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TikkiTikki: Going slow off Celexa to avoid "relapse"

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TikkiTikki

No physical symptoms to speak of this week. And since the weekend, that sleepy tiredness has lifted and I've been staying up until 12 most nights. Haven't worked this week which has been lovely – plenty of time to read and research in the day and then a spacious mind when my kids get home from school.

No morning jumpiness. Perfectly relaxed. No anxious thoughts. Not worried about a career at the moment, or feel I am lacking friends. Just feel like everything will be okay, one way or another. Much calmer with kids.

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Happy2Heal

this is great tikki, I'm so happy for you!!
 

:)

 

 

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joy2730

Hi TikkiTikki

 

I am so pleased for you, your posts have inspired me to start a taper again.  I love the way you describe your tiredness/ability to connect/freedom from worry/peace - it is such a positive, as many people describe the exact opposite.

 

I guess as you have children you are much younger than me, I am 59 and when I was in my 40s I nearly didn't withdraw from diazepam as in terms of life expectancy it might not be worth it!  I no longer feel like this, and know even a small reduction in dosage at an older age is so valuable.  I have a 14 month old granddaughter who I love to connect with.

 

Once again, I am particularly keen to hear from you as you are getting to lower dosages, and indeed once you are off the drug, as these seem to be particularly difficult for some individuals.

 

I have noticed on these boards that if people start to get into difficulty after doing so well they don't report back, but feedback, even negative, is so important for the rest of us.

 

I am not posting at present, as I think it concentrates the mind unduly on symptoms, and am picking the posts very carefully that I do read.

 

TikkiTikki I really hope this continues to go well for you, and you have inspired one workaholic grandmother.

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

Hi Joy

 

It's lovely to be able to be positive, and I do think its important to keep posting that because this kind of forum definitely has a bias toward the most extreme, chronic cases for obvious reasons. So I'll do my best.

 

I'm 42. My kids are still at primary school. I think I have a few things in my favour regarding the taper:

  • I've been on a single drug for 12 years, and only one other (Zoloft) for two short periods in the 3 years before 2006. 
  • That drug 'worked' well for me, so I was never prescribed additional antipsychotics, benzos etc. (except during start-up)
  • Being youngish :) (though I have felt so, so old in the last few years...!)

And of course, other factors like family support, money security, free healthcare (go Australia).

 

That said, I was reading MapleLeafGirl's thread and she tapered Paxil over 4 years, felt good for a year, and then was hit with terrible WD and chose to resume medication with Lexapro. But I'm keenly watching Aberdeen, Brassmonkey, Hudgens and others who tapered slowly and are doing well post-taper.

 

14 hours ago, joy2730 said:

when I was in my 40s I nearly didn't withdraw from diazepam as in terms of life expectancy it might not be worth it!  I no longer feel like this, and know even a small reduction in dosage at an older age is so valuable.

 

That's funny to think that in your 40s, but I know what you mean! It's a long haul battling the withdrawal. But I definitely think it's worth seeing how low you can go because as you 'unmask' your stronger feelings, motivation, sense of self, that can make a big difference in the battle and in life. I can imagine staying on a very low dose indefinitely if I feel like myself, and it avoids the danger of ever crashing.

 

But again, I'm lucky to have so few symptoms. You're really brave, Joy, to keep trying when you feel such symptoms. I think it's a sound idea to avoid posting for a bit too, if that feels right. Recording symptoms is important, but it's easy to get into a real rut with it.

 

I wish you so well with your next cut. You've always kept reading, learning, exercising and staying upbeat and it's been valuable to me. I got exercising more last year because of you :rolleyes:, and I've kept up some walking even now. So thanks!!!

 

TIkki

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TikkiTikki
22 hours ago, Happy2Heal said:

this is great tikki, I'm so happy for you!!
 

:)

 

Thanks Happy! How are you going?

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Happy2Heal

Going well, Tikki, going well! feeling very lucky.  :)

 

 

now, if only it would stop snowing!! lol spring comes late in New England and we often get heavy wet snow in March that may not stick around long, as the temps go above freezing during the day and melts it all, but it makes an awful mess of things when it's here.

