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  1. Thank you all so much for all your hard work here! I am a 46 year old male. I was diagnosed with depression in 2005. I was prescribed Zoloft. A manic episode then ensued lasting about 6 months. I also developed insomnia and hyperhydrosis. I went to another doctor in 2006 who diagnosed me with Bipolar II. I was then preescribed Lamictal, Depakote and Effexor. I do not recall the dosages this far back, except the Lamictal (200mg) Around 2009 I began seeing another doctor after I moved. I remained on the Lamictal (200mg) discontinued the Effexor, and added Abilify (5mg). Around this time the insomnia worsened. I then was prescribed 2mg of Xanax and 25mg benadryl each evening for the insomnia. I was relatively stable (except for a string of toxic relationships) over the next several years and reduced the Abilify to 2.5mg. However the insomnia and hyperhydrosis still remained very problematic throughout this period. In an effort to find relief from the insomnia (At that time I believed that it was just a side effect of the Lamictal) I tapered myself (without a doctor) off of the Lamictal over a few months in 2017. I did not notice any withdrawal symptoms. However the insomnia persisted leading me to believe that the Abilify was also causing the insomnia. At this time I was taking 2.5mg of Abilify but only 2x per week, and still needed to take 2mg Xanax and 25mg benadryl. In 2018 I attempted to discontinue the Abilify and taper off the Xanax over a period of about 2-3 weeks. I suffered from moderate panic attacks and anxiety (presumably Xanax withdrawal symptoms) Those withdrawal symptoms dissipated. About 2 weeks after discontinuing the Abilify my sleep was restored to normal for the first time in nearly 13 years! However the hyperhydrosis persisted. Unfortunately I soon began to feel extremely unstable mentally and was forced to reinstate the 2.5mg of Abilify. The insomnia returned and I then started the 2mg of Xanax and 25mg of benadryl again. Throughout 2019 my insomnia seemed to progressively get worse. I did not want to take more Xanax so I went to another doctor who prescribed Olanzapine. I discontinued the Abilify and started taking 1.25mg of Olanzapine. At first I only needed 1mg of Xanax at night and discontinued the benadryl. Then after about only one month the insomnia progressively got worse. I reinstated 25mg of benadryl. Then had to increase to 1.5 mg of Xanax. I was getting really worried about the progressive insomnia so I decided to stop the Olanzapine (without a doctor) cold turkey and taper off the Xanax. This is when things started to get really scary. Symptoms of panic, anxiety and hypomania ensued after 3 or 4 days of withdrawal. And the insomnia was worse then it ever had been in my entire life! I was really getting scared. I reinstated 1mg of Xanax. Also increased to 50mg of benadryl and added 15mg of cbd oil orally for sleep. Also, It was around this time that I was doing research and discovered this website. After 10 days of being off the Olanzapine my sleep was still horrible. Dealing with withdrawal and almost no sleep suicidal ideations returned. I reinstated Olanzapine at 1.25mg. I have now been back on the Olanzapine for 3 weeks. My sleep has slightly improved. I am currently taking 1.25mg Olanzapine, 1mg Xanax, 25mg benadryl and 15mg cbd as needed when I awake in the middle of the night. I absolutely do not want to increase the Xanax. My desire is to safely taper off of all medications. The progressive nature of my insomnia on the antipsychotics has convinced me that remaining on them is unsustainable for the long term. Additionally the hyperhydrosis limits my ability to exercise. Strenuous daily exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to manage my mood. If I stand any chance of remaining stable without medication I must try to reverse both the insomnia and hyperhydrosis. Obviously I am sensitive to even the smallest doses of antipsychotics. From my research I am convinced the tapering strips from taperingstrip.org in the Netherlands is my best option for tapering off Olanzapine. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a doctor willing to order them. Can you recommend a doctor anywhere (preferably in the Western or Northwest United States who is cooperative with efforts to taper off antipsychotics?) I am a perpetual travel and have to ability to some extent to go to where the doctor is at. Thank you again for your help. Your work with this website may have already saved my sleep and even my life.
  2. Hi all, I’m so grateful for websites like these. I was on Mirtazapine for over a year at 15mg/day for sleep. Can’t remember exactly how long. I’m so stupid I stopped cold turkey. I just didn’t want to be on them anymore. I did not keep record of timeline but I believe after 8-12 or more weeks of stopping all of a sudden I couldn’t sleep. However, I’ve been going through a lot of relationship issues that has caused me emotional pain and anxiety which I though it was that until I researched withdrawal. I panicked and took a dose of 7.5mg and 15mg here and there. It wasn’t working like it used to so I decided to go on 7.5mg everyday for last two weeks. Panicked and up it to 15mg for a few days. Now back to 7.5mg. I’m so scared. I can’t sleep. Some night I can’t sleep at all. In the last week I sleep for four hrs and automatically always up same time every night (4hrs of sleep). I don’t know what to do. I jus want to come off again and deal with the insomnia. No other symptoms except for what I’m feeling with my personal issues. I shouldn’t of come back on and just went with insomnia. Should I just stop it all together again since I cannot sleep anyway?
