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notalwaysso

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notalwaysso

Hello everyone

 

I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.

I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 

 

The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms

 

I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 

 

I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.

 

Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 

At times I get more hopeful.

 

At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 

 

Thank you everyone for the  support.

Edited by scallywag
tags

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post

Hello Notalwaysso. It sounds like you already have some insight into the withdrawal process. You tapered at 10 % of current dose over ten months- what dose Lexapro did you start / & finish on ? What amount did you taper to before you hopped off ?

 

Could you please put your withdrawal history in your signature - all dates/ drugs / dosages etc. so that we can see your situation easily whenever you post. This link explains how to do that :

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

At 7 months off it seems that you are most probably experiencing withdrawal and associated symptoms.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization is the normal pattern at this point and can go on for an extended period. The pattern varies individually and no one can say how long it will last.

 

Fear, in various forms can also be a withdrawal symptom : there is a discussion about this topic here.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5213-fear-terror-panic-and-anxiety/

 

Some do find a small reinstatement to be successful , even this far out. It's not normally recommended after 3 months but it's a decision only you can make. It carries some risks at this stage. It's worth reading through this topic so as to be informed on the subject.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

We do recommend magnesium and fish oil but many find B complex to be too stimulating in withdrawal. It might pay to drop them for a while.

 

Your activities are positive for recovery as long as you keep them gentle and don't overdo it. The CNS needs calm and can sometimes react badly with too much stimulation. It's great if you can find a balance that works for you. 

This thread will give you more ideas :

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

These topics will help explain a little more about what's happening to your body and brain :

Brain Remodelling

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery/

 

This can be your thread to journal progress and ask questions. This is a process and everyone has their own timeline for healing. Have a read of the information and come back with any questions or concerns.

 

Welcome to SA,

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
.
         

Link to post

Hello everyone

 

I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.

I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 

 

The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms

 

I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 

 

I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.

 

Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 

At times I get more hopeful.

 

At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 

 

Thank you everyone for the  support.

 

Hi notalwaysso .

U are very astute at describing the torture we are experiencing .the moderators will guide u excellently .

I am going through a particularly bad time with a lot of the same symptoms .

 

I like to think after each window it makes us stronger to deal with the waves . 

I also love to do hill walking ,a simple rustle in the bushes makes me jump out of my skin and I'm getting to the point were I laugh [my poor CNS must be fried ].

 

I am also furious with doctors but I'm thankfully like yourself finished listening to them .

 

PLEASE never give up that hope ,we have amazing strength to be getting through such adversity.

 

​Like u say getting informed is a huge bonus for me also,its taken such adversity for me to wake up and inform myself on all levels of life not just questioning doctors .

 

I have had the darkest month of my life and we can learn so much about ourselves that others will never have the opportunity to do that .

Its so hard and painful at times but it will pass ,I will never give up believing that.

 

Have u tried mindfulness ,I love it ,it really helps me stay calm and sane in situations that would really be inappropriate to snap[very bad irritability] 

Take care and best of luck

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

Link to post
notalwaysso

Hello Notalwaysso. It sounds like you already have some insight into the withdrawal process. You tapered at 10 % of current dose over ten months- what dose Lexapro did you start / & finish on ? What amount did you taper to before you hopped off ?

 

Could you please put your withdrawal history in your signature - all dates/ drugs / dosages etc. so that we can see your situation easily whenever you post. This link explains how to do that :

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

At 7 months off it seems that you are most probably experiencing withdrawal and associated symptoms.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization is the normal pattern at this point and can go on for an extended period. The pattern varies individually and no one can say how long it will last.

 

Fear, in various forms can also be a withdrawal symptom : there is a discussion about this topic here.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5213-fear-terror-panic-and-anxiety/

 

Some do find a small reinstatement to be successful , even this far out. It's not normally recommended after 3 months but it's a decision only you can make. It carries some risks at this stage. It's worth reading through this topic so as to be informed on the subject.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

We do recommend magnesium and fish oil but many find B complex to be too stimulating in withdrawal. It might pay to drop them for a while.

