Jump to content
Altostrata

What is happening in your brain?

Recommended Posts

Altostrata

This explanation of withdrawal syndrome -- in this case, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome -- is a post from BenzoBuddies used by the permission of the author, who wishes to remain anonymous.

 

After 4 years off, she has mostly recovered except for some vision problems (as she describes below) and is fully functional.

 

The domino effect of neurotransmitter dysregulation she describes here regarding GABA and glutamate also applies generally to all the other neurotransmitters affected by psychiatric drugs. They are all necessary, working in harmony, like an orchestra. Dysregulate one, and the others tend to get dysregulated, too.

What is happening in your brain?

October 03, 2012, 09:08:49 pm
 
This will hopefully be an encouraging email to make you feel SAFE and ENCOURAGED.

As some of you may know, my degrees are in speech-language pathology (B.A and M.S.)
As part of my Masters study, a big portion of my classes were in neuroanatomy and physiology.
I learned firsthand how to look at a person who had just undergone a stroke or brain injury and read the symptoms, the radiology reports, the doctor's notes,  and based on those symptoms, to form an image in my mind of what was affected in the brain injury - as well as how to formulate a treatment plan to help that person rehabilitate. For a therapist in a hospital, it is much more than "speech and language". It is about reteaching how to swallow, eat,  rebuilding memory, rebuilding concentation and attention, rebuilding focus, rebuilding executive functioning skills (planning and acting on a plan) -[...] much ANYTHING that is involved in "thinking" that helps you get OUT of a coma, OUT of a hospital, and back to [...], work, and school. 

I had NO idea I would ever personally undergo a brain injury.  But insomuch as I have now indeed endured one, I often laid there in waves and attempted to "analyze and decipher" what was happening in my brain as I healed. I thought you all might like to read this. It gives potential answers to all the "WHY?" questions we have about what is happening to us mentally.

First of all, a TRUTH to accept is that WE HEAL.  I have seen people emerge from comas who cannot remember who they are - HEAL.
They can't remember how to walk (we do).
They can't write their names (we can).
They cannot tell you the year or the president (I was SO bad I was unsure of this at times, but generally, I was oriented to this).
They often cannot remember family members (we can -our D/R can be hideous, but we remember them).
THEY have to work through many hours of therapy to heal. But most of them do - and from TRAUMATIC PHYSICAL brain trauma that can tear tissue and tear nerves.
We have none of that. We don't have to undergo therapy. We simply have to wait.

Most of us, me included, didn't expect the temporary "brain injury" we got when jumping off benzos.
But I [...] starting to realize through my own experience and my educational background, that there is a PURPOSE in every symptom we have.  I have had months and months to analyze what is likely going on in the brain at a gross level - and I want to attempt to explain certain symptoms in a way that we can visualize - so that they are less "scary" and more "telling" of the healing that is happening.

First off - let's start with GABA and Glutamate. Most of you may know how this works by this point. But for those that don't, we have a huge nervous system of millions of nerves (neurons).  They don't "touch" each other. They are separated by a tiny space in between. However, they communicate via chemicals. The 2 MAIN chemicals in the entire nervous system are the BIG GUNS.  They are GABA and Glutamate. They are BOTH at work at ALL times in the CNS.  It isn't like one is working and then the other is working. They are BOTH ALWAYS working in tandem to control every aspect of movement, sensation  - everything. They take the incoming information and appropriately pass it along - they "trim up" the information appropriately so that we can process it.  They are like the steel structure of a building.  The entire building needs a steel structure to stand. 

GABA is inihibitory.  If a nerve releases GABA - it is to Inhibit function - this could be to "slow it down" or it could be to "limit the sensory input" so that we can process it.  In the same way, GABA might be released to help "steady" your hand while doing something like painting a very detailed painting.  GABA "shores up" movements to make them more fluid.   That's just in a nutshell. Of COURSE it does a lot more than this, but the idea is that GABA is present in the ENTIRE CNS and ALWAYS working to balance every sensation, movement, etc.

Likewise, Glutamate is the balance to GABA. It is the "excitatory" transmitter. It fires to speed things up - to initiate action - to make things "go".  There's a lot more to it, but Glutamate is kinda the opposite of GABA.   

BOTH are required to work at all times.  Neurons are ALL ALWAYS firing off GABA and Glutamate on a endless cycle all throughout the nervous system. It's quite amazing really.

What does a benzo do?  If a person is anxious - they may be so stressed that they cannot overcome a very traumatic event or anxious situation.  If a doctor prescribes a benzo - the benzo comes in and sorta "holds the door open" for ALL the GABA in the system to FLOOD into the nerves - even when that is not what the nerves would actually want to occur. The immediate effect is that EVERYTHING ni the body SLOWS DOWN and is inhibited. This might be helpful during surgery, for anesthesia, for a seizure disorder.  Yes - the benzo - by definition - will act on GABA and "slow everything down".  And yes - the net effect of this is that a person may feel drowsy, calm, less anxious... everything is being inhibited.    And in general, taking a benzo for "one day"  is okay. When the benzo is gone, the body just reverts back to regular operation.
HOWEVER, if a person takes a benzo day after day,  while indeed the person feels less anxious, the body begins to realize that it cannot DO the things it needs to do in this very slowed-down neuron state. It cannot make hormones. It cannot create enzymes. It cannot digest correctly. It cannot keep a heart going efficiently. It cannot get enough oxygen- and on and on. The body NEEDS to run at "normal" speed - not this "inhibited speed" all slowed down. 
But what can the body do? It cannot "remove the benzo" from the system. The only choice the body has to maintain a regular speed is to do two things ..  It can TURN OFF it's own GABA receptors - thereby rendering those benzos unable to affect the GABA in the system. And it can grow MORE excitatory Glutamate receptors to counteract the slow-down.  And that's kinda exactly what happens....

Only - this isn't true balance either.  The body does the best it can - but over time, things begin to suffer.  The body cannot make enough serotonin in this state. Or dopamine. Some things get made in excess - and other things do not get made enough!  During this time, a person may not be aware this is all going on. He may not be able to perceive any difference. But ONE day - the person may wake up sad - or not sleeping well - or unable to remember things fully - or his vision doesn't look right....and it becomes apparent the person has "hit tolerance".  The body is taking the same amount of drug -but try as it might, it just cannot overcome what has occured. It can take weeks, months or years to hit tolerance. Some people do and some don't before [...] to get off benzos.  (I did. - it took me 9 months to hit tolerance.  But it was fast.  Once I hit it, I could notsleep more than 6 hours on all that klonopin AND Ambien! I couldn't remember things last week. I was crying all the time... something was wrong.)

The process to reverse this takes a while.  GABA receptors have to UPregulate and effectively "reopen" or "grow back".  Glutamate receptors must DOWNregulate, or effectively "turn off" or "prune back".  And IN this mix, all the smaller monoamines (neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) must somehow find a way to synthesize in the mix.  Through weeks and months the body is rebuildling millions of neurons, and changing pathways, rebuilding GABA, downregulating Glutamate, rebuilding serotonin, rebuilding dopamine, rebuilding norepinephrine.  And ALL the enzymes and hormones that need to be made are attempting to be made while this is going on.  Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. 
And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the building is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes. smiley.gif
(Now look at the new Tower that stands at Ground Zero!  It's taller, [...], and a symbol of freedom.  JUST like you will be!  thumbsup.gif)

So - okay - what is happening in that chaos?  What parts of the brain are responsible for these symptoms? 

Now, I don't "know" the following based on research, because not enough research has been done yet  - but based on my studies in neuroanatomy and my own withdrawal experiences, here is how I have analyzed what is "happening" during wave symptoms. Remember, I have had to look at radiology reports of brain damage and estimate what a patient might present with - so this is very similar. Instead of a radiology report showing me what has been damaged, I'm using my own brain symptoms to surmise what is going on....

Let me first list brain structures and their functions. This will help you understand where things happen in the brain and when symptoms occur, what may be happening.

BRAIN STRUCTURES
amygdala  - This is the FEAR center in the brain. It's a tiny part in the middle of your brain. Fear is protective and it's GREAT if you need to assess something that is dangerous and to ACT  - like if a rabid dog were chasing you. - but it's hard in recoveyr when it's all you feel for months! But the FEAR is not truly in your MIND. It's in your BRAIN.  There is too much glutamate acting here in the amygdala and not enough GABA. So the nerves are firing off in the fear center when nothing scary is really there in your environment.  It is normal for that to happen given the circumstance physiologically. But it feels awful, doesn't it?  I know.  But it's just a brain structure. This can account for fear, agoraphobia, fear of water, fear of anything.  It's not that you're really "scared" of the moon - it's that you're in almost constant fear because this brain structure is healing. The glutamate is pruning back. The GABA receptors are opening back up.  It may or may not continue for awhile. It will abate. Then come back. But eventually, the brain will get it right.  smiley.gif

Hippocampus - This is the "memory" center of the brain. It ties in old memories to emotions.  The same thing is happening here that is happening in the amygdala with GABA and Glutamate. So - voila. You get intrusive memories from ALL times in your [...].  It's wild and wicked and wooly. But it can't hurt you. And if you can learn to visualize this as what is happening - then you can learn to be objective and realize it's normal.  And like the amygdala - it will come and go and frustrate you, but it will go away when the physiology is restored.

Hypothalamus This is the structure that is responsible for regulating body temperature. In early withdrawal, my body temperature would drop to 96 degrees in waves! Then 3 hours later, it would return to normal. I'd literally freeze in terror in bed for hours.  I [...] sure it is more complicated that JUST the hypothalamus, but I could picture this part of my brain retuning and restructuring, and it was less scary that way.

The following structures in the brain are part of the "gray matter" or the "cortex "and what we consider to be the "higher brain"- the thinking and processing parts.

