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EMDR: has anyone tried this? Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy


Chochka
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Has anyone tried EMDR and if they have did they have any success with it?

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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  • 3 months later...

I'd like to know too. Is there a topic somewhere? I can't find it.

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Google surviving antidepressants EMDR. I'm sure there is a topic.

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Is this similar / the same as EFT?

 

Maybe I confused the two since I'm not a big fan of abbreviations..

 

There is a link to EFT in this post.

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; emdria.org) is a (now) mainstream approach to treating traumatic memories and the emotional fall out of going through trauma. It was developed by a psychologist, Francine Shapiro, in the late 1980s and has pretty good support for its effectiveness in the research literature. It used to be viewed as a fringe approach but no longer. I teach psychology courses and have found EMDR mentioned in most of my clinical textbooks. I am also trained in conducting EMDR (I'm a psychologist/therapist), and I have experienced it as, in most cases, extremely effective in helping people heal from trauma. I also use an adaptation of EMDR called IADC (Induced After Death Communication; induced-adc.com), which is designed to help people heal from grief after a loss. Excellent approaches, both of them, in my opinion, and I tend to be a bit cynical about a lot of therapies out there.  Not sure how effective they would be during WD, but perhaps, at some point in people's healing process, EMDR might be effective in helping people cope with the traumatic memories and aftereffects of going through withdrawal.

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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EFT is not the same as EMDR.  EFT is Emotional Freedom Technique and involves "tapping" on various points on the body while talking to oneself about painful thoughts and feelings--e.g., these WD symptoms are horrible!  I can't stand them!-- and eventually replacing those self-statements with  more positive, constructive ones--e.g., I know I am healing; I can get through this; I will survive.  www.thetappingsolution.com

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

thanks for the clarification. Now I remember I have heard of both.

 

Knowing what we know about how sensitive and fragile our brain is in WD, I would say that any technique that deals with past trauma might be too harsh.

 

WD is not a good time to work on past trauma because this can evoke strong emotions that our WD brains might not be able to cope with and could increase symptoms.

 

That's just my lay, common sense opinion.

 

I'm a big fan of talk therapy and it has been a constant for me for over 20 years. But I make sure my therapists are tuned in with my inner states and don't force any generic approaches. When I feel sturdier we do unpack some past trauma but when I'm in a wave the therapy becomes a very gentle support and discussion on what I can do to better protect my vulnerable self. 

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Yes, EMDR can be VERY intense therapy. But it can also be very effective. I agree that  during WD would NOT be a good time to go through EMDR, as during WD, one's brain, and therefore one's emotions, are unstable to say the least.  The last thing you would want  to do during WD is elicit negative memories and feelings, which is what is done during the EMDR procedure.  I do think that, under normal circumstances, or when someone is well past WD symptoms, that EMDR is a good choice for resolving traumatic memories.

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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I was using EMDR to try to treat the drug-induced anhedonia, but it is also a treatment for anxiety. It is not just used for trauma anymore, but can be used to process any unresolved emotion really, or to desensitize a person to any uncomfortable attitudes/beliefs.

 

I never felt more upset reliving past negative events, even though I have severe withdrawal anxiety and depression. These were not events that caused Post Traumatic stress conditions in me, but events that affected me negatively and made me prone to depression/anxiety. It would be different to relive an even that I still experience as traumatic today (e.g., something that causes flashbacks or bodily reactions when I'm exposed to triggers).

 

I just never feel that upset during or after the EMDR sessions. I'm way more upset in the days I'm home and have less distractions from intrusive thoughts and neuroemotions (I distract a lot, but they syill get me more when I'm home alone). 

 

That said, my anxiety and depression have worsened since I started doing it. I just don't know if it's due to EMDR, or to taking Xanax once a week for the last 2 months.

 

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still trying EMDR. Will report back here when I have a better sense of whether it made me worse or not. One person in protracted withdrawal from several psych meds told me it helped her with withdrawal neuroemotions and intrusive thoughts and didn't make her worse.

 

Not many people in withdrawal seem to have tried it though.

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • 3 months later...
On 23/07/2017 at 5:56 AM, Newbeginning said:

Still trying EMDR. Will report back here when I have a better sense of whether it made me worse or not.

