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alexjuice

LINK  alternative-bzd-administration-to-reduce-side-effects-alexjuice

 

Hello,

 

This is my first time to visit the site. I want to share some things about my experience with Doctors and Drugs while also learning from the experiences of others.

 

I had a rough go of it for a while. Then it seemed like things were going to be better. But, alas, I've been roughing it again.

 

I hope to be an active member and will provide more detail about my story soon. But here's the gist.

 

I developed social anxiety disorder as a teenager. My family of origin had destabilized at this time leading to my isolation. I found my way to a Doctor who started prescribing. I got worse on SSRIs and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I was put on a host of drugs. I always remained on an SSRI - usually lexapro.

 

I am now 32. In the past fifteen years I have been a resident in inpatient facilities 5 times for a total of about 8 months.

 

In October of 2009 I began to taper my medications (then Effexor and Risperdal) but did so too rapidly and fell into a withdrawal syndrome. I restarted a benzo to help with symptoms. I currently take a benzo and have recently tried to modify my dose with lousy effects.

 

I've had a bad month with brain, blood pressure and GI issues.

 

It is tough to stare at the screen right now and type and all of that.

 

I am betting on a better week, better month. So just stay tuned.

 

Alex

(Alex is an alias)

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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alexjuice

I recently wrote a letter to a doctor. I think it will be useful to post here as it contains a succinct though long account of my ordeal.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Neuroplastic

Hey, Alex! Welcome to the forum! As for benzos, what do you take, and what doses? Yes, WD is a nasty thing, but the good news is that despite the for some time returning waves, it will all eventually nicely subside. Take it easy. At some point you will come out of it *stronger* than before.


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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alexjuice

Dear Dr. _blank_

 

Here is a summary of my case. I tried to be as succinct as possible.

 

I moved to from Boston, MA to Austin, TX at age 10 when my dad got a good job at Dell which was then a small company. Texas was not welcoming to me. I was bullied and teased. I felt inferior, a ’loser’.

 

During the first three or four years in Texas, my mom handled all of the household work. My dad, at first, seemed busy at work, then he seemed to just not be around. He also made a lot of money from Dell stock options.

 

In my freshman year of high school my father moved out of the house to continue a relationship with his 27 year old mistress. My mother entered a depressive phase and was unreliable. In the absence of parental guidance and oversight, my home became a toxic place where I hid my problems so as not to be taunted for them.

 

During this painful time, I felt anxiety around my peers at school. However, by my junior year, I found my niche among my high school classmates from whom I received validation. My anxiety improved, though my relationship with my family members did not.

 

Everything changed when I went to college. Without high school and with no close family to lean on, my anxiety reemerged. I felt anxious and inferior around strangers and avoided interacting with all but a small group of high school friends who remained in Austin. We smoked a lot of pot and drank. I wasn’t much for drinking or (after a honeymoon period) smoking marijuana either. My friends wanted to go to clubs and parties mostly to try to meet girls. I didn‘t want to do these things because they were very anxiety provoking. Eventually, I drifted away from my high school friends.

 

I recognized my anxiety was getting worse. One night I called my mother and asked if she would send me to a therapist; I had one in mind. She agreed without questions. I started to see a therapist each week. He became the primary supportive individual in my life.

 

Eventually, in 1997, my therapist referred me to a psychiatrist. This Doctor prescribed SSRIs. I was nervous about taking medication but was desperate, and the Doctor seemed smart. One by one, I tried all the SSRIs. But I could never report improvement.

 

(It would later come out that my Doctor was a drug addict and that, during some of my early treatment from Dec,99 to Oct,01, he was in relapse and abusing prescription medication. I do not know if, or how often, he would preside over our sessions and write my prescriptions under the influence. As these things always do, he eventually got caught up in a messy situation and was brought before the Board. His license was suspended but the suspension was stayed. He has not been able to prescribe controlled substances for many years.)

 

Soon the Doctor started playing trial-and-error, adding and substracting medications. Over the next three years I took everything from depakote to buspar to atypical antipsychotics like zyprexa. My condition worsened though I never considered the possibility that the medications were contributing to the deterioration. I experienced major side effects. I gained 80 pounds in nine months. Sleep and sexual function were disturbed. I became more isolated, rarely leaving my apartment but between midnight and 6am. I began to have intrusive thoughts and increased trouble with things like ordering at a restaurant or asking a clerk for a pack of cigarettes. I became preoccupied with the fear that I might bump into an old high school classmate. Avoiding humiliation became my prime goal. And I was very lonely.

 

For two years, when I was 19 and 20, I saw nobody socially. No dates, no dinner with friends, no movies nor coffee. Other than my immediate family members, I had no social contact with other human beings.

 

Around 2000 (perhaps '01), my Doctor changed course, eliminating everything but an SSRI (Lexapro 10-20mg) and adding a benzo (Klonopin 4-6mg). At this point, things improved somewhat.

 

I was able to function to a degree. However, anxiety was always present. At least once a week I intentionally went a night without sleep. I found that this fatigued me to a degree that minimized anxiety and allowed me to talk with others with peace. But, though my functioning improved, there was a cost.

 

When I was 16,17,18,19 I would occasionally drink alcohol with my friends though I had no particular appreciation for its effects. However, in my early 20s I became an alcohol abuser. Its effects felt far more euphoric than I ever remembered. And, in general, I found myself acting with greater impulsivity as time passed. (I was not shocked in the least when I discovered, some years later, Glaxo had added alcohol abuse to the list of side effects on the prescribing insert of Paxil.)

 

In 2004, I decided to stop taking my medication due to the side effects and my lack of faith in them. My Doctor scheduled a very fast reduction. He prescribed phenergan, beutyl, and a catapres patch to safely detox. I followed his schedule and within five weeks I decreased klonopin from 6mg to 2mg and discontinued lexapro entirely.

 

The result was a period of bad withdrawal. I drank alcohol every day for relief. I did little but go from the couch to the bathroom and to the corner store for beer.

 

My doctor was not surprised to see my "symptoms return" in the absence of medication. However, he was chiefly concerned about my alcoholic drinking and referred me to the Sante Center, a dual-diagnosis rehab facility, where I was treated for alcoholism. When I arrived, I was in a very bad way and their Psychiatrist thought it possible I was afflicted with Asperger’s Disorder, Autistic Disorder, and/or Schizophrenia. He ordered an evaluation by a psychologist. He also increased my benzo and restarted me on an antidepressant. Some time elapsed before the testing during which my withdrawal syndrome improved. The evaluating psychologist decided on diagnoses of lesser alarm: Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Depression (without psychotic features) & Alcohol Dependence. However, she was very surprised, after speaking with me, that the more serious diagnoses were under consideration. She expressed, verbally, disbelief at one point saying she didn't understand why she was testing me for what she was testing for. The other thing she put in her report was that she believed my substance abuse disorder was not primary but rather compensatory in response to anxiety symptoms (that I was, as they say, 'self-medicating'.)

