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Skylark: Hi


Skylark

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Hi, all.

 

I don't know what to say in an intro, but I joined because I'm still struggling with the stigma of having been on psych drugs. I'm still really uncomfortable telling anyone about it, like it would discredit me, make people look at me differently. But it's so hard. I struggle with drug induced "depression," "anxiety," etc., and I get (well-meaning, miseducated) people telling me that drugs will help. (!) See my sig and guess how this makes me feel.

 

I don't know where to turn, but I really desperately need some kind of support in this. Especially because life, and my psychological state, are taking a turn for the worse again lately. And very few would understand, because they've been brainwashed by misinformation (or Big Pharma), and have never seen the reality behind the glossy pills. If I had heard someone say what I'd now like to say, I'm sure I probably would've thought they were crazy, too. Worse, I live in a relatively isolated place where there aren't many resources. I had a good, informed counselor for a while, but she retired suddenly due to a back injury, which kind of threw me.

 

Anyway, here I am. I was on Paxil Progress years ago. I hope things go well here.

 

Best,

Skylark

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Skylark and welcome to s/a,

 

I'm sure you will feel at home here, and find lots of support for your situation.  I'm so sorry that people have made you feel so stink about it all, and that you were put on them so young, and that the effects have lasted so long.  What a heavy load you've been carrying.  You really are due for some good things in your life. 

 

This thread will be your journal - your place to put down in words all the things that are happening for you, your feelings, your questions. 

 

We have a very good section called Symptoms and Self-Care where you can find info on non-drug techniques for dealing with emotional symptoms, among other things.  It's been my favourite on this site - I'm tapering Effexor.

 

You might also enjoy a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whittaker.  It will give you lots of things to say when people are telling you rubbish about psych drugs. 

 

What things are you dealing with currently? 

 

I'm so glad you've introduced yourself,

Hugs,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thanks, Karen! I'll definitely check out those resources.

 

I didn't realize this thread would serve as a journal in itself, but I'm just as glad. I think something like that would help me at this point.

 

As to what I'm going through currently...so much. First of all, I'm one of those who never really recovered from the drugs. It was just too much, too long, too young. Some of my emotions, and emotional...subtlety?...seemed erased when I was going up and down drastically from 80 mgs during WD. Never returned. Really hard to talk or even think about. Pain remains, though it's weirdly blunted. Fear and anger and grief are also overwhelming. The "rudder" controlling emotions seems broken or gone. Things overwhelm me fairly easily. I always seem to feel fear, anger, and/or grief. That last, I just cannot face most of the time, but I have this horrible, haunted awareness that it's there. The same, usually, with fear, though that's not as extreme (comparatively, which isn't saying much, because fear seems to run my life).

 

As to externally...well, I finally started to turn my life around and get it on track when I went to college at 25. Sort of. I'm now only 2 1/2 months away from my BA - and I've been accepted into a Master's program, waiting to hear back from other programs - but life is in ruins. I'm really isolated, I never really learned coping or social skills (partly due to drugs, and partly due to a very messed up childhood). And I'm having terrible issues with an instructor who is now taking it out on my grade. I've never had this happen before. I'm trying to swap into another class, but I don't know if I'll be able to do so. I'm also having issues with roommates, and I'm running out of money. I'm taking 7 classes at the moment, but I absolutely have to find a decent job almost as soon as I graduate. Debts and bills are piling up. And I don't feel like I can deal with any of it.

 

Sorry for the litany of misery, but I've been starting to lose it under the accumulated weight of all this mess. And people wonder why I struggle so much - they can't even believe it. But my brain...it isn't what nature made it to be. It can't cope like other brains. Not to mention my other physical health problems, most of which trace their roots to drugs, though not all. I'm 31, and I've been getting white hairs so long, I hesitate to say because I doubt people would believe me. I just feel so alone in this, like the only one who can perceive a reality that no one else sees. Especially since I was cut off from that counselor who understood - she wasn't able to talk to me after the injury because it was so bad, God help her - I've felt really lost.

 

Financially, I'll be OK once grad school starts. I just have to make it through the summer somehow. But my confidence in my ability to get by in this world is very, very low. And as to my other problems - social, emotional, etc. - I really feel overwhelmed. I'm glad I found this site. Sorry for such a long post! I'll stop now.

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's a lot to handle.  Think you can hang in there till grad school starts?  And congratulations on completing a degree during all this.  Major achievement. 

 

I had a screwy childhood too - I think a fair few of us here have.  Just adds insult to injury to then be given drugs which mess us up as adults too.  I also have a lot of white hairs.  Some people here have talked of doctors who will skype.  I wonder if there are counselors who do that?  May be something for you to look into, cause it sounds like it was a really important part of your life.  I also have seen counselors for a long time, on and off, and I wouldn't want to be without that support. 

