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It Gets Better: Living Well While Being Sick


KarenB
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Re-posting this article by GiaK in this forum, as it's past the stage of being 'In the Media' but is very relevant to those of us who are in this for the long-haul. 

 

http://beyondmeds.com/2014/08/25/living-well-while-being-sick/

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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Wow, my hat goes off to Monica (the author). She sounds like she's been through absolute hell, and still has the stamina to write and share her experiences to let people similarly suffering know that they're not alone.

Current meds (Unluckily LOTS; I no longer see original prescribing doctor):

 

 

6/11/16: Effexor 150 mg, Zoloft 62.5 mg, Lamictal 150 mg, Ativan 1 mg, Seroquel XR 75 mg, Trazodone 100 mg

11/6/16: Effexor 187.5 mg, Zoloft, Lamictal 125/150* mg, Ativan 1 mg, Seroquel XR 75 mg, Trazodone 50 mg

 

* alternating doses every other day

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone. I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me continue to taper and stay the course on this journey of mine. 

 

Having a big pill box. My pill box was a gift from somewhere and it has a week with morning, afternoon, evening, and night for each week. It has all in all about 30 little boxes. I put the dose I am currently on into each of them so I know that when I am done with the pill box it will be a month (30 days). 

 

Don't think about. Go on about your day and don't worry too much about the process. I have tons of hobbies like the internet, watching tv, and going for walks that i enjoy. I find not worrying about the process is very helpful and having faith that eventually it will work out is best. Also, when I start thinking and worrying about it i feel bad so I basically just forget about it and when I my pill box is full I know I have done 30 days of the med dose. 

 

Being tactical. All is fair in love and war, sometimes you have to make the best of what you have. One thing I did when I started this seriously was get as much of my antidepressants as I could get and stocked up on them just in case. 

 

Dealing with everyone around me. This has been the most challenging aspect of my journey. I had and still have nosy people including close family members who ask about my medication usage. Some of these people have meant well, others meant well but really didn't understand. The best thing that has helped me was to listen to their advice and agree if need be but stay the course. People have a right to think what they want I guess and it really doesn't PAY to try to convince them of your position.

Here is an example: "Don't you understand what you are doing?? You are going to ruin your life, your going to go completely insane! How could you do that?" to which I would respond "I understand" with a long pause of uncomfortably. After a while of these kinds of conversations, they started to go away. Eventually the people who are adamant about you staying on the meds start sounding more crazy than you and they just give up.

 

Especially since I still stay in contact with my psychiatrist this is very important that I am very calm and accepting of her opinions, but she knows that I am still staying on my course. She has told me numerous times about all the dangers and risks I am taking to which I calmly and simply respond "I know."

 

Avoiding family functions. This has reduced my stress level so much! Dealing with family causes so much stress in my life and can really increase my own depression and anxiety. This one has been challenging. One of the tricks I use because I have very demanding parents is that when they "ask me" to come over on a certain day I will tell them I will. If they ask me to come over "right now" I tell them "What about tomorrow? I could come over tomorrow" I make it sound very believable but the funny thing is when tomorrow comes it's really a different mindset and people forget. When they are very demanding I always agree with their plans and it usually never materializes. I should also add that i avoid all people who are stressful in my life. 

 

Playing the game. I think of life like a play sometimes with actors and actresses and audience members and everyone playing their role. When I am home alone, there is no audience, I can sit back and relax. When I buy groceries I play the part of the shopper, when I walk around I play the role of a regular inconspicuous consumer, etc etc, when I am home by myself there no longer needs to be an act. 

 

Taking baths. One of the biggest side-effects and physical annoyances when coming off antidepressants (Zoloft) is skin itching, rashes, all the works. One of the things I have done was take an actual aloe leaf and open it up and sit in the bathtub and squeeze all the juices around my body. Another thing I have found is VERY helpful for skin is taking "OATMEAL baths". I buy a little packet of oatmeal from the natural foods store and pour it into the tub and lay there for about 10 minutes. I don't use any chemical stuff on my skin and use all natural products like black soap. 

 

Supplies. I have bandages, cream for bruises, cream for itching, sore throat spray, nose spray, gold bond, pill-cutter, hydrogen peroxide, antacids. With gradually tapering off zoloft I have used a nose spray to feel better from time to time. 

