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crhawk: severe adverse reactions to only ONE 50 mg Zoloft - three months later

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crhawk

 

crhawks-xanax-problem

 

Hello All,

My story is rather long, so please bear with me...I am in desperate need of help.  I took only one pill of 50 mg Zoloft to deal with anxiety and mild postpartum depression 3 months ago, and I have had horrible effects ever since.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  It seems like very similar symptoms to those I have read of withdrawal.  But it seems strange to have withdrawal after only one pill.  Maybe an adverse reaction?  I am feeling very hopeless, I feel as though my life has changed forever, and that this will never go away.  My story is below...I'll try to shorten as much as possible, although it is somewhat difficult...

 

I have a history since my teens of mild/moderate anxiety and depression.  Since dealing with some health problems (anxiety) and the birth of my son (postpartum depression), my conditions worsened.  Back at the beginning of October, I went into the ER for pain for a back/side issue I have been having for 18 months.  They gave me a pain killer which did not help, so I was given Haldol, which I was told was a different type of drug that had off-label use for pain.  I ended up having a horrible dystonic reaction to the drug that made my jaw continually smash itself, teeth chipped, had severe crushing anxiety, etc.  Went back to the ER and they put me on a drug that counter-acted the reaction.  (Of course I have since learned this is a terrible, horrible anti-psychotic med and never should have been given to me). 

 

Fast forward three weeks, and I was feeling back to normal.  My doc decided to put me on Zoloft to help with my anxiety from all the health issues and the reaction, and we thought it might also help with the mild depression.  She prescribed me 50 mg pills to be taken once daily.  I took ONE PILL and was going crazy within an hour or so.  Severe anxiety and nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, warm rushes through my body, but yet shivering, confusion, depersonalization, mania.  It was hell.  I read online that supposedly some of these things were normal for a couple weeks, but I was having very severe reactions.  I decided I could not ever take another pill.  I was told that I could take my Xanax to help with these symptoms, so I did that, but it did not help much.  The reactions continued.  I went to my doctor a couple days later and she had no idea what was going on.  She said it should have been out of my system.  I ended up going to the ER.  They also were not sure what was going on.  We realized it could take up to a week with the half life to get out of my system.  A psychiatrist who was on call prescribed me Klonopin at night, Propranalol, and Xanax during the day.  It helped to get me through, but that reaction lasted about 2 weeks.  Then I began to normalize for about 4-5 days.  I started weaning off the other drugs.

 

Then I got a cold.  I took some cold medicine for a couple days, and was full blown into another "attack"...everything returned.  The severe anxiety/nervousness, the nausea and inability to eat, frequent stools, warm rushes, shivering, depersonalization, cloudy thinking, confusion.  I again ended up in the ER.  They again blamed my anxiety.  However, I have never experienced any anxiety like this in my entire life.  This was not anxiety.  My anxiety in the past consisted mostly of worry and nervousness, no other physical or mental affects.  And I was always better within a couple hours.  I went to the psychiatrist and he said the same thing, and even wanted me to try an SSRI medication.  I refused.  I again went back on the Propranalol, Klonopin at night, and Xanax at day.  It got me by, somewhat, but still was hell.  Was another couple weeks before I was feeling closer to normal, with a few shorter lived "attacks".

 

During these times, I am unable to work, unable to care for my children, unable to do anything but basically roll up in a ball.  The anxiety and nervousness can be absolutely unbearable, I am not even able to describe it. 

 

I was doing fairly well for about 3 weeks.  I did notice during that time that ibuprofen and my narcotic pain killer for my back would spring up some of these same symptoms, which had never happened before.  I stopped taking all meds, other than Xanax as needed, which was not often.  Then I had horrific pain in my back and took half a pain pill (two weeks ago).  I felt some returning of symptoms the next day.  By two days after, I was a bit better, but severely depressed with frequent crying spells.  I was also getting my period though, so was emotional.  I have terrible cramps due to endometriosis, so I had to take ibuprofen.  I did okay, although was depressed and lethargic for two days.  That second day, I had terrible cramps and took two ibuprofen and a tylenol.  The next morning I woke up in another full blown attack.  Warm burning/tingly feeling in my hands and face, severe nervousness/anxiety, depersonalization, feeling of living in a cloud, not really feeling "with it", nausea, food making me ill, shivering...sometimes the feelings come on like a bomb...very suddenly and severely.  The Xanax helps, but it is always still there on the surface, and the depersonalization and not feeling "with it" never goes away. 

