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Survivor1

Survivor1: Sleeping after trazodone (and benzo)

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Happy2Heal

hi S1

 

glad you are having relief from the myclonic jerks

 

it's so hard to *really* know what is causing an issue and what is not, during WD because some things are just going to get better on their own

 

that said,I think mag gyclinate as well as just plain  glycine can have opposite reactions, based on how much you take- it's all about balance!
 

the GABA/glumate 'system' in our brains is all about balancing things, and anything we do that messes with that finely tuned system, can cause one reation- or the OPPOSITE one

 

for example, during my taper I lost a lot of wt and was not able to eat much. Also had anxiety thru the roof and insomnia, so out of desperation I tried glycine. It def seemed to help me sleep more deeply and feel more relaxed at night. 
but after a couple of months, I noticed that not only was it not helping, it seemed to have the opposite effect.

I had some bad anxiety one day and took some glycine and it made it worse. At that point, I knew the glycine had "gone paradoxical" on me and I stopped taking it.

 

 

as our brains/bodies get back to normal as we taper, there are going to be times when we are low in one area, but that will change, and then it will be something different.

 

it's VERY hard not to give in to the temptation to try different supplements etc Esp when you are not sleeping well but keep in mind, sleep is a primary drive. You may not be getting all the sleep you want, but trust that your body is getting all that it needs.

It sounds absurd, I know but I read a couple of books on sleep and was convinced that insomnia is more a matter of perception. You are indeed sleeping, but you are not feeling rested and/or not getting as much sleep as you want or feel/believe that you need.

 

What helped me immensely was no longer worrying about how much sleep I got. This was hard to do but as soon as I stopped fretting over it, my sleep improved.

If I were to think about it, I might say, well I wish I slept more or I wish I slept better but I know that I sleep ENOUGH

 

and that's the important thing.

I forget, are you working?

you may wish to try going to bed later.

I've pushed my bedtime back and found that I'm waking up a LOT less often doing it this way.

 

anyway, as Shep mentioned, try not to make too many changes, cuz it can be hard to know what is helping and what is not

AND remember that many things that trouble you now are going to get better on their own

 

in fact, I now believe, in hindsight, that most of the things I tried - supplements, etc, only delayed my healing, but I don't feel badly about trying them because they got me thru those days of feeling desperate

 

I'd have done better if I'd learned to work on that feeling of desperation instead, but meh, you do what you can at the time, right??
:)

you are doing your best , and that's what matters.

 

maybe for awhile try something like distraction or relaxation tapes, or other non drug, non supplement methods 

if for no other reason than to change the mindset of ingesting things to make things better

 

it's kinda what got us all in this boat in the first place :/

 

 

;)

 

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Survivor1

Hi @Happy2Heal,

 

Thank you SO much for giving me your perspective.  I am trying to hang in there as best I can.

 

D/c'ing mag gly has reduced my jerking by 60%, the remaining I believe is due to all my drug change shenanigans.  The other big issue impacting my sleep, apart from the cortisol issues, is adrenaline spikes that cause alerting reactions everytime I am at rest.  So when I wake up in the morning at 2 am, I am wide awake from the cortisol rise, I then get the alerting sensations, compounding the issue.  Did you ever get these sensations? If so, how long did it take to resolve?

 

I know the best way to heal is not to take anything.  But at times I simply have to.  I am not going to take any more drugs, but I have am definitely considering supplements, even though it may delay my eventual healing.  Yesterday was my 14 year old son's birthday, and I knew I had to take something to get me better sleep as I had to drive him and his friends around.  I took Seriphos the night before and was able to get 6 broken hours of sleep, as opposed to 2-3.  I have a school counselor's meeting week, and I have to function for that, so I have to take something again... you get the picture. I don't work full time, but I have two teenagers who need me to function in a practical way.  If it weren't for them, I would try to slog through the insomnia until it improves.

 

Now, I am debating whether I should continue with the Seriphos every night, or just take it when needed.

 

I have actually done pretty well in terms of acceptance.  When I do not sleep well, I do not panic.  I tell myself that this is what it is.  But it is hard from a practical perspective when I need to get things physically done as it severely impacts my driving and my ability to focus (during meetings etc).

 

I do not have any other symptoms apart from the myoclonic jerks, insomnia and anxiety/shakiness during the day from the cortisol/adrenaline, and mild body aches.  The anx even fades by 2 pm.  So doing reasonably well in other ways.

 

I really appreciate you stopping by.  Look at you, such an inspiration!

 

All the best.