 

The Sante psychiatrist continued to try me on neuroleptics (Ability, Seroquel, Geodon, if not others) in spite of his Evaluator's report that I was not currently psychotic. The main results were side effects such as exhaustion, fatigue, oversleeping, weight gain. The staff worked hard to achieve my 'surrender', my admission that I was an alcoholic in need of a program (AA). I was at the rehab for over 150 days so their convincing eventually took a good hold in my mind.

 

I was discharged with a new batch of meds and a determination to live a sober life. I was convinced, after months dealing with their staff, that I was a seriously mentally ill person with a lifelong chemical dependency disorder.

 

For 18 months I abstained from drinking but could barely get off the couch. I took one course at college my final semester and did little else. My fatigue was so severe that a comprehensive, multi-thousand-dollar workup was conducted at the Austin Heart Hospital. No medical problem was found.

 

I struggled with cravings and relapsed in 2007. In 6 months I destroyed my life with impulsive behavior, namely drug and alcohol abuse with a helping hand from reckless spending. At the time, my daily regimen consisted of:

 

Klonopin (3mg)

Wellbutrin XL (300mg)

Lexapro (10mg - 20mg)

Zoloft (100mg)

Ability (15mg)

 

My Doctor referred me to a strict 12-step addiction rehabilitation center (Starlite Recovery Center), where there were no staff psychiatrists or psychologists, only a retired physician who spent mornings on site and a medical director with whom I had no contact. Starlite defines benzodiazepines as drugs of abuse without legitimate medical utility. I was taken off klonopin cold turkey via a 14 day phenobarbital taper.

 

Things went very poorly for me subsequent to the hard stop of the klonopin. I developed the symptoms (severe anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, hypochondriasis, depression, tingling/loss of feeling in extremities) of a withdrawal syndrome. I lost the ability to concentrate; life was ‘empty‘; I became convinced I had nothing left to live for. My suffering was unbearable and, within a couple of months of my discharge from rehab, I decided to commit suicide. I tried to take my life on September 3, 2008.

 

I was referred to the Menninger Psychiatric Clinic for treatment after the suicide attempt. I was a defeated man by this point. I simply did what they told me to do.

 

My psychiatrist at Menninger abandoned all of my medications in favor of Effexor (225mg) and Risperdal (5mg). I was discharged after 40 days.

 

On Risperdal and Effexor, the next year went poorly. I gained weight, was anxious, impulsive. The ongoing concentration issue did not improve. I quit two jobs without notice because I could not sustain my focus during the day. Basically, lengthy mental tasks were no longer possible for my brain.

 

I had cravings. I smoked cigarettes heavily. I consumed 50-100 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper each week as well about 25 candy bars. Sometimes I used drugs and alcohol.

 

After a year on Risperdal and Effexor, I concluded that the medications were not helping me. Nonetheless, I was terrified to stop taking them, having been bombarded for a decade with the message that I was a seriously mentally ill person and high-dose medication was (and would probably always be) necessary.

 

I approached my Doctor about discontinuing. He felt this unwise, but I insisted. He reluctantly advised me to taper over six weeks and then we could evaluate what I looked like 'off the drugs'. I went more slowly than this, but within 10 weeks I was off Effexor and Risperdal. By February 2010 I was not any medication.

 

Withdrawal was tough. Symptoms included insomnia, anxiety, lethargy, many others. One result was that the effects of stimulants such as caffeine were an order of magnitude greater than I’d ever known. I was also emotionally labile and sensitive to stress, especially conflict or images of violence.

 

I carried on with these symptoms for three or four months. I felt that life was too much for me. My Doctor recommended reinstating Klonopin, and I agreed to try a benzo once more. This had a positive effect. Within a few weeks most of the withdrawal symptoms receded significantly.

 

At this point, after more than a decade on meds, I became aware for the first time of alternative viewpoints and found the many internet forums home to others who had experienced problems similar to mine. I read Robert Whitaker’s book. I read Ashton’s manual on benzos and started to cross over to Valium to precipitate a reduction.

 

While the reintro of a benzo helped with sleep and anxiety, several withdrawal symptoms did not diminish. One of these was my hypersensitivity. I had intense reactions to conflict, violent imagery, various foods, various supplements, caffeine, others. I also continued to struggle with cognitive dysfunction. At the suggestion of a nutritionist, I tried lecithin, an OTC supplement, to help with mental clarity. The first day I felt an immediate positive impact. When I took another dose on the following morning I had an adverse reaction. Within 20 minutes I was screaming at a service rep from my telephone service. I stepped outside and found the sunlight blinding. I developed a headache. As the day went on I became emotional and confused. The following day I awoke depleted. For the next two weeks I rested in bed. Headaches and photosensitivity lasted a couple of months. I am not entirely recovered from this episode as of yet.

 

Though I had informed my Doctor of Heather Ashton’s manual and convinced him to begin a Valium crossover, in the fallout of the lecithin incident, it was decided that Valium should be reduced. Klonopin was increased to maintain equilibrium.

 

At the start of 2011 I began to look for a job. I also decided that I would be best served by abandoning the attempt at a Valium crossover and returning to a single benzo (Klonopin 3mg) from which I could titrate very slowly. My Doctor reduced my Valium from 10mg to 5mg while increasing Klonopin by .25mg (to 2.75mg) for maintenance.

 

However, this disturbed my sleep. I seemed to be becoming more sensitive to benzo changes. I was having trouble with insomnia yet still getting up to attend job interviews, often on an only two hours of sleep. I felt extremely stressed. Two events happened during this time that merit mention.

 

One night I partially lost vision temporarily in my left eye -- this had happened once before but the first time it was in reaction to a Rx medication for erectile dysfunction. The vision returned. My opthamologist sent me for images and further eval but the only cause uncovered was a low blood pressure.

 

The other event was a GI problem. I had been experiencing nausea after eating. This began a week or so after the change in my benzo mix. One night, being completely exhausted, I ordered some pizza. But it wouldn’t digest. I became bloated and, after a painful 10 hour ordeal, vomited up undigested pizza pieces. For days after, I did not eat solid food. I continue to have trouble eating sufficiently and often feel nauseous after meals. My abdominal pain is intermittent and I have not vomited but that one night.

