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Rhiannon

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

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JS11

Thank you very much for this post and to Mamma P. for sending it my way.

It is comforting to know that I was/am not just imagining things.

Hope.

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ChessieCat

Can u direct me to topics related to neurogenesis?? Please

 

Use google and type in survivingantidepressants.org neurogenesis

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Rachellynn

This is an amazing explanation that i hope my friends and family will hear out because everyone i know just thinks I’m “crazy” and need meds. I was never sick before i started Prozac, but I’ve paid the price over the last 20 years. DEARLY.

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Annap
On 6/7/2017 at 2:08 PM, ShakeyJerr said:

Does anybody have any links to studies that support this? I believe it is true - heck, I'm living it right now. But my wife gets her moments of doubt - especially when I get sudden symptom surges. She has been asking to see studies that show that taking these drugs causes synapses to die.

Is there some hard evidence I can use to show her that we know this to be true beyond anecdotal life experience?

SJ

I am also interested if there are some science to this? Can’t seem

to find an answer to the question above. Does anyone know if whats Said in this post about brainmodelling is more of a guess and from experience, or are there actually been some studies?

thanks! 

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freespirit123

So great explanation! I’ve been off of Celexa since May so about 8 months. When do I know my brain has healed? Obviously the answer will be when I’m ok but I just started 10mg of Celexa yesterday and I just don’t know if I want to go down that path again. I just don’t understand all of this 😭

 

its like obviously something happened in our lives for us to get of meds. I believe some people truly need meds. At 40mg of Celexa I felt great! I wasn’t irritable and could totally manage my life. So I understand most on this site are against meds but do you agree it works for some? My neighbor has been on Zoloft for 18 yrs and never had a problem. 

 

My negative thoughts are back like before Celexa. So do I need it or not?

 

what I’m feeling, is it still from withdrawl from 8 months ago?

 

if I decide to stop, will taking 2 days worth of 10mg of Celexa screw me up?

 

im pretty sure I’ve suffered from OCD from a young child so how do I fix myself??

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Rachellynn

Agreed. When i was on 40mg Prozac, i felt happy and completely healthy. This is hell. I don’t understand what to do either.

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savinggrace

free spirit,

i wish I had the answer to your question. Myself, I know my drugs have (are) making me sick and I am pretty darn sure that more than 75% of my illness is from the drugs. I have also become so chemically sensitive to EVERYTHING that it is getting harder and harder to eat, live and breathe. SO, I have to at least try to reduce the toxicity. 

 

I often wonder why and how SOME people manage w/no ill effects all their lives. Or how others get off these toxic drugs with seemingly no problems.  I am

almost 65 and I have friends on 15-20 drugs, living life fully. Perhaps it will catch up with them, I don’t know. I DO know I got put on the wrong drugs. 

 

If you have misgivings free spirit, stop the celexa now. I doubt 2 doses will do much other than possibly exacerbate whatever symptoms you have, or have had, and you will have to ride out the temporary wave. The thing is, the longer you go on taking it, the more complicated it will be if you change your mind. 

 

I know you have probably thought of all this. I just think sometimes we have to go with our gut and the choice is bad or worse. 

 

That said, whatever you choose I wish you luck and better days ahead. Wouldn’t it be great if there really was someone who knows the exact right answer for us?

 

Grace

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freespirit123
1 hour ago, Rachellynn said:

Agreed. When i was on 40mg Prozac, i felt happy and completely healthy. This is hell. I don’t understand what to do either.

See I don’t get it either? How long were you on 40mg? And why did you get off? I don’t know how to see people’s signature 

 

it’s very scary that we are all like Guinea pigs and no one to help us. Drs are so quick to put you on drugs but where are they now when we need help?

 

i guess I’ll just stay on 10mg and see if my mood changes. 

 

Or maybe not.....idk! 😭

 

I have two friends that sweat Zoloft gave them their life back and see how care free they are....1 has been on for 18yr and 1 for 9yrs and no problems. 

