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FarmGirlWorks
On 4/13/2018 at 9:32 AM, pug said:

My injured brain was barely functional, but I put together the best plan that I could.  I felt like my sanity was in question and I knew that the constant worry and stress concerning my job was not helping and probably making things worse

@pug, have re-read your success story for the, oh like, one thousandth time. When you next come on here, can you answer how you knew your questionable sanity was neuro-emotions and not a propensity for depression or anxiety. I question my sanity often these days and am wondering, after 20 years, how did you persevere? I don't know why you originally went on Zoloft but want to know how you've dealt with post-healing depression or if it disappeared. Thanks!

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pug
On 7/3/2018 at 5:13 AM, jonnypeters1234567 said:

Well done, what symptoms do you have left?

 

Hello,

 

I still deal with nerve pain, fatigue, tiredness, stomach bloating, tinnitus, sleep issues, and a few others I can’t think of at the moment.  Realize that these symptoms have improved greatly over time and are more of an annoyance and rarely keep me from doing the things that I want or living my life.  In fact, what I may deal with on a bad day now would have been a window for me a couple of years ago.  And when I say “bad day” I don’t mean at home in bed or on the couch, I mean some discomfort, tiredness, or minor inconvenience that I would rather not deal with, but that I can totally manage.  The exciting thing for me to consider is that I know I am still healing and will continue to improve!  Mentally, emotionally, and physically I am doing good and can’t wait to see how much better it will be in another 6 months or a year.  This will happen for you too, just keep pushing forward with wherever you are in your recovery, don’t give up, and you will eventually start to feel better.

 

Very best wishes,

 

pug

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pug
On 7/7/2018 at 4:25 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

@pug, have re-read your success story for the, oh like, one thousandth time. When you next come on here, can you answer how you knew your questionable sanity was neuro-emotions and not a propensity for depression or anxiety. I question my sanity often these days and am wondering, after 20 years, how did you persevere? I don't know why you originally went on Zoloft but want to know how you've dealt with post-healing depression or if it disappeared. Thanks!

 

Hello FarmGirl,

 

Thanks for the question, and I hope that my explanation will be helpful.  So how did I know that the panic attacks, anxiety, depression, OCD, etc. were caused by withdrawal and not a return of my original symptoms?  Well even though my brain was barely functioning at the worst of my struggles, I did my best to make sense of what was happening and concluded:

 

·         These success stories that I read every day are telling me that they went through all of this, had these same symptoms, recovered, and their depression and anxiety, etc. got much better or went away.

·         The moderators and others here at the forum are telling me that the psych symptoms are part of the recovery process and most people have to suffer through them, but that I will recover and they will get better.

·         I am dealing with so many other bizarre, unbelievable symptoms, all happening at the same time, I can’t make an informed decision about whether it is withdrawal related or a return of previous symptoms.  And since the depression, OCD, anxiety are happening along with all of these new symptoms and they all started at the same time they are probably all withdrawal related; it just seems to make sense.

·         I promised myself that I would not act in haste; I would wait and see how things progressed and how things looked once I started feeling better.  If there were lingering issues, I would somehow learn, manage, and deal with them in a healthy, non-drug way.  But I would not be able to do that until I healed and could make an informed decision.

·         I knew that any anxiety, OCD, depression, or whatever I might face or deal with could not be worse that what I was dealing with at the moment.  So it didn’t really matter in the end whether it was a return of symptoms or not; I was in pretty much the worst hell I could imagine and things could only get better.  I would rather deal with any past symptoms rather than those I was dealing with in withdrawal.

 

So I really didn’t know for sure that my symptoms were not a return of previous issues.  But I also knew that I had never had severe nerve pain, burning skin, constant tinnitus, terrible stomach aches and bloating, brain fog, and all the rest that were accompanying the depression, OCD, anxiety, paranoia, and other mental issues, until I went off of the medication.  The good news is that it was true!  As my other symptoms have faded so have the mental issues, it has just taken time for the healing to happen.  The depression, anxiety, and all the rest just start to fade away and become less of a challenge; it really does feel miraculous as it happens.

 

The question about “Is this a return of my previous issues” is one that we become extremely focused on in withdrawal, and I think that the question itself is also a symptom of withdrawal.  I thought about it, worried about it, and obsessed about it constantly throughout withdrawal.  But as I have healed it has become less and less important to where now I don’t even really think about it at all anymore; and it feels great!  I have started to regain that feeling of “internal relaxed freedom” where joy and contentment exist for us; so hard to describe but so wondrous to experience.  And if it is there for me I believe it is there for you and everyone here who is struggling so valiantly to recovery their wholeness and happiness.