  3. servadei

    5 years off - My Advice

    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.
  4. First I want to thank this community for providing such critical support to so many in need of informed guidance. I am here to seek advice for reinstating after having tapered of Lexapro WAY too fast (throwing my brain off a bridge). This was my second time on Lexapro for anxiety/depression with a starting dose of 5 mg for 5 months, increase to 10 mg for 5 months. Though Lexapro worked for me the first time (from 2008-2016 at 10 mg) , this second time around it hasn't worked nearly as well to address my anxiety and associated light insomnia. As a result, I decided to take myself off Lexapro (which I realize I should not have done without guidance.) After my taper, I felt okay for about 5 weeks. But around week 6 I started having anxiety and insomnia like I have never experienced before. I tried to ride it out but when severe depression set it, I decided I needed help. Since we had moved overseas during this time, I had to find a new psychiatrist. She put me on Paxil 10 mg, which significantly increased my anxiety and depression so much she took me off after a week. She then put me back on Lexapro 5 mg, which seemed to kick off severe insomnia - 5 nights with less than 2 hours sleep. Now she wants me to stop Lexapro and start Mirtazapine 15 mg since she says it will help with insomnia and weight loss (I am about 8 pounds underweight.). Having read through several SA threads and guides, I think it might be better if I just try and stabilize with the Lexapro. Though perhaps that window has closed and I should just switch to Mirtazapine and stabilize on that for several months before planning your advised 10% taper. I appreciate any guidance.
  5. I started Effexor (venflaxine) excuse my spelling 75mg and buspirone 7.5 mg on Wednesday last week. Friday night I had an adverse reaction. Skin burning, dizzy, tremors, rapid heart beat, dilated pupils, muscle stiffness, I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting right now. I did not take the meds after Friday night. Now Thursday (4am) I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms. Tremors, anxiety, insomnia, no appetite. I see my pysch today at 130. I actually went to the hospital twice in the same day because I could not sleep, eat, or relax. I couldn’t go to work but I am going to try today. I was wondering if maybe Prozac or sertraline would help me ease these withdrawal symptoms or if anyone else has experienced this after on three days of being on meds!!!
  6. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  7. Hello, I have been on paroxetine for 7 years,have tried many times to go off but unsuccessfully. Finally on 7 th year i lowered my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg. After panic attacked and insomnia appeared on my trip few months later I took 20 mg while I was on a trip and lowered it again on 10 mg.Due to some medical conditions that I suspected that are cause of paroxetine,I lowered the dose to 0 in maybe two months,way too fast. I was okeish for about two months ( I had all of the symptoms of wd but I fought with it ) and I compelety crushed this February . Tinitus and never ending insomnia are the worse. I started to Google and found all the posts about some neurological damage From this drug which made my anxiety worse. Doctor gave me lorazepam to sleep. My question is ,should I go back to 10 mg and taper more slowly? Am I in a risk of neurological damage From tapering too fast ? Is this tinitus permanent? How long wd simptoms approximately last ? I see I am in risk of developing tolerance to lorazepam since I have been using it two weeks for sleep. My doctor's don't know anything since one wants to put me on mirtazapine and other on Prozac. I am so worried and feeling alone in all this.
  8. I tried to titrate of the first pill twice over 2 weeks in a row (ended up taking the second one in desperation). I had been getting 3-4 hours sleep, but after slow (1 week, as I had only taken one pill at the time), I got no sleep. I seem to need more to sleep now, at first could on 25 or less. Now even 3/4 of a pill doesn't work well. Very frightened. I will take twice as long I guess, but I don't know if my sleep will come back, and it has been bad for months. My doctor is trying to get me to take seroquel again, but I have EPS. I hate these drugs, but am afraid I might break down and take it.