 

It has been 10 days now since the latest episode, and is not getting any better.  (3 months total since my last and only Zoloft).  I take a minimal amount of Xanax just to get me by, and go as long as I can before taking it in the morning.  Usually I can only go until Noon, and that is pushing it.  I have tried to go without the Xanax, just in case that is attributing to the condition continuing (although it didn't before) and it is just not possible for me to be without it at this point.  It is absolutely unbearable without it. 

 

So I am unsure if I am having a withdrawal to only 1 pill , or just an adverse reaction that is long-term.  I am scared and do not have much hope, especially since the doctors do not seem to understand what is going on or what to do - other than to medicate me more, which I know will only make it worse.

 

Has anyone experienced something similar?  Does anyone know what might be going on with me?  Is there an average timeline to eventual recovery - or could this be permanent?  I am very scared and feeling like my life as I knew it is over. 

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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Fresh

Hello crhawk , welcome to the site.    

You've landed in a place where we ALL understand what you've been through. You'll find loads of information and support and kindred spirits here.

 

You're correct that you've had adverse reactions to a number of meds , starting with the Haldol , triggered again by lexapro ,

then cold medicine.  

 

As you've seen , these violent reactions subside , but it may take up to another month or more.   This is not permanent , and

you WILL recover.   It will be very important to stay away from anything that might trigger another episode.

 

Please could you have a go at filling out your signature (summary of med. history),  Instructions are here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

This comes up under your name each time you post.

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

Good to have you on board ,  Fresh

 

.

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crhawk

Thank you so much Fresh.  Reassurance helps a lot, as most times I find myself thinking I will never come out of this...I am crying all the time and it kills me to not be able to interact with my children the way I would like.  Happiness is a thing of the past, as is my former self.  It seems so strange that I would be feeling 75% back to normal, to just to go back to where I started again, 2.5 months later.  And after only one pill.  I know this can take time, I am just not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel right now.

 

I have added my signature - hopefully I have done that correctly.  Thank you.

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crhawk

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Also wondering if those that have were using alprazolam to help with the severe whole body anxiety and nervousness? I'm taking .125 mg every three hours, then .25 at bedtime. Trying the lowest dose possible, and don't want to have effects from the benzo either... but I literally cannot survive without it. Takes the edge off slightly...

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Petunia

Welcome crhawk,

 

I'm glad you found us and are feeling a little reassured.  As Fresh has already pointed out, you have had a severe adverse reaction to some of the drugs you have been given, your nervous system has become destabilized and is now hyper-sensitive. This means it's not responding to substances and stimuli in the way it normally does as you have experienced.

 

You will recover, but it may take some time. In the mean time, you will need to learn how to take care of yourself, reduce stress and provide a calm, healing environment to allow your nervous system to do its repair work. Information about how to do this is found in our Symptoms and self-care  forum.  Recovery from an adverse reaction is similar to recovery from withdrawal syndrome, both situations have caused nervous system destabilization and unpredictable functioning.

 

A minority of people are, or become sensitive to serotonergic drugs and sometimes psychotropic substances in general, it sounds like you may be like this. I suggest you avoid psychotropic drugs from now on including those bought OTC.

 

Most members of this site are here for tapering help or are recovering from withdrawal syndrome, but we regularly get people who have had adverse reactions to drugs, like you have.

 

Recovery often happens in a windows and waves kind of pattern, you may feel a little better for a few days, then symptoms will return. It can be like two steps forward, one step back kind of thing.  Here's some more information about it:  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I'm not sure how long you have been taking xanax on a regular basis. Dependence can occur in as little as 2 weeks, then it will need to be tapered if you want to stop taking it. Its good you are taking your dose divided through the day, this will keep its level stable in your system. Xanax has a short half life and in a sensitized nervous system (which you now have) can cause rebound, interdose withdrawal once it leaves your body.

 

When you are ready to taper off Xanax, we have more information in our Members-only benzo forum but for now, if you are going to take it, keeping the dose stable will help your nervous system to recover from the adverse event.

