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Dawes1b: I Need Some Sleep


Dawes1b

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1. It seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle ?
2. I have a alerting problem during day too. I can't keep eyes open, too little cortisol. This can be more acute when I exercise - I fear falling on face when walking. I went for long walk, then sat in armless chair for hour with people, and constantly almost fell out of chair. Unfortunately exercise only induces nap of about 30 min. I use this at night at times exercising right before bed. Is this paradoxical (SP?) Response to exercise and poor daytime cortisol regulation unique ?
3. For 18 years I was on low dose ssri. Withdrew from last 5 mg cold turkey. No withdrawal for 6 weeks, then brain zaps , insomnia, deep depression, etc. All starting about Oct 1 2015. So I am 5 months into true withdrawal. Ssri took 6 weeks to bleed out bones, fat, etc. I had 2 reasons for withdrawing: worsening sleep disturbance and belief that although I was one of fortunate few to have ssri reduce depression for 18 yr, almost no one will have them work for 30, 40 or more years. Although Dr Shipko warns against withdrawing after 10 years what choice do I have if I might live another 30 years at which time the resultant untreatable depression may be unimaginable. I asked a psychiatrist do you really believe anti depressants will work for me for 30, 40-50 years total, he just showed a horrified look no response.
 
What special advice does anyone have for those on ssris for decades, especially about insomnia??? Dr Shipkos suggestion for ssri withdrawal is scary. *** seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle?

 Thanks

Edited by scallywag
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1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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Maybe don't post this follow on from me, dawes1b, but it seems that I am in race against the decline in mental and physical health caused by insomnia and anxiety. If I hold on for a year or two years off, if sleep does not improve will I reach body shutdown and too deep depression or psychosis ? Sorry for negativity ? Thanx

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • Moderator

Hi Dawes--  Welcome to the group, I think you will find a lot of good information and support here.  I moved your posts to make a new thread so they don't get lost in a little visited one.  This will be your journal for recording information about your journey, a place for asking questions, connecting with other members ranting and raving.  If you click on the Follow this Topic button at the upper right of the screen you will get notifications when someone posts here and it will make it easer for you to find it again.

 

These drugs are not for a life time as some doctors seem to think.  After several years they loose their effectiveness and start to cause trouble.  I had been on paxil for just over 18 years when I figured out it was what was causing most of my trouble.  It's been a long slow taper but I'm just about off.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having such trouble from your CT.  Before we can really make any suggestions we need a little more information.  What was the drug you were taking, what was the original dosage and how did you taper before the CT?

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

  

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, Dawes1b. Welcome to SA. I'm sure you'll get the best advice possible and am glad you found us. Thank you for visiting my intro forum. I left you a response there

Diagnosed w/ ADD and minor depression in 1990. Fluoxetine 20 mg/day. Also methylphenidate, but hated it and quit after about a week. Quit fluoxetine cold turkey (ignorance) 18 January 2013. Experienced brain zaps, flu symptoms, heart palpitations. Nothing after August 2013. Mirtazapine 15 mg/day for sleep beginning around 1999. Began tapering August 2013.  As of March 2015 I'm off mirtazapine and antidepressant free. Don't sleep well after sunrise, feel anxious and sad some of the time, still have tinnitus. Still occasionally take lorazepam for anxiety but never more than 1 mg.  Prescribed metoprolol (beta blocker) for atrial fibrillation diagnosed June 2013. Medical  opinion (two cardiologists) is that it's not caused by fluoxetine w/drawal and is a dangerous, chronic condition requiring lifelong medication. As of Aug 2013 heart palpitations for the most part ceased. Tapered beta blocker and am off of it as of Jan 2015. No wd symptoms or recurring afib at all so far. Maybe it was wd after all, but doctors don't think so, surprise surprise. However, a small victory: the last doctor I related this to shrugged her shoulders. Getting lots of exercise, which has me physically pretty robust at age 71 in spite of persistence of mirt wd symptoms, mainly insomnia and anxiety, but also jaw-clenching annoyance at noises of a certain pitch and timbre. Incessant media fixation on the presidential campaign has ruined my disposition and my faith in the future. My Introduction.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dawes1b , welcome to the site. Good job on your signature , thank you.