  9. buggedout

    Night time issues

    So, I wanted to share this as a means of coping with my symptoms and I am hoping to get some input to put my mind at ease. I am sure that many of you have experienced these things if you have anxiety as bad as I do. A couple weeks ago I started binge drinking again and I woke up one morning with really bad heart palpitations, and general malaise. This freaked me out. I figured my electrolytes were messed up and I drank a bunch of coconut water and ate really good, and went on a hike. After a few days of not drinking the palpitations stopped and I felt fine again. Mistakenly I had one more drinking binge which was one week ago today. For me a binge is about 5-6 sugar drinks with a mixer. I don't get "drunk" per say but I usually just get a buzz and then get tired and go to bed early. Anyways, I went to bed around 10pm last Thursday and as I closed my eyes to rest, my body started to feel really odd and I developed a severe case of tremors and also had a minor diarrhea. The tremors lasted about an hour and I did fall asleep after that, but it was a restless sleep... I woke up feeling malaise again. I have been on a healthy diet and exercising since. For the next 3 nights the same thing happened, though it progressively got better each night until Sunday night I finally fell asleep without tremors. Since then I have still been having issues with anxiety at night time. I seem to have developed some kind of phobia of just going to bed and relaxing. Although, when I do sleep it is relaxing and deep, but I wake up in the middle of the night with extreme panic and anxiety. I have to tell myself to calm down and after a few minutes I can go back to sleep. Also, I have panic attacks as I am falling asleep, a weird but strong butterfly feeling in my stomach just as I am falling asleep and it jolts my body awake and I panic. I feel like I am just stuck in a loop now. I have improved my diet drastically and also cut out the alcohol for good. (Have a phobia of that now, too). But I am worried that I will never feel "normal" again. No matter how many hours of sleep I get, I still feel like something just isn't right with me. This morning by body felt borderline achy and I anticipated another tremor coming on but it never did thankfully. But today I just feel yucky. I have no idea if this is 100% anxiety or what the deal is. I am not in ANY pain at all. I just feel weird, like you feel when you are starting to come down with a cold or flu. I'm hydrated. I am getting all of my nutrition. I am active. But my body seems to still think something is wrong. Of course I am scared that I will never get better -- this happens any time I get sick as I am also a hypochondriac, of course that never helps. Has anyone had anything like this happen? How did you cope? Did it go away eventually?
  10. Hi, Thank you for this forum. I started taking Zoloft 2 years ago when my baby was 6 months old. With no previous history of mental health issues, they said I had post-partuum depression. It's hard to know what caused the spiral, but I am definitely sensitive to sleep. I think being disrupted every night from my natural sleep wore me down over the months and I became mentally vulnerable. I went on 100 mg Zoloft for 9 months and once I felt myself in April 2019, I weaned off. However, the symptoms slowly crept back up on me and by December 2019 I hit rock bottom again. I tried my best not to get there again... So I went back on them at 100mg. Since then I have been doing a lot of mental strengthening work, practicing mind stillness and meditation which has helped. Feeling in a mentally stronger place, I am trying to wean again. It has been okay except now I am having sleeping problems. Even if I don't currently have the feelings of depression and anxiety, if I'm not sleeping my state degrades. It's like I'm caught in a spiral. Does anyone have insight? See below for my withdrawal schedule in my signature... Thank you so much.
  11. I don't come here anymore, but somebody just sent me a PM asking how I was doing. I joined near the beginning of the site, and only posted a few times. I'm more of a lurker type than a poster type. I'm a quiet person in real life too. I used to be on the old paxil progress forum before it shut down. Anyway here's an update to give hope and a few tips. It's almost 10 years (October 2010) since my last dose of effexor. I was on it for 18 years.The two main problems I developed from quitting were very bad anxiety and disturbed sleep. I would wake up anxious after like four hours of sleep. Both sleep and anxiety gradually improved, in an up and down manner. The anxiety went away. Sleep improved, but I'm not the best sleeper. Was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but was unable to use cpap. I usually sleep about five or six hours a day, and sleep straight through. On good days, I'll sleep a over six hours straight through. On bad days which aren't that often, I'll sleep less than five hours. But when I don't sleep well, I no longer freak out about it. I would probably say my average sleep is something like 5.5 hours, but it's straight through and I wake up calmly instead of in a panic. That's about all I can say I guess other than a few tips which I will list below. There will be a couple links, but I'm not affiliated in any way with them. If I think of anything else, I can add it later in the replies. Wishing you all the best of luck with your taper and great health and happiness. 1. This article somehow really helped me with anxiety. I mean I think it made a huge difference. I don't remember if I heard about it here or on paxil progress or what, but I'm glad I found it. I remember reading at the time that it had a profound effect for some other people too. It's called "Nothing Works, A Letter To Myself." http://nothingworks.weebly.com/ 2. For sleep, I use a sound machine. Here's the machine I originally used. Eventually I ended up making my own custom solution with an old laptop. But this machine worked well for me, and I gave one to my mother and it made a give improvement in her sleep too. Link: Lectrofan 3. Meditation. I started seriously meditating at some point during my taper, and never stopped. I try to do it twice a day everyday. I did/do it more for spiritual/religious reasons, but I've got to think that it must have helped in some way regarding anxiety and maybe even sleep too.
