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  1. Mod note: Relaxation exercises are great for calming the nervous system, helping to reduce anxiety and encouraging sleep. Examples: progressive muscle relaxation, gentle yoga, calming breathing exercises, meditation, guided visualisation, etc. You may want to try a few kinds to see what works best for you. They work best when done regularly – daily is good – but if your system is very agitated then multiple times a day can be helpful. You may have good results immediately, but don’t give up if at first they don’t seem to be doing much, as it might take a week or so to get results. Please post here descriptions or links to audio/video of any that people may find helpful. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Higuys... I have been taking meditation classes. I do well with Guided Meditations because my mind is like the revolving door in Macy's on 34th Street in Manhattan My Mindful Meditation Class is facilitated by a friend of mine who is a retired Neurologist and he guides the meditation...i't very different from TM. I copied this link from Youtube where there are meditations. This on is about Breathing for the Fight or Flight response.....surprise I just did it...will find more.
  2. xyz

    The meditation thread

    hi, I thought i could start a meditation thread. not sure if this is the right place to post and if there is another thread already started on the topic. i will post more. please join me if you have a daily mindfulness practice, or if you are interested in spiritual growth. my goal is to make this thread as a resources for people who are in withdrawal. mindfulness and being in the moment present, acceptance of our current experience has been crucial in my recovery. just a disclaimer, i am a buddhist, so everything i will post about my meditation practice (that has spanned over few years), will be referred from the point of view of the buddhist teachings. but i have great respect for other religions as well, as long as one's implementation of his religious belief helps him to be kinder and more compassionate. also, english is not my native language, so pardon my gramma in advance.
  3. Many people experience overpowering or disturbing emotions while tapering and as part of withdrawal syndrome. Many of the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome arise from autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The distressed nervous system itself can generate intense uncomfortable feelings -- see Neuro emotions The best way to treat this is to help your nervous system to repair itself, to return to its "factory-installed" state. Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is gradual, inconsistent, and can take a long time. In the meantime, you can help your nervous system heal by using non-drug techniques to lessen your anxiety about your condition, deal with long-standing emotional issues, and cope with symptoms. You may also get anxious or depressed about having odd symptoms because you have beliefs that add to your distress, such as a feeling of helplessness or being a failure. Or, you may feel strong emotions as the drugs no longer mask underlying emotional pain. Read these non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms for ideas that may aid your recovery. Whether they are "neuro-emotions" caused by neurological upset, distress arising from your situation, or a natural disposition towards worrying, anxiety, pessimism, or self-sabotage, learning techniques to manage them will benefit you throughout your life. __________________________________________________ WITHDRAWAL-RELATED EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization Uncontrollable crying spells during and after withdrawal Waking with panic or anxiety- managing cortisol spikes Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness Disconnect between interest and action/motivation Derealization or Depersonalization "Is it always going to be like this?" What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement _______________________________________ UNUSUAL AND OVERPOWERING EMOTIONS Neuro-emotion Dealing With Emotional Spirals Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Coping with irritation, anger and rage Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety Rebuilding self-confidence, accepting anxiety Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms OCD: obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors __________________________________________________ MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system Mindfulness and Acceptance Good links for anxiety/worry Inhabiting our bodies in meditation http://wp.me/p5nnb-aSX Meditation can heal the brain which can heal the mind and body Mindfulness, Meditation, and Prayer After Brain Injury Pranayama Breathing for Anxiety and Depression __________________________________________________ COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY Free online Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons Best CBT techniques for anxiety, depression, or getting through a wave? __________________________________________________ FORGIVING YOURSELF Blaming yourself for mistakes? Try this. Shame, guilt, and self-criticism __________________________________________________ HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS The Magic of Helping Others __________________________________________________ OTHER THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES The Dr. Claire Weekes method of recovering from a sensitized nervous system Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms Behavioral Activation Therapy: Getting out and doing things helps depression "Forest bathing" reduces cortisol, aids mood, immune system EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Neuroplasticity and limbic retraining Reframe stress to become more resilient Art Therapy Journaling / Journalling / Writing Therapy / Therapeutic Writing Music Therapy / Music for Wellness and Healing
