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AntiDFree: Prozac and Klonazepam free with intense WD at 15 months


AntiDFree

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Hello everyone.

 

I'm very, very grateful to have found this site before I found my way back to a secluded ledge at the Grand Canyon I found four years ago with my now ex-wife. The ledge had no appeal then, but has come up repeatedly during rough periods.

 

I just found this site and I just came to understand just how extensive and pervasive my WD symptoms have become. They did not really start to become that active until 5 months ago. Now they rage.

 

I have to laugh and cry at the same time because currently I am living in a travel trailer and I have no idea where my next stop or step is going to be. 5 months ago I sold my condo, closed my art business, ended an engagement, bought a travel trailer, and have been staying with a friend in rural VA. Now I'm in Phoenix, AZ.

 

Several times in the last 3 months I have tried to start over by making decisions and implementing a plan of action for work and living arrangements and have been unable to follow through with even the beginnings of restabalizing my life situation. Once I start to initiate changes to my situation, violently intense emotions begin to arise and my ability to think clearly falls away. I abandon the plan and fall back.

 

Strangely, in the midst of this pattern, I have been in some intense therapy sessions, uncovered and addressed some deep wounded issues from my past that I'm sure were being masked by the meds.

 

I had a 7 week period recently during the therapy where every day was filled with almost nonstop continuous waves of shame, sadness, and some rage (all I believe being old repressed and masked emotions but probably way more intense from WD or is it the sum total of repressed emotions finally getting out).

 

It's like I'm split at times with two completely different personalities with two completely different agendas.

I just read the posts about neuro emotions and realized I have been experiencing them intensely. They have been running my life since I become abstinent.

 

There is a lot of intense healing going on inside me physically and emotionally, and I didn't realize just how deep it goes. I am not the same person anymore and it frightens and excites me at the same time. It's like a spiritual journey through hell. I feel at times very peaceful and supported by the universe and at times like a want to die.

I will stop there and ask for the wisdom of the forum for what I have posted.

 

I am a sponge for your help now.

 

Thank you!!

Mark

Edited by scallywag
Added space between paragraphs (ChessieCat); tags added (scallywag)
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mark, and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for completing your signature.  It makes it easier for us to see your history at a glance.  Because of you comment about the ledge I have included SA's link regarding feeling desperate as well as other links to information which you may find contain helpful information.

 

  1. for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal
  2. One Theory of Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome
  3. glenmullen_symptoms_AS Appendix 1.pdf
  4. Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization
  5. derealization-or-depersonalization  Post #10
  6. Shame, Guilt, Regret and Self-Criticism
  7. Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness
  8. Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms
  9. Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety
  10. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

This is your Intro/Update topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi Mark.

 

Like you, I'm a newbie, but it sounds like you came off the drugs awfully fast! Be sure to read the links ChessieCat posted. These drugs we are coming off are usually more addictive than the kind you find on the street--which means the withdrawals can be worse than anyone who's never taken them can imagine! It's no wonder you're struggling to make decisions and find out who you really are. (I have struggled with those two things since I was placed on large quantities of psych drugs 23 years ago. Used to think it was my "illness." Now I know better.)

 

You've been through a lot. Go easy on yourself. If possible avoid making major life decisions till you feel better.

 

Remember, you will get better! :)

I have been on so many medications since I was 20 and diagnosed as "mentally ill" that I have lost count.

Right now, however I have been taking:

Lamictal 25 mg: I went on it in March for only 13 days, then cold turkeyed off when I thought I was developing a rash because of it. Pretended to go back on it, but didn't. Not the best idea, but I had no way to reduce the dose. Anyhow I had no adverse withdrawal reactions, probably because I was on it for less than 2 weeks.

Abilify 20 mg:  I have been on this for several years. Actually at least half the time I have spent as a meds "consumer" I have been on this nasty pill. I finished tapering off it at the beginning of 2016. Was reinstated during the 4 days I spent in a psych ward in March. Tapered off it again in 10 weeks, from say March 15-June 30. Needless to say this is not exact, but I remember I was off it before July 4 (patriotic holiday in America!) I am doing fine, although I know I may have to wait till Christmas or later to know I am out of the danger zone for withdrawal psychosis. The main thing I notice about being off is that I no longer crave sweets all the time and am losing weight without trying. Good thing since I used to weigh 350 lbs.!

Effexor 150 mg: This is the real trouble-maker. Since I have no other way of tapering I do the best I can by bead counting. I unscrew the gel capsule and count out the tiny micro-capsules or beads inside. This works fairly well with the generic time release version. Only 120 beads to count of almost identical size. Lately I have been "holding" at 20 bead removal due to some major stress in my life. Moving hundreds of miles from my old home and a bout of strep throat that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.  I guess that means I'm on 120 mg of Effexor right now. On October 16 I am going to recommence my taper since I am safely moved and no longer have strep! 