 

I'm sorry this has happened to you, but you will recover. Take your time and read through some of the information here. Ask any questions right here in your thread.

 

Please would you add details of your current xanax use to your signature.

 

Petunia.

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Djones1984

Hi there.

 

I am really sorry you are going through this. I had a severe adverse reaction aswell and have been suffering from that and withdrawl for the last 3 years. I have a longer and more complicated drug history than you.

 

You will recover but unfortunately you have destabilized you nervous system and it's going to take awhile. I too had no choice but to take klonopin to get through it.

 

From what I have seen the average recovery period for an adverse reaction to an ssri is between 3-18 months. With a window and wave pattern of recovery where at times you will feel normal only to have syptoms come back again.

 

Try not to take any other drugs when recovering even advil will mess with you. Eat alot of fruits and vegetables, keep caffeine and sugar to a minimum. You will recover but it takes alot of patience and self care.

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crhawk

Thank you all so much for your input and advice.  It is so appreciated. 

 

I have looked through some of the self care and windows/waves posts.  It's interesting, because before I even knew about this site, and was first experiencing the debilitating effects from the Zoloft, I would call them waves...those first days the reactions/waves were much shorter...it would come on in a wave, then just hit me and last an hour or so...then I'd get a small break (window) of another hour or so, then another wave...it was hell.

 

I do have some followup questions/comments that you can hopefully help me with.

 

1. My new psychiatrist has suggested that I start on Cymbalta.  He said it will help get me through this period.  He said it can also help with my back pain.  At first, it was somewhat convincing.  I did like that he admitted that I actually may have experienced seratonin syndrome (I will never know).  He also said that if someone has a bad reaction to a drug, he never recommends that they try to continue taking it to see if they improve, he has them stop right away.  He also said that he considers my reaction to Zoloft the same as an allergy and I should never again take it. I mentioned the fact that I really do not want to get on another drug because I want my body to heal.  He said that about 80% will heal from this type of reaction, and that about 20% may not.  He said I most likely will, but it could take 6 months to 5 years.  He said the Cymbalta (if it works for me) will get me through that period of time...he wanted to start me on 30 mg, and I said that if I was going to start it, I wanted the smallest dose possible, 20 mg.  I asked that since I had possibly had a seratonin syndrome , or at the least, a bad reaction to another SSRI, should I take another med that contains seratonin.  He said this is such a small amount, it should not produce the same effect.  But, if I have a bad reaction, to call him immediately and we will make a change.

*When I left the appt, I almost felt like I should not look up the drug on the internet, trust the doc and just take it.  Because I am in such a long "wave" right now, that I am feeling hopeless.  I thought, well, what if this DOES work, if it DOES make me feel better, and I never give it a shot.  Well, I picked up the prescription, and thought, well, you didn't look it up last time and look what happened...so I did look up the reviews, and honestly, most of them were positive.   Most people said its the best med they've ever taken, etc...many complained of sweating, nausea, those kinds of things.  But I have those anyway.  So then I looked up your comments to my post.  It reminded me that my choice all along has been to recover...I want to be back the way I used to be.  I was not perfect, and still did have some anxiety and depression issues...BUT I don't want  to go through this ever again.  No more bad reactions, no withdrawals, etc....this has been the worst three months of my life, and I don't want to lose any progress that has been made, even though at this moment it doesn't really feel like progress.

 

So - do you all agree with that decision?  Do you all wish you were never on any meds?  Or are there some that were worth any of the side effects because it gave you some good years of life?

 

2. I am in my longest wave to date...the horrible overall wave that I had after the Zoloft lasted about 8 days...followed by about 6 days of feeling better...then the next wave was after some cold medicine (which I am guessing, and sounds like you agree that set that one off).  That wave lasted about 10 days.  I then had a window of about 3-4 whole weeks, with just a few 30 minute-2 hour waves scattered in that time.  This latest wave has lasted almost two weeks, and I have not really had any windows in that time period.  And the only thing I can think of that may have set that off is 2 days of Ibuprofen or Tylenol.  I have had a couple decent nights - 2 hours or so - where I have felt pretty good.  Other than that, every day is the same.  I wake up with the burning zapping tingling feeling in my hands, and then the cloudiness, depersonalization and overwhelming full body nervous anxiety kicks in, and lasts all day.  Every day. 

