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Ok, thanks Ali, Jan, Scallywag. Just hearing from you guys feels like a life line.

So, deciding that cutting a 1/4 of that tablet last night was way too imprecise I went ahead and went back to 37.5. I will stay here for awhile. I had only given that drop 3 weeks anyway, and it was a larger drop than suggested. Lesson learned.

I plan to move ahead, in 4-6 weeks, with 10% drops from there. It will take a long time.

The next few drops, with much time in between, will be:

33.75

30.375

27.24

And so on.....

I will get my hands on the cylinder and syringe. Wonder how to locate a local chemist?!

This morning I'm back to my old familiar fuzzy head which is much preferred to feeling like I'm on meth (just guessing as I thankfully never tried that).

And I guess what I'll do is take 1/2 of the 50mg tablet, 25mg, and add in the remaining percentage in liquid, correct?

It's confusing now, but I suppose I'll get the hang of it.

In any case, I have TIME to tinker with it and I'm sure I'll have questions as I experiment before moving forward.

Thanks again for keeping an eye on me. Very grateful. Sun is shining!

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

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And I've decided to drop all supplements for now.

For years I've taken the following daily:

1280mg fish oil

Vitamin E

Zinc

Folic acid

Turmeric

Vit C

B6 (twice daily during pms)

Thoughts?

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

Hope . Until you get the liquid or work out how to do it yourself , you can add the quarter for now , equalling 37 .5mg .  Eventually you can move to more liquid . 

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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Hey Hope!

 

Simple is good!  When you say:

And I've decided to drop all supplements for now.

For years I've taken the following daily:
1280mg fish oil
Vitamin E
Zinc
Folic acid
Turmeric
Vit C
B6 (twice daily during pms)
Thoughts? 

 

You're beginning to get the hang of Simple, Stable, Slow!  Good for you!

 

If you can keep the Fish oil, & Vit C it's good.  Vit C is a co-factor in a lot of healing - but can be activating for some.

 

We're big fans of fish oil in here (I even believe in fish oil miracles, I've seen some amazing things):  Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil

 

Turmeric is also very popular.  If your digestion is fine, you can probably keep taking it.

 

NORMALLY for someone in depression I would recommend B6 and Zinc, but after taking all those psych meds - it's not exactly normal anymore.  

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet

 

and 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2836-supplements-what-helps-what-doesnt/

 

How about this?  You've been on these for awhile.  You are waiting to stabilize.  Hold.  Don't change anything yet.

 

When this all settles down, take 2 weeks to go off all the vitamins except for Fish oil  See what happens as you take them off, one at a time, every few days.  Maybe, nothing will happen.  Maybe you will find you really need that zinc (most of us tend to be low in zinc) or something else.  Maybe you will find that your symptoms settle as you get off certain ones.  Then, LATER, when you are at a stable point in your tapers (like - in between tapers) - you can add back, one at a time:  Vit C, Turmeric, Magnesium.

 

One of the things I've learned from SA is that people can live quite well at suboptimal levels.  There are people here who react to all sorts of things - there are people suffering from extremely low vit D, who can only take it by rubbing a single drop onto their skin.  They will never get their lab levels up this way, but it is all they can take without activating their symptoms.

 

I guess my point is, there can be extreme sensitivity.  You may or may not have it.  While you are having a reaction / symptoms is not the time for a big change.  It's time to learn about your next change, maybe, but holding is called for here.

 

The desire to make immediate changes in order to stop symptoms, is, in itself, a symptom of withdrawal!  It's only human:  "I'm hurting, I must DO something or STOP doing something or SOMETHING!" when really, just waiting is the best answer.  Even if it hurts.

 

Think of it as a science experiment.  In order to see what is helping, what is working, and what is causing problems, you only adjust one variable at a time.  Right now, you are updosing to 37.5 and holding.  Do only that.

 

It's interesting you asked this, because the first thing I was going to address was this:

 

.any experience with Milk Thistle easing the burden on my liver? Or would this complicate by clearing drugs too quickly?

 

Hey, your liver might be stainless steel, with what it is handling right now!  Livers are amazing, and they HEAL.  As your load lowers, you will naturally heal.

 

AFTER your withdrawals are over (hmm, we didn't say how many years that would be - and we won't) - then maybe think about "detox."  I have been off my last drug for 6 months, after 3 years of slow tapering just 2 drugs, and now, finally, it is safe for me to consider "detox."  But in withdrawal, "detox" can be dangerous and problematic - it is why we caution use of naturopaths and "natural doctors," because the first thing they usually want to do is "detox."

 

The problem in withdrawal isn't the "detox" - generally, the chemicals are out of your system in a matter of days, but it is the structure that the chemicals built in your brain and nervous system that will takes months, sometimes years, of rebuilding.  

