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alexjuice

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.

 

I've adapted my diet quite a bit. I didn't have too much wiggle room but I cut out dairy (milk, cheese, cream) and the Big carbs. Off bread, cereal, pasta, etc. Basically, I'm just going with a super simple diet. I eat meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit. My acid reflux/GI issues are better but still ongoing. Hopefully, things just continue to improve.

 

thanks for your help, guys.

 

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

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.

 

Thank you so much for your words of caring.

 

Yes, I know what you mean. I had to learn about antibiotics the hard way last spring. I am in a similar situation with sinuses actually, so I might have to eventually look into alternative treatments but my problem in that area has so far been minor, happily.

 

I really hope and pray that I dont get sick or develop some condition that is curable only with medication. My reactions to medications are so unpredictable that I would avoid all Rx right now unless, basically, I was going to die, lose body parts, or suffer (additional) brain damage. Fingers crossed!


"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,

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...

 

thank you stan.

 

yes, there has been discussion on the prostatis sites about possible linkage between prostate conditions and serotonin agents. The body is a system, so my ongoing problems at the waist and below are possibly related to the problems of w/d. I am trying to maintain a positive attitude and keep my stress down. It is an ongoing challenge.

 

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 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

 

I am really, really glad that you can. There aren't many I've met who can relate to what I've been through, at least in the real world. It makes me happy to find that you understand.

 

Writing is hard but on a scale, ya know. On some days it's really too difficult. On other days it's possible but the product will be poor. And some days the product will be okay but it takes a lot of energy to clean up the mistakes. So, I expect a range on my posts. I used to be embarrassed about my mistakes in email and writing and whatnot because, once upon a time, I was a fairly precise writer. But I've been on and off Drugs (benzos are the real culprit says my hunch) so haphazardly that I don't write as easily as then.

 

There's a joke that highly educated people tend to judge others' smarts by the conformity of their grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc to proper rules. I make tons of mistakes, a lot more than the original me did. There was a time when the idea that people were drawing conclusions about me based on my writing used to frustrate me. I thought it was unfair. Now, I just accept that on some days I will make mistakes, and people can think whatever they want. That's okay. I've got much bigger things to try not to worry about.

 

Nice to meet you too.

 

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

There was a time when the idea that people were drawing conclusions about me based on my writing used to frustrate me. I thought it was unfair. Now, I just accept that on some days I will make mistakes, and people can think whatever they want. That's okay. I've got much bigger things to try not to worry about.

 

 

 

For sure! And, it's very nice to meet you also.


 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Rhiannon

"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. "

 

Wow, first time I've ever heard of a doctor saying that--not many doctors realize you need to think in terms of years with these things.

 

Given all the chaos of med changes you have been through, the fact that you are still recovering from Effexor and Risperdal w/d, the fact that you were started so young on these meds, I have to say my personal opinion is to agree--find a dose of benzo, and stick with it, and don't change any more meds. Every change is so destabilizing. Your CNS needs to have a chance to achieve some kind of homeostasis, and then to mend the damages done as much as possible. The more stable the biochemical environment, the better its chances of, well, having a chance.

 

Down the line, once you're stable and feeling better, I think you can probably get off the benzos if you do it very, very, VERY slowly, like take several years for it.

 

But I think you will do better if you first allow your brain some time--several years, probably, maybe more like 3--to remodel itself. Our brains were never designed for this sort of challenge and they are not very efficient at coping with it. And it seems to me that the more meds people have been on, the longer they have been on meds, the younger they were when begun on meds (before the maturation of the brain around 25 years old), and the more ct's or rapid discontinuations they've experienced, the slower and more challenging the recovery process is. And you're 4 for 4.

 

So it's my belief, really, that you can stabilize and rehabilitate, given time, and you can probably eventually get off and stay off all meds if you so choose, but the key is patience and taking very good care of yourself and your sensitive and ravaged CNS for now.

 

Oh, and, again, your writing? well, maybe it doesn't meet your own standards of perfection, and I can relate to that too, but by my standards it looks pretty damn good.


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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alexjuice

"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. "

 

Wow, first time I've ever heard of a doctor saying that--not many doctors realize you need to think in terms of years with these things.

 

Given all the chaos of med changes you have been through, the fact that you are still recovering from Effexor and Risperdal w/d, the fact that you were started so young on these meds, I have to say my personal opinion is to agree--find a dose of benzo, and stick with it, and don't change any more meds. Every change is so destabilizing. Your CNS needs to have a chance to achieve some kind of homeostasis, and then to mend the damages done as much as possible. The more stable the biochemical environment, the better its chances of, well, having a chance.

 

...

 

But I think you will do better if you first allow your brain some time--several years, probably, maybe more like 3--to remodel itself. Our brains were never designed for this sort of challenge and they are not very efficient at coping with it. And it seems to me that the more meds people have been on, the longer they have been on meds, the younger they were when begun on meds (before the maturation of the brain around 25 years old), and the more ct's or rapid discontinuations they've experienced, the slower and more challenging the recovery process is. And you're 4 for 4.

 

Yea, this wasn't a typical doctor. He was a shrink with better than average enlightenment. He made a cameo in Robert Whitaker's book "Anatomy..." and someone aware of my situation noticed his name and brought him to my attention.

 

I think you make good points about my situation and prospects. My current doctor(s), simply are baffled by me. Luckily, they have been very accommodating with prescribing what I think it need. Still, I have gotten some things wrong. Some adjustments have had bad results. Funny thing though... When it comes to meds, I am probably batting .600 and my doctors are batting .020 at best. It's possible that they are batting 0.000 -- that NOTHING they have EVER prescribed has served my health interests. Of course, they are trained medical professions. I am an ex-drug addict with cumulative lifetime earnings under $50k and no medical training. If the game was right, it shouldn't be possible for me to outdoctor them.

 

In essence they are humoring me because they can't compute, get? If they believed their own eyes, it would raise too many questions about themselves, and these are questions they are not willing to consider. They have bills to pay. They have their self-image as "alleviator of suffering" to maintain. My case, everyone in protacted hell of w/d, rebukes everything they want to believe about themselves -- that they deserve to make good money for all the good they do.