We have a saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" (mostly due to these storms with strong winds) 

and well, it's doing just that. :P  

 

gives me an excuse to stay in and catch up on some reading and sewing 

 

 

 

 

 

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Longestroadhome
On 07/03/2018 at 11:57 AM, TikkiTikki said:

Hello, thanks for the kind words.

 

I feel very lucky to be feeling so good. (Also like there might be a catch somehow...)

 

Joy – on the weight front. Last year I was desperate to lose weight, and began a strict diet with 45-60mins of walking a day. I cut out carbs, sugar, fruit, dairy (basically just ate eggs, vegetables, chicken and legumes). After 8 weeks (just before Christmas), I had lost about 2.5kg (5.5lbs). I felt better and more even on the diet, but it was hard to cook for a family, socialise, and keep up the discipline and time it took to be prepared. Over Christmas and holidays, I drifted back to 'normal' eating. 

 

I'm not focused on weight now, for a few reasons:

  • It was hard to keep up, took a lot of my energy and focus, and the results were a bit underwhelming. I didn't notice any changes in measurements or clothing in that time.
  • It put me into kept me in a self-punishing/ self-loathing mindset. This year, I'm trying to be content where I am now, rather than fixating on weight loss or the AD taper.
  • For a long time, my weight has been a signifier of my 'real self', and I've thought that losing weight would magically make me feel like 'myself' again. Every failed attempt over the last decade just dug me further into a hole of self-blame, and estranged me from myself. This year, I've felt some real gains in meaningful connection, motivation and the desire to write, and those things are much closer to my 'real self' than any outward change could be. I can only put those changes down to the taper, and getting on lower doses that don't fog me so much, as well as the healthy self-examination that this process has required. 
  • I want a life that has more time for rest and contemplation, so something has to give!

I do want to focus on eating healthily and walking often, and those are my broader goals for now. I expect the weight issue to become a focus again, at some stage, but for now It's a bit on the back burner. To be honest, if I'd lost a bit more weight in that time I would have been more inspired, but I find losing weight on ADs just SO difficult and discouraging. So much effort for so little gain. Maybe in a year or two, if I can get off the citalopram, it will become easier.

 

I still very keenly watch out for any SSRI stories where people lose weight as they taper, or after, and have scoured this site and others for encouragement! It does seem very individual as to when and how people lose weight, though a general trend of it being substantially easier once off meds seems to be true.

 

 

Well Dave, 4 years ago I tapered over 4 months and then reinstated back to full dose (thinking I was relapsing). And 3 years earlier, much the same except an even quicker taper. All before SA. So I did plenty wrong before I knew what to do! And fingers crossed this is the right thing now.

Hi! It was good to read through your thread. I can relate to lots of things you talked about. Including weight gain! I also gained 25kg on lexapro. It was a rapid weight gain that took me from 82kg ( still overweight then but just had a baby) up to 107kg in less than twelve months.  Very depressing in itself. For a long time I hovered around the hundred kg Mark and couldn’t lose weight for trying. When I got down to 5mg lexapro it felt as though my metabolism sped up slightly. Quite quickly I dropped down to 97kg. After Christmas I joined Weight Watchers and am now down to 94kg. It is frustratingly slow but at least it is moving in the right direction. I tried so many extreme ways of dieting ( fasting, 800calories a day, keto) and nothing ever worked. At least now I am eating normal food and not starving. I figure it will take a long time to reach my goal but at least I am heading in the right direction. Lexapro was definitely a contributing factor in weight gain. 

 

Keep going! You are very encouraging ❤️

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TikkiTikki

Hey peeps! Nice to hear from you.

 

Happy – that sounds lovely actually, to cosy up and read and sew! We're at the end of summer here in Australia, and I had to put on long sleeves the other day for the first time in months and months. 

 

Longestroad –isn't the weight just so hard to deal with. It's GREAT that you're headed in the right direction! I was last year, and I hope to be again some time. I'm trying to cook more with vegetables and shift my children's taste buds away from white carbs and cheese! :lol: If I were just cooking for me and my partner it would be a lot easier to eat well. At least the carb-craving has gone away, so that should take effect at some stage. Patience, patience!