 

So whats worse, staying off drugs but struggle with life and robbed of joy or get on drugs and play Russian roulette if it works or not and plan to be on forever bc of withdrawl and the possibility of health issues? But the way I’m living now is u healthy too! Grrrrr 

 

what to do what to do! Is it possible to be in withdrawl 8 months out?

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savinggrace
35 minutes ago, freespirit123 said:

See I don’t get it either? How long were you on 40mg? And why did you get off? I don’t know how to see people’s signature 

 

it’s very scary that we are all like Guinea pigs and no one to help us. Drs are so quick to put you on drugs but where are they now when we need help?

 

i guess I’ll just stay on 10mg and see if my mood changes. 

 

Or maybe not.....idk! 😭

 

I have two friends that sweat Zoloft gave them their life back and see how care free they are....1 has been on for 18yr and 1 for 9yrs and no problems. 

 

So whats worse, staying off drugs but struggle with life and robbed of joy or get on drugs and play Russian roulette if it works or not and plan to be on forever bc of withdrawl and the possibility of health issues? But the way I’m living now is u healthy too! Grrrrr 

 

what to do what to do! Is it possible to be in withdrawl 8 months out?

 

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savinggrace

freespirit,

it is definitely possible to be in withdrawal for 8 months or much longer. Read this site. People are in withdrawal for years or so they think, idk. 

 

I cant see signatures when I am on my phone. I can on my computer. 

 

I really hope whatever path you choose turns out to be the right one for you.  No matter what you choose. 

 

Grace

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Rachellynn

Going off Prozac has caused chronic fatigue syndrome for me. I’ve been off for 4 years. Had to go on low dose remeron for sleep... but CFS symptoms, i don’t even know. I was healing with sleep but am hypersensitive so it’s been rough. 

 

Maybe those of of us who feel better on the drugs should stay on and those of us who feel worse should get off?!

 

i got off because i got pregnant, i lost the baby anyhow and i didn’t get really sick until one year post jump but there were signs of nervous system issues that i just pushed past. 

 

Totally not not sure what to do now but a good functional psychiatrist would probably help a lot.

 

lwts promise each other to feel better❤️

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font

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savinggrace

Rachel umm,

i have never heard of a functional psychiatrist?  Mine just wants to up my doses of everything. 

 

Grace

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Rachellynn

Oh they exist! Look it up, they can help correct nutrient deficiencies that cause anxiety/depression! Look one up in your area maybe?

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savinggrace

Thanks Rachelynn. I know I have nutrient deficiencies as well. The trouble is any supplements interfere/interact with my psych drugs. I will look into this though for sure. 

 

Grace

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savinggrace

freespirit,

why did you go off the celexa 8 months ago?  Reading that your husband is demanding you go back on it, it sure sounds like you were much better then. I understand now why you are questioning this whole thing (for you) If I weren’t so sick, I would just stay on the meds and have a better quality of life. I have none now, despite doing a very very slow but steady taper. 

 

Grace

 

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Rachellynn
4 minutes ago, savinggrace said:

Thanks Rachelynn. I know I have nutrient deficiencies as well. The trouble is any supplements interfere/interact with my psych drugs. I will look into this though for sure. 

 

Grace

 

Yes! If you add things slowly under the care of the right dr. you can correct those deficiencies. I’m sensitive too but we have to do something to get better❤️❤️❤️

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savinggrace

Thanks Rachelynn. 

 

Grace

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Longroadhome
On 9/1/2011 at 6:54 PM, Altostrata said:

As I understand it, the nervous system can't fix itself all at once; it fixes itself in small patches. When there are enough small patches fixed, you feel it as a lurch forward. The bad homeostasis may try to reassert itself, you feel that as a lurch backward -- but not as far backward as before. So healing is a series of small improvements, some so small you can't feel them.

 

Rhi, what are your thoughts on this?

Can this healing happen for someone who has been on seroxat (Paxil) for 15 years just as well as someone who has been on this medication for a much shorter time . 