 

Your activities are positive for recovery as long as you keep them gentle and don't overdo it. The CNS needs calm and can sometimes react badly with too much stimulation. It's great if you can find a balance that works for you. 

This thread will give you more ideas :

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

These topics will help explain a little more about what's happening to your body and brain :

Brain Remodelling

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery/

 

This can be your thread to journal progress and ask questions. This is a process and everyone has their own timeline for healing. Have a read of the information and come back with any questions or concerns.

 

Welcome to SA,

Ali

Thank you Ali for the helpful comments, especially the thread on anxiety and fear. The theme of "anticipatory anxiety" was new to me, and I realized how indeed i am so  hypervigilant looking constantly for symptoms (a new form of anxiety/fear?). I think it is a very good suggestion to try and accept the situation in a more benign way. 

 

I am trying to be more calm and accepting, yet, there is always that (scary and anxiety provoking) question in my mind: will it end one day? Will I ever go back to who I was before the meds? The thought of having become wrecked and wasted by that pill, which, knowing what I know now, I would have NEVER taken, is very debilitating. 

 

I find it difficult to "measure" improvement. I began a log for symptoms and mood, so I can keep track of what's happening, but - am I the same person I was before? Have I lost my joy of life? Forever? Terrifying.

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post
notalwaysso

 

Hello everyone

 

I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.

I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 

 

The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms

 

I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 

 

I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.

 

Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 

At times I get more hopeful.

 

At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 

 

Thank you everyone for the  support.

 

Hi notalwaysso .

U are very astute at describing the torture we are experiencing .the moderators will guide u excellently .

I am going through a particularly bad time with a lot of the same symptoms .

 

I like to think after each window it makes us stronger to deal with the waves . 

I also love to do hill walking ,a simple rustle in the bushes makes me jump out of my skin and I'm getting to the point were I laugh [my poor CNS must be fried ].

 

I am also furious with doctors but I'm thankfully like yourself finished listening to them .

 

PLEASE never give up that hope ,we have amazing strength to be getting through such adversity.

 

​Like u say getting informed is a huge bonus for me also,its taken such adversity for me to wake up and inform myself on all levels of life not just questioning doctors .

 

I have had the darkest month of my life and we can learn so much about ourselves that others will never have the opportunity to do that .

Its so hard and painful at times but it will pass ,I will never give up believing that.

 

Have u tried mindfulness ,I love it ,it really helps me stay calm and sane in situations that would really be inappropriate to snap[very bad irritability] 

Take care and best of luck

 

Hi  Powerback,

Thank you for your comforting words. I appreciate your faith and hope even after having had "the darkest month of your life". It is really encouraging to meet other people who are undergoing those symptoms and misery. I find it very frustrating when I talk to people about WDS (even my psychotherapist!) and they don't know anything about it. Maybe they think it's all in my head, etc. and that leaves me feeling even more alone and doubting myself.

When I am in nature I actually feel LESS anxious. There is something about being immersed in nature which really calms me down and I am in touch with inner peacefulness and joy, as well as puts me in touch with my body (I feel less derealization). 

In fact, anything to do with body activity (washing dishes, walking, taking a shower, excercising etc.) has an immediate calming effect. Maybe it is related to mindfulness which you mentioned. It is being in the now. I also try to practice mindfulness and it is a very powerful technique and mindset. I guess the anxiety is related to incessant projections about the future. Which, in fact, we know nothing about. 

 

But sometimes I feel I am exhausted from the neverending monitoring of  my own state/symptoms/moods. I wish I could just forget about it and simply BE.. But I guess that is NOT mindfulness (:), wanting and wishing something else...Just being here and now, with whatever arises, trusting...

Cheers and thanks

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post

Hi notalwaysso.

At the beginning of my symptoms  the hardest aspect to accept was the non existent validation of my symptoms .I believe this is a terrible thing for us to experience ,it really held me back ,so much time spent questioning my own self belief .

In my opinion it comes down to a power/authority attitude in society .