 

Have you all experienced long windows, followed by longer waves than you have experienced in the past?  I would think it would be the opposite, where the waves would be getting shorter...that scares me.  It scares me that my current wave is the longest yet.  It makes me feel as though it is not going to end.

 

3. I have looked through the self care forum...is there somewhere that states a list of things that can be helpful - supplements and such - that are easy to find?  I seem to find them scattered throughout?  I was thinking of starting back on a probiotic- I read that there are two strains that can help with anxiety, so I want to find one that has those.  Do you know of a good one to take?  Then I was thinking of starting back up with my calm powder (magnesium)...then maybe some krill oil...

 

What would you all suggest?

 

4.  What medications and elements should I avoid?  I know the psychotropic ones, as were suggested...although I am going to stay on my Xanax because I cannot survive without it at this point...obviously the Ibuprofen is a bad one (never would have guessed that in a million years!).  Is Tylenol usually ok?  Or should I just avoid all things?  i am abstaining from caffeine and alcohol...

 

5.  I have noticed that I sometimes feel poorly after eating...I get very cloudy.  Is that normal too?  Do I need to try and just stick to pure whole foods?

 

6.. Has anyone had success with acupuncture or other similar methods?

 

Thank you all again so much for your time...I know I can be a bit wordy!  There is so much to learn.  I want so badly to FEEL again and be a mommy to my babies.  I still can't believe I am in this nightmare.  Every night I have hope that the next day will be better, and so far, it is not. 

 

Are you all feeling better after having feelings of hopelessness?

 

Well wishes and healing to you all...

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crhawk

Also...does anyone know if I will ever be able to take medications (such as ibuprofen) again?  Even once my body hopefully heals someday?  Or will I forever be hyper-sensitive to all meds?

 

I am coming down with a virus right now and my throat and head hurt tremendously...I don't know what I can do to make it feel any better...usually when I get colds, my asthma causes bronchitis and I need codeine cough syrup...I'm sure I won't be able to have that anymore, and that will be hell.  :(

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Djones1984

Hi again, I am sorry you are going through this. You will heal but it is going to take some time. Me personally I would not go on Cymbalta or any medications. With your history it's just going to take some time for your system to settle down.

 

Tylenol and other meds for colds are differnt from person to person but most people have a hard time with them. But you could try a low dose to see what happens if you can't tolorate symptoms.

 

Try to keep sugar and white flour down to a minimum and eat as clean as you can.

 

This is going to take a lot of patience and understanding that yoy will heal it's just going to take more time than you want.

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crhawk

PLEASE HELP ME...I am feeling like I cannot go on one more day like this.  Not even one more moment.  PLEASE is there anyone out there who has had a reaction like this to a medication?  I am desperate and starting to feel like there is no way out.

 

I think this is being caused by the initial injection of Haldol that was given to me in the ER for pain...but I seemed to recover from that after a couple weeks, but then was started on the Zoloft to try and control my occasional anxiety I was having about my health.  One 50 mg pill of that and my system went haywire.  My story is above.  Anyway, I also seemed to recover from that, and felt quite better (maybe 70%) for about three weeks.  Then this current "wave" started and seems to get worse every day now.  I have no hope left.  I read that Haldol can cause permanent damage and I am absolutely terrified.  It has actually killed elderly people.  I was given a drug that kills people.

 

I have gone down hill tremendously.  I have been in this current "wave" for a month now.  The .125 Xanax every 3 hours was barely helping, if at all, so we went up to the full .25 pill/3 hours about 2 weeks ago.  My psych doc prescribed 20 mg Cymbalta, but I decided against taking it.  I am questioning that decision now.  I desperately do not want to start the Cymbalta, as I know what that can mean...both if it doesn't work, and even if it does work, but what that can mean for my future with possible withdrawal issues.