 

This is best described by Rhi, here:  Rhi's description of healing the brain - brain as roses, drugs as lattice upon which brain is built.

 

or, in short video (not quite as good as Rhi, but gets the point across):  Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery (Toxic Antidepressants)  This video compares healing to solving a Rubiks cube.  It's never linear, never straightforward.  Sometimes you have to mess up the pattern totally to get the final pattern completed.

 

You note:

My sister and her daughters can drop SSRI's with zero effect.

 

So far.  These drugs are feral beasts - kind of like badgers.  Just because you got away from the badger with your hand and arm intact the first, the second, even the third time, doesn't mean it won't get you the next time.  Each time you put your hand into the badger's lair, it is taking a risk.  What is criminal is that the docs do not tell us of these risks.

 

I hear many people happy with their drugs.  But I'm a bit of a statistician.  I realise that the longer someone is on the drugs, the more drug changes they've had, statistically, the more likely there is to be a problem.  It's kind of like driving - if you are a driver who changes lanes all the time, it statistically increases your chances of an accident.

 

Likewise, the more times you stick your hand (or head) into that badger's lair, the chances of you coming out unscathed are reduced.

 

It's hard not to go around preaching the "Anatomy of an Epidemic" gospel.  So, instead, when I hear of someone's happy experiences, like:  "these drugs saved my life" and "I have to take them, like insulin for diabetes," I just smile and nod, and think "they are still on the honeymoon."  Usually, my comment is something like, "they are only tested short term, please try and get off them in six months or less."

 

You lament your difference from others that you've seen get on and off the drugs:

My constitution is different. Perhaps as a result of the massive amount of chemical upheaval my brain sustained beginning 4 years ago.

 

Yes, the chemicals on and off - is more journeys through the badger's lair, so I am sorry you got bitten and it feels unfair because others that you know have not.

 

Rest assured, that while 30-40% of people have positive experiences with these drugs, after seeing what I see here at SA, I'm convinced it's only a matter of statistics.  They are on "the honeymoon," when someone thinks that their drug is their best friend, etc.  Peter Breggin calls it "medication spellbinding."

 

Doesn't he so seem like the favorite Uncle you always wished you had?  I have great respect for him in his work as an expert witness for the courts, getting these drugs condemned for the horrors they have caused.

 

I'll give you time to absorb this, and see how many of the rest of my notes were covered by Scallywag.  I may repeat things, though, just because they are important, and good to hear.

 

I'm glad you are surviving, simplifying, thinking slow and stable.  It's much better to catch these kinds of mistakes early on, than to keep going for 6 months and really end up in a lot of trouble!  (also a little warning, once you've been doing it awhile, you might get cocky and think "I've got this" and do it again.  It happens!  See my note in bold about making too many changes being a symptom of withdrawal!)

 

But you can, and will do this.  It does get better!  I have great hope for you, and look forward to watching your muddied waters clear over the next year or two!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Just to add to Ali:  if you're going to order from amazon, you can get oral syringes there.  The topic on making a liquid has at least one or two suggestions.
 
Also, there's Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques

Keep us posted!

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

Link to post

Wow, Jan, thank you. That took some time to compose, and so thoughtfully. Grateful.

I hear you about changing one variable at a time. So I'll keep the supplements intact for now. I forgot to add that I do also take D3 and magnesium citrate.

After a few weeks I'll do as you suggest, eliminating them for a couple of weeks then add them back in one at a time. I do find the magnesium calming and helps with headaches.

Thank you so much.

And, yes, I do lament that I've ended up in this place, on so many drugs as a result of being ripped quickly off of Paxil, then off of Lexapro within months. That was a good lesson on reinstatement. When I tried to get back to the Paxil thinking, 'If only my gynecologist hadn't messed with my two MODERATELY dosed drugs...." In turn I ended up on 7. SEVEN. To 'fix' the mess that had been created in my central nervous system. Ugh.

I look around me and see soooo many people on antidepressants. So many. But they're on one. Maybe 2 things. I remember being ashamed that I was on 2 things. Man.

Anyway, it's in the past, I have 7 drugs on my plate. I realize this could take many years. So here I am moving forward patiently by waiting and being so cautious and conservative in my steps. And with the help of you good people I know I can do it. I'm in a good place.

In gratitude,

Hope

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

And thank you Scallywag. You stepped in right on time. I will look into these supplies and start experimenting so I'm ready in 4-6 weeks.

And I will look into Peter Breggin some more.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I hope you don't feel shame any more about being on multiple drugs.  Too bad shame isn't something you can return to its rightful owner, the prescriber, like a lost wallet.

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

Link to post

Yes, Scally, wish it were that simple. Honestly, things got so wierd so fast 4 years ago that shame went out the window in an effort just to hold on.