 

Yet they cannot deny outright... They know, deep down in places they don't talk about at cocktail parties, that a measure of blame lies at their feet, maybe all the blame. Every now and again, this thought gets right into their conscious mind. And it crashes the system.

 

HELLO?!? Of course my psychiatrists over the years, via the drugs they presribed, are responsible for my severe protracted w/d. They see me suffering and know they need to help but there is nothing they can do that fits within their paradigm. Mainly they want me to get better. One reason... so they can file away the thought of their own potential liability and just go back to "helping people" for an hourly wage that allows for foreign car ownership.

 

How this plays out is that I am a beneficiary of something like guilt. I am actually enormously grateful for this. I need to get benzos and I need to be very gentle and unorthodox in their adminstration. For that i need a prescribing doctor who will go outside the playbook and this requires a lot of trust in the patient, ME. This would be almost impossible for to me come across independently, that is with a brand new doc. I have been to multiple insitutions for substance abuse! Who would trust me to basically suggest my own scripts? Only those who have been there from the beginning and witnessed what the drugs have done to me and what I am like now that I drug free (plus benzos).

 

I am currently, slowly, moving my medication up to 15mg valium and 2.25 klonopin. This will take some time but I think it appropriate. Then I hope I recover some from the recent downswing. Assuming I stabilize, then your plan is my plan. I will stay on the benzos for at least a year and then unwind VERY slowly if at all. At least this is the current plan. If better data comes in, or some more expertise suggests something else, I'll stay open to everything.

 

I am glad to have a shrink who will help me. But it's scary too, scary to be dependent on a drug. To know that most doctors would ignore my pleas and taper me in 1-3 months and that this would literally ruin me.

 

I was born with nothing. I have nothing. If I die with nothing, it's a wash.

 

It's been a good day, mostly. Feel okay. Can't be sad. I'll keep at it.

 

Thanks for the compliment about the writing.

 

Alex.i

 

ps - In case anyone ever reads this who knows me or my real life. NOTE: My doctors do not let me write my own prescription. They accept my input as a patient and only prescribe medications if they believe the Rx will best serve my health needs. I could not go see my doc and walk out with a morphine script, get?

 

For sure! And, it's very nice to meet you also.

 

Not worrying is one of the whole cornerstones of my whole survival strategy!

 

How are you doing, summer?


"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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compsports

I am really, really glad that you can. There aren't many I've met who can relate to what I've been through, at least in the real world. It makes me happy to find that you understand.

 

Writing is hard but on a scale, ya know. On some days it's really too difficult. On other days it's possible but the product will be poor. And some days the product will be okay but it takes a lot of energy to clean up the mistakes. So, I expect a range on my posts. I used to be embarrassed about my mistakes in email and writing and whatnot because, once upon a time, I was a fairly precise writer. But I've been on and off Drugs (benzos are the real culprit says my hunch) so haphazardly that I don't write as easily as then.

 

There's a joke that highly educated people tend to judge others' smarts by the conformity of their grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc to proper rules. I make tons of mistakes, a lot more than the original me did. There was a time when the idea that people were drawing conclusions about me based on my writing used to frustrate me. I thought it was unfair. Now, I just accept that on some days I will make mistakes, and people can think whatever they want. That's okay. I've got much bigger things to try not to worry about.

 

Nice to meet you too.

 

Alex.i

 

Hi Alex,

 

As an FYI, I feel that Wellbutrin XL caused me to have problems with writing that I didn't have previously. Even though I have been off the drug for a few years, I notice I make some very strange errors unless I edit carefully. So I definitely relate to what you are saying.

 

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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summer

How are you doing, summer?

Hi Alex... thanks for asking. I'm getting closer to another small drop, and I'm starting to get anxious. Other than that, I'm doing pretty well.

 

Hugs to you... I think your star is far brighter than you have any idea!


 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Rhiannon

"I am currently, slowly, moving my medication up to 15mg valium and 2.25 klonopin. This will take some time but I think it appropriate. Then I hope I recover some from the recent downswing. Assuming I stabilize, then your plan is my plan. I will stay on the benzos for at least a year and then unwind VERY slowly if at all. At least this is the current plan. If better data comes in, or some more expertise suggests something else, I'll stay open to everything."

 

Hi Alex--

I urge you to consider not going any higher than you currently are on benzo dose; in fact, if it were me, I would try a slightly lower dose and see how it goes. According to the Ashton schedule, 2.25 mg of Klonopin is equivalent to 45 mg of Valium--that's enough to cause some pretty strong side effects even before you add in the 10 mg Valium.

 

Valium takes time to build up its effects due to cumulative effect of its long-acting metabolites, so you may want to wait a while and see how the 10 mg works for you after a couple of months, before adding more.

 

Given your health as you describe it--Valium in particular and benzos in general are notorious for causing GERD and other GI tract symptoms; benzos are notorious "stupid pills" and are definitely not going to help your problems with concentration and writing; and the balance and coordination problems caused by benzos aren't going to help you physically with your other issues.

 

And as bright as you obviously are--I know that getting some of my cognitive powers back as I go down on the "stupid pills" has been a huge boost to my self-esteem. I hate to see you give up any more of that than you have to. You are obviously intelligent and competent, in spite of the disabling effects of the drugs; I look forward to seeing you discover who you really are without them.

 

If I were a doctor and could give medical advice (which I can't without getting thrown in jail, so this is NOT medical advice), I would probably suggest you go to something like 10 mg Valium and 1.5 or at most 2 of Klonopin and see if you stabilize on that within three to six months. The lowest dose of the least possible number of meds with the least amount of changing and tweaking, held consistent for a long period of time, seems to be what helps people get stable best. And tapers that start from "stable" are far more likely to be successful.

 

All of this just my observations and opinions, of course. But check with your Whitaker-friendly doctor and see what he thinks about my thinking, if you want.