  4. I wanted to share my story because when I was suffering through my taper I needed hope; I needed to know that success was possible. Two years ago I started withdrawing from 300 mg of Wellbutrin, 20 mg of Prozac, and 100 mg of Trazadone. I followed my psychiatrist's very rapid tapering schedule and felt like I was going to die. I managed to complete the taper, but, at the end I was so depressed and my anxiety and insomnia was so unbearable that I had to go back on the medication. I still wanted to be rid of the drugs, so I only went back on 10 mg of Prozac and I stayed there for about 1 year. During that year, my mood and health stabilized and I felt pretty good. I was following a nutrient dense, low carb diet. At the end of that year, I joined this forum and began a much slower taper of the 10 mg of Prozac. My psychiatrist would not give me a prescription for liquid Prozac. Unbelievable right? She also discouraged my plan to taper the 10 mg Prozac over the course of an entire year. Fortunately my sister is a medical doctor and she gave me the prescription I needed. I got tiny syringes from Amazon and began tapering slightly more than 10% per month. I think the 10% rule is wise, but I was impatient. And I did not reduce my dose much more than 10% per month. I completed the taper of 10 mg over the course of 10 months. Each time I reduced my dose, I experienced increased anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. I maintained the dose until the withdrawal symptoms subsided. Once I was feeling better, I stayed at same dose for another week or two to enjoy life before reducing again and going through the withdrawal symptoms. Each time I experienced the withdrawal symptoms, I feared I would never be able to get off the drugs. It was irrational because I had experienced an alleviation of the symptoms many times before reducing the dose again. It was a cycle: feel better, reduce dose, experience withdrawal and fear of failure; feel better, reduce dose, withdrawal etc. . . . No matter how many times I experienced a happy stablization, I was convinced I would never get off the drugs while I was in the throes of withdrawal. But it always got better. I have been completely off the Prozac now for about 4 weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. So how did I do this? I consulted an Integrative Psychiatrist. On her recommendation, I took 50 mg of 5-htp at 4:00 p.m. and again at bedtime. She also recommended that I take melatonin. She explained that because 5-htp is turned into serotonin, and serotonin turns into melatonin, the supplemental melatonin acted liked a plug on the serotonin drain. So the melatonin helped keep more serotonin in my receptors and also helped me sleep. BTW, not all melatonin supplements are the same. I found that 3 mg of melatonin made by Douglas Laboratories worked much better than 10 mg of melatonin from a drugstore brand. I got the Douglas Laboratories melatonin and 5-htp on Amazon. And Pure Formulas is another good website for these supplements. I also consulted with a naturopathic doctor, who recommended that I follow either a ketogenic diet or a whole foods low carb diet and do some daily exercise. I do a daily walk/jog. Exercise does not need to be intense to be effective. I try to walk in the morning when I will be exposed to morning sunlight, which helps train the circadian rhythm and sets the body up for better sleep at night. The ketogenic diet was preferable for me because I had blood sugar dysregulation, which is caused by Prozac (This side effect is documented in the PDR.) Blood sugar dysregulation causes anxiety and insomnia because when your blood sugar level goes too low (hypoglycemic), your body produces cortisol to raise your blood sugar. Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone! No wonder I used to wake up in a panic. The ketogenic diet helped me sleep better, stabilized my mood, and gave me more energy. I also lost the weight I gained when I stopped the Wellbutrin. The naturopathic doctor also recommended I take up a meditation practice. I had a traumatic childhood and I was sexual assaulted several times as an adolescent. The doctor said I will need to release suppressed feelings from the trauma in order to eliminate the anxiety for good. So I found a holistic therapist who specializes in trauma and uses emotionally focused therapy that gets to the root cause of mental anguish and releases it for good. It is a painful process, but I can already see improvement. With respect to meditation, the naturopathic doctor referred to me to a Heartfulness Meditation teacher/trainer. They are all over the country and they teach meditation for free. You can find them on the internet. The Heartfulness practice includes a "cleaning" practice that helps eliminate stressful experiences from your system. I also like Insight Meditation, which is a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation has been made famous by Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. I highly recommend their books and their podcasts. They all three have their own podcasts and you can learn a lot about mindfulness from them. I listen to them while I do my daily walk/jog. Scientific studies show that meditation is an excellent treatment for anxiety and insomnia. I know it has helped me get through my withdrawal symptoms and it definitely helps me sleep better than any supplement. You can also find free insight meditation teachers in your area on the internet. I wish you all well on your journey to recovery from antidepressants. Hang in there. It is difficult, but success is possible. You can be free and have peace. I hope my story can be of help. Mod. note: Link to Introduction: Ruth: Home stretch?