Frontal Lobe This is the part of the brain behind the front of the skull. It is responsible for planning things. For making decisions. For inhibiting emotions appropriately.  It is the part of the brain you need if you want to make a sandwich and need to get out the ingredients and actually make the sandwich. I have seen people with brain injury be able to TELL you how to make a sandwich - but when they are standing there in front of all the ingredients, they cannot actually move to act to make it! They have frontal lobe damage. They can TELL someone how to make it. But they cannot themselves initiate doing it! As you can imagine, with therapy, and time to heal, this goes away. And we are a lot like this - but it goes away for us, too.  I could not organize my children't toys just 4 months ago.  Not a simple room of toys. I didn't know where to start and I literally could not mentally do it. I imagine this is partly why.  No frontal lobe GABA. smiley.gif And too much Glutamate.   But now, check out this post I"m typing.  Obviously that changed. smiley.gif
This calms down and these things come back.

Occipital Lobe This is the vision center. t's at the back of your skull.   In recovery, my nerves have been all wacked here. I see things as too bright - possible due to this lobe - and/or the actual visual nerves in the eyes.  But no doubt people "see things" that aren't there.  Vision is distorted. Things go blurry.  Colors are totally off.Brightness is off.  There are a hundred symptoms possible in vision alone!  But again - it's a matter of time.

Vestibular System This is the system of semi-circular canals in the inner ear that are responsible for making you feel balanced in space.  When this is "off" or damaged temporarily, you feel dizzy. Oh man, was I dizzy. Early off - I felt like I lived in a funhouse.  Over time, a combination of this vestibular system and my damaged visual system made things look like they were "leaning". To this day, one eye sees things "correctly" and the other eye sees things as SLIGHTLY leaning. And it's not that the eye itself is seeing them that way.  The healing vestibular system is working WITH the eye to "tell" the brain that that object looks like it is "moving left-wards" or "leaning". But it isn't.  In waves, this can happen bad - and then be GONE - poof - in a window. This is just the vestibular system healing. It's gotten WAY better.

Temporal Lobe  These lobes are on the side of your brain on each side near your ear. It makes up the whole left and ride side of your brain.  This is where auditory information is processed, including hearnig itself, but also the "Meaning" of what we are hearing, as well as part of speech and language, emotion, and buncha other stuff.  In early recovery, someone was talking to me and I couldn't tell you what they said past the first sentence.  My auditory processing was ALL messed up.  I couldn't picture what a person was saying to me in real time - and by the time I caught up to them, I was lost and they were talking about something else! Also - When I was laying there in bed, I could "hear" things that weren't there in the noise of my box fan. I'd hear the fan blowing -but I also "heard" like sickening circus music. I believe this is because there is noise coming into my ear - but my brain cannot adequately "prune" what it is hearing at differnet frequecies because there is not enough GABA to inhibit it to create something meaninful.  There was all this "noise" and my brain was just firing off glutamate.  So instead of actually "processing" the noise - it was firing off ideas about what it was hearing - and they were ALL wrong.  I would be hearing what sounded like circus music - and at the same time, my poor brain was looking through my hippocampus to find all the memories I ever had of being at the circus - and then I'm reliving those memories- and at the same time, my amygdala is getting fired upon - so I'm in fear. So I'm a quivering mess of a person laying in the bed hearing and seeing things and remembering times in my childhood and scared to pieces.  Seriously? Yes - I felt crazy. But not in my MIND.  It was my BRAIN.  It's the BRAIN.  And it's normal. The structures in the brain are "obligated" to work this way.

That brings me to my next point... WHY do all of us in benzo recovery have generally the same symptoms? Well - it may make you feel calmer to realize that our brain structures are NOT broken. They are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do under the circumstances.  And all of our perceptions of what we are seeing, feeling, hearing- are normal because the parts of our brains that are firing off are doing so because a) They [...] DO work. B) They work just as they were intended to. c) They are actually healing as all this firing is going on. 

Why the depression and anxiety? It's so complicated, but this WHOLE system is interdependent. At that SAME time as ALL this stuff is going on, the entire body is [...] to heal in every place GABA and Glutamate naturally act (uh - and that would be - EVERYWHERE).
The intestines, stomach, eye balls, skin, toenails - seriously - where do we NOT have nerves? 
Anything we didn't have as a pre-existing condition is fair game for being affected by the recovery that takes place. 
This includes the body's own ability to make serotonin that is required to feel "balanced" and "happy". And you guessed it. This is not being made very efficiently in a building that is under major construction. So - you may get a day or so of feeling good - and then - boom - that's gone until you can make enough serotonin.
Oh - and by the way - serotonin HELPS TELL THE NERVES WHEN TO RELEASE GABA AND GLUTAMATE! Ha!
So on top of needing GABA to make serotonin, you need serotonin to regulate the release of GABA into the system! 
How much more interconnected can you get?  God - it's a wonder it knows how to heal at all!  But it does!  Amazing to me, really.

This is just some limited information to give an idea of what is going on in neurophysiology.  Obviously this is very cursory and not super detailed. But there is a bigger point here than "what parts of the brain are affected". 
The point REALLY is - IF  YOU KNOW that symptoms are tied to parts of a NORMAL brain under reconstruction, then you can begin to rest a little more easy in your mind that under the circumstances, the symptoms themselves are a GOOD sign. 
Without intrusive memories - as awful as they are - especially when mixed with fear - but without them, your memory itself would not heal.  It IS healing - and when you are having intrusives, try to think of it that way.  Tap your finger to your temple and say to yourself, "I know what this is. This is my hippocampus healing! Ha!" Because it IS.  And if it were NOT healing, you would not be having those symptoms.  ANY part of the brain or body that needs to heal is going to "experience" something in the form of symptoms - and you are going to notice that. But it is part of  process that is inevitably returning to the balance that it could not achieve while we were [...] putting those pills in our mouths.  (And if you're tapering, this is [...] happening - just likely with less trauma than with what happened to me when I cold-turkeyed.)

So - when you have symptoms - know that symptoms themselves are a way for you to know that healing is taking place.

And finally - realize that the DRUG is GONE.  This is withdrawal - yes - okay -we call it withdrawal -  but it's really "recovery".
The benzos are gone. The "evil drug" is no longer there.  The symptoms that are left are not the "enemy". That's our brains doing the EXACT right thing. What's happening to our brain at this point is not the "benzo beast" smiley.gif It's OUR BRAIN recovering.
Not to degrade anyone who calls it the benzo beast smiley.gif - I get that. But just so you know - you're not really fighting a beast.
You don't even need to fight it.  Just wait it out. All that reconstruction is happening on your building.
And soon - the frame will be back standing, [...] than before. The furniture will be inside. The elevators will go all the way up to the top again.  laugh.gif And the people can come and go and work like a well-oiled machine. 
Don't feel you need to fight the recontruction. It's just healing. And all that is happening to us is a sign of that.

Hope this helps somebody a little - or maybe a family member. 

And if you ARE a family member, please realize that those of us in recovery are no more in control of how we feel or what we experience than people who have undergone brain trauma in a car accident. Please be patient with us, because our brains are healing and we are in the process of reconstruction - and our function is temporarily enabled, then disabled, then enabled, then disabled again.  And that is totally normal and expected.  We can no more help that than a person can "want" to wake up out of a coma. It happens when the brain is able - and not out of sheer will.  But it does happen. So please stand by us and say loving things and reassure us every day. Notice our improvements and tell us what they are.  Encourage us when we feel good.  And when we don't, just hold us and hug us and tell us it will be okay.  Anything you would say or do for a family member that had had a car accident and a brain injury - please do that for us.  And be patient... we are getting there.

smiley.gif[...]


ADDENDUM

 I got a great PM from a buddy asking "What about the physical symptoms of pain?" - and think it deserves some theoretical attention.

I want to take some time to add some theories about PAIN and physical symptoms such as burning, akathisia, and tingling, prickling, and things that happen during recovery of this nature.

I will also add this as an addendum to the original post on page 1.

First off, let it be said that I can only "theorize" as to this, - I [...] not a doctor.  But I DO think logical theories are helpful because they give us a story and mindful logic to cope with in the MEANTIME as we are going through this.

So these are multiple sources of information that I'm tying together - some are from nerve regeneration, and some are from what we know about "how the brain works".  And some or ALL of this is likely going on when it comes to pain and skin/muscle sensations:

First off - I think a good quote comes from a Plastic Surgery practice that has published things on "nerve regeneration after injury". 

The quote follows:

"The usual events associated with normal nerve regeneration can be painful. As the regenerating ends of the nerve, called sprouts, travel, they make contact with each other and with structural proteins. The neural impulses generated by this activity may be interpreted by your brain as pain. It should be expected that for the time period associated with nerve regeneration there may be pain sufficient to need therapy and/or pain medication. Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence.  This condition is not just one of pain, but is associated with over activity of the sympathetic nervous system, so that the area of pain is a different color, like pink or purple, and is usually a different temperature, like cooler, than the surrounding non-painful skin."  http://www.riversongplasticsurgery.com/pdfs/nerve_injury_nerve_reconstruction_recovery.pdf

Well- this article isn't talking about "benzo - related nerve damage. It's talking about nerve damage caused by physical trauma of crushing, cutting, or compressing nerves. But what can we glean from it nonetheless?

We can assume that if the sympathetic nervous system is involved in the presence of pain related to healing nerves - AND IT IS- that it is also NORMAL for us to have pain as we are undergoing healing.

When I was in earliest recovery, I would often get out of the shower and have pink spots all over my feet and my abdomen. At first they were bright pink for about 2 months - and then they faded out and I don't have them anymore.  I have no idea what they were - but they were NOT there 12 days prior to my rapid taper - and then they showed up.  The spots weren't symmetrical - they followed no pattern, but they were alway in the same place on my skin.  And only after getting out of the shower.  It is easy to see how the nervous system could be involved in skin redness, irritation, and weird feelings associated with recovery.

Likewise, throughout recovery, I've had and continue to have cooling, burning, prickling and occasional stabbing sensations. I've had it feel like my skin was "wet" when there was no water on it.  Again, though. This is all normal - and like the quote says above.."Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence."  It doesn't make the pain FEEL any better in the moment, but it does help us not to become anxious about it. It's normal.  And it's a sign of healing.