 

The problems you're having with insomnia are a result of going from 5mg to 0 in August last year.

It's not unusual for people to develop new or more intense symptoms up to 12 months after stopping.

 

As you found , it was okay for the first few weeks , then things started to go downhill.

The quickest way to feel better is to try reinstating a very small amount , like 1 or 2mg of citalopram.

If you get some symptom relief , you continue until you're stable again , and can then taper off more slowly.

Please read our thread on reinstating here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

If you don't reinstate , your body will not shut down. It will heal slowly over the next year or two , and your sleep should eventually return to normal.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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A year or two of 3-4 hours of sleep will be devastating

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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12-18 months of 3-4 hours sleep will be unbelievablely tough.

Thanks 4 responding.

PS

I've already CT-ed 7 months ago going back, even on a few mg, msay cause more damage ?

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There are no guarantees ... we recommend just a tiny starter dose so you can be sure it's not going to cause a bad reaction.

Some people do have an adverse reaction after 7 months off , so they need to stop if they feel worse.  For others , they get symptom relief within hours of taking 1mg.  It's something to consider.

 

I believe it's pretty unlikely that your sleep will be consistently bad as you recover.  

It's more likely that sleep will improve , and another symptom become the most annoying problem. That's how it seems to go. When your brain decides it need to sleep , it will , and it will probably need to sleep excessively for some time to compensate for all the sleep you're missing now.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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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Hi Dawes

 

Just wanted to say I can really sympathise with your sleep situation, it sucks and it's exhausting and debilitating. I'm in the same situation as you with sleep so I know what you're going through.The sleep links that Karen has posted are really worth reading. I take magnesium citrate now and I'd recommend it it really helps you relax and I think it sometimes helps my sleep.I'm having to be really strict with myself about getting to bed By 10.30pm and avoiding looking at a computer or tablet screen 2 hours before bed, that definitely helps. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I don't. I've tried out meditation before and I'm going to go back to trying some of that everyday to see if it helps. I'll let you know if it does. There are links to Mindfulness on this website. My doctor has also given me some links to a free CBT course. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but will happily post about it if it's useful.

Best wishes

Camper

Prescribed Respiridone 1.5 mg January 2014

Tapered to 1 mg May 2014

Switched to liquid Respiridone and tapered to 0.9 ml March 2015

Tapered to 0.8 ml 3 June 2015

Tapered to 0.7 ml 8 July 2015

Tapered to 0.6 ml 2 November 2015

Tapered to 0.55ml 30 November 2015

Tapered to 0.5ml 11 January 2016. Held at 0.5ml for the whole of 2016 until February 2017. Tapered to 0.45 ml 13 Feb 2017. Tapered to 0.4 ml 2 April 2017. Tapered to 0.35ml 24 July 2017. 0.33 ml end Jan 2018. 0.30ml 18 Feb 2018. 0.27ml 18 March 2018. 0.25ml 8 April 2018. 0.23 ml  1 July 2018. 0.20ml 5 August 2018. 0.17 ml 13 September 2018. 0.15ml 12 October 2018. Updosed to 0.20ml 21 November 2018 Tapered to 0.18ml 28 Jan 2019. 0.15ml 25 Feb 2019 0.13ml 29 April 2019. 0.10ml 1 June 2019. End of July 2019 relapsed now taking 3mg Respiridone daily

Supplements magnesium and fish oil and folic acid, vitamin D

started HRT transdermal patches 18 Sept 2018 Evorel Sequi (estradiol) and Evorel Conti (estradiol & .norethisterone) . 4 Dec 7.5mg mirtazapine stopped immediately due to side affects. Stopped HRT 13.12.18. Gluten free since 30.11.18

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Dawes.

 

Are you now taking 100mg lamotrigine and 600mg lithium? What times of day do you take your drugs, and at what dosages?

 

How much lamotrigine were you taking when this last round of sleep problems started?

 

3.5 hours of sleep a night is better than none. Please keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern, including sleep, and your drugs and dosages.

 

Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html
and copy and paste the results in this topic.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I take only 300 mg Lithium.

