supposed'' to be. I think the best we can do is be forgiving towards ourselves while we wait out those kinds of symptoms. I definitely believe your tiredness will also go away eventually.
  40. 2 points
    Hi all here is my update: So a lot has been going on...good news is I continue to feel very stable and in a good long window. There are some more difficult days but nothing like the days of destabilisation and I am feeling very steady. I have been playing around with making my own liquid solution from my 15mg Milpharm mirt tablet using warm water...I cannot yet decide whether it's necessary to use a suspending agent like maple syrup alongside the water...any insights here? I know people who have tapered successfully using water alone and when you shake it up it does look like the particles are evenly spread when just in water, but maybe adding maple syrup could make it more precise. Hard to say....adding the syrup is just a bit of a hassle that's all. I've also discovered that using a plastic beaker is better than a glass one as the mirt particles stick to the side of a glass one but not a plastic one. Oh the things we have to figure out ha ha! My brother the psychiatrist came to see me and essentially told me that I was putting myself at greater risk of a depressive relapse by removing the protective factor of the medication from my life. He acknowledged how much things had changed from my dark days of recurrent illness and how much more resilient I have become but he does think it places me at more risk due to my history of multiple episodes of clinical depression in the past. It wasn't an easy conversation to have but he does ultimately support me and respect my choice. He is concerned that when there is a future big stressor in my life which is of course inevitable then I won't be able to navigate it and will relapse badly. He doesn't want this and neither do I. It's not easy to be in my position with a brother who is a psychiatrist but it does give me valuable other perspectives which I'm grateful for. I was planning to switch to the liquid this Saturday but after some thought I've decided to delay for at least 4 weeks and possibly longer. There are some stressors on the horizon like changes at work and also a new person coming to live in my house...alongside having just started a new relationship with someone which brings possible emotional turbulence, so I think it's wise to actually hold on my dose and feel my way through it. Also I am doing so well at 15mg and it can't do me any harm at all to stay here a little while longer for my CNS to catch up completely and also see how I navigate these stressors whilst on a reduced therapeutic dose. If, as I expect, it goes fairly well then it'll give me renewed confidence for the journey ahead. So that' where I'm at, holding for now and consolidating my position. I can see that sometimes I am inpatient and don't recognise my achievements but I have reduced my drug load from 30mg to 15mg after nearly 7 years on 30mg mirt and for this I am very proud of myself. Hope all are well Malbec
  41. 2 points
    This topic discusses more fully how to get more accurate doses: using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses
  42. 2 points
    Hello! @Elyssa143, it’s so good to hear from you! You were on my list of people to check in with. Although it saddens me greatly to hear that you’re still struggling so much sweetie 😞. What impresses me about you is how strong and loving and caring you can be in the midst of the hell you are also experiencing. You have a good understanding of being the observer of all your symptoms and trying to detach from them while living your beautiful normal grateful life. Which is key to getting through all this. 😇❤️ Because what we cling to - with the grace of God 🙏 is the knowing that this is temporary. And that with each day you are one day closer to complete healing. You know from talking to Baylissa and following her that she has counseled thousands of people who have been exactly where you are, and where I was, and they recovered, just like I did. I was also in a very protracted recovery. And things just slowly slowly started improving. but I feel your pain and exhaustion and overwhelm and my heart and prayers goes out to you. you are not damaged forever - even though our healing brain likes to tell us that. It’s still not working properly. But it will. God only knows how we survive any of this. But we do. And I’m so proud of you and the way you are handling everything. Only the truly brave and strong can do this and you are among them. 💪🏻 Nice to hear you’re able to work out again! I know for me that was a turning point when I felt like I was getting a little more energy and could start doing things like that again. glad you are holding up as best you can with all this Covid madness. My grandkids were also doing school at home, however they just opened the schools in their district again - they are thrilled to be back to school. did you say you also have puppies! How sweet that’s a fun distraction. 🐶 We are still enjoying the last gasps of summer here. it’s been beautiful. The leaves are just barely starting to turn. I need to start making my plans to go to Florida in January February. Hope I can find somewhere to stay during this Covid madness. I love Florida! 🌴🌸☀️🌈 I saved so many of the Baylissa’s messages because they helped me so much. Here’s one of them that I hope helps you too: You are stronger than you know. The fact that you are still holding on means that there is something deep within you - let's call it your human will and determination - that will see you through to recovery. If you are doubting your ability to cope, just remember how much you have already had to deal with. You may think you have no more strength to keep you going, but know that the strength always comes. No matter how intense things are or how weary or drained you may be feeling, trust that you will find ways to manage, to overcome, and to nurture yourself while you are healing. Because of this innate courage and strength, you persevere. So many people tend to give up and go back on the drug or try new ones. It takes immeasurable strength and perseverance to get through withdrawal. You are doing it. You are heroic. No matter how scared you are, how uncertain, how vulnerable you feel, you always keep going. This is what you must continue to do. Don't lose hope. Don't give up. No matter how long you have been holding on, the day will come when your healing will finally be completed. You must continue until this time arrives. Yes, one day, just when the timing is right for you, the symptoms will all abate, never to return. You will know that you are healed and you will be able to exhale and to put this experience behind you. Remember, you are stronger than you realize. Keep going. You will make it. So many hugs and love and prayers go out to you sweetie. May you feel the comfort of your angels always nearby giving you strength and hope and courage. 😇🙏. Reach out anytime you need encouragement. Judy Here’s a beautiful lake Erie sunset that we are privileged to see from our place. 😍
  43. 2 points
    @Aurorax thank you so so much for taking the time out to come back and write such a detailed success story! Hope your well! I’m coming up on 31 months. Things are “better” but I still really struggle, the distressing symptoms are still very hard for me. I atill have inner akasthia inner restlessness that makes me feel like I want to kill my self it’s awful, suicidal ideations, suicidal intrusive thoughts, intrusive thoughts, fear of not making it and some depression :(. I am much more functional though but mentally I really struggle. I was on the lowest dose of Zoloft for 1 year came off hit he’ll and they polydrugged me in the psych ward did they’re meds for 1.5 months and microtapered. I’ve also endured a protracted benzo withdrawal about 10 years ago which was hell but this is a whole other beast. I wanted to know why your intrusive thoughts were? Did you fear not making it, my brain tells me I’ll never be ok again, that this is me along with a bunch of other horrible things. Thank you again for your time looking forward to hearing back.