What about akathisia?
Well  - from the reading, the exact cause of akathisia is not 100% conclusive, but it seems to be related to dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic activity in the brain  (dopamine and norepinephrine or noradrenaline as it is also called). These are just neurotransmitters - and it doesn't look (to me) to be exactly conclusive WHY this happens - but akathisia can happen after the use of many psychoactive drugs- not just benzos - and likely because anything that alters brain chemistry can alter dopemine and norepinephrine. So - okay. That makes sense.  We all took "brain altering" drugs - and now some of us have akathisia.  Guess what?  It seems [...] normal!  It's not fun. But it's normal.  And it can come and go and then go away eventually.  For me, I didn't get akathisia at all until month 8. It was a surprise.  It was intense and awful. But it passed in a few weeks. Since then, I have had it off and on - but not to that degree.  And now - it's mostly just annoying.  Something as simple as a good hard cry in the bathtub can COMPLETELY remove it at times.  And other times, I just have to wait for a wave to pass. But all in all, from all this information - it's normal. And the fact that it's coming and going and I'm getting hit here and there - it's a sign that the wheels are turning up there in the noggin - and things are shifting and attempting to rebalance.  So if we can keep that quote in mind - it's normal - and while the sensation itself is very uncomfortable - if not painful - it can be regarded as a "good pain" if we are able to recognize that our feeling it means we have a brain and nerves that are regaining their abilities to function.

Likewise, as a scab heals over a wound, the new skin formin underneath can become "itchy". Why does this occur? Why does a scab itch?

"The itch of a healing wound is caused by the growth of new cells underneath the old scab. New skin cells would be growing underneath, and as they form a new layer of skin, then the scab becomes more tightly stretched over this zone of activity. This can make it feel itchy. The itch sensation for burn survivors may be a tingling feeling caused by nerves re-growing, or from dry skin caused by the lack of natural oil production since oil glands may have been damaged or destroyed by the burn. As the nerves grow and start to receive and send messages, they may create that itchy feeling. The skin in this area will be a lot less thick than everywhere else, so these new nerve cells will be under a lot more pressure. Itching is a sign of healing." (Mayo Clinic)

As we can surmise, the umpteen bajillion sensation we have going on are not 100% conclusive in their origins....HOWEVER...
There IS a trend.

From what it seems like from all the reading...
NERVE REGENERATION CAN CAUSE UNPLEASANT SENSATIONS. As counterintuitive as it is,  HEALING CAN FEEL LIKE HURT. smiley.gif
But it's NOT further hurt or damage. It's the REVERSAL of damage. 

Um  - yeah - okay. Great - but what do I DO about it.

[...] much the things that I have discovered that help through this healing are to "CONFUSE" the nerves as much as possible, IF possible. 
What? Confuse the nerves?

You know how you get a cut or an insect bite and you immediately press on it to make it feel less painful? What you are doing when you press or squeeze the area is "desensitizing' the entire skin region of the cut by applying pressure to ALL the nerves in the area. That way, the ONE sensation of pain from the cut isn't the only thing your brain is feeling.  The pressure from pushing down on  ALL the nerves in the area helps to send multiple sensation to the brain to "counteract" the pain sensation.  And it works.
Similarly, other things can help "confuse" nerves:
-Heat
-Cold
-[...] Pressure
- Massage
-creams like "Icy Hot" with menthol

All of these things have helped me cope in recovery.

Let me take it one by one:

Heat: I took and [...] take hot baths almost every day. In the peak of akathisia, I lived in the tub. smiley.gif  As hot as I could stand it really helped me. All the heat was "overregistering" in my brain and I was unable to feel the akathisia as much when in the tub. It was confusing the nerve signal and it was temporary relief.  I hated those days. But I got through them.  Likewise, a heating pad for pain was my friend a lot of the time. 

-Cold -  I used a cold washcloth on burning skin - and on my face and hands - and kept dipping it in ice water and applying it.  This is an easy one, but it helped. I had a wave with 3 days of "fireface" last month and all I could do was apply the washcloth, lay there and think about how "this is healing" and keep going. But the wave passed.

[...] Pressure  I use a 15 pound weighted blanket to sleep. I have for YEARS. I ordered it online. It has many pockets with little plastic balls equally distributed to create a very heavy blanket that creates "[...] pressure". This kind of pressure is calming for anyone's nervous system. Occupational Therapists use it for children with autism, but people with anxiety can benefit from sleeping with one. And in recovery, I was glad to have it.  I used it often together with a heating pad.  It took the edge off just long enough. 

Massage This one CAN be helpful - but sometimes not.  I used to ask my husband just to "press down" on my head or my legs.  Just press there. Don't rub.  My skin hurt too much to rub, but the [...] pressure from pressing was helpful. Other times, the actual massage was a help for sore muscles.  I was too agoraphobic to schedule a REAL massage. LOL. But just this help from my family was nice to have.

Creams You're going to laugh, but there was a day that I put Vick's VapoRub on my face because my face was so HOT!  I figured if this is safe for my baby's skin, it's probably okay to try it on my face.  It worked! Oh man - my face felt SO good all day.  I used that for a few days until the wave passed.  I have also tried "Icy Hot" on my back when it was sore.  Things like this work on the same principal to "confuse the nerves".  If your nerves are too busy feeling the heat/cool of menthol, they cannot simultaneously feel "pain". So for a short time, the pain is not "felt" even though the "soreness" is technically [...] there.

All of these are ways I have coped.  I'm sure there are others you guys have used!! smiley.gif

The broad idea here is that
1) Healing is happening.
2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.
3) We can use some things to cope.
4) It's going away in time.

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm [...] - is always something I benefit from knowing. 

I [...] get these symptoms - and I'll be SOOOOOO glad when they are gone.

Thanks to the Benzo Buddy that brought this up.  wink.gif

smiley.gif[...]



« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 03:19:54 pm by [buddie] »

Edited by ChessieCat
correct a typo

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Destroyed

A most useful post.


May 2012 Olanzapine and other anti depressants. Don't know what they were.  Sertraline, Flupentixol, Sodium Valporate, Depixol, Lithium, Piportal, Mirtazapine, Lamotrogine, Venlafaxine, Respirodol ECT x 7. Don't know the dates of any of these medications because I can't remember and I have no idea of the doses either. Am no longer on any meds. Take Cod liver oil, Omega 3, B1, Sepia. Still in rehab under section 3 in the UK.   I have access to my phone and the house phone and email.

 

Symptoms 110bpm, memory loss, severe anhedonia, no motivation, poor sleep, loss of hobbies and interests including music.  Things that have come back are appetite and feeling the cold and my muscles.

 

Nothings gonna hurt me with my eyes shut, I can see through them, I can see through them - Years and Years 2015

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy2Heal

wonderful hope filled post, thanks for sharing it!!

 

I think our bodies are always striving to heal and be healthy, we just need to do our part to help it along the way

 

esp after the "insults" caused to it by different chemicals we thought would help us :/


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictalBrief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 tapered down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again, too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brassmonkey

Excellent reading for anyone in Benzo Recovery and should be read by anyone recovering from ADs and APs as well as it applies in much the same way.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GardeniaBlossom

This is so helpful! Thank you!


After being on (over 25) psychiatric meds continuously during a 16 year period, I began in July 2014 to taper off 1mg Klonopin. In September 2014, I came off Brintellix, Trazadone, Zoloft, Proprityline & Hydroxyzine in 2 weeks on my own without knowledge on how to taper properly. I've been off all psych "meds" since 10/2014 and am currently experiencing protracted withdrawal.

 

Medication history: Vibryd, Wellbutrin, Lithium, Prozac, Xanax, Celexa, Cymbalta, Trileptal, Lamictal, Abilify, Zoloft, Trazadone, Citalopram, Effexor, Seroquel, Klonopin, Paxil, Brintellix, Protriptyline, Lexapro, Pristiq, Buspar, Clonidine, Lorazepam, Notriptyline, Hydroxyzine, Serzone.

 

Introduction: http://bit.ly/1SIxWwl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
starcontrol2

This is very good read, thank you.

My question is:

 

If in withdrawal(as i am) but still on med, doesn't it keep confusing the whole system and prevents healing?

I know stabilizing is best by not changing anything, But it seems to contradict body's repair response


10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RockSie

Thank you so much!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarabera

I was looking for info on what happens during AD withdrawal in the brain and during the process of healing, and came upon James Heaney's blog. I see that he was once a member here. Is it okay for me to try pasting some of that info here? I thought it was very helpful. I'm going to continue to try and accumulate more info about this process as I find it important for me to understand what is going on.


1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Petunia

If in withdrawal(as i am) but still on med, doesn't it keep confusing the whole system and prevents healing?

I know stabilizing is best by not changing anything, But it seems to contradict body's repair response

 

The above analogy of repairing a damaged building relates to what may be happening when someone stops taking a benzodiazepine too fast. This would include going cold turkey, tapering too fast or jumping off from a dose that's still too high. This description generalizes well to all psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants.

 

In the case of a slow, careful taper, with small cuts and long holds, a better analogy would be a planned renovation of a currently functional building under the direction of a good project manager, so there would be only minor disruption to the occupants and activities in the building. The changes made to the building would be under (your) control from the start so you control the rate of destruction and re-construction. These are not perfect analogies, but I hope you can see the difference.

 

Starcontrol, if you are reducing your dose slowly and carefully, paying attention to your body and symptoms, slowing down when necessary, you are healing.

 

I was looking for info on what happens during AD withdrawal in the brain and during the process of healing, and came upon James Heaney's blog. I see that he was once a member here. Is it okay for me to try pasting some of that info here?

 

Yes that would be fine if it adds to this discussion.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarabera

This is the portion of his blog that I felt was quite relevant to healing from AD withdrawal. He is talking about emotional changes, but I'm sure that all the other things that serotonin does in our bodies are affected in much the same way.