 

It has been a year since I stopped Effexor and Risperdal. There have been many challenges in the past 12 months. That said, the last year has been the best year of my life since I was a child in Boston.

 

Perhaps the most profound reason for this has been the change in my impulsive cravings. I’ve lost 50 pounds. I no longer crave drugs, alcohol, soda, nicotine, candy bars. In fact, I do not consume any of those things and abstaining takes practically no effort. It’s been well over a year since I’ve used.

 

I doubt that I ever had a true substance abuse disorder. I believe that my current psychiatrists essentially agree with me, though they probably believe my using was an act of self-medication to alleviate anxiety rather than iatrogenic.

 

Unfortunately, even after re-starting the benzos, I am still unable to maintain focus and concentration for any length of time. If I try to ‘work,’ I start to experience burnout within an hour. It is difficult to express the level to which this is disabling. But I will try to provide an example.

 

Within 30 minutes of starting to write something, a long email like this for example, I begin to lose the ability to think clearly. I unknowingly make mistakes. My vision blurs. I feel dizzy and disoriented. I feel overwhelmed by stimuli, a sort of confusion sets in. Comprehension requires re-reading because the words lose natural meaning -- that is I see the letters but they don’t instinctively signify anything. If I continue with the task, these symptoms become worse. But if I force myself, I can finish the email. Then I must reread to proof and find mistakes. This takes a long time as there tend to be lots of errors. I typically proof 4 or 5 times before my brain is simply too overwhelmed to read anymore. At that point, I feel an impulsivity within me. My brain is in revolt, and I must stop. It’s then that I press the send button and feel a sensation of reward. I am happy to be done.

 

The next morning I awake with uncertainty about the clarity and quality of my message I sent. I pull up the email and am often discouraged. With fresh eyes I can see a few typos and usage errors that eluded even 4 or 5 proof-readings. This is hard to deal with. (It has taken many hours over several days to write this history, for example.)

 

Furthermore, I remain hypersensitive since coming off Effexor. I am unable to handle life at times and, unfortunately, I occasionally have an unanticipated reaction to something I believed to be safe. This has happened with things like whey protein powder, vitamin/nutritional supplements, and even some foods such as certain seeds and nuts as well as sardines. These reactions are debilitating and sometimes knock me out of commission for a few days. I try my best to watch my consumption but I have had a problem, on average, once every couple of months. I rarely eat out, except at sandwhich shops, because of this.

 

As a youth I was considered quite promising. For instance, I was recognized in high school by the National Merit Scholarship Corp for my exemplary score on the PSAT. My high school classmates, with whom I lost touch immediately following graduation, would be shocked at my absence of accomplishment.

 

I would like your general opinion on this history and, if possible, any recommendations or referrals to individuals or resources which may advance my recovery.

 

This has been a not-so-brief overview of my experience with Doctors and Drugs. This is, sadly, the abbreviated version. Many important events and episodes were omitted in the interest of keeping a reasonable length.

 

Thank you for your patience.

 

Signed,

Alexejice


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Altostrata

Alex, please feel you have a sympathetic home here.

 

So many of us have experienced all kinds of hypersensitive reactions, to medications, supplements, foods, light, sounds, motion, heat, cold -- just about anything. This is what happens when the autonomic nervous system is in distress.

 

Your situation with the benzos is difficult. On one hand, they may be helping to some extent. On the other hand, your nervous system may be so battered by all the different drugs and withdrawals that you are hypersensitive to them and to any fluctuations in your dosage. Your withdrawal is going to have to be very, very careful.

 

How did your new doctor react to your very eloquent letter?

 

It does get better. You will get through it. Whatever happens, post here and let us know what's going on. We want you to feel better and get on with your life.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Healing

Welcome, Alexejice!

 

I'm so sorry you have had to go through such a long ordeal. You are not alone -- millions of people are being poisoned with these drugs, their lives turned upside down, and they don't realize it's the drugs causing so much misery.

 

Now, is the bottom line that you are one year off Effexor and currently tapering Klonopin?

 

I definitely think you can get off all meds, and heal from the past meds, and heal from your painful experiences early in life before meds.

 

I think it is going to take a while for your body to recover from the battering it has had. I'm not clear from your letter how much actual psychotherapy you have had over the years. I think you would really benefit from some ongoing psychotherapy now, both to get support in healing from the original painful experiences, and to get support for going through the meds recovery process now. Also, you deserve support to figure out who the heck you really are, since you've been medicated to the gills for your formative years. You might also consider a 12-step group -- you probably know already that, if you find the right meeting for you, it can be a tremendous source of support.

 

Let's see -- how many times did I use the word "support" in that paragraph?! :) That's the key for you now. And it's great that you have come here for support, too.

 

On the physical side of things, your body needs a lot of TLC and rebuilding. Can you handle moderate exercise? Are you eating well? Getting enough rest? How do you feel about meditation?

 

I think it would be good if you can slowly design a very safe and healthful routine to just stick to for awhile to give yourself a chance to catch your breath. You've been through a long war.


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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alexjuice

Thanks for the kind words of support. I have been to 12 step meetings in the past and found them hit or miss. I'd like to get involved with a support group focused on recovery from anxiety or, if i could find one, psych meds rather than go to AA. I definitely need more real-life support in some form.

 

After talking with a fancy Doctor on Friday, I've decided to return to my old concoction of benzos. He recommended that I return to the previous dosing which was 2.5mg klonopin/10mg valium. Considering the adverse effects that a minor change produced, he advised to re-instate at 2.5k/10v and remain there for another 1-2 years before deciding how/if to get off. This is not ideal, obviously. However, changing the benzos in the midst of a protracted w/d from a serotonergic agent (Effexor) seems impossible at present unless I want to destroy my body. I will take his advice and resume the old meds. My consult with him, unfortunately, yielded little else worth reporting. I was disappointed overall. He took a moderately pro-drug stance which surprised me, considering what I heard of him. He said therapy, pharmaceuticals, spirituality and employment form the foundation of recovery. He told me to think about what career I could pursue to give my life meaning... I told him, in my present state, I was akin to the starving Ethiopian who considers clean water, rice and a vaccination his first order of business. In other words, I'm not really in a position to consider what career will deliver fulfillment... He took offense in the way that well-credentialed Doctors tend to do when you counter their advice with some reality. He was a nice man though.

 

After I tweaked my benzo, as I mentioned, I started with some GI problems. These continue to get worse overall but with some symptoms abating. I've developed acid reflux and today was a lousy day in that regard. I have a sore and tender throat and difficulty speaking. I had some nexium but that interacts with Valium unpleasantly.