  5. LuiB

    Law of Attraction

    I believe that to live a meaningful and fulfilling you need to have purpose in life. In addition to that, to be satisfied you need to have health, wealth and fulfilling relationships (and spirituality). Law of Attraction has taught us that all this is possible if you use it. You can use the energy of God, or the Universe for example to attain your materialistic aspirations and spiritual connection with 'it'. Let me know your thoughts on this and lets get the discussion going and help each other manifest our dreams. You can check me out on YouTube, I just started a channel and I made a brief video on this topic.. looking forward to meeting you there, heres the link:- All The Best
  6. Cyrosp

    Cyrosp

    My relationship with antidepressants: I've been on different ones for over 20 years. The more I learn about long term use, the more I want to be off of them. I started weaning myself from Effexor about two months ago, and am on day 8 of no Effexor. I am still on Wellbutrin. Withdrawal symptoms I'm currently experiencing: dizziness, brain zaps (like frequent small electric shocks to my brain), insomnia, some nausea. They were the worst at day five, and seem to be decreasing slowly. How I feel now: I have a crazy amount of energy. I don't know if it's a withdrawal symptom, a no more Effexor stunting my feelings and energy level, or what. But it's pretty cool to have energy. The negatives are that I'm super irritable and little things like repetitive noises, my kids not following directions, the room being too hot or too cold, all make me want to scream or cry or rage. Literally. I'm also experiencing super surges of grief, wanting to weep uncontrollably at a Facebook post about someone's dog that died, someone's kid who graduated from college, or my mother-in-law who has lived with us for 12 years breaking the toilet or the dryer or the lock on the front door or some other thing that seems indestructible to the average person. My anger at the medical community: why the hell, twenty years ago when my mother died at a young age and I got into my first real depression, didn't they say, well let's get you walking, meditating, support grouping, counseling, or anything else? "You are depressed. Here's your prescription. See you in a month." There are valid reasons for getting depressed! It is normal to be sad and cry and have a hard time moving through the death of someone you love. Physicians are quick to stifle all of this with meds rather than deal with the underlying causes of the depression. My life outside of meds: I'm a special education teacher. 55 years old and proud of the work I do. I live with hubby who is also a SpEd teacher, one kid in college, one in high school, and an amazing adorable 7 year old we adopted recently. We also have a son who died at age six months, due to a stupid sucky unfair genetic syndrome he had, in 1998. And mother-in-law. I have never missed more than a day or two of school due to depression. Never been hospitalized for it. Seem to be able to fake my way outside my home pretty well, but depression comes out big time at home. Also can you tell I like to write? Lol, it's very therapeutic. My goal: to successfully get off of antidepressants and manage my depression through yoga, meditation, journaling, exercise, and groups like this one.
  7. 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?