I begain lamotrigence at 25 mg then 50 mg Sept 2015. I stopped citalopram during August. Increased to 75 mg in Nov (i think). Then 125 mg Dec. 2015. Dropped to 100 mg in late Feb. I hope lamotrigene isnt worsening insomnia. Was having nasty myoclonic jerks, racing heart and akathisia below 75 mg Lamotrigene.

 

How long can I last at an average 3.5-4.0 hours sleep. I'm going on 6 months and my mind and body are getting weaker. March 10 slept 6 hours, then back to 3 hour March 11.

 

Want to hold at 100 mg Lamotrigene. Ive read Lamotrwithdrawal even after a few months can be nasty.

My depression is not preventing me from leaving house, some exercise etc. But I couldnt possibly work.

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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Using lithium together with lamoTRIgine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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It sounds like the worry about how much sleep you are getting is worse than actually not sleeping. Of course, worrying about not sleeping is not going to help and then it becomes a vicious cycle. There are many people here and on another forum I frequent that function okay on just 3-4 hours a night for a long time. The best thing to do is just accept whatever your body is giving you, thank it for the sleep you get, and get on with life. The less you fret about it the better. I keep a stack of books on my bed and get a lot of reading done on bad nights!

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!

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are you doing OK. Are you able to get out and about?

I have not been able to drive much on 3-4 hours asleep.

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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 Although 4 hrs is not ideal , at least you are getting some REM sleep which is restorative.  Try not to worry and stress about it. It's understandable but can be counter productive.

There is no alternative if you want to stay off drugs, including sleep meds. You can give in and go back into the system or taper off  everything , eventually and get your life back .

You might want to look at guided sleep meditations. Also some find melatonin helpful.

I hope this improves for you soon , but if it doesn't " hang in there " . It will , eventually .

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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There is the lack of sleep issues here D1 and there there are the side effects issues. It is hard to tell what is what... 

 

I can say that I do sympathize with the lack of sleep had a few years of it myself and many many bouts since it comes it goes... I try not to worry about it as the more I worry the less I sleep.  Can you get out an about without driving?  I don't have a car any longer but do get out how about using a cab sometimes just to get out?  It may be a start.  

 

I don't know your drugs well enough to offer any advice. 

I can say I still have a brain of some sort tho I had long term sleep issues and still do battle from time to time.  I have found 4 days with no sleep is as long as I dare go... by then I need sleep or I will go mad.  The few times it got to that point I usually fell from shear exhaustion but it I didn't I bowed down to benadryle 1/3 of a tablet as my system was that sensitised I could not tolerate more and I had rebound effects every time I did take it ... that made my wd worse. 

I wish you peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you going Dawes?  How do you spend you days?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks 4 asking AND perfect timing.

 

I imagine you r asking: am I still off ssri, yes. But I will write much more, too bad

 

I try to get out of bed within 15 min of waking but rarely do. Being in beds lets the dark thoughts play.

 

Once up I hopefully eat breakfast.

I have checked off lots of projects, the nerdy type unemployed engineers do. At times this is difficult since my walking can be unsteady and memory appalling. I slug thru by assuming it will take 3 times to get anything right, and often break it on 2nd try.

 

As an attempt at dark comedy I will explain my "banner day":

 

I live with a roomate who highly values his kitchen. Previously I have " fixed" or tried to fix numerous items around the house including door lock, garage door switch and the household AC system. He is a plummer and doesn't like his stuff "fixed", especially the new bungling me. Last week he blamed me for breaking the garbage can, styrofoam ice chest and dishwasher which all broke, I might have helped break garbage can top that's it. But the kicker came when I cooked some chops in a Pyrex dish. I poured water into it and in EXPLODED INTO 100s of pieces all over kitchen along with meat fat. THIS HAPPENED 1 MINUTE AFTER I PRAYED TO GOD TO LET ME GET THROUGH COOKING THIS AND I WILL STAY OUT OF KITCHEN FOR GOOD so he doesn't blame me for breaking stuff. TOOK 4 HOURS TO CLEAN UP!

This was either a devine joke or testament to my incompetence. I thought maybe God was telling me I need to get back on SSRi?

 

When not breaking stuff, I volunteer 8 hours at homeless shelter (how can I "break" these people). I also do some other volunteer work.

