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Jujube78: Feeling so lost- Long

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Jujube78

***Apologies for the length and how disjointed this post is. My brain feels like scrambled eggs lately. ha***

 

Hi all.

 

I am glad to find a place of support while going thru this as I feel very much alone and afraid. I guess I will start by copying and pasting my drug and W/D history that I had to type up during registration. I do not have the strength or brain power to do it again right now. I will just highlight the recent, pertinent bits of my history.

 

Last 6 years as follows:
*2010-2012 10mg Lexapro. Withdrew. Off for 4 months./hard W/d but did ok.

*2012-2013 Wellbutrin XL 150mg.Off and on a couple times by itself and later to offset Zoloft side effects. No issues withdrawing, but it increases my anxiety when on it. Otherwise, it was the "nicest" AD ive been on.

*2013-2014 Zoloft 50mg.On it a year and a half. Went off due to 30# weight gain and sexual issues. Difficult W/d but somehow got thru. Stayed off A/D for about 4 months again.

*Tried Buspar. 2 weeks before I had to stop due to the intense anger it caused.

*2015-recently Back to Lexapro 10mg for 10 months. Worked ok but I wanted off meds. Tried to taper from 10mg to 5mg in Late Jan/Feb 2016. Was great for first 4 weeks or so before it hit me. Went thru 3 weeks of bad, cant get off the couch situation before reinstating at 10mg. Helped for about a week or so. Then way back down in depression. Psych put up to 15mg. Same thing. Then 20mg. Which I did NOT handle well at all. Developed RLS type symptoms etc. Went back down to 15. Then 10. RLS type stuff went away.Did a "prozac bridge" to taper the rest of the way off from 10 to 5 to 0 of Lexapro.Been off Lexapro since 5/7/2016

*2016- Prozac 10mg to help get off the lexapro. Started it on 4/30/2016. Seemed to tolerate the 10mg Prozac then bumped it up to 20mg at Psychs suggestion. Did not tolerate well at all. RLS type stuff came back. Heart palpatations, weepiness, excessive tiredness. Went back to 10mg. Then 10mg every other day then 0mg as of  5/31//2016 Still have RLS.

*2010-2016 Xanax (anywhere from 3mg a day back in 2010 when I first started Lexapro down to .25 in the am and .5 at bedtime currently. )

 

*Not sure it is relevent but I went off Prilosec at the same time I started tapering the Lexapro*

 

Symptoms since this started:

Major depression

Hopelessness

Back pains off and on

Restless legs/Akathisia?

Lethargy

Loss of interest in pretty much everything I loved

Disconnected from myself

Loss of appetite

Irritability

 

 

Personal Info; 45 year old female. 3 kids, 25,22 and 19. Ex military spouse for 20 years. No longer in marriage. In a relationship with a wonderful man.

 

Now thats out of the way, I must say this is by far the worst and longest W/D and mental episode I have ever had. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but mostly am an anxiety sufferer. GAD and Social Anxiety. I thought I knew what depression was before this year. I thought anxiety was worse than depression. I was CLUELESS. This mess over the last 5 or so months has rendered me basically useless and hopeless. I have no hope over anything, no  interest in anything. Ifeel like a waste. I have the weird RLS/Akathisa thing going on which I never had before. It makes getting a good nights rest so hard, which in  turn makes it all worse.

 

I spend everyday just trying to drag myself thru the day. Which drags on forever. I was a stay at home mom for YEARS and I am currently unemployed. I have lived in my current city for 5 years and I have no friends here and my kids are grown (they live about an hour and a half away) so I am trying  to deal with loneliness on top of this other stuff. My boyfriend does not have a big family here either so thats not an option. I want to move closer to my family but cant until he can sell the house here which will  be at least another year. I am introverted so usually it does not bother me THAT much but the since I have been going thru  this mess, it really weighs on me. I do not want to off myself, but most everyday I wonder why I am even bothering to stay around and go thru this. I feel so ran down.I do not want to die so please dont think that is what I am saying. It is just that even having those feelings scares the crap out of me. This hopeless disinterest scares me. As I said, I have never felt like this for very long (maybe a week or 2 max) and never this intense till I tried to get off the meds this time. The other W/Ds  i went thru were a cake walk compared to this.

 

My  psychiatrist is no help. He pretty much  asks me what I want to do. So I have lost all faith in him. I did CBT for a year. From 2010 to around 2011. Then I moved 800 miles and lost my therapist, of course. I currently live in a very small  rural town and would have to travel at least an hour to see a therapist and that is not possible.

 

That is all I have to the energy to write at the moment. Again, my apologies for being so scattered. I hope this is just withdrawal. This is NOT me, this is NOT how I usually am. It is so scary right now.  I am telling myself to just hang in there awhile longer and let the W/D do its nasty thing and it will get better. I feel like I am dissapointing my family because 5 months out, I am still a wreck. I just want to be me again. I want to do  the things I loved and be loving and make jokes all the time. Not be trapped inside myself, feeling like I am being held hostage and drained of happiness and energy and life.

 

If anyone has anything to say, any advice, ANYTHING, PLEASE please please feel free to say it. I just feel so alone in this. And HUGS to all  of you that are going thru this too. I hope we all feel better soon.

 

Thanks

Jujube

Edited by scallywag
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Shep

Hi, Jujube. Welcome to the forum.

 

You've been through a lot with these meds, lots of starts and stops and changes. But please don't lose hope because with a slow and proper taper, you'll be able to come off and stay off and start living your life again.

 

Here are some links to get you started:

 

The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Lots of people report RLS and RLS-type symptoms both while on psychiatric drugs, as well as when coming off.  These symptoms ease in time.  Some members have good results with fish oil and magnesium, as they can calm the hypersensitive CNS. However, all supplements come with risks, so please research carefully and always start on very low doses. Here is more information:

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

I'm a bit uncertain about what you are currently taking. This is what I have so far:

 

  • Lexapro stopped 5/7/2016
  • Started Prozac bridge on 4/30/2016. Went from 10 mg up to 20 mg and then back down to 10 mg every other day and then stopped it on 5/31/2016.
  • Currently taking Xanax

 

Is this correct? Are you currently off all antidepressants and only taking Xanax now?

 

Once you give us a clearer list of what you are taking now, we can help guide you through a safe taper. It's important to go slow and not change doses. The every-other-day dosing that your doctor had you do is not considered a good way to taper because it destabilizes the CNS more.

 

I'm not as familiar with the Prozac Bridge as other moderators, so I'm going to ask them to check in with you when they're online. In the meantime, please read through the links. And know you will feel better in time.

 

Please also fill out a signature. Here's how to do this: 


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

This thread is the place to post your symptoms and ask plenty of questions. You'll find a lot of information and support here.

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Jujube78

Hi Shep,

 

   Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, you got my current med situation correct. I have only took Xanax for the last few days. Tuesday was when I took the last dose of 10mg Prozac. So I have NO idea if Im going thru lexapro W/D, Prozac w/d, or both!

 

   I think I have my med signature up properly now.

 

   Going to go read your links. Thank you again so  much.