We live in a world with so much access to information now,we can change this power towards  ourselves

 

I WOULD NEVER PROMOTE ANYONE TO STOP LISTENING TO DOCTORS ,but we have to inform ourselves and educate ourselves much more,we are an example of having to find a different way to help ourselves .

I really believe an experience like what we all go through on this site can shape our lives for the better .[its dam hard though ],in respect to empowering ourselves and building our self actualization in relation to coping with adversity .

 

I believe the future of all medicine and psychiatry is in evidence based research and then the correct path for the "patient" can follow.

Just look at Robert Whitakers madinamerica.com ,brilliant .

Wanting and wishing something else is something I need to watch out for myself ,I catch myself doing this also.i especially shouldn't be doing it in a wave .

Eckhart tolle is just one of the many people that talk about nature also ,I'm a big fan of this man ,he has some great insight into human suffering and experience .

take care

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
notalwaysso

Hi everyone, 

 

I am new here, and very thankful for all the important information and knowledge contributed.

It is really helpful. As you can see from my history, I am 7 months free from Lexapro 10 mg, 

suffering from protracted WDS. My symptoms include most everything described here,

just that I didn't know for a while those were symptoms. I just thought I am going nuts. In this site I learned many important terms

that helped name and identify these awful phenomena.  

Right now I am in a window period for about two days.

A great relief, but I know it's not over. Trying not develop this anticipatory anxiety about

future waves, crying spells and feelings of despair and doom. 

Meanwhile, I am using various

supplements (fish oil, magnesium, and melatonin), a little outdoor activity and meditation. 

 

My question at the moment: Does anyone have any advice about WD induced tinnitus?

I got pulsatile tinnitus after about  5 months of gradual tapering (10% of each dose, remaining

there for about 3-4 weeks).  One fine morning, it was there, and been there ever since. 

It was very bothersome in the beginning, but I got somehow used to not paying attention

to it. But a few times a day I notice it's there. Sometimes it seems a little lower in intensity, 

and sometimes it goes up. 

 

I certainly hope it goes away one day, just as it came, but, I am not keeping my hopes up. 

I would appreciate any information. 

Thank you, 

notalwaysso

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hi NAS and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for doing your drug signature.

 

You may have already seen some of these but I'll put them here in case you haven't:

 

tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Taking a complex makes it hard to know if you are reacting to one of them:

 

hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex

 

vitamin-b6

 

vitamin-b3-niacin-niacinamide - See Post #7 TINNITUS

 

Melatonin

Large doses of melatonin do NOT aid sleep -- they might cause your oversensitive brain to wake up, instead. I found when I took more than 2mg of melatonin, I was weepy in the morning. If you get this or a paradoxical reaction (waking) or are dopey in the morning, it's a sign you're taking too much.

 

From best-description-of-healing-process

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR streel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. 

 

The easiest way to search SA is to use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org + topic

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
notalwaysso

Hi ChessieCat, and thanks for all the info, which slowly creates a picture for me about what is going on. 

I stopped with the Bcomplex, and I think I feel some difference,(less hyper feeling)  but I am not sure.

I was taking it for muscle pain in my legs, especially at night, but I think magnesium works better.

 

About Melatonin - I take 2 mg. every night. In my country it comes as a slow release pill, so it works

gradually. It really helps. I take it with magnesium, and this combination helps my sleep enormously. 

I still wake up once or twice at night, but manage somehow to get back to sleep. 

 

About the tinnitus, I guess I just have to continue to ignore it...that is the best strategy I could come up with. 

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

I'm pleased that you are starting to make sense of what is going on.  I have found that the more I understand it, the better I am able to accept it and not let it stress me.