 

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Happy2Heal
2 hours ago, Survivor1 said:

Hi @Happy2Heal,

 

Thank you SO much for giving me your perspective.  I am trying to hang in there as best I can.

no problem Just trying to help, I hate to see you (or anyone) struggling with this stuff

D/c'ing mag gly has reduced my jerking by 60%, the remaining I believe is due to all my drug change shenanigans.  The other big issue impacting my sleep, apart from the cortisol issues, is adrenaline spikes that cause alerting reactions everytime I am at rest.  So when I wake up in the morning at 2 am, I am wide awake from the cortisol rise, I then get the alerting sensations, compounding the issue.  Did you ever get these sensations? If so, how long did it take to resolve?

so glad that d/cing the mag gly has made such a big difference for you, I hope that continues!! and improves!

I'm not sure what you mean by alerting sensations...?   To me, it was all the same thing, cortisol surges, adrenaline spikes, it was all awful: the pounding heart, the panicked feeling...

all of that faded over time.  And to be perfectly honest, while I don't dwell on it nor even mention it, I still have days when I wake up with the adrenaline or cortisol spikes (I don't know which is which..?) it doesn't last very long when I do have it, and I can sometimes get a bit of rest or even some sleep afterward. 

for me, personally, I can usually connect these times with something like overeating or esp eating too close to bedtime (I try not to eat for a min of 4 hrs before I go to bed, but that doesn't always work out) Sometimes it's just cuz I have a cold, or something very emotional happened that day (I recently had some losses and other difficult things happen) 

I know the best way to heal is not to take anything.  But at times I simply have to.  I am not going to take any more drugs, but I have am definitely considering supplements, even though it may delay my eventual healing.  Yesterday was my 14 year old son's birthday, and I knew I had to take something to get me better sleep as I had to drive him and his friends around.  I took Seriphos the night before and was able to get 6 broken hours of sleep, as opposed to 2-3.  I have a school counselor's meeting week, and I have to function for that, so I have to take something again... you get the picture. I don't work full time, but I have two teenagers who need me to function in a practical way.  If it weren't for them, I would try to slog through the insomnia until it improves.

 

Now, I am debating whether I should continue with the Seriphos every night, or just take it when needed.

 

I have actually done pretty well in terms of acceptance.  When I do not sleep well, I do not panic.  I tell myself that this is what it is.  But it is hard from a practical perspective when I need to get things physically done as it severely impacts my driving and my ability to focus (during meetings etc).

oh of course!! I worried all the time about falling or otherwise being in an accident early on, when I was sleeping no more than 20 mins twice a night. I fell once and sprained my ankle,  and I was worried I'd fall down the stairs or walk out in front of traffic because I was so tired and disoriented all the time. So yes, I get it, and it's also why I don't regret taking what was kind of desperate measures at the time, to try to get some sleep. I tried supplements, melatonin, lamictal, zyprexa (all at different times, mostly, at least LOL) it's hard to keep track of all this stuff when you're sleep deprived, for sure!

 

 

I do not have any other symptoms apart from the myoclonic jerks, insomnia and anxiety/shakiness during the day from the cortisol/adrenaline, and mild body aches.  The anx even fades by 2 pm.  So doing reasonably well in other ways.

yes!~~ those are great signs that you are WELL on your way to healing! that's great! you can look forward to days where the anxiety ends earlier in the day until it's gone or nearly gone (I still have a touch of anxiety when I wake up sometimes, but it's gone as soon as I get up)  I know it's often said here on SA that recovery is not linear, but in my case, at least, nothing that got better, ever went back to being bad again, if you know what I mean?
It's all been progressively better, each day. I would have waves of symptoms, I mean, but they were never as bad as say, the ones I had originally. It would be like, I'm having a usual day, and I get a window of feeling good-

and then the wave would just be at the same level I was before I had that window, or sometimes slightly milder.

I never went back to any severe symptoms and I"m so grateful for that, because apparently it's not that way for everyone.

I also know, however, the power of our beliefs and expectations, and learned that focusing on the improvements would only lead to more of the same.

so far, knock on wood LOL it's worked for me.

 

2 hours ago, Survivor1 said:

 

I really appreciate you stopping by.  Look at you, such an inspiration!

 

All the best.

 

meh, don't feel like an inspiration, but thanks. You are every bit as much of an inspiration yourself!!  I only have myself and my pet rats to look out for, you've got kids to look after. big difference there!

 

and you are doing so well! 

sending  "good deep restorative sleep" vibes your way!!!! may each and every night get better and better! 

and they will, you know, as you're already well on your way!

:)

 

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Survivor1

H2H, the level of detail you provided is so very helpful.  Sometimes it is good to know what people actually went through and that they pulled through. 