 

Jujube

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Shep

You may want to consider a reinstatement. I'm not sure if it would be best to use Prozac or Lexapro. When you went back to Lexapro in 2015, you state you did better at 10 mg than at 15 and 20 mg. Lexapro is an extremely potent AD, and it looks like your doctor was moving you around a lot on these very potent doses.

 

You stated that the Prozac was better tolerated at 10 mg than 20 mg, which may mean your CNS is hypersensitive from your previous medication history. Many of us find ourselves extremely sensitive to even tiny doses of medications now.

 

Other moderators who are more familiar with the Prozac Bridge will weigh in later, but this is a really good thread on reinstatement that will give you some background information:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

If you do find you want to reinstate either Prozac or Lexapro, you may want to start out on a very small dose for reasons listed in that link.

 

Can you give a bit more information on your Xanax? You state you were on 3 mg back in 2010, but now you're down to .25 mg in the morning and .5 mg at bedtime.

 

When did you start tapering the Xanax to get down to this lower dose? And how did you taper?

 

Xanax is a benzo and benzos also have a withdrawal that can be very debilitating for some people. I'm thinking you're suffering from not only the SSRIs, but also benzo withdrawal.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Jujube.

 

You are suffering from severe withdrawal syndrome, not a psychological or psychiatric disorder, that is why we are suggesting reinstatement. Do you have any Prozac left? If I were you, I'd take 5mg ASAP, consistently at the same time each day.

 

Prozac comes in a prescription liquid so you can easily take small amounts. Or, you can make your own liquid, see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

On which days did you take Xanax, how often, and how much?

 

As Shep mentioned, fish oil and magnesium can take the edge off withdrawal symptoms, particularly the restless leg symptom.

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptom pattern, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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Jujube78

Hi again Shep.

 

   First off, thank you so very much for your help. I truly appreciate the time you have taken to reply.

 

   I went back on Lexapro last April/May of 2015 at a 10 mg dose. Which I stayed at until Jan/Feb of this year. Sorry that the exact months are a bit fuzzy. I did really well on that dose for quite a few months. Anyway, fast forward, I have health anxiety as well and ran across an article about ADs and liver damage so I got it in my head that I wanted off the Lexapro. Ohhh, if only I had a time machine and could go back and not have messed up! Sigh, I made a huge mistake.

 

   Regarding the xanax. I was able to get down to my current amount last year a couple of months after I started Lexapro again. I had periods over the years where I did not take as much but never this low amount. So, my current dose of .25 and .5 since June/July of 2015. I was working on trying to taper off of it to a strictly as needed basis. In fact, the psych suggested I take a "xanax vacation" by skipping a day or 2. Which I did. And it sucked. LOL As a matter of fact, this was the same period when I had initialy tapered to 5mg of Lexapro. I just realized that...Hmm

 

   The psych changed the Lexapro doses this year after I tried to taper from 10 to 5mg and had the initial bad reaction. The 10mg did not seem to do much  anymore after reinstatement, so he upped it to 15, then 20mg. I was on  the 20mg for about 2 weeks till I could not take it anymore. I felt awful. So back to 15mg, then 10mg, then 5mg combined with Prozac 10mg for a week. Then stopped the Lexapro all together and then off the Prozac after a month.

 

   I have never been able to take higher doses of these meds. I have had 2 psychs during my almost 6 year roller coaster ride with meds and they always want to up the meds and I am never able to tolerate it, Ever.

 

   Per the option to reinstate Lexapro or Prozac. I feel like hell right now but I am terrified to start them again. But likewise, I am bordering on desperation. I think I would rather reinstate a low dose of Lexapro than prozac, as the prozac causes surreal type feelings and heart palpations, which scare the crap out of me. Plus the devil you know vs the one you barely know. I even have had it run through my mind to restart Zoloft because it worked, it just made me gain a lot of weight which I finally just lost. But I think I would rather be fat and happy than feel like this. But I suppose going back on Zoloft would be throwing more gasoline on an already blazing fire. So I am  just putting that one out of my head and chalking it up to desperation for some inner peace after months of havoc.

 

Jujube

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Kevroeques

Hi Jujube.  I'm sorry you're going through this hell, but as most people here will tell you, it's something you will get through.  Some of us here have expertise to share, and some of us can merely relate and help you talk through it and realize you're not alone.

 

As somebody who has a short history with AD meds, I often feel like a rookie compared to most.  I suffered panic disorder for three years, the last of which and currently has been spiced with a hefty dose of GAD and agoraphobia, and tons of odd physical symptoms.  However, my short few months on AD meds is similar to your last year.  I was put on Lexapro 10mg for three months.  It was such a hard to describe hell for me that it's hard to describe, and hard to even start to list.  Even when I stabilized, the apathy was unbearable.  Similar to what you describe, I had no interest in ANYTHING.  This continued until I asked to be tapered off, at which point my psych gave me Prozac 10mg for a month to mitigate the WD, then had me stop CT after that month.  I've had stages of WD since then that seem to change multiple symptoms all at once, creating huge problems in coping.

 

I can tell you at first that I was in complete despair.  As you say, I wasn't thinking of ending my life- but I felt like it already ended.  The hopelessness was so entrenching that I would think of how interested and engaged in life I was, even with panic disorder, just a few months earlier and all I could really feel was jealous of my past self.  I often wondered what was even keeping me alive, as I could not motivate myself to do ANYTHING.  I couldn't even convince myself to change the channel when something I didn't want to watch was on TV.  Pretty much the only human motivation I had was to eat when I was hungry, but I wasn't choosing food that I craved or anything- pretty much whatever would cook fast and easy so I didn't have to put effort into it.  One thing was for sure, though- for the first time in my life, I could fundamentally understand why somebody could develop suicidal tendencies. 

 

I've gotten worse with physical symptoms since then, but I can tell you that my hopelessness has subsided.  I no longer come close to wondering if there's a point to living like this.  It's amazing what a simple switch in point of view can do for you.  Even though my physical symptoms have suddenly gotten so extreme that I'm developing health anxiety, hopelessness has miraculously removed itself from my mindset without any effort from me, which is what I wanted to convey here: it sucks worse than anything you can imagine until you go through it, but trust me when I tell you that it is temporary and will pass when your brain finds its chemical comfort zone.  You may even go through stages where you fear it's happening again, but please just concentrate on the fact that it is temporary.  Faith in that one fact will keep that light in the distance, letting you know that waiting is worthwhile because there is an end to the madness.

 

I also just want to add that, in my experience, a psychiatrist is not there to listen to your symptoms to help psychologically soothe you.  The reason your psych asks what you want to do about it is because their only main course of action is to prescribe you medication in the instance you want/need it.  If you're looking to continue without medication, you're really better off seeking a psychologist or therapist.  A social worker can help you talk through your emotions and possibly point you in other directions if need be.  A psychologist can do the same, but tends to have deeper scientific understanding in what you are going through if that helps you feel reassured (it reassures me, for some reason), as well as often having more methodical ways to help you mitigate the way you feel. 