 

Hi newbeginning! Do you already gave any more information about EMDR? I would like to know more.

 

Hope you are doing well :)

2001 - 2004 (9yrs to 12 yrs old): Clomipramine (don't remember dosage).

2013: Sertraline on September but stopped after two weeks. Xanax for 3 months (late september to december). Two days of terrible withdrawal insomnia and panic but stopped.

2014 - 2015: Luvox 50mg (february 2014 to june 2015).

2015 - 2016: Luvox 25mg (june 2015 to april 2016). Started to taper in April, taking one every other day for a week, one every two days. Severe dp/dr, anxiety and panic attacks.

2016 - 2017: Reinstated Luvox 50mg in June. Started to feel very depressed and anhedonia. Thoughts of suicide that scared me.

January 2017: stared tapering Luvox.

(Gradually reducing 1/8 of the pill, 6.25mg each time (every 4 to 6 weeks) - 12% of original dose, because my taper was going well and couldn't cut pill into smaller bits)

July 2017: 25mg

(Reduced 1/8 of the pill, equivalent to 6.25mg - 12% of original dose)

August 2017: 18.75mg

October 2017: 18.75mg

 

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Hi Deise,

 

It seemed to make me worse. My withdrawal symptoms were mainly anxiety and depression, so maybe it had to do with that. Will try again once I'm at least a month or two stable between cuts. 

 

I do know one person in withdrawal (protracted) who experienced less intrusive withdrawal thoughts and less withdrawal anxiety using EMDR--so it may depend on the person too. If you try one session or two, just observe how you feel for a couple weeks. If it makes you worse, it tends to resolve in a week or two after you stop it, so its worth the risk I think. I dont know anyone who got worse on it and stayed worse for months.

 

Its very important that you like and trust the therapist, and that he/she is certified in EMDR and very experienced.

 

Thanks for reminding me to update here :)

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • 10 months later...

Thank you for the information Newbeginning.  At 9 years off with a few lingering symptoms and having identified the source of the problem as to why I was put on psych drugs to begin with ... I am now ready to deal with my traumatic past (I hope).  I was diagnosed way back then with Bipolar but that is not the case at all, instead what I do experience is Complex Post Traumatic Stress.  I've been in a Women in Trauma group all summer and today had my first appointment with one of the trauma therapists that helped run the group.  Trust has been established between us over the summer and I cried the whole hour and a half just going over the assessment questions.  This is good.  During withdrawal I did not cry at all and only started a few months ago, thankfully.  After the assessment she recommended we do EMDR and I wanted to see if others had done this and what their experience was.   Thank you again for your posts on the topic.  If you are still here and have more to add, I'm listening.

A 20 year history of always a combo of 4 psych drugs sometimes more.  At last I had this awakening thought "These drugs aren't doing me any good."  I listened and at that point made the decision to taper off the last drug cocktail I was on of Celexa, Lamictal, Klonopin and Seroquel which I did in one year.  (Shock and awe.) Drug free May 6/09.  Sure is a slow healing process.

 

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go;  it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow."  Alice Mackenzie Swaim 

 

 

Not a doctor ... blah, blah, blah.  Not giving medical advise ... blah, blah, blah

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have tried EMDR on multiple occasions over the years. First, in the 1990s in conjunction with treatment for neuromuscular pain (cervical dystonia) and bruxism triggered by Zoloft. I didn't notice anything. 

 

More recently, I tried it with 2 additional practitioners with no response aside from enjoying speaking with someone who understands the harms of the drugs.

 

I tend to dissociate easily and one thought that that is possibly standing in the way and referred me out to another therapist for a new type of therapy, but I never went. 

 

Withdrawal itself has opened up a Pandora's Box of repressed memories and trauma. I believe there's a thread about it somewhere. 

 

This is the thread:

 

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to EMDR: has anyone tried this? Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy
  • 7 months later...

Hi, I tried EMDR before I started tapering. It was very helpful. I could only have a 4-5 sessions though, because we moved home. Still made a large difference to some childhood traumas I had though. 

 

However, during withdrawal, we can be extremely vulnerable, so EMDR might be too intense for many. 