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TikkiTikki

Good week. Away last weekend at the beach and so playing catch-up with washing and the boys a bit grumpy but handled it all pretty well.

I've been micro-tapering these past few weeks, and down to 6mg today. Much easier with just one does from one syringe (a 3ml one).

Earlier nights this week after being so awake the week before, and I laid off the weed until last night too. I think sometimes it wakes me up more.

 

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TikkiTikki

 

Had trouble sleeping last week. Felt tired, happy, peaceful, just couldn't drift off for hours. I tried melatonin a few nights and though maybe it made it worse?? Checked Alto's thread on it and dropped my dose to about 0.3mg (from about 0.7-0.9mg). Tried that last night and Friday night and it worked a treat.

 

Feeling so alive and awake it's unbelievable. Saw Jason Isbell in concert on Saturday night and when he played 'Cover Me Up' – a triumphant, devastating version – I just wept and wept. There are so many things coming back to me now, so many things I used to love and feel, and thought I still did, but now it's all sharp and precise and beautiful. So beautiful it hurts ... but it's a good hurt.

 

I feel like writing like never before.

 

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joy2730

I am so pleased for you - shows it can be done.  

 

Joy

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DaveB
10 hours ago, TikkiTikki said:

 

Had trouble sleeping last week. Felt tired, happy, peaceful, just couldn't drift off for hours. I tried melatonin a few nights and though maybe it made it worse?? Checked Alto's thread on it and dropped my dose to about 0.3mg (from about 0.7-0.9mg). Tried that last night and Friday night and it worked a treat.

 

Feeling so alive and awake it's unbelievable. Saw Jason Isbell in concert on Saturday night and when he played 'Cover Me Up' – a triumphant, devastating version – I just wept and wept. There are so many things coming back to me now, so many things I used to love and feel, and thought I still did, but now it's all sharp and precise and beautiful. So beautiful it hurts ... but it's a good hurt.

 

I feel like writing like never before.

 

 

Wow, congrats! What a positive update, gives some of us who are kind of in the thick of it some hope! Good job not letting sleep issues mess with you and screw up your progress!

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wantrelief

Your description of how you felt at the concert was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

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TikkiTikki

Written on 8 July 2018:

 

Things have gotten a lot murkier since my last post. It feels like I've been on the hollow side of the world again, looking in, but I find it hard to trust my own perceptions enough to make that assessment. I think I've had good days? I'm sure I've had good days , but they felt like the good days you have when the strongest feeling is still pure, nervous relief. You’re still looking over your shoulder and stilling your heart.

 

I’ve made some better lifestyle choices, hard as they still seem. I reconnected with yoga, and that had a positive effect on my mood. It could be as simple as get active, get more purpose through meaningful work or study, and wait out the stormy seas of this last part of the taper. I’m trying, really trying, while feeling a frightening imperative to always be doing something else.

 

I asked my partner, “Can you remember a few year ago? Before I started the taper? Is this better, now?” Because I really am not always sure. But we agree that there are clear, strong threads that are feeling strong enough to tether me right now, that are a grip between me and the world.

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TikkiTikki

And six weeks later, I'd have to say that things are less murky, and I can definitely see improvements in my engagement wiht the world, my interest in ideas and people, and my trust in myself.

 

Biggest struggle is mood – in response to normal stressors my irritability is often through the roof, and I feel so out of control. Admittedly, there is a lot going on in my life and things are difficult, but things are SO MUCH easier when I don't respond that way. But the distance between me and my reactions is growing, and I'm learning some control. It;s difficult.

 

I am practising yoga regularly, and making sure I keep connected to things outside the home/kids, and I think both of those really help.

 

I have also recently been following a ketogenic diet, with great results so far. I searched it up here first, and there was little to recommend it and several people who felt it made things worse. I decided to give it a go anyway, and I do feel much clearer in my mind, and have had some of my best days for years and years. I've lost about 3kg too, which is a great incentive for me as I have about 25kg of AD weight to shift.