  8. So... Hi all... Where to start?! I guess first, I'd just like to say I'm glad I found this web site. You guys are all so supportive and fantastic. Although I know it on an intellectual level, it's always nice to have confirmation that I'm not totally gone in the head! For years, I was under the misapprehension that antidepressants were supposed to make me happier, so I changed meds and went on higher and higher doses in pursuit of that elusive happiness (fully enabled by doctors who probably didn't know much more than I did about the meds). I've never had much emotional resilience, even as a child and teen, before ADs screwed with my brain. In 2002(ish) I found out my birth mother (I was adopted as an infant) had paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and lived in institutions or group homes for most of her adult life. So, yeah... yay for good genes, right? Below is a slightly longer/more explanatory version of my AD history than is found in my signature. I don't remember all the dates and dosages at this point, but you'll get the general idea. I was prescribed my first AD somewhere between 1990-1992. I just felt like I wasn't as happy a person as I "should" be, and was "down in the dumps" more than my friends were. I was in my early 20s. Wellbutrin was prescribed by a doc who didn't seem to wholeheartedly "believe in" depression. He also said it would help me quit smoking. (It didn't.) No improvement after about 6 months. I don't recall tapering, but don't recall any WD either. Disenchanted, so no subsequent ADs for a few years. Boy, don't I wish I'd just stopped there and lived with my disenchantment! 1996(ish) -- Tried Zoloft. No improvement after about 6 months. As with Wellbutrin, I don't remember tapering, but don't remember any WD either\1997/98(ish) -- Started Effexor. Started low (37.5mg?), and progressively moved higher since little or no improvement in symptoms. Topped out at the max of 150mg and stayed there for many, many years. This would prove to be the most effective AD I was on. Since it's an SNRI, I rather thought that my original issue might have been a norepinephrine problem. I don't know if that's relevant information for me today or not.... 2004 -- I had to quit Effexor cold turkey because I'd gotten divorced, lost my husband's health insurance (was a stay-at-home mom), my Rx ran out, and I had no money to visit doc for a new Rx. Wow, those 3 months after quitting were the WORST of my life. (I eventually contacted the drug company and confirmed for them that I was low-income so they could start sending me meds!) 2010 or 2011, I decided that I still wasn't "happy" enough and asked for a med switch. Started on Celexa (Citalopram). Stayed on it for a few years (mostly because I didn't feel like switching again), but it really didn't do much. I didn't shoot anybody, but I wasn't happy either. October 2014, went back to Zoloft on advice of a new doc who said it could work this time. In addition to being ineffective (still!), it also made me queasy and light-headed. Yuck. September 2015 -- Completely fed up with unhappiness (compounded by several negative life events and severe cash flow problems) and the uselessness of Zoloft. I decided I would switch back to Effexor since my mood was always best on that one, but I never got there... Instead, I looked into AD alternatives like meditation, supplements, support groups. Decided I'd wean myself off ADs using my final refill of Zoloft (not knowing about the 10% tapering "rule" at that point). I figured if I was gonna feel like crap anyway, I'd at least stop paying extra for it every month. September/October 2015 -- used my last 3 weeks' worth of Zoloft pills to wean off it. No idea what dosage the pills were, but... for one week I took 2/3 of a pill. The next week(ish), I took a 1/2 pill. The following week(ish) I took 1/3 pill. The final week(ish) I took 1/4 of a pill. After a few days Rx-free... BANG! Withdrawal symptoms from hell. (Although I didn't know it was withdrawal at the time. I thought it was just regular f***ed up me coming back.) Mood swings, crying, LOW LOW LOW frustration tolerance, sporadic severe irritability, anxiety, light-headedness, queasiness, headache, and the attention span of a gnat. I have since discovered that if I'm not being emotionally challenged in any way, I'm pretty stable -- not happy, but at least on an even keel. But as soon as something goes wrong (e.g. a bill coing due that I can't afford to pay, attitude from one of my teenage daughters, my dogs barking for 10 minutes straight because a neighbor walked by outside, even stubbing my toe), my temper flares like David Banner becoming the Hulk, and/or I just start bawling. Just that one stubbed toe or spilled cup of coffee (decaf!) that I can't handle sends me into a sh*tty mood for HOURS. So... aside from occasional light-headedness and nausea, if I could live in a vacuum, I'd probably be fine.... Anyway, after my final dose of