 

 

The method that SSRI use to increase Serotonin levels in the brain is at the heart of the withdrawal problem. By blocking Serotonin receptors on neurons, the brain becomes dependent on the drug to maintain consistent levels of Serotonin. As the brain becomes accustomed to the drug, it no longer has to produce or regulate Serotonin as it did before. When the drug is removed, the receptors that stimulate Serotonin production are still blocked, and levels of this neurotransmitter begin to fluctuate. Since Serotonin is closely involved in mood and the ability to cope with emotions, this fluctuation causes wide mood swings and uncontrollable emotions. It seems that the level of Serotonin in the brain is not as important as consistent levels. As the brain adjusts to the need to self regulate levels of Serotonin, many patients experience a cascade of extreme emotional and physical symptoms. Analogous to the stages of grief or joy, these symptoms don’t always come all at once. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms come and go as the user lowers their dose of the drug. Some common emotion symptoms include depression, anxiety, anger, confusion, insomnia, and memory loss. For most people, these are symptoms that they experience in every day life. Usually, they are manageable and temporary. The difference for the withdrawal sufferer is that these emotions become unmanageable and intense. The regular mechanism that we use to control our emotions no longer works during withdrawal. It’s hard to imagine the loss of control that accompanies withdrawal symptoms. When a normal person succumbs to anger, it is still a conscious decision. In withdrawal, there is no spiral that precipitates the uncontrollable rage, it springs fully formed in the mind and propels itself without any input from the person experiencing it. The other emotional symptoms of withdrawal act in a similar way. Even when the patient exercises mindfulness and self awareness, anxiety, depression, and the other symptoms come on with little warning. They have a realness and power that most people are not used to. Since the brain’s balance has been disrupted, reality itself has been changed for the patient. Instead of an emotional wave that must be conquered or endured, these emotions become reality, with no alternative.

 

 

 

During withdrawal, these realities change and evolve as some emotions become dominant. Patients may experience uncontrollable rage for a few weeks, then enter a stage where depression dominates. These emotional tides are outward signs of the brain readjusting to the need to self regulate neurotransmitter levels. It is almost as if the mind is going through the entire inventory of emotion trying to catalog what’s necessary to regulate each one. Some people will experience several uncontrollable emotions at the same time, but the uncontrollable aspect of them will fade away one at a time. The variety and severity of symptoms often lead doctors to prescribe other drugs to mitigate the effects. This strategy compounds the problems of withdrawal by adding a second effect to an existing condition. The patient now has to deal with withdrawal as well as the effects of a new drug and perhaps a new set of withdrawal symptoms. The best strategy for dealing with SSRI withdrawal symptoms is time and slow weaning. A prolonged weaning schedule will reduce the severity and number of withdrawal symptoms. The brain requires a certain amount of time to adjust back to a natural balance of neurotransmitters which can’t be rushed. By slowly weaning off an SSRI, the brain does not have to deal with a sudden change to Serotonin levels, and can adjust at a natural rate. It takes a great deal of time for receptors in the brain to regenerate. A schedule that reduces the drug by 10% each month is usually sufficient. Schedules can vary depending on the patient. Some will be able to reduce their dose more quickly, others may have to go more slowly.


1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joannatm

Great read and hope too. I've been off sertraline for 17 months am in a bad wave and got told by my friend who is a psychiatric nurse I should try going on other tablets. I'm feeling weak at mo and in two minds. Frightened this is me


May 2003 prozac for six months after having first child. Came off taper slow. No withdrawals.

December 2009 10mg citalopram after second child.

January 2010 up to 20mg kinda helped. Not much.

July 2010 taper off within a month.

Side affects of tiredness tears. Doctor said I depressed still.

Oct 2010 Went back doctor they put me on sertraline 20mg and went to cbt therapy. Doctor kept upping it as wasn't feeling better to 200mg.

December 2014 felt better started to reduce by 4 tablets to 3 then to 2 then 1 and half. Four five weeks gap between. Stopped at 25mg in April 2015.7 months no meds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ShakeyJerr

Amazingly good information in here! I am sharing this with family, friends, and prayer partners. It goes a long way to explaining what is going on during withdrawal.

 

SJ

 


Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RainbowDbc

One of the most uplifting and motivational reads Ive had in years. Thank you...so informative. 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

Hi. New signature...Sept 4

I am currently on 450 mgs of lithium and I take it three times a day after meals. I take 1 mg of klonopin as well before sleep. Im not changing or tapering for atleast 2 months. 

I cold turkeyed respirodone that I took between April and June due to psychosis. Having signs of involuntary movement or signs of tardive dis. every afternoon since I tapered lithium..

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grandmaD

Is the damage to the CNS done from being on the anti-depressant or from the withdrawal?


1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brassmonkey

The CNS is not "damaged".  It is modified by the AD to work in a certain  manner that requires the presence of the drug.  When the drug is removed those modifications need to by undone so the CNS can function with out it.  The WD symptoms we get are from the CNS trying to restore itself to its original condition without having the drug to keep things working in the "modified" manner.  That's why we taper very slowly, so the CNS can make small orderly changes as the drug is removed.  Instead of trying to sort it all out at once.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grandmaD

Thanks Brass, that is very encouraging to know it isn't permanently damaged, but I have to wonder about that just the same!  What about in older people, is there evidence their brains can sill recover?  Or is it just going to take longer???


1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quest

How excellent!  

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JS11
On 8/24/2017 at 7:53 PM, brassmonkey said:

The CNS is not "damaged".  It is modified by the AD to work in a certain  manner that requires the presence of the drug.  When the drug is removed those modifications need to by undone so the CNS can function with out it.  The WD symptoms we get are from the CNS trying to restore itself to its original condition without having the drug to keep things working in the "modified" manner.  That's why we taper very slowly, so the CNS can make small orderly changes as the drug is removed.  Instead of trying to sort it all out at once.

Quote

 

Quote

 

 

Thank you Brassmonkey, needed to be reminded.  JS


26 years of Anti-depressants (probably 32, lost track, alone and/in combination Vyvanse 30mg Discontinued Feb. 22, 2013 Topamax  25-75mg Feb 23, 2013--Feb 2016 0.0 mg Discontinued  Lamotrigine 25-50mg Jan 15, 2016-Adverse Reaction Discontinued Feb 2, 2016 T3 25-50mcg Feb.11, 2016  Discontinued April 23, 2016

Escitalopram 20mg-omg fast taper Nov. 2015-Jan.7, 2016 Crash! Reinstated 20mg  Taper Jan 14, 2016  0.0mg Sept 2016 Reinstated Feb.21, 2017 Escitalopram  5mg Dosage Adjustments  Escitalopram to 2.5mg June 28-30; Increased to 3.75mg July 1-28, 2017    July 29-Aug 4 10mg, alternated between 5 and 10mg next couple days.  Aug 9, 7.25mg;  Aug 10-14 10mg; Aug 15-25 7.25mg, August 25-29, 10mg.   

Levofloxacin (January 2017 2 doses) (Adverse Reaction: Neurotoxcity; 3 daysE.R.$30k+tests)

Adderall 25mgXR (start April 23, 2013) (Nov.2016 20mg) (Dec.2016 15mg) (Feb. 5, 2016 10mg) (June 15, 2017) 5mg XR 

Crossover July 7 to Adderall I.M 5mg Discontinued  Reinstated Adderall 5mgXR  July 28th 

Minipress 1mg began July 20-23, 2mg July 24 last dose Discontinued  (Prescribed to assist with side-effects of updose of Escitalopram) WellbutrinXR 150 mg July 24, 2017 Discontinued;  Hydroxyline 25-200 mg daily, began July 20, Discontnued; (Prescribed for side-effects-sensitized; W/D)Gababentin 100mg August 28, 8/29: 00mg, 8/30/17 100mg discontinued (Prescribed for side-effects of sensitized, W//D)Zolipidem PRN (2.5mg.) Reinstated May 15, 2017 after18m+ discontinuation Between May and  Aug18-Aug 30, 2017 Discontinued

 

Aug. 30. 2017 Escitalopram 8.2mg, Sept. 6 Ecitalopram (7.25 tablet) September 28 Escitalopram   (7 mg tablet)   Omega 3's , October 1 Escitalopram (6.25...I think)  November 1, Escitalopram (approx. 5.75mg) December 1 (5mg)  Missed .75 for few days, lowered dose.  W/D ramped up Dec.23;  Escitalopram 4mg tab. .75ml liquid March 5.  Adderall XR 5mg, Synthroid 112mcg  March 23 Escitalopram 4mg tab .50ml liquid.April 23 Escotalopram 4mgtab .25ml liquid Escitalopram dropping .25 every 30 days;July 23, 2018 Escitalopram 3.50mg, Adderall XR 5mg, Synthroid 112mcg 

Current:  Escitalopram .35mg

Synthroid/Generic 100mcg decreased November.  (TSH has changed 4 times since August 30, 2018 resulting in both Hyper and hypothyroid symptoms.)  November 1, 2018, increased Adderall XR to 10mg to combat brain fog.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JS11
On 1/16/2016 at 11:12 AM, Sarabera said:

This is the portion of his blog that I felt was quite relevant to healing from AD withdrawal. He is talking about emotional changes, but I'm sure that all the other things that serotonin does in our bodies are affected in much the same way.

 

 

 

thank you very much, Sabera.  So very comforting.  JS


26 years of Anti-depressants (probably 32, lost track, alone and/in combination Vyvanse 30mg Discontinued Feb. 22, 2013 Topamax  25-75mg Feb 23, 2013--Feb 2016 0.0 mg Discontinued  Lamotrigine 25-50mg Jan 15, 2016-Adverse Reaction Discontinued Feb 2, 2016 T3 25-50mcg Feb.11, 2016  Discontinued April 23, 2016

Escitalopram 20mg-omg fast taper Nov. 2015-Jan.7, 2016 Crash! Reinstated 20mg  Taper Jan 14, 2016  0.0mg Sept 2016 Reinstated Feb.21, 2017 Escitalopram  5mg Dosage Adjustments  Escitalopram to 2.5mg June 28-30; Increased to 3.75mg July 1-28, 2017    July 29-Aug 4 10mg, alternated between 5 and 10mg next couple days.  Aug 9, 7.25mg;  Aug 10-14 10mg; Aug 15-25 7.25mg, August 25-29, 10mg.   

