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Elinay

Elinay: Will I ever feel again?

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Elinay

I'm Hannah. I was diagnosed with Bipolar1 1.5 years ago when I suffered a psychotic break after serious trauma. I was hospitalized and put on two medications; Tegretol and Risperdal. I stayed on Risperdal for a year and have just weened off the Tegretol. And have been off it for 3 weeks now. I hope I am not alone in my experience of severe anhedonia with the start of these medications. 

I have lost all emotion. I have been functioning as a zombie for the past year and a half. I feel no joy, love, hope... nothing but flattness. Four months ago my prescriber took me off the Risperdal. I regained some mental clarity and personality after stopping it but had no return of emotion. I am currently taking 200mg of Seraquil, and no other medications for my illness. 
I am an artist and scientist. I have lost all my passion and heart for my work. I am losing hope and I fear greatly that I am damaged permanently. I don't know what to do from here... All I can do is wait. Does anyone have any advice? Similar stories? Anything helps. I want my life back.I am so afraid this is permanent. 


Started 800mg Tegretol & 3mg Risperdal July 2014. Tapered off over 3 months November 2015. 

Started Seroquel 200mg November 2015, tapered off completely April 2016.

Currently on no psychiatric medications.

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mammaP

Hello Hannah, welcome to SA.   Sadly you are definitely not alone with anhedonia, I suffered it too for many years on effexor.   I was also diagnosed with bi polar 24 years ago after a very stressful period and trauma. It is a common occurrence here :( . It is shocking that people are labelled mentally ill and polydrugged  when suffering from a traumatic event.  How did you wean off the tegretol and risperdal?  Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable but it does pass and you will get your feelings back again. I remember when I was starting to recover feelings, I cried at something on tv then cried because I was crying! It was such a shock to feel again and the tears were very emotional but not sad.   

 

How long have you been taking seroquel?   It will help if you can fill out your signature for us, we ask all our new members to do this. Include the approximate dates that drugs were started, when they finished and how long the taper was.  It is very likely that you are suffering some withdrawal and your nervous system will be suffering from the drugs and changes that have been made to them  When we have the details we can know how best to advise you. 

I can assure you that you will get better and I am so glad that you found us. We will support you and help you to get through this.  

 

Many people here find that a really good fish oil and magnesium helps with the withdrawal and side effects of drugs. You can read about them here. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Elinay

I took Seroquel for 5 months. I have been off of it for almost a month now. I am now on no psychiatric medications. My prescriber believes my psychosis was a result of my trauma. I STILL feel like a zombie. I would be the best hostage negotiator. I have no fear, no adrenaline, no pleasure…just flatness. I cannot even cry. It is killing me. My life is going very well, other than the lack of emotion. I have a great job, straight A's, and wonderful friends. But I cannot feel an ounce of happiness from anything. 

A few other things drastically changed after I started those medications. My medical professionals are stumped on this… 

I used to live in perpetual pain, I was bed-ridden for three years straight with a diagnosis of Fibro and Arthritis. I also suffered from severe migraines and motion sickness. 

About four weeks after the medications were started I lost all my emotions and became pain-free, and had no motion sickness. I also totally lost my apatite. I could not eat for days and I would be fine. I can only theorize these things changed due to the medications. But I have been off the initial meds for 5 months now and the Seroquel for 1 month. I just want to FEEL human again. 

Two months ago I broke my toe. My roommate didn't believe me because I just looked down at the 45degree angle of my poor toe and simply said, "I think i just broke my toe, huh, that's a bummer…" NO reaction. *sigh* 


Started 800mg Tegretol & 3mg Risperdal July 2014. Tapered off over 3 months November 2015. 

Started Seroquel 200mg November 2015, tapered off completely April 2016.

Currently on no psychiatric medications.

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mammaP

Hi Hannah, you have had a lot of changed over 1.5 years, which has compromised your central nervous system.  The drugs affect everything in our bodies, and the brain and nervous system need time to regain homeostasis.

Do you have any new or worse symptoms since stopping the drugs?

 How did you taper seroquel? 

Feeling will come back in time, and you will probably find that emotions are heightened at times until you have reached a normal level again. Everyone is different and some are better faster than others. The fact that you are able to function and get on with life is good and hopefully feelings will soon start to return. 

One day you will realise that you actually smiled a real smile that day, or felt  annoyed at something. Mindfulness is really good if you can try it. Focusing on what is going on around you can be really therapeutic. I love to sit and feel the wind, or listen to the rain and notice how it feels. It is just the start of having real feelings again and it will happen, you will get feelings back as your brain heals.  You might find this interesting, written by our Rhianna...

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1160-brain-remodeling/


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Elinay

I have not had any symptoms since stopping the drugs. I tapered to 100mg of Seroquel for three weeks and then stopped it completely. Was that link for a specific post or en entire thread? :)

 

Thank you! I really hope it gets better. I want to be human again.