 

--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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Healing

That white people and grammar blog post was very funny. But what was most funny / scary was that the comments were all serious arguments about grammar!


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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Schnapps

Hi Alex,

 

I just spent the last while reading all the posts in your thread. First of all, I'm sorry you are going through what you are going through. I agree with everyone else who is encouraging you that better days are ahead, but patience will be needed on your part. It must make you horribly upset to realize your life is on hold for some unknown time, but perhaps this is part of your purpose in life. There will come a day when you will look back at your experience and feel blessed—I truly believe this is the outcome for those who persevere through their travails.

 

I recall being where you are now, and the notion of one step forward, two steps back, one step forward, heightened my own sense of hopelessness, but I was counseled with a view the backward steps would slowly dissolve, and this turned out to be true. I still have my moments about where my path will lead me, but these types of thoughts only feed my anxiety making my condition worse. I try to stay in the here and now, the only reality there really is.

 

I had terrible prostate issues during my Paxil withdrawal. Your story of going through antibiotic therapy is all too familiar, but it never did cure my troubles. In fact, a common antibiotic used, ciprofloxacin, has been reported to worsen withdrawal symptoms. I finally had a doctor who suggested Flomax as a temporary treatment, and that along with regular stretching of my pelvic muscles proved to work for me.

 

You have an amazing gift of writing. I can see where one day, you will write your book chronicling your experience of regaining your mental health. I alluded to a purpose earlier, and it may be your gift that will inspire countless others to pursue their own mental well being. Please stay hopeful, and know you have a future where the tribulations of the present are replaced by the joys of fulfillment in times to come.


My history and current condition is here.

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alexjuice

"I am currently, slowly, moving my medication up to 15mg valium and 2.25 klonopin. This will take some time but I think it appropriate. Then I hope I recover some from the recent downswing. Assuming I stabilize, then your plan is my plan. I will stay on the benzos for at least a year and then unwind VERY slowly if at all. At least this is the current plan. If better data comes in, or some more expertise suggests something else, I'll stay open to everything."

 

Hi Alex--

I urge you to consider not going any higher than you currently are on benzo dose; in fact, if it were me, I would try a slightly lower dose and see how it goes. According to the Ashton schedule, 2.25 mg of Klonopin is equivalent to 45 mg of Valium--that's enough to cause some pretty strong side effects even before you add in the 10 mg Valium.

 

Hey,

 

Yea. I understand your concerns and share a lot of them. At the same time, I think I might have given you the wrong impression about 'upping' my dose.

 

I took 3mg of klonopin or more for about 8 years. 3mg has been the baseline dose.

 

I misspoke when I said I was upping my benzo mix. Really I'm just crossing over to what I was on before. I had been on 3mg Klonopin. Then Valium was introduced, initially to try to taper off benzos. So I dropped the klonopin (to 2.0) and added valium (20), though the V was added in several incremental steps. Then because of some shoddy reasoning, we decided it would be best to cut back on the valium and boost the klonopin. So we reduced the Valium... from 20 to 15 to 10 pretty quickly while rasing K (2.0 -> 2.25 -> 2.5). This caused problems but I attributed my difficulties then to a reaction I had to a supplement.

 

Anyway, this new year, I decided that one benzo would just be easier so we dropped the valium down to 5 and raised the klonopin to 2.75. The plan was just to get back to the 3mgK that I'd been on for years and wait a while eventually starting a taper down the line. But all hell broke loose.

 

The mix that was working best, in retrospect was 2.5/10 or 2.25/15. My bet is 2.25k/15v.

 

So currently, the goal is to get back to 2.25/15 and then maintain for a while before starting any reduction.

 

As you'll notice, by Ashton's conversion numbers, I remained on the equivalent of 60mg of Valium (or 3mg of Klonopin if you prefer) through it all. The baseline dosage never changed.

 

And while 60mg of Valium is a lot, we're only taking about a unit of measurement. That is we're using valium as a standard. I wasn't ever taking 60v, of course. 3mg of K is high, but it's, according to the establishment, not out of bounds for klonopin to the degree that 60 would be for diazepam. (Yet they are claimed to be equivalent?)

 

For whatever reason, when I reduced the Valium and raised the Klonopin, I had a terrible issue - probably for not accounting for the longer half life difference or maybe valium for me is more potent as I'm habituated to klonopin after all these years, really at this point, who knows.

 

It doesn't really matter to me if I am on 2.5k/10v or 2.25k/15v or even 2.375k/12.5v.... By the Ashton estimations, all of these dosages are equivalent anyway.

 

For years I took just klonopin and wish I never started a diazepam cross since I never went through with the taper. But once I introduced V, reductions in it have wrecked me. Things have gotten much worse since the most recent drop in V which is why I am eager to increase and hold. As much as the cogfog sucks, I am literally having problems eating food and not collapsing upon standing (bp). For whatever reason, this wasn't an issue on the higher daily V. Of course, the dose the entire time was always equal (in theory) to the original 3mg of klonopin.

 

Obviously, I wish I never took this garbage. But I don't think now is the time to get under the 3mg Klonopin (or 60mg valium, however you want to express it) baseline.

 

The advice I was given was to go back to dosage that was working best and stay for 1-2 years and then decide how to taper. That's still the plan. Should that be 2.5/10 or 2.25/15? I don't know. I think higher Val (within reason) makes more sense since I was more functional at that dose... but I don't really know. My brain is egg salad so it's a guessing game as to what the best dose to "wait at" should be.

 

I hope I am not missing a part of your point. Do you think it is all that different to be on 2.5k/10v compared to 2.25k/15v? Because 2k/10v, the max dose you suggested, would be a sizable drop from baseline. In Valium units it'd be 50mg, so a drop of over 15% from the baseline.

 

Thanks for your input and please let me know if you think I am missing something. I am grateful for your assistance. I don't know what to do.

 

Alex


"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 tried to go back and edit that post to Rhi for clarity but don't have permission.