 

You may also like to follow this thread Off Drugs for 5 or more years?

 

And here is the blog of a long-time member of this site, a woman who recovered from an intensely awful w/d.  It's really inspiring, and has a lot of info on bringing things into your life which can help you recover your old self.  http://beyondmeds.com/

 

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thanks, Karen. Sorry for the delay in responding, but I've just barely been keeping it together the last few days. The problem with that instructor has had me in a tailspin. (It involved triggers...I'll just leave it at that.) I was actually suicidal this weekend.

 

I'm not there anymore, though. I found some help at a local church on Sunday, and today, thank God, I was able to swap into a different class. An exception was made due to the circumstances, but the person I talked to in the dept, after hearing an edited version from the instructor, unfortunately spouted a lot of very upsetting drivel. It was idiotically transparent that it was just what the instructor had fed her, but even so, what she was saying just wasn't true. She even made some lame excuse about "needing to encounter challenging ideas in higher ed." What BS. One, the class had nothing to do with the triggers she kept bringing up; two, there's no excuse for an instructor simply ignoring a student's explicit request for warning and alternatives for such a sensitive (and unrelated!) topic...I could go on, but the whole thing just exhausts me.

 

I was limp with relief when I learned I could swap out. It's done now, so that's a huge weight off. Now I need to figure out if I want to pursue further action, but I have time to do that, since I graduate in May.

 

Thanks for the congratulations. There's really no one around me who notices, since I don't have family or anything. I'm trying as hard as I know how to hang in there until grad school, yes. I'm going to see if this church offers free counseling or anything. I made myself go see someone at school today, about the class actually - I felt I needed some back up, especially if further action is necessary. I might go see student advocacy groups, too, since I know there are some for this on campus. Anyway, thankfully the first session was free, but I might not get the fee waiver for future ones. I'll have to see.

 

I'm rattling on. Sorry. I'm just in a heightened sort of state right now.

 

Yes, it certainly is salt in the wound to be drugged on account of being "at risk" after abuse/neglect, isn't it? There's a great book that addresses this: And They Call It Help by Louise Armstrong.

 

I'm really glad to have found this site. This is one of my biggest, most shameful "secrets" that I drag around. Not that we're the ones who ought to be ashamed, but there was a ton of shaming and stigma in my own childhood, and in my experience, people tend to discredit you on a certain level if they learn you are/were on "psychiatric medication." But they're drugs, just drugs, a profit-making scheme that sacrifices human beings' welfare for the bottom line. They were pushed on me when I was far too young to know better and protect myself, and they're pushed on many when they're in terrifyingly vulnerable and lonely positions, with misinformation to close the deal. I hate this whole industry, and that I feel so powerless to do anything about all the devastation it's caused.

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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  • Moderator

Hi Skylark--  very well done on taking action and getting the results you needed, and on several fronts at the same time. I'm so excited for you, and I'm looking forward to your graduation in a few months.

 

((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))

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.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     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

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Hi and welcome! Your story is very similar to mine :) I hope you find yourself at home in here !

 

Hugs

2011~ lexapro 40-60 mg (mom,why didn't you stop me I was 15..)

2013~ prozac 40mg ,seroquel 25mg (here we go poop-out and merry-go-round!

2014~ paxil 40mg, seroquel 100mg (thanks psych ward for the benzo trial and WD too)

2015~ (worst year of my life):

- basically CT'd from paxil (40 to 20mg in one day,then 10 then 0 in one month total)

and seroquel (cold turkey) in May, horrible withdrawals with every decrease. I said " well Imma ride this out", yeah right.. Two weeks off I couldn't take it anymore.

- Drs. Lab rat( they tried prozac,lexapro,also for a few days cymbalta,venlafaxine,and for anxiety olanzapine and different doses seroquel)

- started wellbutrin (which "cured" my by then 1/2 year withdrawal in a few days,what?)

2016~zoloft 100mg,wellbutrin 300mg,seroquel 50mg

I hope to be med-free one day,I started at such a young age so, Who am I? No idea. :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Skylark, that is all really good news.  I hope you can see what we can see - a really strong person who is managing to cope with a range of difficult things.

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you so much, everyone. Sorry for the long delay in responding, but I've been struggling with a lot. The suicidal ideation got a lot worse, and I was put on a 72 hour "watch" by the school counseling office. I stayed at home, but had to check in twice a day.

 

I've started seeing a counselor regularly, though, and that's really helping. I believe I'm on the right road now.

