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  1. Paradox rules: life on the razor’s edge My healing process is intense and relentless. I hit crises with some regularity and I go into an altered state in which the body knows exactly what to do to take care of it and slowly the body heals. The body does know what it’s doing. Yes. Conditioned mind just needs to get out of the way. It’s taking a long time because it was gravely injured and conditioned mind has deep roots. Yes. Conditioned mind just needs to get out of the way. It’s a process. This healing process is frankly nightmarish too. No hyperbole whatsoever in that as a description. If I got creative I could write a brilliant horror script. I am serious. All that said, the process is also astonishingly beautiful. Life on the razor’s edge. I love life more than anything and this for now is my life in this body, impacted as it has been. Loving the nightmare even while struggling with it is entirely possible. Paradox rules. Messy human animal with the consciousness of all of life force Within Me. There is no safety…there is only the law of the jungle and we’re in it…surrender to the jungle. The jungle will then hold us like a mama…Dance in the jungle like every other animal…we’ve forgotten the dance of the animal… I am deeply grateful to have a place to utter these words. More about this ANIMAL BODY
  2. Most, if not all, of us on here keep notes or track symptoms, progress and tapering schedules. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could combine them all in one big AI database and have it spew out the statistically significant data? Until that comes to fruition, I wanted to share some patterns that I have tracked with my daughter’s anti-psychotic tapering progress over the last two years. Maybe others have seen similar patterns? Or can share their noticeable patterns on the specific days or weeks when they occur from a drop in dose/ taper time frame. So often in the throes of withdrawal agony we look for a way to ‘fix’ our current situation. We ruminate whether we should up dose, taper down, throw a supplement at it, add a different med …. In the hopes of making the current “pain”, better. Pretty much I have thought of all those things except throwing in the kitchen sink in an attempt to ‘make it stop’ for her. As it is often cited and discussed here on Survivingantidepressants.com, learning how to cope using non-drug techniques during these times is the best strategy. Can knowing when you are in the middle of something awful, that what you are experiencing is actually a typical pattern others have gone through and will eventually subside…be of benefit to help ‘ride the wave?' I vote, "yes it can." The pattern that I have noticed for my daughter, Glo, is what I call the “Week Three Phenomenon.” This phenomenon became more apparent as her dose became lower. Probably because she was pretty much ‘zombified’ on the higher doses and it was only when her level of alertness improved and just overall feeling better occurred that the ‘down patterns’ emerged more clearly. Week Three Phenomenon occurs between day 15 and 22 after a taper. It shows up as Emotional Spirals, (typically Anger Spirals), Crying Spells, Agitation and increased Insomnia. Week one and Week two have their share of symptoms but typically not these. Actually those weeks have more physical symptoms and less emotional symptoms. Additionally there is more “calm” in week 2. So one might think, “Ahh I made it through the rough parts of that taper” and then boom….not so much. But then by week 4…pretty much on cue for day 22 or 23…the calm returns. Maybe this is Windows and Waves but maybe it is actually repair work going on from the drop in dose. Maybe there is really a methodical way the brain heals and it impacts certain areas of the brain in succession (the amygdala, hippocampus, frontal lobe perhaps)? Similar to the old fashioned arcade Pinball Game only the “ball” pings the same areas of the brain in a repeatable fashion after a taper? I am certainly only a mother observing my daughters behaviors and actions through this process so, no expert am I. Nor do I really know what she is feeling as she does not talk much any more. However, I can count on these emotional spirals showing up on week 3 like clockwork. The other pattern I see relates to Menstruating Females. This pattern is most discernible when one is having regular periods. Glo went from amenorrhea in the beginning to irregular periods then to regular but shortened periods. But every month when she is regular her symptoms go ‘off the charts’ during ovulation. They last about 24 to 36 hours and occur mostly 14 days before the start of her next period. She has ramped up pacing (I am assuming akathisia), chewing/jaw tension, agitation, insomnia and decreased level of alertness/communication. This same pattern emerges 24 to 48 hours before she starts her period. So what happens if my sweet beautiful daughter is in Week Three of a taper and ovulation or her menstrual cycle arrives? Well, if the general public, doctors or psychiatrists were around they would lock her up in a psych ward and “med her up” (to refer to words by @puthappinessfirst) Fortunately, I will not let that happen. It is comforting to me to know these are patterns and that there is always calm after these storms; usually in the form of increased healing. She is better now than she has been at any time on this medication. She still has much healing to do. I still have patience to learn. But we are getting through to the other side of being on this poison. Peace to all who taper, Glosmom