  12. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  13. blanketsareawesome

    Windows and Waves of Insomnia

    I have had insomnia on and off for the past few weeks. This used to correlate with my withdrawal symptoms, however, now it seems I’ll have great days where I can’t sleep and bad days where I can’t sleep. Same with good days that I can sleep and bad days that I can’t. Did anyone else have a similar pattern? I have felt a huge improvement the past few days, best I’ve felt in weeks, I’d say I feel about 85 percent myself right now, however, along with this I have only gotten 2 or 3 hours a night. Before this is was starting to sleep 5-7 hours some nights.
  14. Hello, So I was switched from one Anti-Psychotic{s} (AP{s}) Zyprexa [Olanzapine], to another AP Abilify [Aripiprazole]. I decided to stop taking the medication between the switch as I've only been on Zyprexa for 3 months. APs have left my head as scrambled eggs and I cannot function clearly on them. Much too much Zombie. November I was put in hospital for a breakdown, given 5mg -> 7.5mg ->10mg Zyprexa over a month. Since leaving Hospital I agreed with a GP to reduce down to 5mg in one fell swoop, not knowing that this is actually very risky - since that point my sleep is not good; I seem to get only 3 hours per night and spend the remainder tossing, turning and feeling so incredibly low about life... It has been driving me slightly loopy. I reduced to 3.75/2.5mg (however I could cut them up semi-accurately) for one week and have now run out of Zyprexa except 2x 5mg tablets as the Dr switched me over and the supply ran out, so tapering is not an option.... Before I start a different AP I have decided to just stop taking APs while I have support in a family setting. I am unsure what the cut-down from 3.75mg to nothing will do to me after 3 months going from 5-7.5-10-5-3.75/2.5mg supply. I am extremely concerned having read countless horror stories. My breakdown in hospital was drug/alcohol induced but I lied about it and ended up on medication probably unsuited; I was just high and drunk. I do not feel like I have bipolarity, I do feel that the medication has made me zombified (anhedonic [sp*?]) and I am not myself anymore. Before the timeline gets too long I wanted to just stop and escape the trap of Pharma and APs. I wanted to try SSRIs for my lack of motivation especially after abuse of Cannabis (before hospital 2g/day of the super strong stuff) or just normalise without any medication to see if I can cope. The APs make it incredibly difficult to work effectively and I have been off work for too long to take something that will make concentration so difficult. This is a risk as I am unsure what the effect will be. So far I have Constipation and Amnesia after 3 hours every night. At 10mg I was sleeping most of the night; but the fallout in the mornings was awful. I have 7 days of sleeping pills prescribed to help me sleep - i might space them out to try and get a good nights rest every several days as I'm unsure if the GP (UK Doctor) will give me more. Any advice from people for me. I am taking a risk I feel but I do not know if there is another route out without prescriptions for the medicines to taper off. So the task is: ~3mg Zyprexa to 0mg (or use the 2x 5mg tablets somehow) 7x sleeping pills. Amnesia & constipation - early morning depression from 3am to 2pm. All advice welcome.
  15. I'm desperate to get off lamotrigine. I started it a bit more than a year ago, tapered up to 100 mg over the course of a couple months, along with trialing escitalopram, quetiapine, and settling on sertraline (now 25 - 37.5 mg/day, with the higher dose during PMS time). It was fine at first, I went from not being able to make myself any food more complicated than opening a bag and getting extreme exhaustion from trying to hang my clothes to dry to being able to cook and clean more or less normally. But then I started getting migraines and restless leg syndrome more often than normal. Both are things I've had before, and they are definitely influenced by my menstrual cycle, but I've been getting them more and more frequently in the past months. Now it's gotten to the point where it's hard to get a night of sleep, because I wake up like clockwork at about 4:50 - 5 am with my legs just not able to find a comfortable position. Only it's not just my legs. It's my entire spine, and my stomach even. Previously I'd only gotten it in my legs, and just the couple days before my period (unless I was dehydrated or had been drinking or... the point is, it was predictable and I knew my triggers). I also had about a week of peripheral neuropathy, my hands and feet constantly felt like they were asleep. About a month and a half ago, when I went to my psychiatrist to renew my prescriptions, I brought it up. She told me to just stop taking the sertraline and see if that helped. It did NOT. I did a half assed taper (a few days of 1/2 the dose), then was basically cold turkey on sertraline for two weeks. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but my restless-everything didn't improve one bit. And it was hard to not get in fights with my partner. So my next appointment, she told me to try taking half of my lamotrigine dose and see if that helps. I did a bit more of a taper than she suggested (dropped to 75 mg for around a week before dropping to 50 mg), and now I'm doing something like 25-50 mg. My pharmacy only has 100 mg pills so they're pretty hard to split accuately. So now I'm about two weeks into the taper and feeling awful. Since yesterday I've fully been feeling like I have the flu. Body aches, that back of the neck head and shoulder pain, congestion.... Fully exhausted. Also having a real hard time relating to other people, to the point of having a hard time getting basic shopping conversations done. (Doesn't help that I'm in a country that's not my native language.) I know I didn't taper right, but I don't know if I should go back up in dose or what. Not sleeping is driving me crazy!! Before I started doing the taper, I was skipping doses occasionally to try to get at least one night here there without waking up before sunrise and needing to move. I didn't notice any bad effects, so I thought tapering would be fine. I was probably going to say something else but I got distracted and really just want to go lie down. Basically, right now I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Try to wait out this awfulness and stay at my current low dose (about 1/3 a pill), or go back up since I didn't taper right anyway. The thing is, I am seeing a difference in the morning leg twitchies. With this lower dose, the feeling is less strong. It's still there, but a couple nights ago I was able to go back to sleep anyway. It seems like if I really try I can sleep through it at this dose. If I go back up, and I don't even know what dosage I'd go back up to, I know I won't be able to sleep without some kind of sleeping pills. I have xanax and eszopiclone. I hate sleeping on xanax, I don't think it's sleep as much as it is some chemically induced unconsciousness, and don't want to develop a dependence on the eszopiclone. Yesterday I was reading that it increases the chance of infections, and I already feel like I catch every little thing that's going around. Feeling real damned if I do, damned if I don't right now. I don't think my psychiatrist would be any help, considering she thought it'd be totally fine in the first place to just stop the sertraline, and then later thought halving the lamotrigine dose would be ok. I just *know* lamotrigine is doing something to screw with all my mineral levels, but I don't know what exactly!! On a hunch I started taking calcium when I started getting the peripheral neuropathy and it literally disappeared same night. (Coincidence?) But it doesn't seem to do anything for the restless-everything. (I read recently that the name for "restless legs syndrome" in one of the Scandinavian countries translates to "feeling of being crawled on by ants" and I feel like that captures the feeling so much better than "restless".) I've also tried magnesium and iron. Iron maybe helps but my colon gets real mad.
  16. I know this is an odd question. I have been struggling on and off with anhedonia, insomnia, head pressure, blurry vision and sexual dysfunction for two months. I will have windows where I feel almost completely normal and then add something to my body to make it worse. I was starting to feel better earlier this week after a long wave and had huge windows of improvement. Had some B12 because my doctor said I have a major deficiency and that it was important to get some B12. I had two small drops on two different days to test out. I had trouble sleeping but it was followed by great days emotionally and physically. I was finding music beautiful again and finding men attractive. I decided to try looking at porn, because my attraction was coming back. Almost immediately after, I was thrown into another wave. My vision was blurred, I became foggy and anhedonic. All attraction for men was gone again. I became restless and slept 3 hours the following night. It's been three days and I haven't seen much change. Sleep hasn't improved either and I have major headaches. Has looking at pornography ever thrown anyone into a wave?
  17. Hello everyone, I’m a 25 year old male from Texas. My journey started January 2016, when I experienced a panic attack (that appeared to come out of the blue) on my way to visit my sister while I was riding a bus. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was about to pass out. From that day on, I started to have panic attacks that would last all day for several days. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I asked my mom to take me to the doctor. The doctor said I was having panic attacks and also anxiety. He prescribed me a Mexican medication named Adepsique (I live in a border town and decided to go there since health care is way cheaper there than in the US). I took that medication for around 6 months and started to have suicidal ideation and just felt in a low mood most of the time. I attributed those symptoms to the medication and “tapered” off it fairly quick. Once I was fully off it, I started to have unbearable insomnia/anxiety and wasn’t able to sleep for about two days. I felt like I was going crazy so I asked my mom if she could take me to an actual psychiatrist and she obliged. The psychiatrist prescribed me 10 mg of escitalopram and 2.5 mg of olanzapine. I don’t really feel like it helped that much but I felt better on it. I decided I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life so I decided to start tapering it off. I might’ve tapered too quickly off it but I was just anxious to get off those medications. I don’t really remember how long the taper lasted but I was off both medications by the last week of April 2018. I dealt with several withdrawal symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, anxiety, mild motion sickness, insomnia, irritably, aggression and intrusive thoughts. That lasted most of 2018. Around October of that year, I started dealing with IBS-like symptoms such as stomach pain, frequent gas, constant bowel movements and urgent bowel movements. Most of my other withdrawal symptoms have been reduced but I’m still stuck with the IBS issues to this day. Although I’ve been suffering for these last couple of years, I’ve felt like I’ve grown a lot as a person. I have changed my diet to a whole-foods plant based diet, I exercise daily, and do things I wouldn’t have thought I would do when I was younger. Sorry if this post is too long.