Started 800mg Tegretol & 3mg Risperdal July 2014. Tapered off over 3 months November 2015. 

Started Seroquel 200mg November 2015, tapered off completely April 2016.

Currently on no psychiatric medications.

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AliG

Elinay.        Welcome to S.A.  I'm sorry for what you have been through . Lost emotions can be hard to deal with .  Anhedonia, can be a particularly difficult withdrawal  symptom, but one that many here, including myself have experienced. These feelings and emotions do start to resurface, in time. This is not permanent. It's a temporary readjustment , in response to the drug being taken away from a brain that has grown accustomed to having it there continuously.

 

This is what that link talks about :  In effect - growing a new brain, after the drug has been removed.

Brain Remodelling

 

You tapered too fast . Sometimes, a reinstatement can help to alleviate symptoms, and then you can slowly taper off. We are only talking about a minute amount. Perhaps 1 or 2 mg. It's worth considering as an option. Have a read and see what you think  :

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

In the meantime, It is important to avoid as much stress as possible . Stimulants like coffee, alcohol,  supplements and excess exercise can bring on more symptoms to a sensitized nervous system. However , magnesium and fish oil are recommended , but please  start off low initially and then work your way up in dose.

 

Here are a few more pertinent links :  This one deals with the emotional " flatness" you are experiencing.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness/?hl=guilt#entry8371

 

This explains the pattern of recovery :

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

If you can explore non - drug means of dealing with some of your symptoms, it will serve you well in the future.  You will hopefully find that when you are prepared with some of these tools, you have less need for the drugs, and if you can build up a kit of  " go - to " strategies for when symptoms hit , you will be able to not only get through withdrawal but you will have permanent, lifelong coping strategies that you can always turn to, but at the same time hopefully never be without as they become a natural part of your life.

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

This is your thread to ask questions and journal your progress. Please come back with any other questions that you might have.

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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Elinay

Elinay.        Welcome to S.A.  I'm sorry for what you have been through . Lost emotions can be hard to deal with .  Anhedonia, can be a particularly difficult withdrawal  symptom, but one that many here, including myself have experienced. These feelings and emotions do start to resurface, in time. This is not permanent. It's a temporary readjustment , in response to the drug being taken away from a brain that has grown accustomed to having it there continuously.

 

This is what that link talks about :  In effect - growing a new brain, after the drug has been removed.

Brain Remodelling

 

You tapered too fast . Sometimes, a reinstatement can help to alleviate symptoms, and then you can slowly taper off. We are only talking about a minute amount. Perhaps 1 or 2 mg. It's worth considering as an option. Have a read and see what you think  :

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

In the meantime, It is important to avoid as much stress as possible . Stimulants like coffee, alcohol,  supplements and excess exercise can bring on more symptoms to a sensitized nervous system. However , magnesium and fish oil are recommended , but please  start off low initially and then work your way up in dose.

 

Here are a few more pertinent links :  This one deals with the emotional " flatness" you are experiencing.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness/?hl=guilt#entry8371

 

This explains the pattern of recovery :

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

If you can explore non - drug means of dealing with some of your symptoms, it will serve you well in the future.  You will hopefully find that when you are prepared with some of these tools, you have less need for the drugs, and if you can build up a kit of  " go - to " strategies for when symptoms hit , you will be able to not only get through withdrawal but you will have permanent, lifelong coping strategies that you can always turn to, but at the same time hopefully never be without as they become a natural part of your life.

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

This is your thread to ask questions and journal your progress. Please come back with any other questions that you might have.

Ali

 

 

I lost my emotions shortly after being put on these medications. I have the same flatness since I started the drugs. No change since tapering off them. So how can that be from tapering too quickly if I have had it all along?


Started 800mg Tegretol & 3mg Risperdal July 2014. Tapered off over 3 months November 2015. 

Started Seroquel 200mg November 2015, tapered off completely April 2016.

Currently on no psychiatric medications.

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KarenB

Hi Elinay,

 

I lost my emotions shortly after being put on these medications. I have the same flatness since I started the drugs. No change since tapering off them. So how can that be from tapering too quickly if I have had it all along?

 

That's a good question.  Withdrawal symptoms are caused by tapering too fast.  However many of the symptoms we experience in w/d are the same as those we experience when starting a drug, and they can also be the same as when we start to feel adverse effects while on a drug. 

 

So the flatness you first felt once you were put on medication was a 'side-effect' of the drug, which may have continued as your Central Nervous System was then destabilised by fast tapering.  Sometimes it's really hard to separate out the strands. 

 

Ali gave you some good links - what do you think about the option of reinstating a small amount and then tapering more carefully? 


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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