  3. Hi Everyone! I consider myself the Kimmy Schmidt of internet forums, having been in seclusion for so long, but I grew tired of hiding . My disastrous dance with Big Pharma started in 2006, when I began hearing voices after months of anxiety and panic over a very traumatizing experience. Cops handcuffed me and placed me in four point restraints after I started screaming in public. The good young Doc at the local hospital they shipped me to gave me Zyprexa, never once asking if I had a family history of diabetes. I DC the drug after a week and about 5-6 months later I had another episode. 2007-2011 A true blur. 4 hospitalizations (two in 2007, one in 2008 and the last in 2011). Three months of sleeplessness due to Zyprexa withdrawal (someone in my life at that time told me that their family member discontinued cocaine in 3 days after years of abuse and I should due the same with Zyprexa - huge mistake), lost many friends due to neglecting their needs and my own, and a crazy amount of weight gain. My voices pestered me to the brink of despair. Yet, I still held on... 2011-2015 The breakthrough years. Switched from Zyprexa to Abilify without major impact on my sleep. Started working again although, not employed at this moment. After a spiritual breakthrough and addressing the demons of my past, I am on my way to permanently breaking up with Big Pharma. I attribute this breakthrough to trusting God and the guiding spirits, reading stories from those who have triumphed or in the process of triumphing over psyche drugs, and seeking support from family (although they still believe in the medical model of my so-called condition). Critical Psychiatry sites that delve into the rampant fraud and fear-mongering present in modern US Psychiatry also provided an alternative narrative to the chemical imbalance-broken forever label that my pdocs dumped on me. For the first time in years, hope blooms in my heart and mind. Will I be the same pre-drug woman? No and in many respects, I don't want to be. Those years in spite of the intensity of emotion that I felt and the warm and love in my heart, I could not take care of myself or establish healthy boundaries. Now I do a much better job of that. I don't eat as much sugar, and I have cut out caffeine and alcohol completely. I'm grateful for the victories, great and small. I want to document this journey for my brothers and sisters in the struggle and build community, because I believe in the healing power of relationships and knowledge sharing over BigPharma's so-called quickfixes. Also, I understand that I need to do the work on my own, to self-care regardless of my situation. A balancing act, for sure. Towards a drug-free me and a brighter tomorrow.
  4. Here I am, lost and Confused as usual... I was mean to the one I love and scared him away to sleep on the couch... how many more times will he be able to take my emotions? Luckily, we don't have a kid - but we do have a kitty. I am in love with my little family and the world is so harsh... I am not from here. I am from another province full of energy pillpoppers and alcoholism and cold-hearted humans. This province was opportunity to escape, and I needed it. Sometimes I get scared that I cannot escape my problems again and I want the pain to go away. I want to start over... all the time. I was too old to be adopted, but accepted into a family still. I was given a voice, but I used it to disagree. Surely I am an adult, and I should be treated like one. It is always money and no one else wants to be wrong when I'm around. I am kind. I am honest. I am an animal lover. I don't do drugs that aren't prescribed and I don't hurt anyone if I can help it. Why am I the easiest one to blame? I can take abuse, but never the emotional kind... please don't raise your voice or yell. My new mom was so quick to put me on drugs to mold me into her perfect doctor. Surely I gained weight when I moved out, because I stopped having constant meals and money was a problem. It was the first time I stopped consistently taking my drugs. No one ever told me how to take them properly, and I've yet to take them at the same time until recently. I'm unsure what to do with my iron pills, but they seem to be the only ones helping. Maybe there is a reason I bought Omega 3 Fish oils and vitamins. I am a pale-skin colour-sensitive woman with major PTSD from childhood