 

I'm sorry you live far from family and friends, because in most cases it helps tremendously to be in close contact with people who can understand and comfort you- it helps you to accept what you're going through and look forward to being social and motivated.  I'm still struggling with social motivation altogether, but I find that when I talk to people, even on the phone, I feel much better because speaking verbally always makes me feel interested and engaged, even if it's just pointless banter.  If you haven't already, I urge you to seek some form of talk therapy just so you can keep your emotions flowing in a healthy manner, have an outlet to express your pain, and trust me- just to have an obligation that you can look forward to.  Even once a week gives you a trustworthy routine that is healthy for personal motivation (especially if you're not currently employed, which I am also not).  Given how harsh and changing WD is, it's almost impossible to maintain a healthy routine, so this can help tremendously.

 

Otherwise, I advise you to keep writing on here.  Keep a journal.  It's something I did through my last year of panic disorder, my time on AD meds, and now my WD.  There have already been times where I can look back to and see that things can get better- for me personally, depression and hopelessness have already improved drastically, and this is most evident when I look back on the journal I have written.  It seems like a pain now, but you'll be glad you did it later.  This site makes a great journal, and in time you'll find that you'll be one of the people who has more advice and support than complaints :)

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Jujube78

Thank you for your reply Altostrata.

 

Yes, I have Prozac left and I read the prozac link you included. Would it likely be best to reinstate the prozac instead of the Lexapro, then do a slow taper with the prozac liquid???

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savinggrace

Hi Jujube,

 

I am glad you are getting expert help here.

 

I just want to say that your brain is not as scrambled as you think.  I think you covered your situation very well, complicated as it is!

 

One thing that jumped out at me (coming from one poly-drugged member to another as I am in the same boat) is that you discontinued prilosec at the same time you stopped lexapro.  This, too, has had an impact on your withdrawal.  I have had to research PPI's quite a lot in the last months and have chosen not to take them as they interact heavily with psychiatric drugs.  So the prilosec was altering the levels of your other drugs, and going off the prilosec has altered the levels of the drugs you are still taking.  Prilosec is known to inhibit the metabolism of many drugs which means your blood levels could have been even higher than the desired therapeutic dose.  I am in the same boat, just with different drugs.  When I taper one of my drugs, it affects the levels of all three of them.

 

I do not have any expertise in advising anyone on how/what to taper, but trust that you are in good hands here.  Stopping the PPI was a good thing for any number of reasons, but it threw another monkey wrench into the w/d process.  It will all get sorted out, and soon you will see a clearer path ahead of you.  Meanwhile, know that I, and almost everyone here, understands EXACTLY how you feel when all you do is go from the couch to your bed!!

 

Best wishes, 

Grace

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Shep

 

   Per the option to reinstate Lexapro or Prozac. I feel like hell right now but I am terrified to start them again. But likewise, I am bordering on desperation. I think I would rather reinstate a low dose of Lexapro than prozac, as the prozac causes surreal type feelings and heart palpations, which scare the crap out of me. Plus the devil you know vs the one you barely know. I even have had it run through my mind to restart Zoloft because it worked, it just made me gain a lot of weight which I finally just lost. But I think I would rather be fat and happy than feel like this. But I suppose going back on Zoloft would be throwing more gasoline on an already blazing fire. So I am  just putting that one out of my head and chalking it up to desperation for some inner peace after months of havoc.

 

Jujube

 

 

This is good information, thanks for adding it. If the Prozac was causing reactions such as heart palpitations and surreal type feelings (sounds like that could be depersonalization / derealization), than perhaps Lexapro would be best.

 

Please read both these threads:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Do you still have any Lexapro pills left? You would do best reinstating at a fraction of the dose you were on before.  Keep in mind that Lexapro is a very potent medication. I'm not sure what dose would be best, so I'll ask Alto to post again.

 

Also, please hold your benzo dose steady. Only one medication change at a time or you won't know what med is causing what symptom.

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Jujube78

Kevroeques,

 

Sorry it has taken me a bit to respond to your reply. It literally made me cry with relief to read your words...that it does get better. I needed to see that more than any words can express.  And cry because it seems so many of us are in, or have been in this terrible place after the meds. Thank you so so so very much for sharing your story with me! How you described the despair, even changing a tv channel, sums up how I have felt but I am unable to coherently put it into words at this time. You gave me some of what I was severely low on...HOPE. Your post meant so very much to me, I thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

 

   I do not have a big support system, but the people I DO have are really wonderful about what I have been going through and I have much gratitude for that. My partner is amazingly kind, as is my ex hubby, my kids, my mom and a good friend I have had for years that also has similar issues. I thank God for them. As for talk therapy, I am going to call my insurance company this week and see if they cover any type of online therapy or distance therapy via videochat or something. Someone I can meet with once a month in person, then meet up long distance/online the other 3 weeks out of the month. Hopefully they do.

 

   I hope your physical symptoms start to fade soon, as your despair did. As someone who also has health anxiety, I know how bad it sucks to analyze every twinge and pain and then worry,worry,worry.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to make it a little better!  :)  :)  :)

Edited by JanCarol
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Altostrata

Jujube, I hear what you're saying. But as you were taking Prozac and Lexapro at the same time, varying the Xanax, and then going off Lexapro, how do you know it was the Prozac causing "surreal type feelings and heart palpations" and the other drug changes?

 

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

I'm confused about how often you take Xanax. What has been your schedule of Xanax use for the last few months?

 

It's very important that you keep notes on paper.

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Jujube78

Grace,

 

   Thank you for your reply! I actually ran across something about the Prilosec on a drug interaction database when I was prescribed Zpac (antibiotic) after having to have a tooth worked on a couple of months ago. I was shocked that neither my psych or GP who prescribed the Prilosec or even the pharmacist thought anything about my taking them together! I also told MY PSYCH that I went OFF of the Prilosec right around the same time as the Lexapro reduction that set this mess off and he didn't say a peep about it. :blink: It boggles my mind and scares me to think of how many Dr's prescribe various types of meds and do not give it a thought that they could be wreaking havoc on people.

 

   I was determined that 2016 was going to be my year to clean up my act. Ha! Diet, whatever else I was putting into my body that was less than desireable. So between January and early Feb before the poo hit the fan, I cut back on Lex, got down to 2 or 3 cigarettes a day, got off the Prilosec, gave up a 10 year Diet Coke addiction and kept on with trying to get off the Xanax eventually. In retrospect, I think I bit off more than I could handle... :o So far, only the Prilosec and Diet Coke have stayed absent. I guess count your victories where you can!

 

Thank you again Grace for your reply and understanding! :)

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Jujube78

Jujube, I hear what you're saying. But as you were taking Prozac and Lexapro at the same time, varying the Xanax, and then going off Lexapro, how do you know it was the Prozac causing "surreal type feelings and heart palpations" and the other drug changes?

 

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

I'm confused about how often you take Xanax. What has been your schedule of Xanax use for the last few months?

 

It's very important that you keep notes on paper.

I take it twice a day now. .25 during the day and a .5 tablet at bedtime. It has been as such since last summer. I have .5 tablets and I break them in half for the daytime dose then take a whole one at night. Hope that helps!