 

Choosing smart times. When I am very busy I have stayed on my normal dosages and waited for periods of free time when I could go down. 

 

Crying and hitting my pillow. Sometimes the frustration really gets unbearable and I spend the night crying and hitting my pillow. 

 

Being spiritual. I almost forgot this part! This has been very important for me. I use meditation and have found people who have been kind enough to help me progress on my "spiritual journey". I am not just a person, I am a spirit and a soul underneath. I practice meditation non-obsessively because my life is a meditation. This is not about being "morally right" or trying "to perfect yourself" , far from it. For me it is about gaining knowledge and staying in touch with the universe and the divine. The guru is within me as buddha said. 

 

I could go on but I'm tired of writing, I didn't think this would be so long. I hope this is helpful to everyone. This is not just about me, this is also about helping others for me. Not out of any moral obligation, but out of practical survival. 

2005/6-2013 - A wild rollercoaster of meds I can't remmeber, i was on 40mg of zyprexa at one point daily
2014 200mg Zoloft /5mg Saphris
2015 April 200mg Zoloft /5mg Saphris
2015 May 200mg Zoloft / 400mg Seroquel
2015 June 200mg Zoloft / 300mg Seroquel
2015 July 150mg Zoloft / 200mg Seroquel
2015 August 125mg Zoloft / 100mg Seroquel
2015 September 100mg Zoloft / 50mg Seroquel
2015 October 50mg Zoloft
2015 November 75mg Zoloft

2016 November 100mg Zoloft; 112.5mg Clozaril 

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Hi there CaptainJackSparrow :)

Wow -  love that you've been really successful so far on weaning down. You sound really brave, it's so hard breaking away from people who tell us that these medications are doing us any good. If you DM me, I can give you some awesome books that may help you too.

I never thought about the "Pill Box" idea. This is so awesome! It seems like you are getting better daily. I'm currently having a little bout of insomnia withdrawal. Did this happen to you on Zoloft withdrawal? I'm currently weaning from Abilify first, then I'll begin my Zoloft wean journey..

 

You make some really good points here! I have recently started to wean down and coming here gives me the strength to do so! So you succeeded in helping others, at least me!

Original Drug Dose Apr 2016: Adderall XR 30mg, 10mg Abilify, 100mg zoloft, over 700mg caffeine

 

August 2016- 4mg Abilify, 100mg Zoloft, 5mg Ritalin Instant Release, 200-500 Caffeine

 

Sept. 2016 - 2mg Abilify, 100mg Zoloft, 5mg Ritalin IR, ~400mg Caffeine Daily

 

Oct. 2016 - 1.75mg Abilify, others remain the same.

 

Nov 2016 - 1mg Abilify, others the same

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great list CJS - you are so proactive in your healing, and it's lovely to hear how you go about that. 

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 everyone. I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me continue to taper and stay the course on this journey of mine. 

 

Having a big pill box. My pill box was a gift from somewhere and it has a week with morning, afternoon, evening, and night for each week. It has all in all about 30 little boxes. I put the dose I am currently on into each of them so I know that when I am done with the pill box it will be a month (30 days). 

 

Don't think about. Go on about your day and don't worry too much about the process. I have tons of hobbies like the internet, watching tv, and going for walks that i enjoy. I find not worrying about the process is very helpful and having faith that eventually it will work out is best. Also, when I start thinking and worrying about it i feel bad so I basically just forget about it and when I my pill box is full I know I have done 30 days of the med dose. 

 

Being tactical. All is fair in love and war, sometimes you have to make the best of what you have. One thing I did when I started this seriously was get as much of my antidepressants as I could get and stocked up on them just in case. 

 

Dealing with everyone around me. This has been the most challenging aspect of my journey. I had and still have nosy people including close family members who ask about my medication usage. Some of these people have meant well, others meant well but really didn't understand. The best thing that has helped me was to listen to their advice and agree if need be but stay the course. People have a right to think what they want I guess and it really doesn't PAY to try to convince them of your position.

