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  1. ADMIN NOTE: SEE ALSO: Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean? Withdrawal Normal Description npanth blog on Waves and Windows in SSRI Withdrawal ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Topic Summary by KarenB June 11, 2017: Windows and waves occur in a stair-step pattern, with a general upwards trend. After a year, a little better. Awful Alto: I've experienced waves. I'll have a window when I feel better, then a wave, which feels as bad as ever, except a little different. Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer and the troughs not as deep, and shorter. So, on average, I've gotten slowly better. Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I? Waves mean your nervous system is struggling to heal. It moves in the right direction for a bit then falls back a bit. This is normal. You can view the "better" part of the wave as when your nervous system is finding its balance. These periods will get longer and more frequent as time goes on. Rather than damaged receptors, I've found it more accurate to visualize post-acute withdrawal syndrome as autonomic dysregulation. The effects are generalized and when the nervous system is under stress, symptoms can reappear -- and go away again, as is common with autonomic issues. Our nervous systems are so complicated they repair themselves in patches. Some parts recover then the whole thing needs to re-balance again. Rinse and repeat. The windows are part of the pattern of healing. They are when your autonomic (and other) systems are working in harmony. Withdrawal Cycles vs Other Cycles Alto: There are regular biological cycles, daily, monthly, seasonally etc, and there are the waves from withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal syndrome can exacerbate some normal cycles, e.g. early morning cortisol, menstrual symptoms, or seasonal sadness. Waves from withdrawal syndrome can also come out of the blue and have no apparent relationship to any other biological pattern. Fast Tapering and Waves Alto: If you are tapering too fast and get withdrawal symptoms, they may fluctuate in a windows and waves pattern. This leads a lot of people to ignore the warning signs of going too fast. If you continue to taper, withdrawal symptoms probably will get worse. It's the nature of withdrawal symptoms to fluctuate, because the nervous system is trying to correct itself. It's important to treat yourself gently. You may not be able to handle difficult situations that you've always handled before. Focus on stress reduction. Learning how to protect your nervous system from abrasive people is a good skill and will serve you well in the long run. Being pushed to take care of ourselves is, I guess you could say, one of the benefits of this awful condition. The Importance of Flowing with the Waves JanCarol: There was a DIRECT CORRELATION between how hard I worked during my window / hypo-mania, and HOW LONG and DEEP my ensuing depression was. If I got to washing the dog and mowing the lawn, it might be 3 weeks or more before I'd see the light of day. This is a cautionary tale: when in a window, learn to relax and flow. Don't push. I know, things aren't getting done, and you are tired of it - but if you push too hard, the wave will crash deeper. See entire post - Flow with the Waves Video Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery Members' Theories on what Windows and Waves are all about Healing: I have heard of people having long-lasting setbacks even very far out. It's extremely upsetting. In some cases, it seems like the setback is triggered by stressful life events. My theory is that, even after we have healed a lot, we are still very fragile for a time after that. If life happens to be fairly smooth, we can function pretty well, but if life hands us a big stressor or two, we become really autonomically dysregulated. We're still more sensitive to conditions than we will be when we have healed further. Eventually.....eventually.....we heal even more, become more robust, and stressful life events can no longer knock our nervous systems off balance so easily. Jemima: Because antidepressants change brain functioning by destroying serotonin receptors, recovery goes in fits and starts as these receptors regenerate. (From what I've read, this is my understanding of what getting back to health after withdrawal is all about.) Starlitegirlx I have a theory that it's a healing process where our body is adapting and adjusting to not having the meds. Pain or hellish days come into play, then we feel better for a bit until our body finds a new way to heal and recover which triggers the pain/suffering cycle again. The body knows how to heal from just about anything, but often we interfere or things interfere with it (like stress, other meds or other health issues that compound one another). I like the idea of trusting in my body and believing it knows how to find its way back to its wellness. Bad days are awful but if they mean my body is going through some kind of adaption as it heals, I feel they are worth enduring. Like when you are tired and just want to go home but traffic and bad weather slow you down and frustrate you. Those things pass and you will get home eventually. So accepting the traffic/ bad weather as par for the course makes the journey home easier on you emotionally. It’s a simple analogy but it holds the truth of what is happening – there are storms and delays when we just want to be home (well again). Recoveries are rarely as smooth and linear as we would like. I think it has to do with how the body has to adapt to a new status quo. Any healing is change which brings about a new status quo. So maybe this new status quo throws the workings of our systems off balance - and that's why we have waves. The body is saying 'wait, this is different than it was. Adjust! Adjust! Then as it adjusts we have the suffering we call waves. Those adjustments are probably system stressors, and we all know how sensitive we are to stressors. I think it's why windows get longer as we progress and have healed more. The adjustments we need to make are less because we are closing in on our original normal so the healing isn't as dramatic. Like how a cut stings, then the scab forms and it hurts and tends to itch. That's a healing cycle. At the end, the itch is minor - like how some people who are further into recovery have less dramatic and shorter wanes. A clear description of the healing pattern ADMIN NOTE Original post: In other words, when you go through a period of symptoms getting worse, and then that draws to an end, is it followed pretty obviously by a period of new gains? Are you now better than you were before the wave? People have reported this pattern. I have never been able to discern it clearly in myself, but I'm open to the possibility. What is your experience of this yourself? Or observation of others? Or opinion?