 

And you are right, I do not know what is causing what at this point. I just know I want it to stop. I guess I assumed that because I had not taken the Lexapro in a month, it must be the Prozac causing the feelings/sensations. But I am not even going to pretend I know which way is up right now.

 

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it immensely!

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savinggrace

Jujube,

 

I am guessing you did your body and brain a huge favor by quitting the Prilosec and quitting the diet coke and cigarettes...which are why you needed the prilosec in the first place.

 

I was a diet coke/pepsi addict for years and years.  I had to "taper" diet coke....really...it was that hard!  I call that the beginning of my road to "cleaner living."  I never drank that much per day, but I craved it.  I get weak once in a while but then I say why put another neurotoxin in my already toxic brain and body.  And the caffeine doesn't help either.  As far as a the cigarettes go, your whole body is going to thank you and you are getting healthier w/ every cigarette you crave and don't smoke.  I had to go off de-caf coffee (serious esophagus problems and refused to take PPI's so had to adjust much of my diet even more)  after an almost 14 years Starbucks habit...it was a habit...but I had friends there and it was a social outlet...and I had to C/T Starbucks in January (I realize this sounds ridiculous, but addictions are addictions; some just more serious than others)  So I get what a victory the cigarettes and the diet coke are...CLAIM IT!!  Even though you feel so sick, you are getting healthier every day by the steps you have taken so far.

 

My situation appears pretty futile right now, and maybe it isn't, but I am currently in the "what am I doing here?"  "why should I do this another day?" frame of mind.  I don't know how old you are, but I sense you landed in the right place at the right time, and if you remain open to the suggestions here,  you WILL start feeling hopeful again.  If you don't, just write here.  Someone will come along and replant that seed of hope.  I just had one planted last night and it actually stuck...hasn't been upturned yet!

 

You will be counseled to taper the benzo last, so don't even think about that right now, but don't take any more.  As you can see, I have been on benzos off and on all my life, but you need to tackle one thing at a time, and then you can tackle that.

 

Hope finding this forum has lifted your spirits!

Grace

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Shep

 

Jujube, I hear what you're saying. But as you were taking Prozac and Lexapro at the same time, varying the Xanax, and then going off Lexapro, how do you know it was the Prozac causing "surreal type feelings and heart palpations" and the other drug changes?

 

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

I'm confused about how often you take Xanax. What has been your schedule of Xanax use for the last few months?

 

It's very important that you keep notes on paper.

I take it twice a day now. .25 during the day and a .5 tablet at bedtime. It has been as such since last summer. I have .5 tablets and I break them in half for the daytime dose then take a whole one at night. Hope that helps!

 

And you are right, I do not know what is causing what at this point. I just know I want it to stop. I guess I assumed that because I had not taken the Lexapro in a month, it must be the Prozac causing the feelings/sensations. But I am not even going to pretend I know which way is up right now.

 

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it immensely!

 

 

 

Hi, jujube. How are you feeling today? Alto mentioned reinstating Prozac at 1 mg. Is that an option for you?

 

Let us know how you're doing.

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JanCarol

hey JuJube -

 

there are a number of free online resources where you can "self therapy."   Being a former Midwesterner, I understand how difficult it can be to get therapeutic support.

 

one of the mods recently pointed out a good one at:   Dealing with Worry - CBT

 

There are others:  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

 

and EFT ("tapping") often gives people a positive shift while they are waiting for the next window:  EFT Brad Yates for Fear and Panic

 

I also found some beautiful, calming stuff here:  https://www.calm.com/

 

Do you have a minister or deacon who can give you a listening ear?  Or a friend, even?  That can help as much as a professional - if not more, because your friend knows and cares about you.

 

Have you decided to reinstate the Prozac as Alto suggested?

Alto:

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

Here is the link to directions for making a liquid:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

 

Things will get better, please be patient with yourself, and kind and gentle.  Treat your brain like a reactive baby wild animal.

 

We are often our worst enemy, being demanding and critical of ourself when we are not "up to speed" or when we are frustrated with how our being and body is performing in the world.

 

But your brain has been through a lot lately.  Could you criticize and scold this fellow?

Baby%20Slow%20Loris_zpscckg8bkf.jpg

 

No?  Well, treat your brain and your being as though it is this reactive, wild, and yet innocent, harmless, frightened little fellow.  Being gentle with yourself goes a long way towards healing.

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Jujube78

Jujube,

 

I am guessing you did your body and brain a huge favor by quitting the Prilosec and quitting the diet coke and cigarettes...which are why you needed the prilosec in the first place.

 

I was a diet coke/pepsi addict for years and years.  I had to "taper" diet coke....really...it was that hard!  I call that the beginning of my road to "cleaner living."  I never drank that much per day, but I craved it.  I get weak once in a while but then I say why put another neurotoxin in my already toxic brain and body.  And the caffeine doesn't help either.  As far as a the cigarettes go, your whole body is going to thank you and you are getting healthier w/ every cigarette you crave and don't smoke.  I had to go off de-caf coffee (serious esophagus problems and refused to take PPI's so had to adjust much of my diet even more)  after an almost 14 years Starbucks habit...it was a habit...but I had friends there and it was a social outlet...and I had to C/T Starbucks in January (I realize this sounds ridiculous, but addictions are addictions; some just more serious than others)  So I get what a victory the cigarettes and the diet coke are...CLAIM IT!!  Even though you feel so sick, you are getting healthier every day by the steps you have taken so far.

 

My situation appears pretty futile right now, and maybe it isn't, but I am currently in the "what am I doing here?"  "why should I do this another day?" frame of mind.  I don't know how old you are, but I sense you landed in the right place at the right time, and if you remain open to the suggestions here,  you WILL start feeling hopeful again.  If you don't, just write here.  Someone will come along and replant that seed of hope.  I just had one planted last night and it actually stuck...hasn't been upturned yet!

 

You will be counseled to taper the benzo last, so don't even think about that right now, but don't take any more.  As you can see, I have been on benzos off and on all my life, but you need to tackle one thing at a time, and then you can tackle that.

 

Hope finding this forum has lifted your spirits!

Grace

 

Grace,

   I get you on the "why should I do this another day?" frame of mind that you mentioned. But I don't want to give up. I just want this med w/d hell to finally end or at least ease up.

 

   You commented on age, I am 45. 46 in July.

 

   And yeeessss. I so craved the diet coke for like 2 months after the last one I had. I even at one point thought if I just had a diet coke, I would feel fine again and all of this would go away. HA. =P

 

   I have not managed to quit the cigs btw. I was trying to quit and got down to 2 or 3 a day max but am now up to about 8 per day. Sigh, It sucks and it's not healthy but right now I am just trying to not aggravate my brain any worse so quitting smoking is on the back burner till I mentally stabilize.

 

  And yes, the benzo. I am not even THINKING of getting off of it right now. If/when I ever get through this antidepressent w/d nightmare, I will try then but I am going to take an EXTREMELY long taper approach to that. Right now, the xanax is the least of my concerns.