 

Life is not easy! I feel I'm learning how to manage my unmedicated self – big dreams, big disappointments, a high need for intellectual stimulation and some less than helpful negative thinking patterns that have become a bit rusted on. I also think I'm dealing with the mood swings of withdrawal, and they can be so intense they really knock me off balance. But my strongest weapon is self-compassion, and most days I can access a bit of that and realise that imperfection is the reality of things, and I'm doing an ok job at life.

 

I don't really notice any defined symptoms each time I drop a dose – it's just a general state of increased emotional reactivity, a lot of depressed mood, but also a far sharper connection to the world and to myself. I've stopped calculating when I will be 'off' the pills – I'll just keep dropping slowly and focus on the lifestyle changes that make the biggest difference.

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TikkiTikki

I'm very good at dwelling on problems, and what is not going well, so I want to write about today as a reminder to myself.

 

Today I had a HUGE amount on, and I did it all with good grace and a sanguine mood. From Book Parade costumes and calming anxious kids to a group project with study colleagues then cooking a meal to take to hockey practice and meeting night ... DID IT ALL. Oh, and went to the doctor, got a shot, and filled a prescription that my son needed. 

 

I felt a bit anxious about it all when I woke up this morning – it's usual for me to feel a bit anxious and flat in the morning – but I just powered on through. I'm getting so much better at setting aside how I feel and just doing what I need to do, and the result is that the feeling passes. The morning anxiety, the sudden anger, the self-berating thoughts about my parenting and career performance – there's just that little bit of space opening between them and me so that I can choose something other than BEING those thoughts.

 

I'm a much wiser person than I was when  began this taper, and it is very nice to feel this way.

 

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TikkiTikki

I think I forgot to take my dose yesterday. I had a headache through the afternoon and went to bed early, then woke around 1am feeling a bit fragile and bleak. Felt the same way this morning, but it faded an hour or so after taking my dose.

 

Feeling that way wasn't uncommon a month or so ago, but now it really stands out because my general mood is clearheaded, positive, energetic and motivated (despite having strong mood swings and sudden irritability and anger). 

 

I'm on 4mg now.

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Benzhelp

Hi TikkiTikki, 

 

I’m sorry you are suffering. Missing doses made me feel the same way.

 

It’s great you are feeling better than before, and noticing the difference. 

May the improvements continue. Wishing you healing and success in your taper.

 

Take good care <3

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Carmie
22 hours ago, TikkiTikki said:

I think I forgot to take my dose yesterday. I had a headache through the afternoon and went to bed early, then woke around 1am feeling a bit fragile and bleak. Felt the same way this morning, but it faded an hour or so after taking my dose.

 

Feeling that way wasn't uncommon a month or so ago, but now it really stands out because my general mood is clearheaded, positive, energetic and motivated (despite having strong mood swings and sudden irritability and anger). 

 

I'm on 4mg now.

 

Hi TikkiTikki, 

 

Im sorry you  forgot your dose. Dosage problems has happened to many of us on this site, especially when brain fog is bad. 

 

I’m so happy to hear that your General mood is positive. Keep up the good work💚

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TikkiTikki

Hi Carmie and Benz, thanks for dropping by!

 

I'm feeling fine, really – it was  short blip. I always feel a bit "taper-lite" in comparison to most people on SA, as I have so few physical symptoms. I feel like my journey is more about learning to manage my emotional state without the highs and lows lopped off (as well as riding out some crazy mood swings as my brain adjusts).

 

Carmie - that's an impressive taper effort, down to 7.5mg Seroquel. Still awful withdrawal symptoms, though?

 

And Benzhelp – is the Abilify your main focus, or are you trying to lower a benzo (is Prazosin a benzo?)?

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Carmie
18 minutes ago, TikkiTikki said:

Hi Carmie and Benz, thanks for dropping by!

 

I'm feeling fine, really – it was  short blip. I always feel a bit "taper-lite" in comparison to most people on SA, as I have so few physical symptoms. I feel like my journey is more about learning to manage my emotional state without the highs and lows lopped off (as well as riding out some crazy mood swings as my brain adjusts).