  2. 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.
  3. Hello dear fellas! I am in the same boat like you and I was thinking a lot about creating a topic here. I am a male, 30 years old. My story began in 2010 with a depression I had, which faded away by itself, and was caused by my traveling and settling in a new city in order to study law. It was all good until summer 2012 when I went through a panick attack. It happened to me after a very very intense exam session. This threw me off balance and gave a start to a 4 year struggle with panic, anxiety and I guess a depression, which was caused by all that. After that much time I decided to pay a psychiatrist a visit, who is a close family friend. She prescribed me a drug called Atarax, which helps with sleep. After a few weeks, and feeling drained and drowsy as hell I decided to quit. No problems whatsoever. I told myself I don't need that, I am not sick and that I have enough power to beat a condition like this. And it happened. In the time between January 2017 and June 2018 I was happy and enjoyed life. A stressful event - an argument with my parents and girlfriend, all at the same time, plus the stress from my job, I went back to the pit I was in. On 3 June 2018 while I deriving my car to work I suddenly had a flashback, remembering the time I felt anxious and sick. This was the exact moment when I felt anxiety, fear and thinking I am sick in my head. All was back - the panick, anxiety, fear, sleeping troubles sometimes. Then, on 27 August 2018 I went to see another psychiatrist who put me on Parix (Paroxetine) and Fluanxol (Flupentixol) which is allowed to be sold here in Bulgaria. At the begging of taking the drugs I felt agitated, had vivid dreams, sweating at night, but it all went away. I was gradually getting better. The thing that bothered me the most was the feeling of being constantly sleepy and tired. I had problems with memorizing and I felt somehow detached from the world. I wasn't that bad, I was working at the capital city of Sofia by that time and all was good overall. After a year I quit the Fluanxol under my psychiatrist guidance. Another six months after I quit the Parix as well, of which last 3 months were meant for tapering off the drug. I felt some discomfort during that time not knowning it was signs of withdrawal. On January 2019 I went down to 15 mg Parix, 2 or 3 weeks later I was on 10. It was here where I felt something happening with me but kept going as I was told to. 6 weeks I was on 10 mg, then 2 weeks on 5 mg, and last two weeks 5 mg, skipping a day, plus Magnesium, which was prescribed from my doctor. I felt kind of OK until 25 April 2019, after a cup of coffee. Then suddenly I felt agitated, got scared of what was happening and this marked the begging of my withdrawal. I began shaking, like I was in a hypoglycemia (happend sometimes to me in the past, before drugs). I lost my appetite, fear ran trough my head. In the time before and after that I was feeling detached from the surrounding world but I wasn't aware of that till last few months where I felt more and more alive. The feeling was as if I was living in a cocoon. I felt jittery all the time, my sleep got bad. I was sleeping 5 or 6 hours, with adrenalin waking me up at 5-5:30 am., feeling dreadful. I could feel the fear inside my gut. Which prompted me to go to the toilet immediately. I was having diarrhea. Strange sensations in my head appeared and stayed until May or June. Can't refer to them as brain zaps, but felt pretty similar. I felt that with my head as well as with my body. At different points in the following months it was getting even worst - tinnitus, nausea, consonant anxiety and fear, depersonalisation, total loss of doing activities, including working, despite the fact of doing so.In July I felt pain in my back which was never there before. My head felt in a way you feel that when you were get there flu. I was thinking I had fever but actually never had. At that time stomach acids emerged out of the blue. I wasn't eating something different or I have never eaten for the acids to appear. They stayed for a week, then went away. They got back for a few days in August and then dissappeared. Another thing that hit me difficulty speaking sometimes because my jaw muscles were super stiff. As well as my legs and arms. Crying spells were bad. I even cried once in front of my girlfriend after seeing a scene in a movie. I was having a ball stuck inside my throat. Sometimes I had difficult times reading. It was as my eyes were jumping across a word rather then following it instead. I had no sex drive at all. I had neuro emotions which was very frustrating. I was not able to feel happy, I guess it was anhedonia. I guess I don't remember all symptoms but the feeling was constant misery. At the time September 2019 passed I began feeling a