And this morning, SIGNIFICANT anxiety. I guess it's from adding back in that 12.5mg Trazodone. I didn't have it yesterday, the first morning after the reinstatement. And it was not upon awakening as I've had before. But after I got to work, after a great deal of coffee and quite a few cigarettes. This is my typical routine. Even last week during crying fits with pms and Monday, the day before I added it back in, I didn't have this anxiety. It felt just very intense, but not this familiar old foggy sinking feeling. Unpleasant.

I just wish I knew what was happening so I could get some perspective. I know, I went down too fast, and now I've gone back up a little. I wish I could start over and do it correctly.

Someone reassure me that this will pass. I hate it.

Perhaps switching to decaf is in order for now.

This sort of thing is what scares me about messing with any of this. After what I've already been through....

I know I only have myself to blame in this case.

Well-wishes to all on a beautiful hot day in Virginia.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I hope the anxiety is a short-lived response to the updose.  It's early days, Cabin.  If you do switch to decaf coffee, make a gradual your transition.  There can be a 2-3 day caffeine withdrawal reaction. ugh!

 

Keep us posted.

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

Link to post

Much better this morning. Mostly decaf.

So, as I am apt to do, I've been thinking.....about how all these 7 drugs are working in tandem in their own bizarre way in my brain. And I am thinking more about the idea of reducing it all, uber slowly, together.

This is an old post from Rhiannon that makes so much sense to me. I'm on soooo many things. With the trellis imagery, which I get, instead of removing pieces of the trellis slowly, it would be like extracting all of it very slowly at once, thereby allowing the rose bush to get stronger on its own all at once. Slowly.

Can you guys see the merit in this? I know it would be complicated, but theoretically it makes sense as they do all work in concert. I could even go by 5%.

Tell me what you think. I'm just scared to think of removing all of one, then all of another, and so on. But I will defer to the consensus of this group whose collective knowledge is a vast ocean compared to my puddle.

 

"Not sure how my CNS will respond to tapering one drug and holding the others. This multi-drug taper thing has been interesting. Everyone says not to do it this way, but it's actually not been bad at all. More successful so far than my attempts to make homemade kefir, anyway, and nobody says THAT's impossible. And since nobody has actually studied psych drug tapering in any sort of systematic way, near as I can tell the only reason they say not to do more than one at a time is because they say not to do more than one at a time. Seems to me, since even ONE drug affects multiple (probably hundreds) of other systems, and nobody knows exactly which ones and in what ways--if you're on a mixture of drugs, reducing the whole mixture, with all its combined synergistic effects, might if anything be safer than pulling one med out of the mixture and thereby continually altering the synergistic effect that your brain is used to. At least, I can't see why it would be less safe. I think the key with any psychiatric drug tapering is taking it slow enough to allow time to, as much as possible, gradually reverse the adaptive changes caused by the meds, slow enough to allow the brain to achieve homeostasis at the new drug levels as you go down, rather than overwhelming it with traumatic changes. So far in the very small nonscientific experiment of my taper, that seems to be the key."

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Cabinhope, It's working for Rhi and could work for many people.  Rhi's been tapering this way for 4 years or and will continue for more than that until she's off all of them.

 

Have you looked at Rhi's signature?  She's tapering 4 drugs simultaneously. Over two years (Feb 2014 - Feb 2016), her dosage cuts drops were:

62-50-47.5;

1.1-0.875-0.75;

0.135 -0.11 - 0.875;

1.8-1.5-1.42

 

Making teeny-tiny cuts (much less than 5% as you can see) to multiple drugs at the same time has worked for her. Parallel "nano" tapering requires a different kind of commitment than sequential conservative (10%) tapers do. Are you wiling to go that slowly and manage making dose reductions that small?

 

My comments aren't intended to discourage you from this approach, but to highlight what is required to self-manage such "parallel nano-tapers."  As always: your body, your taper, your decision.

 

Let us know your thoughts.

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

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey Hope, I agree with Scally - and I do think at some point we may alternate your tapers, as you gradually return to a truer, clearer, cleaner, healthier you.

 

For example, you wrote:

And this morning, SIGNIFICANT anxiety. I guess it's from adding back in that 12.5mg Trazodone. I didn't have it yesterday, the first morning after the reinstatement. And it was not upon awakening as I've had before. But after I got to work, after a great deal of coffee and quite a few cigarettes. This is my typical routine. Even last week during crying fits with pms and Monday, the day before I added it back in, I didn't have this anxiety. It felt just very intense, but not this familiar old foggy sinking feeling. Unpleasant.

 

See, as you adjust your drugs, you may be finding that your coffee thing has shifted.  In the intensity of your drugged state, it became cruel to drink your usual lot of coffee.