 

Carmie - that's an impressive taper effort, down to 7.5mg Seroquel. Still awful withdrawal symptoms, though?

 

And Benzhelp – is the Abilify your main focus, or are you trying to lower a benzo (is Prazosin a benzo?)?

 

Hi again TikkiTikki, 

 

Im so glad to hear you’re doing well, such an inspiration. I’m glad you hardly have any physical symptoms, that’s really wonderful, I’m so happy for you. 

 

Yes, withdrawals can still get bad no matter the amount one is tapering. I’ve been in a window for months though as I’ve had a bit of a break from tapering, time to taper again soon though. 

 

Yes, emotions are fun, aren’t they? Being human, no matter whether we go through withdrawals or not, we always have to work on different emotions that come up. With withdrawals those mood swings can certainly be weird, anhedonic one minute, stressed the next. 

 

The best thing is just to take a moment at a time I reckon n get through each moment as best as one can. 

 

Again, I have to say it’s wonderful you don’t have much problem with physical symptoms. 

 

Take care💚

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Thanks Carmie! Gee  – I wish I was where you are now in Queensland, Melbourne has been horribly cold this last week. It was 3 degrees when I was dropping the kids at school yesterday at 9am. Try as I might, it is that much harder to be positive about the day when it's gloomy and freezing.

 

One moment at a time ... sage advice. Sounds like hard-won wisdom. How long have you been tapering?

 

 

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Carmie
On 8/30/2018 at 10:16 AM, TikkiTikki said:

Thanks Carmie! Gee  – I wish I was where you are now in Queensland, Melbourne has been horribly cold this last week. It was 3 degrees when I was dropping the kids at school yesterday at 9am. Try as I might, it is that much harder to be positive about the day when it's gloomy and freezing.

 

One moment at a time ... sage advice. Sounds like hard-won wisdom. How long have you been tapering?

 

 

 

Hi TikkiTikki, 

 

Yes Queensland weather is beautiful, 

 

You’re right about Melbourne weather. I was there the other winter as I went to my niece’s wedding in Ballarat. It was freezing! There was sleet n we skidded off the road on black ice. No one was injured, though we went down a ditch n through a wire fence. It was the weirdest accident, no one was panicking, we were all over the place n no one said a word. 

 

We stopped n I go: “ I think we’ve had an accident.” 😂 I was in the back seat. 

 

I don’t remember how long I’ve been tapering but it’s been many, many years n according to the brassmonkey slide n microtapering it will probably take me another ten. 

 

Yep, slow n steady.

 

Hope you’re coping okay💚

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Wow Carmie you are patient. I guess we can only go as quickly as our bodies allow.

 

I dropped to 3.8mg on Saturday, and feel quite activated and anxious this morning. Manageable, but noticeable. Had a stressful morning with kids, which is making me feel bad, but I think my reaction is ramped up.

 

Otherwise, I've been ok. Still a bit Jekyll and Hyde, but laughing so much more. There's an ad on TV at the moment that just really tickles me and I laugh every time I see it. And it's sunny today even though it's cold.

 

 

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Carmie
On 9/3/2018 at 10:20 AM, TikkiTikki said:

Wow Carmie you are patient. I guess we can only go as quickly as our bodies allow.

 

I dropped to 3.8mg on Saturday, and feel quite activated and anxious this morning. Manageable, but noticeable. Had a stressful morning with kids, which is making me feel bad, but I think my reaction is ramped up.

 

Otherwise, I've been ok. Still a bit Jekyll and Hyde, but laughing so much more. There's an ad on TV at the moment that just really tickles me and I laugh every time I see it. And it's sunny today even though it's cold.

 

 

 

Hi TikiTiki, 

 

Im so glad to hear that you are able to laugh. They say laughter is good medicine. It always makes me smile when people say “they say” as I wonder who are they?😄

 

I hope you stabilise from your latest drop soon. We never know how long it takes to stabilise after each drop but stabilise we do.