trauma... I finally removed my mother from my life - but the other snakes slowly replace her. I was never checked up on as a child, I never knew what normal was. I was never anorexic but I don't remember eating because my mother told me we were both picky. I have terrible teeth, and I'm overweight. I cut all my hair off because I make impulsive decisions... but it's growing back healthier! Just not fast enough. I've lost another job. This is the first one that got rid of me. I called in sick in my probationary period, because I was withdrawing.... And I have no help.... I don't want to go to the doctor anymore. I was free of pills and almost maybe doing okay but Effexor found its way??? And I've never felt the pain of trying to quit until now.. Hot and colds and puking all over the floor... financial issues are a big thing and my man cannot do it alone but I have no money and we are slowly diminishing. I don't want to eat when there is food, just so it'll last a bit longer... I need help but everyone is so damn quick to put the pills back in my mouth and make sure they're swallowed. I am probably a hereditary bipolar... if I would have been helped I might have done better. I started smoking a bit more pot and it gave me the confidence I needed to do research and learn... sometimes I try too hard to put together pieces of puzzles I don't understand and I start to sound crazy to anyone looking to listen or judge... I'm on my period and I'm practically anemic, so the withdraws are definitely just the cherry on top aren't they? I do my best late at night... I forgot to take a pill to wean myself off of and it was so bad. The last few days I took 3 then took the risk of 2 but managed to take 1 and live... maybe I can handle the pains if I sleep more. I don't feel like I have a reason to live, so maybe sleeping will help me catch up. I'm hungry.... I didn't think I'd write this much... or anything at all. I am thankful for this forum... thankful so many can submit stories to compare. I was an ugly child, but I was somewhat smarter than most when it came to random things. I think the fact there were too many people in the room made it harder to learn. It's hard to be a tomboy and a partial nerd when the boys want to touch you. When did becoming promiscuous get so easy? If I could take it all back, I would have stayed smart... but there were too many distractions. I think the drugs helped me even hear better and that made them so easy to take. Maybe the absence of them will influence a loss in this extra 40 pounds I carry. Maybe all of my problems were unknown withdraws from each and every new miracle drug. I smoke my weed to help me remember... I know some may disagree - but I am already damaged and I only reap the benefits. The ability to feel hunger... I only feel it when I'm starving and it's too late. Where do I go from here? I've been checked into the psychward as an adolescent many moons ago... I'm in my 20s and I don't want to be stuck there, and without my little kitty. He purrs when I cry, and makes everything okay. I even considered joining the army because I didn't mind dying, but I could never survive the time away. I think I will be okay in time... I hope it doesn't get too hard. I haven't taken any specific pill consistently, so I'm unsure of what to compare - and the doctor doesn't even know what she's giving me anymore. Oh. You're hurting? There's a drug for that. Let me write you something. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening... Good vibes only, please. I used to be so quick to judge and assume people want to yell DEPRESSED because it's trendy... when the 20 something years of pain is something I'd never wish on my worst enemy... I know the difference now, and all I want to do is help people. My problem is all I do is help everyone else and I'm left to pick up my own pieces that I didn't know were missing in the process.
  5. Here I am, lost and Confused as usual... I was mean to the one I love and scared him away to sleep on the couch... how many more times will he be able to take my emotions? Luckily, we don't have a kid - but we do have a kitty. I am in love with my little family and the world is so harsh... I am not from here. I am from another province full of energy pillpoppers and alcoholism and cold-hearted humans. This province was opportunity to escape, and I needed it. Sometimes I get scared that I cannot escape my problems again and I want the pain to go away. I want to start over... all the time. I was too old to be adopted, but accepted into a family still. I was given a voice, but I used it to disagree. Surely I am an adult, and I should be treated like one. It is always money and no one else wants to be wrong when I'm around. I am kind. I am honest. I am an animal lover. I don't do drugs that aren't prescribed and I don't hurt anyone if I can help it. Why am I the easiest one to blame? I can take abuse, but never the emotional kind... please don't raise your voice or yell. My new mom was