  18. Hi, my signature basically says it all. I got into psychiatry over 2 years ago and got on seroquel and Mirtazapine for my depression & sleep problems. The opposite happened. I stopped sleeping & had severe adverse reactions. I could not stop sleeping & started to have akathisia & dyskinesia from the first tablet I took but continued to take it as I thought it was my depression getting worse or I thought I got food poisoning or something. Anyway... stopped CT both drugs at psychiatry after finding this site due to severe adverse reaction. No sleep for 1 month straight. Very acute symptoms for 3-4 months (about 20-30) What is left now is that I feel my brain is permanently on. I never get tired, have naps or sleep. Like the brain has no off switch. It's like A rubber band has been streched for over 2 years and two months but it didn't get back into it's position but stretches itself... Instead of going back into it's original form. Like You wake up and stretch it... you go to sleep and wake up and it is back into it's original form. This is my only symptom basically... I've read a few similar stories of people having similar experiences but it seems they are rather rare, maybe due to the fact that I C/Ted an antipsychotic? Or is it possible to have cortisol/adrenaline spikes for 2 years and 2 months off? (I feel like I have way more energy but in a toxic kind of way)
  19. Hi everyone I am almost 29 years old I have been on Flouxitine for about 8 years. I decided to get it off about 4 months ago. Instead of it, i am drinking st John's wort 4-5 a day, 1500 mg Nicine and 1500 tryptohan. I also use Cbd oil from time to time. I do not have any brain zaps or big anxiety but my sleep is still not good. In previous 2 weeks i almost did not sleep at all i started to be unbearable for my family. Yesterday i took trozdon because of the holidays. Do you have any tips ? Do you also drink some herbs or take some suplemments ?
  20. Hi I took last dose of seroquel on 12/31/19 and now have insomnia. I've titrated down from 20 mg to 5mg of Trintellix and 15 mg to 5mg of lorazepam. That's the last of the drugs. I have residual tinnitus from going off Effexor too fast 20 years ago. Now I have 4-alarm ringing in left ear from Lamotrigine withdrawal. I know there's no cure for the tinnitus - so am going to ENT specialist next week for hearing tests and to look into use of new hearing aid to mask noise. I had cut the 5mg lorazepam in half - but was only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep, so I'm back up to the 5mg. I'm 72 and have been on various cocktails of drugs for over 30 years. Original diagnosis was depression then bi-polar and now the current psychiatrist says I'm not bi-polar but have ADHD. He has no knowledge of tapering. I really need suggestions on next steps. I want off these drugs. Thanks,
  21. I need some advice, and reassurance. I have been on Zoloft (Setraline) for about 5 years and I have never really had any problems going on it from what I remember, I was on 50mg and never went up any higher occasionally if I forgot a dose I would be reminded with brain zaps, I occasionally got dilated pupils which may have been the zoloft and thats really the only issues I got. Then one day I went to my Dr about some issue and she then decided to up my dose to 100mg. Faithfully like a good patient I took it and about a month later I had horrible insomnia and racing heart so I was put back on 50mg. The side effects subsided within a week and that all was fine until, 2 months being back on the 50mg I got the same symptoms again, racing heart and insomnia, so I decided to quit them. After about a week my heart is back to normal but 3 weeks later i'm still suffering really bad insomnia.... Will this go away... I have never had any issues falling asleep before but now I can lay awake trying to sleep for hours! Sometimes I will try all night and sleep won't come, its given me really bad anxiety about bed time, I also seem to never feel tired.. I will have to force sleep even after a day without it, This is horrible and giving me real anxiety over it. The Dr gave me Quitapine 25mg for sleep but I just want my normal sleep back. Is this the Zoloft? Will this fade?