 

More dark humor

SSRis squash libido, so quitting ssris does opposite. Unfortunately I am not a "catch" at the moment. Only a meth-amphetamine addict who was ejected from homeless center has been interested ( I wasn't).

 

I have tried to write comedy.

My only start was comparing 50 somethings like myself willing to risk serious injury and death (like me who walks and occasionally bicycles despite awful sleepyness and balance from insomnia) to preserve their health vs. 20 somethings risking carpal tunnel injury playing video games.

 

More dark humor

Lastly I wrote a support peice about Alto Strada and you other volunteers. I see Alto Strada as a kind of Rachael Carson (author Silent Spring) and Pharma Companies as pesticide/insecticide manufacturers. The first psych med thorixine was derived from phenothiazine a early insecticide. I didn't post this yet.

 

I am too negative and have worn people out by my complaining. I have the usual problems of someone who has CT-ed from long term AD use but these are reduced by the 100 mg Lamictal + 300 mg lithium I take.

 

Thanks 4 reading.

 

Dawes1b

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SSRis squash libido, so quitting ssris does opposite. Unfortunately I am not a "catch" at the moment. Only a meth-amphetamine addict who was ejected from homeless center has been interested ( I wasn't).

 

Dawes - I just had my best laugh of the day while reading your post.  So glad you popped in to update.  Writing is healing - so keep at it, even if it's just for yourself.

 

Have you seen this thread?  You know you are in w/d when... I think you might have some good material for it :) .

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 months later...

I had a partial relapse and reinstated citalopram this time I'm at 20 mg, which is twice my previous max dose of 10 mg. And this dose barely works.

 

I feel like a failure. My reinstatement was due a reemergence of addicion issues.

I had gone to another psychiatrist for a second opinion complaining about insomnia, depression, etc. He said

"if your on SSRIs for a long time no one gets off them."

He said this on late January when I was off citalopram 5 months, I made it another 5 months before I reinstated.

Anyway his recommendation was get back on citalopram and add Seroquel for sleep. My primary psychiatrist recommended Ambien and or Trazadone. Seroquel, Ambien, and Trazadone will all wear off as sleep aids in a few years and then the insomnia will be even worse.

 

I sleep 4-5 hours usually in 1-2 hour segments here and there. I lay in bed 12 hour a day which leads to negative thoughts. I want to get off citalopram someday.

 

I need to slug through this.

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Aww, Dawes, reinstating a drug at a dose that alleviates your symptoms is not a failure.
 
You did not fail. The current inadequacy of medical understanding about cause and treatment of psycho-neuro symptoms FAILED.
 
The psychiatrists you saw are stating their opinion based on their experience. Their experience, without a doubt, includes fast tapers, cold turkey discontinuations and then reinstatement of p-drugs because they misdiagnose withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms as the re-emergence of the original "disorder." If they chose to educate themselves about their patients' experiences to actually help their patients, they'd learn that psych-pharma withdrawal symptoms

  • are real and cause significant discomfort, suffering, and pain
  • can last much longer than the 4-6 week period of acute w/d, contrary to their belief and manufacturers' disinformation campaigns
  • can be minimized or prevented by conservative tapering of the drug.

Your previous experience tapering off citalopram will be a valuable guide for when you're ready to start the process anew.
 
Although you feel somewhere between tired - exhausted - so exhausted I can't drag my weary bones out of bed, you are getting some sleep. Even having quiet time where you lie still is restful.
 
I use a morning light therapy to stimulate the "energizing" neural patterns and reduced light in the evenings (reduced brightness and blue light on my screens (TV, screen, phone and tablet), lamps on the lowest settings, dimmers on bedside lamps, etc.)
 
Is your bedroom dark?  Is there any light coming in? 
 
Tips to help sleep
 
If you have difficulty getting to sleep, I've found two things that work for me -- magnesium and melatonin.

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker  

Melatonin for sleep

 

Another moderator (JanCarol, if I recall correctly) has posted about a yoga posture "legs against the wall" that can help with sleep. Here's the youtube video (1 min, 9 sec)

Beginner's yoga: Legs up against the wall

 

 

Keep letting us know how you're doing as you move along this path. :)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Thank you Scallywag. You resonated to 20 mg and am now tapering I hope I can follow your lead :)

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • 3 months later...

