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Ash03 posted a topic in Introductions and updatesI I was given zyprexa, lamictal, and remeron for chronic insomnia roughly 2 years ago. I stayed on these drugs for 1 1/2 years and after building up a tolerance still wasn’t sleeping 1 to 2 nights per week. My psychiatrust diagnosed me w GAD and severe insomnia. He gave me lamictal during the day as he said he wanted to keep me alert as I have a stressful, high profile job. It actually made me anxious. When the meds started becoming even less effective and I developed horrible side effects (which I believe were caused by zyprexa, extreme weight gain, high blood sugar, dysphasia, tremors, etc.), my psychiatrist told me to quit them cold turkey and that I wouldn’t experience any side effects. He gave me klonopin which I’m now addicted to and doesn’t help me to sleep more than 2 hours if I sleep at all. I wish I had never listened to him. Since stopping these drugs I only sleep 0-2 hours per night (confirmed by 2 sleep studies), my cortisol levels are 5 times higher than an average person, I have developed GERD and irritable bowel, and because of my complete and utter exhaustion have injured myself by falling down the stairs several times due to dizziness and the inability to focus. I have been working like this for 5 months and can no longer live this way. My quality of life is zero, I’m constantly exhausted and a bundle of nerves (even w klonopin and natural supplements). I’ve tried meditation, CBT-I (has this been effective for anyone?), natural vitamins and supplements, have been to numerous doctors including sleep specialists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, neurologist, therapist, nutritionist and an acupuncturist. No one has been able to help me. If anything, I seem to be getting worse. Could someone please offer some guidance? I don’t know where to turn. I can’t keep living, functioning and working on 0-2 hours sleep and with cortisol levels that are through the roof. Thanks so much for your help!
Nightowl posted a topic in Introductions and updatesHi Everyone, This is my first post, so I hope I am doing it correctly! I was prescribed Lexapro during a very stressful time after losing a job in my late 50's. After the first week on Lexapro, I told the therapist I didn't think I could use this drug as I had insomnia from the very start. She suggested that I take it in the am, and use Xanax as needed for sleep. This gave me satisfaction........for a couple of years. But then, I developed GI issues and lost between 30 and 40 lbs. After I was diagnosed with Lymphocytic colitis, I discovered that this issue can be associated with AD use, so my concern about Lexapro began. As time went on, I had to take Xanax on a more regular basis (and multiple times each night) to get sleep and stay asleep. After I retired at 71 years, I decided I needed to wean off these drugs as I was concerned about the dependence on Xanax. With my therapist's approval I weaned off Lexapro over several months, with the last tiny dose (liquid) being May 2015. I experienced most of the usual withdrawal symptoms, but by far the worst was the insomnia, which started February 8, 2015 when I reduced the Lexapro to 2.5mg. Since then (nearly 15months ago), I have not been able to sleep through the night. A year ago I had a sleep study and it indicated that I was getting 0.0% deep sleep. Usually I am able to fall asleep on my own, but I am always awake one hour or one and a half hours later. Then I am awake for most of the rest of the night. Since February I have not even been able to get sleepy - day or night. I seem to be wired to only stay awake. As a result, I am miserably exhausted, with tremors, dizziness and vertigo. I am frustrated that I have no strength to do the gardening I love; my energy is depleted in no time, and I am spending more and more time in bed during the day just to recover sufficiently to take on the next task. Over the past 15 months, I have tried Trazadone, Doxepin, and now Sonata to help me get more sleep. Trazadone was never really helpful. Doxepin was beneficial for a time, but that seemed to wear off. This week I was given Sonata to try. Has anyone had a similar experience, and how did it get resolved?
Jeff Foster talks about seeing depression from an 'awakened' perspective. "We can view depression not as a mental illness, but on a deeper level, as a profound, and very misunderstood, state of deep rest, entered into when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our own false story of ourselves..." While watching this video I could see how it might relate to many of us, desperately trying to uphold a life, reputation, roles and ideals which no longer seem possible.... "when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our currently unworkable story of ourselves" The original cause may be different, drug withdrawal rather than a natural evolutionary/spiritual process, but the effect is the same, that of being forced to slow down and rest in order for transformation and healing to occur.