 

So hang in there and do what you can to make the best of the day; realize that what you are experiencing is more than likely withdrawal related, and keep in mind that it takes time for the healing to happen.  I certainly never believed that I would ever feel better or heal, but I have and the longer I go the easier it gets.  You can do this!

 

Wishing you continued healing.

 

pug

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jonnypeters1234567
20 minutes ago, pug said:

 

Hello,

 

I still deal with nerve pain, fatigue, tiredness, stomach bloating, tinnitus, sleep issues, and a few others I can’t think of at the moment.  Realize that these symptoms have improved greatly over time and are more of an annoyance and rarely keep me from doing the things that I want or living my life.  In fact, what I may deal with on a bad day now would have been a window for me a couple of years ago.  And when I say “bad day” I don’t mean at home in bed or on the couch, I mean some discomfort, tiredness, or minor inconvenience that I would rather not deal with, but that I can totally manage.  The exciting thing for me to consider is that I know I am still healing and will continue to improve!  Mentally, emotionally, and physically I am doing good and can’t wait to see how much better it will be in another 6 months or a year.  This will happen for you too, just keep pushing forward with wherever you are in your recovery, don’t give up, and you will eventually start to feel better.

 

Very best wishes,

 

pug

 

Well done Pug on getting so far

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FarmGirlWorks
51 minutes ago, pug said:

I promised myself that I would not act in haste; I would wait and see how things progressed and how things looked once I started feeling better.

Thank you, @pug for this thorough response. I do not have any physical symptoms anymore (15 months post-CT) but the depression and brain fog is deep and hard. So I have anxiety that it is actually a long-relapse. It helps to hear that it lifts, thanks. Do you remember how long it was for you? I know we are all different, just wondering.

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LexAnger

Thank you so much hug for your continuous help to all of us here still in the war! 

 

You described it so well on the bad days younger now which gives a very clear perspective how different they are from the bad days before ( in bed or on couch ) .

 

Wish you speedy recover in full!

Hugs!

Lex

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LexAnger

Hi pug,

One other thing I always wanted ask you about. How did you manage working during the worst of your wd especially with the mental and cognitive issue? 

 

Thanks so much!

Lex

 

 

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Liamb123456
On 7/13/2018 at 6:58 PM, pug said:

 

Hello,

 

I still deal with nerve pain, fatigue, tiredness, stomach bloating, tinnitus, sleep issues, and a few others I can’t think of at the moment.  Realize that these symptoms have improved greatly over time and are more of an annoyance and rarely keep me from doing the things that I want or living my life.  In fact, what I may deal with on a bad day now would have been a window for me a couple of years ago.  And when I say “bad day” I don’t mean at home in bed or on the couch, I mean some discomfort, tiredness, or minor inconvenience that I would rather not deal with, but that I can totally manage.  The exciting thing for me to consider is that I know I am still healing and will continue to improve!  Mentally, emotionally, and physically I am doing good and can’t wait to see how much better it will be in another 6 months or a year.  This will happen for you too, just keep pushing forward with wherever you are in your recovery, don’t give up, and you will eventually start to feel better.

 

Very best wishes,

 

pug

Pug I have stomach bloating too has it got any better for you I'm bloating 24/7 arevyou like that even after drinking water I can bloat too I was told is can be permanent damage 

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bgoggles1

Hi pug. I read your success story almost everyday. I truly admire you for what you went through. I'm really battling this journey as well. I'm just wondering how you dealt with all the head symptoms. I think I have every symptom and More in my head. This includes unbelievable head pressure, zaps, burning brain into my face, unbelievable pain, nerve pain in my neck that radiates into my head, when I turn my head it seems like my brain has to follow, it feels as though my brain is moving around or bouncing up against the sides of my head, and I also have burning in my arms. I really hard time coping with it and it brings me to tears quite a bit. any encouragement would be great. Again I so admire the strength that you had to get through this.

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Peachy

Pug,

Thank you for your inspiring story. We all need it here! 

I have read through the entire thread, but I still have a few questions, if you wouldn't mind? Maybe you already answered them, but I have withdrawl brain ;)

1.) OCD / intrusive thoughts and urges are my worst symptoms. Did you have intrusive urge feelings? When did the OCD start to fade for you? You said this was very gradual? 

2.) did you find it very hard to relate to people, or feel close to loved ones? Almost like bc of the intrusive thoughts I don't like to be around people anymore...This is another of my bad symptoms.

3.) Did you ever have irrational thinking, like it didn't make sense at all. Like anger or annoyance at a TREE! lol... This is very scary for me and makes me feel that I am loosing touch or going insane...

4.) When were you able to feel joy and happy thoughts again? I literally haven't felt happy for 2.5 years now. Im so scared I'm stuck like this! 

 

If you can relate to the above, are all of these gone now, or much less severe?

I am really scared by I started having these symptoms as soon as I started tapering, I'm now 2.5 years into my taper, and they are not getting better, only weirder and more severe. Well, the DEEP depression has gotten better, but I'm left with this adehonia feeling. I literally don't feel joy or excitement anymore. 

 

Thanks for your support!!

 

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pug
On 7/13/2018 at 11:58 AM, FarmGirlWorks said:

Thank you, @pug for this thorough response. I do not have any physical symptoms anymore (15 months post-CT) but the depression and brain fog is deep and hard. So I have anxiety that it is actually a long-relapse. It helps to hear that it lifts, thanks. Do you remember how long it was for you? I know we are all different, just wondering.

 

Hello,

 

As best as I can recall, somewhere around 18 months I started to see a reduction in the severity of the brain fog, depression, and all of the other mental issues other than the intrusive thoughts which just kept hanging on, but they also eventually improved and are now nearly gone.  If we can accept that anxiety, depression, etc. are a part of withdrawal, it makes it a little easier to deal with, and to torture ourselves a bit less with the constant worry and rumination.  I hope the fog begins to clear for you very soon.

 

All my best,

 

pug

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pug
On 7/14/2018 at 8:17 PM, LexAnger said:

Hi pug,

One other thing I always wanted ask you about. How did you manage working during the worst of your wd especially with the mental and cognitive issue? 

 

Thanks so much!

Lex

 

 

 

Hello,

 

I discussed my experience with keeping a job back on page 4, so to avoid reposting here, please take a look there and let me know if you have any additional questions.

 

Thank you, and wishing you continued healing.

 

pug

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pug
On 7/19/2018 at 9:50 AM, Liamb123456 said:

Pug I have stomach bloating too has it got any better for you I'm bloating 24/7 arevyou like that even after drinking water I can bloat too I was told is can be permanent damage 

 

Greetings to you,

 

The bloating and cramping have gotten better for me!  It is not completely gone and is one of the symptoms that has lasted the longest, but it has improved and continues to improve.  When I think back to a year or 2 ago and how severe it was, I can happily report that it has gotten so much better and I see no reason why it won’t for you.

 

I reject the opinion that this is “permanent damage” and I challenge anyone who states this as a fact.  Who said this and how would they know?  Permanent means that it never changes or gets better and lasts forever, so how would they know that?  Have they talked to someone who has had it for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or more and can prove that it is specifically attributable to withdrawal?  How do they know that this person or persons that they spoke with won’t feel better the very next day!  They can’t predict that this person or persons won’t be blessed in the near future with a reduction in symptoms and then go on to heal completely.

 

There are so many variables and other factors in play that I cannot trust anyone who would make a statement that it is “permanent damage”.  What about all the positive recovery cases and success stories, including mine, where the bloating and stomach issues have healed, gotten better, and eventually gone away.  Put your focus there and ignore those who would tell you this is “permanent damage” and try to scare you when you are in a vulnerable condition.  I feel that if you keep going, in time your symptoms will lessen and improve as you heal.  That is the most logical outcome in this process because healing happens!

 

Take care and keep your focus on success stories and positive things that keep you hopeful!

 

pug

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pug
On 7/21/2018 at 8:48 AM, bgoggles1 said:

Hi pug. I read your success story almost everyday. I truly admire you for what you went through. I'm really battling this journey as well. I'm just wondering how you dealt with all the head symptoms. I think I have every symptom and More in my head. This includes unbelievable head pressure, zaps, burning brain into my face, unbelievable pain, nerve pain in my neck that radiates into my head, when I turn my head it seems like my brain has to follow, it feels as though my brain is moving around or bouncing up against the sides of my head, and I also have burning in my arms. I really hard time coping with it and it brings me to tears quite a bit. any encouragement would be great. Again I so admire the strength that you had to get through this.

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.  I am sorry that you are experiencing these very challenging and troubling symptoms, and I understand what you are going through.  I wish I had some magical method that I used to deal with all of the head symptoms, but I really didn’t.  I used deep breathing exercises, distraction in any form that was positive and helpful like hot Epsom salt baths or guided meditations, exercise if possible, and general self-care such as rest and eating a healthy diet.

 

Time is really the magic ingredient in the healing process of withdrawal and all of the head symptoms we face.  Some things that were not direct remedies but aided in making it through each day and thus the ability for time to pass, are things that I try to communicate in everything that I post here:

 

Stay hopeful and encouraged by reading success stories and positive information.

 

Remind yourself constantly that this is not permanent and will improve given enough time.

 

Keep a daily journal so that you can make notes and be able to refer back to days when you felt better.

 

Don’t stop, keep pushing ahead in the best way that you can, knowing that healing is happening and time is on your side and it is just a matter of keeping at it long enough and things will improve for you.

 

 

All my best,

 

pug

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pug
On 7/23/2018 at 10:24 PM, Peachy said:

Pug,

Thank you for your inspiring story. We all need it here! 

I have read through the entire thread, but I still have a few questions, if you wouldn't mind? Maybe you already answered them, but I have withdrawl brain ;)

1.) OCD / intrusive thoughts and urges are my worst symptoms. Did you have intrusive urge feelings? When did the OCD start to fade for you? You said this was very gradual? 

2.) did you find it very hard to relate to people, or feel close to loved ones? Almost like bc of the intrusive thoughts I don't like to be around people anymore...This is another of my bad symptoms.

3.) Did you ever have irrational thinking, like it didn't make sense at all. Like anger or annoyance at a TREE! lol... This is very scary for me and makes me feel that I am loosing touch or going insane...

4.) When were you able to feel joy and happy thoughts again? I literally haven't felt happy for 2.5 years now. Im so scared I'm stuck like this! 

 

If you can relate to the above, are all of these gone now, or much less severe?

I am really scared by I started having these symptoms as soon as I started tapering, I'm now 2.5 years into my taper, and they are not getting better, only weirder and more severe. Well, the DEEP depression has gotten better, but I'm left with this adehonia feeling. I literally don't feel joy or excitement anymore. 

 

Thanks for your support!!

 

 

Hello,

 

I understand “withdrawal brain” so feel free to ask any questions that you need to.  I will answer each question in order for you:

 

1.        Yes!  I had terrible intrusive thoughts and urges that nearly drove me over the edge; some of the most obscene and troubling thoughts, images and urges that would assault me nonstop day after day.  I would say the 2 year mark was when they started to fade, and it has been ever so slow since then.  But now they are almost entirely gone!  The OCD has also gotten so much better and is just occasional now in a minor way.  It just took a long time for me to see the healing happening in the lessening of my symptoms.

2.       Yes, at times I felt anti-social and did not feel comfortable around other people.  I also experienced anhedonia and a lack of emotion and feeling.  I had to force myself to be around others, and I only did it when necessary for a while as it was very stimulating and my system could not take it.  All of that has now also pretty much gone away and I have regained an ease and comfortable feeling around others, and I enjoy the full spectrum of emotions.

3.       Yes indeed; thoughts and emotions that were out of place and out of proportion to the situation or event.  When I look back on it, I have a hard time understanding myself in those times because the real me was covered up by “withdrawal”.  The withdrawal me was someone who I have a hard time understanding now that I have healed so much.  But I do understand why I thought and acted in the way that I did, it wasn’t because I was going insane, it was because I had a brain injury!  And as my brain injury has healed these terrible symptoms have gone away.

4.       Happiness and happy thoughts came back to me gradually, and maybe around 18 -24 months I would guess.  It was a slow and up and down process that has gotten better over the time I have been in recovery (a bit over 3.5 years).

 

Yes I can relate to your despair, uncertainty, and fear, and I am so sorry you are having to deal with these terrible symptoms.  Some of us take much longer to heal that average, but the fact remains that we do heal.  In fact, if your deep depression has improved that should reassure you that healing is happening!  If it wasn’t you would not improve in any fashion, only remain in constant agony with no let up.  Do your best to focus on those aspects of your recovery that have improved even a little bit because it shows that improvement is possible for you, and if it is possible in one area, it is possible in any area of withdrawal and recovery that you are dealing with.  The anhedonia is a very challenging symptom and one that troubled me a great deal and was also extremely scary.  But it went away eventually as have most of the other terrible symptoms or they are very greatly improved.

 

I posted above on the question before yours some thoughts I have about what helped me; please read them and take them to heart if you can.  Put your trust in the fact that others have suffered in a similar way to how you are and they recovered, so there is no reason why it won’t also happen for you.

 

Wishing you improvements very soon.

 

pug

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FarmGirlWorks

Thank you, @pug!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your coming back here to give us hope is beyond appreciated.