Its November and I'm doing a whole lot better, but at the cost of taking 20 mg Citalopram

 

Doing better in my recovery programs

I'm sleeping 6-7 hours

Reduced akathisia

appetite  returned

able to exercise

memory better

not as depressed

Heart regulates better

 

There is a Psychiatrist who seems to know about side effects and is honest.  His opinion is that no one can come off antidepressants if they have been on them long term.  I think he should have said it is very very difficult and many fail - like me.

Sorry for the negativity.  I do hope to taper ssri again, but I need more recovery...

 

 

On 11/5 reduced lamotrigine from 100 mg to 75 mg.  Will probable feel energy drop in 2 weeks and depression increase.  I know this is 25 % reduction but it is hard to cut pills.

I want to reduce to about 50 mg and stay.   I shake/tremble in morning due to akathisia and lamotrigence withdrawal.

 

I think exercise is helping as is spirituality which is even more powerful.  I think I would be much more depressed without spirituality.  My primary reason for depression is fear that ssri anti-depressant will wear out leading to severe depression and insomnia as it does for so many others.

I am very fearful about lowering/tapering ssri citalopram because of addiction problems.

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • 1 month later...

Update - improved

tiredness, lack of energy from Lamictal reduction from 100 mg to 75 mg has subsided, in last two weeks. Also sleep has improved too !

It may be that Lamictal has been causing insomnia, but we'll see if the improved sleep continues once my CNS has fully adjusted to 75 mg in a month or two. 

Perhaps in January or February I will reduce to 60 or 50 mg (i'd have to learn how to compound to reduce to 60 mg).

I see psych doc Wed Dec 13. 

I'm scared to reduce SSRI citalopram from current 20mg, maybe in 3-6 months I'll cut 10-25 %?

I stiil have racing, pounding heart and high anxiety upon awaying, and mirror myoclonic jerks upon awaking - they get worse if I let the fear get hold of me. If I call someone or get up for a while these problems are reduced.

I've had the myoclonic jerks and mild akathisia for 15 months I hope it goes away...

there is actually a positive to myoclonic jerks is that when they get bad, I will not be able to sleep anymore - which forces me out of bed.  I can't stay in bed for long without being clobbered by negative thoughts, but I still do hug bed too much.  :) 

 

PS  I'd like to learn how to change my confidential profile, I want to cut some input?

1997 - 2002 20 mg Paxil, 750 mg Depakote2002 - 2005 10 mg Lexapro, 750 mg Depakote2005 - 2014 10 mg Citalopram,750 mg Depakote1/2014 - 1/2015 `10 mg Citalopram, 500 mg Depakote1/2015 - 8/2015 5 mg Citalopram 300 mg Lithium (no more Depakote)8/2015 - today 0 mg Citalopram 300 mg LithiumAlso added to 300 mg Lithium9/2015 - 1/2016 titrate from 0 to 100 mg Lamictal (Lamotrigene)1/2016 - May 7 100 mg Lamictal and 300 mg Lithium. Get about 4 hours broken sleep. Also depression, akathisia that is somewhat reduced by Lamictal.
June 1, 2016 relapse back citalopram 20 mg
July 1. 0 mg Lithium

​Sept, 2016 back on 300 mg lithium, still on 100 mg Lamictal, 20 mg citalopram

Nov 6, 2015: Lamictal (Lamotrigne) reduced from 100 mg to 75 mg. Sleep seems to have improved due to lower Lamotrigene.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I hope you carefully consider 10% reductions.  A smaller dose reduction may decrease your post-change symptoms.

 

Have you read the topic on tapering Lamictal?  The first post has good information on techniques to create non-standard doses such as 60 mg. Large decreases in Lamictal dose can result in "alerting" symptoms, exactly like the ones you are still experiencing.  Please take a few minutes to read at least the first post, and maybe make your own notes from the content. 

 

You can change details in the profile that is visible to all members. The confidential input is not visible to moderators, only to administrators. It's unlikely that they have the time to handle change requests of this sort.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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