 

And so much for anxiety fading by 2 pm; it's now after 4 and still going strong :(.

 

Best. 

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Happy2Heal
46 minutes ago, Survivor1 said:

H2H, the level of detail you provided is so very helpful.  Sometimes it is good to know what people actually went through and that they pulled through. 

 

And so much for anxiety fading by 2 pm; it's now after 4 and still going strong :(.

 

Best. 

hi S1

sorry you've got an upswing in anxiety, hope that diminishes soon!

I'm glad the details helped you,  since I've found it's rarely helpful for me to remember or discuss previous symptoms. I've got to be in a really good strong place to do that.

I've found that moving forward and keeping a positive and hopeful outlook has been the best way to avoid any increase in anxiety.

 

I was just reading some of your earlier posts and you have come a long, long way!

you must be very proud of yourself for having so much strength and patience! (if not, you *should be* LOL)

 

forgive me if I'm a bit dense, but how long were you on psych meds all together? it looks from your signature that it was only a few years...?


I don't keep my full drug history in my signature, maybe I should.... maybe it would help other members because I've got such a long history with psych meds and I'm in such a good place now, in spite of all that...

so maybe that would give more people hope, I don't know.
What do you think?
It would be hard to summarize it all, but maybe just a summary of the names of all the meds and the total number of years on psych meds. ?

 

I don't even recall the names of them all, there were so many!

 

 

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Rosetta
6 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

I don't keep my full drug history in my signature, maybe I should.... maybe it would help other members because I've got such a long history with psych meds and I'm in such a good place now, in spite of all that...

so maybe that would give more people hope, I don't know.
What do you think?
It would be hard to summarize it all, but maybe just a summary of the names of all the meds and the total number of years on psych meds. ?

 

I don't even recall the names of them all, there were so many!

 

I think that would be very helpful, H2H.

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Happy2Heal
18 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

 

I think that would be very helpful, H2H.

ok I'm trying to compile a list now LOL

there were just so many, starting when I was 18 yrs old

:P

 

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Survivor1

I agree. It would be really helpful to have your drug details.

 

i was on drugs for “only” 4 years, but I rapid tapered all. 

 

thanks

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Happy2Heal

OK I updated my signature

I am sure I've forgotten some of the drugs I was given, but those would be the ones I was only on for a short while. I just realized that I was also given trazadone at some point but I think I only took a single dose. 


I was on the lexapro for the longest, and it was the hardest to get off of

OH! I should mention it's also the only drug I tapered off of, and even then I did it VERY poorly. 

I CT'ed off ALL the other drugs!

in some cases, I was immediately switched to another similar drug, though


Like, I started off on zoloft in the late 1990s, not sure of the  year. I was switched to celexa and then when lexapro came out in 2002, I went on that.
My dose was rapidly increased from 20mgs all the way to 40mgs and then I needed massive drugs to help me sleep. I was on absurd amounts of seroquel, for example.
I CT'ed off that, I also CTed off zyprexa, lithium and depakote and lamictal!

I was on all of those for several years each at least.

 

I had a love/hate relationship with lexapro. There was a certain side effect that I liked. But I hated feeling numb and disconnected.

So I tried to get off it several times, but I had no idea that it needed to be tapered, I was told repeatedly that there was no such thing as WD or what they started calling discontinuation syndrome. I just thought I "needed" it because I got so horribly messed up each time I tried to get off it!

I got down to zero at least 3 times. I went up and down in the dose so many times, it's a miracle, I think, that I'm doing so well.

This up and down stuff is what we are warned about; it's the thing that is supposed to be the most de stabilizing

 

so I have to wonder, IF I had done a decent taper, without any ups or downs, I have to wonder : would it have been easy for me?

considering I only had that one year of hell, and now I'm basically ok?
 

this is why I try to warn ppl to do the proper taper!! I wish I had, and I consider myself one of the luckier ones in that I'm doing fine now and I've only been to zero since last October

 

Imagine how well I could have done, if I'd gone about this the right way!!!
 

so, what do you think??

pretty incredible, eh?

and I am NOT the only one with this kind of drug history,  there's at least a half dozen with ones like mine and WORSE.

people who were put on drugs as kids! I was at least 18 

 

and now I am 62 and I have a good long life ahead of me, drug free!

I am a young 62 and am very healthy, I could easily live to 100 or more (I go to a Sr Center where we have several ppl over 100 and many in their 90s, some who look better than I do LOL)

 

it's never too late to get off these drugs and no case is hopeless.

that's how I feel, anyway!

