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Withdrawal or relapse? Or something else?

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

what is a normal response to a huge amount of stress and pain in my life.

 

Indeed and that is the rub. What IS the norm? Whose norm? What benefit is there were you to be able to sort out what is "normal depression" and what is wd "neuro emotion"?

 

I think what Alto is referring to is the use of the word "depression" as a psychiatric catch all for all manner of feelings which pharma has convinced them (and us through advertising) that there is a "pill" for.

 

It became easier for me to endure it when I gave up and just held the notion as best I could that whatever I was feeling was "neuro emotion" and therefore not a normal response to situations. I am done with the medical/psychological concept of "depression" for the remainder of this lifetime.

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MissSerene

This thread is helpful and hopeful. I'd also like to be finished with the word/concept "depression." I often tell myself that I feel depressed, then ask myself what I really mean. Is my energy low? Do I feel apathetic, numb? Am I sad, afraid, or have I lost my appetite? Am I swamped with false beliefs about myself and life that stem from my personal history and the crazy stuff I saw and learned?

 

A little more than halfway through taper (milliliters wise), I am struggling with a lot of intense emotions that the Prozac (and also a benzo, several years ago) were likely dampening. But the crying spells and fear alternate with days of just feeling not really interested in much, or motivated. Not looking forward to anything. Just getting by. Fear that this is all there is. 

 

I so want to feel alive again. For me, this is where the terror of, "It's not withdrawal, this is just who I am" kicks in. Maybe I am just a depressed, anxious person. Sorry to sound so down...Rough day today.  

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Junior

 

One way to distinguish between a neuro-emotion from withdrawal and "normal" depression (I hate that word, it's a psychiatric term to describe every kind of sadness) is that neuro-emotions come in intense waves without apparent emotional triggers.

But what if there ARE emotional triggers? Many people in withdrawal also have stressful or painful life circumstances. I am having a very hard time sorting out what is withdrawal, what is "depression" (I hate the word too) and what is a normal response to a huge amount of stress and pain in my life. It's all one big mess. And so am I.

 

FWIW I don't see how a person can consider it as what we have known as clinical depression in the past while in w/d. My guess is that it's a combination of the brain trying to re-balance itself together with neuro/emotional responses to 'normal' life experiences.

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WatchingTV426

MissSerene, I am sooooo with you here. I am having a difficult time understanding the difference b/t "real" anxiety problems or "real" depression and w/d, especially when say life events happen that might make someone anxious or depressed even if w/d weren't present. If we're not using the term "normal" depression, then what is the condition that describes the debilitating sadness, apathy, etc. that so many people experience? Same for anxiety? Don't some people, unmedicated and without therapy, endure like this for years (or, worst case, scenario, kill themselves?) 

 

Why are some people more prone to these sorts of conditions than others? If it's not brain chemistry, then what? I really want to understand this, as I've suffered with mental health problems since I was a child, and I've been taking this awful garbage since I was 24, and am now 32. 

 

As a separate note, I don't know a lot about panic disorder, which my sister has but doesn't talk much about in specifics, but I know she carries on with her everyday life (has a teaching job, runs her kids around, etc.) but the catastrophic thinking and worrying (about health issues) eats her alive. It's gotten increasingly worse for years, the worst of it triggered 2 years ago by her husband having cardiac arrest on her living room floor b/c he had a genetic abnormality no one knew about and her having to save his life while on the phone with 9/11, in front of their two children. She's tried therapy several times to no avail, and her PCP had her on 20mg of Celexa which wasn't doing much so now she's seeing a psychiatrist who upped the dose and has added other things. This has been going on for years, untreated by drugs for a long time, and it just kept getting worse and worse. She's improved some but definitely isn't "great," and she's experiencing side effects. My question is what would be the current thinking behind something like this--this seems like there is obviously something very wrong, something like "normal" panic disorder going on? 

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Petunia
Why are some people more prone to these sorts of conditions than others? If it's not brain chemistry, then what? I really want to understand this, as I've suffered with mental health problems since I was a child, and I've been taking this awful garbage since I was 24, and am now 32. 

 

 

I think the answer to this question is an unpleasant truth that most of us probably don't want to think about because its complex, painful to face, but more importantly, difficult to 'fix', without a lot of hard work, soul searching, courage, time and energy, which we probably don't have.  Its much easier to hang onto a medical sounding diagnosis, take our 'medicine', even though it doesn't really fix anything and just keep going the best we can.