  44. 2 points
    MOD NOTE : Toulouse's Introduction Topic is here --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello all. I wanted to come here to give my success story. If you go through my first thread called My Paxil Withdrawal Journey, you can see for yourself the misery and pain that I went through, particularly the first 2 years of getting off of Paxil. I had so many symptoms, ones I've never had before. The main issues I had coming off were anxiety and insomnia. I've had dizziness, tinnitus, heart palpitations, intolerance to alcohol, and a new allergy which almost killed me. I used to feel like my brain was 'slipping' out of my skull. It was a strange feeling. and scary too. Numbness in my fingers, hands, legs. Twitching muscles, twitching hands( I thought I had ALS). I thought I was dying. To make things worse I saw a holistic doc who said I had mold illness and put me on these crazy pills and skyrocketed my anxiety and paranoia about mold (it's everywhere btw), it turned out to be false, and I tried to sue the guy, but I wouldn't have made enough to make the lawyer fees worth it. After that, I slowly focused on my own recovery again, trying to be as healthy as I could. I had many windows and waves. Slowly, the windows became bigger and longer. I slowly started feeling like I had a handle on it. Then I'd have a few months of very rough anxiety and panic and insomnia and nearly got back on something. I almost did. But I decided to try to be patient and gave it a few more weeks. I'm glad I did, otherwise, I might have gotten back on another SSRI and still be on it now. But notably, things that helped me were mindfulness meditation and talk therapy. That really helped calm my brain. Now I don't meditate anymore since I don't have anxiety, except for when it's appropriate maybe. I started working out again after that 3 year mark. I started just walking, then I joined the gym and started lifting weights. The old guys were stronger than me, I had grown so weak. But gradually I started getting stronger again, and lifting heavier, doing treadmill work, etc. And eating pretty healthy for the most part (though I still like my cookies and snacks). I'd say after year 3 I was 80-90% recovered. I mean, feeling like my pre-Paxil days. I say today I am 99% recovered. I think there are some residual things, like I still get some ringing in my ears sometimes. I still have an intolerance to alcohol, and the new allergies (but admit, those body changes will likely never go away at this point). but I'm okay with that. Now I cycle almost every day, I go for long rides. I never think of my anxiety, or the pain I went through anymore. It's a distant memory for me and I'm so glad to be here today and able to share my story. Thank you to the moderators for running this site. It was the most helpful tool in my journey out of this nightmare. I wish everyone here the same success I've had, or better, as my journey was pretty brutal for a while there. Peace and love to you all. Toulouse
  45. 2 points
    Congratulations!! I'm so proud you stayed the course and healed. This is truly an encouragement to so many others. Thank you for sharing.
  46. 2 points
    I get Baylissa's daily words of encouragement. Really like this one: You are stronger than you know. The fact that you are still holding on means that there is something deep within you - let's call it your human will and determination - that will see you through to recovery. If you are doubting your ability to cope, just remember how much you have already had to deal with. You may think you have no more strength to keep you going, but know that the strength always comes. No matter how intense things are or how weary or drained you may be feeling, trust that you will find ways to manage, to overcome, and to nurture yourself while you are healing. Because of this innate courage and strength, you persevere. So many people tend to give up and go back on the drug or try new ones. It takes immeasurable strength and perseverance to get through withdrawal. You are doing it. You are heroic. No matter how scared you are, how uncertain, how vulnerable you feel, you always keep going. This is what you must continue to do. Don't lose hope. Don't give up. No matter how long you have been holding on, the day will come when your healing will finally be completed. You must continue until this time arrives. Yes, one day, just when the timing is right for you, the symptoms will all abate, never to return. You will know that you are healed and you will be able to exhale and to put this experience behind you. Remember, you are stronger than you realize. Keep going. You will make it.
  47. 1 point
    I've just started making a liquid from my compounded Pristiq. Because there is water added, and you can always dilute it with more water, either in the initial creation or adding your measured out dose to water to take, then it shouldn't be as bitter because it won't be as strong. Also, I found that because it is chilled in the fridge the taste isn't as strong.
  48. 1 point
    Hi Kathy! Your panic was from the Paxil WD, Which led to the Pristiq prescription which means you were already heading straight into a nasty round of WD from the Paxil. While it's true Pristiq can lead to very bad thoughts it's hard to know if you would not have had them anyway as the Paxil withdrawal progressed. Do you feel that ANY of the symptoms that came on only AFTER the Pristiq started have started to diminish since you stopped that med? Or have they continued at about the same level as since they started? Many of us have had horrid dark thinking patterns from the Paxil, so it's hard to know if they were the Pristiq or the eventual progression of the Paxil WD. Does that make sense? I know it's hard to think right now. Once you can do your drug signature so the moderators know exactly when you took all 3 meds along with a symptom chart of when they started and or improved since then it will be easier for them to formulate a good plan. I'll be thinking of you! 💖
  49. 1 point
  50. 1 point
    I have recently discovered binaural beats and think find it helpful. It makes me quite emotional. They played it at my yoga class at the end. It's very calming. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17309374
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