 

Wishing you all the best in your tapering💚

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Had a few ups and downs since last posting. The first week of 3.8mg was really rough, I had some stressful situations with the kids and I DID NOT respond well, which made me feel so awful. I think I could tell that I was agitated, weepy and fragile from the dose drop, and not just the life stress (It's not always easy to determine for me).

 

I've also been finding that my symptoms are worse around day 21 of my cycle ... I'd always thought that days 26-28 just before your period were the worst, but for me now it's more days 21-25 ish. 

 

I've worked and studied and done pretty well this past fortnight, but I've also spent a lot of time avoiding writing and job hunting, even though it makes me feel worse. I really need a better sense of purpose in my life and feel like I'm just drifting a bit, caught between my household and kid responsibilities and the difficulty of finding something that fits in the time that is left. I'm bored with myself. I want to do some work that matters to someone, I want to feel useful and authoritative. But I'm scared. I don't feel confident. I wish I could stop thinking sometimes, and just go along like everyone else seems to.

 

I'm sleeping better this last week, but before I was always waking with that jagged, heart-leaping panic as my brain began to form thoughts. It didn't seem to matter what I thought about – anything could set me off. I would wake in the night, sometimes quite panicked, and either read or slip in with one of the kids to calm myself.

 

I drifted off the keto diet I was following, but back on now for the last four days. No weight loss, but I really missed the mind clarity – I definitely noticed the fogginess and lethargy when I ate sugar and starches. So back to meat cheese and vegetables ... it's boring and limited but I do feel better in mind and body.

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TikkiTikki

I was scheduled to drop to 3.6mg this past Sat 15 Sep, but didn't. Need to feel better than this.

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TikkiTikki

Woke around 1am when I heard my son up, couldn't get back to sleep for an hour or more. I feel anxious at night, not desperately so, but not comfortable. Woke early, worked for a few hours, and then felt a bit better. Pretty tense today though, and having to remind myself of what to do next. Going through the motions. Little enjoyment.

 

I'm just plagued with self-doubt – worse than that, self-loathing. It helps to write it out because then it seems like a symptom, and I can get a slither of distance from it. Just a slither. I'm just so tired of how much work it is to keep myself going at the moment. My complaints become commonplace when I write them down: I thought I would have achieved more by now. I thought I would feel happier in myself. I thought I would have more direction, more purpose. I didn't think it would still be so hard. 

 

But that sounds suspiciously like the human condition once I spell it out. No points for originality.

 

I walked today, and because I'm waking so early and so frequently in the night, I'm always tired by 9pm, so I don't have a lot of trouble falling asleep. Which is a blessing.

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jozeff

Hi tikki!

 

Just bumped into your post. I'm active on this forum myself since two months.

 

I'm a 42 year old male happily married and we have a 7 year old boy.

 

I'm very interested in reading your taper and how you are doing. You did a very good job as far as I can see. Do you follow a special scheme? 

 

Do you feel quite stable while tapering? I mean stable as in the same symptoms weekly, not stable as in feeling super good. 

 

Your story reminds me a lot of my journey with citalopram..... I'm in the beginning unfortunately.

I started my taper and April 2018 and tapered 0.1 milligram each day for 85 days.

So I went from 25 to 16.5 my and then crashed hard. I thought I was doing the very slow taper. 

 

Fortunately I came across brass monkeys method and he advised me to hold for a couple of months and then start a very slow taper. I updosed to 18 mg 6 weeks ago because I wasn't feeling well. This help me for about 4 days but then I felt awful again. 

 

Now I'm toughing it out and will be tapering soon but slow.

 

It looks like you are having good days and bad ones. I must say that your later messages seem a bit more positive so that's good.

 

You still have some serious receptor occupancy with 3.5 mg citalopram if I'm correct so you will have to do some more work but you are going to make it! 

 

 

Having a job, kids, social life and all symptoms because of WD is not easy and quite overwhelming sometimes. I'm struggling myself. 

 

I wish you all the best and hope you get well soon!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

The Netherlands

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TikkiTikki

Hi Jozeff, nice of you to drop by.

 

10 hours ago, jozeff said:

Do you follow a special scheme? 

 

Do you feel quite stable while tapering? I mean stable as in the same symptoms weekly, not stable as in feeling super good. 