 

I think Rhi said it best in a recent post here:

 

(paraphrasing)  Our emotions are not diseases but complex and normal reactions to very complex and unnatural life conditions in the modern world.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7913-video-about-depression-and-the-brain/?p=120086

 

If some people seem more prone to experiencing ongoing unpleasant emotions, then I would suggest its because they have probably been exposed to more extreme kinds of unnatural, harmful, difficult or dysfunctional situations at some time in their life, and this, combined with their own unique character and level of sensitivity, causes a normal, ongoing emotional response and pattern of behavior, given the circumstances.

 

The biggest problem I think, for a lot of people, might be with identifying what these unnatural, harmful and dysfunctional situations are or were, because in our family, culture or society, things which are often harmful to individuals, but benefit the group, get accepted as normal, and so they become 'invisible'.

 

My unfortunate reality is that I was born into a dysfunctional family.  From the outside, it looked fine, and to me, as a child, I didn't know anything was wrong because I didn't know any different.  But behind closed doors, the emotional environment and dynamics were strange, unpredictable and destabilizing.  There were no chemical imbalances back then either, but difficult emotions and patterns of learned behavior which naturally emerged through fear based control, emotional abandonment, dishonest communication and a lack of warmth or concern for anything beyond physical survival.  I've struggled through most of my life, weighed down by self doubt and high levels of anxiety... anxiety not caused by a chemical imbalance, but by unconscious beliefs about myself and life, planted there by my parents through their behavior and style of parenting.  Add to that some traumatic events, lots of stress, ongoing lack of support, bad choices..... given the circumstances, things have turned out as one would probably expect.

 

I've also had a difficult time letting go of the idea that all my problems in life have been caused by a chemical imbalance.  But the reality is that human problems are complicated and not caused by simple imbalances inside of individual brains.  If there are any imbalances they are usually found outside of brains, in the distribution of power within the environments which are supposed to support us.

 

 

 

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WatchingTV426

Petu, 

 

This is intelligent and thoughtful. I appreciate this. It gives me something to think about, especially as I have been high-anxiety probably forever, and suffered from OCD since childhood. Since both of my sisters have mental health concerns, as well as my dad, and a male cousin on my mother's side is schizophrenic, it seemed kind of "logical" to me that these sorts of things "ran" in my family--and, indeed, maybe they do, but not in the way that I've been thinking, i.e., b/c we have chemically imbalanced brains.  

 

My guess is that everyone's brain is balanced slightly differently, can handle stimuli slightly differently, and reacts to things in its own way. What things one has to react to, as you say, and how sensitive an individual you are, is going to determine a lot of outcomes. Thanks for this response. 

 

WTV 

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KarenB

That's it.  Exactly.  The last few days I've been saying to myself and my husband 'I am very, very sad because I got very very hurt, and no one looked after me.'  It's so simple and logical, but how hard it has been to find that truth.  I love what you say about the concept of depression.  I'm done too!

Thank you,

Karen

 


It became easier for me to endure it when I gave up and just held the notion as best I could that whatever I was feeling was "neuro emotion" and therefore not a normal response to situations. I am done with the medical/psychological concept of "depression" for the remainder of this lifetime.

 

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awakeandaware

I  never looked at withdrawal from a mental POV. Now I am wondering if my "depression" is actually due to withdrawal from SSRIs. It did not kick in immediately after I stopped taking Lexapro, which is what threw me off. But over the past few months I have been wondering if I actually have some sort of mild bipolar (lol). I don't know if my feelings qualify as neuro-emotions, though. It's more like, many days I wake up feeling generally sad and somewhat apathetic, antisocial and just...crappy. I have zero motivation to do anything. I don't have anything to say to anyone, and generally avoid human interaction. Then some days I wake up and feel good. There is no outside trigger for any of this. I tend to have long cycles (a week or two) of apathy and/or sadness, followed by a couple days of feeling like a normal human being. Then back to blah. Does this sound like withdrawal?

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Newbeginning

Hello everyone,

 

As I am approaching much lower doses of the 2 meds I currently take (that I'm trying to quit), Ive started to wonder: If I know some of the symptoms I have are most likely side effects of the meds, is it reasonable to expect they will fade as I decrease the dose? Or do you have to reach a dose low enough to notice a difference in those symptoms?