so quick to put me on drugs to mold me into her perfect doctor. Surely I gained weight when I moved out, because I stopped having constant meals and money was a problem. It was the first time I stopped consistently taking my drugs. No one ever told me how to take them properly, and I've yet to take them at the same time until recently. I'm unsure what to do with my iron pills, but they seem to be the only ones helping. Maybe there is a reason I bought Omega 3 Fish oils and vitamins. I am a pale-skin colour-sensitive woman with major PTSD from childhood trauma... I finally removed my mother from my life - but the other snakes slowly replace her. I was never checked up on as a child, I never knew what normal was. I was never anorexic but I don't remember eating because my mother told me we were both picky. I have terrible teeth, and I'm overweight. I cut all my hair off because I make impulsive decisions... but it's growing back healthier! Just not fast enough. I've lost another job. This is the first one that got rid of me. I called in sick in my probationary period, because I was withdrawing.... And I have no help.... I don't want to go to the doctor anymore. I was free of pills and almost maybe doing okay but Effexor found its way??? And I've never felt the pain of trying to quit until now.. Hot and colds and puking all over the floor... financial issues are a big thing and my man cannot do it alone but I have no money and we are slowly diminishing. I don't want to eat when there is food, just so it'll last a bit longer... I need help but everyone is so damn quick to put the pills back in my mouth and make sure they're swallowed. I am probably a hereditary bipolar... if I would have been helped I might have done better. I started smoking a bit more pot and it gave me the confidence I needed to do research and learn... sometimes I try too hard to put together pieces of puzzles I don't understand and I start to sound crazy to anyone looking to listen or judge... I'm on my period and I'm practically anemic, so the withdraws are definitely just the cherry on top aren't they? I do my best late at night... I forgot to take a pill to wean myself off of and it was so bad. The last few days I took 3 then took the risk of 2 but managed to take 1 and live... maybe I can handle the pains if I sleep more. I don't feel like I have a reason to live, so maybe sleeping will help me catch up. I'm hungry.... I didn't think I'd write this much... or anything at all. I am thankful for this forum... thankful so many can submit stories to compare. I was an ugly child, but I was somewhat smarter than most when it came to random things. I think the fact there were too many people in the room made it harder to learn. It's hard to be a tomboy and a partial nerd when the boys want to touch you. When did becoming promiscuous get so easy? If I could take it all back, I would have stayed smart... but there were too many distractions. I think the drugs helped me even hear better and that made them so easy to take. Maybe the absence of them will influence a loss in this extra 40 pounds I carry. Maybe all of my problems were unknown withdraws from each and every new miracle drug. I smoke my weed to help me remember... I know some may disagree - but I am already damaged and I only reap the benefits. The ability to feel hunger... I only feel it when I'm starving and it's too late. Where do I go from here? I've been checked into the psychward as an adolescent many moons ago... I'm in my 20s and I don't want to be stuck there, and without my little kitty. He purrs when I cry, and makes everything okay. I even considered joining the army because I didn't mind dying, but I could never survive the time away. I think I will be okay in time... I hope it doesn't get too hard. I haven't taken any specific pill consistently, so I'm unsure of what to compare - and the doctor doesn't even know what she's giving me anymore. Oh. You're hurting? There's a drug for that. Let me write you something. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening... Good vibes only, please. I used to be so quick to judge and assume people want to yell DEPRESSED because it's trendy... when the 20 something years of pain is something I'd never wish on my worst enemy... I know the difference now, and all I want to do is help people. My problem is all I do is help everyone else and I'm left to pick up my own pieces that I didn't know were missing in the process.
  6. Dalalea

    Recognizing a Silver Lining

    What silver linings have you noticed during this horrible spot we find ourselves in? I'm practicing finding blessings in this mess to keep a positive attitude. I'll start! I felt so terrible when I had the actual flu in January. All of my withdrawal symptoms were competing with my flu symptoms! I feel like the flu recovery was finally happening for me and because of the horrible state I was in a few weeks ago, everything feels like a window! I'll take windows any way I can get them!