Zoloft, I began taking a few supplements (Yes, I now know I shouldn't have started a bunch at the same time, but at least none of them are conglomerations of a bunch of things all in one pill!). Omega 3, magnesium citrate, chromium GTF, multivitamin, calcium w/ vitamin D3, SAM-e (which I subsequently stopped taking). I also started meditating, which I really think I like, especially using mindfulness to help shut down my racing brain as I try to fall asleep at night. [At the request of one of the moderators, what follows is a reposting of part of a post I made in a different forum here...] beginning of repost [[[...Anyone have thoughts on the book The Chemistry of Joy? If there's a thread on this already, just point me in the right direction. I like some of what it has to say, but it doesn't really address AD withdrawal symptoms or chronic depression brought on by long-term AD .use, so I'm not really sure how valid it is for someone like me whose brain is already screwed up from decades of AD use. I've also started meditating in an effort to calm my brain down. I think I might like it. =) I have read in many places that meditation can actually rewire your brain to behave more healthfully. I guess no matter what I try though (or consider trying), I always come back to the same conundrum.... My brain isn't normal anymore. So... meditation has been shown to have xyz beneficial effects on a normal brain... what about an AD-abused brain? And certain supplements have been shown to have xyz beneficial effects on a normal brain... what about an AD-abused brain? Is any of the advice and treatment ever going to be valid or viable for my altered brain? You can quit smoking, but your lungs are still black. You can quit drinking, but your liver's still shot. You can quit drugs/antidepressants, but your brain's still messed up. Does the brain recover? Should I consider going back on a low dose of Effexor (the most effective AD I was on over the years) just to help balance my moods, keep me on an even keel? (Or should it be Zoloft, since that was the one I was on most recently, even though it didn't do me any good?) ADs never made me a happier person per se, but they kept me from overreacting to everything in my life and wanting to choke everyone who annoyed me! For a LOT of years, I was on the max dose of 150 mg of Effexor. Might I benefit from a very small dose (37.5 mg or something like that)? I have NEVER had a doctor (for mental OR physical health) that I had 100% faith in, and I just don't have the money to go chasing the really highly respected mental health folks out there, whom I might actually HAVE a little faith in. I've always felt I had to do my own research, then take it to the doctor with me, since they are rarely up to date on the latest brain science, even the mental health providers. This turned into much more of a self-pitying rant than I had intended. If anyone can tease out the things I need answers to in all the angsty prose, I'd appreciate feedback. =) I hope some of it made sense. I know we're all in the same boat -- or at least on the same river -- but I still feel bad for vomitting all that on everyone's backseat. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor. LOL)]]] end of repost Aaaaannnnd... my brain's just full now. I'll wrap up this lengthy introduction. If any of you have managed to remain awake for the whole show, I welcome any insight, inspiration, or even commisseration. Be well all! =) Laurie
  9. Hi Everyone, I'm glad this site exists. As it says in my title I'm trying to eventually come off all psychiatric medications that I'm on. I currently take: 0.375 mg Risperdal (after about 1.5 years at 2 mg) 50 mg Lamictal 100 mg Zoloft Right now I am trying to taper off of Risperdal. I just spoke to the compounding pharmacy today and should have the liquid form in three or four days for more precise tapering. My history: I entered therapy when I was 18 as a senior in high school in February 2010. I started taking Welbutrin, then added Zoloft, then stopped taking Welbutrin. In the summer of 2012, after my sophomore year of college, my psychiatrist let me decrease my dose of Zoloft from I think 100 mg to 50 mg. In March 2013, I was admitted to a mental hospital and put on Lithium, Risperdal, and Cogentin, and my dose of Zoloft was increased to 100 mg. In December 2013 I came off the Lithium cold turkey. I think I stopped taking the Cogentin (meant for shakiness/muscle spasms) then as well. So from December 2013 to June 2014 I only took 2 mg Risperdal and 100 mg Zoloft. In June 2014 I was suicidal and put on 50 mg Lamictal. In August 2014 I graduated college (George Mason University in Fairfax, VA-- Northern Virginia) and returned to the Philadelphia, PA area where I'm from. I'm currently enrolled in a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program here. I meditate daily and that has helped me a lot. If you have any questions about me feel free to ask! Thanks for reading!