 

Brassmonkey, thank you! I can hardly believe I'm only 2 months away from my BA! After all these years. And heading off to grad school, no less...

 

romina, thanks! I read your sig, though, and I'm so sorry you were put through that, too! Your doses were as extreme as mine. I pray to God you're not still on them...? I'll be praying, too, that you can withdraw - SLOWLY and safely - and yes, someday be drug-free and remember who the hell you are. I'm still trying to figure that out...On a more positive note, yes, this seems like a great forum, and I'm very grateful I found it.

 

Karen...thank you so much for saying that. Yes, I have people who learn anything about my history tell me that, almost without exception. But it's so hard for me to see that most of the time. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching and reflection, lately, though, and I'm realizing how right you are, and how extraordinary it is for me to have come this far, considering. All. It's more than just drugs, too, a whole hell of a lot more. It outraged me when it came home to me how completely I'd been blinded to all this, to the good in me. But that's a good thing: anger is stimulating, and it's saved my life more than once. I've heard it said that depression is actually anger turned inward, and I think this may well be true. Certainly, it's been my experience that if it goes outward, to the people it belongs to, it doesn't bury and kill me. And I get a lot healthier, more hopeful, more proactive, and stopping living trapped in that "victim mentality/position." I stop giving my power away and staying in toxic situations or thought patterns. Truth is empowering. Superstitious denial/fear of truth, and unjust self-blame, is just the opposite. I feel like I've gotten caught in other people's BS and complexes; but I believe God has set me squarely free of that now. Now I can move on and heal, living in truth instead of chains of lies that forbid me to ever see or acknowledge the truth out of fear, which just recreated the fear of my childhood, and robbed me of the innocence to see the truth that I had back then, which ultimately allowed me escape and survive. So, no wonder I got suicidal. I'm not anymore - there's no way in hell I'm ever going to betray myself like that. That's what they want. But to hell with them.

 

I'm going to live, and I'm going to live the fullest and happiest life God gives me.

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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Skylark.  You sound strong, and so positive.  I feel you are definitely getting there.  I can only assume you have had an equally hellish upbringing , as I have.  Good on you  for overcoming it , somewhat . I feel that I could have written the same , as you.  You are garnering insight & a certain wisdom in your journey .

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's beautiful Skylark.  You'll get there alright.  Keep building up your nest of strengthening and caring things - really get it good and solid so it can hold you in the hard times.  

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thanks, Ali, thanks, Karen.

 

I'm trying to push through some resistance at the moment, but it really helped to read my last post. I'm glad this thread doubles as a journal, to keep track of our progress. I'm still trying to work a lot of things out in my head and heart, trying to remember myself. I've let too much go, gone along with others far too much these last years, and lived in an appeasing, pacifying position that is...so....contrary to who I really am and everything I've ever stood for.

 

That fear of showing my true self is viscerally, reflexively frightening now, due to certain traumas I experienced earlier in life. But I can feel how it's killing and warping me, turning me into someone I don't even like, much less want to be. I'm trying to sort out so much, while simultaneously keeping up with school and all kinds of practical headaches. Thankfully this week is spring break, so I'll have some time to relax and catch my breath.

 

It seems like such an arduous uphill struggle to regain myself. But it's also exciting and rewarding, and I know it will be worth it. "What is it to gain the whole world if you lose your own soul? And what would you give in exchange for your soul?"

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't have the energy to educate, but I'm exhausted all around right now. And I don't know how to tell my counselor. I'm worried about how she'll react. I'm relocating soon, too, and I'm...worried. I could really use a support group of some kind right now - I don't want to carry all this on my own anymore. I've been suicidal until very recently, and I still feel that I'm not too far from the edge yet. What the hell do I do?

 

Does anyone know of any resources for this? Telling people, finding a support group, or just finding someone who may understand?

 

I wish I knew where to look, or begin.

Age 13 - Prozac, 20 mg. On and off.

14 - Paxil. 2 months.

15 Effexor. 2 weeks. Toxic reaction, panic, never the same since. Back to prozac. Increased to 80 MGS! I weighed less than a 100 lbs!

18-20. Drug-free! So much of me came back, emotion, memories. But my brain was affected. Panic, no coping skills...

20-22. Hell. Cocktails + Paxil back up to 80 mgs. Hell.

Terrible, messy withdrawal in isolation, most of my 22nd year.

Now 31. Never the same since.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Skylark,

 

It's not clear from what/how you wrote what you "don't know how to tell your counsellor" or "telling people".  If you can clarify this we may be better able to offer more specific suggestions.

 

Just done a bit of hunting around and found this post by WinningThrough.  What my point is, some people just don't get it.  That's why SA is so helpful because the people here understand from experience.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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