 

Here is what is going on...24 hours a day I have an unbearable burning, crawling, anxious nervous feeling running through my body.  When the edge is occasionally taken off of this feeling, it is like I am in a fog...completely disconnected, in a cloud.  I wake up with the anxious burning feeling in my hands, it spreads through my arms, into my gut, my chest, my head, my legs.  Nothing I do can stop it.  I try to keep myself busy, but at the same time, it is hard to function and all I want to do is relax.  But I can't.  I can't watch TV, read a book, nothing.  Many times I just cry, or I just rock back and forth over and over.  I wait for the minutes to pass, just doing anything I can to get through the time.  It is hell.  I am living in a nightmare. I have nausea, thinking of food sickens me, but I do get hungry and can occasionally force some food down.  I am losing weight, losing hair, having skin rashes. Also, I am feeling cold, trembling, sometimes tingly in my hands and face.  The other thing is that my jaw many times will lock to one side.  My jaw was what was involved in my dystonic reaction from the Haldol.  The severe feeling of constant full body anxious nervousness is the worst, most unbearable feeling.  I don't know how else to describe it.

 

After upping to the .25 mg every 3 hours, I felt better for about a week.  I had a pretty good day on Monday, then Tuesday, the downhill spiral began...every day has been worse than the last  I have a 1 year old and a 9 year old, who I love with all my heart.  They are my world.  My biggest fear and heartbreak is being away from them, but the last couple days I have felt like I can't do this anymore.  I have never had these feelings before, so I know it is bad.  I feel like there is no way out.  Like there are no doctors who will be able to help me.  Like there is actually nothing that CAN help me, and I have nothing left in me to fight this anymore.

 

My family tells me many of the things I have read on here...just take it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  I am so uncomfortable that I don't think I can do that anymore.  I don't feel like it is going to get better.  I feel like I will never make it out of this hell, and the doctors are just going to try other drugs on me and jack up my brain and nervous system even more....but can it get much worse?  I feel like I'm out of options.

 

Maybe an Admin should add Haldol to my title???  Dystonic reaction?

 

PLEASE is there anyone out there that can help me?  Where do I go, what do I do?  I am begging my family for help before it's too late, but no one knows what to do.

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AliG

CR .    I'm sorry you're going through this.  Did you start taking Cymbalta? ( as per Doctor's recommendation)   It sounds like you are totally sensitive to medication , of any sort.   You been taking Xanax, since 2010 ?   Is that your only medication , now ?  Do you take any supplements ? I would avoid anything right now , until you can stabilize. There are many here who can react to anything , once they're sensitized. Light , sound , exercise , food etc.

How are you doing now ?

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crhawk

Hi AliG...No, I have not started the Cymbalta...mostly due to advice and posts I've read here.  However, my family and I are debating me starting it just because I don't know what else to do at this point.  I'm feeling like I can't take this feeling anymore and like giving up.  So I just don't know what to do. 

 

I started taking Xanax around 2010, but it was just as needed.  I could go a full month without needing one.  My anxiety was basically based on worries about my kids or about my health that would become obsessive, and usually I would just take one when that happened.  So I would say at most, I took 1-2/month.  I did not start the regular use until these reactions.

 

I began taking a probiotic last week.  I researched what strains would be useful for anxiety, etc...I only took it twice and have since stopped (just in case).  I also took a multivitamin once, but have since stopped that as well.  I tried doing the calm powder (magnesium) for a few days along with airborne when I was sick.  That was about 10 days ago.  I have been completely supplement free for about 3 days now I would say...just the Xanax. 

 

Lights definitely affect me.  I cannot go into Target or the grocery store without a "bomb" going off after about 10 minutes.  Instant daze, fog...  very strange.  Yes, noises also bother me.  And food as well.  Even in those two good periods of time that I had, when I would eat, I would sometimes get into that "fog" afterwards.  Same with now.  I am trying light exercise when able.

 

Edited to add:  I am doing "OK" at this very moment, but I never know what the next moment will bring.  I seem to do better for about an hour - one hour after taking each Xanax...most other times are unbearable.  And even those "better" times are still incredibly uncomfortable.  Overall, I am doing terrible...hopeless.  Feeling like this will never end and I have no way out.  Incredible depression because of it.

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Christian

I am sorry for your struggles. How is your sleep?

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crhawk

My sleep is OK.  As long as I fall asleep before the last Xanax of the day wears off, I am able to get to sleep and get about 3-4 solid feeling hours.  The rest of the night I dream and toss and turn.  If I awaken for some reason, I cannot fall back asleep.  If I do, I immediately wake up.  I wake up almost to an alarm around 7-8 am and am immediately filled with this overwhelming anxiety feeling.