 

:)

 

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Survivor1

H2H, wow! I am dizzy reading your list!  It is indeed amazing that you are doing as well as you are.  I am so glad for you.  At 62, you can now start enjoying your new drug-free life.  I hope to be there one day ...

 

Take care.

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Happy2Heal

I truly believe you will be S1

 

you are well on your way, seeing improvements all the time. what helped me was to focus more on the improvements and not the things that are still not the way I wanted them to be.

even if it doesn't speed up the process (and I have no clue if it makes a difference or not) it will make the passage of time that much better.

 

what we think about is mostly within our control. we can focus on upsetting things or we can focus on things that are pleasant.


I had a reminder of this yesterday. I have an issue with my apt, something that's needed to be fixed for a  very long time.  My friends keep telling me I "shouldn't have to live this way" (they are referring to the cracked, sagging ceiling in my BR with the holes and the horsehair plaster dust falling down on me)

So,  I got into a bad thinking groove where I was all like, "yeh, I shouldn't have to live like this, this needs to be taken care of..."  etc etc etc and I worked myself up into a bad state of anger and resentment and for what?

I'm not happy about it, but stewing over does nothing to change it, all it does it make me feel miserable.

I've done all that I can do to address the  issue with the landlord and the code enforcement people. 

Now the only thing I can do that makes any sense is to let go of it and move on, and decide if it's worth moving out over. (it's not, I can't find a comparable apt in my price range) So I"m back to acceptance and focusing on what I like about this place.

 

Believe me, waking up and being angry about the ceiling vs waking up and being happy that I've got my own washer/dryer so I don't have to schelp my laundry to a laundry mat in all kinds of weather, and being happy that I've got a nice big kitchen and room for all my sewing supplies, and that all my plumbing works and over all the apt is neat and clean...

 

BIG difference!! and it's simply my choice. No one is standing over me saying, think about all those things that make you miserable!  it's a choice.

 

see, we make these decisions all the time. what are we going to focus on, the good stuff or the bad?

 

focus on the good and you'll feel a whole lot better.

you don't act like the bad stuff doesn't exist, of course, you accept it and put it in the background of your life. do what you can to change a situation, when/if you can, but otherwise, don't dwell on it. 

 

I'm writing all of this to reinforce this lesson for myself, because I really did make myself miserable yesterday and now I feel kinda foolish about it all LOL

;)

 

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Survivor1

So, I've made the difficult decision to start a trial of lamictal.  

 

My current symptoms are mainly insomnia caused by loud head noises, jolts in the head that feel like myoclonic jerks without the movement (it's how I can best describe it), myoclonic jerks.  All happen at rest, not even drifting off to sleep.  I also wake up to severe sweating.  I cannot sleep more than 3 hours a night, despite trazodone, and the sleep is broken and light, almost Stage 1.  With all the alerting (literally feels like I am being alerted everytime), I feel like I am in torture chamber at night.

 

I am hopeful that lamictal will work, as when I use any supplement that affects glutamate (NAC and Seriphos), I get some relief from some of these symptoms. NAC relieves the myoclonic jerks, and Seriphos relieves the head noises and jolts, thereby giving me some additional sleep.  I used NAC for 6 nights, and Seriphos for 3

 

The irony is that otherwise I feel pretty decent: low grade anxiety and mild body aches (3/10) are the two other symptoms (ignoring tinnitus for now).

 

I am truly torn about this decision, but I need sleep to function for my kids.  I hope this doesn't go south ...

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Happy2Heal

I so hope this works for you. I was on a tiny dose for, let's see, from March to the end of August, what's that? about 5 mos.

I took a really small amount, never more than 2mgs but usually less (sorry I didn't keep good notes on this, but it'll probably be different for you anyway)

 

It did not help me to sleep any longer, but the sleep I got seemed deeper and more restful.

 

 

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Survivor1

Hi H2H,

 

I am simply looking for the alerting sensations to go down.  If that can happen, then I believe trazodone can do its job.  Fingers crossed.  Will start at 0.5 mg and see how that goes.  Did you feel any different, any side effects at 2mg?

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Happy2Heal
1 hour ago, Survivor1 said:

 Did you feel any different, any side effects at 2mg?

 

 

I felt a tiny bit off balance, which is how I always felt when I was on the supposed "therapeutic dose" as a "mood stabilizer". 
It made me feel like I couldn't tell where I was in space.....

but at the tiny dose, I only felt that way a TINY bit LOL

 

If I got a headache, I knew it was time to adjust the dose (downward, I believe, but check with Alto's thread, my memory is not good, and I could have that backwards)

 

I tried to go a bit higher but it seemed to be like with other things, it seemed like a higher dose went paradoxical. 