 

So here's a partial reboot with a couple changes:

 

--

I misspoke when I said I was upping my benzo mix. Really I'm just crossing over while essentially maintaining equilibrium. I had been on 3mg Klonopin. Then Valium was introduced, initially to try to taper off benzos. So I dropped the klonopin (to 2.0) and added valium (20), though the V was added in several incremental steps. After a reaction to a supplement, we decided it would be best to cut back on the valium and boost the klonopin. So we reduced the Valium... from 20 to 15 to 10 pretty quickly while rasing K (2.0 -> 2.25 -> 2.5). This caused problems.

 

For two entire months I was out of commission, especially the first month. This was at partially due to a bad adverse I had to a supplement. Because of this, I was very weak and went through the benzo change in a very low stress environment. I still had problems, but I didn't think that the change in benzo composition could be responsible for any of the issues.

 

When I decided that a taper needed to wait, we decided to drop V and go back to K. At this point I was trying to live life as best I could and was under a lot of stress and not sleeping well. Under these conditions, the change in V/K triggered a massive worsening in my condition. The GI/vomiting episode/reflux/weightloss/glucosechanges/bpchanges/minorTIA began within 8 or 9 days of the reduction in V -- about on schedule considering HL.

 

So basically the goal is not to just go back to 2.5k/10v but whatever mix was working best for containment. Is that 2.5/10 or 2.25/15. My bet is 2.25k/15v.

 

As far as your suggestion to reduce the total amount, I don't think it's workable given my history. I basically can't go under 3mg klonopin (or equiv) without entering tolerance w/d. If the point is to hold a dose for many months or even a couple of years to let my head sort out the Effexor/Risperdal w/d then I think I must hold the benzos at baseline. So it's either start a benzo taper or find a mix at 60v units and hold. I don't think I can take a benzo taper right now.

 

Valium, either because of half life differences or some other reason, affects me on the cut much, much more than klonopin. Cutting klon did give some cogfog. Cutting V gave all those /symptoms/ above to the point of collapse, to the point of the ER... So I am more comfortable with a higher V and lower K (so long as the sum is 60v units). My suspicion is that the higher V is better at masking the Effexor w/d either b/c of some chemical property of the compound or simply that it affects my CNS more as I am so habituated to K after so many years.

 

If I bump up V, drop K... HOLD... and don't improve, then I need to start a taper. Then I'm in for a long, long winter.

 

Alex


"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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Rhiannon

Alex, thanks for explaining that to me. I didn't realize your baseline was 3 mg of K. What you're describing makes sense. And all of your thinking seems really sound to me.

 

I suspect that cross tolerance to the different benzos isn't 100%. Valium does seem to affect me a lot more than Xanax, to which I've developed complete tolerance.

 

I started a crossover from Xanax to Valium early on, but found that Valium made me feel really sick. I'm still on 2 mg of it from then, because of course, as you've noticed, you can't go back. Intermittently I think about trying the crossover again but more slowly this time, but I also sort of feel like "better the devil you know," kind of thing, so for now I'm still dosing the damn Xanax every three friggin hours around the clock. I figure I'll stay with it as long as it's working. It's such a crapshoot with these meds I probably shouldn't screw with anything that's actually working.

 

I really think the most important thing is the "hold and stabilize" part, and I'm so pleased you have a doc who actually understands that. And that you're thinking so well and rationally about it. Not that I'd like you any less if you didn't, but since I do like you, it's nice that you're so on top of things.

 

I'm a huge proponent of snail-like slow tapers, taking tiny cuts, holding whenever symptoms ramp up, but we'll see if I change my mind about that after a couple more years of it. Crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, that it continues to work for me.


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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alexjuice

Hi Alex,

 

I just spent the last while reading all the posts in your thread. First of all, I'm sorry you are going through what you are going through. I agree with everyone else who is encouraging you that better days are ahead, but patience will be needed on your part. It must make you horribly upset to realize your life is on hold for some unknown time, but perhaps this is part of your purpose in life. ...

 

I had terrible prostate issues during my Paxil withdrawal. Your story of going through antibiotic therapy is all too familiar, but it never did cure my troubles. In fact, a common antibiotic used, ciprofloxacin, has been reported to worsen withdrawal symptoms. I finally had a doctor who suggested Flomax as a temporary treatment, and that along with regular stretching of my pelvic muscles proved to work for me.

 

Hey, thank you very much for reading all the posts in the thread -- it's getting up there!

 

It sounds like you are doing better. How is life for you today and how long have you been in recovery?

 

I am grateful for your words and grateful that you can relate. One of the hardest things has been seeing doctors, especially about the prostate issue, who were unsympathetic. I had one Doc who was very rude. He saw I was on benzos and dismissed me as 'neurotic' in a very upsetting way. He flatly said, without exam, that my symptoms were caused by anxiety. I admitted anxiety could explain some symptoms but for others it would have simply NOT BEEN POSSIBLE (unless completely unprecedented in medical history). So I resisted his reductionism, which just angered him. Anxiety couldn't possibly explain symptoms C & F, I said. (I won't get graphic here about the specific symptoms, you'll have to take my word). He literally laughed in my face. He followed that up by saying he had no reason to believe that a weightlifting episode ever happened. That, basically, I was making it all up?!? I couldn't believe what I was hearing... Topping it off, after 15 mins of demeaning insult, I had to cut him a $150 check. Karma owes Doc a kick in the groin.

 

That was the worst of it, but docs simply don't know. They see my meds, or hear my rx history, and immediately deem me unreliable. You can isolate the exact moment in their body language when they stop taking you seriously. In retrospect, this is probably for the best since they get their education spoon-fed from Big Pharma. Looking back, it was probably better for me that he wrote me off rather than try to 'treat' me and, inevitably, make things worse.

 

I didn't think at the time about how the w/d might play a role in the prostate issues. I didn't find out about that connection until much later. I am really encouraged that you have gotten better. I've tried all sorts of things, including a dreaded cipro cycle back in May -- no coincidence that it was in May that I reintroduced a benzo, and there have been some progress and also some setbacks.

 

Right now I have the prostate issue somewhat on back burner as I am having more immediate problems. Still, I am encouraged to hear that physical therapy, stretching pelvic muscles helped you. I think that there's promise there for me as well.