I admit now that I did something stupid. I had trouble opening the extra strength gel capsules containing the beads so I reinstated at the original dose for a week. I know it's not good to play ping pong with my brain, but I could never open the capsules without spilling those microscopic balls all over so I was never sure what dosage I was taking! Thank the LORD that I finally have the old kind again and can safely count out the amount. I am now back on 135 mg and feel somewhat better.

October 30, 2016. I am down to 120 mg effexor. November 27, 2016. Down to 105 mg effexor. December 25, 2016. 90 mg effexor. January 15, 2017. 75 mg effexor. January 21. 82.5 mg effexor. January 23, 90 mg again. Feb. 14, 81.25 mg. Mar. 15, 72.5 mg. Mar. 27, 65 mg.  Apr. 9, 58.75 mg. Apr. 24, 52.5 mg.

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Thank you Rachal777 for the reply. I will take things much easier now. I did now realize how deep I jumped in.

I did not do my research adequately, but now I'm in this. I would have tapered over a year. I hardly noticed anything the first six months, then seemingly out of the blue, my body sensations became very sensitive, and the emotions began feeling very raw and explosive. It's like I began to "really" feel on a heightened level compared to how the level I was feeling them before. I was more numb before in comparison; now I feel every little thing. I love feeling my feelings.

I have noticed that my decision making abilities are hugely compromised. I make a major decision and then before it is executed, I crash and burn.

I have been consulting with a good friend, and have concluded that this is going to take some more time before I go back to work.

So, I am going to travel up the coast of CA next week. Park my ass in the redwoods of northern CA and sit on my hands, while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. I have been hiking up to 8 miles per day, and I will keep up that regimene. It helps keep my emotions fluid and clearing.

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I'm having another episode where I make new plans and then watch while my mind projects how I will execute the plan. Then it plays out the scenario and sabotages the plan before I can execute it. It's like OCD run amuck. Then it ends with an emotional breakdown and a prayer of desperation to God to please help me get out of the emotional suffering. I really am beginning to believe and think that I should just sell my travel trailer, store my belongings, buy a bed roll or sleeping bag. Start living out of my truck, which is less of a burden on my waning since of responsibility in taking care of the things I own. Then I can wander freely and indulge my since of uncontrollable compulsive behaviors with out throwing all my savings away. Maybe it will burn itself out.

I make a plan, then it crashes and burns.

I walked the streets for a while tonight and talked to my self and ruminated myself into a state of insanity.

I fear going crazy or having a psychotic break and being committed somewhere and put on psych-drugs against my will. Then I'm really hopeless. WD from that!

One moment I think I'm going to be fine, then an hour later I'm in deep despare.

Will this madness ever end?

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AntiDFree -

 

We came off Prozac the same time. I basically went off cold turkey because my body could not tolerate taking it anymore. I understand the emotions of the withdrawal are hell. One minute you are crying and the next minute you want to scream and hit something. From what I have read it is all part of withdrawal. But knowing it is part of withdrawal doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Just know that you are not alone. Don't make any big decisions while your brain and body are healing from these drugs. I have found that stress makes withdrawal symptoms worse.

 

Hang in there and I hope you are having some better days.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Sorry you are struggling AntiD....I am two months off of my antidepressant....I hope I can make it as long as you have.  Have any of your symptoms gotten better or gone away?  I too am dealing with mood swings and hate them....I can think I am having a good day and then bam....it hits.  I too fear completely loosing my mind.  I think that is one thing I hate so much about withdrawal is that I have so very little if any control over it.  I also with it was like with other substances....withdrawal hits....you suffer but when it is over it's over....with psych drugs its cruel...you think you are better then it flares up but people here say it does eventually resolve itself.  I hope so.  Wishing you healing!

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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Downtongirl and O2bhappy, thank you both!

Since my last post, I took an offer from my Dad in my hometown to come stay for 6 months or a year and stay in one place. I'm there now. I am looking for an apartment and I will sit this out here for as long as necessary. No one knows about my anti-D WD issues.

O2bhappy: thank you about "stress"-when I get stressed the symptoms worsen. Then that stress snowballs.

I'm fortunate and grateful to have these options for an environment of recovery as long as the "family situation" doesn't create more- so far so good.

Thank you for your kind replies and support!

Mark

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Mark-

 

I am so glad to hear that you have a place to stay. I hope your family situation allows you to stay there as long as you need. Recovery is a time to have support from family and friends. Since no one knows about your withdrawal make sure you stay connected to the forum. This forum has been a wonderful resource to ask question and get support. Even if your family and friends knew what you were going thourgh it would be hard for them to understand. No one can really relate, unless they have gone or are going through it themselves.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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O2bhappy,

Thank you again.

Walked around an art festival tonight in my hometown of Shreveport, LA. Started crying uncontrollably after seeing art that moved me and remembering my old art career that ended 6 months ago in which I did festivals. I didn't see it coming until I was in the thick of it. Some of this was natural, some was amplified. But I sometimes wonder; is there not some part of my emotions that are just hypersensitive to normal stimulus- events or triggers that "should" warrant a sensitive emotional reaction, and the status quo is to not let yourself get emotional? In such cases I sometimes sense the difference but not always.

