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Hey guys! Long time no hear - my signature says I'm 3 years off but this year, on 10th of July I 'celebrated' my 5 years off of AD's. I would change my signature but I don't know how - that being said I'm loving what you did with the site. I'm going to try to write this with a bit of humour, because that is my style, so if you find it a bit 'aggressive' please know this was not my intent, and the sole purpose for writing this is because I care about all of you and empathise deeply with all of you. I know how it feels when your brain feels like it's been replaced with a piece of fried chicken (even though I'm afraid that even a fried chicken is an euphemism). My story short - I cold turkeyed 10 mgs of escitalopram (some of you may know it as Lexapro). My life completely changes shortly after and I entered what was an absolute hell for me (seriously, I'm catholic and that's what my version of hell would look like). Thankfully, I am doing a lot better now and I wanted to share a couple of things I learned along the way. I still suffer from anxiety, as I did before WD, it is worse than it was but it's nowhere near WD nightmare. I am not on any kind of medication and the only supplement I use is Omega3. Here are some of the things, and if I remember something later I will edit or write in the comments. DON'T GOOGLE STUFF. For the love of God, don't do it. If you're new here, there is plenty of sound advice in topic named 'Read this first' and in my opinion that is enough. Now when I say don't google stuff I mean don't google every symptom, every emotion, every fear and thought and overanalyse it. I promise you 99.99999 % of everything you feel and experience in WD is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Imagine your brain as a very stressed person trying to find best solutions and having to run the household (your body)... of course it's going to act wacky. It's not worth stressing it out further by reading into stuff and imagining even worse case scenarios. If you want to google kittens, puppies, babies, watch pretty youtube videos or just listen to calming music be my guest. But DON'T👏 GOOGLE 👏 YOUR 👏 SYMPTOMS 👏 TAKE IT SLOW. Your brain is working so fast your body might try to mimic that. I know my body did, and I still do it sometimes, if I'm not aware. I don't know if this happens to you but when I get stressed I breathe fast, brush my teeth fast, eat fast, comb my hair fast... as if someone put a ticking bomb on all of those things. Try to be more aware and when you notice that, take a deep breath, and start over - gently, slowly. Do everything with great care and gentleness. Your body and brain need it. When you show your brain you're not in a rush, brain will take it slowly too. I know it's a problem in WD - it feels like you have an neverending supply of adrenaline - but hey, baby steps. Try do it for 5 minutes a day. INSOMNIA. This bastard made me really mad. Sleep was the only way I could escape the WD nightmare, but it rarely came. I remember trying to fall asleep for hours, just to wake up at 4 or 5 am. not being able to fall asleep again. When I couldn't sleep, naturally, I thought about how I can't sleep. I worried and worried instead of trying to utilise that time. The best advice given to me was - if you can't fall asleep just chill. Your body will find a way to get energy from that too. Imagine you're on a beach, the sound of waves, the hot sand on your feet, warm sun, smell of salt and pine... you get it. Imagine happy (well..happyish) scenarios - I imagined what will I do after the WD is over and how I'll be able to help and understand someone. Try to occupy your thoughts as much as you can as not to fall in to the 'Oh God why can't I sleep' rabbit hole. NEURO-EMOTIONS. Don't run away from them. Don't be afraid of them. Embrace them. Cry. Scream in your pillow. Jump in utter rage. Aggressively punch the mattress. Write it down and rip the paper. Welcome your fears with open arms. Neuro emotions scared me but now I see them as a way of brain restarting itself. Like pushing random buttons to see what works and you just have to deal with it. It opened a very strong traumas for me again that antidepressants and teenage way of life buried so I had to actually face them and go through them. It was horrible, but maybe necessary? WORK OUT. Aggressive workout in the middle of WD hell? Only if you're absolutely comfortable. Otherwise, I don't recommend it. On the other hand, if you want to stay in bed all day, try to fight that urge. Try to walk at least 5 minutes (even in your small apartment, you don't have to go out), do a half a squat, lift your hands, whatever, just