 

I can tell the difference between withdrawal and side effects because some of the side effects were there even before I started withdrawing. Also, the withdrawal symptoms tend to be a different set of symptoms (generally more physical than emotional, in my case). However, once I reached half of my intital Prozac dose, I have not seen much of a difference in the side effects that bothered me. That has me wondering if it could be long term damage that won't go away even after drug reduction.

 

Or could it be withdrawal even though it started before I started cutting down?

 

I'm confused and scared. I thought things would improve once I managed to decrease the prozac low enough, but I have not seen a difference yet after about 3 weeks of decreasing to 10 mg (I started at 20mg and have decreased to 10 over 5 months).

 

Any ideas or anyone willing to share their experiences much appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Altostrata

Side effects often occur in a definite pattern after taking the drug. For example, if you take Lexapro at 7 a.m. every day and have palpitations 4 hours later, that's an indication they may be caused by the Lexapro.

 

Withdrawal symptoms are more random.

 

Keeping notes on paper about daily symptom patterns, drug dosages, and when you take the drug or drugs can help you recognize a symptom that is caused by taking a drug or supplement.

 

You may note we often remind people to do this.

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Petunia

There are other side effects which occur not related to the time you take the drug, like weight gain and sexual issues, so it really depends on what side effects you are referring to. Some side effects will resolve as you lower the dose, some will disappear when you are off completely and others may take a while longer, and of course everyone is different, so what occurs for someone else, may be different for you. Perhaps you will notice a difference when you get a little lower.

 

To make it even more complicated, an effect which began as a side effect can then sometimes return later as a withdrawal symptom.

 

By continuing to taper slowly you are moving towards minimizing side effects and giving yourself the best chance of avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

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Newbeginning

Thanks everyone! Yes, I'm talking about side effects that only emerged over time, so I don't feel them right after I take a dose.

 

I'm talking about the apathy and fatigue. I know these are common withdrawal symptoms, but I know in my case they are side effects because they began before I experienced withdrawal. I also recall these symptoms improved when I tapered to a very low dose of effexor, only to come back after I started prozac (which I only started to help finishing the taper of effexor).

 

These symptoms have been very disabling for me and I'm worried they may not go away when I finally taper prozac to zero, which may indicate there is some enduring damage? It's very disheartening.

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WinstonWolf

Hi,

 

So, I've completed my taper from most recent Celexa/20mg disaster.  It took about 6 weeks and I finally 'jumped off' a few days ago.  I am having trouble concentrating, self conscious (social anxiety), tired, panicky, screwing up at work, etc. (even knocked over a drink the other day and although all human beings can identify with that, I think it's related).

 

The question that's going through my mind is whether this is all likely to dissipate over the next weeks or months.  Or is this the new normal?  I can make a case for both options above.  

 

Thanks for any help offered.  You all are so supportive!

 

WW

 

 

 

 

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westcoast

I think you'll get better from the AD withdrawal. You're not in Akathisia/Dread mode, it seems. Praise your favorite diety!

 

Any change in your mood since quitting? (I went thru the roof.)

 

Annnd, are you going to get off Ambien eventually? If so I'd consider waiting a while. Others can say how long.

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Mikey1975

Altostrata i'd like you to tell me if you think it's the depression or WD i stopped sertraline just over 2 and a half years ago i was fine for the first year and then onesided headaches started occuring with pressure round my ear and a bit of panic and moods when i feel like crying for no reason these come and go like the weathercoming up to 2 years after stopped things were getti g worse with bad palpitation feeling / internal vibrations 24 7 and have got worse as have the moods and down spells

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Iamfine

fefes, this is such an important question -- posed by spectio in her Intro topic title -- that I made it its own topic.

 

spectio, you did a great job answering the question!

 

One way to distinguish between a neuro-emotion from withdrawal and "normal" depression (I hate that word, it's a psychiatric term to describe every kind of sadness) is that neuro-emotions come in intense waves without apparent emotional triggers. You can feel fine, then blammo.

 

When the wave passes, it's as though nothing happened, like a sudden rain squall and then you have the sun again.

 

(The demotivation and a lack of feeling of reward is something else. It's a vague background neuro-emotion that gradually gets better over time.)