 

These are links to some topics which you might find helpful:

  1. Acceptance and Mindfulness
  2. Acupuncture - Posts #6 & #8 (not detox or stimulation)
  3. Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System
  4. "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms
  5. Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way
  6. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression
  7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons
  8. Guided Meditations, Calming Videos, Sleep Hypnosis
  9. Journalling - Therapeutic Writing & Health Benefits
  10. Light boxes for depression and sleep disorders
  11. Magnesium
  12. Neuro Emotions
  13. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
  14. Omega-3 Fish Oil
  15. Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia
  16. Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization
  17. Yoga for calming (very simple poses can help greatly)

 

There are other topics, so if you are experiencing something not covered above, either google it or mention it here and we'll try to point you to the link.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • 1 year later...
  • Administrator
Altostrata

notalwaysso's Success Story topic is here

 

I have added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

As is our custom, I will lock this topic. Please visit notalwaysso's Success Story topic to comment.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Altostrata locked this topic
  • 5 months later...

Hello, 

I haven't been posting here fore a while... been med free for the past 2 years and 3 months, after a long anddifficult withdrawal period.  I have been feeling progressively better, with only very few symptoms left, mainly tinnitus, and sensitivity to light and sounds. Also sleeping less (waking up early) even when I darken the room. 

I thought I am out of the woods finally...but.

 

I am writing in the hope that some of you can help me in a very difficult time, where I feel relapse of anxiety and depression, 

due to major life changes (relocation, kids moving out of home are the main), and a big workload which I had to take upon. 

Although outwardly everything seems okay...inwardly i feel in a black hole: very anxious , worried, hopeless. Although i know rationally these are to be expected

in a time of major changes, I still feel awful most of the time, for about three months now. 

My sleep has deteriorated, and I wake up around 4-5 am, with heart palpitations and catastrophic thoughts.  

I keep at meditation, taking supplements like fish oil and magnesium. I eat ok, although lost some weight. 

Mainly I lost all joy, and everything seems like an endless drag.or major effort, and life becomes meaningless.

 

I am really worried about my situation, to the point where I had the thought to go back to the awful meds

(lexapro), which I made so much efforts to quit, and thought I succeeded. 

At this point - where I had the thought of going back to meds - I thought of writing you people in this

site, which helped me so much in the past. 

Its possible my anxiety-depression has nothing to do with withdrawal anymore,

but, I would really appreciate your

thoughts about recurring anxiety and depression long after withdrawal. I am so hoping

I do not go back to meds...

 

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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  • ChessieCat unlocked this topic
  • Moderator

Hi notalwaysso,

 

I'm sorry that you have hit a rough patch and that things are difficult for you at this time.  Stress does increase withdrawal symptoms.  And even though you have been drug free for so long you are trying to cope with several major life stresses at this time.  I don't know what age you are, but if your kids are leaving home, then you may be at an age of heading into, or going through menopause.  If so, then that may be adding to your difficulty coping.

 

Our esteemed moderator BrassMonkey created this topic which you might find helpful:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

 

The following is taken from something I recently posted to a new member who is experiencing life stresses and was considering starting an antidepressant.  I hope you might find it useful too:

 

 

We all want an easy and quick fix.  ADs are not the magic pill that we are led to believe.  Gwen Olsen was a drug rep for 15 years.  Short video:  We are trained to misinform

 

The thing to understand is that ADs numb the emotions, they don't make the problems go away.  Most external stressors, and I understand not all (my husband got sick after we had been married for 2 years so that particular stress was on-going), generally resolve over time or at least lessen.  I learnt CBT 4 years ago and wish that I had been taught this before going an an AD.  I also didn't receive any counselling "back then".

 

My suggestion would be to explore all other avenues of non-drug methods of coping before even considering taking an AD. 

 

I think it would also be helpful if you learned more about the history and issues of psychiatric drugs.  Two good books are Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker (this book also explains the history of drugs) and Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin.  This is a good start:  Video:  Simple Truths About Psychiatry - Series of 10 by Dr Peter Breggin

 

I also suggest that you check out some links on my website of things I have found on the internet (about half way down the page) https://adwithdrawal.weebly.com/information-links.html.  Also check out page 1 of my site too.

 

Some links:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
Video:  Experiential Avoidance (4 minutes)
 
Video:  EMDR - Balloon

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post

Dear ChessieCat, 

 

Thanks so much for your advise...and all the information!. Most of all it was good to hear encouragement about really trying everything before turning back to meds. 