For instance: when I went on the prozac 20 years ago, I had been doing some therapy work and began experiencing long periods of crying and super sensitive emotional releases related to traumatic or unresolved emotional issues. I talked to a psych-med doc about that and (of course) he said it was depression- needing meds, but I actually believe it was my body releasing stored emotions that were "stuck" and were being allowed to express naturally. I see that in hindsight now. Now I know this is a forum for anti-D WD support so I don't want to get too far off topic, but logically speaking, there seems to be some of both of these dynamics happening. That point leads me to interject the idea that: not only are we getting off these God forsaken frankenstein drugs, but we also are starting to "feel" what has been suppressed for years under the mask of the drugs. The hell that we go through is also a path to freedom as the emotions are (finally) releasing- however they are amplified exponentially through our hypersensitivity. It seems logical, but perhaps a stretch for me to say this without any scientific evidence, that we are healing our stored emotions through their unsurpassed release at the same time as we endure the hardship and discomfort of the withdrawals. Put another way: the withdrawals are a concentrated dose of healing/pain that must be experienced in order to reach the prize, wholeness- normal feelings.

I'm a student of eastern wisdom teachings which influenced my decision to get off anti-D's, and I saw this dynamic of releasing stored emotions playing out in my psyche before I decided to go abstinent. I really should stop here.

Thank you O2bhappy! Remember to drink lots of fluids.

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Hi AntiDFree,

 

I hope you are making progress and that you have moments of clarity within which to make your important decisions. Withdrawal makes it almost impossible sometimes. Your thread moved me so much because I can identify a lot with your withdrawal. My withdrawal is from Prozac/fluoxetine too. Your openness is a virtue, I wish I had that too! I think your perspective about neuro-emotions was something I also considered too. They are the worst part of my withdrawal; I can handle the physical symptoms much better. Here's what a moderator (JanCarol) said on my thread about them, I think it's accurate:

 

"Additionally, in the extremes of withdrawal, there's a phenomenon called Neuro-emotion that you may wish to explore.  The spark of the emotion is based in reality, but the rumination, explosion, magnification and stickiness of the emotion is purely chemical.  Again, the best way through is to distract and wait."

 

I interpret your actions as someone trying to find a safe, stable place to wait this out and make some changes in their life. Perhaps I'm projecting, but I'll be thinking of you and your situation as I try to ride the waves. 

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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Thank you Thejoyoftapering! I have found a safe place. I am in my home town working for my Dad's business. I have decided to sit tight. I still get compulsive emotional waves that play out, but they are less stressful than in the prior three months. They come in the form of thinking and strong feelings that "compel me to take action" and change my life course. I do have periods of good clarity in which I feel deeply peaceful and serene. I believe the universe is supporting me in my endeavor, and I do best when I don't try to take on anything major. Everything is on "hold". I have been very close to reinstating prozac in the last 4 weeks, but things seem to be calming down.

I strongly believe that the emotional upheavals are a combination of neuro-emotions (amplified reactions to normal emotions) and the normal emotions that come up to be allowed to process and heal naturally through their natural expression.

Strangely, in the midst of all this I have done some psychotherapy work on major trauma that was deeply releasing and healing, but very painful to endure.

I feel strongly now that I have found a place of refuge for a while where I am safe to just stop and let things be, which is the ultimate challenge for my usual temperament.

Thank you for your warm thoughts and concern for my wellbeing. I accept it very graciously!

Mark

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AntiDFree -

 

Your post about being hypersensitive to normal stimulus was very well written and very thought provoking. I never thought about my emotions being masked by the drugs and are now being release. I have thought about it as a reawakening of my emotions. I have heard that crying is theraputic but it does not feel that way when I am in the middle of a complete meltdown. I cry and get angry at the drop of a hat. At times I can remind myself that this is withdrawal and I am healing and other times I scream because I do not want to live like this anymore. It is very hard to not be able to hold in my emotions.

 

Over the past several weeks I have been dealing with a lot of guilt and regret for all the things I haven't done over the past several years. These are things that I haven't done and I have blamed being on Prozac and being numb for so long, I am struggling getting past these feeling and moving on. The thoughts are just stuck in my head.

 

It is hard when you are dealing with physical and psychological symptoms of the withdrawal.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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There is another thread on this site you should read:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10992-eckhart-tolle-the-pain-body-and-mental-suffering-during-withdrawal/

This talks about the similarities between these emotional "rides" and the spiritual ideas regarding painful emotions that get released when the meds start to wear off.

I started experiencing emotional releases months before quitting prozac, after a dramatic awakening experience (again, I'm careful not to get too far off topic, but I'll make my point). The awakening I attributed to practicing spiritual ideas, however, some teachings suggest that they are spontaneous, meaning to me, that along with spontaneous awakenings (or shifts in consciousness) comes a period of upheaval where negative energies, stuck in the body, get cleared and come up/out spontaneously. Are you experiencing that? I don't know. I believe that I am, and I supplement that belief, or mindset, with spiritual teachings of the nature of "consciousness" teachings- like Tolle and others.