 

Did you ever try Saw Palmetto or Zinc?

 

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

Hi Alex,

 

...

 

I had terrible prostate issues during my Paxil withdrawal. Your story of going through antibiotic therapy is all too familiar, but it never did cure my troubles. In fact, a common antibiotic used, ciprofloxacin, has been reported to worsen withdrawal symptoms. I finally had a doctor who suggested Flomax as a temporary treatment, and that along with regular stretching of my pelvic muscles proved to work for me.

 

You have an amazing gift of writing. I can see where one day, you will write your book chronicling your experience of regaining your mental health. I alluded to a purpose earlier, and it may be your gift that will inspire countless others to pursue their own mental well being. Please stay hopeful, and know you have a future where the tribulations of the present are replaced by the joys of fulfillment in times to come.

 

Hey Schnapps,

 

I didn't realize at first that you were the member with the '14 year' story posted in this section. Now that I realize, I see the history that you've shared answers several of my questions.

 

Again, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the writing compliment. If you excuse the mistakes and allow me a tad extra time to write since I'm much slower these days, then it does sometimes turn out ok. :)


"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

That white people and grammar blog post was very funny. But what was most funny / scary was that the comments were all serious arguments about grammar!

 

Yea. It's a satirical blog that many people really like and the Grammar post is one of the best. I think the creator of that blog basically makes a living from its popularity.


"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 suspect that cross tolerance to the different benzos isn't 100%. Valium does seem to affect me a lot more than Xanax, to which I've developed complete tolerance.

 

 

Yea. I've been thinking that too. I guess it's not algebra, there are no universal formulas. I've seen pharmacology textbooks that use Ashton numbers (Val 20 = Klon 1) and I've seen others that use totally different equivalencies. My doc lent me his 2010 APA Textbook for Shrinks and it had a different conversion rate. Assuming my memory is good, their rate was Val 14.75 = Klon 1 (don't quote me to the penny). But, to your point, they aren't all apples, are they? It's not a perfect apples to apples comparison especially when you factor in individual differences in reaction. Tolerance probably plays a key role in both of our cases.

 

I started a crossover from Xanax to Valium early on, but found that Valium made me feel really sick. I'm still on 2 mg of it from then, because of course, as you've noticed, you can't go back. Intermittently I think about trying the crossover again but more slowly this time, but I also sort of feel like "better the devil you know," kind of thing, so for now I'm still dosing the damn Xanax every three friggin hours around the clock. I figure I'll stay with it as long as it's working. It's such a crapshoot with these meds I probably shouldn't screw with anything that's actually working.

 

Is it rare to direct taper from Xanax? I don't specifically know anyone tapering from Xanax though I've gathered from forums that the trend is to crossover. I only took Xanax once in my life, during my shady phase. Since I had such a high klonopin tolerance and only took one Xan pill, I don't remember any effect at all. So I am not the expert in any way on Xanax.

 

That said, if you're accustomed to dealing with the frequent dosing then you may be best served by just sticking with the Xanax. I know they are not both apples, but if I could go back, I'd have just stayed on the Klonopin and left the Valium alone. I was just learning about withdrawal and side effects and feeling defiant and feeling human. I was in a big hurry to crossover. But, looking back, it was a case of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing. I rushed it. However, it is also my understanding that Klonopin has a significantly longer half-life vs Xanax.

 

I've come to the same conclusion about med changes. Change is usually bad for the brain. From now forward, I only plan change if I have to or via a measured, patient plan. I'm still angry at a detox center that c/t'd me three and a half years ago. I have w/d issues that never went away even when I restarted last spring. For instance, my left extremities are always numb and tingly, especially my hand. It gets better, it gets worse... but never 'normal'. When I was smoker, I had trouble smoking in my car because sometimes I would lose cigs to the wind because I couldn't feel my fingers enough to grip them right. That ticked me off!

 

Honestly, though, my hand is a little numb. My foot is a little tingly. I can handle that one.

 

I really think the most important thing is the "hold and stabilize" part, and I'm so pleased you have a doc who actually understands that. And that you're thinking so well and rationally about it. Not that I'd like you any less if you didn't, but since I do like you, it's nice that you're so on top of things.

 

I'm a huge proponent of snail-like slow tapers, taking tiny cuts, holding whenever symptoms ramp up, but we'll see if I change my mind about that after a couple more years of it. Crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, that it continues to work for me.

 

Yea. I am totally on board with you on this one. Right now I am almost at a "set it and forget it dose". I'm just going to try to be healthy, patient and let time and nature do their thing. I hope that I am a lot better in 3 months.

 

Fingers crossed.

 

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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Rhiannon

"I've come to the same conclusion about med changes. Change is usually bad for the brain."

 

Yes! --punching fist in the air-- I just (not here, but elsewhere) feel like the voice in the friggin wilderness about this sometimes.

 

It's like, the neuroscientists are all about the plasticity these days, but somehow psychiatrists and doctors haven't figured it out--you screw with chemicals, the brain is going to try to respond and change and adapt. I mean is it just me, or DOH?

 

So if you go switching chemical states around rapidly, how can that possibly be helpful? The kinds of changes that produce neuroplasticity are slow and can't change directions overnight. And our brains have NO inbuilt mechanisms for dealing with these kinds of neurochemical manipulations, since they've never before encountered them in evolution.

 

So how could it possibly be good to keep throwing the brain back into chaos? And I mean "chaos" literally--the nervous system is SO complex, it's at least as complex as the weather, which is a chaotic system (sensitive dependence on initial conditions).

 

I suspect that a lot of protracted damage may be due to chemical chaos caused by sudden changes in meds. The brain has to just do whatever it can to keep the organism alive and keep basic essential life processes functioning in the face of chaotic vacillations and feedback loops gone out of control. In the process not all the wiring that gets laid down is optimal. If our brains had encountered these kinds of chemical manipulations throughout evolution they would know how to rewire in a way that's going to work, but they don't have any built-in mechanisms for that, so they have to just do whatever seems to work that day, and if it works, it stays, even if it's not great.