  10. Hi friends, I'm grateful that this community exists. I'm now 29 years old, and feel that life has offered me a precious opportunity to try again: to live in the ways that are most meaningful to me, and to reduce my dependence on a synthetic molecule and anything else that doesn't nourish me. I was first prescribed Luvox at age 16 during what was later diagnosed as a long, recurrent viral illness (mononucleosis). At age 20 (2006), I switched to Effexor, at a dose of 75 mg XR. I've long recognized that very little is known about the effects of long-term antidepressant use, and I have aspired to take care of my body and mind as naturally and as gently as possible. I have tried twice now to discontinue Effexor. In both instances, I tapered over ~6 weeks and experienced significant withdrawal symptoms including 'brain zaps', but felt that I had the resources and momentum to weather these initial waves of difficulty. Over the course of the next 3-6 months, however, I found myself becoming increasingly depressed, sliding down a slope without the resources to gain a foothold; and experiencing waves of anxiety that often felt overpowering. After the most recent effort (November 2014-June 2015), I restarted Effexor, and found that this time 225 mg was necessary to re-establish balance. Given the history of relapses, my most recent doctor has recommended that I remain on the current dose at least 9 months (or 6 months longer) before beginning to taper. I see wisdom in that approach, as I am still finding my strength week by week, and I will be driving across the country in 4 days to relocate from Indiana, where I grew up, to the SF Bay Area. I hope also to begin work at a start-up that I regard as likely to be meaningful and challenging ("I hope", because I am told to expect an offer in the next couple days), and I want to take the long view on this, only taking each next step when I feel strong, steady, and ready. During both of my previous attempts to discontinue Effexor, I lacked professional guidance or a community walking this path with me. I know that reducing and eventually ending my dependence on Effexor will require all of my resources, and many which I have yet to develop; and I have learned how vitally important it is both to lend support to others and to accept and receive it. Sometimes it is clear to me that each of these actions, each direction of giving and receiving support, contains the other. When I am able to clearly, I know also that every breath, every step, and every action taken with awareness is an opportunity to develop the internal resources necessary to walk this path myself and to support others. There are very few things of which I feel certain; actually, if there is one, it is probably this: nothing is of greater value to me or to the world this path of healing and transformation. Thank you for sharing with me what has been most powerful, meaningful, and effective for you in this journey. Please let me know, also, how I can support you. In allowing me to listen and perhaps to share what this life is teaching me, you give me a great gift. I am happy that we are walking this path together. In gratitude, Michael * * * I initially included this in my signature; I'll include it here, and link to it from the signature. Incredibly important and valuable to me in this process has been vigorous exercise (running, racquetball, biking), yoga, and especially a daily mindfulness practice (2009-present). My intention is to bring it into every part of my daily life, so that I may act from a real understanding of what brings happiness and pain to myself and others. I regard this practice, cultivating this intention and capacity, as the basis of the solidity, clarity, and capacity to generate joy which will make it possible to rely less and less on Effexor, and to live as I wish to live. I also know that this will likely be a long path, and that I will have to grow a great deal along it. My practice has been inspired and sustained by the writings and life of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) and the Plum Village community. So often I am lost in my intellect and my thinking struggle to return with a physical and whole-hearted presence to life in this moment. I have been moved by the simplicity and power of Thay's teachings on cultivating a joyful awareness of the body, and mind learning to sit, stand, walk, eat, and do the tasks of life in awareness. During my last attempt to discontinue Effexor, I was an aspirant to be a monk at PV, but was unable to continue for the time being. My deepest wish is to live each day guided by the intention shared by the monastics, and some day to be strong enough to join them.