 

2005-2018: Sertraline 50mg

Jan 2018: Started taper from 50mg

Jun 2018: 25 mg

July 2019: 20 mg. Switched to Microtapering

Spring 2020: Tetanus vaccine and a course of rabies vaccinations. 

July 2020: 16 mg. Hold.

During 2020, I was forced to change manufacturers(of generic Sertraline) 4 times due to supplier issues. I didn't write the dates down. 

1st Oct&4th Oct 2020: IV drip with Metoclopramide, ranitidine, hyoscine butylbromide in hospital

26 October 2020: 17 mg

1Nov: 16mg

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I wrote further up on this thread on Sept. 5/18 when I had just begun this process of contacting an EMDR therapist.  The first EMDR session I had was okay.  The second led to a revisitation of severe physical pain the next day which was the same stuff I had during withdrawal.  I decided not to do it anymore at the present time.  The therapist had a hard time with my "no thanks, not anymore" so I walked away.  I'm not interested in being controlled by anyone anymore and that is one of the precious gifts of my withdrawal experience.  I have since found another therapist and will find out what she's made of and possibly try EMDR again with her.

A 20 year history of always a combo of 4 psych drugs sometimes more.  At last I had this awakening thought "These drugs aren't doing me any good."  I listened and at that point made the decision to taper off the last drug cocktail I was on of Celexa, Lamictal, Klonopin and Seroquel which I did in one year.  (Shock and awe.) Drug free May 6/09.  Sure is a slow healing process.

 

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go;  it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow."  Alice Mackenzie Swaim 

 

 

Not a doctor ... blah, blah, blah.  Not giving medical advise ... blah, blah, blah

 

 

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I'm getting into the 'long tail' of my WDs from olanzapine now, at 2/3s of the smallest tablet size they sell.

 

I'd been pulling and pulling on that thread of 'why do I have self destructive tendencies?' since I was in my late teens.  It's been a long road finding why.  Along the road I had a 'crisis' and couldn't cope with some very difficult situations in my early-mid 20s.  More in my intro thread if anyone was interested.

 

My mother took me to a psychologist to try EMDR before that 'crisis' but unfortunately I couldn't stand the guy and nothing useful happened.  Pity - she was on the right track and if I'd got on with that counsellor who knows how much pain we could've saved.  But I didn't know much then, certainly not enough to safely navigate the deep waters my life had led me into.  These days I'd just be "well who else does this, let's try them."

 

Ultimately finding a supportive and understanding practitioner turned out to be the key for me...even if decades on.

 

Songbird asked me to add my post today in Carmie's thread here so I will do so below.

 

Also wanted to add that despite WDs I didn't want to put this work off a moment longer.  I have my doubts whether the difficult material would have been usefully accessible at a higher dose, my feeling is that 2.5mg and below is when the lights really started coming on for me.  I did hold for most of the therapy period.  Another motivation to get on with it was to try and get the trauma out of the way so it wouldn't cause trouble later on lower doses or after WD is complete.  For me I'm comfortable that's been the right decision, and being on this side of the issues is so liberating and such a relief.  Your mileage may vary, as they say in the classics.

 

Hope this is useful:

 

Quote

Re EMDR, the clinical psychologist I went to specialises in the kind of things that get you put on neuroleptics.  I've linked to the BPS pamphlet in my thread which links psychosis to past trauma and discusses approaches to treating it besides the toxic drugs.  I was very pleased to find a sympathetic ear.  She offered me a couple of ways of working through my issues and we agreed EMDR was probably the most helpful approach.  We had a few sessions working out the stresses and life difficulties that led to my 'crisis' in the 90s. 

 

It seems to me now anyone with half a brain would have been able to get me on the right track if they had listened to me better back then, but the prescribing goblin in the 90s denied any kind of talk therapy could help, told us all I had some defect 'chemical imbalance' and put me on the olanzapine "for life", the miserable sod.

 

I didn't give up on taking charge of my own healing (it was clear no one else would - they only really cared whether I was holding down a job), started lowering my dosage, exercising and after years of meditation some really hard things started coming up.  That's when I found my own psychologist as mentioned above.