 

I bought some Zantac today. I took one so far and didn't have any reaction. However, it is possible that Zantac will interfere with my benzos as well so I'm not certain what to do.

 

I moved from 5mg to 7.5 on Valium and will be at my old dose of 10mg again soon. Hopefully I won't have the GERD symptoms indefinitely once I am re-acclimated to the old benzo dose. I am already feeling some relief in the GI areas. For instance, I have little to no abdominal pain for the first time in 4-5 weeks. Maybe the esophagus is simply inflamed and will heal on its own. Like everything else, doctor's guidance was of no help and I am on my own (with some help from the web of other sufferers) to try to decide what course of action to undertake to produce the best outcome. Unfortunately, I am not wholly qualified to doctor myself. But I do a better job than do the doctors, with all of their qualifications and wall-mounted degrees. It's an imperfect system for sure. Hope it works out!

 

The trouble with my throat today depressed my mood a bit. I did some bargaining with God/fate/universe. I am asking for only a bit of time to deal with what was already on my plate in the health issue department. Please, no new problems. Let the bp and GI/GERD issues go away as I resume my old benzo mix so that I can continue to try to recover from the sh!tstorm that already grips me. Pretty please.

 

I saw the thread on non-frazzling movies and posted some suggestions that I found entertaining, inspiring and soothing. I was grateful for the suggestions offered by others and am hopeful for still others. I can only stare at the comp for so long, and I've lost interest in nearly everything on television.

 

best luck,

Alex I


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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alexjuice

I think it is going to take a while for your body to recover from the battering it has had. I'm not clear from your letter how much actual psychotherapy you have had over the years. I think you would really benefit from some ongoing psychotherapy now, both to get support in healing from the original painful experiences, and to get support for going through the meds recovery process now. Also, you deserve support to figure out who the heck you really are, since you've been medicated to the gills for your formative years. You might also consider a 12-step group -- you probably know already that, if you find the right meeting for you, it can be a tremendous source of support.

 

Let's see -- how many times did I use the word "support" in that paragraph?! :) That's the key for you now. And it's great that you have come here for support, too.

 

Yes, I agree for the most part. I've done plenty of talk therapy, but it was the wrong sort. I have a therapist I am working with now. She herself has recovered from generalized social anxiety disorder, depression, and an attachment disorder. After her recovery she return to school and became a counselor. She is helpful.

 

Building support is my main goal, after getting a bit of health back. I have investigated meetup.com for groups that might be beneficial but have not felt well enough for that right now.

 

I am going to return to my old dose of benzos which I hope will stabilize me. That's the best I think I can do for the right now.

 

Thanks for your kind words.

 

Alex I


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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summer

Hi Alex... just a short comment in reference to the GERD. I've been taking Prilosec for around ten years. I also take .5 Xanax at night for sleep. I've had no complications in that regard.

 

I wish you the best.

 

summer


 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Healing

Hi Alex --

 

Your situation is complex and it's hard to know what to do, but the plan you mention of stabilizing on your last best dose of benzos for a year or two before slowly tapering off them seems like a very reasonable one. As you say, your body already has enough to do to get over the loss of the Effexor. Not to mention everything else it has been through.

 

Again, having been exposed to so many meds, it's hard to diagnose the cause of your GI problems, but, FWIW, Effexor could be the culprit here. I know three people who have tapered off Effexor and all had significant GI problems.

 

I understand the need for relief! But OTC meds like Zantac cause dependency fast and then become part of the problem. Still, if you have to, you absolutely have to. However, I would try heading in the direction of finding out what diet is best for you. You might need to *temporarily* have a more restrictive diet, such as a gluten-free one. Also, have you tried good old baking soda -- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon in an inch of warm water can do wonders. Something about it alkalinizing your system.

 

You sound like you're on your way to creating a good plan with lots of different forms of support! Well done!


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Altostrata

Hey, alex. Good to see you posting.

 

A year on benzos seems like a lot; perhaps you can see how you feel in 4 or 6 months.

 

About the gut issues -- if you've had diarrhea, your good bacteria may need to be repopulated. Probiotics can help. There's a drink I found at the health store called GoodBelly I like. There are also various yogurts and yogurt-like drinks in the supermarket now. Also, Enzymedica Digest Gold is expensive but good, Whole Foods has it; it's a little less expensive online.

 

I would avoid stomach meds like Zantac. They prevent absorption of vitamin B12, which is essential for neurological functioning and healing. To counteract the sapping of B12 that may occur, use sublingual B12 tablets.

 

(If you find you get a bad reaction to B12 or any of the above, reduce the dosage or discontinue.)


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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alexjuice

Hey, alex. Good to see you posting.

 

A year on benzos seems like a lot; perhaps you can see how you feel in 4 or 6 months.

 

I would avoid stomach meds like Zantac. They prevent absorption of vitamin B12, which is essential for neurological functioning and healing. To counteract the sapping of B12 that may occur, use sublingual B12 tablets.

 

(If you find you get a bad reaction to B12 or any of the above, reduce the dosage or discontinue.)

 

I did take Zantac twice yesterday and once this morning. Unfortunately, it is having unwanted effects. Sensitivity is way up, it is stressful to even hear cars drive by on the street, something I usually don't notice. I want darkness & peace. I have a headache. Mid-level anxiety. Yuck. I am probably done with Zantac.

 

As I said, these probs started when I modified my benzo mixture. I theorize that the benzos actually dampen my Effexor w/d, that it was and would be much worse without them. I know my original w/d (from ADs and possibly antipsychotics) is still present because of sensitivities, but my early w/d symptoms, those that were crippling -- anxiety & insomnia to the max -- are mostly controlled.

 

I hope that resuming my old benzo dosing will alleviate the GI/GERD issues. I've never had an issue with reflux or bloating or anorexia until just a few weeks ago. I've read that GERD, once it develops, tends to be chronic. Hope not as I am the type to hold onto the blame more than is healthy.

 

Tweaking the benzo, and then exposing myself to stressful stimuli, was a big mistake on my part.

 

About the benzos, I don't know when I can get off. They've caused much trouble already. It will depend on a return to my level of functioning of two months ago. If that happens, I'll sit a bit and then see what happens if I reduce VERY gently. I will cross that bridge...

 

Thanks for all the help.

 

Alex

 

ps - I hate this. Got sad last night, can't handle one step forward, two back. I'll take 25 back for 26 forward. Can't sustain my spirits when things are getting worse. Dang.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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alexjuice

Hi Alex --

 

Again, having been exposed to so many meds, it's hard to diagnose the cause of your GI problems, but, FWIW, Effexor could be the culprit here. I know three people who have tapered off Effexor and all had significant GI problems.