  22. Hi everyone, Somewhere around 2012, I was put on Lexapro to try and address life-long issues of social anxiety, and newly emerging issues with GAD, including panic attacks. About four years later in mid 2016, I was starting to have more issues with panic attacks again, and decided I'd rather get off the meds than up the dose. So I spoke with my psychiatrist and started tapering. Now, I never heard of the slow taper recommended here, but I had heard that withdrawal could be brutal. So I decided to cut it by 25% every two weeks, putting me at 0 after about 8 weeks. I imagine that provoked a cringe from half of the audience, but... I felt fine. No brain zaps, akathisia, ataxia, or any of the other scary things I read about. My anxiety was a bit higher, but I expected that. I figured that was the end of it, and I could move on. The weeks went on, but my anxiety kept increasing, so I adopted meditation to address it. It wasn't easy, but it was better than nothing. Regardless, I was starting to have panic attacks almost every other day. I figured I could just fight my way through them and they'd eventually go away. Then I had some kind of super panic attack that pulled me out of sleep and racing to the ER. Pretty much ever since that night, my sleep has been an absolute disaster. Back then, I could barely get 3-4 hours a night if I was lucky. Nothing seemed to work either. Supplements? Name one, none worked. OTC sleep aids like Benadryl or Unisom? Paradoxical responder to all of them. Prescription antihistamines like hydroxyzine? Even worse, and somehow made me completely sleepless for the entire half-life. Benzos? Used sparingly, they are/were a relief, but I didn't want to get addicted, so never more than once or twice per week. Z-drugs? Helped slightly falling asleep, but that wasn't my problem. I had developed intractable and aggressive sleep maintenance insomnia. I also started having problems with chronic pain and spasms along my surface muscles mostly in my lower extremities, but also around my chest. All of that has persisted since then, but by far the most disruptive is the insomnia. I've managed to get back up to 5-6 hours according to my Fitbit Alta HR, but I still feel exhausted most of the time. And too often, I won't sleep at all and will end up reading in another room to avoid screwing up my sleep hygiene. At this point, I've gotten that to a science: pink noise, blue blockers 2 hours before bed, 300mcg melatonin 1 hour before bed, bedroom only used for sleeping, no TV or electronic devices late at night, etc. I did CBTI with a sleep psychologist, and he said I was doing everything right. But of course that won't undo neurological damage, nor will it prevent me from waking up at 4:30 AM to use the bathroom, and being unable to fall back asleep afterwards. This has taken a huge toll on my QOL, and I wish I never even heard of SSRIs. I'm not suicidal, but my sense of humor on the subject has gotten considerably darker. I used to be the kind of person who would sleep through an air-raid siren. It always took me longer to fall asleep than most (30+ minutes), but I slept like the dead. Now it feels like I wake up at the slightest provocation, and if my Fitbit is at all accurate, my slow-wave deep sleep is about half what it should be for someone my age. I briefly considered going back on Lexapro, if even just for some relief, but then I remembered it put me here in the first place, and I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. Then I read that might not work anyway. I can't go back in time and slap the prescription out of my hand, or explain to myself about implementing a much slower taper, so I feel like I'm basically SOL. It's been almost four years, and I'm still fighting this. I've even begun watching for research that we finally discover how to manually trigger various sleep phases, and stumbled across the recent studies on the VLPO region of the brain. I'm desperate and poking at anything I can find. I'm just so tired.
  23. I was on mirtazipine for 13 weeks which included a fast taper of 3.5 weeks from 30mg to 7.5mg then off. Never had insomnia in my life before this drug. Insomnia started when on 30mg and has just got worse and worse. Now 7 weeks off and can only get 2 hours sleep some nights. I am a very elderly woman Will it end. Psychiatrist says this is impossible. GP insisting i,must get some sleep so has prescribed zopiclone7.5mg gives me 3.5 hrs sleep. Terrible anxiety and panic attacks. It is ruining my life and my husband’s. At my age, will this ever end. Has anyone experienced insomnia and how long does it go on. I think anx would lessen if I could sleep naturally as I always did before Mirtazipine
  24. Hi, everybody. I've been off citalopram for eight weeks now, but I'm still taking Zolpidem. This is my history with medication: On 2012, I started having panic attacks after the loss of a loved one. I had had a few in the two previous years, but I didn’t understand what I was feeling and they were undiagnosed. My GP prescribed 0.50mg of Alprazolam twice a day. I took it for a couple of months, got better and stopped. On 2015, when I was getting my Master’s, I started suffering from anxiety and severe insomnia (which I had always been prone to throughout my life). My psychiatrist prescribed 20mg of Citalopram. After an initial period of increased anxiety, I felt like I was myself again. I gained maybe five or six pounds, but had no other side effects. I took it for six months and stopped after I got my degree. I tapered slowly and was fine for about six months. On September 2016, after a bad fight with my husband and while we were going through a stressful period, my insomnia returned. I took Zolpidem (started with 10 mg, then took 12.5) and sometimes Clonazepam (0.25mg