 

Thanks for your responses. They mean a lot! :)

 

Jujube

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Jujube78

 

 

Jujube, I hear what you're saying. But as you were taking Prozac and Lexapro at the same time, varying the Xanax, and then going off Lexapro, how do you know it was the Prozac causing "surreal type feelings and heart palpations" and the other drug changes?

 

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

I'm confused about how often you take Xanax. What has been your schedule of Xanax use for the last few months?

 

It's very important that you keep notes on paper.

I take it twice a day now. .25 during the day and a .5 tablet at bedtime. It has been as such since last summer. I have .5 tablets and I break them in half for the daytime dose then take a whole one at night. Hope that helps!

 

And you are right, I do not know what is causing what at this point. I just know I want it to stop. I guess I assumed that because I had not taken the Lexapro in a month, it must be the Prozac causing the feelings/sensations. But I am not even going to pretend I know which way is up right now.

 

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it immensely!

 

 

 

Hi, jujube. How are you feeling today? Alto mentioned reinstating Prozac at 1 mg. Is that an option for you?

 

Let us know how you're doing.

 

Hi again Shep,

 

   Thank you for taking the time to see how I am. It is still rough going. I have chose to not reinstate at this point, but I am not 100% set against it if it comes to that. I had to get up very early this morning to go to an appointment with my daughter and I actually felt "ok" for a bit. Like I could see a tiny bit of hope. But that did not last, of course. lol I knew it likely would not, so I made an extra effort to enjoy that "window" while it was open.

 

   I ordered some fishy pills last night and they are due to arrive wednesday. I made sure to check the EPA/DHA content and will start out by taking one per day and see how I react to them. I really hope they help! If I do ok with them, I will try the magnesium supplement next. I did get some epson salts to soak in for now, as it is my understanding that can help a bit too.

 

Thank you again for all of your care and help and I hope you are doing well today! :)

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Jujube78

hey JuJube -

 

there are a number of free online resources where you can "self therapy."   Being a former Midwesterner, I understand how difficult it can be to get therapeutic support.

 

one of the mods recently pointed out a good one at:   Dealing with Worry - CBT

 

There are others:  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

 

and EFT ("tapping") often gives people a positive shift while they are waiting for the next window:  EFT Brad Yates for Fear and Panic

 

I also found some beautiful, calming stuff here:  https://www.calm.com/

 

Do you have a minister or deacon who can give you a listening ear?  Or a friend, even?  That can help as much as a professional - if not more, because your friend knows and cares about you.

 

Have you decided to reinstate the Prozac as Alto suggested?

Alto:

 

 

Since you have Prozac on hand, you might try 1mg. Follow the directions to make a liquid, and this should be fairly easy to do.

 

Here is the link to directions for making a liquid:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

 

Things will get better, please be patient with yourself, and kind and gentle.  Treat your brain like a reactive baby wild animal.

 

We are often our worst enemy, being demanding and critical of ourself when we are not "up to speed" or when we are frustrated with how our being and body is performing in the world.

 

But your brain has been through a lot lately.  Could you criticize and scold this fellow?

Baby%20Slow%20Loris_zpscckg8bkf.jpg

 

No?  Well, treat your brain and your being as though it is this reactive, wild, and yet innocent, harmless, frightened little fellow.  Being gentle with yourself goes a long way towards healing.

Hi JanCarol,

 

    I love your analogy about my brain being a reactive, wild baby animal. And Awww! I love that picture you added! I am a sucker for animals and anything cute.

 

    I do not attend church but I do pray etc. About a month after this started, in March or so, I started wearing a cross necklace to remind me I am not completely alone because I felt I was. Although lately, praying is difficult and I have doubts, but I am chalking that up to my currently dibilitated brain and exhaustion from about 5 months of this hell. I do not have a large support circle but the ones I do have are great about listening. I am so thankful for that!

 

   Thank you for the links as well. I will check them out later tonight. I tend to feel a lot better in the evenings afer the sun goes down so I will have more focus etc to go through them.

 

   Jujube

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KarenB

Not much to add to what the others have said, but just read through your thread and wanted to send you hugs and let you know we all care about you.

 

Karen

x

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Shep

 

Hi again Shep,

 

 

   Thank you for taking the time to see how I am. It is still rough going. I have chose to not reinstate at this point, but I am not 100% set against it if it comes to that. I had to get up very early this morning to go to an appointment with my daughter and I actually felt "ok" for a bit. Like I could see a tiny bit of hope. But that did not last, of course. lol I knew it likely would not, so I made an extra effort to enjoy that "window" while it was open.

 

   I ordered some fishy pills last night and they are due to arrive wednesday. I made sure to check the EPA/DHA content and will start out by taking one per day and see how I react to them. I really hope they help! If I do ok with them, I will try the magnesium supplement next. I did get some epson salts to soak in for now, as it is my understanding that can help a bit too.

 

Thank you again for all of your care and help and I hope you are doing well today! :)

 

 

Hi, Jujube.

 

The fact that you felt "okay" is a really good sign, even though it was temporary. Please keep track of your symptoms, including sleep. This will help you gage if you want to reinstate or ride it out. It sounds like you're setting yourself up for success with non-drug coping skills. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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JanCarol

Hey JuJube, former smoker here.

 

Here's my official take on smoking.

 

It moderates symptoms and side effects of drugs by binding some of the receptors.  It has a mild, instant (but very short acting) antidepressant action.  This is why you see all the AA people with their coffee and cigarettes - replacing one addiction with another.  And why something like 90% of people in institution are smokers (plus, they get to go outside).  I believe that hospitals with anti-smoking policies - that just hand out patches and say, "tough, no smoking," are missing something very important about cigarettes.  

 

I have had amazing moments of intimacy with strangers, over the duration of one cigarette.  I have also had years of mindless puffing and loss of lung and cardio function and severe fatigue, as well.

 

Here is my philosophy for people on drugs and in withdrawal:

If it feels cruel to smoke, then don't.

If it feels cruel not to smoke, then do.

 

Beating yourself up about the cigarette does not help symptoms.  Just choose to have them one at a time (it sounds like you already do this).  Put them someplace weird, like the freezer, or a top cabinet, so you cannot smoke them impulsively, and then choose the path of least cruelty.  (remember, reactive baby animal.  That one was suggested by Alto, a pygmy loris).  

 

The fact is, I never quit cigarettes.  I'm still allowed to smoke them.  I'm just not allowed to buy them.  So if I want to suffer the humiliation of bumming a smoke and a light, I can have one.  It just seems more cruel to beg than do without.  And now, 6 years after quitting buying them, I no longer like the smell of them, so the chances I will bum one is slim to nil.

 

Follow the path of being kind to yourself.  The path of least cruelty. 

 

Soapbox off!   :P

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savinggrace

Jujube,

 

So you didn't quit cigarettes...or you relapsed...you tried, you made some progress and are smoking again.  Progress is not always linear.  I agree with Jan Carol...the reason why AA meetings are full of smoke is because our brains are working hard to adjust to other things.  Asking our brain to do too much is setting yourself up for failure.

