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davyd3: help for my husband


davyd3

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I am not sure if I am posting this the right way and I am not sure anything can be done to help my husband but I can tell you he is in immeasurable pain, the likes of which I have never seen.

 

My husband  (MH) had been taking Zoloft for 24 years and had cut back b/c of tinnitus and hyperacusis (nothing compared to what he is now suffering).  His depression spiked and Instead of his doctor checking the current dose of Zoloft my husband was taking he instead prescribed seroquel (took for 5 months including taper off).  MH had increased his Zoloft dose back to 75 mg before being prescribed the seroquel.  The doctor told him he did not care what does of Z he took b/c the seroquel  worked on different receptors.  The seroquel did nothing to help.  The increase to 75 mg Z may have helped although it is hard to tell.  Where the real damage came in was in the switch from Zoloft to Lexapro.  B/C there was cross tapering of 2 SSRIs, akathisia developed.  MH tried to get back on the Z after just 8 days of the cross tapering but it was like that movie the "perfect storm"--he could not take it b/c of akathisia.--the akathisia  would not let him in.  MH did a fairly quick tapering of 7wks ending in January 2016 with no help from doctor who merely said not too fast and not too slow.The akathisia raged on and propranolol is used to combat the  akathisia syx.  We went to a new doctor and was a  prescribed small dose of remeron which eventually exacerbated the akathisia.

 

 Then we started reading and found this site among other articles that talked about reinstatement.  The Z was reinstated 8 weeks after the taper at only 6.25 mg although the ultimate dose was 100mg.  After about 4 days the Z built up and the akathisia worsened, so we stopped.  Then in April I found a information on this site that suggested a teeny amount so I cut the Z medication to less than 2 mg to try another reinstatement.  That teeny amount also caused the akathisia to rage on after a few day build up.  The akathisia continues to this day but there is of course also syx of SSRI withdrawal.  MH is essentially bedridden most of the time in complete and utter fatigue.  His doctor had him try mirapex but the side effects were too much and now wants him to try selegelline, a MAO B inhibitor. (doctor saying these effected only dopamine)  My take is this will make the syx worse and I don't believe that only dopamine will be affected. (but I so do not trust the psychiatric world at all)

 

If the only condition was A/D depressant w/d this would be a no brainer--a smaller amount of the Z would have stabilized the condition and we could do the slower tapering as suggested on this site.

 

One more thing  I should mention is that MH does take klonopin which does help with sleep and controlling the akathisia (he also had taken that for 24 years with no tolerance in that he does not require that his dose be raised higher and higher and is very careful to keep it at or below his 24 year prescribed amount).  He is on some support groups who have said to taper off the K but I believe this would only increase his suffering.  He also continues to take some propranolol when the akathisia rages.  He does rock and move but not constantly as videos I have seen of fellow akathisia suffers.  The akathisia manifests as he describes it as unbearable inner torture and torment although the syx have somewhat decreased since all Z reinstatements were stopped as he used to have what he described as a blow torch under his skin 24/7 and now only has this from time to time.  He recently tried exercising and this has caused the akathisia to spike for a least going on two weeks now.

 

What kind of doctor can help?  In my book psychiatrists are out as I it seems none of them know how to treat the SSRI W/D co-morbid with the akathisia.  We do live in the East Bay of the SF Bay Area and finally did see a psychiatrist  in SF who acknowledged PAWS but he still wanted to try different medications b/c the mental anguish (presenting as severe depression) is so florid, and even suggested hospitalization.   I did read a story from one of the moderators altostrata that hospitalization made her worse.  I know everyone is different but I do not trust psych hospitals.  We are so afraid of further exacerbating the akathisia --I do not know which is worse , the akathisia or PAWS b/c I do not live in MH skin. 

 

MH is a beautiful caring person and it is so hard to see this happening every day especially as the PAWS worsens.  As I said he is suffering an immense amount of fatigue even though he is sleeping-in the fact the only time he feels peace is while sleeping.  Except if he falls asleep during the day he awakens from what he calls "toxic naps".  

 

I hope I have given the full picture and am wondering if anyone here has any suggestions on what can be done at this point.  MH is so afraid that b/c he was on the Z for 24 years and stopped almost CT he will never heal and we read stories of others 6-10 years out that are still in pain.  How much pain is someone supposed to suffer?  I used to think of myself as a strong person and I was able to handle everything for months but I am crumbling and need to find my way back to my own life--but it is so hard to watch this horrible curse and I am having trouble with intertwining our lives.