 

I have to say yes, my taper is going pretty well, and I'm faring much better than many poor people on these forums. I haven't followed a special scheme. I was using a self-made liquid until maybe 6 months ago, and now I use a compounded liquid from the pharmacy. My dosage drops are not consistent  – generally no quicker than the 10% per month (except the beginning), and usually slower. When I don't feel so good, I keep holding.

 

I think I do feel quite stable while tapering. I don't tend to notice any defined symptoms with each drop. I've just had a growing feeling of depression lately, mood swings, and an ability to feel both highs and lows in a way I didn't while on a full dose. I feel more connected to myself, but also more susceptible to negative thought patterns and stress. I'm going to see a psychologist soon, for support with this. I haven't seen a psychiatrist for 5 years, and not regularly since my youngest was a baby (about 8 years ago). I get my scripts from a GP.

 

Brassmonkey is a great inspiration! It's great you found his method. So you say you updosed a little, and it only helped for 4 days? I've considered it myself (was thinking it last night at 2am), but unsure it would help. Your experience is interesting. People seem to be responsive to changes in dose often more than absolute dose, which may account for your brief relief. Or placebo effect? I feel there are so many things in my life that alter my mood that it is really difficult to pin it to the taper.

 

How are you feeling generally? I think I read your thread a while back and you were struggling quite a bit. 

 

Wishing you some good days!! It's sunny here is Australia, probably not the same in the Netherlands? Hope you have a nice weekend anyway.

 

 

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TikkiTikki

I'm feeling reasonably stable at present. It's the end of the school holidays. At the beginning of the holidays, I felt really awful, and had been putting off doing some work I needed to do. Once I got stuck into that, I felt so much better – last Wednesday and Thursday (26 and 27 Sep). Then I was away for a week, and had one really bad night when I was woken up after being briefly asleep and then became very panicked and wept and wept about the state of my life and self.

 

I'm feeling a lot more sanguine now, and I'm trying to work on the thought patterns and loops that lead me into such harsh thinking. 

 

Got stoned the other night for the first time in ages. Felt okay, quite tentative. I became relaxed but not my usual joy and abandon.

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TikkiTikki

Difficult few days – extremely labile and fearful of going to sleep and waking up. I dropped a dose yesterday morning, but I was feeling unsettled before that. We had a lot on this weekend, and most of it good but still a lot to juggle.

 

My partner is going away for a week and I'm nervous about handling the kids and their anxiety and behaviour issues alone. Very high maintenance kids at the moment, both of them, and it's harder when I'm not feeling on top of my game. 

 

But underneath these fearful feelings I can locate a growing solidity, that things are going to be alright and that this is more just surface emotional tumult. In the middle of the night I feel desperate and exhausted with having to work so hard to keep my thoughts in check, but in the day that feeling that I'm on the right track is still there. There are several elements of my life right now that are objectively difficult, and I'm working through them. Despite feeling really churned up a lot of the time, I'm connecting better with people too.

 

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jozeff

Hi tikki tikki,

 

Nice to hear of you. Sounds like you're having a wave but you are still healing as far as I can see. You did pretty well last time but now you're having some trouble with your kids. How old are they if I may ask? 

 

I have a 7 year old and when I'm in a wave or feeling not stable things feel pretty awful sometimes. I'm quickly agitated and, although my son is behaving normally, he really itches my nerves. Not completely fair but hey.....it's our healing brain!

 

Your exhaustion from keeping your thoughts on track is very recognisable. I find it hard to believe sometimes that thoughts can make such a difference.

 

Yesterday I felt pretty good and suddenly and nasty thought popped up. What if I die today.....or what  if I get really depressed right now with severe anxiety?

My well-being started falling apart in 5 minutes and it took me 5 hours to feel normal again.

 

Well, wish you all the best and hope you will see a window pretty soon!!

 

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

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TikkiTikki

HI Jozeff – My kids are 8 and 11. One has a lot of anxiety, ADHD and takes medication, and is just generally hypersensitive and emotionally volatile. Just doing the simple routines can be utterly exhausting sometimes, he has to fight about everything. I swing between feeling 'woe is me' for having such a difficult situation when I just want to get off these damn pills, and 'woe is him' for not having a consistently positive, upbeat and resilient mother. 