 

I have to wait until 9 am to take the first Xanax, or I will be too early to make it until bedtime.  So that hour or two before taking it is quite unbearable and then I feel like I am trying to catch up all day.

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crhawk

I also realize that now by being on the Xanax regularly for over two weeks, that my body might begin to become dependent on it, and I could have withdrawals when I can eventually (hopefully!) come off of it. Two weeks ago, when I had started taking it regularly, I had planned to only take it a max of two weeks, and then taper off before becoming dependent.  I am very disappointed that I cannot come off the Xanax yet, because now I know I will also have that to deal with.

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AliG

CR.  I will double check this, but I would not touch the Cymbalta. I'm so relieved you haven't taken any.  How did the Magnesium go ? Did you react to that?  Have a read of  the symptoms and self- care forum . There is a lot of good advice and suggestions there.  The morning anxiety is an overload of cortisol. It's scary , but can't hurt you . In fact , a lot of the symptoms are like that.  Try to stay calm . Stay in touch, and let us know how you are going. There is a lot of support here. We all understand ,  and can empathize with what you're experiencing.  Please read these links. They may help.

What is withdrawal syndrome?

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/?hl=+reducing%20+cortisol

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/?hl=guilt

Ali

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crhawk

Hi Ali...I think I did okay with the magnesium, but can't be sure...everything is so scattered.  Some days "better" than others, but none good.  Better is very relative. And I don't know if I will react immediately, or a day or two after...So it is really hard to know.  Maybe I will try a small amount each day and see what happens. 

 

I have read through a lot of the withdrawal forum, although that is not exactly what is going on with me, but does seem similar and have also looked at the self care.  I'm just not sure where the best place to start is...I guess I will go with the mag.  And I will check out your links and go through some things again.  Thank you.

 

I just don't understand why I have this feeling literally 24 hours a day...I can feel it in my body constantly.  I haven't had a "window" in over a month.  It scares me and I'm worried I have permanent damage.

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Christian

Do you feel you have gotten worse ? Or is it the same but it's wearing on you and your losing patience dealing with it? I've learned to try and identify the difference. I'm not sure I can but you might be able to. I know I'm not helping much. I have many moments where I just am so tired of it I post on here in a panic without knowing exactly if I'm getting better or worse. But I know people get better.

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crhawk

Hi Christian - I have definitely gotten worse. After upping the Xanax to the .25 every 3 hours, I felt like I was better than before. For about a week. Have been declining since last Tuesday. This whole month has been a major struggle. I know what you mean about losing patience, and I am... waking up every day in this hell...I don't feel like I can do it another day. And thinking it will never end I'm sure doesn't help. But it has gotten worse...

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Altostrata

Hello, crhawk.

 

A small number of people have fairly immediate, severe adverse reactions to serotonergics such as Zoloft. You may be one of these people. If I were you, I would avoid all SSRIs in the future.

 

When they're off the drug, these people have symptoms very similar to withdrawal syndrome, which follow the same very gradual "waves and windows" pattern of healing.

 

Severe adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs tend to destabilize the nervous system. Adding other psychiatric drugs can cause further upset.

 

When one's nervous system is sensitized, benzodiazepines can quickly go paradoxical, causing symptoms they're supposed to reduce. People can have adverse reactions to benzos, too. This may be happening to you.

 

Please keep notes on paper, like diary, about your daily symptom pattern and drug dosages. This will help us determine if the Xanax is a problem.

 

Very few doctors, even psychiatrists, understand adverse drug reactions and prolonged symptoms afterward. That your new psychiatrist noted you probably cannot take serotonerigics is unusually enlightened. His belief that taking a hefty dose of Cymbalta will cure what ails you is not.

 

Our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/contains suggestions about how to cope with symptoms. Given your system is sensitized, you can only try one thing at a time, at a very low dose, to see how it affects you. Even if you find something that helps, you will only inch forward in healing. We cannot prescribe a regimen that will fix you right away.

 

The feelings of disconnectness and emotional anesthesia are very, very common effects of psychiatric drugs. (You are also actively drugging yourself around the clock with Xanax.) This will very gradually fade. In the meantime, do not add to your distress by worrying about your symptoms.