A few weeks ago I came out of a period that lasted about 7 weeks while I was staying with a friend in VA, not working, doing a lot of walking and exercise. Each and every day was filled with wave after wave after wave- non stop it seemed, of deep shame crying and sadness crying. My deepest personal issue related to my mother's abusive treatment of me when I was 10 surfaced. The memories were fresh, as though I was there. I cried almost continuously (with breaks to eat, sleep, etc.) for that seven weeks.

When it started, something told me to get a therapist and start going deeper until I was at bottom. I found a samatic experiencing therapist and actively kept the flow going until I hit the core issue and event. After that, it subsided somewhat. I was still having neuro emotional events but the "real" stuff stopped coming up. When I would be in a deep crying event, my mind would be playing out a story to go with the emotions, and I just let the mind go, and "focused on allowing the emotion to freely express". "I worked at being with the emotions and not focusing on the mental stories". In spiritual teachings it's referred to as being the "witness". You witness what is happening with your emotions and body rather than believing that it is real. Or "resisting it". Don't resist unless the circumstances are inconvienent.

There were times when I thought I couldn't take anymore, and I would get a break. Other times, the more I surrendered the more relaxed my emotions felt coming out, as if it was not experienced as suffering but relieving, and emptying.

It has helped me to view it that way, so now when they come up, I immediately got into them and they only last a little while.

I was fortunate not to be working at that time and I was able to "surrender" to the process, and I let it all hang out even if I was in public. I know that may not be an option for you, but maybe you can selectively decide when to just "release" and go fully into your emotions to allow the healing to go deeper.

 

I'm sorry that it has been so difficult for you. I know exactly what you feel and I understand.

Stay strong!

 

Mark

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  • 3 weeks later...

Things have been moving relatively smoothly now for a while. I have not had surging raw and fast moving waves of emotion for almost three weeks now. Things seem to have settled down well, and peace is becoming my dominant state again. When I have brief emotional moments, like when sitting with my Dad who is currently hospitalized, the emotions are very distinctly felt as pure emotion. Clean and clear from the moment it arises until it fades. Just clean pure emotion, not exploding or flooding out. Even if it's painful or sad; it is a clean clearly painful, but pure feeling. It doesn't scare me or make me want it to stop. It's like feeling emotions for the first time and actually finding them quite lovely in their purity. I go into them and they move through and out of me. No stickiness to them. This is just what I'm noticing about the emotions. I'm very grateful to have them be so not overwhelming and so distinctly emotional. I think this is how they are meant to feel without the masking of the anti D's. I'm feeling my emotions in a new way, and it is sweet. It's taken some time to get here, but this feels very TRUE.

 

Mark

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I'm following your content Mark, and was so glad to see this post in my email... A real day-brightener! You have a wonderful way with words and I loved 

 

" It's like feeling emotions for the first time and actually finding them quite lovely in their purity. I go into them and they move through and out of me. No stickiness to them. "

 

I'm at about the same place/time in my own journey, and to see such positivity is truly inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to post.

 

Peace and continued healing to you,

Sharon:)

  • 64 years old. A/Ds over 20(?) years for depression, anxiety/social anxiety, last of which was Sertraline 100mg. Decided to wean off, the catalyst being the book "Moody *******" Julie Holland MD, hoping to improve my overall health (??) and dead libido (single again and re-entering the dreaded dating world) reduced to 50mg 8-6-15, 25mg 8-13-15, then stopped entirely on 8-21-16. Withdrawals with zaps, digestive issues, dizzy etc for a couple of months a week or two after stopping Now 3-24-16 still quite depressed with occasional irrational anger, and want to stay off, but wonder if it's worth it since I was at least not AS depressed (the social anxiety was never helped by the meds). Is the "cure" worse than continuing SSRIs?

  • Gender

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Thank you also Seaside Diva.

After reading your signature, I'm also inspired to keep going and inspired to see you staying with your resolve and determination. I can especially relate to the minds rationalization as you expressed, "I was at least not AS depressed" and "Is the cure worse than continuing SSRI's?"

Probably the "addictive voice" speaking in our minds that would have us totally give up and return to the meds with no intention of ever stopping them again. Is it worth it? Yes, unquestionable Yes! I would do it again. My outer life fell apart over the last year, but it was not caused by stopping the meds. The view I see more and more is that the removal of the Anti-D's and the deconstruction and changes of my outer life has been part of a larger, overall movement in my life. Like I said in earlier posts: it's like an awakening back to what is real and that would include the way that we experience our emotional lives because we are feeling creatures in so many ways. Maybe like the inner intelligence of our bodies wants to take us back home to what is real and true FOR US. And even maybe each one of us who takes this journey is giving something to every other person who decides to turn back to what feels true and clear for them in regard to these psycho-medications. Tis a noble task to get off these nasty buggers and want to be genuinely alive and want to experience the natural state of our bodies, even if it is painful and uncomfortable, and our minds are telling us that it will never end. But it does end, and it lessens more and more. And I think the few who choose this path are giving something to the whole, even though it's not visible or prove able. It ripples out and has an influence; that's how shifts in consciousness happen and changes happen spontaneously, with less strain and struggle, benefitting everyone.