 

I've been looking into Wellbutrin lately, scouring the forums for positive stories from people who've taken it. Somehow trying that doesn't seem the defeat that reinstating Citalopram does? I just feel under such a weight, and feel like I'm running on a hamster wheel trying to make changes that stick and make me feel better.

 

I just don't know. It's 4am. I wake a lot at this time and stew on things. I've got a job interview tomorrow, which should be 'yay', because I thought working was an important piece of the wellness puzzle and it's an achievement etc but I don't feel excited. I don't even feel that nervous. Just tired of dragging myself around, so, so sick of my overweight, dour, negative, heavy self. 

 

It feels like a slow decline since reducing my dose, but I know that's not true. My withdrawal symptoms are the same as depression – mood swings, increased irritability and tearfulness, feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing, interrupted sleep and night time anxiety, reduced pleasure in usual activities. How do I know if this is withdrawal (ie will get better) or just depression? Am I wasting precious years and running myself into the ground for no good reason?

 

I know I didn't feel good on a full dose. I know it. Wellbutrin is a (risky) short-term solution at best, but still, the chance of feeling light and hopeful again ...

 

 

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TikkiTikki

I don't like posting when I don't feel good. I feel ashamed, I suppose.

 

I feel grey and scared today. I've been taking benzos here and there at bedtime, mostly in an effort to keep myself asleep rather than get myself to sleep. I keep waking at 2am, 3am, and then feel electrified and anxious about whatever concern is uppermost in my mind. Sometimes I only get another hour or two of sleep after that, and then the next day is hell.

 

I'm working 3 days a week, which has been great, but I still worry about what next, what am I doing with my life etc. I know I'm starting a career again after a long break raising kids, but I still feel ashamed of where I am at, and frustrated that I'm not working at my capacity. 

 

I went to my GP to ask for Wellbutrin about a month ago, but she couldn't prescribe it. Apparently in Australia it isn't classed as an AD, just a smoking cessation aid, and isn't in their prescription bible for depression. She offered Valdoxan, and then referred me on to a psychiatrist who could prescribe Wellbutrin (Zyban here) if he saw fit. I see the Psych next week. Still very unsure about whether I could actually take it, but I need to be doing something when I'm feeling desperate.

 

Maybe Valdoxan might be an option? From what I've read online it seems to be an expensive (not an issue here - yay Medicare) new-fangled drug with big promises that doesn't really work. BUT, it may help with sleeping, and sometimes that seems to be my major symptom. I wish I could trust a doctor. 

 

I'm trying to fit the way I feel to the narrative of withdrawal espoused on SA, but I just don't know. I don't feel like this is a 'wave' so much as a continual winding down since hitting 20mg or so. I don't seem to feel each cut, just the accumulated weight of the world's sadness and futility without the numbing of the full dose. But I don't want to be numb. I still don't. I wish I could handle the world though.

 

I don't feel desperate all the time. I'm working, running a household, supporting a high-anxiety pre-teen and trying to buffer the effects on my younger son. Our house often feels like a war-zone, with screaming, fighting, defiance, anxiety, ADHD and med issues on top of regular kid stuff. Given the state of my nervous system, I manage pretty well a lot of the time, I just don't feel that I do.

 

I've got Spike's words to Buffy from "Once More With Feeling" on my phone screen: "Life's not a song. Life isn't bliss. Life is just this: it's living." I'm trying.

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VincentV

Hi tikki tikki, first off congrats on doing so well with your taper so far. You've been an inspiration. I really wish i'd have tapered properly, I'd have had so much more control, instead its been beyond awful.

 

I know you probably really don't want to, but consider titrating up, slowly, to a point where you feel a bit happier, and then maybe pause, take stock and hold for a while? You your self said a while back that you'd stopped calculating an 'end date', this is about the journey as much as the destination. You've got to be as comfortable as you can be, however long that takes. 

 

 

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