I'm sure it's a very individual thing.

 

 

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Survivor1

Hello H2H and ChessieCat,

 

Thanks for the feedback, link.  Will report in a few days ...

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AliG

Be careful , S. You don't want to make it worse. You will have to taper off another drug ~ I hope it goes well.

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Survivor1
4 hours ago, AliG said:

I hope it goes well.

 

I hope so AliG.  I understand having to taper a second drug, but I cannot function with two kids on the sleep I am getting.  No windows/waves, just 2-3 hours, in a predictable pattern.  Oh well...

 

By the way, in your journey did you suffer from profuse sweating?  I am up at 2 am like clockwork, drenched.  

 

Thanks for stopping by.

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AliG

S. I get it  ~ sometimes there is too much pain and fatigue ~ and it goes on ... and on ...

 

I still have hot flushes/ flashes all day/ night and my sleep is still somewhat erratic ...

 

Even after almost 4 years. I still have cortisol rushes and am awakenings. I'm so very tired~ it's 6.30 am here and I've had no sleep.

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Survivor1

 

2 hours ago, AliG said:

I'm so very tired~ it's 6.30 am here and I've had no sleep.

 

So sorry, my friend.   I wish that you can plough through this, and come out the other side, better than ever.  Hugs.

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Survivor1

Update:

 

Started 1 mg Lamictal on March 19.  Immediately sleep improved to 4-5 hours with 2-3 awakenings per night.  Alerting sensations - head noises, myoclonus - reduced by 70%. 

 

Increased to 1.25 mg March 23.  Sleep improved to 6 hours (4 awakenings).  Alerting sensations still reduced.  Still feeling unrested despite 6 hours sleep, but much more functional than without Lamictal (2-3 hours broken sleep).  I do not plan on increasing the dosage.

 

Last two days, have been experiencing painful stomach cramps and diarrhea.  Looked up side effects of Lamictal and saw diarrhea as a one of them.  

 

I was wondering whether others have had abdominal cramps on this drug. Could it be that it is a start-up side effect and could abate as my body acclimates? (Bear in mind that I am having some WD, strong shakiness 5/10 and milder body aches 3/10, from discontinuing seroquel from 0.5 mg, 7 weeks ago, but have not had any cramps until 2 days ago, four days after starting Lamictal.)  

 

Thanks.

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Happy2Heal

hi S1

I did have intermittent stomach pains (not sure I'd call them cramps, it was a sharp pain) and also some diarrhea while on the lamictal but it did not coincide with starting it.

It may have coincided with an increase, however sadly I did not keep my notes about that.


the fact that it helped to to sleep more deeply more than outweighed any potential side effects I might have been having, so I never considered stopping it for stomach pains. I'd only have considered stopping it if it had made my sleep issues worse (or increased anxiety, I can handle physical symptoms far better than lack of sleep or anxiety)

 

I am so glad to hear it seems to be helping so far!!

 

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Survivor1

Hi H2H,

 

Thank you for letting me know of your experience.  So it seems that my GI issues are from Lamictal after all.  Think I will remain on my current dosage for now as it does help with sleep.  But for me, the cramps are strong, so hope I am able to weather them for as long as is needed to get my sleep back on track.

 

As always, you have been a great help.  Much appreciated! Best.

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HopefulOne1

Hi Survivor1 and everybody else!

 

i started searching this site for info about different sleep aids such as Seriphos and magnesium, l-theonine, etc. Waking at about 3am is really getting to me and I generally fall asleep just fine. When searching the web I came across Seriphos and then over here this thread came up.

 

Although it sounds like a lot of people have been helped by Seriphos, I think I read above that someone mentioned it interacts with glutamate and therefore could cause a negative reaction with regard to anxiety? 

 

Survivor1, you also mentioned that your discontinuing mag glycine? After reading so many recommendations for mag I did some research cuz the store carried multiple varieties and I read that mag glycine is supposed to be the most relaxing one. Is this not true? I bought it and I’ve been using it for about one week and it hasn’t helped. Maybe I’m experiencing the same negative effect? 

 

I also started to introduce l-theonine (one thing at a time) and that hasn’t helped either, which is why I started to explore other things and Seriphos came up.

 

i do agree with H2H’s feedback about the mental aspect of all this and I’m trying to work on that. Last night as I got closer to bed time I felt this ball of nervousness in my gut and I told my wife “this if ridiculous!” “It’s only sleep ..wtf!!” ..so it’s amazing how quickly one can become almost scared to sleep. Something we normally take for granted is now causing so much trouble. 