 

Have you tried the bulletproof thing yet?  It's so easy, I don't even use a blender - just a small pat of grass fed butter, and a drop of coconut oil, and it changes the way coffee affects me.  On days where I have "coffee out" with friends - I feel the difference, because it's not paired with those beautiful healthy fats like my home-brew "bulletproof lite" coffee is.  And I've come to enjoy the smoothness and texture of the oil in my coffee (though you may feel differently).  Plus, I like the name:  bulletproof!  Like it gives me superpowers or something.

 

But here is an example of the trellis going one way (anxiety) and you adjusting other drugs around it (coffee, in this case).  There may be other adjustments you have to make as well, as you come out from under this great weight of drugs.

 

Scally said:  

 Too bad shame isn't something you can return to its rightful owner, the prescriber, like a lost wallet.

 

WHERE is that LIKE button?  Wouldn't it be awesome if we all kept copies of all of our scripts, bottles, packages, over the years, and stacked them up and sent them back to the prescriber, heaped up with shame and guilt, and released them back to their source?  Yeah!  I like that image and I can almost see an art installation based around the idea!

 

So yeah, you may come to a place where you switch your tapers to different drugs.  How about this for a suggested plan?  Taper down the Traz all the way, because you can.  Then we'll look at where your symptoms settle after a few months off of it.  

 

IF your symptoms go into activation, we will need to taper an activating drug, if they go into sedation, we will need to taper a "brake."

 

Based on where your symptoms are, we'll pick the next bad boy and taper it for 3-6 months.  At the end of the 3-6 months, we take another month hold and break to re-evaluate symptoms.  We may continue the taper, or switch to another drug, based on your symptoms.

 

These are all 10% tapers at this point - you may not need to go to micro tapers (which I think are very challenging in the execution of) until you get down much lower in your doses.  

 

The theory I'm working on is this:  right now, you are in "saturation" on all of your drugs.  There is a curve (I'm sorry, I've lost the link, maybe Scallywag can find it for you) that shows how the receptors are covered at levels of dose - anyhow - the curve flattens out at higher levels - this is saturation.  It basically means "taking too much drug."  Everyone's curve is slightly different, and we might get all of your drugs out of that saturation zone as quickly as possible before we start to address the more challenging part of the taper - coming down the exponential curve.

 

I re-read that paragraph and it probably makes sense only to me...  Maybe someone who is more technically minded than me can explain it better, or point out the page where I learned that.

 

The point being - Rhi's method is challenging (and I think she is really really good at science and maths) - and we'd like to keep it as simple as possible for as long as possible.

 

We will be using Rhi's LOGIC, if not her exact method, which is to keep an eye on the trellis - and if it's falling in one direction, we may need to adjust our plans to balance that. 

 

This is why it's so important to pay attention to symptoms, patterns, and how they unfold as you taper.  Rhi, after years and years of tapering, knew her body, her symptoms, her patterns of withdrawal so well, and how she had to do it, that she designed her own, personal system of how to do it.

 

You may do the same, but let's get you past the tricky bits, first!

 

How are you feeling now?  How many days have you been at 37.5, and how is that working for you?

 

How much of your coffee is decaf?  (that is an amazing change right there - at the beginning of this thread, I didn't think you would ever shift to decaf!)

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post

Good morning.

So much better. I've been back at 37.5 Traz for 3 nights. Yesterday was smooth, I was kind to people instead of impatient, sleeping, dreaming, eating all good. I know I'll stay here for awhile. And I must consider that I did drop 25mg off the Lamictal a couple of months ago. So there's that.

 

I do get that the urge to taper more quickly is a sign of withdrawal. I get the frontal lobe thing and having impaired judgement.

Rhi's method still really rings true for me. Reducing the whole lot, incrementally, fractionally, slowly in tandem.

Conversely, I also see that by doing it this way off the bat presents the problem of this...not knowing which drug is angering the sleeping bear (that's my image for all of this, that there's a sleeping bear at my core, my CNS, who needs to be handled delicately so as not to enrage).

 

So, ok, I'll do the Traz all the way over many months. I realize this process could take easily 6 years or more for them all.

Then I could do tiny tapers of each of them in turn, leaving the Klonopin alone I think, to see who will put up the biggest fight...?

 

I'm smart, I can do the math, I am motivated and strong in conviction. What I don't have is the knowledge, yet, of the science behind the individual drugs....which ones affect which types of cells, which ones metabolize more quickly or more slowly, which ones occupy which pathways, etc. Rhi has obviously become a student of brain science and has mastered her method. I get that.

 

I also see that she's really no longer active on this site. I tried to message her, but quite understandably as I'm sure she's hit with requests and questions constantly, she does not receive messages. From what I've read, she got started with the multi-drug taper before coming to this forum years ago. And maybe was more aggressive at first? With unhappy consequences. Not sure.