 

thank you to anyone who can help MH.

Edited by scallywag
tags added

zoloft -mainly 100 mg 1992 to January 2016 (tapered off Nov 21, 2015-Jan 9 2016) -over about 1 year  ( 2014 to July 2015 )dropped from 100 mg to 75 to 50 mg then back to 75mg in August 2015

klonopin 1992 to present 4mg

lexapro  8 days October 2015 with Zoloft causing akathisia,  Z back up to 100 mg when diagnosed w/ akathisia ( approx 1 mo later)

tried to reinstate Zoloft 6.25 mg -took about 10 days March 2016 -spiked akathisia

again tried to reinstate Zoloft  april 2016 at 1-2mg (very small doses)-spiked akathisia  again about 10 days

Remeron -february 2016 to april 2016 7.5 mg up to 20 mg (20 mg almost immediately spiked akathisia, but 7.5 gave akathisia syx like worms crawling in skin and forehead

mirapex june 2017 took .25 mg 3 days, too much backed off and took .125 mg 1wk-both does exacerbated depression

Propranolol for akathisia syx 20-60 mg PRN

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hello davyd3, sounds like you and your husband are having a heck of a time. a moderator or more experienced member will be with you shortly. I'm just the welcoming party. while you're waiting, if you could put your hubby's drug history in your signature it would go a long way toward everyone being able to quickly ascertain his situation and offer assistance. a drug signature is the gray text at the bottom of my post and to fill one out just follow the instructions here: Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

also if he's taking multiple meds at once you should run them through the drug interaction finder here: http://www.drugs.com...teractions.html

 

information pertinent to his situation may be found in these links: 

     What is withdrawal syndrome?    

     About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms    

 

if you wish to search this site on your own the most effective way to do so is to type surviving antidepressants into google along with key words for whatever you're looking for. an example would be "surviving antidepressants akathisia". the search function built into this site can be hit or miss. some find google is more effective.

 

if you have any questions feel free to ask them here in your intro thread, and check out the other forums on site for a wealth of helpful info.

 

sorry you're in this situation, however its good that you found this site. it can be a very helpful place with very helpful people in the same situation as you.

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello davyd3 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)!
 
You and MH have been through the psych meds mill. I'm sorry to hear of MH's experience and that he continues to suffer so intensely. People do heal and recover even after experiences like MH's. 

 
I'd like to clarify MH's current medications and the meds history over the last 12-18 months:

 

Meds events

1992: started

Zoloft _____ mg and

Klonopin ______ mg

------------------------------------

Early 2015 - Reduced Zoloft dose from _____ to _____ due to tinnitus and hyperacusis;

Result symptoms of depression spiked

Mid-2015 - Increased Zoloft dose to 75 mg

Mid-2015 post-Zoloft increase: Added Seroquel, no apparent benefit

Fall-2015 - Tapered off Seroquel, total time taking: 5 months including taper off

Fall-2015 - Cross-taper switch Zoloft to Lexapro, akathisia developed

8 days into crossover: Stop crossover, reinstate Zoloft to ___ mg

Nov 2015 - start fast taper of Zoloft from ____ mg

Jan 2016 - last dose of Zoloft

early 2016 - Started Propranol for akathisia

??? 2016 - trial of Remeron, discontinued after ________ days/weeks

March 2016 - reinstated Zoloft 6.25 mg, discontinued after 4 days

April 2016 - reinstated Zoloft 2 mg, discontinued ???? after ____ days/weeks

Mid 2016 - trial of Mirapex (pramipexole),  discontinued after ____ days/weeks

 

 

Current meds:

Klonopin ____ mg for sleep

Propranol _____ mg as needed to ease akathisia symptoms

 

Would you either confirm that this is correct or post the correct information?