try to be at least little bit active. There's tons of studies that show how exercising improves mental health - there's not much to say here. CREATIVITY. At my worst I really couldn't do anything. TV was too stimulating and loud, my biggest achievement was playing Mahjong on my smartphone for 2 minutes. Everything above that and I would get extremely tired. I didn't smile, sleep, eat, I just wanted to die. Luckily, as soon as I got a bit better I've decided to do anything to not think about what I'm going through even if the bliss lasted for a second. I was baking, gardening, drawing, writing... notice how all of this is with hands. Put everything you got into feeling what you're doing with your hands. Even now when I get stressed I look around me for objects and imagine what kind of texture would they be like if I touched them. DP/DR. There are no words in human language to express how much I hated those feelings. I still do. But I've come a long way. Let's say they were at 100%. Now they're at about 50% when I'm really stressed. 20-30% in normal situations, because I still have an anxiety, and it's just a poopy symptom I have to accept. DR is actually what I'm feeling, DP was problematic, but now I can't remember when I truly had it. They don't occupy my life anymore, and I'm not so afraid of them as I was. My best advice about them would be: Don't be afraid. It feels like the world is falling apart but they're just symptoms of mental disorders and WD. They are absolutely harmless. The best you can do for yourself and your brain is to accept those feelings. Say it out loud: DP/DR I accept you. I know you're just symptoms of my brain working overtime and that's okay. I know my brain is trying its best to protect me and I am grateful for that. I accept you. If this post gives just a bit of hope or brings a bit of comfort to anyone - I'm so glad. I remember rereading the same success stories here over and over again when I was at my worst. They were literally ropes I hold on to. I know what you're going to is hard, but please, please, hold on. Living with this honestly means you're the bravest of the brave. Seriously, everyone here on this forum is one heck of a soldier. You don't even know how strong you are. I was pooping my pants when I was getting into college, I was still in WD... and next year I'm going to finish it. So please, hold on, and live day by day. There are probably more things I would write about, my faith being one of the most important things that helped me (and still does). I might write about it if anyone is interested, but I'm sorry I can only write from my religion's (catholic) perspective. So if anyone is interested let me know. I also run an IG page for catholics dealing with anxiety so if you're interested shoot me a message (I don't want to put it here because I think it would be considered a self-promo). I wanted to open that page for a year now - if you read my post, what was a comforting for me was imagining I could help someone some day who is going through the same stuff as I do. So I finally did it and honestly, it is a nice creative outlet. I have no doubt there will be some future gems from this page that were molded by suffering - Gold is purified by fire. **english is not my first language, so please excuse any errors.
Icip replied to Maybe's topic in Symptoms and self-careHi all, I’ve seen a thread on eye issues but seems to have largely gravitated towards floaters and away from what I’ve read to be a rather rare symptom on this site, and sometimes one of the most troubling symptoms (it certainly is for me!). I want to make a space for the question - Do you have visual snow with any associated symptoms? How do you cope, and has it gotten any better or gone completely? Symptoms of this WD induced syndrome include: - Visual snow/static, often described as a haze over solid objects or colours all the time, or in certain lighting. - Tinnitus, in both ears or just one. - After images (palinopsia). Negative or positive, maybe both. Some can trail or ‘run after’ the object in motion, while some can freeze into your field of view. Lights do this quite obtrusively. - Flashes of light in the dark or with your eyes closed. - Photophobia/light sensitivity. - Nyctalopia/impaired night vision. - Just a sense that your vision isn’t quite right. - Double vision/ghosting of text (e.g. white text on a black background) Other accompanying symptoms: - Derealisation/Depersonalisation. - Brain fog. - Muscle twitches. Any insight on this and your experience would be lovely, for I and for others. I’ve seen this dissipate completely for some, whilst remain for others - it’s quite a hard symptom to come to grips with.