 

Maybe later I could work on a few at once?

Two of mine are sustained release, Lithium and Pristiq. I can easily switch to direct release Lithium. And I've already established with my local compounder that the Pristiq can be handled.

 

I'm so grateful you two are with me. Please don't go away.

Back to the Traz....when I had dropped to 25 mg, in 3 wks ahem, no, I was experiencing sharper, clearer self, albeit edgy. Since reinstating the edgy is gone and I'm back to sedate, groggy, foggy.

Yesterday I had nearly all decaf, today 1/2. I plan to keep it at 1/2, and yes I put coconut oil in the coffee, yum.

 

And to reemphasize, I'm willing to go as slow as it takes. After all I've already been through I'm not a big fan of feeling crappy, though I do realize this will sometimes be part of the show. But the least crappy the better.

Hope

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

Hope . As you're realizing slow is better and if you can maintain a high quality of life as you go , then that's all that matters at the end of the day . If you can take the advice given , you will ultimately be in a great place to get your life back . Take it slow and stable , and you will come out on top . 

I wouldn't taper more than one at once . Just take it slow.

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
.
         

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey Hope - Ali is so right!

 

To carry Rhi's "trellis metaphor" to a new level, and apply it directly to you - 

 

I'd like to trim the big, ugly bits of trellis that are hanging out, rotting, and falling off first, before we get to the structural, more delicate bits.

 

I'm sure we will be alternating tapers with you, but I believe your metabolism is different to Rhi's, and you may be able to get some of those big messy poorly built boards out of the way before you have to go to the "concurrent microtaper" route.

 

It took me 3 years to taper off of 2 drugs.  At one point, when my AD was down to half, I dropped the lithium for awhile, too, because I felt it was too numbing.  Then, when I felt freer, I was able to taper the rest of the AD.  But here's the thing - the last 2 years, I was more "myself," more real, more alive, more engaged, more interested, caring - I could put all kinds of positive adjectives in here.

 

When I started my taper, I said (you can find it on my intro):  I'm unhappy on the drugs.  I've been unhappy most of my life.  I know how to be unhappy, therefore, I may as well be unhappy OFF the drugs and not be poisoning my body. 

 

But the surprise is this:  after about a year (when my lithium came down to about half) - I felt twice as good.  The rest of the taper was easy.  I had a few bumps, but my capacity only increased, I was never knocked down by this slow taper process.

 

I don't think that lithium is a first up taper.  I was actually dry cutting SR lithium and mixing it with IR lithium - my Pdoc approved - because lithium is a "level" in your bloodstream, as long as you are maintaining a "level", it is less sensitive to SR/IR switches. The SR/IR thing was convenient for me because I had a big box of IR in 250 mg tablets, and a big box of SR in 450 mg tablets.  Between the two of them most of my tapering was done dry cutting, no weighing.

 

Pristiq & Paxil might be your bad boys to look at next, but if that goes out of balance, we may have to look at the klonopin, too.  Based on what I've read here, lamictal will likely be last.  But hey - that's years from now - that's a part of the trellis we can't even see from here!  

 

Let's see how far you get on the trazadone, and chart your symptoms and taper patterns, to see what we can learn.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's the thread with research paper that JanCarol referred to: Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

The paper is linked in the first post. The first SERT occupancy curves are on page 4 of the paper. The research looked at 4 SSRI drugs: Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa (citalopram) and Paxil (paroxetine). The researchers also studied the effect of Effexor (venlafaxine).

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

Link to post

Thanks Ali. I can take advice. I've learned to accept advice from others who know better after years of being in AA. I can still go 'rogue' and be defiant sometimes in other areas of my life, but with this I am thoroughly taking the advice to heart, to go slow and keep it simple.

 

Jan, you wrote:

"I'm sure we will be alternating tapers with you, but I believe your metabolism is different to Rhi's, and you may be able to get some of those big messy poorly built boards out of the way before you have to go to the "concurrent microtaper" route."

Regarding different metabolism to Rhi, tell me more. What clues have I given to suggest why type of drug metabolism I have? This is part of my learning process so I'm eager to hear more about this.

 

Upon reflection after reading much of Rhi's content last night, I am struck with new ideas surrounding how these drugs have actually affected me over the past 20 years (only Paxil and Tegretol for much of that, the rest of the load for just the past 4 years). I have watched pretty much all of my friends go on to do impressive things with their lives professionally speaking, and most all of them are married doing the adult thing. I was 25 when they put me on Paxil and Tegretol. Before that I did a LOT of living form 18-24...lots of travel, going, doing, experiencing. And then my life sort of wilted. I moved back home, convinced I was 'sick'. I have kept to myself a great deal of time, even while having publicly visible jobs, I've really shrunk from experiences preferring to be alone. Yet even through all of it, especially these past 4 years, I've remained sober, have been fairly alive creatively, have remained tapped into my spirit even through 1.5 years of acute withdrawal torture. Like Guantanamo Bay torture, like more freaky and disturbing than any of these newer horror movies torture.