 

About doctors who understand neuro-psych meds withdrawal syndrome: Please check this topic, there may be someone in your area:

 

Recommended Doctors, Therapists, or Clinics

 

Watching a spouse go through this requires a great deal from you.  As someone who has watched a partner struggle and suffer intensely, I strongly recommend that you get support for yourself.  Remember the oxygen mask advice from airline safety instructions: Put your own mask on first before helping the person next to you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

THANK YOU OOPS 44 - I think I filled out the signature page regarding reinstatement attempts etc.

zoloft -mainly 100 mg 1992 to January 2016 (tapered off Nov 21, 2015-Jan 9 2016) -over about 1 year  ( 2014 to July 2015 )dropped from 100 mg to 75 to 50 mg then back to 75mg in August 2015

klonopin 1992 to present 4mg

lexapro  8 days October 2015 with Zoloft causing akathisia,  Z back up to 100 mg when diagnosed w/ akathisia ( approx 1 mo later)

tried to reinstate Zoloft 6.25 mg -took about 10 days March 2016 -spiked akathisia

again tried to reinstate Zoloft  april 2016 at 1-2mg (very small doses)-spiked akathisia  again about 10 days

Remeron -february 2016 to april 2016 7.5 mg up to 20 mg (20 mg almost immediately spiked akathisia, but 7.5 gave akathisia syx like worms crawling in skin and forehead

mirapex june 2017 took .25 mg 3 days, too much backed off and took .125 mg 1wk-both does exacerbated depression

Propranolol for akathisia syx 20-60 mg PRN

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

davyd:  I saw the other post you made about something not working.

 

You can post a new reply in this thread either by hitting the "Reply to this topic" button at the top of the page, or scrolling down to below the last post and just start typing in the Quick post window.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

In response to your question of "what type of doctor can help,' I think it's important to face reality up front.  There are no doctors that can help with what your husband is suffering through, what I have now suffered with for two years, and what many on this site and the western world are suffering with from these drugs.  Most, if not all medical doctors, especially psychiatrists, won't even recognize that what your husband is suffering through is real and is not some expression of 'mental illness.'  The only type of doctor that can help is the one who will continue prescribing the drugs so he can hopefully taper off slowly.  Unfortunately, doctors are human too.

 

It's highly likely that the klonopin is playing a significant role in all of this.  Just because a 'professional' is prescribing it at what is considered a 'low dose' doesn't mean you can't form a physical dependency on it. I formed a physical dependency to Ativan on less than 0.5 mg used a couple times a week (i.e., less than prescribed) over the course of a year and have paid for it ever since (4 years ago).   I can't imagine what 24 years would do at any dose level.

 

Also, it's very important not to get further drawn into the 'medical model' of mental health.  Your husband's mental anguish is not presenting as severe depression.  It's mental anguish, period, and it's likely due to the neurological dysfunction wrought by 24 years of ingesting a chemical.

 

Read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker if you want to understand why your husband is suffering

 

And one last word of caution...any time a doctor claims that any drug "only effects one thing" I would walk out of the office.

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Davy and MH - 

 

I'm so sorry to hear what has happened to you.  I can't imagine the immeasurable pain the two of you have suffered.

 

You've received some good links here, and I have deep empathy with what happens when - what you believed was helpful and trusted as "medicine" - turns out to be harmful.  Like a dog that was loyal to you all your life, then turns on you.

 

These drugs were never intended for long term use.  The "drugs for life" model of psych drugging is mis-practice at best, more likely mal-practice.  I hope you can find a practitioner who truly understands this, and has your husbands long term health as his primary concern. 

 

The Whitaker book recommended above is excellent for explaining how these drugs came to be the massive money makers that they are - and how easy it has become to send a patient out with a script that becomes a life sentence.  Kelly Brogan has a new book, "A Mind of Your Own" which was written for women, but which also applies to men.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201107/antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome

 

talks a bit about the widespread nature of this phenomenon.

 

Chemical Imbalance Is a Myth; Stop the Lies, Please - is a discussion of this dominant model, and how it has come to affect our lives.

 

But there is hope.  My own husband had a stroke - and has a golf ball sized hole in his brain.  He lose the ability to read and write, and made his living as a data analyst.  We were excited by the research done my Norman Doidge on Neuroplasticity, explored in his book, "The Brain that Changes Itself."

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2761-neuroplasticity-and-limbic-retraining/

 

My husband worked incredibly hard - granted, his injury did not have this painful emotional and akathisia component, and was back to work in 3 months.  Only those closest to him could tell how hard he had to work at it.

 

So neuroplasticity is real:  the brain can change itself.  

 

 

Please, let us know what you find out.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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