Here is an example: "Don't you understand what you are doing?? You are going to ruin your life, your going to go completely insane! How could you do that?" to which I would respond "I understand" with a long pause of uncomfortably. After a while of these kinds of conversations, they started to go away. Eventually the people who are adamant about you staying on the meds start sounding more crazy than you and they just give up.

 

Especially since I still stay in contact with my psychiatrist this is very important that I am very calm and accepting of her opinions, but she knows that I am still staying on my course. She has told me numerous times about all the dangers and risks I am taking to which I calmly and simply respond "I know."

 

Avoiding family functions. This has reduced my stress level so much! Dealing with family causes so much stress in my life and can really increase my own depression and anxiety. This one has been challenging. One of the tricks I use because I have very demanding parents is that when they "ask me" to come over on a certain day I will tell them I will. If they ask me to come over "right now" I tell them "What about tomorrow? I could come over tomorrow" I make it sound very believable but the funny thing is when tomorrow comes it's really a different mindset and people forget. When they are very demanding I always agree with their plans and it usually never materializes. I should also add that i avoid all people who are stressful in my life. 

 

Playing the game. I think of life like a play sometimes with actors and actresses and audience members and everyone playing their role. When I am home alone, there is no audience, I can sit back and relax. When I buy groceries I play the part of the shopper, when I walk around I play the role of a regular inconspicuous consumer, etc etc, when I am home by myself there no longer needs to be an act. 

 

Taking baths. One of the biggest side-effects and physical annoyances when coming off antidepressants (Zoloft) is skin itching, rashes, all the works. One of the things I have done was take an actual aloe leaf and open it up and sit in the bathtub and squeeze all the juices around my body. Another thing I have found is VERY helpful for skin is taking "OATMEAL baths". I buy a little packet of oatmeal from the natural foods store and pour it into the tub and lay there for about 10 minutes. I don't use any chemical stuff on my skin and use all natural products like black soap. 

 

Supplies. I have bandages, cream for bruises, cream for itching, sore throat spray, nose spray, gold bond, pill-cutter, hydrogen peroxide, antacids. With gradually tapering off zoloft I have used a nose spray to feel better from time to time. 

 

Choosing smart times. When I am very busy I have stayed on my normal dosages and waited for periods of free time when I could go down. 

 

Crying and hitting my pillow. Sometimes the frustration really gets unbearable and I spend the night crying and hitting my pillow. 

 

Being spiritual. I almost forgot this part! This has been very important for me. I use meditation and have found people who have been kind enough to help me progress on my "spiritual journey". I am not just a person, I am a spirit and a soul underneath. I practice meditation non-obsessively because my life is a meditation. This is not about being "morally right" or trying "to perfect yourself" , far from it. For me it is about gaining knowledge and staying in touch with the universe and the divine. The guru is within me as buddha said. 

 

I could go on but I'm tired of writing, I didn't think this would be so long. I hope this is helpful to everyone. This is not just about me, this is also about helping others for me. Not out of any moral obligation, but out of practical survival.

 

How very inspiring CJS. You encourage me. You give me confidence. Thank you.

100 mcg levothyroxine, 5 mcg 2× day liothyronine, Metroprolol 25 mg, Losartan 50 mg, BCQ 3 capsules a day, claritin, fluconozole, active B complex, vitamin D3, Magnesium glycinate, fish oil.

Nearly 30 years of benzos,  "anti" depressants, neuroleptics, etc etc etc...took lots of them.

Drug free September 9, 2019

Mold illness (CIRS)  feel crappy a lot but making the best of it

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi everyone. I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me continue to taper and stay the course on this journey of mine.

 

Having a big pill box. My pill box was a gift from somewhere and it has a week with morning, afternoon, evening, and night for each week. It has all in all about 30 little boxes. I put the dose I am currently on into each of them so I know that when I am done with the pill box it will be a month (30 days).

 

Don't think about. Go on about your day and don't worry too much about the process. I have tons of hobbies like the internet, watching tv, and going for walks that i enjoy. I find not worrying about the process is very helpful and having faith that eventually it will work out is best. Also, when I start thinking and worrying about it i feel bad so I basically just forget about it and when I my pill box is full I know I have done 30 days of the med dose.

 

Being tactical. All is fair in love and war, sometimes you have to make the best of what you have. One thing I did when I started this seriously was get as much of my antidepressants as I could get and stocked up on them just in case.