 

Anyway, I’m going to do more searches but thought I’d chime in here.

 

Btw survivor1, is the lamictal still working for you? I haven’t researched that one yet. Seriphos didn’t work well enough?

 

Hopefully things have improved for you!

 

 

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HopefulOne1

Hi Survivor1, I read through some of your experiences and see that you stopped taking mag gly because it may have been causing your jerks. I also see that you discontinued Seriphos after a very short trial. No need to re-explain anything! I’ll try to search out my questions in other posts. Still hope your doing better! 

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Survivor1

He

3 hours ago, HopefulOne1 said:

Hi Survivor1, I read through some of your experiences and see that you stopped taking mag gly because it may have been causing your jerks. I also see that you discontinued Seriphos after a very short trial. No need to re-explain anything! I’ll try to search out my questions in other posts. Still hope your doing better! 

 

Hi HopefulOne1,  I sent you a PM.  Take care.

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Survivor1

Update:

 

It's been a while since I was on.  I was waiting until some time elapsed to see how things progress.

 

I am still not stable from the d/c of seroquel (stopped at 0.5mg), and the simultaneous drop of 0.8 mg trazodone.  Since my last update over a month ago, things went downhill pretty fast.  Lately there have been some improvements, but we know the windows/waves pattern so I am not over the hump yet.

 

Current symptoms:

Sleep: am managing 5 - 6 hours, broken by 3-4 awakenings.  At least now if I cobble together 6 hours, I feel rested, which was not the case a month ago.

Anxiety:  For many days, through the roof, 10/10.  Yesterday however, zero anxiety all day!  Today, low grade 1-3/10.  I am aware this could go back to unbearable, but am appreciating the respite. 

Body aches:  Moderate to intense.  Somehow manageable, not as debilitating as during my remeron w/d. Am able to go for my 3.5 mile walks four times or more a week.

IBS:  Bloating, food intolerances continue.  Am able to manage these by eliminating trigger foods. Also occasional mild nausea and abdominal pain, soft stool.

Myoclonus, head noises, alerting sensations preventing sleep:  Definite improvement in these (see Lamical connection below).

Hot flashes/sweating at night: Continues (Started from w/d from remeron)

Paresthesia: Burning skin. This is manageable.

Tinnitus: Continues from remeron w/d.  Seems loud at times, but overall, I do not think it has worsened since it first appeared.

 

(A few other symptoms like weight gain, continued hair loss and mild brain zaps are tolerable, or I've developed strategies to cope with them for now.)

 

Lamictal:

I want to address my use of Lamictal.  Three weeks ago, I increased it to 2mg.  I feel that I have seen an improvement in the particular cluster of symptoms of myoclonus, head noises and alerting sensations.  I have had one or a combo of these symptoms for over 18 months when I c/t'd seroquel, and were exacerbated by my remeron d/c.   Now, I have seen a definite reduction in their intensity.  It used to be that I couldn't lie down to nap as I would start jerking like a fish on deck. Now the jerks are faint.  I feel that Lamictal is of benefit to me.  I hope to not increase the dosage; if my symptoms continue to be as they are, I can manage them.

 

Plan
I am waiting to stabilize from all this turmoil (in the last 18 months, I c/t'd seroquel, reinstated it, reduced trazodone by 20%, d/c'd remeron from a too high dose of 2.4 mg, and d/c'd seroquel, because of possible drug interactions).  I realize that stabilization could take a while so I plan to hold for as long as it takes.  And then hold for an additional 2-3 months.  I am really kindled and need to be kind to myself.

 

I hope everyone is in a good place with their tapers, stabilization, etc.  

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HopefulOne1

Hi Survivor1 - it’s good to see that you had some improvements! It’s a long journey, for sure. Like you said, be kind to yourself and take care.

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Survivor1
7 hours ago, HopefulOne1 said:

Hi Survivor1 - it’s good to see that you had some improvements! It’s a long journey, for sure. Like you said, be kind to yourself and take care.

 

Hello HopefulOne1,

 

Thanks for stopping by my thread.  I have been laying low lately, as am in a brutal wave for a while.  Seems like everytime I see "improvements", I get hit, so will stay out of sight for now.  

 

I see you have started tapering.  Do what is best for you, just pay attention to your body, and hold when necessary.  Hang in there, it has to get better - or at least that is what I tell myself ...🙄.  take care.

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Survivor1

Update:  

 

Not doing well.  In fact, I have been getting worse.  I had actually seen some improvement but have seen them all wiped away by increasing symptoms.  