 

I understand the need for relief! But OTC meds like Zantac cause dependency fast and then become part of the problem. Still, if you have to, you absolutely have to. However, I would try heading in the direction of finding out what diet is best for you. You might need to *temporarily* have a more restrictive diet, such as a gluten-free one. Also, have you tried good old baking soda -- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon in an inch of warm water can do wonders. Something about it alkalinizing your system.

 

Yes, my situation is complicated because I've been on dozens of medications and been through many abrupt d/c's.

 

I had a terrible social anxiety disorder as a young man. But the drugs did not help it, except for the benzos. ADs and atypicals made my problems so, so much worse. My functioning deteriorated in the most embarrassing and traumatizing ways imaginable. So to correct this... more ADs and atypicals were ordered! Not only that, but their dosages were increased! As I deteriorated, Doctors were speechless, but breathlessly searching for other medications, maybe something old like lithium, maybe a tricyclic... we'll find the magic cure!!!!

 

My parents were well-off and busy with their own issues so nobody watched over my treatment or asked questions. For instance, why was this 18 year old, who had friends and interests just a year ago, suddenly required to take $X,XXX a month in rx?

 

I've been brain scanned and blood tested and EEG'd to the same normal result. I've been tested by Psychologists and their results largely do not agree, except for my score on the vocab subtest which seems a universal constant, like the force of gravity. I've obtained all of my institutional medical records and they are a bleeping joy to peruse. They are farcical, replete with incompetence and lacking in insight.

 

One problem was that my first therapist was not much of a counselor in the 'treating symptoms' sense. He was just a nice guy that divorced moms brought their adolescent sons to talk with after a divorce left them without an older male figure. He, while nice, made a business of being a something like a 'rent-a-dad' for wealthy divorcees in the well-to-do West Austin suburb in which I grew up. When I came to see him, he was clueless, hopeless about how to help me. Being only 17, I didn't know that he didn't know.

 

It was years into my pharmaceutical treatment before a benzo was introduced. Those actually work for me to a degree, but at a cost for sure. In this last year, free from SSRIs, SNRIs, antipsychotics, all that... I finally feel like a human -- during those windows where feeling human is possible.

 

Maybe my current situation could have been avoided had I gone slower. But, as my doctor doesn't believe in w/d, I tapered according to his schedule. I knew no better and his schedule, as it turned out, was far too rapid. My nervous system is today a scrambled egg.

 

Envy is no good. But of those who suffer, I hesitantly admit some envy of those who had some adult years before getting on the pharma-train. My entire life feels like it has been waiting to start, and the waiting may be for a long bit longer.

 

This wears me down in ways that may not seem obvious. For instance, when I see an old acquaintance from my youth, I can't say anything for myself. For instance some might interact like this: "Hi, Bob. About me? Well I was working as a teacher for a while and then, unfortunately, I had a medical issue..." Instead, for me, there is no first part wherein I talk about my 'normal' activities.

 

Hypothetically, my conversation were I to encounter an old acquaintance might go like this: "Hi Bob. I'm not really crazy though I was told I was crazy. Told again and again of my 'atypical psychotic condition' by a doctor who was himself impaired by drug abuse. The Doctor would send his very large bills to my rich dad who took no interest in my life but found paying large bills alleviated his guilt for being an absentee father. Being young, trusting and suffering from an anxiety disorder, I did everything Doctors told me to do, even when I had concerns. I deferred to their Authority, Expertise and Credentials. They loved me because my condition was deemed 'treatment resistant' and 'atypical' which necessitated many, many hours billed to a guilty, rich father happy to pay. I was misdiagnosed and over-medicated. Then for years I was cold-turkey d/c'd over and again, switched around and then stopped too rapidly. When things got bad (aka w/d set it) the doctors would declare need for still more and new medications since my symptoms had clearly worsened. Because of this I've never had an adulthood. I've never made more than $7k (USD) in a year as an adult, and it took me 10 years to graduate from college due to the side effects of my medication regimen. But I'm not crazy. I only have nothing to say for myself because of a tragic comedy of medical mismanagement which, at the expense of my health, greatly enriched the Doctors and Drug manufacturers who had promised to help me. Without that, say had CBT been tried first or an early recognition resulted in a different course or more cautious introduction and discontinuation of psychotropic Rx been employed, perhaps I'd have been working as a teacher for a while..."

 

I don't know if that makes sense.

 

In general comparisons are not healthy, and my suffering is certainly no greater than any other's. It is just hard to watch people I encounter in real life make judgments about me, my abilities and my mistakes. Since I have no accomplishments, I know that sometimes the assessment (usually by presumption) of me by others is that I must be incapable/impaired/crazy, hence the lack of occupational and interpersonal accomplishment. For outsiders, the fact that I have been on massive amounts of Drugs is not in any way a counter to this presumption but is, to them, compelling evidence in its favor.

 

As I said, the conclusions of Doctors based on my drug-addled performances in their offices, have been wildly inconsistent. I have been given a dozen or so diagnoses.

 

I have met with doctors in the last year and these doctors had no knowledge of my prior diagnoses. They have suggested, in essence, a single cause for my problems: anxiety disorder -- usually generalized social anxiety disorder. (The problems I discussed with them are those that affected me before I began to taper rather than the problems I developed in w/d.) A couple have expressed shock and even anger when I told them of my medication history.

 

I don't meet the diagnostic criteria (and never did) for schizophrenia, various personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, Aspergers, Austism, Psychosis of any sort, Depression (but that of a secondary kind resulting from anxiety or complications of treatment {meds/w/d), Bipolar II or Chemical Dependency. I have either been diagnosed with, diagnosed with provisionally, or sent off to experts to rule-out each of these psychiatric disorders.

 

My problem is that I have an organic anxiety disorder that many have recovered from without Rx. But my original problem represents maybe 5% of my current problem. I now have a whole host of more serious problems that were my gift from Doctors and Drug companies. I bet there are others who can relate.

 

I've thought about writing my story. My book, should I ever recover sufficient to write one, already has a title:

 

How I Bought Brain Damage and Drug Addiction for $350,000*

*With special thanks to Lilly, Roche, Forrest, Glaxo, Abbott, AstraZ, Pfizer, Daddie, Private Healthcare Systems (PPO) and a couple of others.

 

Thank you for allowing the rant.

 

A.I


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Altostrata

...For instance, when I see an old acquaintance from my youth, I can't say anything for myself....

I know what you mean. I avoid meeting professional colleagues because I can't say anything for myself for the last few years.