 

Dealing with everyone around me. This has been the most challenging aspect of my journey. I had and still have nosy people including close family members who ask about my medication usage. Some of these people have meant well, others meant well but really didn't understand. The best thing that has helped me was to listen to their advice and agree if need be but stay the course. People have a right to think what they want I guess and it really doesn't PAY to try to convince them of your position.

Here is an example: "Don't you understand what you are doing?? You are going to ruin your life, your going to go completely insane! How could you do that?" to which I would respond "I understand" with a long pause of uncomfortably. After a while of these kinds of conversations, they started to go away. Eventually the people who are adamant about you staying on the meds start sounding more crazy than you and they just give up.

 

Especially since I still stay in contact with my psychiatrist this is very important that I am very calm and accepting of her opinions, but she knows that I am still staying on my course. She has told me numerous times about all the dangers and risks I am taking to which I calmly and simply respond "I know."

 

Avoiding family functions. This has reduced my stress level so much! Dealing with family causes so much stress in my life and can really increase my own depression and anxiety. This one has been challenging. One of the tricks I use because I have very demanding parents is that when they "ask me" to come over on a certain day I will tell them I will. If they ask me to come over "right now" I tell them "What about tomorrow? I could come over tomorrow" I make it sound very believable but the funny thing is when tomorrow comes it's really a different mindset and people forget. When they are very demanding I always agree with their plans and it usually never materializes. I should also add that i avoid all people who are stressful in my life.

 

Playing the game. I think of life like a play sometimes with actors and actresses and audience members and everyone playing their role. When I am home alone, there is no audience, I can sit back and relax. When I buy groceries I play the part of the shopper, when I walk around I play the role of a regular inconspicuous consumer, etc etc, when I am home by myself there no longer needs to be an act.

 

Taking baths. One of the biggest side-effects and physical annoyances when coming off antidepressants (Zoloft) is skin itching, rashes, all the works. One of the things I have done was take an actual aloe leaf and open it up and sit in the bathtub and squeeze all the juices around my body. Another thing I have found is VERY helpful for skin is taking "OATMEAL baths". I buy a little packet of oatmeal from the natural foods store and pour it into the tub and lay there for about 10 minutes. I don't use any chemical stuff on my skin and use all natural products like black soap.

 

Supplies. I have bandages, cream for bruises, cream for itching, sore throat spray, nose spray, gold bond, pill-cutter, hydrogen peroxide, antacids. With gradually tapering off zoloft I have used a nose spray to feel better from time to time.

 

Choosing smart times. When I am very busy I have stayed on my normal dosages and waited for periods of free time when I could go down.

 

Crying and hitting my pillow. Sometimes the frustration really gets unbearable and I spend the night crying and hitting my pillow.

 

Being spiritual. I almost forgot this part! This has been very important for me. I use meditation and have found people who have been kind enough to help me progress on my "spiritual journey". I am not just a person, I am a spirit and a soul underneath. I practice meditation non-obsessively because my life is a meditation. This is not about being "morally right" or trying "to perfect yourself" , far from it. For me it is about gaining knowledge and staying in touch with the universe and the divine. The guru is within me as buddha said.

 

I could go on but I'm tired of writing, I didn't think this would be so long. I hope this is helpful to everyone. This is not just about me, this is also about helping others for me. Not out of any moral obligation, but out of practical survival.

 

Thankyou for this. I have adapted to life in similar ways.

 

I find when I try to tell my housemate why I am so upset, I end up getting more upset - so yes best to keep quiet.

Currently on 50mg Fluvoxamine. Reading more before the next attempt at tapering.

 

Started Lexapro 04, have been mostly on med combinations since for 12 years.

May 2015 - zeldox 80 - 100mg, fluvoxamine 200mg, dexamphetamine 10mg

Lorazepam and clonazepam on and off for over a decade. Heavily sedated with antipsychotics - mostly Zyprexa and seroquel. Many hospitalisations. Many types of therapy, last being 7 years of psychodynamic that only figured out my pain was real.

Pain meds - Lyrica 150mg palexia 100mg - discontinued eary 2016

Done ok so far but cant drop the last antidepressant without physical illness.

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