Levofloxacin (January 2017 2 doses) (Adverse Reaction: Neurotoxcity; 3 daysE.R.$30k+tests)

Adderall 25mgXR (start April 23, 2013) (Nov.2016 20mg) (Dec.2016 15mg) (Feb. 5, 2016 10mg) (June 15, 2017) 5mg XR 

Crossover July 7 to Adderall I.M 5mg Discontinued  Reinstated Adderall 5mgXR  July 28th 

Minipress 1mg began July 20-23, 2mg July 24 last dose Discontinued  (Prescribed to assist with side-effects of updose of Escitalopram) WellbutrinXR 150 mg July 24, 2017 Discontinued;  Hydroxyline 25-200 mg daily, began July 20, Discontnued; (Prescribed for side-effects-sensitized; W/D)Gababentin 100mg August 28, 8/29: 00mg, 8/30/17 100mg discontinued (Prescribed for side-effects of sensitized, W//D)Zolipidem PRN (2.5mg.) Reinstated May 15, 2017 after18m+ discontinuation Between May and  Aug18-Aug 30, 2017 Discontinued

 

Aug. 30. 2017 Escitalopram 8.2mg, Sept. 6 Ecitalopram (7.25 tablet) September 28 Escitalopram   (7 mg tablet)   Omega 3's , October 1 Escitalopram (6.25...I think)  November 1, Escitalopram (approx. 5.75mg) December 1 (5mg)  Missed .75 for few days, lowered dose.  W/D ramped up Dec.23;  Escitalopram 4mg tab. .75ml liquid March 5.  Adderall XR 5mg, Synthroid 112mcg  March 23 Escitalopram 4mg tab .50ml liquid.April 23 Escotalopram 4mgtab .25ml liquid Escitalopram dropping .25 every 30 days;July 23, 2018 Escitalopram 3.50mg, Adderall XR 5mg, Synthroid 112mcg 

Current:  Escitalopram .35mg

Synthroid/Generic 100mcg decreased November.  (TSH has changed 4 times since August 30, 2018 resulting in both Hyper and hypothyroid symptoms.)  November 1, 2018, increased Adderall XR to 10mg to combat brain fog.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Westy

This has helped rationalise my exact current circumstances.. I have not taken medication since Friday morning (ran out, very silly I know) however I have Reduced to 37.5mg within the last month from 225mg (Venlafaxine) over 6 months. I have recently been considering a full WD but hadn't quite planned it as soon. Anyway what kick to the face this weekend has been as a result. Reading the above makes so much sense. Thank you. 

8hrs and counting until I can get to the doc's lol. Very glad to have found this site today. I WILL get off this horrible thing!


2005-2006 citalopram 20mg

2006-2008 fluoxetine 40mg

2008-2010 sertraline 100mg

2010-2014 free from prescription drugs

2015-2017 venlafaxine upto 225mg by Oct 2016

Sept 2017 re-starting to taper after a set back. Currently 37.5mg twice a day.

9th October is my new start date for reduction. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hellbutrin
On 12/26/2015 at 1:37 PM, Altostrata said:

This explanation of withdrawal syndrome -- in this case, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome -- is a post from BenzoBuddies used by the permission of the author, who wishes to remain anonymous.

 

After 4 years off, she has mostly recovered except for some vision problems (as she describes below) and is fully functional.

 

The domino effect of neurotransmitter dysregulation she describes here regarding GABA and glutamate also applies generally to all the other neurotransmitters affected by psychiatric drugs. They are all necessary, working in harmony, like an orchestra. Dysregulate one, and the others tend to get dysregulated, too.

What is happening in your brain?

October 03, 2012, 09:08:49 pm
 
This will hopefully be an encouraging email to make you feel SAFE and ENCOURAGED.

As some of you may know, my degrees are in speech-language pathology (B.A and M.S.)
As part of my Masters study, a big portion of my classes were in neuroanatomy and physiology.
I learned firsthand how to look at a person who had just undergone a stroke or brain injury and read the symptoms, the radiology reports, the doctor's notes,  and based on those symptoms, to form an image in my mind of what was affected in the brain injury - as well as how to formulate a treatment plan to help that person rehabilitate. For a therapist in a hospital, it is much more than "speech and language". It is about reteaching how to swallow, eat,  rebuilding memory, rebuilding concentation and attention, rebuilding focus, rebuilding executive functioning skills (planning and acting on a plan) -[...] much ANYTHING that is involved in "thinking" that helps you get OUT of a coma, OUT of a hospital, and back to [...], work, and school. 

I had NO idea I would ever personally undergo a brain injury.  But insomuch as I have now indeed endured one, I often laid there in waves and attempted to "analyze and decipher" what was happening in my brain as I healed. I thought you all might like to read this. It gives potential answers to all the "WHY?" questions we have about what is happening to us mentally.

First of all, a TRUTH to accept is that WE HEAL.  I have seen people emerge from comas who cannot remember who they are - HEAL.
They can't remember how to walk (we do).
They can't write their names (we can).
They cannot tell you the year or the president (I was SO bad I was unsure of this at times, but generally, I was oriented to this).
They often cannot remember family members (we can -our D/R can be hideous, but we remember them).
THEY have to work through many hours of therapy to heal. But most of them do - and from TRAUMATIC PHYSICAL brain trauma that can tear tissue and tear nerves.
We have none of that. We don't have to undergo therapy. We simply have to wait.

Most of us, me included, didn't expect the temporary "brain injury" we got when jumping off benzos.
But I [...] starting to realize through my own experience and my educational background, that there is a PURPOSE in every symptom we have.  I have had months and months to analyze what is likely going on in the brain at a gross level - and I want to attempt to explain certain symptoms in a way that we can visualize - so that they are less "scary" and more "telling" of the healing that is happening.

First off - let's start with GABA and Glutamate. Most of you may know how this works by this point. But for those that don't, we have a huge nervous system of millions of nerves (neurons).  They don't "touch" each other. They are separated by a tiny space in between. However, they communicate via chemicals. The 2 MAIN chemicals in the entire nervous system are the BIG GUNS.  They are GABA and Glutamate. They are BOTH at work at ALL times in the CNS.  It isn't like one is working and then the other is working. They are BOTH ALWAYS working in tandem to control every aspect of movement, sensation  - everything. They take the incoming information and appropriately pass it along - they "trim up" the information appropriately so that we can process it.  They are like the steel structure of a building.  The entire building needs a steel structure to stand. 

GABA is inihibitory.  If a nerve releases GABA - it is to Inhibit function - this could be to "slow it down" or it could be to "limit the sensory input" so that we can process it.  In the same way, GABA might be released to help "steady" your hand while doing something like painting a very detailed painting.  GABA "shores up" movements to make them more fluid.   That's just in a nutshell. Of COURSE it does a lot more than this, but the idea is that GABA is present in the ENTIRE CNS and ALWAYS working to balance every sensation, movement, etc.

Likewise, Glutamate is the balance to GABA. It is the "excitatory" transmitter. It fires to speed things up - to initiate action - to make things "go".  There's a lot more to it, but Glutamate is kinda the opposite of GABA.   

BOTH are required to work at all times.  Neurons are ALL ALWAYS firing off GABA and Glutamate on a endless cycle all throughout the nervous system. It's quite amazing really.

What does a benzo do?  If a person is anxious - they may be so stressed that they cannot overcome a very traumatic event or anxious situation.  If a doctor prescribes a benzo - the benzo comes in and sorta "holds the door open" for ALL the GABA in the system to FLOOD into the nerves - even when that is not what the nerves would actually want to occur. The immediate effect is that EVERYTHING ni the body SLOWS DOWN and is inhibited. This might be helpful during surgery, for anesthesia, for a seizure disorder.  Yes - the benzo - by definition - will act on GABA and "slow everything down".  And yes - the net effect of this is that a person may feel drowsy, calm, less anxious... everything is being inhibited.    And in general, taking a benzo for "one day"  is okay. When the benzo is gone, the body just reverts back to regular operation.
HOWEVER, if a person takes a benzo day after day,  while indeed the person feels less anxious, the body begins to realize that it cannot DO the things it needs to do in this very slowed-down neuron state. It cannot make hormones. It cannot create enzymes. It cannot digest correctly. It cannot keep a heart going efficiently. It cannot get enough oxygen- and on and on. The body NEEDS to run at "normal" speed - not this "inhibited speed" all slowed down. 
But what can the body do? It cannot "remove the benzo" from the system. The only choice the body has to maintain a regular speed is to do two things ..  It can TURN OFF it's own GABA receptors - thereby rendering those benzos unable to affect the GABA in the system. And it can grow MORE excitatory Glutamate receptors to counteract the slow-down.  And that's kinda exactly what happens....

Only - this isn't true balance either.  The body does the best it can - but over time, things begin to suffer.  The body cannot make enough serotonin in this state. Or dopamine. Some things get made in excess - and other things do not get made enough!  During this time, a person may not be aware this is all going on. He may not be able to perceive any difference. But ONE day - the person may wake up sad - or not sleeping well - or unable to remember things fully - or his vision doesn't look right....and it becomes apparent the person has "hit tolerance".  The body is taking the same amount of drug -but try as it might, it just cannot overcome what has occured. It can take weeks, months or years to hit tolerance. Some people do and some don't before [...] to get off benzos.  (I did. - it took me 9 months to hit tolerance.  But it was fast.  Once I hit it, I could notsleep more than 6 hours on all that klonopin AND Ambien! I couldn't remember things last week. I was crying all the time... something was wrong.)

The process to reverse this takes a while.  GABA receptors have to UPregulate and effectively "reopen" or "grow back".  Glutamate receptors must DOWNregulate, or effectively "turn off" or "prune back".  And IN this mix, all the smaller monoamines (neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) must somehow find a way to synthesize in the mix.  Through weeks and months the body is rebuildling millions of neurons, and changing pathways, rebuilding GABA, downregulating Glutamate, rebuilding serotonin, rebuilding dopamine, rebuilding norepinephrine.  And ALL the enzymes and hormones that need to be made are attempting to be made while this is going on.  Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. 
And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the building is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes. smiley.gif
(Now look at the new Tower that stands at Ground Zero!  It's taller, [...], and a symbol of freedom.  JUST like you will be!  thumbsup.gif)

So - okay - what is happening in that chaos?  What parts of the brain are responsible for these symptoms? 