 

Needless to say, I was puzzled because at 4 months off only 0.5 mg seroquel and 0.8 mg trazodone, I should be seeing marked improvement (and had actually seen some until about two weeks ago when things began to worsen).  Then, I seem to have found the culprit:  inconsistent dosing of lamictal.

 

Two months ago, I started lamictal.  I have been dissolving a 25 mg tablet in water and taking 2 mg out, and reusing the suspension for two additional days. Only this past week, I noticed that when I dump the remaining solution after the third usage, there was quite a bit of residue stuck to the bottom of the container.  (I use a regular plastic container.)  So, it seems that the first night I get 2 mg and the following two nights, less than 2.  This has been going on for the entire time I have been taking lamictal!  This situation really stinks because I had seen improvement when I first started lamictal.  From now on I will be making a fresh solution every night, and hoping I stabilize soon.  I don't know if anyone tapering has had this issue with lamictal, or it's just my container.

 

The most frightening symptom is the head noises and jolts while drifting off to sleep.  I had seen improvement in these, but now they have reverted to being terrible.  Other improvements that have been wiped away are night sweats, decreased hair loss, shakiness, body pain, brain zaps.  Seems like I'm back at square one. I can't believe I have put my poor body through all this instability, don't know how much more it can take ...The only thing that has kept me going is 5+ hours of sleep, thanks to the severe fatigue.

 

Added to this debacle is some serious neuroemotions about my weight.  I have gained weight on trazodone.  I am trying to come to terms with the fact that it will be several years before I see any weight loss, and am hoping that I can arrest the gain somehow.  But when I look in the mirror and see the heavy me with severely thinning hair, I do not feel good at all.  

 

Hope everyone is seeing improvements in their situation.

 

 

 

 

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Survivor1

Its been 6 days of proper, consistent dosing of lamictal and things are still rough.  Anxiety, body aches, head noises and whooshes, and now insomnia!  All are back.  The WD from lamictal is ROUGH!  I can't believe I did this to myself, have been beating myself up over this inadvertent screw-up.  Hoping for stability soon ...

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Spideygsm

Survivor1,

 

Sorry you're going through this. I've been on a very high dose of Lamictal for years. I haven't had any side effects other than a numb feeling where I feel like it's suppressing my brain. However, it has helped stop my mood from bouncing all over the place.

 

I've been taking psych meds for about 49 years. Started when I was 8. I've never had a proper taper per SA recommendations from any of my medications. The closest I've ever come was a rapid taper off Zyprexa that started the beginning of Dec 17 and ending March 4 2018. I had serious heath issues caused by Zyprexa side effects and had to stop ASAP. I still suffer from insomnia and anxiety but manageable. A couple of the withdrawals I experienced coming off Zyprexa were real loud ringing in my ears, hearing noises in my house that weren't there (my wife and son both said there was no noise when I was hearing something), and also had body twitches and my jaw would open and slam shut for no reason. I have always had ringing in my ears but nothing like I experienced coming off Zyprexa.

 

I read your topic because while withdrawing from Zyprexa, I experienced very severe insomnia and I was desperate for help. About 5 weeks ago my Doctor put me on Trazodone. I got up to 150mg before I started to see any improvement. Instead of getting 0-1 hours sleep I'd get 1-2 hours sleep. About 1-1/2 weeks ago I also started taking CBD oil. After a couple of nights I started sleeping well (both falling asleep and staying asleep). I don't know if it is the CBD that helped.  I just seems a coincidence that things got better once I started the CBD. 2 nights ago I reduced my Trazodone from 150mg to 100mg. I didn't notice anything the first night and last night it took awhile to fall asleep and I woke up several times during the night but I still managed to sleep about 6 hours which has always been great for me. My doctor told me to taper: 150-100, 100-75, 75-50, 50-37.5, 37.5-25, 25-12.5, then zero. She said to hold each taper about 7-10 days. My Doctor said I may experience insomnia but it should resolve itself quickly and to keep taking the CBD since it seems to be working. This is faster than recommended by SA but I generally (not always) follow my Doctor's advice. 

 

I can only speak from my drug experience and don't know the pharmacology or drug interactions. I wonder if the withdrawals and symptoms you're experiencing are being caused by the Seroquel and not necessarily the Lamitical or Trazodone. The symptoms you've described are common symptoms from all of the antipsychotic withdrawals. My Doctor will generally only adjust/change one medication at a time so she has a better idea to manage what's going on. During my Zyprexa withdrawals she did add a few medications which were quickly discontinued when they didn't work. I just wonder if that's what's going on with your situation. Many changes have been made and I just wonder if Traz is really the problem? Also, for the most part, all of us are put on these heavy meds for a reason. Once a medication is discontinued, the can be rebound effects from an underlying condition the existed prior to even starting the medication.