  11. Hello everyone. I'm happy that I found your website. I thought my life is ruined, but I read success recovery stories and I have a hope now. I was crying for about 20 minutes while I was reading. I don't know If I should tell you the whole story, cause it's a very very sad story. But for me the most important thing is to get answers to my questions. the brief story: I used some drugs for about one year: esctasy, some cocaine, LSD (twice only) and weed. After I stopped taking drugs health problems started: heavy hallucinations, voices, heavy paranoia, uncontrolled rage attacks and more. I got arrested for running naked in a street with a baseball bat and they put me into psiciatric hospital for 2 weeks and put on zyprexa. I hated zyprexa and I stopped taking it after 2 weeks. I was going to doctors and psycologists for some time and they gave me a little help. After 2 years I got fully recovered. But my best friend commited a suicide and I was very depressed, friends told me to smoke some weed , they said I will forget it for some time and will feel better. They gave me strong holland weed (white I think) I smoked it, just a little bit, and instantly went crazy. crazy For real, seriosly crazy. ( damn Im crying again ) I wont tell you all the horror I passed, dont think its so important. I was sick for two weeks, couldnt sleep and eat, when I couldnt handle all that hallucinations no more I did a horrible thing. the worst thing the person can do (omg Im crying again, cant see what Im typing) I got arrested and they put me in jail. At the begginnig I refused to take medicines, cause I thought they want to kill me. After 17 days without sleeping and heavy hallucinations I gave up and started to take medicines. They started with zyprexa, it wasnt helping at all, so they passed on Risperdal 3 times a day 3ml (9ml a day total) and zoloft 1 pill a day dont remember dosage. After 1 year after all investigations judge and medics transfered me into psychiatric hospital, the bad one. they added me Depakin also, but I was spitting it, cause the pill was too big and I just didnt like it, and doctor cancelled it. Oh I forgot I was also taking Tavor all this time to sleep. Doctor cancelled it also. Problems with memory started, and I got fat +20 kilograms, I wasnt producing sperm, I was very lazy, sometimes had no energy to take a shower. After one year in that bad hospital they transfered me to a good one, to elite hospital. And things changed. I started diet, start exercize ( Im an athlete by the way) started playing table tennis, basketball, reading a lot watching music clips on tv, dancing. After some time they took away Risperdal and put me on Abilify 15 mg in the morning and 15 in the evening. The same day they cancelled Risperdal my sperm production became ok, and erection also. I was very good, got build insane body in the gym in about 1,5 year, was very active. but noticed that I have some problems in thinking, They where making me IQ tests, IQ was pretty high 136 when I came into tht good hospital, and about 148-150 before I left it (it was different result on different tests) on 1 test there was 60 questions I gave all right answers, no mistakes. Im smart but I became like a computer. No emotions. I was laughing a lot, and understanding jokes, and having fun, but had problems with pleasures and visual thinking. As soon as I got out I stopped taking medicines (doctors where saying I have to take it all my life to avoid getting crazy one day) Its already 4 month Im without medicines. first month was bad, I vas very sad, had no emotions at all. I was the robot, zombie, without personality, just a computer who just think. I found a girlfriend and she helps me a lot, now 4 month later I feel lil bit better, but still have problems and questions. Please answer me guys. Thanks a lot. 1. how long ussualy takes full recovery after 4,5 years of antipsychotics? when I will start to feel pleasure, emotions? 2. doctors said that Its not recommended to have a baby for minimum 2years after I stop taking medicines, is that true? Will my child be healthy? 3. I was meditating when I was free, and I't was helping me lot, I was feeling myself very good. The same day I started with medicins I could do it no more. I thought I will be able to do it when Im done with medicines, but I totaly cant. I feel nothing, can't meditate no more. I thing the problem is ruined dophamin receptors or some brain damage. If you have same problem please tell me. 4. Alcohol makes no effect on me no more, even If I drink a lot. I feed my head and face heavy, but thats it. No happiness, euphoria, nothing. I dont drink , just tried on a New Year and birthday. But this seems very strange to me. 5 When I drink coffe or take caffein for training it makes me feel like on cocaine for about 12 hours, very strong, Im shaking, sweating and get extremly exited. 6. When I play videogame (Dota 2) I get very exited too, and have unvoulantary face and tounge movements. It looks very very bad from a side. I heard this side effect will not pass, that its forever, is that true? Also after I play some games, and get very exited I recover after it about half a day. I feel like on ocaine too. My brain is like frozen, no emotions at all. Thats it. I do a lot of sport, read a lot. eat very good, take vitamins, aminoacids. So will I fully recover someday? Will I get my emotions back? By the way I cried couple times, last time is now, and was feeling much better after it. I feel my brain working and I feel some emotions. But it happened only 2 times for now. Im also in contact with a lot of friends from hospital, so you will help them too anwering my question. Thank's a lot guys. And good luck to recover if you have same situation.