Now, I don't "know" the following based on research, because not enough research has been done yet  - but based on my studies in neuroanatomy and my own withdrawal experiences, here is how I have analyzed what is "happening" during wave symptoms. Remember, I have had to look at radiology reports of brain damage and estimate what a patient might present with - so this is very similar. Instead of a radiology report showing me what has been damaged, I'm using my own brain symptoms to surmise what is going on....

Let me first list brain structures and their functions. This will help you understand where things happen in the brain and when symptoms occur, what may be happening.

BRAIN STRUCTURES
amygdala  - This is the FEAR center in the brain. It's a tiny part in the middle of your brain. Fear is protective and it's GREAT if you need to assess something that is dangerous and to ACT  - like if a rabid dog were chasing you. - but it's hard in recoveyr when it's all you feel for months! But the FEAR is not truly in your MIND. It's in your BRAIN.  There is too much glutamate acting here in the amygdala and not enough GABA. So the nerves are firing off in the fear center when nothing scary is really there in your environment.  It is normal for that to happen given the circumstance physiologically. But it feels awful, doesn't it?  I know.  But it's just a brain structure. This can account for fear, agoraphobia, fear of water, fear of anything.  It's not that you're really "scared" of the moon - it's that you're in almost constant fear because this brain structure is healing. The glutamate is pruning back. The GABA receptors are opening back up.  It may or may not continue for awhile. It will abate. Then come back. But eventually, the brain will get it right.  smiley.gif

Hippocampus - This is the "memory" center of the brain. It ties in old memories to emotions.  The same thing is happening here that is happening in the amygdala with GABA and Glutamate. So - voila. You get intrusive memories from ALL times in your [...].  It's wild and wicked and wooly. But it can't hurt you. And if you can learn to visualize this as what is happening - then you can learn to be objective and realize it's normal.  And like the amygdala - it will come and go and frustrate you, but it will go away when the physiology is restored.

Hypothalamus This is the structure that is responsible for regulating body temperature. In early withdrawal, my body temperature would drop to 96 degrees in waves! Then 3 hours later, it would return to normal. I'd literally freeze in terror in bed for hours.  I [...] sure it is more complicated that JUST the hypothalamus, but I could picture this part of my brain retuning and restructuring, and it was less scary that way.

The following structures in the brain are part of the "gray matter" or the "cortex "and what we consider to be the "higher brain"- the thinking and processing parts.

Frontal Lobe This is the part of the brain behind the front of the skull. It is responsible for planning things. For making decisions. For inhibiting emotions appropriately.  It is the part of the brain you need if you want to make a sandwich and need to get out the ingredients and actually make the sandwich. I have seen people with brain injury be able to TELL you how to make a sandwich - but when they are standing there in front of all the ingredients, they cannot actually move to act to make it! They have frontal lobe damage. They can TELL someone how to make it. But they cannot themselves initiate doing it! As you can imagine, with therapy, and time to heal, this goes away. And we are a lot like this - but it goes away for us, too.  I could not organize my children't toys just 4 months ago.  Not a simple room of toys. I didn't know where to start and I literally could not mentally do it. I imagine this is partly why.  No frontal lobe GABA. smiley.gif And too much Glutamate.   But now, check out this post I"m typing.  Obviously that changed. smiley.gif
This calms down and these things come back.

Occipital Lobe This is the vision center. t's at the back of your skull.   In recovery, my nerves have been all wacked here. I see things as too bright - possible due to this lobe - and/or the actual visual nerves in the eyes.  But no doubt people "see things" that aren't there.  Vision is distorted. Things go blurry.  Colors are totally off.Brightness is off.  There are a hundred symptoms possible in vision alone!  But again - it's a matter of time.

Vestibular System This is the system of semi-circular canals in the inner ear that are responsible for making you feel balanced in space.  When this is "off" or damaged temporarily, you feel dizzy. Oh man, was I dizzy. Early off - I felt like I lived in a funhouse.  Over time, a combination of this vestibular system and my damaged visual system made things look like they were "leaning". To this day, one eye sees things "correctly" and the other eye sees things as SLIGHTLY leaning. And it's not that the eye itself is seeing them that way.  The healing vestibular system is working WITH the eye to "tell" the brain that that object looks like it is "moving left-wards" or "leaning". But it isn't.  In waves, this can happen bad - and then be GONE - poof - in a window. This is just the vestibular system healing. It's gotten WAY better.

Temporal Lobe  These lobes are on the side of your brain on each side near your ear. It makes up the whole left and ride side of your brain.  This is where auditory information is processed, including hearnig itself, but also the "Meaning" of what we are hearing, as well as part of speech and language, emotion, and buncha other stuff.  In early recovery, someone was talking to me and I couldn't tell you what they said past the first sentence.  My auditory processing was ALL messed up.  I couldn't picture what a person was saying to me in real time - and by the time I caught up to them, I was lost and they were talking about something else! Also - When I was laying there in bed, I could "hear" things that weren't there in the noise of my box fan. I'd hear the fan blowing -but I also "heard" like sickening circus music. I believe this is because there is noise coming into my ear - but my brain cannot adequately "prune" what it is hearing at differnet frequecies because there is not enough GABA to inhibit it to create something meaninful.  There was all this "noise" and my brain was just firing off glutamate.  So instead of actually "processing" the noise - it was firing off ideas about what it was hearing - and they were ALL wrong.  I would be hearing what sounded like circus music - and at the same time, my poor brain was looking through my hippocampus to find all the memories I ever had of being at the circus - and then I'm reliving those memories- and at the same time, my amygdala is getting fired upon - so I'm in fear. So I'm a quivering mess of a person laying in the bed hearing and seeing things and remembering times in my childhood and scared to pieces.  Seriously? Yes - I felt crazy. But not in my MIND.  It was my BRAIN.  It's the BRAIN.  And it's normal. The structures in the brain are "obligated" to work this way.

That brings me to my next point... WHY do all of us in benzo recovery have generally the same symptoms? Well - it may make you feel calmer to realize that our brain structures are NOT broken. They are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do under the circumstances.  And all of our perceptions of what we are seeing, feeling, hearing- are normal because the parts of our brains that are firing off are doing so because a) They [...] DO work. B) They work just as they were intended to. c) They are actually healing as all this firing is going on. 

Why the depression and anxiety? It's so complicated, but this WHOLE system is interdependent. At that SAME time as ALL this stuff is going on, the entire body is [...] to heal in every place GABA and Glutamate naturally act (uh - and that would be - EVERYWHERE).
The intestines, stomach, eye balls, skin, toenails - seriously - where do we NOT have nerves? 
Anything we didn't have as a pre-existing condition is fair game for being affected by the recovery that takes place. 
This includes the body's own ability to make serotonin that is required to feel "balanced" and "happy". And you guessed it. This is not being made very efficiently in a building that is under major construction. So - you may get a day or so of feeling good - and then - boom - that's gone until you can make enough serotonin.
Oh - and by the way - serotonin HELPS TELL THE NERVES WHEN TO RELEASE GABA AND GLUTAMATE! Ha!
So on top of needing GABA to make serotonin, you need serotonin to regulate the release of GABA into the system! 
How much more interconnected can you get?  God - it's a wonder it knows how to heal at all!  But it does!  Amazing to me, really.

This is just some limited information to give an idea of what is going on in neurophysiology.  Obviously this is very cursory and not super detailed. But there is a bigger point here than "what parts of the brain are affected". 
The point REALLY is - IF  YOU KNOW that symptoms are tied to parts of a NORMAL brain under reconstruction, then you can begin to rest a little more easy in your mind that under the circumstances, the symptoms themselves are a GOOD sign. 
Without intrusive memories - as awful as they are - especially when mixed with fear - but without them, your memory itself would not heal.  It IS healing - and when you are having intrusives, try to think of it that way.  Tap your finger to your temple and say to yourself, "I know what this is. This is my hippocampus healing! Ha!" Because it IS.  And if it were NOT healing, you would not be having those symptoms.  ANY part of the brain or body that needs to heal is going to "experience" something in the form of symptoms - and you are going to notice that. But it is part of  process that is inevitably returning to the balance that it could not achieve while we were [...] putting those pills in our mouths.  (And if you're tapering, this is [...] happening - just likely with less trauma than with what happened to me when I cold-turkeyed.)

So - when you have symptoms - know that symptoms themselves are a way for you to know that healing is taking place.

And finally - realize that the DRUG is GONE.  This is withdrawal - yes - okay -we call it withdrawal -  but it's really "recovery".
The benzos are gone. The "evil drug" is no longer there.  The symptoms that are left are not the "enemy". That's our brains doing the EXACT right thing. What's happening to our brain at this point is not the "benzo beast" smiley.gif It's OUR BRAIN recovering.
Not to degrade anyone who calls it the benzo beast smiley.gif - I get that. But just so you know - you're not really fighting a beast.
You don't even need to fight it.  Just wait it out. All that reconstruction is happening on your building.
And soon - the frame will be back standing, [...] than before. The furniture will be inside. The elevators will go all the way up to the top again.  laugh.gif And the people can come and go and work like a well-oiled machine. 
Don't feel you need to fight the recontruction. It's just healing. And all that is happening to us is a sign of that.

Hope this helps somebody a little - or maybe a family member. 

And if you ARE a family member, please realize that those of us in recovery are no more in control of how we feel or what we experience than people who have undergone brain trauma in a car accident. Please be patient with us, because our brains are healing and we are in the process of reconstruction - and our function is temporarily enabled, then disabled, then enabled, then disabled again.  And that is totally normal and expected.  We can no more help that than a person can "want" to wake up out of a coma. It happens when the brain is able - and not out of sheer will.  But it does happen. So please stand by us and say loving things and reassure us every day. Notice our improvements and tell us what they are.  Encourage us when we feel good.  And when we don't, just hold us and hug us and tell us it will be okay.  Anything you would say or do for a family member that had had a car accident and a brain injury - please do that for us.  And be patient... we are getting there.

smiley.gif[...]