 

alex, how about this: Identify yourself as a psychiatric survivor. You're getting out of the clutches of bad medicine and mistaken diagnoses. Put your energy, your intelligence, and your considerable writing ability into taking action. This will give you a new purpose and meaning.

 

It's what I do. This thing has destroyed my life.

 

When you finally recover -- and you will -- you will have a new respect for yourself. You will find a life among people who can appreciate what you've been through.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Neuroplastic

Alex, you're such an eloquent, intelligent and compassionate person. You alreday have all qualities needed to lead a great and fulfilling life. Just take it one step at a time. Once you see how nicely you're progressing, you will feel even more motivated to progress further. And don't let temporary setbacks throw you off this step by step rhythm. So many before were through the exact same, and they healed, and got their lives back. Don't let yourself be told by "professionals" of how unavoidable it is some cases to go through life on drugs.

 

We welcome you, and we are here to help you any time you need it. :)


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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alexjuice

I know what you mean. I avoid meeting professional colleagues because I can't say anything for myself for the last few years.

 

alex, how about this: Identify yourself as a psychiatric survivor. You're getting out of the clutches of bad medicine and mistaken diagnoses. Put your energy, your intelligence, and your considerable writing ability into taking action. This will give you a new purpose and meaning.

 

It's what I do. This thing has destroyed my life.

 

When you finally recover -- and you will -- you will have a new respect for yourself. You will find a life among people who can appreciate what you've been through.

 

Thanks. I want to think to of myself as a survivor. And I have made it this far...

 

Your encouragement is very helpful and much appreciated.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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alexjuice

Alex, you're such an eloquent, intelligent and compassionate person. You alreday have all qualities needed to lead a great and fulfilling life. Just take it one step at a time. Once you see how nicely you're progressing, you will feel even more motivated to progress further. And don't let temporary setbacks throw you off this step by step rhythm. So many before were through the exact same, and they healed, and got their lives back. Don't let yourself be told by "professionals" of how unavoidable it is some cases to go through life on drugs.

 

We welcome you, and we are here to help you any time you need it. :)

 

I've found a lot of strength in that most everyone tells me that I will recover. I admit I get lost if I don't hear it. And, when issues have added up, I've drifted away from feeling hopeful. Hope, I think, is important for me.

 

I can't hear it enough that it is healing, not suffering, that awaits.

 

Thanks Neuro


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Healing

Alex -- You have very good insight into what has happened to you. The wool will never be pulled over your eye again. Many people live their whole lives without seeing behind the matrix. I agree that it's uniquely challenging to have never known yourself before being put on meds!

 

I'm in my 40s and I've lost my 40s to this maelstrom -- peak earning and career development years. I know of many other people of all ages who have lost whole developmental stages of life to this.

 

You are part of the generation that has been medicated on these drugs since childhood. There are thousands of you. You are in a unique position to help others who have not yet seen behind the matrix.

 

You will absolutely heal and be stronger, smarter, and happier *because* you went through this.


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Hopeful

I've found a lot of strength in that most everyone tells me that I will recover. I admit I get lost if I don't hear it. And, when issues have added up, I've drifted away from feeling hopeful. Hope, I think, is important for me.

 

I can't hear it enough that it is healing, not suffering, that awaits.

 

Thanks Neuro

 

You will get through it, Alex...I did. I wasn't able to work through it but am now getting ready to go back to work full time.


Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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Neuroplastic

I'm in my 40s and I've lost my 40s to this maelstrom -- peak earning and career development years. I know of many other people of all ages who have lost whole developmental stages of life to this.

No, you haven't, Healing. :) It will make you stronger, and still more insightful, and still more compassionate [here insert at least one good adjective for one letter of the alphabet]. :) I really don't want my post sound to cheesy, but, darn, I really think that the Best is ahead of you.


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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Neuroplastic

Alex -- You have very good insight into what has happened to you. The wool will never be pulled over your eye again. Many people live their whole lives without seeing behind the matrix. I agree that it's uniquely challenging to have never known yourself before being put on meds!

Precisely so! Come to think of it, I was put on SSRIs in my early 20s. So, I do remember my former self, and I know that I will be "him" again. There're those who have never experienced being "them". But there's an incredible bonus to it - once they start emerging from the SSRIs fog, they will feel something incredible. The way they never felt like before.


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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Altostrata

You get older and definitely wiser, that's for darn sure! :D


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Healing

Precisely so! Come to think of it, I was put on SSRIs in my early 20s. So, I do remember my former self, and I know that I will be "him" again. There're those who have never experienced being "them". But there's an incredible bonus to it - once they start emerging from the SSRIs fog, they will feel something incredible. The way they never felt like before.

 

I think this generation of people drugged as children will turn out to be something really special. They may end up saving the rest of us.

 

No, you haven't, Healing. :) It will make you stronger, and still more insightful, and still more compassionate [here insert at least one good adjective for one letter of the alphabet]. :) I really don't want my post sound to cheesy, but, darn, I really think that the Best is ahead of you.

 

I like cheesy! Thank you, wondercomrade!

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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alexjuice

Update: April 9, 2011

 

Since Feb 1, 2011 I have lost 25 pounds against my will.

 

I've had troubles with digestion ever since a tweak in my benzo mix in early Feb. Two weeks ago, I returned to my old benzo mix, but the problem has not resolved. I have evidently reawoken the effexor beast.

 

My problems evolved from bloating, abdominal pain, anorexia to also include heartburn and semi-serious reflux symptoms. These seem certainly related to stress. I started on Protonix, a PPI, four days ago. Not happy to be on that. But after deliberation, felt it necessary to try something as symptoms were expanding. Within a couple of hours of taking the Protonix for the 1st time, I felt relief. My throat and abdominal area felt better. I had two bowel movements within a few hours, which was positive as it had been many days since one of those.

 

Interestly, Protonix is calming. The first day I felt very mellow, and even fell asleep unintentionally in my chair for a bit. This troubles me one hand. What is this effect? What is it doing to my CNS? What are the potential consequences? On the other hand, it is welcome relief from stress.

 

The total effects of Protonix only last for a few hours. In addition to the relaxation and abdominal relief, it does cause my right eye and socket to feel numb and "slow" -- i tend to otherwise have twitching in that eye. While under protonix influence, I am able to interact and do some things on the computer without the usual STRESSFEAR. Once it wears off, problems come back.

 

Generally, I continue to be unable to eat much.

 

Yesterday, for instance, I had a small bowl of blueberries, some dried papaya, bottled water, ginger tea, and a small (6in) Subway club sandwich - dbl meat, all the veggies. I estimate that this is no more than 1000 calories. I will not maintain my weight eating like this. I tried an undenatured whey protein drink to supplement cals and protein and this went poorly.

 

I have been experimenting with Ginger tea for GI probs. I make it myself by peeling and chopping a small slice of fresh root (maybe 1 tbsp) and then boiling in water. I am not certain that the tea is helpful with the sore throat, or GI/GERD issues. However, like the protonix, it has a calming effect. Mostly, I use it because it decreases stress. After drinking the tea, I can interact with others, like my father, with less agony.

 

The second day the protonix seemed to help less, and yesterday even less. Not a positive trend.

 

...

 

Allow a quick rant about money and family.

 

I am not able to provide for myself and must rely on my father to pay bills. To be clear, my parents do not give me money. I live at my mother's rent free, eat free, but I have no 'allowance'. I make a small amount of money (a few humdred a month) from some websites I started a long while ago which make a money from mostly ad revenue. I have not bought much of anything, other than gas, in a long while. This month I had some fines to pay from accidentally overkeeping some library books and I got a traffic ticket. Money gone.

 

So I need my family and, specifically my father, to buy prescriptions and pay for doctor's visits, etc.

 

I have problems accepting help from my father because I have unresolved anger towards him. He lives in a bubble of his own making and drifts further away from reality each year. My father is the ultimate empty suit. His is a "blank". He lives his life for his own pleasure and is consumed with keeping his younger wife happy. He takes frequent vacations (next up: Brit Virgin Islands, Italy). He hasn't had to work in a long time. His much younger wife "retired" under 35.

 

He abandoned our family, after coming into a pile of money, to live a more glamorous lifestyle. This wasn't a positive for me, my brother, sister or mother.

 

It's all about him and him feeling free to indulge himself guilt-free, as such, it is important to him that I think of him as a "good dad". He has only a few goals in life, it seems to me, and these include remaining youthful in appearance, remaining rich and healthy, indulging his wife, indulging generally, and avoiding guilt.

 

For the guilt reason, he offers help to me in the form of money. This is money that I need, but that it hurts to take. It is also not free from strings. My dad expects me to do certain things, and I can not assert myself too much. I am forced to play this game of submission. I must play it with this person that I have angry feelings towards, who has caused me tremendous pain, who has played a major role in my the origin of my polymedication way back when.

 

It is most critical that I eventually attain the ability to provide for myself. If I was informed that this would never be possible, I would have a hard time continuing on as the hope of self-sufficiency someday is the main thing that keeps me going. This desire, I think, is partially universal in mankind. But it is particular resonant for me after an entire life of total dependency.

 

I told my someone I know something that elucidates my current thinking. I said, if I could exchange my current situation for a diagnosis of cancer, and that this cancer was 80% likely to kill me, but that if I recovered, I could go on to live a w/d free life with a few years or decades of productivity... that I would, minus hesitation, take the cancer. If, as is most likely, I died, nobody would misunderstand or mislabel me a freeloader or mental patient. They would just say, "too bad." And if recovered, then I could have a chance to get a job and provide for myself.

 

Someday, be there. Hoping.

 

Alex.I


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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stan

what i would do in your case:

 

take advantage of your parents help you to make a plan : taper when , how

know it will be difficult, one year taper, two to three years to be really better; you are young...

and than rebuilt your life with working...

your drugs are your probems (someone wrote a book)

 

drugs give you digestive problems

 

cheer up !


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Healing

I don't know much about PPIs, and hopefully others will speak up, but my general sense is that they cause dependency and new problems. However, you have to do what you have to do to survive. So, maybe a compromise would be to take it only occasionally.

 

I know several people who have, indeed, had trouble digesting while in Effexor w/d. I think it would probably be best for you to experiment with what foods work for you. This may take some time, because it's not always clear what's causing the gut to react. You might benefit from trying an elimination diet, as if you were trying to discern allergies. In fact, that's a useful way of thinking of it -- it's like we (even I as a Paxil survivor) have new, temporary, food allergies. One Effexor survivor I know seemed to benefit for a time from a gluten-free diet. Another found she had to eat very small portions at regular intervals. Maybe think of yourself as having a baby's sensitive system that has to be treated super-gently until it gets stronger.

 

I understand your supreme frustration about having to depend on someone who has hurt you a lot; someone who is even one of the main sources of your current nightmare. This is actually a very common problem, in one form or another, for most people going through this recovery, even people who are older than you and have supported themselves physically, financially, and emotionally previously. It's *very* upsetting.

 

But, we have to do triage on what's most urgent. You have to be able to eat successfully. Then, you have to heal neurologically some more. Then, we can work on the higher order Maslovian needs. You *will* be able to support yourself. Your intelligence and entrepreneurship with the websites point to that. You may turn out to be richer than your father -- and via more ethical, humanistic work!

 

In short -- what stan said! :)


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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alexjuice

Thanks, healing.

 

I tried taking the protonix for five days. I've decided to stop, in fact I wish I hadn't taken it today. It has been doing very weird things to me. It really tires me out and sometimes I just can't stay awake. Then the last couple of days I've been really low energy, depressed almost. It's strange because I've been super stressed lately. But I thought I might adjust or who knows?

 

Last two days I've had depression type symptoms and I'm not prone to depression. No energy. I don't care. Crying. Hopelessness. But, almost no anxiety or STRESS. Weakness and tired.

 

I didn't want to take it in the first place. I tried to hold out, almost two weeks I had the Rx and wasn't taking it. I was sleeping in a chair, but I started to have reflux problems worse and worse. In my sinuses and dripping down my throat. When I talked I could hear popping in my face, in my nose or in my sinuses. And I thought I needed to do something.

 

So I took it.

 

I tried to go about and even made a post on another part of this site... But I am not feeling well.

 

Tomorrow is a new day.

 

Alex.I

 

I have an omelet for a brain.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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stan

hello Alex,

 

i am sad you suffer each day(meds give you side effects reflux and more)

i was where you are, many years, today i suffer, but it is so better as that old time

 

, try to diminish a little your meds, little goals over months, i know only this path


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Healing

Totally understandable that you would be tempted to take it. I, too, have taken various OTC meds when desperate, and continue to do so. Herbs, too. And, tons o' supplements. The symptoms are a real problem. They interfere with sleep, and little things like breathing. Forget quality of life -- just trying to survive is hard enough.

 

You did great in your other techie post. It was very helpful!

 

Have you ever looked into binaural brain wave entrainment CDs for relaxation and sleep?

 

Sending you soothing, healing energy.....


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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compsports

Thanks, healing.

 

I tried taking the protonix for five days. I've decided to stop, in fact I wish I hadn't taken it today. It has been doing very weird things to me. It really tires me out and sometimes I just can't stay awake. Then the last couple of days I've been really low energy, depressed almost. It's strange because I've been super stressed lately. But I thought I might adjust or who knows?

 

Last two days I've had depression type symptoms and I'm not prone to depression. No energy. I don't care. Crying. Hopelessness. But, almost no anxiety or STRESS. Weakness and tired.

 

I didn't want to take it in the first place. I tried to hold out, almost two weeks I had the Rx and wasn't taking it. I was sleeping in a chair, but I started to have reflux problems worse and worse. In my sinuses and dripping down my throat. When I talked I could hear popping in my face, in my nose or in my sinuses. And I thought I needed to do something.

 

So I took it.

 

I tried to go about and even made a post on another part of this site... But I am not feeling well.

 

Tomorrow is a new day.

 

Alex.I

 

I have an omelet for a brain.

 

Hi Alex,

 

When I mistakenly thought I might have acid reflux, I ordered a book called "Heartburn Cured" by Norm Robillard, PhD. He is a PhD scientist who writes about curing his own heartburn with a low carbohydrate diet. No meds are involved.

 

It might be worth a shot as you don't have anything to lose if you find the diet isn't helpful.

 

I hope you feel better.

 

CS


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Neuroplastic

He is a PhD scientist who writes about curing his own heartburn with a low carbohydrate diet. No meds are involved.

100% true. I used to have terrible heartburn. After I cut down on carbs it disappeared altogether. Last time I had heartburn was 5-6 years ago.


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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Altostrata

Alex, I want to thank you for participating here even though you feel terrible.

 

Your honesty and your voice is so important.

 

We'll help you get through this, little by little.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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alexjuice

Thanks surviving, means a lot.

 

I have had a troubled week for a couple reasons. I had some complications when I stopped taking a proton pump inhibitor. Just throw another log on the fire!

 

I also had a bit of bad luck. Through a ridiculous series of events, I was put in a situation where I had to help two men trying to lift a VERY heavy piece of equipment. This resulted in an aggravation of a different health problem...

 

I've not yet spoken of this, but I have been dealing for some time with another medical issue. This issue actually may be in some way related to my w/d. It is uncertain but there is some evidence that use of serotergenic drugs plays a role...

 

Shortly after i got off effexor and risperdal I was up all the time, days on end... Then I would sleep a while. Then be up. All this being awake, as well as shut in the house due to anxiety was literally making me insane. I decided that I would try to make the best of the situation. I was well overweight (mostly because of the drugs, particularly the antipsychotic I think) so I decided that I would start a diet and exercise plan. I was awake for long stretches 48-72+ hours in this zombie mode. One thing I did to occupy myself was research nutrition and fitness plans. I decided on a plan that I thought that I could manage. The plan, in addition to dietary changes, called for using fairly light weights, 25 lb dumbbells being light considering my size and sex, to do some resistance exercises. Unforuntately, right off the bat, I injured myself doing a squat. Looking back, I don't know what I was thinking trying to pick up a fitness routine a few weeks into w/d! Sadly, I didn't know any better. I hadn't discovered any of the legitimate message boards about w/d and the sites that I did find made the "it might suck but then it's over pretty quick" argument. Like I said, I just didn't know what I was doing. I probably wasn't in my right mind, honestly.

 

In any event the injury turned significant. I developed several symptoms of inflammation and infection of the groin/prostate/otherareas and all sorts of unpleasantness as a result. The docs said this was due to retroflow urine getting bacteria where it didn't belong and the matter would resolve with antibiotics. I did 3 cycles of high dose antibiotics (in the middle of w/d) but the symptoms didn't really resolve. I developed chronic prostatitis. The fact that I was in w/d may or may not have contributed to my condition as it has been VERY irregular. I don't want to get too graphic but things don't even look the same anymore. This injury, with all of its effects to the private parts, pushed me over the edge. I was barely hanging on in w/d as it was. This injury is the reason I went back on benzos... I was drifting into a mental place that was not sustainable.

 

Anyway, I have been experimenting with different treatments and therapies and just letting my body heal. The groin had been improving generally in the last few months. And a week ago (or whenever it was), I retweaked it pretty bad. There are many consequences of chronic prostatitis but one is that holding certain positions (like sitting in chair) quickly become unpleasantly painful. The pain is caused by inflammation but I don't think taking NSAIDs (the usual course) would be wise considering the very severe stomach/GI problems I've been experiencing. (I've lost another 10 lbs since the start of April and now weight under 170)... As a consequence, I've been sitting upright much less. And using the computer much less.

 

Things will get better. Time and attitude are with me. A definite setback though.

 

Appreciate your thinking of me.

 

Also, I have been trading phone calls with a new doctor who I am hopeful about, but I've not yet actually gotten a hold of him to schedule an appt which will require some travel but I hope will be worth it.

 

Alex.I


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Healing

Oh, so sorry to hear you're dealing with such a painful and upsetting problem, Alex. Chronic inflammation and infection (anywhere in the body) are huge problems in w/d. Also, muscle injuries that take a long time to heal.

 

I've had both -- a mild groin injury from yard work that never completely goes away, and chronic mild-moderate sinus and tonsil infections that come and go.

 

I've stayed away from antibiotics, and, if the infection ever got bad enough, my plan is to research the oral form of iodine. I've read that it can work better than antibiotics, with fewer side effects. I'm not a doctor and I don't know much about this. You'd have to research it for yourself. If you do, please let us know what you find out. Thanks.


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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stan

hi Alex,

sorry for all your suffering

 

i am 60, since i am off meds and in withdrawal,appeared nocturia and little prostate problems, i googled and find antidepressants make prostate worse, it is advised against to take antidepressant when prostatitis...


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Rhiannon

 

In general comparisons are not healthy, and my suffering is certainly no greater than any other's. It is just hard to watch people I encounter in real life make judgments about me, my abilities and my mistakes. Since I have no accomplishments, I know that sometimes the assessment (usually by presumption) of me by others is that I must be incapable/impaired/crazy, hence the lack of occupational and interpersonal accomplishment. For outsiders, the fact that I have been on massive amounts of Drugs is not in any way a counter to this presumption but is, to them, compelling evidence in its favor.

 

I really, really, REALLY relate to this.

 

Really.

 

And

a lot.

 

and did I mention that I really relate to this?

 

Nice to meet you Alex. (By the way, however difficult writing may be for you, yours is quite coherent and clear and expressive and enjoyable to read.)

 

 

--Rhi


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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