 

Anyway, just reflecting. And I do know that the brain is forever and always breaking new trail (I'm a woodsy sort), laying new paths. So I try to stay positive and grateful and God/Universe centered. Oy. Yeah, I think 1/2 caff is too much.

 

Warmest wishes for a most excellent weekend. Onward.

Hope

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

And many thanks for that link Scallywag.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Alto said here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11857-cabinhope-willing-to-begin/page-2#entry221249

You must be a fast metabolizer via liver enzymes to be able to function under all of those drugs. This is the danger with fast metabolizers: They get overloaded with drugs.

 

Rhi - is extremely sensitive to drug changes.  As a fast metabolizer, you may not be as sensitive as Rhi.  (I'm just quoting Alto, who has more experience in these matters than anyone I know)

 

Thanks Scallywag for finding that link.  I'll put it back in my toolkit and maybe it won't get lost this time!

 

Though you have learned (a bit the hard way) that you have to treat these drugs with respect.

 

Ah!  You have 12-step experience.  I find that is most helpful for people - we're not exactly 12 step in here - but 12-step people have an understanding of procedure, support, process, and goals - and of being honest with yourself as much as possible.  Brilliant.  This will help you immensely.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post

Interesting. I thought I was sensitive to changes, but maybe I'm not? My sister, the one who can raise, lower, or stop a strong psych med at will with little to no effect, has always remarked that I'm so sensitive. Funny thing...I've never regarded her nor experienced her as depressed. Don't know why she fools with them. Who knows. I hope you're right!

 

Yes, 12 steps, constantly turning it over. I'm grateful it's fully in place as I can work the steps on this process. And getting and staying HONEST is key.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi CH!

 

Here's a plan for you to consider:

  1. Stabilize on 37.5 mg traz.
     
  2. Continue with the 5% or 10% traz taper for 4-6 months, keeping good records on paper of your symptoms. 
    Rationale: Trazodone has interactions with all your other drugs, affecting their metabolism.
     
  3. Then based at how the taper's gone for you, what your symptom pattern is, look at next steps. That might be either a Rhi-style "parallel nanotaper" or a focused taper one of the other meds that have multiple interactions.

Your thoughts?

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

Link to post

Yes, sounds like a plan. I'm in.

Interesting, when I dropped from 50 to 37.5 on the Traz for 3 weeks I noticed just a shade of edginess that first week then nothing. Normal, clear thinking, motivated, no mood disruption.

 

Then I dropped to 25 for 2 weeks. The first week was edgy, the second week very creatively productive with art, more stressed than usual but still clear....until my period hit at the end of that second week.

 

Since reinstating to 37.5, 5 nights ago, I'm just so profoundly foggy and detached, not clear, out of it, with this sort of phantom of anxiety lingering around. Not pleasant, not hell. Eating, sleeping, not crying....just not clear headed at all, with this tinge of malaise. Dis-ease, uneasy. Yuk.

 

These are my lessons. And I wonder what's happening up there.

 

What I feel I should add now, that I did not include in my intro for shame and embarrassment, is that year, beginning in January 2013, following the quick rip off Paxil while being simultaneously on Lexapro for 4 or 5 months, then quickly off Lexapro in an attempt to regain sanity....I had lost 25 lbs in those preceding 6 months. And March 2013, then again in August, then again in October, I voluntarily admitted myself to psych units. I was barely making it, I thought I had or was losing my mind. It was such a protracted period of hell. And I had no idea what was happening nor how to help myself...so I kept going back to the 'experts' imploring them to stop hell. And that's when 6 drugs were added over this time. Sorry to keep reviewing it, but I'm still reframing what happened. And I want to guard against anything even remotely like this happening again. I know I was too far gone. I have no idea how I could have been 'properly' helped. All I know is, I almost didn't make it. So even tiny hints of instability strike horror in me. At least now I know it's the drugs.

 

So, yeah, in 6 weeks maybe 4 we'll see, I'll do 10% and let's see.

Thanks you guys. Took a 3 hour nap today, sooooo tired, unlike me.

Hope

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey Hope, I guess a foggy head is better than a banging one.  It will get clearer along the journey.