  12. I just watched this video of an interview with Philip Jacobs. I found some of his ideas helpful for understanding illness as part of a larger, more positive picture, he writes: 'I had always previously thought that it was possible to change my attitude to any situation. With the illness, I realized that there was a stage where you couldn't. You could have a good attitude either side of the experience, but not while you were in it. This was when the illness was deep in the brain, there was no way out until it passed and you just had to allow the experience to be what it was and if it was darkness then it was just darkness.' I was having to assimilate the idea of illness and suffering as a gift - what looked like suffering on the physical and psychological levels could often have a transforming effect on the deeper spiritual levels, that may not be apparent to the casual observer.'
  13. Hi Everyone, I'd like to share my intro and story...... I started this with SaraInCanada's thread, Let me tell you a bit about my story..... I was taking Seroquel for more than 5 years (if my memory serves me right at least it was seven 7 years). This was the last anti-psychotic that I used. I had gone through several pych meds for about 14 years of my life beginning from anti-depressants, becoming anti-psychotics, then a combination of them, then they added a few benzo's then. My problem began in 1995 during a high school "core energy" retreat that stressed me out. My problem continued until college and at work. During these 14 years I was almost the same as you..... feeling like a zombie..... being inconsistent and not having my freedom inside...... (it's screaming inside beleive me)... I had very low self esteem as i can't feel my self controlling my life up to the point where I questioned my being a human person already.... I'm almost living like a dog..... I was able to take it off with only that thing in mind...... ALL of it up to 0mg of Seroquel up to now in 2013..... I was tapering for more than 1 year.... I was already beginning to taper off when I was at work (btw i'm an engineer) and then our company shutdown and I thought this was the perfect timing to get off it..... It took me at least (or more than) a year to do this.... tapering 10% in 2 weeks time.... I was not always successful..... I had to go back from time to time to a higher doseage..... but then I would always try to get back on track after a few weeks or months... One thing that really helped me was taking a bike, jogging or walking to our church in the mornings.... i did it most of the times and I tried to keep it regular during the tapering (I still try to do it up to now.....) This was very important to me as I approached the 200mg to 150mg stretch mark..... this was the hardest part for me as this was for me was the dopamine part..... Then came the serotonin, histamine part (or whatsoever....)., This was being apparent as I was already having stomach issues.... and not only that even the muscle spasms would come...... sometimes on my calf or back of my ribs, sometimes being INSIDE my HEAD literally..... feeling my innermost brain cramping or beginning to get hard... at the same time my stomach and brain would do a contest with each other.... I would also feel very strange like an auto-immune thing or something that eats me up and can't understand the feeling.... It would come and go...... I discovered many things while tapering off (specially as I was reaching 50mg - 25mg and 12.5mg). Vitamin C would help in my panic attacks .... also in my feelings of paranoia or being suspicious. I also discovered for me that Lactobacillus casei (shirota strain) "YAKULT" was also good for me as it helped me have nice feelings of being alive (and a ticklish feeling inside). I discovered that Vitamin C and also Yakult would help me as Vitamin C is a good companion for the adrenals...... Dopamine needs to by synthesized into epinephrenine..... Vitamin C can help with this...... With the Yakult part I discoverd that probiotic strains can have a relationship with epineprenine..... I was also taking a good form of B-Complex.... A word of caution though is not to overdo the vitamins and supplements at it can hurt the stomach also if taken too much..... Also, during the withdrawal, certain high dosage of vitamins (for me some high dose B-vitamins) would actually aggravate your symptoms as it might interfere with neurotransmitter production). Care and experimentation should be taken......... Now that I've taken them off, I still continue the journey..... It's not gonna end there...... In fact..... the personality or emotional things you had "before" taking the psych meds comes back...... AND you have to deal with them...... sort of dealing with the real world...... At some point your tapering off will be useless unless you come back to society...... and try and try again because you will never get better unless you do it...... It's a continuing process that doesn't end when you take them all off.... the only difference is there's nothing like the true taste of freedom....... Regards, Goodluck my friend, SuperRyu P.S. Nutrition also plays a very important role.... I tried to stay away from sugar, soda's, softdrinks and sweet shakes with too many artificial things..... I always tried to eat the right things and had protein in my diet.
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