 

My son used to put a cigarette behind his ear.  It was just there.  It made him feel better, but he smoked less.  My mom put smoking on a schedule.  She set specific times for a cigarette.  After a 2 pack a year habit for decades, she stopped smoking eventually.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Sounds like you are attacking the drugs pretty bravely, so as Jan Carol said, smoke, for now.

 

I should in no way be eating chocolate but I am a choc-a-holic.  I had a "habit" of dark chocolate.  I am now on a diet that prohibits chocolate, but I can't quite cut that out yet...it's like the only thing I have to look forward to these days.  So in a ritual like way, I break one small square of dark chocolate into four tiny pieces and savor the heck out of them....a little endorphin rush for a desperate brain.

 

Hope you are doing okay today.

 

Grace

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Jujube78

Hi everyone,

 

   First  off, I want to say that all of you are absolute angels. All of you have helped me so much, more than you will ever know. Thank you all from my heart for your care, wisdom, and time! :wub::) 

 

   I am so thankful that I found this site and literally forced myself to reach out the other day. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time.

 

   That brings a certain amout of relief but also, I am starting to feel anger. Not w/d type anger, but anger with the doctors and pharma companies. I TRUSTED both. I take responsibility as well beecause no one forced me to take the meds. Yet I always believed physicians were suppose to be there to HELP. And I know there are many that do indeed fit that mold. But in the world of mental health especially, I no longer have any trust left. None, nada, zip. They do not listen to us when we try to tell them how the drugs are negatively effecting us. And forget about discussing w/d and asking them for help on that. The time when we need medical help the most and it is just not there from them. My psych (and apparently a LOT of others too from what I am reading) blatantly denies that these drugs cause any effect after being off for longer  than 2 weeks. Anything beyond that is simply relapse and here you go, have more drugs to offset the hell you are in due to the drugs. Sigh. I will hush for now, but I really needed to vent a bit! :angry:

 

   Shep- Thanks for your kind words and encouragement! I am trying to keep the "Windows and Waves" at the forefront of my thoughts. Every window I get, no matter if it is only for 10 seconds, I am savoring it. I am filing it away to recall during the waves. I hope you are doing well today too, Shep. :)

 

   Karen- Thank you for your kind words. You dont have to say a lot for it to mean a lot, and you words did indeed mean much to me! *Hugs* back to you as well.

 

   JanCarol- Thank  you for sharing with me. And yes, it is ODD how many meaningful, intimate moments can be had over a single cig with a stranger. Been there and done that too.

 

   I also worry about not breathing as well (and worse!) which is why I want to finally get off of them. I feel like I cant breathe good lately and it feels like someone is choking me around my neck. Good old dysphagia. I realize these are both ways that anxiety rears its ugly head, but in my current mental state, I also have thoughts of it being something sinister from smoking, which amps up my anxiety. I have had both of these annoying feelings before when going through hard times in my 20s and 30s and they both passed. So for now, I will keep smoking (but monitoring the amount) and wait till I mentally stabilize before trying a full quit again. Thank you for not making me feel like a turd because I smoke. :P And OH! I love your last bit about how you never quit. You just dont buy them and have to bum if you want one. I am going to squirrel that idea away to add to my stop smoking arsenal for when better days come back around.

 

   Grace- Thank you for sharing! :)  It gives me hope that your mom was able to eventually quit. Also, thank you for the encouraging words. I so get the chocolate thing. I too am obviously just holding to whatever gets me through this period in life, so enjoy your treat. MUCH healthier than mine! hehe I hope you are doing well today!

 

   My thanks to all of you again. This place is such a haven right now. I  hope you all have a relaxing evening. :wub:

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Jujube78

Update.

 

   I guess I will use this thread to journal, unless that is a no no or there is another place for that. If so, someone just let me know.

 

 

 

 

  I had 2 days where I felt much better. It was such a relief! I could actually see hope that this would get better. I could breathe better, my throat did not feel as tight/lumpy and I had less anxiety. The only thing I changed/added during that time was the epsom salt soaks and massaging my feet and calves with magnesium "oil" right before bed. That provided me with 2 nights of good sleep and no restless legs/feet.

 

   I took my first fish oil capsule last night after I had dinner. I woke up today feeling like crap. I felt sedated and the restlessness was back along with anxiety and general gloom. In fact, I felt so sedated/out of it that it crossed my mind that "what if Im having a stroke?!" So I made myself smile, recite my SS number, phone number, move my arms and legs etc. I was able to do all of that so..yay for the thought of it being a stroke just being a health anxiety thought. After that, I had to lay back down and nap until I could no longer tolerate the restlessness I felt.

 

   Going into the fish oil, I knew some folks said it did not agree with them, especially when the CNS is so fragile. I guess I am one of the unlucky few. I am going to skip the fishies tonight and proceed as I had been and see how I feel the next day or 2. I love eating fish so I will try to get that in my diet a  few times a week and see how it goes.

 

   I still have not reinstated lexapro or prozac. I continue to hope I can ride this out. The good days I had give me some optimism.

 

   I  hope everyone on here is doing well.

 

Jujube

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Kevroeques

Hi Jujube- Let me likewise apologize for taking so long to reply to your reply!

 

I'm glad I could instill a bit of hope.  Honestly, now your hope brings ME hope, because a big part of this is knowing you're not dying and there will be an end.  Comfort is the main prescription we all need.  I can't lie and say that I'm not bothered by my residual symptoms to the point of despair from time to time, but as I said the hopelessness has largely subsided and being able to relate to people brings the calm and peace of mind we all need.  I can't really keep my mind focused enough to read anything currently, but somehow directly relating to people can focus your thoughts in a way that even your own interests can't.  If you continue to feel scattered, just keep to the conversation!

 

I find that a small, concentrated support system works best, so you're doing just fine with what you have.  I have friends who care about me very deeply, but I don't consider them to be in my support team because there's a part of me that wonders if they truly understand what's going on, even if they already accept it and support me.  As much as I love them, there's an odd part of me that doesn't feel comfortable relying on them in this particular instance- as though I feel a bit self conscious about it with them- and doesn't want to inconvenience them with my odd anxiety about my current self and very specific needs, which includes being relaxed at home with very little stress.  Again, it's all me and not them or any reaction from them, but I really only feel comfortable around my immediate family right now, in the comfort of my home.  I'm not saying to stay at home like I do, but I'm just saying that a small support team creates less stress and self-expectation from you.  As you also mentioned, having somebody close who has been through similar issues (like my mom, who suffered anxiety and panic years before I started) is a gift not everybody has.  They can anchor you in the idea that this will get better and those bonds will strengthen your faith in just that.