 

i needed to hear someone say that.I guess when the times get rough and the mental pain so great, I feel I cant take it any more, and I guess I need to develop more tolerance for the emotional pain and turmoil of anxiety and depression.  Also, after reading some of material,  I thought that , although it's been almost 2.5 years since I stopped ad meds, maybe my system is still very fragile, and that major life changes and circumstances can easily ignite the anxiety-depression circuit, and that the way to building up resilience is long. 

 

I wanted to know if you have experience or heard of good results with ACT method therapy, which I know originated in Australia. I have been reading a lot about it and it makes a lot of sense to me. 

 

A Very heartfelt thank you

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reformatted

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

You are very welcome.  I'm pleased that you've felt encouragement.  That's one of the things that I've found helpful about being a member of SA.  We are able to discuss things with other people who understand that withdrawal can have an effect on us.

 

Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

 

This site seems to have lots of really good, specific self help things, including some apps.  There is one about Tolerating Distress.

 

Getting through rough patches when things bombard us can be very draining on us, and it feels like it is going to last forever.  We also tend to forget the better times.

 

And yes, because our CNS is recovering, any stress, even good stress, can cause issues.  I had a helicopter flying lesson for my 60th birthday last year and even though I'm tapering following SA's protocol and my symptoms have been mild, I did experience increased anxiety for several weeks after having this exciting experience.  But because of what I have learned from this site, I knew I just had to stay as calm as possible and it would pass.

 

I'm currently experiencing a "perfect storm" where many external life stresses are happening at the same time and are causing me to feel very fragile.  However, 4 years ago I did an online CBT course and have also learned non drug coping techniques since being a member of SA and even though it's tough, I've been using those techniques and it is helping me to get through a tough time.  It doesn't make the problems go away though.

 

This is SA's topic about ACT:  dr-rob-pursseys-tips-about-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy-act

 

This is another thing that can be useful:

 

On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

 

 

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post

Chessiecat's advice is wonderful and I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread while doing a quick scan of the forum to see how people are doing

 

I worry about what you are going thru, notalwayso-

that at some point in the future I'll get depressed and think about taking the lexapro again

 

I'm glad for the reminder that it wasn't the wonder drug it was supposed to be, and that there are much better ways to deal with difficult emotions and challenging circumstances

 

 

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Nov. 2020, loving life ❤️ 
 
Link to post

Hi notalwaysso,

 

Glad to 'meet' you!

 

What H2h says is exactly how I feel and think.

 

What you described in your intro topic sounds very familiar unfortunately.

 

What you experienced after tapering is how I go through most of my days.

 

I cannot remember how I used to live a normal life for so many years without these thoughts and feelings.

 

I hope you are going to be better and better and that people around you are understanding. I wish you all the best!

 

Keep it simple and day by day, you'll get better days!!

 

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg2020 citalopram taper approx 1 % per week: 03rd Jan 12.75 mg / 28 Jan 12.29 mg / 18th Feb 11.83 mg, 25th Feb 11.68 mg hold../7th May 11.33 mg hold, 4th Aug 10.98 mg. Holding because of not feeling well.

 

 

Link to post
  • 1 year later...

Hi not always!

 

How are going doing lately?

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg2020 citalopram taper approx 1 % per week: 03rd Jan 12.75 mg / 28 Jan 12.29 mg / 18th Feb 11.83 mg, 25th Feb 11.68 mg hold../7th May 11.33 mg hold, 4th Aug 10.98 mg. Holding because of not feeling well.

 

 

Link to post
  • 5 months later...
jozeff

Hi notalwaysso,

 

How are you doing? Long time since you posted. ...

 

Hope you're doing well!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg2020 citalopram taper approx 1 % per week: 03rd Jan 12.75 mg / 28 Jan 12.29 mg / 18th Feb 11.83 mg, 25th Feb 11.68 mg hold../7th May 11.33 mg hold, 4th Aug 10.98 mg. Holding because of not feeling well.

 

 

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