 

The idea with the EMDR is that when you have unresolved trauma, particularly in your subconscious, it just hangs around being spiky rotten and unpleasant and sets off your fight-or-flight reflex way too often.  So if you can make these trauma/s conscious and pass them on to the part of the brain that normally stores memory like all the normal experiences do, you can unclog your body from hanging onto the pain and start healing.

 

I knew there was something amiss there most of my life.  The EMDR worked amazingly well and a bunch of things started coming up over a few sessions.  I was staggered by how vivid the recall is with this technique, and how my body was storing tensions from early childhood.  The smells, the time of day, who was there, what was said, how I was feeling, right back there again.  Practical time travel in a sense!

 

After two sessions we both felt there was something that was still to be unearthed, the root issue.  It was a huge relief in a way but there it was the next time, I had to relive being sexually abused at age 4 or 5.  Revolting and very uncomfortable, but now I know what happened, and my body and brain can process it consciously.  I found it hard to believe for a while but my body left me in no doubt.

 

My so-called 'diagnosis' back then was based on symptoms that are directly congruent with surviving child sexual abuse.  No need for any of the goblin's rubbish to explain things.  Nothing wrong with me in the first place, and nothing I could have done at age 4 or 5 could have repelled that attack.  My poor developing brain!

 

Everything started falling into place after that, parts of my life that had confused me made sense, depression and anxiety are less than 1/5 of what they were before.  Lots of anger, like lots.  So much of my lifetime effectively stolen that I will never get back.   My psychologist has been able to help me channel that into safe and constructive outlets.  Still working out how to tell my family, but I feel they need to know some time.  Will probably write them a letter. 

 

On the up side I'm a lot less shy now.  The only problematic symptoms I'm having now all seem wd-related, and each time I hold for a while it confirms that for me as they settle.  I feel once I'm off the rest of this blasted compound for a while I'm going to be pretty much who I should've been already.  Looking forward to that and it does keep getting better as I go.

 

So yeah it was kind of an archaeological dig for me.  Tiring, painful, difficult and messy.  But I'm on the right side of it now and life keeps improving.  Finding the right practitioner made it possible.  I didn't even know if I was going to be able to get the result I needed but thankfully did.  Feels like I've walked over the biggest mountain in my life path so far.  Sure, there'll be more healing to do but I've got the splinter out now.

 

Hope that's useful info and that your weekend is ace!

 

*hugs*

 

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own

NB: I do not do tapering support via private message

 

Backdrop:  10mg olanzapine 2003-06.  3mg risperidone 2006-2014.  Abortive x-taper to aripiprazole Dec 2014, back to 10mg olanzapine after 3 weeks.

2015:  10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5mg olanzapine using pill cutter

2018:  Finer taper liquid suspension 5mg to 2.5 Mar-Aug and hold

2019: Jan 2.5 | Eostre EMDR@2.1mg | Jul 1.625 | Oct 1.3

2020: Jan 1.214 | Apr 0.88 | July 0.69 | Oct 0.525

2021: EMDR all year Jan 0.44 | Apr 0.38 | Jul 0.26 | 2 Oct 0.205 | 3 Oct ->0mg

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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I did EMDR therapy for processing the trauma of my withdrawal and a few waves. I believe it did help me feel lighter and let go of pain and fear connected to the trauma of withdrawal. A close family member recommended me to her therapist who does EMDR but I'm sure you can find practitioners on Psychology Today.

Apr 2018: 10 mg Amitriptyline (for headaches & insomnia).

Jul - Aug 2018: Fast taper to 5 mg and then 2.5 mg (too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2.5 mg).

Sept 2018: Reinstated 10 mg (many symptoms improved).

Oct 2018 - Apr 2019: Updosed & stabilized on 11 mg (2 waves at 3 and 5 months post-withdrawal).

Apr 2019 - Apr 2020: Tapered 0.5-0.25 mg per month using compounded pills: 11 mg —> 6 mg. (2 waves at 12 and 16 months post-withdrawal.)

Apr 2020 - present: Switched to a liquid taper at rate of 0.1 mg per month. Currently: 3.8 mg. No more waves. 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed): Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time, waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; sunlight & walking; symptom tracking on adapted Glenmullen chart.

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