 

Please don't be embarassed:

What I feel I should add now, that I did not include in my intro for shame and embarrassment, is that year, beginning in January 2013, following the quick rip off Paxil while being simultaneously on Lexapro for 4 or 5 months, then quickly off Lexapro in an attempt to regain sanity....I had lost 25 lbs in those preceding 6 months. And March 2013, then again in August, then again in October, I voluntarily admitted myself to psych units. I was barely making it, I thought I had or was losing my mind. It was such a protracted period of hell. And I had no idea what was happening nor how to help myself...so I kept going back to the 'experts' imploring them to stop hell. And that's when 6 drugs were added over this time. Sorry to keep reviewing it, but I'm still reframing what happened. And I want to guard against anything even remotely like this happening again. I know I was too far gone. I have no idea how I could have been 'properly' helped. All I know is, I almost didn't make it. So even tiny hints of instability strike horror in me. At least now I know it's the drugs.

 

If only you had any idea how common this is!  Many of us have been in similar situations.  Not me personally, but people I care about - watching them submit to a system which is harming them.

 

What's awesome, is that the lights are coming on.  You are beginning to see that your "illness" was not all about you.  Sure, we have traumas, abuses, catastrophies, grief, situations - and yes, some of them are unbearably painful and may need to call for help.  But the system as it is set up has no exit strategy, it only spirals you deeper and deeper in the rabbit hole until you scream, "Enough!"

 

I think, what I hear, is you screaming, "Enough!" and that, my brave friend, is an excellent place to work from!

 

Rest all you want - brains are exhausting to repair.  If your body calls for rest, it's much better than "symptoms."  Take it, and try to be gentle with yourself for needing it.

 

I am so relieved to hear your latest report, and really look forward to watching you climb out of this dark, sticky abyss, and start to see the light of day again.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post

Ugh. Distorted thoughts and feelings, pretty down. I hope this gets better. Emotionally raw and reactive to things that typically don't bother me.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

Lots and lots of crying and self loathing tonight. All day very fitful. I hope this is something I'm moving through.

Spoke to my old acupuncturist / Chinese med practitioner this afternoon. She is a master. She too was on psych drugs, many, from 13-25. Very reassuring. All I know is, right now feels bleak.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Bleak can be hard to live with huh? 

 

I like your sig. quote 'We're all just walking each other home.'  It evokes feelings of gentleness and simple goodness - like we'll all truly be okay because we have each other.  Not because of any complicated cure or remedy that we need to strive to find, but just because of the goodness of those walking with us. 

 

I lived with bleak for a time - and I can say that (for me, at least) I did find a way out.  It involved continuing to put good things into my life, no matter how little, and it involved connecting with others.  Relationships are healing.  I now have a strong belief that people can heal from the worst of feelings. 

 

Karen

x

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.

Link to post

Thank you Karen. I have faith.

Yesterday no crying, but the more I observe how I am feeling the more this seems hormonal.

Night sweats, foggy, edgy, crying, and breast tenderness that has not abated since my (highly emotional) period two weeks ago.

I've looked for scholarly evidence of Trazodone withdrawal affecting hormones but see nothing.

Anyone know if this process could be tinkering with hormones?

Am I crazy to be embarking on this journey during perimenopause?

Anyway, it feels like I might have another period any day. Ugh.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey - you're in good company on this one Cabin!  Check out this discussion about periods, hormones and psych meds:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8142-pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal/

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.

Link to post

Cabinhope,

 

I've been reading your thread  today and learning a whole lot from you and all of the people who have been given you feedback. I am a newbie in terms of anti-depressant withdrawal. I see a tremendous amount of  courage and intelligence in the way you are handling this. I just wanted to add another voice of support.

2006-2007 Lexapro (not sure of dose) in 2006

2007 Stopped abruptly. Developed serious wd symptom.Went back after two weeks and  tapered successfully over 3 months

November 2013  started 10 mg of Celexa for hormonal symptoms

early 2014 cutdown Celexa to 5 mg.Attempted to get off it November 2014 and had a difficult time. Went back to 5 mg and stayed until about a month ago. Had eye surgery for glaucoma (left eye-mini-shunt implant)

March-April 2016 developed multiple problems: ringing of ears, ear infections, multiple allergies. Tested negative to allergies  

Anxiety increased  every time I used  an OTC or had stress.April-May Cortisol spike problems increased.

June 9 Found this website while doing research on cortisone and celexa.

Went back between 5 and 10 mg a couple of times. Currently trying to stabilize at 7.5.   and  taking  a leave from work and comeback part-time.

Started taking liquid Celexa 6/15/2016 at 3.75 ml

Other meds: Dorzalamide/timolol for glaucoma twice a day andLatanoprost in the evening.

Vitamin D 2000 mg;vitamin C 500 mg; Lysine 1000 mg 2 x a day. Acupuncture twice a week; meditation; relaxing music daily. 150 mg of Magnesium as of 6/15.

 

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Gosh, I really, really sincerely appreciate these words of encouragement. So much. This whole week has been marked by just not knowing what in the hell I'm doing, like in which direction I'm going, up or down, forward, backward. I'm glad to hear you find courage and intelligence in my words.