 

Haldol is a very unusual treatment for pain. Do you have a history of using pain medications?

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crhawk

Alto - I got severe back/side pain 2 years ago and the cause has yet to be found. I was prescribed 5/325 Acetaminophen/Oxycodone as needed. Maybe 12 months ago. I never took it daily. Only when the pain was terrible, and even then would try taking just a half pill. I'd go a week or more many times without taking it. The only other pain meds I've taken were for one week after my endometriosis surgery 6 years ago.

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Altostrata

When you went to the hospital and got a shot of Haldol, were you behaving in an unusual way?

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crhawk

I too wonder if the Xanax is hurting more than helping, especially in the long run. But I don't know what else to do. It seems to be the only thing keeping me alive at all at this point. I'm just at a complete loss of where to go from here. I'm terrified to cut the Xanax... at the 2.5 hour mark, I can already feel the overwhelming anxiety gaining back.

 

We are completely furious about the Haldol. The PA in the ER said it off label treats pain and was going to try it to see if it would help me. I didn't question it at the time. I have seen many others who reviewed the drug say it was given to them in the ER for headaches, and one other woman who had shoulder pain. So I guess I'm not the first. However, we all feel the PA should probably lose his job for this and I'm considering malpractice.

 

Alto - from your experience, do you think I will heal? I know everyone is different, but what should I expect from this sort of thing? And does it seem like more from the Haldol, the Zoloft, or both?

 

Thank you all so much

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crhawk

I was not behaving unusually. I was very calm but concerned. I did cry as I told them I was worried about this pain and wanted to find the cause. I told them when I came in that I just wanted imaging to find the cause. I didn't necessarily need pain treatment. Just wanted to figure out the cause. But their goal at the ER is always to have you leave "pain free". His explanation for the Haldol was off label use for pain since the other pain drug they have me didn't help much.

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Altostrata

Hmmm, I see. Well, now you know you are very sensitive to psychoactive drugs. You should make sure to refuse them whenever possible.

 

When Xanax wears off, you can get what's called "rebound anxiety", where those feelings come back even worse than before. This is exactly how people become dependent on benzos. They make their own gravy, so to speak.

 

Sounds like you are in this cycle of dependency and rebound. This is making your symptoms much worse. Please go here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/for information about how to manage your benzo use.

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Skyler

I too wonder if the Xanax is hurting more than helping, especially in the long run. But I don't know what else to do. It seems to be the only thing keeping me alive at all at this point. I'm just at a complete loss of where to go from here. I'm terrified to cut the Xanax... at the 2.5 hour mark, I can already feel the overwhelming anxiety gaining back.

 

We are completely furious about the Haldol. The PA in the ER said it off label treats pain and was going to try it to see if it would help me. I didn't question it at the time. I have seen many others who reviewed the drug say it was given to them in the ER for headaches, and one other woman who had shoulder pain. So I guess I'm not the first. However, we all feel the PA should probably lose his job for this and I'm considering malpractice.

 

Alto - from your experience, do you think I will heal? I know everyone is different, but what should I expect from this sort of thing? And does it seem like more from the Haldol, the Zoloft, or both?

 

Thank you all so much

 

Hi cr.. I'm wondering if you would like to open a thread in the benzo forum to discuss what is going on with xanax.. That's my 'hood'.. see you there. ;)

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crhawk

Alto, thank you so incredibly much for your explanations and insight. We have read much about you and your story. Thank you so much for all your work on this for all of us. You've truly changed the world.

 

Thank you also Skyler for your welcome to the benzo forum. I most certainly will post there soon.

 

I will keep track of my benzo usage and am keeping a daily diary. Although it has been more of a daily diary and probably needs to be more detailed. But that is difficult for me to do sometimes.

 

Alto - from your experience, do you think I will heal? I know everyone is different, but what should I expect from this sort of thing? And does it seem like this has been caused more from the Haldol, the Zoloft, or both? We're really trying to get this all figured out.

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Altostrata

Yes, you will heal. It's probably from a combination of the psychoactives. The Zoloft certainly was too strong for you.