or 0.50) to cope. After two months with no real improvement I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to take an antidepressant again. This time, she put me on 10mg of Lexapro (liquid form). I was on Lexapro for about six months, until May 2017. During this period, a lot of weight, almost thirty pounds. Then, I started tapering off very slowly, one drop every two weeks. Every time I started taking one less drop, I would be fine for a couple of days, then felt very anxious, then would go back to feeling normal. On September 2017, my insomnia returned. I also felt very anxious, had gloomy thoughts, would cry for no reason. I went back to taking Zolpidem and Clonazepam to cope (same dose as before). I also tried between 2mg and 5mg of melatonin for a while but felt no difference whatever. And I also tried meditation and exercise more steadily than in my previous attempt to quit. This time, I only stayed off antidepressants for four months. On January 2018, I went back on 20mg of Citalopram and stayed on it for a year. I gained maybe 5 or 6 pounds (on top of all those other ones that I had already gained, and which I never lost), but had no other side effects. I started sleeping well again, but had to take Clonazepam occasionally as well, especially near my period. Then, on January 2019, I lowered my dose to 10mg of Citalopram. I didn’t feel any difference. On October of the same year, I lowered my dose to 5mg and started taking 5mg of Zolpidem to prevent my insomnia from coming back. After six weeks, on November 25, I quit the Citalopram. I had a couple of days of insomnia even with the Zolpidem, but was fine otherwise. Then, on January 2nd, my insomnia came back. Even with the Zolpidem and 0.25 or 0.50mg of Clonazepam, I was sleeping badly, crying a lot. Then, I was fine again for a couple of weeks. I’ve been exercising more regularly, which I think helps. I also went back to therapy, which I had quit three years ago. Today I had possibly the worst day of this process this time around. I’m having PMS, which always makes my anxiety worse. Even with 5mg of Zolpidem (which I’ve been taking every night for months), I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I tried to take a nap in the afternoon (which I know isn’t advisable, but I was just so tired), I started getting palpitations, my hands felt cold and I had to pee five or six times in one hour. I took 0.25mg of Clonazepam and now I feel better. I don’t want to rely on meds all my life, but when I’m feeling this way, I confess that I miss my antidepressant. I wonder if quitting was the right choice or if I should just stay on it. I don’t want to offend anybody by saying this, but am afraid that my doctor (who I will see again in four weeks) might push me to go back on medication. Maybe this isn’t fair, since she was always very supportive when I wanted to stop and I was the one who asked to go back the last two times. I don’t want to ask again and that’s why I’m here. I’m sorry if I rambled on!
  25. Around sept 2012 I stopped taking Zyprexa 15 mg cold turkey. I did it because I gained 30 pounds in around 4 months. When I quit Zyprexa, I started with a lot of crying, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of appetite and insomnia. I did not sleep for three days in a row and then I slept for about three days, after that I never ever slept again naturally. I am never sleepy, never tired, never hungry (the other symptoms disappeared). I am always wide awake even after sleeping 2 -3 hours a day and some days just 1 hour. I have tried geodon, trazodon, clonopin and other medicines that I can't remember now, nothing helps, some of those meds helped me sleep some hours and then stopped working. Gabapentin was the only medication that made me sleep around 5 - 6 hours . I started with 600 mg, but after some months on that dosis, it stopped working. Now they put me on 1200 mg of gabapentin, but I have not noticed any improvement, I am only sleeping 2 -3 hours (very irregular). The only change on all these months is that now I am not dreaming so much as the beginning of the nightmare, I am having more hours of deep sleep. In 2012 I was feeling so bad and I was so ignorant about psychotropic drugs that I trusted my doctors when they told me that my insomnia and all the symptoms were for the chemical imbalance and not Zyprexa related. I took the new medications (lamictal and geodon) without complaining After two years of this nightmare I have read a lot looking for answers, help, support and a cure for my insomnia. I have found a lot of people describing the same thing, going through the same nightmare. I have not found a logical explanation or a cure. Some people have started sleeping better without help of any medication after some months, some after 22 months, there are other that have been like this for 6 years already. Some have been put back on very low dosis of Zyprexa (for some this worked, for others it didn't). My plan is: zero coffee or chocolate, a balanced diet, I try to eat turkey, bananas, do exercises. I always go to bed at the same time and take the gabapentin at the same time. I try not to use the computer or electronic 2 -3 hours before bed time. I take a warm bath before going to bed, read a book, drink warm milk. I read in other forums that a scientist at Harvard found that there is still Zyprexa binded to receptors after 6 months that the person has stopped taking it. Maybe I just need more time, my brain need time to heal and recover. Could be possible that Zyprexa permanent damage my brain? Could be possible that the anxiety and stress response went haywire on my body? Why I am never sleepy or hungry? sorry for my English skills, English is not my first language
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