Shane88L posted a topic in Introductions and updatesI was put on 2.5mg of Olanzapine for racing thoughts/anxiety and as a sleep-aid. I was mostly taking 1.25mg though. I wish I had done the research before taking it!! I would have never taken it if I had known it would be like this, and cause such changes to the brain. So, I've decided to just stop taking it cold turkey, as I figure that having only been on 1.25mg - 2.5mg for most of the 3 weeks, and... (5.0 for 2 days near the end) it for 3 weeks total, it's best to just stop without adding length to the drug being in my system. The dose I've been taking is small also, however, I am very medicine sensitive. I'm so worried about side-effects from withdrawing... I was using the phone and laptop last night until 3am to distract me until I felt relaxed enough to try and get some sleep, which I eventually did at about 3.30am. I was researching all about Olanzapine withdrawals and looking at many videos people posted on YouTube regarding this. It was slightly comforting. I had very vivid dreams, as I have been having on the Olanzapine, only they somehow felt even MORE vivid. I can still remember the dreams easily enough if I try and this makes me feel anxious as I experience derealization/depersonalization every day I feel. I woke up a few times this morning. First at about 6am. Felt like absolute crap. Depression, comparable to the “come down” after a high from ecstasy etc. Managed to sleep again, even with an anxiety-induced racing heart, falling into that vivid dream-filled, seemingly shallow sleep. Woke again before my wife got up at 8am, but once again, managed to fall asleep before she left the house. It’s 12.15pm now, and I feel very depressed. I feel no joy and I have anxiety that is bubbling behind this cloud of depression. Obsessive, intrusive thoughts are frequent, and I don’t want to do anything at all today. I feel so very low. I find it extremely difficult to even write this, but I’m trying as I know it is something positive, to be keeping track of my progress. I really hope I feel better soon. I’m very nervous about what to expect. I feel like it can’t get worse than this, as I feel absolutely hopeless, with no happy feelings…I’m just so depressed. I’ve been thinking about trying Effexor XR, as I’m experiencing this crippling feeling of depression, and I’ve been feeling about the same way for the past 3 days, give or take. I actually started feeling this low after I re-commenced on Olanzapine 2.5mg after a 2 day trial of withdrawing from it after I took one 5mg tablet. I started feeling this low after taking that last 2.5mg tablet. Well, that’s all I have to write for now. I feel so low… (My question to people who have successfully stopped Olanzapine) - Will I ever feel ok again? Will I find the old me..? Is 3 weeks and the dose I've been on not small..? I was taking it for 3 weeks, and mostly (for about 75% of those 3 weeks) 1.25mg (splitting 2.5mg in half) along with taking 0.625mg (splitting the 2.5mg in half) as I’m very med sensitive and nervous in general about medication. UPDATE on DAY 2 of Olanzapine WIthdrawal It is now 5.10pm in the afternoon. I am still feeling depressed and have racing thoughts which are causing me anxiety on a high level. I feel like I have lost myself, and I'm afraid that I won't be happy again. This depression is so bad that I managed to talk to a psychiatrist in the day hospital and she prescribed Mirtazapine 7.5mg (taking half of 15mg). I really hope this will help me through this, as I am feeling rather hopeless and lost... Has anyone used antidepressants to ease coming off of Olanzapine? Thanks. UPDATE on DAY 3 I slept from some time after 1.30am while listening to a YouTube video. My sleep felt very shallow with vivid dreams, which I can't recall clearly now, but I don't think they were particularly good dreams. Woke up at 6am. Immediate panic. Still empty, no, worse... no feelings at all, just fear/panic. Perhaps this is due to my receptors being messed around with from the 3 weeks on Olanzapine? Is 3 weeks enough time to do irreversible, permanent damage to the brain? I wish I had some answer... I used my phone to watch videos of people's journey of withdrawing. I couldn't seem to find enough. I continued to watch videos until about 9.30am when I got out of bed with my wife. It is 10.20am now. I'm trying to remain active, even though doing things is just so difficult! I washed the dishes. I managed to eat a banana. My wife made me a cup of hot milk. Thinking about eating food makes me feel quite nauseated. I have zero appetite. My thoughts don't seem to stop. I wonder about the point of existence. Humans as creatures - what, really, is the point? I have depersonalization and derealization for at least 4 months now, and I think about every little thing I do or see... I'm just so tired and stressed! I'll continue to update. Thank you everyone, and I hope to hear some friendly people! Shane.
Violets posted a topic in Introductions and updatesHello! I started on 2,5mg escitalopram in december 2018 for GAD and severe clinical depression by my GP. I gradually increased the dose up to 7,5mg and was on this dose for a couple of weeks (until january 7th) I then decided to taper down again, as the drug made me careless, emotionally numb, impaired my cognition and significantly decreased my libido. So I stopped it after 2 months (last 2,5mg pill taken 8th of february). Since stopping I suffered two weeks of accute physical withdrawal (flu-like symptoms, nausea, dizziness etc) but I thought that it would be over and I would go back to «normal», but now it is clear to me that I also suffer from protracted withdrawal (permanent brain damage) and the symptoms are scary and debilitating. I suffer from parasthesia, brain zaps, tinnitus, severe derealization, emotional numbness and extreme apathy to a point where I can’t force myself to get up and eat. I feel completely braindead and my cognition is ruined, the past month has gone by in a haze and I can’t remember or recollect much of it. This is extremely terrifying and almost worse than the original depression. I feel dead, even tho I’m alive. I am a masters student and I can’t function and have no support in my student town. My GP seems to be totally oblivious to the fact that this can happen. I am very distressed (logically, because I can’t really FEEL it) and I would be very grateful if someone here could come with some advice or similar experinces on lexapro that has «recovered» or gotten significantly better and how long it took them. Thank you in advance.