 

I see you mention your anger and distrust for mental health professionals- something almost all of us here can share.  They DO NOT acknowledge, and therefore do not give ample warning, of any of the effects of these drugs- be it the miserable onset, nearly 50% chance that they will not work and/or make you worse, and the fact that changing the chemical architecture of your brain can have profound negative effects on your entire state of being.  Truly sad, but you can't put the blame entirely on them because they're usually only allowed to preach what they're taught.  Going off anecdotal data is a big no-no in anything as scientific as the medical industry, and is further hindered by the lack of substantial research done in this regard.  I know they're hard to find, but try to see an actual psychologist as a part of your therapy routine.  I've been seeing one briefly and can tell you it shows promise.  They use methods in lieu of medicine to get positive reactions and accord out of your brain and body, and a good psychologist has a wealth of scientific knowledge paired with good bedside manner, so to speak, bringing comfort and understanding.  I'm also impressed that my current psychologist SOMEWHAT conceded that there can be lasting negative aftereffects to AD meds, which is a bonus.  I start a biofeedback routine in the coming weeks that shows promise.  From what I gather, it is used to monitor your physical actions/reactions and vitals, and helps you decipher when and why they happen while training you to react in different ways.  Sounds like sort of a behavioral technique.  I don't know much about it yet, but it seems to be a very successful way to mitigate nervous responses (such as the anxiety we feel from physical symptoms) until you can control them consciously, and eventually be rid of them.  I myself question how well this will work in conjunction with WD symptoms, but I'll find out soon enough and post my experiences on my thread here, and I'll try to remember to share them with you.

 

You know by now that the perceived inability to breathe is an anxiety reaction.  This still happens to me often.  I employ breathing techniques, but ever since I cut off my AD meds I must admit that the sensations of anxiety have morphed and become unfamiliar, and the host of new symptoms and sensations have made my anxiety reactions a complete stranger.  You just have to try and cognitively remind yourself that you have anxiety and this is nothing new, and that your breathing is only a stress reaction.  It's difficult when anxiety brings your cognitive side to a halt, but you can do it.  Always remember that.  If you need the extra boost in faith, get checked up by a doctor.  I'll admit that I had to have my heart looked at and my blood chemistry checked a few times to be comfortable enough to trust that my panic attacks weren't hurting me, and I'm currently undergoing neurological testing to make sure that all of my symptoms, including WD symptoms, aren't something that need to be addressed- that's just my new form of anxiety, and I need to quell it so I can rest in comfort knowing that I'll heal with time.  I don't advise you to go overboard like I feel the need to, but it can be encouraging to simply visit a GP and have them listen to your heart and breathing at the very least to let you know that you didn't suddenly come down with a chronic pulmonary or cardiac issue.  I, unfortunately, don't want to quit smoking because I'm afraid to jar my brain chemistry even a little bit.  May be an excuse, sure- but for now I know that my lungs and everything attached are in good health so I'm not putting quitting on the menu quite yet.

 

I hope you're keeping that chin up for the time being.  It sounds like you're feeling much more at ease than your first post already, which is great.  Talk it out as you figure it out and you'll be cool!

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Kevroeques

   I took my first fish oil capsule last night after I had dinner. I woke up today feeling like crap. I felt sedated and the restlessness was back along with anxiety and general gloom. In fact, I felt so sedated/out of it that it crossed my mind that "what if Im having a stroke?!" So I made myself smile, recite my SS number, phone number, move my arms and legs etc. I was able to do all of that so..yay for the thought of it being a stroke just being a health anxiety thought. After that, I had to lay back down and nap until

   Going into the fish oil, I knew some folks said it did not agree with them, especially when the CNS is so fragile. I guess I am one of the unlucky few. I am going to skip the fishies tonight and proceed as I had been and see how I feel the next day or 2. I love eating fish so I will try to get that in my diet a  few times a week and see how it goes.

 

I've wondered about this one as well.  Way before I found this site, I had read around about fish oil.  Some people swear by it, some hated it.  I've been taking it for a few weeks now and I'm somewhat torn...

 

As much as my symptoms are very dynamic, being different every few days, I felt like the dizziness and brain zaps were stronger after I first started taking fish oil.  There has also been a sharp uprise in my physical symptoms since then- nothing major, just odd sensations and such of a sensory nerve related nature- that have made me concerned.  Again, because my symptoms evolve I haven't definitively nailed any of this to fish oil, but I have suspicion.  I feel like, since my brain is currently haywire, the fish oil has a tendency to make my brain processes more potently or efficiently haywire, leading to exacerbation of certain things.

 

However, I decided to continue taking it since I always like to give changes ample time to take, and I know that fish oil in proper doses can't in any way harm me.

 

EDIT: Fish oil thins the blood pretty good- please take care not to take any other substances that thin blood, like analgesics, in large quantities right after you take fish oil.  Just wanted to put that out there :)

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Jujube78

Update.

 

   Hi all. It has been almost 3 months off of lexapro and 2 months off of the prozac. Still just taking the xanax, 1 mg over the course of the day. Not going to tamper with that right now.

 

   Things got better very shortly after my last post. The feelings of gloom and dispair lifted and the quirky w/d effects like restless legs went away. I became active again. I spent the remainder of June and first week or so of July feeling SO much better! I thought I was in the clear. Wrong....lol

 

   It has been back to feeling rough again for the last 2 weeks. In hindsight, I guess the prozac was still flowing during the good phase but it left my system recently and here I am. I am not as bad off as I was the first few months of this year, but I am just so beat from this entire years ups and downs with my mind. I feel like a useless lump of garbage. I am back to not being able to get motivated to do things because I  feel so little enjoyment. I feel that everytime I smile or laugh, it is automatic or forced. The first week that things started going back downhill, I had nightmares every night. When I would turn my head too fast,  I would get the "Matrix effect" slow motion thing. Both of those things have ceased at this point, but I just feel so defeated by my feelings. And knowing that it can take months or years to get thru w/d is overwhelming right now.

 

   I saw my psych last Monday for my 3 month check in visit and told him I was off the meds. He acted really disgruntled over this. So I asked what his issue was. He stated that I had been on the prozac for awhile and it was working fine, so why did I stop it? I was like Ummmm......I was only on it for 6 weeks. I was on Lexapro for a year tho. He had to check his notes to verify this.......then he couldnt remember my going off Prilosec and how that is exactly when this mess started....had to check his notes for that too, even tho Ive brought it up multiple times the last few months. He then dismissed that as having any effect on my psych meds. The cherry on top of this visit was when he told me that without a "maintenence drug", I will relapse. I was so so so upset and angry after the visit. For a couple of days.

 

   The doctor visit coupled with how I am back to feeling has had me thinking of just going back on ADs. I dont know what to do tho. I dont want to take them, I dont really trust them. But at the same time. I do not have much fight left in me. I called my insurance last week to find out if online therapy sessions are covered as I live in a rural area. Nope.

 

   So that is where Im at. Trying to decide whether or not to keep riding this out despite how everyday is a struggle to push thru...or just go back on the drugs.

 

   Is this a typical phase in the w/d/recovery process? I am so lost and alone in this. If anyone has anything to say, PLEASE do. You have no idea how much I would appreciate some insight from those that have been there.

 

 

 

 

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KarenB

It's very typical to get waves some months out.  People get them further out that that.  Keep going!  You can get through this.  The last thing you need is another complication to deal with further down the track.  Slow and steady, keep stresses low, eat well, allow your body the time it needs to continue to heal.  The wave will pass again. 