ADDENDUM

 I got a great PM from a buddy asking "What about the physical symptoms of pain?" - and think it deserves some theoretical attention.

I want to take some time to add some theories about PAIN and physical symptoms such as burning, akathisia, and tingling, prickling, and things that happen during recovery of this nature.

I will also add this as an addendum to the original post on page 1.

First off, let it be said that I can only "theorize" as to this, - I [...] not a doctor.  But I DO think logical theories are helpful because they give us a story and mindful logic to cope with in the MEANTIME as we are going through this.

So these are multiple sources of information that I'm tying together - some are from nerve regeneration, and some are from what we know about "how the brain works".  And some or ALL of this is likely going on when it comes to pain and skin/muscle sensations:

First off - I think a good quote comes from a Plastic Surgery practice that has published things on "nerve regeneration after injury". 

The quote follows:

"The usual events associated with normal nerve regeneration can be painful. As the regenerating ends of the nerve, called sprouts, travel, they make contact with each other and with structural proteins. The neural impulses generated by this activity may be interpreted by your brain as pain. It should be expected that for the time period associated with nerve regeneration there may be pain sufficient to need therapy and/or pain medication. Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence.  This condition is not just one of pain, but is associated with over activity of the sympathetic nervous system, so that the area of pain is a different color, like pink or purple, and is usually a different temperature, like cooler, than the surrounding non-painful skin."  http://www.riversongplasticsurgery.com/pdfs/nerve_injury_nerve_reconstruction_recovery.pdf

Well- this article isn't talking about "benzo - related nerve damage. It's talking about nerve damage caused by physical trauma of crushing, cutting, or compressing nerves. But what can we glean from it nonetheless?

We can assume that if the sympathetic nervous system is involved in the presence of pain related to healing nerves - AND IT IS- that it is also NORMAL for us to have pain as we are undergoing healing.

When I was in earliest recovery, I would often get out of the shower and have pink spots all over my feet and my abdomen. At first they were bright pink for about 2 months - and then they faded out and I don't have them anymore.  I have no idea what they were - but they were NOT there 12 days prior to my rapid taper - and then they showed up.  The spots weren't symmetrical - they followed no pattern, but they were alway in the same place on my skin.  And only after getting out of the shower.  It is easy to see how the nervous system could be involved in skin redness, irritation, and weird feelings associated with recovery.

Likewise, throughout recovery, I've had and continue to have cooling, burning, prickling and occasional stabbing sensations. I've had it feel like my skin was "wet" when there was no water on it.  Again, though. This is all normal - and like the quote says above.."Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence."  It doesn't make the pain FEEL any better in the moment, but it does help us not to become anxious about it. It's normal.  And it's a sign of healing.

What about akathisia?
Well  - from the reading, the exact cause of akathisia is not 100% conclusive, but it seems to be related to dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic activity in the brain  (dopamine and norepinephrine or noradrenaline as it is also called). These are just neurotransmitters - and it doesn't look (to me) to be exactly conclusive WHY this happens - but akathisia can happen after the use of many psychoactive drugs- not just benzos - and likely because anything that alters brain chemistry can alter dopemine and norepinephrine. So - okay. That makes sense.  We all took "brain altering" drugs - and now some of us have akathisia.  Guess what?  It seems [...] normal!  It's not fun. But it's normal.  And it can come and go and then go away eventually.  For me, I didn't get akathisia at all until month 8. It was a surprise.  It was intense and awful. But it passed in a few weeks. Since then, I have had it off and on - but not to that degree.  And now - it's mostly just annoying.  Something as simple as a good hard cry in the bathtub can COMPLETELY remove it at times.  And other times, I just have to wait for a wave to pass. But all in all, from all this information - it's normal. And the fact that it's coming and going and I'm getting hit here and there - it's a sign that the wheels are turning up there in the noggin - and things are shifting and attempting to rebalance.  So if we can keep that quote in mind - it's normal - and while the sensation itself is very uncomfortable - if not painful - it can be regarded as a "good pain" if we are able to recognize that our feeling it means we have a brain and nerves that are regaining their abilities to function.

Likewise, as a scab heals over a wound, the new skin formin underneath can become "itchy". Why does this occur? Why does a scab itch?

"The itch of a healing wound is caused by the growth of new cells underneath the old scab. New skin cells would be growing underneath, and as they form a new layer of skin, then the scab becomes more tightly stretched over this zone of activity. This can make it feel itchy. The itch sensation for burn survivors may be a tingling feeling caused by nerves re-growing, or from dry skin caused by the lack of natural oil production since oil glands may have been damaged or destroyed by the burn. As the nerves grow and start to receive and send messages, they may create that itchy feeling. The skin in this area will be a lot less thick than everywhere else, so these new nerve cells will be under a lot more pressure. Itching is a sign of healing." (Mayo Clinic)

As we can surmise, the umpteen bajillion sensation we have going on are not 100% conclusive in their origins....HOWEVER...
There IS a trend.

From what it seems like from all the reading...
NERVE REGENERATION CAN CAUSE UNPLEASANT SENSATIONS. As counterintuitive as it is,  HEALING CAN FEEL LIKE HURT. smiley.gif
But it's NOT further hurt or damage. It's the REVERSAL of damage. 

Um  - yeah - okay. Great - but what do I DO about it.

[...] much the things that I have discovered that help through this healing are to "CONFUSE" the nerves as much as possible, IF possible. 
What? Confuse the nerves?

You know how you get a cut or an insect bite and you immediately press on it to make it feel less painful? What you are doing when you press or squeeze the area is "desensitizing' the entire skin region of the cut by applying pressure to ALL the nerves in the area. That way, the ONE sensation of pain from the cut isn't the only thing your brain is feeling.  The pressure from pushing down on  ALL the nerves in the area helps to send multiple sensation to the brain to "counteract" the pain sensation.  And it works.
Similarly, other things can help "confuse" nerves:
-Heat
-Cold
-[...] Pressure
- Massage
-creams like "Icy Hot" with menthol

All of these things have helped me cope in recovery.

Let me take it one by one:

Heat: I took and [...] take hot baths almost every day. In the peak of akathisia, I lived in the tub. smiley.gif  As hot as I could stand it really helped me. All the heat was "overregistering" in my brain and I was unable to feel the akathisia as much when in the tub. It was confusing the nerve signal and it was temporary relief.  I hated those days. But I got through them.  Likewise, a heating pad for pain was my friend a lot of the time. 

-Cold -  I used a cold washcloth on burning skin - and on my face and hands - and kept dipping it in ice water and applying it.  This is an easy one, but it helped. I had a wave with 3 days of "fireface" last month and all I could do was apply the washcloth, lay there and think about how "this is healing" and keep going. But the wave passed.

[...] Pressure  I use a 15 pound weighted blanket to sleep. I have for YEARS. I ordered it online. It has many pockets with little plastic balls equally distributed to create a very heavy blanket that creates "[...] pressure". This kind of pressure is calming for anyone's nervous system. Occupational Therapists use it for children with autism, but people with anxiety can benefit from sleeping with one. And in recovery, I was glad to have it.  I used it often together with a heating pad.  It took the edge off just long enough. 

Massage This one CAN be helpful - but sometimes not.  I used to ask my husband just to "press down" on my head or my legs.  Just press there. Don't rub.  My skin hurt too much to rub, but the [...] pressure from pressing was helpful. Other times, the actual massage was a help for sore muscles.  I was too agoraphobic to schedule a REAL massage. LOL. But just this help from my family was nice to have.

Creams You're going to laugh, but there was a day that I put Vick's VapoRub on my face because my face was so HOT!  I figured if this is safe for my baby's skin, it's probably okay to try it on my face.  It worked! Oh man - my face felt SO good all day.  I used that for a few days until the wave passed.  I have also tried "Icy Hot" on my back when it was sore.  Things like this work on the same principal to "confuse the nerves".  If your nerves are too busy feeling the heat/cool of menthol, they cannot simultaneously feel "pain". So for a short time, the pain is not "felt" even though the "soreness" is technically [...] there.

All of these are ways I have coped.  I'm sure there are others you guys have used!! smiley.gif

The broad idea here is that
1) Healing is happening.
2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.
3) We can use some things to cope.
4) It's going away in time.

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm [...] - is always something I benefit from knowing. 

I [...] get these symptoms - and I'll be SOOOOOO glad when they are gone.

Thanks to the Benzo Buddy that brought this up.  wink.gif

smiley.gif[...]



« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 03:19:54 pm by [buddie] »

Hi Altostrata,

 

I really appreciated this post! I had a question about the benzodiazepine/recovery analogy. Is the mechanism for recovery from antidepressants and benzodiazepines the same? Do they both have effects on glutamate and GABA? I was wondering if this post applies to my recovery from Wellbutrin the same way that it would from recovery from a benzodiazepine.


  1. Started Wellbutrin 75 mg IR the end of 2015.
  2. Tried quitting cold turkey in June 30th- July 3rd 2017.
  3. Had severe withdrawals.
  4. Was placed on Wellbutrin 100mg SR so I could taper without withdrawal.
  5. Stabilized on 100mg SR for most of the month of July.
  6. Started tapering on July 17th,  2017.
  7. Completed taper on August 8th, 2017.
  8. Currently experiencing severe withdrawal.
  • Symptoms- Currently experiencing anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization, concentration/memory issues, chronic congestion, chronic dry eyes, dry skin, dislocated TMJ joint from teeth grinding during C/T withdrawal, waves of depression, anxiety, nausea, morning cortisol spikes, insomnia, agitation, food sensitivities, no tolerance for caffeine and chronic fatigue, burning muscle pain in upper and lower back and occasional tinninitus.
  • Supplements- Omega-3 fish oil supplement twice daily, 100 mg of magnesium once daily. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

Benzos downregulate the GABA system while antidepressants downregulate the serotonin system, but the recovery mechanism is the same.