 

So then after the crisis is over, I suspect, there is a period when the dysfunctional but necessary improvised structural changes have to be broken down and remodeled into something more normal and healthy. (Kind of like me, when I try to knit a scarf, which I do about every ten years. There's a lot of taking apart and reassembling.)

 

And this process is also improvised and somewhat chaotic itself--again, reiterate, no chance to evolve any of this.

 

Hence, I speculate, the non-linear path of recovery.

 

Which I think nonetheless strives continually for optimization and does rebuild and improve over time, albeit bumpily.

 

Which I think might be what folks are talking about when they talk about the Rubik's cube...?

 

Anyway, here I went off on ya in your thread. Sorry. Have a need to vent I guess. (I might have to come back and copy this and paste it into another thread because I want to start a conversation about approaching post-acute withdrawal as rehabilitation, something we can actually work with actively.)

 

I want to add that, from personal experience, and right now I don't really want to explain that, I know that at least in my own brain, rewiring neural networks is something that happens in a time frame of years. It seems to start with the first effects (probably not due to new neurons but some glial/chemical activity) immediately, but there's a kind of stability that sets in around six months that I speculate may be due to actual concrete neuron networks beginning to establish. Then there is a period of fairly rapid continuing growth of new connections for up to about two years, and then it slows down but of course never stops, things are continually growing and rewiring.

 

So the time frame of one to two years for stabilization and recovery is not, in my opinion, unrealistic or excessive, which is why I'm impressed with that doc. HE has apparently been paying attention. Go figure.


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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Healing

 

That white people and grammar blog post was very funny. But what was most funny / scary was that the comments were all serious arguments about grammar!

 

Yea. It's a satirical blog that many people really like and the Grammar post is one of the best. I think the creator of that blog basically makes a living from its popularity.

 

How do you make a living from a blog? The advertising?

 

 

It's not a perfect apples to apples comparison especially when you factor in individual differences in reaction....

 

I know they are not both apples...

 

I have a feeling we're going to be using this on this board: "Oh, Bobbie Jo! They are not both apples, you know!" :D

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

Your grammar is pretty darn good, alex.


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

Great stuff in post #57, Rhi! I have to think about it more.


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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Schnapps

 

Hey, thank you very much for reading all the posts in the thread -- it's getting up there!

 

It sounds like you are doing better. How is life for you today and how long have you been in recovery?

 

I am grateful for your words and grateful that you can relate. One of the hardest things has been seeing doctors, especially about the prostate issue, who were unsympathetic. I had one Doc who was very rude. He saw I was on benzos and dismissed me as 'neurotic' in a very upsetting way. He flatly said, without exam, that my symptoms were caused by anxiety. I admitted anxiety could explain some symptoms but for others it would have simply NOT BEEN POSSIBLE (unless completely unprecedented in medical history). So I resisted his reductionism, which just angered him. Anxiety couldn't possibly explain symptoms C & F, I said. (I won't get graphic here about the specific symptoms, you'll have to take my word). He literally laughed in my face. He followed that up by saying he had no reason to believe that a weightlifting episode ever happened. That, basically, I was making it all up?!? I couldn't believe what I was hearing... Topping it off, after 15 mins of demeaning insult, I had to cut him a $150 check. Karma owes Doc a kick in the groin.

 

That was the worst of it, but docs simply don't know. They see my meds, or hear my rx history, and immediately deem me unreliable. You can isolate the exact moment in their body language when they stop taking you seriously. In retrospect, this is probably for the best since they get their education spoon-fed from Big Pharma. Looking back, it was probably better for me that he wrote me off rather than try to 'treat' me and, inevitably, make things worse.

 

I didn't think at the time about how the w/d might play a role in the prostate issues. I didn't find out about that connection until much later. I am really encouraged that you have gotten better. I've tried all sorts of things, including a dreaded cipro cycle back in May -- no coincidence that it was in May that I reintroduced a benzo, and there have been some progress and also some setbacks.

 

Right now I have the prostate issue somewhat on back burner as I am having more immediate problems. Still, I am encouraged to hear that physical therapy, stretching pelvic muscles helped you. I think that there's promise there for me as well.

 

Did you ever try Saw Palmetto or Zinc?

 

Alex.i

 

Hi Alex,

 

Well, my taper off Paxil first began in 2002 which failed and then was followed by a successful taper in 2006 which landed me in the hospital 9 months later. I'm currently tapering off Celexa, and this time I'm doing it right, very slowly. I'm down to 1mg from 40mg in 32 months, but this last 1mg has been very difficult to taper down from with 2 fails so far. I've decided to stay in a holding pattern until I'm out of school and try again during the summer.

 

My experience with urologists mirrors your own, non-empathetic. I was on Cipro for 6 weeks and this precipitated my meltdown which led me to the hospital. My primary care doc was the one who recommended Flomax, and that took care of my occasional to frequent inability to urinate. I was scoped after I got out of the hospital and was told my external bladder sphincter was smaller than normal and my anxiety was the cause of it shutting down. The whole experience was horrible, the worst I've been through.

 

I did try saw palmetto for a while but it didn't work for me. Never tried zinc.

 

No worries on any mistakes in your writing; frankly, I'm not skilled enough to recognize grammar errors unless they're quite obvious. I think your plan to go slow on the benzo taper is a good one. For me, SSRI withdrawal is more mental where benzo withdrawal was way more physical. Not fun at all.


My history and current condition is here.

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compsports

""I am grateful for your words and grateful that you can relate. One of the hardest things has been seeing doctors, especially about the prostate issue, who were unsympathetic. I had one Doc who was very rude. He saw I was on benzos and dismissed me as 'neurotic' in a very upsetting way. He flatly said, without exam, that my symptoms were caused by anxiety.""

 

Hi Alex,

 

I am so sorry you went through this. Not to get off the subject, but this is the reason when I see medical professionals, I will not disclose my past psych med history. Also, when it asks if I have a history of things like depression, I say no.

 

Your doctor or hopefully ex-doctor belongs in the hall of shame.

 

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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alexjuice

Hi Alex,

 

I am so sorry you went through this. Not to get off the subject, but this is the reason when I see medical professionals, I will not disclose my past psych med history. Also, when it asks if I have a history of things like depression, I say no.

 

Your doctor or hopefully ex-doctor belongs in the hall of shame.

 

CS

 

Thanks comp,

 

Yeah, I told my shrink about this episode and he recommended that I not disclose. So, if possible, I do not disclose. Sometimes, I have to disclose since I am still on benzos. Recently, I've been struggling with reflux and most of the Rx medications (PPIs) used to treat it react with benzos... So I had to be upfront.

 

You're right though. Docs play probabilities and hunches. I've noticed that when I give that info about my Rx history, they make assumptions and I end up getting bad care b/c they jump to conclusions.

 

The urologist that I saw last summer... He was just in a league of his own for being insensitive and mean. It wasn't the end of the world, but at the time, in the mental state I was in, that meeting was a very traumatic experience for me.

 

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'm down to 1mg from 40mg in 32 months, but this last 1mg has been very difficult to taper down from with 2 fails so far. I've decided to stay in a holding pattern until I'm out of school and try again during the summer.

 

....

 

For me, SSRI withdrawal is more mental where benzo withdrawal was way more physical. Not fun at all.

 

Congrats on getting to where you are. I am of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with a holding pattern at all. All of my mistakes were from rushing it, I've yet to suffer a setback from holding.

 

I went through benzo w/d once, but it was the worst kind. I was at a rehab with no way to leave. And I was c/t'd with barbituates as a taper over 10-14 days. Things went really bad for me. My taper from Effexor/Risperdal was longer but still way too fast. I think a lot of my continuing problem comes from the fact that I started on the meds at 18. And I have been jerked on and off at least 20 meds. Nothing was gradual or patient and my life to this point has been a side-effect. There's been no life, only w/d and side effects for 14 years.

 

I still have a benzo taper in front of me, but I am not close to ready for it. I am at a bad point as it is.

 

I have great hope for myself.

 

When I hear that you have been able to get down to 1mg over such a gradual taper, I am extremely hopeful for you. Hang in.

 

best wishes,

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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compsports

 

Hi Alex,

 

I am so sorry you went through this. Not to get off the subject, but this is the reason when I see medical professionals, I will not disclose my past psych med history. Also, when it asks if I have a history of things like depression, I say no.

 

Your doctor or hopefully ex-doctor belongs in the hall of shame.

 

CS

 

Thanks comp,

 

Yeah, I told my shrink about this episode and he recommended that I not disclose. So, if possible, I do not disclose. Sometimes, I have to disclose since I am still on benzos. Recently, I've been struggling with reflux and most of the Rx medications (PPIs) used to treat it react with benzos... So I had to be upfront.

 

You're right though. Docs play probabilities and hunches. I've noticed that when I give that info about my Rx history, they make assumptions and I end up getting bad care b/c they jump to conclusions.

 

The urologist that I saw last summer... He was just in a league of his own for being insensitive and mean. It wasn't the end of the world, but at the time, in the mental state I was in, that meeting was a very traumatic experience for me.

 

Alex.i

 

Hi Alex,

 

I understand what you're saying.

 

Have you tried a low carb diet? I don't know if you saw my previous post but Norm Robillard, a PhD Scientist, has written a book, Heartburn Cured, about how he cured heartburn by going on a low carb diet. He was able to get off all heartburn medications and doesn't have to restrict his diet.

 

And even if you need to take drugs, I would still not disclose. When you are prescribed something, I would look up the potential interactions and then call your local CVS pharmacist for advice. Personally, I found them very helpful.

 

I mean, even when you disclosed, the doctor still prescribed them right or not?

 

By the way, what our people like shrinks doing to decrease stigma? They keep saying folks should come forward and seek help but yet, then situations like what you describe occur.

 

ARRGH!

 

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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Brandon

Alex-

Welcome!

 

I am new to this forum as well. I have found the people here to be the most friendly, helpful, supportive, caring, awesome folks.

 

I too have dealt with side effects, symptoms, and situations which you have.

Specifically; recently (the past year) I have not spoken to any of my friends. I only talk to immediate family; when they call me.

I used to be so intelligent, and now I feel like my brain is mush. I too have similar problems with focus, concentration, and comprehension.

I too had cravings for alcohol on the drugs; it has to do with how the meds mess up your blood sugar.

 

You have my support;

from someone going through similar issues

~B

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alexjuice

Feel not good. Can't write full update. Put some information in the Weight Gain Thread.

 

I've posted some pics of myself and the changes to my body during the 14 months of my w/d.

 

Not pretty.

 

Go hereto view: http://medslikethiswillkillyou.blogspot.com/

 

I try not to use profanity. But I feel like screaming a word. Guess which word.

 

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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Schnapps

Feel not good. Can't write full update. Put some information in the Weight Gain Thread.

 

I've posted some pics of myself and the changes to my body during the 14 months of my w/d.

 

Not pretty.

 

Go hereto view: http://medslikethiswillkillyou.blogspot.com/

 

I try not to use profanity. But I feel like screaming a word. Guess which word.

 

Alex.I

 

Feel better Alex....


My history and current condition is here.

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Healing

I wrote something on your calorie topic.

 

Give 'em hell, Duke. Don't let the varmints get away with it!


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

Feel not good. Can't write full update. Put some information in the Weight Gain Thread.

 

I've posted some pics of myself and the changes to my body during the 14 months of my w/d.

 

Not pretty.

 

Go hereto view: http://medslikethiswillkillyou.blogspot.com/

 

I try not to use profanity. But I feel like screaming a word. Guess which word.

 

Alex.I

 

Hi Alex,

 

I am speechless after reading your blog entry.

 

I wish there was something I could do to make it better but obviously, I can't.

 

I wish you nothing but the best.

 

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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Hopeful

Hope you feel better soon, Alex.