 

If you look on-line there are free guided meditations, guided yoga sessions - all sorts of things which you can use to get yourself through. And write - write down everything you'd want to tell a counselor.  Imagine you are caring for a very precious young child who needs help to get through a hard time.  And then give that care to yourself.  

 

It has been back to feeling rough again for the last 2 weeks. In hindsight, I guess the prozac was still flowing during the good phase but it left my system recently and here I am.

 

It doesn't actually make too much of a difference.  The troublesome thing with SSRIs is that you can't just flush their effects out of your system.  Even after all traces of prozac are gone, there is still the bigger problem that they have changed the way your brain works, and that takes much longer to heal.  See http://survivinganti...el-your-brain/)   So considering you'll be affected in an on-going manner either way, you may as well choose the path more conducive to healing.  Meditation, especially neuro-sculpting, actually helps your brain to heal. 

 

I'm sorry it's so hard at the moment,

Karen

x

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Shep

Hi, jujube.

 

What Karen wrote is spot on. 

 

I don't know if you've seen this video, but it's a really good description of the non-linear healing process:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQtO6HXJfjw

 

I do want to ask you about your Xanax use. I think it's good you're waiting to tackle that until later, as it's best to taper only one drug at a time.  However, this is from your signature, as well as what you have in the first post of your thread:

 

 

 

*2010-2016 Xanax (anywhere from 3mg a day back in 2010 when I first started Lexapro down to .25 in the am and .5 at bedtime currently. )

 

 

 

 

You mention that you're now on 1 mg of Xanax, which means you've increased by .25, which is a major increase since that post from June. Please be very careful of escalating your benzo use during this process. It's very easy to do and I fear you will complicate this process in the long run. 

 

There may be some non-drug coping skills that might help:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Try to figure out the symptoms that make you feel like you need to use Xanax - anxiety, insomnia, etc. And then target your non-drug coping skills in that direction. For me, insomnia and dp/dr are really bad, so I targeted my non-drug coping skills toward mindfulness.

 

You mentioned wanting to do online therapy sessions. There are some free resources available. Perhaps not the same as working with an actual therapist, but for many us (myself included), we simply don't have the financial resources for anything more.

 

Free online Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons

 

And this is a free online 8-week mindfulness course:

 

http://palousemindfulness.com/

 

Hang in there. This truly does get better.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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Jujube78

Karen and Shep, thank you for your replies.

 

I really liked the link to how the mind has to heal itself, not just flush out the drug. And also your video, Shep. Good stuff.

 

Per the xanax. What I am on now is what I was on for a couple of years. Then I got down to .75. But yea, it is up a bit but this is my personal ceiling. I refuse to go above 1mg. Period. I'm not even ready to discuss getting off the xanax at this point. It is just a whole other fight that I'm not ready to face right now.

 

I am having this weird thing going on and Im certain there is a name/term for it but I dont know what it is. Maybe someone can help me out. I will try to describe it as best I can.

 

The world, even at home, I feel like it "looks" different. (Not speaking visually per se)  It doesn't feel like it is familiar...almost like I have been plunked down in a world that is alien to me but it is not. Is this depersonalization??? If not, has anyone else had this, what is it and will it go away? It is so upsetting to me. =( Most everything that was familiar to me now seems so off.

 

Another thing is I can't seem to express love  so well right now. I was always an affectionate partner but I feel so closed off/down right now. I hate it. I love my partner but it is an effort for me to show it via words or hugs etc.

 

I am assuming it is normal to have thoughts of considering reinstatement. I am fighting it but just so tired and want to feel like Im ME again.

 

Grateful for any replies. I feel hopeless, scared and alone during this.

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Jujube78

More thoughts to add. I hope that is ok. I mostly discuss all of this with my partner....he certainly takes the brunt of it and is an angel, but I worry about overtaxing him alone with what I'm going thru, my thoughts etc. I hope it is ok to spill it here from time to time.

 

The plan is to move closer to my family in the next 2 years. The current town I am in in so small and I feel incredibly isolated. My family lives in Oklahoma City, so when we are able to sell the house here and move there, I will be able to connect with them like I am used to and be able work with a therapist as well.

 

Also, I am in an adjustment period in life with my identity. I was a full time mom for years. All of my kids are older now. From 19-25. It has been difficult for me to adjust to not having to do the things I did for them for years. So I feel pretty lost while trying to get used to this new lifestyle and figuring out what to do with my time. I was doing ok with it but going thru all of this mental/med/w/d stuff the last few months has really made it stand out for some reason.

 

I am a 46 year old female and I am certain I have some perimenopause stuff starting to happen which I assume can make things harder mentally.

 

I state these things because I am wondering if it is this best time in life for me to go thru this process of w/d. I often wonder lately if I should delay it until I am back in a situation where I have a much broader support system.

 

Just throwing thoughts out there.

 

Thanks

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scallywag

Jujube - the symptom you're describing sounds to me like "derealization." It's often grouped with depersonalization as dp/dr.
 
Our topic on Depersonalization / Derealization.
 
Going through perimenopause can make it difficult to sort out what's causing a symptom. The CNS and endocrine systems have many connections and are affected by each other. :(  Whichever is the cause non-drug techniques can be helpful for emotional and physical symptoms.

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

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Shep

 

I am having this weird thing going on and Im certain there is a name/term for it but I dont know what it is. Maybe someone can help me out. I will try to describe it as best I can.

 

The world, even at home, I feel like it "looks" different. (Not speaking visually per se)  It doesn't feel like it is familiar...almost like I have been plunked down in a world that is alien to me but it is not. Is this depersonalization??? If not, has anyone else had this, what is it and will it go away? It is so upsetting to me. =( Most everything that was familiar to me now seems so off.

 

 

 

Hi, Jujube. The link Scallywag gave you to the depersonalization / derealization thread is a good one. It helps explain a lot of this.

 

Dp/dr is my worst symptom and I found mindfulness to be very helpful. Ask yourself what do you feel, hear, see, smell, taste? This brings your awareness back to the present tense. It helps ground you in the present moment. It also keeps your thoughts busy doing something productive, not ruminating or worrying because this alien world looks so different. 

 

Certain lights, especially fluorescent lights, can make it worse. Dp/dr can make you isolate yourself more and more, so some of the depression may be coming from this.

 

But to answer your question - yes, dp/dr will get better in time. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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Jujube78

Not sure if anyone is out there, but nowhere else to really turn with this.

 

I am at the end of my rope with this. I have been reading stories etc on here and the thought of it possibly taking YEARS to feel better is gut wrenching. HOW do people do it? I already feel like I am losing my sanity. I am scared that I will end up in a psych ward or "give up". This is terrifying. I thought I had it bad before the drugs...it was NOTHING compared to this WD from the drugs.

 

I LOATHE the thought of going back on it but I fear I will have to. I read another members post saying that RI has saved a lot of people on here from going over the edge and losing everything due to WD. I realize no one here is a doctor (Thank God....)...but would it be better to reinstate at my last dose of 5mg of Lexapro or do the 1mg liquid to stabalize?

 

Sorry to be whining on here lately but this is a really dark place to be in and no one in my life really understands as they were never on these horrible drugs.

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