I just came across your post Altostrata and was wondering do many fully recover after years of constant medication ? 

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Gridley
7 hours ago, Longroadhome said:

.  was wondering do many fully recover after years of constant medication ? 

 

Yes, we do recover even after years of medication.  Read Brassmonkey's thread.  He was on Paxil for many, many years and is well on the road to recovery.  I'm still a work in progress, but I have been on Imipramine for over 30 years and Lexapro for 15 years, am currently tapering and making definite progress.  The brain has amazing capacities to heal.  See also the success stories of Hppy2Heal, Hudgens and Pug.

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savinggrace

Thanks for that, Griffey. After 35 years of these drugs, I will continue to lower my dose even if I don’t live long enough to get off. I believe my patience and acceptance that I was on for 2 1/2 decades MIGHT mean it will take decades to get off but I KNOW with ever little bit I go off, I give my brain/body a favor. I have no choice but to think this way!! You helped.  Thanks. 😊

 

Grace

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Rachellynn

@savinggrace you are SO SO strong! I love you so much. I wish i could offer the best advice to heal you. You are doing the right thing. Slow and steady. I’m proud of you and you are an inspiration with how kind and generous and loving you are. 

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savinggrace

Rachelynn, 

 

Thanks. 

i’m gonna head over to your thread and see how you’re doing. Be strong. 💕 Grace

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Longroadhome

Thank you for your prompt reply G much appreciated ;)

so ive just found out that my last dose was actually a 3mg drop not 2.5mg of Paxil . This was due to incorrect  liquid measure on my part  . Should know better always do the same with wine 🍷!! 

Made mind up as from tomorrow I’m going from 7mg to 8.5mg . Symptoms not good so feel this may be the answer . 

 

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TriD

Personally i dont think people can get off these drugs without withdrawls.

 

In a recent study in australia 1 in 8 people are on an antidepressant. Many of them are on it for less than 4 weeks, they might just be GP prescribed trial for other illnesses offlabel or even without much consultating, the amount that is prescribe makes this point obvious when more than 10% of people have been on them at some point. This then skews the statistics as the number who have been on them for longer months to years fall statistically. So when they say majority have no withdrawal obviously they are using a broad brush approach.

 

Other studies suggest 60%+ have major symptoms when discontinuing a drug. Of which we might look at whether they were taking multiple AD which often is the case or transitioning.

 

My view is that the drug has good efficacy meaning that it will change the bioliogy in the vast majority of people. It then a pretty causal relation that when the drug is not taken withdrawal effects will occur. It is almost a given. Minus of course many who only take it short term. Of course statistics can be made to hide many things by leaving out the details.

 

I consider ssri drugs to be no different to any hard drug, at least with this medical professions accept that there is a biological upset while with ssri the mechanism is exactly the same, yet magically the biology does not apply? So what gives there?

 

They use a criteria that because unlike hard drugs there is no addiction which is true, they think that dependence is not a factor in ssri drugs. Withdrawal symptoms is dependence. While drug seeking behavior does not exist with ssri, discontinuation is very difficult and a biological fact. Many people who try to stop dont succeed or doctors simply keep renewing their scripts until the day the patient decides they want to stop and realise they cannot, simple solution is to again put them back on the meds.

 

In australia and many parts of the world this is a hidden epidemic.

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jordidog
On 8/30/2011 at 12:28 PM, Rhiannon said:

This is something I posted somewhere else and then saved. I know it's all stuff I've said before, but it bears repeating and further discussion. A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning. What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain. So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along).

 

It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

 

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

 

On 8/30/2011 at 12:28 PM, Rhiannon said:

This is something I posted somewhere else and then saved. I know it's all stuff I've said before, but it bears repeating and further discussion. A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning. What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain. So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along).

 

It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

 

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

Thank you for you very clearly thought out post...very helpful to me. Am holding at 15 mg Paxil and struggling every day. Your post helps me. 

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