bellabear posted a topic in Introductions and updatesHello all, I was so thrilled to find this website. I, like many of you, feel very alone in my withdrawal; I often find myself wondering if I am convincing myself I am sick- and, consequently, feeling sick. I am 24 years old and have still not finished my BA (in psychology) and am currently living at home with my parents, not working. This is a source of much embarrassment for me; it makes me feel useless and like a drain on my parents. (Which I am, emotionally and monetarily.) So, here's my story. I wish I could limit it to psychiatric diagnoses, as that is what this site is about, but I find that my physical diagnoses are far too intertwined to keep from sharing them. WARNING: This is a super long, tedious story. I don't expect the typical browsing person to read this. However, if you have had any similar diagnoses/symptoms/drug doses as me, I think it might (hopefully!) be at least a little helpful to read the full history. -At 13 years old, I went from a tiny school to a huge school without knowing anyone. I developed "school phobia" and was immediately prescribed a paxil and ativan cocktail, though it did not help. That same year, I was also diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which causes chronic pain. The kicker is, it's invisible. I look completely fine, so I am often presumed by others to be lazy. -At 14, I went to a new school and, due to a devastating event that happened to my best friend, became suicidal. My school phobia came back. I was put on to 200mg Zoloft, which indeed curbed the anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideology. -The Zoloft helped until I was about 18 years old and developed severe affective blunting. I was weaned off of the zoloft over a period of about a month, and don't remember many problems during the tapering. However, as soon as I completely ended the zoloft I developed extreme anxiety, depression, insomnia, and OCD tendencies. -Within five days of ending the zoloft, my psychiatrist put me onto 20mg celexa, with klonopin to use on the side until the celexa kicked in. The celexa helped a little, but not satisfactorily. I was eventually upped to 60mg, which seemed to do the trick. However, I developed the sexual side effects, and so was put onto 300 Wellbutrin XL, which helped a little bit. All of these medication changes happened over about probably only 2 years. I was also given 25mg Adderall RX to help with my ADHD. -I had been on this cocktail until about 21, at which point my doctor raised my Wellbutrin XL to 450 in an attempt to ameliorate my occasional drowsiness. This helped. -Between 21 and 24 years old, I progressively developed severe exhaustion. However, it never occured to me that this could be a side effect of the celexa- it is very comon for people with ehlers danlos to have extreme exhaustion. However, by this February, I was sleeping 12-15 hours a day; I could not do any of my school work because I was always tired. My doctor finally stopped blaming "sleep hygeine" and got me a sleep study. -My March 2013 sleep study was eye opening. In 210 minutes of sleep, I had over 150 "arousals" (waking up, but not consciously). I also did not enter REM. About 1/3 of the arousals were due to apnea (which wasn't enough for insurance to cover a CPAP machine), 1/3 was due to restless leg syndrome (which was thus considered mild) and 1/3 were of unknown origin. The neurologist believed that most likely my underlying sleep problem was narcolepsy, but to officially diagnose narcolepsy a >24hour and very expensive study has to be done. Also, since narcolepsy is a REM disorder in which REM happens too quickly and SSRI's suppress REM sleep, it would be impossible to make an acurate diagnosis. So, they tried putting me on gabapentin, to see if that would at least help with the restless leg symptoms. This helped a lot. I was suddenly able to sleep about 9 hours and feel relatively refreshed. However, my tolerance grew very quickly, and by the time I called my doctor for a refill, she said that she believed it was pointless to keep trying the gabapentin because my tolerance would just keep growing and growing. So, she said she still thought I had narcolepsy, but said she couldn't treat me for it (with provigil) because provigil is wildly expensive and my insurance wouldn't cover it unless I had an official narcolepsy diagnosis. My only option to really figure out what my sleep issues were was to quit my SSRI. -I began decreasing my SSRI's in the following manner (as directed by my new, medication-adverse shrink): Weeks 1-2: decreased to 50mg celexa. Bouts of irritability came and went. Week 3: decreased to 40mg celexa. Again, major irritability- worse than the previous weeks. Weeks 4-5: decreased to 30mg celexa. Started getting headaches and bouts of depression on top of the irritability. Weeks 6-7: decreased to 20mg celexa. Not much diference in withdrawal symptoms between the 30 and 20mg doses. Weeks 8-10: decreased to 10mg celexa. Similar withdrawal symptoms, though average night of sleep went from 12-13 hours to 14-15 hours. Weeks 11-12: decreased to 5mg celexa. Not as much irritability anymore, but sleep still got progressively worse, and depression "attacks" became more common and severe. Week 13: decreased to 0mg. Constant headache. Week 14: Headache gone, all-over muscle soreness. Started crying at anything, even without feeling sad. Week 14-15: MAJOR nausea. Given ondancetron, helped for weeks 15-16, though gave me constipation. I ended up not having a BM for 10 days. Same crying thing during this time. Week 16: Nausea came back, depression was worse than ever. Mental confusion started to bother me as well. Crying jags. Week 17: Same as week 16, though I began to experience anhedonia as well. More crying jags, though not as common as they had been. Week 18 (now): Nausea worse than ever. Hypoglycemia because I cannot eat enough. Still, anhedonia. Crying jags decreased a little. Ocassional headaches. ONLY good side: I seem to be getting not quite as tired as I had been. ****Note: I am still taking 400 Wellbutrin XL -Next week I am getting my sleep study, so we will see if I really have narcolepsy. Hopefully I can get back on some kind of psychotropic drug that won't suppress REM sleep. I think that my depression is just too ingrained and chemical for me to combat it without some prescription help. I have tried meditation, psychotherapy, and other stuff and I just can't seem to make any progress without the drugs. Thanks for reading!! P.S. Has anyone heard of being prescribed as high a dosage of celexa as me, for a period of 6 years? Do you think this is why my withdrawal is so severe?