 

I'm very interested to see how we both do coming off Trazodone. I don't think it'll be too difficult for me since I've been on and off so many drugs over the years and have really only had difficult withdrawals from Zyprexa, Klonipin/Xanax, and Ambien. I also know that everybody is different. What I experience may be difficult from your experience. I wish you luck and please give me some advice on Trazodone if you can.

 

 

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Survivor1

@Spideygsm, thank you for your advice and telling me your story.  Wow, I can't believe you were on psych meds since 8!! And kudos for trying to get off, you give me inspiration.

 

I am still not doing well, in fact today is one of the worst yet.  There is nothing else I can do for relief, short of adding more drugs (done that), or updosing current ones (don't think that will work), so I am hunkering down for a long period of instability.  I find that if I sleep ok, all else is somewhat tolerable, and the intense fatigue I have been getting provides me with 5 hours of sleep.  I truly believe it is the lamictal mess-up that is causing my problems, but I have had so many changes in such a short time that my CNS has little resiliency, adding to my woes.

 

I see from your signature that you are no longer on lamictal.  Did you taper off or discontinued abruptly?  Any withdrawal from that?

 

Finally, I would really advise that you do not taper trazodone just yet.  Since you have had to discontinue Zyprexa after a short taper, you may (in all likelihood) start to have withdrawal from that, especially since you have been on it for so long.  When I discontinued Seroquel, I was fine for exactly three months, then things became bad, very bad.  That period was easily the worst ever for me, and I had to reinstate (took 3 additional months to stabilize on 0.5 mg Seroquel which I finally discontinued this past Feb).  I implore you to wait for another few months to make sure that you are OK from the Zyprexa discontinuance, before you think of tapering trazodone.  Don't be in such a hurry to get off trazodone (especially since you are not having an adverse reaction to it); sleep is so important, at least trazodone is helping with that for now.  In my experience, contrary to your doctor's advice, insomnia does not resolve quickly, but everyone is different ...

 

Since you have already dropped Trazodone to 100, I would stay there.  In fact, 150 mg is usually too high a dose for sleep, and may be activating instead of sedating. Most people do well on 50-100 mg for sleep.  Regarding tapering trazodone, that would depend on how resilient you are, how long you have been on it, etc.  We can talk more about it when you feel you are safe from zyprexa.  

 

I wish you the best!

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Spideygsm

Survivor1

 

I need to fix my signature.  I am taking 450mg Lamictal. My apologies. I also take 150mg Wellbutrin, 100mg Trazodone, and 20mg CBD. That’s my current regiment. 

 

You actually told me the same thing my Doctor did. She said to stay on the Trazodone and the CBD for awhile to stabilize from the Zyprexa withdrawal.  I’m running kind of scared in that I see a situation like you’re in with Traz and don’t want to go into a full blown withdrawal like you’re enduring and like I just went through with Zyprexa. I know I’m not out of the woods.

 

I don’t ask people their medical condition. I don’t mind sharing mine. I’m severe Bipolar 1 with severe depression and severe anxiety disorder. Even with drugs such as Benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers, I never feel normal, still have depression, and still have anxiety. Both of these issues cause insomnia. I feel like for me, the symptom's I experienced during the Zyprexa withdrawal were caused by the drug but my body feels like I’ve rebounded to where I was at pre-Zyprexa. 

 

I gonna take your advice along with my Doctors and keep taking the Trazodone. I just want to get off as many drugs as possible. Thanks for your help. Keep us advised 

 

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Survivor1

 

 

26 minutes ago, Spideygsm said:

Even with drugs such as Benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers, I never feel normal, still have depression, and still have anxiety.

 

Spideygsm,  I wanted to mention that improper tapering of these drugs can cause the very condition they are trying to treat.  I have never had psychiatric issues (save for a three-month bout of post-partum depression 17 years ago), but when I dropped Seroquel 18 months ago, I developed the worst anxiety and depression ever.  Did not think I would pull through, but reinstatement did the trick and I was  relatively fine after that.  

 

Not to make light of your situation, but do you think that many of your psychiatric issues could be caused by the drugs/high doses/combos you have been on and you are actually not bipolar?  Just food for thought.  I do applaud you wanting to reducing your drug load.

 

I do not plan to reduce trazodone for quite a while.  I need to stabilize first, and don't know how long that will take.  And I'm glad to see that you will try to stabilize too.  I will definitely support you through this.  

 

Take care.

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