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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alexjuice

Update: May 12, 2012

 

First, thank you everyone for your words of support. Means a lot!

 

Things have been lousy (in that relative way), but I feel in good spirits today, good and lucid enough to drop by and update the thread.

 

On Tuesday the 3rd I started a digestive enzyme, enzymedica digest gold. I had tried digestive enzyme products in the past and had no result. But on this one within a few doses my ability to eat and poop improved greatly. For the first time in many weeks, I was able to eat like a human. I had significant side effects though, first overstimulation expressed as sweating and rapid heartbeat. I reduced the dose. I then experienced more side effects, now being unable to stay awake and the appearance of spontaneous erection (a miracle!, but troubling). I further reduced the dose. On the third day problems continued, specifically with balance and overstimulation. I reduced the dose again. On the 4th day I took a very small dose, ~1/10th of the powder in one of the capsules. I'll return to the 4th day in a sec.

 

Why did I take this enzyme for about 4 days despite its significant side effects. I did it because it let me eat and poop -- ahh, this is what life has become! Over those three days I ate well, sometimes ate heartily thanks to a great appetite and working digestive system. I even snuck in some cookies and some pudding. It felt amazing to be able to eat again. Reflux, pain, anorexia, all of that crap was gone.

 

Back to the 4th day... After taking a tiny amount of the powder, I developed a new side effect. My face became cold and numb yet it burned, sort of like frost bite. This started on my cheeks. As hours went by I experienced similar on my nose, lips, fingers, heels of my feet. That night I experienced a terrifying extension of the numbness. I had no sensitivity in my genitals nor sensation of orgasm.

 

So I stopped with the digestive enzyme. That was Friday night. I felt weak and tired for a few days... depleted, similar to what I had experienced when I stopped taking the PPI protonix after an approximately equivalent time period. Something else, my left eye has become a leading indicator of dysfunction. When things are beginning to go wrong, I lose some feeling in the muscles around the eye and the eyelid droops down though sight is not affected. When my eye starts to go, usually more problems follow...

 

To the present... I continue to have burning/numbness/loss-of-feeling in parts of my body though this is improving but definitely not linearly. These sensations are exacerbated by stress (what isn't!). The good news is I am currently much better than I was before the enzyme in the digestive department. Unfortuntately, most of my GI symptoms have returned but at a much lower voltage. I am more or less able to eat and GI unpleasantness is a fraction of what it was.

 

I am hopeful that the better GI functioning will last and I can, at the least, stop the runaway weight loss I've been experiencing. I am troubled by the sensations of burning and numbness that I now experience. I'm especially troubled by the sex aspects of it but, honestly, it wasn't like I was capable of much sexually before the digestive enzyme. Still, I don't want to downplay the difficulty I feel in coping with these new symptoms. They suck. This sucks and will continue to suck.

 

Also, that said, things sucking is a part of life.

 

It would do me well to learn as much as possible about the w/d syndrome that I suffer from. I wish there was more (any!?!) understanding and acceptance among medical professionals. I wish there was more uniformity among the symptoms that affect each individual. Sometimes I think I should dedicate my life to this, to solving it or whatever. But I realize that I'm not capable of that. Frankly I know of no expert in the field of neurological functioning that would be able, with accuracy, to confidently explain what is happening to my nervous system. How can I delude myself with the idea that I can fix myself or others? The brain, the nervous system... the best minds of mankind have been working on mapping and understanding it for well over 100 years and much is still poorly understood, if understood at all. I am, by nature, a confident person in my intuitive problem solving abilities. But this one is out of my league. I guess I will wait and play it safe and hope to get better with time. Besides, being a psychiatric med casualty is what I am but it isn't what I want to do with my life. I've never gotten chance to pursue any of my dreams and, even though I am not on deck at this moment for an attempt, I someday want to pursue the dreams that I have harbored for years and decades -- those dreams had nothing to do with recovering from Drugs & Doctors. I still hope I get a shot at them.

 

In dealing with this I have come to terms with a lot. Luckily -- and I have only rarely been lucky -- I seem to be irrationally hopeful, at least some of the time. An esteemed anxiety guru once told me that I was an unusual case. I had had a meeting with him to discuss issues related to anxiety, of which I have plenty. At the end of our meeting he said he found me optimistic and engaged. This, he said, surprised him. He was an Academic and required me to complete some surveys/inventories before our meeting as well as provide some personal history. My responses indicated very low levels of depression but also showed my large deficiencies in the three environmental spheres that (according to him) tend to most greatly impact depression; these he said were the quality of a one's health, work life and interpersonal relationships. He told me that I had no money, bad health and few relationships outside first-degree family members. Frankly, he said, I'd expect you to be a lot more depressed. "Yea, I guess after 13 years of antidepressants I'm cured!" ... :-)

 

Point is, I have reason to feel down and sometimes do. And sure overall I feel that I've got a bad deal, a weak hand, an undeserved fate. But I also have many blessings. And, honestly, the worst that can happen is that I can lose everything. But was that not bound to happen at some point regardless? This thing, suffering and losing health... I don't know why I should feel singled out. When I take realistic look at the big picture, I realize that suffering and health problems are inevitable and universal.

 

Of course, it is a bit more complicated than this, but for me the point is that today I ate some clam chowder and ham and rice pudding and eggs and sausage. So, I'm gonna try to be glad about that.

 

I haven't been keeping up with this site as I had before the enzyme probs. The past week was a real rollercoaster and I'm due for things to settle down which will allow for more participation across the site. I like participating here and feel like I am starting to get to know many of you guys.

 

I am always grateful for the support and hope everyone is feeling well today.

 

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

Bad day yesterday...

 

I spent an unusual amount of time in the Texas sun in the afternoon. Shortly after went to the market with my mom and felt very weak and highly uncomfortable in public around people. Could only spend 10 minutes or so in the store before retiring to the car.

 

Got home. Felt weak, headache, stomach probs, anxiety... Hit the couch and slept for 10 hours (most I've slept in many months).

 

Not sure if the sun was a factor. I had had several days of relative calm and manageable symptoms.

 

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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