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Djones1984

Hi crhawk, unfortunately the only way to heal is time and to make it through day by day. Trust me when I say this, I had all your symptoms and more. You will get better but it's going to take some time. I know exactly what your feeling afraid, all alone and completely feel like you lost your mind and nobody gets it. I want you to know that you are not alone. Take baby steps and go for a little walk, try to push yourself a little to do little things you feel like you can't do.

 

It is going to take some months for you to get thru this acute phase where every sound, light, change in motion and every stimuli feels like hell on earth. You feel like you could just crawl out of your skin and run.

 

All of this will settle down very slowly. To a more manageable level. For me it was around 6 months.

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crhawk

Thank you Alto and DJ...I am having such a hard time.  Today is even worse than yesterday, and I did not think that was possible.  I woke up at 4 am with a complete horrible crawling of my skin, burning anxiety in my hands and arms, nervousness surging throughout my whole body.  It wouldn't go away and I was going crazy.  It has not let up today.  I had to take .125 mg Xanax at 4:45 am this morning to get through it, and have been doing so every 3 hours since...this has changed my dosing schedule for the day, which probably will not be helpful, but I don't know how else to handle these feelings and sensations.  It's literally unbearable.

 

Has anyone experienced shorter waves with longer windows, but then went backwards and then had a much longer wave?  It's been over a month with no sign of letup.  My past waves were less than 10 days.  I feel like I am as bad as ever.  Every minute is a struggle and I don't know how to get through it.  I just cry constantly and beg my family for help, even though I know there is nothing they, or anyone else can do.  I just can't believe this is happening to me, I feel like my life is over. 

 

How do people do this?  It's been four months and I can't imagine another day.  It's so hard to accept that there is nothing that can be done for this.

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Altostrata

You will need to be patient and deal with the probable Xanax dependency. You'll get through this, be strong.

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crhawk

Thanks Alto...I will take your advice and move onto dealing with the Xanax on Thursday.  My father is coming from out of state to help us. 

 

Do you think think the Xanax could be an issue even though this wave started with the same kind of feelings/sensations that did not let up (the same ones I am having now)?  I was not on Xanax at the time and started taking it again due to those unbearable anxious/nervous feelings that wouldn't go away...

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Altostrata

Yes, the Xanax could be making this much worse.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern relative to when you take your drugs? Please keep notes on paper.

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crhawk

I wake up every day anywhere between 4 am - 7:30 am with the horrible crawling of my skin, burning anxiety in my hands and arms, nervousness surging throughout my whole body.  The longer time goes on, the more severe it becomes.  Typically I try to survive through it until about 9 am.  I take my .25 mg Xanax around 9 am.  Usually around 10:30 am I start to feel some relief...By 11:30 am I am already feeling the surges coming back.  I take another Xanax between Noon and 12:15 pm...same thing.  It helps slightly within 1-1.5 hours, and then only for around an hour.  2-2.5 hours after taking the Xanax, I am already feeling the surges coming back.  This cycle remains the same throughout the day.  Sometimes, in the late evening, I feel better than I did the rest of the day.  Some evenings are actually bearable.  Usually from about 9 pm-11 pm (bedtime).  I take the last pill at 10 pm and it is able to help me sleep. 

 

I have noticed that if I go beyond the time when I am to take the Xanax, or before it starts working, I get the cloudy feeling....dizzy, out of it.  Sometimes very cold, sometimes hot. No desire for food, although I am hungry...nausea.   But it is confusing because I had that before I started taking it again too...

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Altostrata

What exactly is your Xanax schedule? Do you take only 3 a day or one every 3 hours?

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crhawk

*topic moved from symptoms forum

 

Has anyone tried hypnotherapy or acupuncture?  I have tried acupuncture before for migraines with some relief...my father tried hypnotherapy for anxiety decades ago and had some success...

 

I made an appointment for both in the upcoming days/weeks...I am currently experiencing skin crawling/full body/severe constant nervousness and anxiety that is unlike anything I have ever had to go through.  It is 24 hours a day.  Even with the Xanax I am currently on (and hoping to get off very soon)....every day is beyond a struggle for me and I never think I will be able to survive another day like it.

 

Hoping either of these therapies could help.  Both with the anxiety and getting off the Xanax.

 

Anyone had success?  Or find it not helpful? (or even make it worse?)

Edited by Petunia
added note

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