  7. Hi Im very sensitive to all medications but especially these psychiatric drugs. Ive had them forced on me for years. Basically Im very damaged in my brain and have nervous system disorders such as POTS. I already feel that this site has helped me, after reading for a while!! Kurt T
  8. ShakeyJerr

    Healing The Limbic System

    I have been doing some research into the biology of anxiety. We're all here familiar with the cortisol spike and adrenaline, and how those biochemicals are key components of the anxiety we all feel during our recovery from antidepressant use. A friend put me on the trail of the limbic system - where these chemicals do some of their worst work. I did not know anything about the limbic system. Or why my spell-checker insists that I am spelling it wrong when I know that I am not. (Think of the spell checker as a metaphor for our damaged limbic system - it's lying to us). Here is a short definition of the limbic system: The primary structures within the limbic system include the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus. The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain, while the hippocampus plays an essential role in the formation of new memories about past experiences. Of key concern to us is the amygdala - that's where the "fight or flight" instinct is stimulated by cortisol and adrenaline. And ours are broken. Now, there is no medicine or supplement to heal the amygdala - or any other part of the limbic system (though it should be noted that the hippocampus can be stimulated by aromas, and some people have had success with aromatherapy; I myself use lavender as a calming aroma). So stop looking for a magic bullet solution. However, the amygdala can be "healed" - along with the rest of the limbic system. And the way to heal it is to remind it of your good memories and form new good memories through experiences. It sounds simplistic. It almost smacks of "fake it until you make it." But I have been putting this into practice, and I am in my first real window of recovery. The way I did it was by contacting old friends and asking them to write me emails filled with the good times of our youth, of the times where the notion of "anxious" could never be applied to me. Where I was a hopeful, outgoing, fun person. In other words - the time before I ever took one psych-med. I have added to that the practice of not avoiding doing things with friends and family. I go out, I engage, and a float through the anxiety if it comes (thank you, Dr. Claire Weekes - go get one of her books now!). I will leave things there for now and end with links to some of the articles I read that put me on this path: https://www.unlearninganxiety.com/amygdala https://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/how-to-help-depression-by-healing-your-limbic-system/ Be well. Live. Make new memories. SJ
  9. One of my karate Senseis is also an Olympic coach at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). He coaches Paralympian velodrome cyclists, but was voted "Best Olympic Coach of 2012" (both Olympic and Paralympic). I am so lucky to know him, and learn from him. Anyway, when Sensei asks, "did you practice your kata?" I said, "Yes, in my mind." (Kata = pattern, like a dance) The other teachers scoffed at this, that I would run through my katas before falling asleep at night, feeling my stances and shapes and focusing on improving my technique, just by visualising it. Fellow students laughed and said, "I've done that, it doesn't help!" And failed to listen when I emphasized how much detail is needed to make it work. But while they were laughing at me - I was learning the katas faster, and remembering them better. The AIS Sensei was the ONLY ONE who said, "That's good, Jan! Keep it up!" Later, he told the story of how he was hooked up at the AIS to EEG and EKG, and put in a car, and run around the track while he visualized cycling the track. His body was still, but his EEG and EKG showed that he had a workout. Visualization is real, and is used in scientific and sport applications. I'm posting this because in my reading here, and in chats with other members, I've heard of a number of excellent visualisations to help with the healing process. Peggy wrote about watching a hard drive de-frag. Another said he liked to visualize our happy "Here Comes the Sun!" sun symbol next to his thread title. Or - imagines that work crews are re-engineering and rebuilding his brain and nervous system. I've heard that these kinds of visualizations are excellent in cancer - so why not for withdrawal and mental health? I know I've propagated a "road works" image that could be used like this. What other images would be helpful to imagine - in color and detail - to help your body and brain heal?
  10. Thanks so much for this forum and all of the information here! I've been on psych meds for almost 20 years. Eventually, I'll add my history in bits. Even the last 2 years of my experience is a lot to cover. I started a multi-med taper about a year and a half ago. Seroquel, Trazodone, Perphenazine, Cogentin and Trazodone. Today, I wanted to start with a hard lesson in humility and respect for these drugs that are carelessly marketed to the unhappy and anxious between episodes of Law and Order as the answer to all of our problems. Don't get me started on my Conspiracy Theory about that combination of advertising. After quick initial drops (I'll talk about in later posts), I've been pretty good about doing a slow taper, rushing it a bit as tolerated every three to six weeks, but one med at a time. I've had some withdrawal symptoms along the way, but would quickly bump back up and they'd resolve. I've tapered down to 6mg of Trazadone from 200mg. I wishfully thought I could simply drop the 6mg without a further taper. I was hoping I could be one of those folks. It's such a little amount, right? Everything I've read here has told me No, but nothing speaks better than learning the hard way. I tried to drop the last 6mg last night. Within 6 hours of missing my dose, I woke up in a sweat, full body akathisia, racing heart and a horrible feeling of panic I've all felt before when I've completely forgotten a 200mg dose. So I got up and took the dose which mostly resolved it, but I do have residual issues I know will take a few days to shake off. I am definitely one of those who will have more trouble tapering the last tiny little bit than I did at higher doses. It's shocking to me how powerful the reaction is at such a seemingly small dose. It horrifies me that I'm more aware of this even being a possibility than my psychiatrist is. I've often concerned myself with why this is, why the last tiny bit is a harder road than, in my case, the first large jumps. But the more I find out, the more I realize how simplified our understanding of how these drugs affect us is. This is how I see the journey of my med taper:
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