bit better. Nausea, tinnitus, muscle jitters were gone. I slept better. Crying spells faded away with time, as well as the ball inside my throat. But feeling the recovery was slow and definitely in waves and windows. The thing that was there all the time was bad derealisation, the feeling "there is something in my head making it feel like having fever", blurred vision sometimes occurred. In the months after I got better until February 2020. What happened felt like someone smashed me in the ground. I was feeling like relapsing. It was unbelievable that I was feeling kind of OK for being in a withdrawal and then, a day after it was all back - anxiety, bad derealisation, fear, bad sleeping. I was aware of the community here, I have read a lot about withdrawal and this is what was and is still keeping me going. Apparently I skipped the part about the 10 month wave. I was so relieved when I got to know about it that I immediately felt better and reassured myself it is not a relapse. It passed after 2 weeks. I felt better afterwards. In the begging of May 2020 I felt a bit strange feeling in my nose, as if I wasn't able to feel air, you know you kind of feel it when it goes trough your nose. It passed in a few days. After that I got rinnitis out of nothing. Stuffy and runny nose, as if I got allergy from pollens. This kept going for about 10 days and made me feel irritated as i never had it. It was like that until 15th of May when I received a phone call from my dad. He said he is now feeling well, and has fever. He reckoned it may be the coronavirus. I felt bad, really bad. Scared and fearful. The same night was bad, I couldn't sleep. In the morning the anxiety feeling in my head was back. I was very worried about my dad. He passed a test, which was negative. In a few days we already knew he just had inflammation on the bladder. But my constant anxiety stayed. My muscles began getting stiff again. My sleep got disrupted. I am awaking in 5 am every morning. I feel terror after waking up from the adrenalin rush (or cortisol, I am not sure). I am having diarrhea again. Sweaty palms and feet. I am overthinking all the time. I lost appetite, interest in involving into any activity. I feel almost like in the early stages of withdrawal, only without the dereaIisation, which makes it even scarier to me. I was hoping to find support here and help me distinguish whether it is a relapse or a wave , because till now I knew it is a wave, but this time it feels pretty real. I am constantly asking myself whether is it possible to get such a massive set back after going trough waves that were not that bad followed by a nice window. Any advise would be highly appreciated. Thank you! P. S Sorry for the long post!
  4. 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?
  5. Today is my birthday and I feel like the best gift ever is finding this forum. I am tapering off of fifteen years of taking Symbyax and bupropion. My psychiatrist seems to have little knowledge about antidepressant withdrawal. I have been on half my usual dose for two months now and I seem to be getting more severe ups and downs. I am so grateful to find other people willing to share their experiences. It gives me strength. I will be monitoring this forum daily as I already feel better knowing you all are here. Thank you.
  6. HI to all,Iam [Mukr] from India..I need some help ..i was on etilaam s 10 which has Escitalopram 10mg (SSRI) and Etizolam 0.5mg benzodiazepine as active ingredients.. i stopped it cold turkey and their after iam not like as i was before..i feel like weakness,main symptom i feel like i might fall when i walk..my head explodes,sometime feels like i have problem with every part of the body,spine,brain,ears chest pain etc..sometimes i feel good and suddenly i get this problem...is it withdrawal symptoms...since i was on it 3/4 months how much time will it take for me to recover...tapering i fear to touch those tablets again..whatever happened happened and iam not going to take the..Is their a way how to minimize those symptoms and allow healing it.. My major symptom is when i stand up i feel like internal vibration which outsiders cannot see and i feel it like iam shaking inside like small power supply running inside whole body..is this typical symptom of this drug.. thanks in advance.
  7. What silver linings have you noticed during this horrible spot we find ourselves in? I'm practicing finding blessings in this mess to keep a positive attitude. I'll start! I felt so terrible when I had the actual flu in January. All of my withdrawal symptoms were competing with my flu symptoms! I feel like the flu recovery was finally happening for me and because of the horrible state I was in a few weeks ago, everything feels like a window! I'll take windows any way I can get them!
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