 

fefes, your idea of spending more time with pets is an excellent one. There was a time when I felt so bad, and so overwhelmed by human contact, I walked around the neighborhood looking for dogs and cats to pet. Even looking at photos of dogs and cats made me feel better.

 

Try to do little things like that to calm your nervous system. Don't aim to do too much. If you find it soothing, slip into the back of a church and listen to hymns. Go to the park and watch the birds.

 

Do you like to knit or crochet? Simple repetitive movements like those can be soothing, too.

My depression came in waves for years before I went to a doc about it. There were no drugs to blame it on, there were no life abruptions, I was just plain old depressed. Eventually the side effects from the meds outweighed my depression, but when I am through with tapering if I go through a depression how do I know the cause for sure? I mean obviously the docs can't fix me, maybe it's just my lot in life to go through waves of depression, it's just who I am and the sooner I accept it and learn to deal with it the better off I'll be.

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Mikey1975

Thanks for the post so i guess the way my emotions are all over the place one minute fine then panic or anger are def signs of neuro emotions

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tryingtosurvive

Still a bit unsure if this is things ok to post here or if it should be in my thread (?)- but it is related to this topic ..

I dont know what to believe anymore how do you know it is withdrawal symptoms and not a need for meds? (the whole world around me seems to scream it is a sign that :I need the meds to function. ..:("

Social anxiety, anxiety,depressive thoughts and binge eating is becoming what destroyes what is left of my life now :((( it is not worth suffering -better take the meds again ppl around me say.

I just need to know will this really pass ? Cause ö

Last time similar symptoms have come up and "passed" was after I went back on prozac (!)after a doctor tried to change me to efexor... 8 years ago...

Very grateful to replies from ppl with experience of coming passed this without meds....

Thank you

Trying to hang in there. ....

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Petunia

trying, if you experienced social anxiety, anxiety,depressive thoughts and binge eating before you took fluoxetine or other psychiatric drugs and have done nothing to address those problems via counseling or other therapies, then they will still be there when you stop taking the drugs.

 

If your symptoms were caused by a life situation and that situation hasn't been resolved, they will still be there. Psychiatric drugs don't cure anything, they sometimes suppress uncomfortable or inconvenient thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

 

This doesn't mean you need to take medication, it just means that your original problems haven't yet been worked through and solved. If you stop taking the drugs, then most likely the old emotions and behaviors are going to resurface again.

 

See:   http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6447-best-of-sa/?p=190314

 

If what you are experiencing is different from before you went on meds, then that's most likely withdrawal related.

 

Its possible to have a mix of old symptoms and problems returning along with new withdrawal symptoms. If you haven't dealt with your original issues via counseling, therapy or self help methods, and you go through withdrawal from stopping medications too fast, they may come back, possibly worse, due to the increase of stress and nervous system instability caused by withdrawal.

 

I hope this helps clear up your confusion.

 

 

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george11

The depression is getting worse and i don't know what to do!Maybe i have to start med's again...I do not believe anymore that it is withdrawal.....

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Lorin
How do you know the source of the symptoms?

Is the anxity from withdrawal or the fact that I suffer from anxiety?

thanx

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coldturkmama

Anything new showing up? For example I had brain zaps, electric like shocks in my head and a bunch of other things that made me realize it was more than just anxiety.

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Lorin

i had brain zap an acna and Hard horniness
now i am with acne and anixty

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ChessieCat
7 minutes ago, baroquep said:
  • Are these experiences solely experiences that were around before you ever took SSRIs, or do they include new elements as well? → If any new or different elements are present, a withdrawal reaction is very likely.
  • If nothing is new, are these experiences expressing exactly as they did before you ever took SSRIs, in terms of their intensity, what provokes them, how long they last, and so forth? → If there are differences, a withdrawal reaction is more probable.
  • How soon after a dose reduction or drug discontinuation did new or worsening problems occur? Days, weeks, months, or longer? → “Relapse” usually takes weeks, months, or longer to show up whereas withdrawal symptoms more often begin within just days, weeks, or the first month or so.
  • If taken shortly after a previous dose reduction or full discontinuation, does a reinstatement of the previous dose of your SSRI make things any better? → If reinstatement resolves newly appearing or worsening symptoms, they were most likely a withdrawal reaction.

 

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swordiebrom

Diagnosed with schizophrenia,changed my beliefs, experiencing some anxiety and only able to sleep in the morning. Are these withdrawal or relapse

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