Now that I have cleared another hump, things are beginning to change again in the outer circumstances of my life. But that is a reflection of the inner changes that have been happening. I don't know what is next either and I want to not want to know because that seems to be the place of safety, even though it rattles the emotions sometimes.

I do know that there is peace and tranquility on the other side. And I do believe that the universe inspires and supports us rebellious lunatics for having the guts to try something so against the consensus reality and the acceptable and preferred solution (however insane and dubious) for life's problems.

These drugs have been so unquestionably embraced by the world that it's next to impossible to question the core assumption: that maybe we shouldn't be trying to change the way we feel to a permanent and controllable state. That maybe we should embrace the depression first and find an other way through it and to heal it other than the psycho-drugs. And one might challenge that statement with: well what exactly would that entail? How do we do that? How do we embrace depression, that thing that everybody hates and doesn't want around? (That thing that shouldn't be there in the first place.) Well, the answer is that you do exactly what we are all doing; you go into it and hang onto your ass until it finally moves on; you allow it to have it's space in your life for as long as you can stand it. And the more you do that, the less and less potent it becomes; and the less it can make us react and suffer from it's affects. Then maybe, one day, depression will be felt as something no more bothersome to collective mankind than a mild case of frustration. That could be a long, long time, OR NOT. In the meantime, we support one another! :-) HA!

Mark

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Beautifully put once again, Mark.

 

Yes, after going through (and continuing to go through) the various stages of grief over my WD situation for the last 14 months I feel I am getting somewhat "used to" the new normal that is my life. My through the looking glass life of mazes filled with neuro-emotions and fun house mirrors reflecting a frightening and distorted reality. My heart always hurts for those who come here asking "how long does this last?" Indeed, it was a question I wanted answered myself and had initially selected a year as the time I would just go back on the meds if I weren't feeling better. This before I found SA and that my window of opportunity had slammed shut and I might make things even worse if I went that route. Now I have mostly reached a point of acceptance of what is right now. It's like learning to live all over again with a new set of rules. And the rules may change from day to day! Yep, just hang on to our asses as you say, until it finally moves on. My new mantra is "Fake It Until You Make It." And as for all those just starting on this Mr Toad's Wild Ride, I wish I could just give you a long, warm hug and cry with you for a little while, and reassure you that somehow and someday it's all going to be okay. And I wish you could do the same for me. 

Peace and healing to us all....

S

  • 64 years old. A/Ds over 20(?) years for depression, anxiety/social anxiety, last of which was Sertraline 100mg. Decided to wean off, the catalyst being the book "Moody *******" Julie Holland MD, hoping to improve my overall health (??) and dead libido (single again and re-entering the dreaded dating world) reduced to 50mg 8-6-15, 25mg 8-13-15, then stopped entirely on 8-21-16. Withdrawals with zaps, digestive issues, dizzy etc for a couple of months a week or two after stopping Now 3-24-16 still quite depressed with occasional irrational anger, and want to stay off, but wonder if it's worth it since I was at least not AS depressed (the social anxiety was never helped by the meds). Is the "cure" worse than continuing SSRIs?

  • Gender

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since my last post I have had only a brief period of emotional rawness and crying. I have also had a period of anxiety lately that has come and passed through. This is good, and I believe whatever emotions or movements visit me will be as they should be and I will welcome them.

Mark

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So glad to hear it Mark.

I have to think part of your "success" is your acceptance of your current state and belief that all is as it should be. I could learn from that, for sure. I have had a wonderful happening in that my daughter with whom I was estranged for the last year invited me over for Thanksgiving. I had been communicating with my G-daughter and she in turn told her Mom that I seemed lonely and depressed. The reason my daughter and I had the blow up in the first place was exacerbated by WD emotions, though I didn't realize it at the time. Of course I have carefully tried to enlighten ones close to me as to what is going on beyond just "normal" depression, but no one really gets it. I think the neuro-emotions make it seem so important to me to try to inform the world of something it can simply never quite understand. I have to learn to let that go, I guess. Now I need to just try to be the best possible me in each moment and not read too much into what others do or say. We all have our cross to bear as my mother used to say....

Peace and continued healing to you, Mark :)

  • 64 years old. A/Ds over 20(?) years for depression, anxiety/social anxiety, last of which was Sertraline 100mg. Decided to wean off, the catalyst being the book "Moody *******" Julie Holland MD, hoping to improve my overall health (??) and dead libido (single again and re-entering the dreaded dating world) reduced to 50mg 8-6-15, 25mg 8-13-15, then stopped entirely on 8-21-16. Withdrawals with zaps, digestive issues, dizzy etc for a couple of months a week or two after stopping Now 3-24-16 still quite depressed with occasional irrational anger, and want to stay off, but wonder if it's worth it since I was at least not AS depressed (the social anxiety was never helped by the meds). Is the "cure" worse than continuing SSRIs?

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AntiDFree -

 

I am glad to hear that you are doing better.  I have been struggling the past couple of weeks.  I have been trying to accept my withdrawal, but it has really gotten to me.  I think the passing of my golden has really set me back on my recovery. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Hi antiDfree and everyone.  over 2 years free from paxil and still don't know how to cope with raw and angry emotions.  It is like learning how to live all over again and I don't think I'm making a good job of it.   Have had an  unrelated health issue recently and it's completely thrown me.   I love the way you have expressed it antiD.  I feel as though my "outer life" as you say has been destroyed and wonder if it would have been easier to continue on meds.  Thanks for your words, they are so true.  My emotions still take me over and they feel harsh and uncontollable sometimes.  I would love some peace.  

Prescribed 20mg a day of Seroxat on 2001

August 2013 decided to taper.

Reduced by 10mg a week (adjusted over the week small amounts)

Stopped completely in April 2014

Brain and body went haywire.  

Didn't realise it was withdrawal at first.

Have not returned to ad's but can't get my life back.

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Thanks Alexander and O2bhappy for posting your comments.

 

I really believe that getting through some difficult periods for me involved completely giving myself to "feeling and allowing" the emotions and raw senesations that were surfacing in me to fully express. When I first notice that a wave is coming and my emotions begin to flare up strongly, I take my attention as best I can directly to the feelings as though I wanted them to be there. I look at them as having something to show me and give me. It's a consciousness practice that can be used anytime strong emotions arise.

 

I believe that the practice of doing that ( putting your full attention into the emotions and embracing them ) expedites the movement of the emotions through you getting you to the other side of them. I think it helps get a naturally occurring surge of emotions through us. Not every time strong waves of emotions come up is convienent to practice that, especially if your working or around other people.

 

I was not working for six months while these waves were happening with me, so I practiced this until it was second nature to just go into the emotions and sit with them and fully experience them as best I could. I would do it in public too, but I would kind of cover my face or stand aside with my head down and silently cry until the wave passed. Most of the time people didn't notice. (People are into there own heads and ****). After a while when they would come up I was more and more relaxed and they moved through more smoothly than if I was "resisting them."

 

It may sound a little strange, but I actually started to like the feelings, sort of like realizing- hey this is part of my feeling nature that I'm learning to connect with again. And then over the course of about two weeks they stopped, like turning off a faucet. I had some very brief periods during that time that emotions flared, but it only lasted a few seconds.

 

It makes sense to me that these emotions are part of the suppressed energy that gets thwarted by the antidepressants that is now being released because we aren't suppressing it with the meds anymore. It "needs to come out". It's part of the journey to wholeness. It represents healing, and being a feeling human being. No, it doesn't always feel good, and it's painful. We're not used to these kinds of emotions, so they feel raw and uncomfortable until we adjust to them, but they can become much much more tolerable if we welcome them as part of the healing process.

 

Another thing that has helped me is to not give any weight or consideration to what my mind is telling me when I'm going through a strong emotional wave. The mind is going to find something to grab and make meaning out of the emotional waves, and it is going to be something deeply personal to you, that is or has happened in your life. Some of it may even seem and feel very true.

 

Just remember that the objective is to "watch the emotions and thoughts pass through you as the way to allow the healing to happen." Don't get involved with what the mind is saying even if it seems really important. Just watch it and allow it to pass through you. If it's important, you will still remember it after the wave passes. When you come through a wave, you'll notice that the meanings are gone. They were only there to serve the emotions while they passed through. This was huge for me, because the stories that would get spun in my head during strong emotions would seem so believable that is was frightening!

 

Trust that the Universe honors and appreciates that you are encouraging the expression of your natural "true self." There is an intelligence behind your body's healing and it is working through you and your body to get you there. Surrender to the process because it's going to happen anyway.
Peace!

Mark

Edited by AliG
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Mark.  I love what you have written here and it certainly rings true for me. I totally agree and I think you have expressed it very well.

 

I'm happy for your healing and I hope it continues exponentially .  :)

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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AntiDFree -

 

I am trying to allow and accept the feeling I am having, but it has been very hard.  I believe that I am in another bad wave.  My anxiety is awful.  I keep having weird sensations in my head, face tingling and numbing and hot flashes.  I would think almost 15 months off these meds that I wouldn't be getting new symptoms.  It is really frustrating me. 

 

Right now I don't want to allow the feelings and emotions because it is painful and I just want to feel better.  I want that easy fix, but I know in withdrawal that doesn't happen.  How did you get to a place that you were able to do that?  How do I accept the fact that I don't feel well, but still need to try and enjoy my life?  I think my current negative attitude is really taking a toll on me. 

 

I am so happy for you and how well you  are doing. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Thank you for that last line about doing well. I have been, and it is a blessing. That doesn't mean that another wave could not come for me at any time. And I remember exactly what the last wave felt like and how intense it was. Our WD symptoms are very similar. We quit near the same time.

AntiDFree -

How do I accept the fact that I don't feel well, but still need to try and enjoy my life?  I think my current negative attitude is really taking a toll on me.

Don't try to accept the fact that you don't feel well and still need to enjoy your life. You're not going to enjoy your self when you are experiencing a strong wave. Allowing it, being open to it, embracing it, not resisting it etc. are really ways that you are going to go deeper into it. I know that's enough to make you want to reach through the monitor and wring my neck.

 

I have a suggestion that may give you more space around the feelings: Allow yourself to have even the feelings of not wanting to allow or accept that you are having another nasty wave. That is also part of your wave- that anxiety and the words that it creates that say, "this sucks and I don't want it here, and I want it to stop." Allow that too.

 

 

"How did I get to the point that I was able to do that"

 

I'm not really sure I can put my finger on that. It just started happening for me when I started accepting that I might be feeling this for a long time and I started to look at the WD waves of intense feelings as something that I wasn't going to fight anymore. I realized that I had a choice: I could surrender to it or I could struggle against it. When I surrendered to it, it wasn't less intense but it didn't have that "personal attack against me" kind of idea with it anymore. So I didn't suffer as much. I kept practicing that, surrendering to the feelings over and over. Sometimes I was better at it than others. Sometimes it flowed very smoothly when I got better at relaxing into the waves. Sometimes my natural reaction was still to fight it.

 

Very important: I also practiced breathing exercises when the waves would come. I practiced "focusing on my breathing as a way of directing my attention into my body where the feelings were. Kind of like breathing into a labor contraction (for example). I found myself sometimes practicing breathing and focusing my attention into my body all day long. The practice of breathing often became my primary focus. I also approached my waves with the mental mindset that: even though they might be emotions that are more intense because of the withdrawals, they are also emotions that have been stored in me for years- suppressed, so allowing them to surface and pass through is also an "emptying process." These emotions are clearing the way for a more alive and deeper feeling experience of life on the positive side also. Self indulgent? Maybe, but it was working:-)

 

If I can wax philosophical for a moment: think of it as blowing out the emotional cobwebs of negative feelings, the stuff that was there already. Your body is clearing the way for more healthy emotions. And when your done and finished with these feelings, they're going to be followed by their opposite: peace, joy, happiness, love and all the wonderful experiences that you really want for yourself! You just have to get (allow) this stuff out of the way first.

 

I know they are intense- I've been there, deeply and totally immersed in them.

 

As for as your concern that the negative feelings are "taking a toll on you." I think I would drop that idea. Because it is just that, an idea or belief that the mind spins from the intense emotions. To believe it means that the more the waves hit you, somehow they are going to be causing unreverseable damage. That's just not true. You can handle a lot and you will absolutely not get damaged. It just "feels that way."

 

You know, I just have to say that, even not knowing you, that I am very proud of you for sticking this out as you have. You will make it through, It won't be easy but you will make it through. Just keep doing the best that you can!!

 

Once you are finished with all this you will still be a deeply feeling human being- more so, and you will know what it feels like to really feel who and what you are on a deep, subtle level that most people don't experience. WOW! What a privilege in a world full of people that are programmed to and busy avoiding their feelings!

 

I hope this helps you.

 

Mark

Edited by scallywag
white space at paragraph breaks
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  • 4 weeks later...

AntiDFree -

 

Thank you for such a wonderful post.  I cried reading it. 

 

I am trying hard to allow the feelings I am having, but some days are much easier then others.  I am struggling right now with constant anger.  Even though I do not like it I am trying to allow it.  I like your suggestion to allow the fact that I don't like this feeling of anger. 

 

I am struggling with the waves I am feeling and I guess that is making it worse.  Telling myself over and over that I just want to feel better and I want this to go away isn't helping.  It is a story that I keep telling myself. 

 

I have been practicing my breathing.  One thing I have notice is that I have a slower respiration rate and I am breathing more with my belly then my chest.  I know those are all positive signs. 

 

...when your done and finished with these feelings, they're going to be followed by their opposite: peace, joy, happiness, love and all the wonderful experiences that you really want for yourself...This made me cry.  I have been dealing with the crying and anger that I haven't thought about what could be waiting for me.  I dwell so much on how bad these emotions are that I don't think past them. 

 

I never thought about my emotions being locked up and stored away for years.  I like this thought..."These emotions are clearing the way for a more alive and deeper feeling experience of life on the positive side"  I certainly hope going through all of this will have a positive affect on my life. 

 

I want to thank you again for this post.  I am sorry that I didn't respond sooner.  I think it was exactly what I needed to reread today and reply.  Bless you!

 

I hope you are well.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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I am well- thank you.

 

I have been blessed. I think the topic and author of the neuro-emotions has been hugely helpful in understanding that there is a process and phenomenon that happens during WD (recovery). I also think that there are other ways to acknowledge, understand, and experience the intense emotions, and an even broader understanding that can be helpful.

 

Even though we are experiencing the affects of biological influences, i.e. Drugs, we are also on a spiritual journey to wholeness, whether or not you agree with or see that happening. One could even call it a psychological experience- kind of the same thing. The drugs were originally intended to improve our (psychological) "experience of life" or put another way: the way that we experience our experiences. We wanted good feelings (experiences) not bad feelings (experiences). Human nature is to want one type of experience, but NOT the other. So, our natural tendency is to avoid the unpleasant feelings; it's hard wired into us. The drug companies know this, and they use that to sell the drugs and the benefits of the drugs, but they are also pawns to that natural human tendency to want good feelings and not bad.

 

Spiritually speaking; they are all feelings that we need to experience in order to live within the full spectrum of a rich emotional life. If we pursue only good feelings and try to avoid the bad, we get off balance. And it's not that we are consciously pursuing that aim. We want freedom from what seems like an excess of negative feelings.

 

When we drop the drugs, the body is resetting itself. It is (intelligently) self correcting. It could almost be said that: once we are adjusted to the full range of emotions again, it will be the same emotions that come up from time to time, but they will no longer be felt with the same intensity when they show-up, and we will not recoil from them.

 

But yes, I believe that there are old emotional patterns that were thwarted by the drugs. If they had been originally allowed to "pass through" without drugs they would "run their course" and (eventually) not come up anymore. This statement could fuel a debate about the validity of psych-drugs in extreme cases, but- oh well- I said it. It may not apply to everyone. That's why I suggest that this is a spiritual perspective. Our culture and society is driven in many ways by this mindset of pursuing the good feelings and avoiding the bad, when in reality allowing and embracing both helps cultivate a natural balance between the two, and a sense of acceptance and peace can emerge and occupy the space between the emotions. Could it be both that simple and that subtle of a practice? Just allow all feelings? For me, that works and has allowed me to move through and process many intense feelings that were connected to past events and were also connected to popular ideas about how to properly experience life in general. Once you've allowed the really unnerving, fingers across the chalkboard-like emotions, the less intense negative feelings just don't have that sting anymore. You know you can handle them, and you don't react to them with avoidance, and they start "flowing naturally."

 

I think at some point you just notice that your emotions have (finally) calmed down, when in reality they have just begun to "flow" more naturally in the absence of interference from us with drugs and avoidance reactions. And then at some point I think you realize that what you have been doing is allowing the natural expression of your true Being, and that, in my opinion, is the purest of "spiritual practices."

 

To go through all this can be humbling in a very positive way. Humility is a positive force, spiritually speaking.

 

Off my soapbox.

Mark

Edited by scallywag
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AntiDFree -

 

I like how you said withdrawal was recovery. I have never thought about it like that before. That is much more of a positive way to look at it.

 

The intensity of emotions that I have felt in withdrawal have been nothing like I experienced before going on the medicine. But I also know that I haven't felt emotions for so long that it is taking a long time for me to get a handle on them.

 

Since you have such a wonderful perspective on handling emotions how do you handle the physical symptoms you have. The two physical symptoms that are really bothering me right now are the smell hallucations I am having and my head burning. Any suggestions on how to think about these symptoms would be greatly appreciate.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Thank you for the compliment. I'm just repeating techniques that I have learned from spiritual teachers in my journey, so it's regurgitated wisdom.

I have not experienced the hallucinations as you have described. If they are really bothering you, then I would treat them the same way: Notice them when they happen; don't resist them and make them a problem, and they will start to fade away. If you resist them and complain to yourself about them, notice that too. Eventually you will see them as "something" that is coming and going, and they will be less bothersome. At some point they will stop showing up, or you simply won't notice them anymore because you have given them permission to be there and they just stop or lessen in intensity to the point where they don't get your attention anymore. Try it.

The hallucinations are going to come and go no matter if you want them or not. If you give them the space and permission to be there, you are practicing the wisdom of non resistance to "what is."

The short version of this practice would be: "What we resist persists" "Resist nothing."

Mark

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AntiDFree -

 

Thank you for the wonderful advice. I understand the hallucinations will be there whether I want them or not. I have had a very hard time accepting it. I know that causes more problems. I am trying my best not to get so upset and instead trying to notice them and take a deep breathe when it happens. I think resisting them for the past year has made them worse.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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AntiDFree -

 

Happy New Year to you!!!

 

Thank you Mark for all the help and encouragement that you have given me.  Words cannot express the gratitude I feel!

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is an interview with Marianne Williamson on Buddha At The Gas Pump.

The link is below. At the one hour and one minute mark ( 1:1:00 ) in the playback, she talks about the drug companies for several minutes and there success in getting anti depressants into the american culture and the medical system and the resultant dependence that has developed among unsuspecting human beings. It is very enlightening. The entire interview is very good. I love her work.

 

My journey has remained steady for some time now, since my last post. All is well for now.

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=movGm8i0vm8

 

Good vibes and peace to all!

 

Mark

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