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36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
ADMIN NOTE Also see Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Dealing With Emotional Spirals Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement If you feel you cannot manage your thoughts and are actually suicidal, seek face-to-face help immediately, see For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
Altostrata posted a topic in Symptoms and self-careMany 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 Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take? "Is it always going to be like this?" The importance of recognizing you're feeling good Creating a new self after withdrawal What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement _______________________________________ UNUSUAL AND OVERPOWERING EMOTIONS Neuro-emotion Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Coping with irritation, anger, and rage Sudden fear, terror, panic, or anxiety from withdrawal Ways to cope with daily anxiety Rebuilding self-confidence, accepting anxiety Dealing With Emotional Spirals Withdrawal causing intrusive or repetitive thoughts, rumination, and increased panic? Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD: Repetitive, intrusive thoughts, compulsive behaviors For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal __________________________________________________ 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 __________________________________________________ FORGIVING YOURSELF Blaming yourself for mistakes? Try this. Shame, guilt, and self-criticism __________________________________________________ HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS The Magic of Helping Others __________________________________________________ PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression, or withdrawal symptoms Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Radical Acceptance 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 for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep Music Therapy / Music for Wellness and Healing