 

Yes, it applies to your recovery from Wellbutrin.


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonpie

Just read this. Amazing!  Thank you!  It is just what I needed to keep going.  Thank you so much.


1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PH1

This is a great article.  I encourage all to read it.  When we are feeling bad from the withdrawal symptoms it's important to remember that our bodies are trying to adjust and heal, and always will.  Healing takes time, especially our nervous system, which is why we need to withdraw slowly.   Thanks for sharing it!


2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia (I believe caused by statin use)

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018:  Started taper of 15 mg Mirtazapine (Remeron)  -- went too fast the first few months, now micro-tapering

June 16, 2018:  Started taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro) --  alternating micro-tapering with Mirtazapine

On 1/1/2019:  3.00 Mirtazapine,  5.37 Escitalopram;     On 7/1/2019:  1.90 Mirtazapine,  3.96  Escitalopram;   On 1/1/2020:  1.30 Mirtazapine,  3.35 Escitalopram;  On 7/1/2020:  0.40 Mirtazapine,  3.00  Escitalopram

Current (mgai):   0.09 mg  Mirtazapine;   2.69 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gridley

These two links are helpful in understanding what is going on in your brain during withdrawal:

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rachellynn

This is AMAZING to read. Thank you so much for this post. The hope is wonderful. 


 

Rachel - 1998-2012 Prozac 20mg

2012-2014 Prozac 40mg

Sept 17 Remeron 15mg, March ‘18 7.5mg

Jan 31 - Feb 13 1/4 - 1mg Ativan

Jan 31 - feb 5 - 2mg Prozac, 4mg feb 7

feb 10 - 10mg rem, Feb 27 - 7.5mg rem

Feb 27 - March 6th - 5mg Baclofen 

March 12th - Keppra 250mg

March 24 - 30mg phenobarbital 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
India
On 12/26/2015 at 7:37 PM, Altostrata said:


And if you ARE a family member, please realize that those of us in recovery are no more in control of how we feel or what we experience than people who have undergone brain trauma in a car accident. Please be patient with us, because our brains are healing and we are in the process of reconstruction - and our function is temporarily enabled, then disabled, then enabled, then disabled again.  And that is totally normal and expected.  We can no more help that than a person can "want" to wake up out of a coma. It happens when the brain is able - and not out of sheer will.  But it does happen. So please stand by us and say loving things and reassure us every day. Notice our improvements and tell us what they are.  Encourage us when we feel good.  And when we don't, just hold us and hug us and tell us it will be okay.  Anything you would say or do for a family member that had had a car accident and a brain injury - please do that for us.  And be patient... we are getting there.

smiley.gif[...]

@Gemma92 You could pass this to your sister to communicate to your family for you?


1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gemma92
16 hours ago, India said:

@Gemma92 You could pass this to your sister to communicate to your family for you?

I will, thanks!


90s and 2008:Prozac for a year

2016:ADHD few months

2017:Right thyroid removed. 

May-June 2018: Lexapro 10-20mg. July 4th 2018 Lex CT and took Penicillin, Z-pack.

August 2018: 3rd antibiotic and Effexor for 5 days CT. 

September 2018: Lexapro 5mg (CT after month) Ativan 1-.5mg(CT after 2 weeks) and Hydroxyine 50mg (2 weeks) SEVERE REACTIONS AND SEVERE WITHDRAWAL

October 2018: Ashwahganda 2 weeks, Probiotics 2 weeks. Mirt 15mg 6 days CT Oct- Nov 2018: gaba gummies, cbd oil, magnesium. December 2018: Mirt 7.5mg, 15mg, 30mg, Zyprexa 2.5mg, 5mg for 1 week back to 2.5mg. 4th antibiotic used. Hydroxyine. Jan 2019: Mirtazapine 26.5mg. Different brands used when hospitalized. Hydroxyine.

Feb 2019: Mirtazapine 22.5mg, 15mg. Zyprexa 2.5mg CT. Prozac 1 pill, Trazadone 4 pills, Hydroxyine few pills, INJECTED with steroids, antibiotics and pain killers for 2 days. Took high doses of benadryl a few times, few more pain killers

June 2019: Mirt 14.5mg-13.5mg Sept 2019: Mirt 13mg, 12mg, sep 25th 11 mg. (Currently here).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Katy398

I often forget about this due to the damage to my hippocampus. I have now printed it and put it on our fridge. This is a wonderful resource thank you. 

I do have a question though. I am intrigued.

Why do some folk not go through any withdrawal symptoms at all, even from a cold turkey?

and

Why do we not all suffer from all of the above?

My vestibular system does not seem to have been effected at all, yet my amygdala seems to have been crushed beyond recognition. 

I am regularly reduced to floods of tears by the sheer terror of my overwhelming fear of living.  Yet I can stand on one leg. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks again for all the amazing support here.

Take good care of yourselves  everyone. 

Kx


 

Lexapro Fast Track/ Cold Turkey

Last dose end Dec 2018 

Tapered 1/2 a daily dose a week (20mg) for  14 weeks, last dose was a 20 mg pill!!  

 3.5 times slower than Psychiatrist recommended, I felt proud of myself!! Little did I know!!!!Got too scared to reinstate because I’d left it too long.

On ADs for 20 years (Prozac approx 10 years/ Pristiq approx 3 years/ Citalipram approx 2 years/. Lexapro a approx  5 years/. Last two years 40mgs Lexapro day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sunnysideup69

What a great topic! The original post really helps to put into perspective what is going on in these brains of ours.

I think I'm going to copy/paste/anonymise and send to friends. Most are great, but some make unhelpful comments verging on the 'oh it (ie recovery) needs to hurry up for you!' This is just triggering, for me.

Another friend, when I was telling her how I feel like withdrawing a bit and conserving my energy, said 'oh that's so sad! It's not like you, you're usually up at the front etc.' The thing is, that IS me, now, at the moment. And let's face it, I'm 50 now, and things would change anyways. And my mother said, 'You've had enough of this now, it needs to stop.' I get that these comments come from a good place ie wishing me to find quick recovery, but they trigger me as they make me feel something is 'wrong' as I'm not recovering fast enough.

So, I'm asking friends for support in a specific way. Hopefully, they will remain friends.... :) 


January 2008 to April 2015 Citalopram 20mg to 5mg, reducing in 50 per cent leaps. Jumped off at 5mg

March 2016 used MDMA triggered setback

April 2016 Citalopram 10mg October 2016 cut to 5mg, May 2017 cut to 2.5mg

May 2018 used MDMA triggered setback

June 2018 Citalopram 2.5mg up to 10mg, then back to 5mg

July/ August 2018 7.5mg, then 10mg

June 2019 updosed to 20mg Citalopram

August 2019 cold switch to Venlafaxine 75mg XR

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Katy398
1 hour ago, Katy398 said:

Why do we not all suffer from all of the above?

My vestibular system does not seem to have been effected at all, yet my amygdala seems to have been crushed beyond recognition. 

I am regularly reduced to floods of tears by the sheer terror of my overwhelming fear of living.  Yet I can stand on one leg. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks again for all the amazing support here.

Take good care of yourselves  everyone

Hi didn’t want this to get lost 

any ideas?

Kx


 

Lexapro Fast Track/ Cold Turkey

Last dose end Dec 2018 

Tapered 1/2 a daily dose a week (20mg) for  14 weeks, last dose was a 20 mg pill!!  

 3.5 times slower than Psychiatrist recommended, I felt proud of myself!! Little did I know!!!!Got too scared to reinstate because I’d left it too long.

On ADs for 20 years (Prozac approx 10 years/ Pristiq approx 3 years/ Citalipram approx 2 years/. Lexapro a approx  5 years/. Last two years 40mgs Lexapro day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
India
On 12/26/2015 at 7:37 PM, Altostrata said:

amygdala  - This is the FEAR center in the brain. It's a tiny part in the middle of your brain. Fear is protective and it's GREAT if you need to assess something that is dangerous and to ACT  - like if a rabid dog were chasing you. - but it's hard in recoveyr when it's all you feel for months! But the FEAR is not truly in your MIND. It's in your BRAIN.  There is too much glutamate acting here in the amygdala and not enough GABA. So the nerves are firing off in the fear center when nothing scary is really there in your environment.  It is normal for that to happen given the circumstance physiologically. But it feels awful, doesn't it?  I know.  But it's just a brain structure. This can account for fear, agoraphobia, fear of water, fear of anything.  It's not that you're really "scared" of the moon - it's that you're in almost constant fear because this brain structure is healing. The glutamate is pruning back. The GABA receptors are opening back up.  It may or may not continue for awhile. It will abate. Then come back. But eventually, the brain will get it right.  smiley.gif

@Gemma92 @Erell @intothewoods


1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gussy
Posted (edited)

 Hi, I just did a search for hypothalamus and found this topic. Now I didn't come off a Benzo, I came off effexor and read an article about hypothalamic-pituitary disorders the other day. Wondering if something in there might be responsible for low blood pressure issues when standing up or bending over to pick something up etc. I found that the hypothalamus is said to be responsible for our blood pressure.  I just realised the other day that I haven't felt this fourth maybe a month now. I just didn't realise. I think that maybe  this area of my brain might finally be getting its **** together. The main reason I came off this drug is because I knew it was affecting the hpg Axis in me. I find the fact that the hypothalamus is said to regulate our blood pressure, along with my blood pressure issues since coming off that drug to be very interesting. Mighty you know Any more about this? Gus.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote of Post #1 and added topic to first sentence.

Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gussy

I found that most things in the hypo/pituitary disorder article i read were affected in me in wd. 


Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

The dysregulation caused by psychiatric drug withdrawal affects all the systems in the body.

 

13 hours ago, Gussy said:

Wondering if something in there might be responsible for low blood pressure issues when standing up or bending over to pick something up etc.

 

This is a common symptom of dyautonomia or dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Your improvement is typical of withdrawal-related dysautonomia.


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy