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Distraut: asking how can I help my son, akrontes?

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akrontes

I hope so. Not good. How have you been?

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jonnypeters1234567

Not good, crying everyday. Everyday seems like a new illness to suffer with.

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akrontes

Sorry I just saw this. Sorry to hear that. Do you get any better days? 

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Noloft
On 8/15/2018 at 4:55 PM, akrontes said:

So one thing I can certainly say is that hopefully things will get better, but for certain they change, as my brain feels radically different to a year ago. 

Hey there akrontes,

 

I am totally with with you on the different brain feeling. Since quitting Zoloft last December and also quitting  marijuana my brain just does not seem to work like it always has. Everything is different—my perception of who I am, what I value, what matters in life. I am stuck in intensive therapy in an existential crisis. I believe what we both suffer from is called “depersonalization.” One of my doctors told me to try pretending that I am a god, a spiritual being with all the answers. Rather than a confused and broken human. He also told me that I have achieved a state of consiousness that many people spend their whole lives trying to achieve, some form of enlightenment. I tried living like that for a day and it seemed to help for a bit,  but I am just so stuck on trying to get back to where my brain was before all this started—I guess I mean to say, I want my old life back, as I felt more like myself and it was a lot more fun living with a sense of identity and feeling connected to my hobbies and not constantly questioning the point of everything. 

 

I still struggle with watching tv, like you, as I get tons of intrusive thoughts while watching and it feels I am removed from the activity. This has gotten better and some days I feel I can actually engage in an activity such as television or reading without my mind being elsewhere. As I type this, I feel pretty focused. 6 months ago I would have been unable to type. 

 

Anyways, I hope your obsessions calm down for a bit, and reality starts returning to normal and that your sleep cycle improves. My insomnia is bad too and it feels I don’t fall asleep until morning despite going to bed at 11 every night. 

 

Best of luck to you!

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Fighter33

How are you doing? I’ve been thinking about your recovery?

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Distraut

It's been a while since this thread was updated, but I wanted to add a little word on behalf of my son to give encouragement to all the dear people on this site who are fighting their withdrawal battles and who have shown interest in his story.

 

My son cold turkey-ed Sertraline (Zoloft) 2 1/2 years ago and took his last, small dose of Remiron (Mirtazapine) 18 months ago.  It has been a very bumpy ride but this year for the first time we have been able to do a bit of foreign travel whereas up to then it has been hard to get him out of the house.  Since the end of October he has felt able to take on some agency catering work and has been working more or less non stop ever since.  The periodic meltdowns seem to have abated and although he still suffers from " Constantly feeling compelled to undo things" in his head, this has not impeded him from getting on with his daily life and even enjoying getting out and about and I am hopeful that one day soon he will feel able to write his own "success story".

 

The last two and a half years have been hell on earth for him and his nearest and dearest but his courage in sticking it out will I am sure bear fruit and I am so hopeful that soon he will be symptom-free and able to enjoy life again and fulfill his potential.

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Rosetta

I am so relieved to hear this.  How wonderful for you and your son.  My best, Rosetta

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Distraut

Thank you Rosetta

 

I am following your story each day and wishing for your speedy recovery.  It must be terrible for you to be going through this when you have a young child to care for.  But please rest assured that this is a temporary state and you WILL recover, hopefully in the not too distant future.

 

Warmest regards to you.

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Distraut

Dear Alto

 

Akrontes is doing MUCH better in this slow process of recovery.  He is now able to socialize, travel and take on some temporary work.  His OCD and other annoying symptoms are much reduced but he is still suffering from occasional waves, intrusive and racing thoughts and feelings of panic.  Once these have eased he will feel fully recovered and will write his own success story.  Hopefully this will be soon.

 

Thank you all for being there.

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ChessieCat

That is so good to hear.  Please pass on my best wishes to Akrontes.  I am so pleased that he is able to get out and about, and to be able to do some work is such a good thing.

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Distraut

Thank you Chessie Cat.  I am following your recovery too and wishing you full health

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jonnypeters1234567

Did akrontes have strong dp dr

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Distraut

Yes he did jonnypeters12345.  This has much improved, although it occasionally reoccurs in periods of stress.

 

All the best in your healing.

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jonnypeters1234567

Thanks

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jonnypeters1234567

How is akrontes doing?

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Distraut

Hi jonnypeters12345

 

Thank you for inquiring after Akrontes.  On the whole he is doing a whole lot better and we have even managed short trips to the USA and Ireland in the last couple of months, something that would have been inconceivable a year or so ago.  He dealt with it very well and even, I think, got some enjoyment out of the trips and started to notice things around him, like scenery, architecture, wildlife, which may sound strange but has been absent from his life for a long time now.  People who have met him say how well he looks and would never imagine what he has been going through these last three years since his cold turkey.  But these trips have taken their toll and he takes a little while to recover.  He often mentions splitting headaches in various parts of his head and funny physical sensations in his brain, extreme tiredness, pains in his side and on the mental side his racing thoughts and fear of blurting out still persist, so we are not there yet.  He also still has problems with dealing with day to day issues and deciding the best course of action.  He takes on some temporary work from time to time but is not yet ready mentally to take on full time employment.  I do hope one day he will feel up to giving his own reports.

 

How are you doing?  Are you noticing improvements in your healing?  I wish you all the very best.  It will happen.

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Rozon1

Hey @Distraut and @akrontes how is he doing? Hope he’s well 

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Distraut

Hi Rozon1

 

Thank you so much for inquiring after Akrontes.  I had hoped he would reply to you direct, but he says he would rather I replied and he would hopefully do so later.

It will be three years in June since he took his last tiny dose of Mirtazapine.  I would like to say that he is now fully recovered but unfortunately we are not there yet.  Since my last report one year ago we have had some good times and some bad times.  He managed last summer to spend a month by himself in our holiday flat in Italy and enjoyed his time there with his friends.  But a little incident there set him back and he has been struggling ever since. He hasn't been able to work much and his anxiety levels are still too high.  At the beginning of this year I managed to get away myself for a month's holiday and thankfully he spent this time with friends and all went well.  He joined me in the final days of my holiday and rather freaked out seeing all the face masks and feeling himself to be contagious, so a bit of contamination OCD.  Since our return it has been very up and down with occasional severe meltdowns reminiscent of the early months of his cold turkey which was rather dispiriting.  Certainly our current confinement isn't helping!  But although they are very distressing to witness, I don't get as anxious as I used to as I know that he will snap out of them from one moment to the next and feel remorse at his actions.  He cannot believe himself how these crazy episodes just come on out of the blue because a random thought triggers him off.   I just take them as the latest wave because other days he is calm and can get on with stuff.  He still complains at times of severe headaches, often about intrusive words which he tries all ways to deal with, tingling limbs, high anxiety, inabiity to read, but in better moments these are far less severe.  He even has a bit of insomnia lately which hasn't been a problem for quite a while. But even though he has his doubts about this being withdrawal, we are hanging in there and I do feel confident that overall he is making progress and eventually all these raw emotions will calm themselves and he will begin to enjoy life again.

 

My very best wishes to you in your recovery. I will be following your progress with great interest.

 

Distraut

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akrontes

Hi, I don’t think I have posted for a long time. Unfortunately things have seriously deteriorated these last couple of months. I have been off medication for over three years now. I don’t know exactly what has happened, although there are many reasons or things which I feel have caused, although to most people seem irrational and totally out of proportion. I apologise for being so vague, firstly I am finding quite difficult to explain myself, secondly there are so many things that I think I should try to keep this post relatively simple. This last week has really gone from bad to worse, I feel like I have gone to a lower level. I honestly feel like this is worse than a few years ago though quite different. I feel like when I got better a couple of years ago I had found a way of adapting to what my head can and can’t do. That worked for a year or so, but now for about a year it seems to not be working anymore or maybe I have gone back to old ways of thinking. I really don’t know what more to say though I will try to reply to questions if any one asks. Thank you

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Altostrata

Hello, Akrontes. 

 

Without knowing what symptoms you're experiencing now, we can't tell if you have withdrawal syndrome. Have you had periods when you felt well since you went off sertraline in 2016? How did you feel when you were entirely off mirtazapine in 2017 (?)?

 

Are your symptoms now very much like those you had before you started paroxetine in 2008?

 

You have been on and off a lot of drugs. This can cause your nervous system to be sensitized to drugs and even supplements and foods that are neuroactive. We see people hitting bad patches after they drink alcohol, take antibiotics, take other psychotropics, or overdo it in any number of ways. Does this apply to you?

 

Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

Please update your signature with dates you went on and off mirtazapine.

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akrontes

Dear Altostrata.

 

Thank you for your reply .

 

After I stopped Sertraline in May 2016, I would not say that I fell into extreme withdrawal until about September. I did not have a window after that and was subsequently hospitalised in November and started Mirtazapine at 15mg which I quickly reduced to 7.5 before the end of 2016. Then did a quick taper up till June 2017 where I stopped. There were no windows (maybe very momentarily) in this period. Till February 2018 no windows( maybe again very momentarily) and in a severely bad state. From February 2018 till early summer, things improved ever so slightly, I would not be sure to describe as a window, and obviously there were extreme moments along with slightly less bad. I would say that from about then, the way I felt was slightly less "psychedelic" I have no word which I can describe better, but in essence although the worries and symptoms persisted, I felt a little bit more grounded in the physical world. Then I had very a bad wave that summer which lasted till about September. Then when abroad within one day, from a very bad state, had a little window which then turned into a big window, which carried on for 2 or so months. Essentially in that time October I got back to work and lots of things improved dramatically and was working near full time up till near Christmas when It became too overwhelming and left. In this period I was also coping better with social interactions. In the New year 2019 had declined slighty but managed to get back to working part -time and things were quite stable till the summer where at the beginning I had a bit of a lull but then went abroad for about a month and was very good, until I had a difficult social interaction, which then went completely out of proportion, which really knocked me off course. I persisted like this in the fall and winter of 2019, I was still working sometimes, I was still just about coping. January I went away again and felt a bit better, then since February has been a steady and more recently dramatic decline. I can describe these last few months more in detail if you would like but  I will try to reply to the other questions now.

 

I definitely did not have the majority of these symptoms before I started taking paroxetine. Before then I would say I had some paranoia, social and psychological anxiety, and some obsessive thoughts(though I would not describe as OCD as does not even come close to the obessions I have had since). The real shift In my brain, thinking, although had been quite bad on my first time with paroxetine and subsequent withdrawal, was my second withdrawal from paroxetine. Actually I'm not sure (I think) if some of those novel symptoms came when I was still actually on my second period on paroxetine. The first time I quit paroxetine I think I quit because I thought I was feeling better. The second time on the contrary I think I quit because I was getting all these strange symptoms.  So at the end of the summer 2010 after having quit paroxetine for the second time I started experience all these terrifying symptoms completely unknown to me. In that period again to use the the word "psychedelic" I was experiencing things which were not actually happening and yet I thought were happening, I mean actually things in the physical world, although there was part of me that realised they were not actually happening. In this period from one instance to the next in about September 2010 I also had this inexplicable symptom which has haunted me ever since, I remember the moment it happened I could not imagine how it could ever go away. This has been one of my constant symptoms for these past ten years yet has taken on many different forms, and I have tried many different ways of dealing with it. When I feel better and it is not so extreme, I "think" I recognise the mechanism which is causing it. I have had no luck describing this to therapist etc, who often assume they understand what I am talking about but not sure. It is kind of a tourettes though I do not think I have ever actually blurted anything out really. For about the first 5 years, I was living with the terror of blurting out, and had my jaw clenched often, which still reamisn to some extent this day, although the last few years, it has been less a fear of actually blurting out but the fact that it is happening in my head. I will finish here about this, I don't think from this I will be able to remotely convey what this symptom is, I reckon I could actually write pages maybe a book just on this thing. Anyway going back on medications did not help any of this, they just numbed a bit so that I could somehow manage to do some things whilst living with this torment. Basically  after my second paroxetine withdrawal, none of the medications I took after that ever relieved these symptoms, all the medication did was simply give me some artificial strength to just a bout live with it. In one sense the best year I have had since 2010 was last year (at least up until the end of the summer) and the end of 2018. The thing is I was probably alot for fragile and sensitive and maybe reactive eventually, than I was when I was on medication, but felt alot more "normal", less manic than when on medication. I think my OCD had much improved, although maybe I just found a better way of dealing with it, whatever it is I don't even think I was thinking about the term ocd for about a year or so. The internal "tourettes" is the thing that stilll carried on though constantly through this "good" period although I think I had become quite good a living with it even though was a constant torment and would wear me down. Also I have had serious difficulty in reading, concentrating since 2010, and I do not think it is just a question of concentration, the "tourettes" plays a big role in this. I did manage somehow in some crazy way manage complete a degree and masters on when on the venflaxine and then sertraline, though I can't stress how unbelievably insane It was studying with my brain like that. Whereas the last few years I have had just to accept that I am not so able to read etc.

 

In terms of supplements diet etc. I will try again with the fish oils, I'm not sure why I stopped or haven't taken them. Magnesium I seem to have problems with, I can feel quite strange and unsettled when I take it. I do not take anything else apart from smoke tobacco, which I recognise is not good, but which especially in this instance find very difficult to quit. I hardly ever, nowadays do not drink alcohol. My diet i would say is ok but slightly irregular.

 

I will finish up now, but I quickly describe also the physical symptoms that I have nearly constantly and can be pretty extreme. I basically always have pain in my head, sometimes very severe, It can take on many different forms though, sometimes it breaks out as an extreme headache/migraine, other times it is very strange senasations which feel right in my brain, other times my skull. I could probably go more into detail whith this aswell. Also my ears sort of feel blocked alot of the time, and my jawm is very tense and sometimes painful.

 

Thank you so much for your help

 

Kind regards.

 

Akrontes

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Altostrata

I am sorry, Akrontes. From your history, it appears you might have gone off paroxetine very quickly in 2009. Paroxetine is a very, very difficult drug for withdrawal syndrome.

 

Your history after that is typical of people whose antidepressant withdrawal syndrome was misdiagnosed and treated with a carousel of more drugs and diagnoses.

 

It also appears you had a rather severe adverse reaction to halperidol. Apparently your trials of paroxetine and venlafaxine etc. were not successful, because you went on to sertraline. Probably the dosage of sertraline was too high for your already sensitized nervous system and you "freaked out".

 

Since then, you've had your problems with mirtazapine.

 

We often see that the nervous systems of people who have been on and off drugs and have adverse reactions to drugs become sensitized. Their nervous systems reject drugs at "normal" dosages.

 

Do you have a doctor you trust who can work with you? Please see

 

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akrontes

Dear Altostrata. 

 

Thank you for your reply. I will have a look at the thread about lamotrigine. I am not sure whether I would have a doctor I could work with like that, I don’t think it would be too difficult to arrange something like that though. Nevertheless I will see whether is something I should consider. I actually felt slightly better last night and this morning albeit still strange pain in my head. Then I suffered a severe bout of paranoia, one I had not experienced in quite some time or ever(my legs felt like they were collapsing). I have managed to calm a bit now, the pain in my head was very extreme  I decided to take some paracetamol. Before the last few weeks I think I had taken them perhaps 2 or 3 times in the last few years. I think this is the third time in the last few weeks. Anyway I am pretty sure I will not use them regularly, I have to be in a lot of pain to resort to them. Yes my history with these medications has been very detrimental. It did not help that I was between different countries and had different doctors and different diagnoses. Also I am partially at fault for not having taken more initiative, and doing some research, I think my instincts were correct though in  wanting to come off them. It was nearly always the same story, I would come off them of my own accord then a few months later end up at a different doctor or specialist. I also have an extremely difficult relationship with the past, I have an extremely vivid memory and find it so hard to deal with. I honestly know that I have to accept, but I honestly think my brain is working very differently. Anyway I just wanted to mention these things. Hopefully things may improve the next few days, I will try to write more posts and give some more updates from now on, hopefully some more positive ones. I know is not a simple question, and maybe from what you have written should be evident, but I mainly would like some reassurance that it is not unusual that I could still be having withdrawal symptoms and that there is still healing happening? 

 

Thank you so much for your time and concern. 

 

Many regards

 

Akrontes

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Altostrata

Having waves and windows of symptoms is common when people are recovering from drug adverse effects. See The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization 

 

That you are having periods when you feel better is a good sign. If you don't overstress your nervous system, these should gradually get more frequent and longer. Recovery from post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is very slow and can take years.

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akrontes

Thank you again. Am feeling a bit calmer today. I will try and post next few days and give an update. Kind regards

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