And on top of it all, I shared earlier in the week from a deeply vulnerable place with someone about how I'm feeling, what I'm going through, a close person. And they have disappeared faster than a lightning bolt. Gone. Can't tolerate authentic stuff, real stuff, anything less than than *highest vibes*. And that hits me in my guts and adds to my stress level tremendously.

I guess you figure out who your real friends are during this process...?

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

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A dear dear person in my life just came over to listen to me and hear me and witness my pain, and it felt good.

So, it's been about 11 days since going back to 37.5 from 25mg Trazodone. I feel like things are worse, hormones or not.

Questions....

Are crying and anxiety withdrawal symptoms? And more crying?

And is it still considered withdrawal after a reinstatement is made?

Why such a delayed response? I began the Traz taper on May 9!!!

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

So, it's been about 11 days since going back to 37.5 from 25mg Trazodone. I feel like things are worse, hormones or not.

Questions....

Are crying and anxiety withdrawal symptoms? And more crying?

And is it still considered withdrawal after a reinstatement is made?

Why such a delayed response? I began the Traz taper on May 9!!!

1.  11 days isn't so long.  Stabilisation can take quite a bit longer than that - it all depends on each individual.

2.  Yes, crying and anxiety are w/d symptoms.  Have you see this?  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

3.  It is still considered w/d because even though you have up-dosed you are still dealing with a CNS which got destabilised by w/d and has not yet righted itself. 

4.  Nothing is fast where our brains are concerned - they are not machines that can formulate an instant response to a drug change.  Their process of reaction depends on many things, but sooner or later it all comes out in the wash.  And that's what you're feeling now. 

 

So just keep giving that brain some love...

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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Update, total relief....

 

So, two weeks ago I started a new cycle. At that time I had been at 2 weeks of a drop in Trazodone from 37.5 to 25. Toward the end of that second week at that dose I was amped, aggressive, emotional. Started that new cycle but concluded my symptoms were from that drop in Trazodone and reinstated to 37.5.

 

Since reinstating, these past 2 weeks have been hell. Crying, distorted thinking, anxiety, tortured. Also during these past 2 weeks breast tenderness had not abated nor night sweats.

 

Voila, yesterday I awoke with another new period, 2 weeks after the last one. And with it I felt all of those 'symptoms' recede and abate totally. The aching, freaked out, anxious, psychic weight and crying...gone. Yesterday I got out of the house, played peacefully in the creek with my dog, spent nourishing time with my family. I feel like myself today.

 

So....

Perhaps I reinstated unneccesarily? Maybe the drugs are whacking out my hormones (yes I follow that particular thread)? How will I know if whatever 'symptoms' are withdrawal vs hormonal? Damn. This was why I sought help from my gynecologist 4 years ago and ended up on 7 meds.

 

Anyway, the answers are not clear at this point. But I'm sooooo relieved to feel relief. I asked the Universe over the weekend to please 'lighten this load'. Not sure why I didn't get my typical relief at the onset of that last period. All I know is, the last 2 weeks were hell and resolved totally with this new period yesterday.

 

What should this mean for my taper? Perhaps I was handling it better that I thought and incorrectly concluded it was drug withdrawal when all signs now point to hormonal. Input please, good people.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It does sound hormonal.  It's good to have that post above so you can refer back to it next time things seem all out of whack again. 

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.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Ok guys, I have been at 37.5 for a month, feeling good though headaches are more frequent than typical.

Here's what I want to do:

Go down by 5% increments every 2-3 weeks which is more conservative than suggested, but I just want to se..

I have read and re-read, many times, all of the threads on liquid tapering. I need help with the ratio.

I'll take, for now, the predominant portion in tablet, 25 mg. So, going from 37.5 down by 5% would bring me to 35.625, then 33.8, etc.

This will mean 10.625 in liquid......this is where my brain bogs down.

Somebody please tell me what ratio of water I'll be adding to a 12.5mg (1/4) tablet.

Ugh, I can do numbers, but for some reason I don't understand how to proceed here.

1995-2012 Paxil 20mg, Tegretol 200mg

2012 Gynecologist screwed me up massively by suggesting a quick and easy switch to Lexapro from Paxil.  Eviscerated CNS.  Ended up on...

Paxil 40,  Mirtazapine 15, Lithium 450, Trazodone 50, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 125

August 2014 Pax 20,  Mirt 7.5, lith 450, traz 50, Pristiq 100, Klon .25, Lamic 125

April 2016–May 2019

Verrrrry slow, slow tapering of different ones here and there.  Currently sitting on:

Paxil 20, Lithium 225, Pristiq 100, Klonopin .25, Lamictal 50

Quote

Never surprise the brain!

 

Link to post

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