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Elyssa143

@pug i am so pleased to read your healing journey. Im just in the beginning of mine. Its been absolute hell for the past 5 months. I went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and ended up on zoloft took it a year and got off fine. 3 years later had a panic attack ended back up on zoloft low dose 25mg for 13 months and wanted off i was having tons of side effects. I tapered per my pysch in march which was way too fast and when I took my last piece ended up with SI, reinstated got worse ended up inpatient they upped the zoloft and added buspar got 100x worse went back they ct me from zoloft and buspar after 6 days and put me on zyprexa, took it 10days switched to lamictal for 13 days had life threatening rash went back to zyprexa for 10 days and tapered over 5 weeks. The depression is hell ive never ever had depression,  the suicidal ideations are hell too. Today is 5 weeks off the zyprexa thank god i only took it short term and the zoloft at the lowesy dose for 13 months. My sleep has been horrible except for when i was on the zyprexa, but the past 3 days ive slept 5 hours straight and no night sweats!!! Im hoping thats improvement. I also dont have the internal Akathisia anymore thank goodness that was horrid. I do get windows and waves, my windows i dont feel great in but i feel like a little piece of me comes back? The waves seem to be not as absolutely horrible and the depression may be improving ever so slightly? I know I read where u said u had windows and waves the first year and then continued the whole second year? :( what did u experience the second year? This scares me 😕 as i thought windows and waves were healing? How are u doing now? How did u cope with the soul crushing depression? Suicide scares me so much but sometimes thats what my brain thinks is best? Make sense? Any encouragement or hope id appreciate it. Hope your doing well. Thank you.

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mirage

@pug Hi pug. Been reading your post and, THANK YOU, for coming back and answering questions and giving hope. 

 

This journey is so darn difficult, as you know. You have been through it all and I am so thrilled to hear all of your progress. Tomorrow will be 14 months into my journey. When I look back 5 or 6 months ago, I can see pretty good progress. When I look back a month ago, not so much. I take 1 step forward and 5 back. 

 

Most all of my symptoms are physical. So much dizziness. I did have a few vertigo days that were just awful. One in June of 2017, November of 2017. I had 2 minor ones in January 2018 and May. Both of these were much shorter and milder. That said, I am praying the vertigo is behind me. The "fake" anxiety is still with me, again, it is lighter. It does cause the dizziness to be worse. Sleep, ugh, or there lack of! I am getting about 5 to 6 hours a night and my 4am cortisol wake up is now at 5am. I know we are all different, but, do you recall when these things, if you experienced them, returned to some normalcy? 

 

I am keeping my chin up. I work part time, stay social, work out and eat healthy. I just had my first window that was pretty okay. I still had symptoms but they were manageable and just popped in here and there. It was also my first window that lasted a couple of days and the first one that I truly noticed was a window. I was just noticing windows when I would go back into a wave. I fell back into a wave yesterday and, oh boy...it is back to the struggle and it comes back with a vengeance. 

 

Again, thank you for sharing and for letting us know about the light that is at the end of the tunnel. 

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Liamb123456
On 7/30/2018 at 10:34 PM, pug said:

 

Greetings to you,

 

The bloating and cramping have gotten better for me!  It is not completely gone and is one of the symptoms that has lasted the longest, but it has improved and continues to improve.  When I think back to a year or 2 ago and how severe it was, I can happily report that it has gotten so much better and I see no reason why it won’t for you.

 

I reject the opinion that this is “permanent damage” and I challenge anyone who states this as a fact.  Who said this and how would they know?  Permanent means that it never changes or gets better and lasts forever, so how would they know that?  Have they talked to someone who has had it for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or more and can prove that it is specifically attributable to withdrawal?  How do they know that this person or persons that they spoke with won’t feel better the very next day!  They can’t predict that this person or persons won’t be blessed in the near future with a reduction in symptoms and then go on to heal completely.

 

There are so many variables and other factors in play that I cannot trust anyone who would make a statement that it is “permanent damage”.  What about all the positive recovery cases and success stories, including mine, where the bloating and stomach issues have healed, gotten better, and eventually gone away.  Put your focus there and ignore those who would tell you this is “permanent damage” and try to scare you when you are in a vulnerable condition.  I feel that if you keep going, in time your symptoms will lessen and improve as you heal.  That is the most logical outcome in this process because healing happens!

 

Take care and keep your focus on success stories and positive things that keep you hopeful!

 

pug

Thank pug for your reply your truly inspirational person telling your story and come back it amazing.. just bloating  I was talking to women on this her name was fema4psychiatrists she told me she has swollen tummy last 7 years from withdrawals and it hasn't got better she told me it's permanent damage.. sorry didn't mean come across negative if I did I'm sorry about that just freaked me out wen she said it was permanent damaged.. I'm praying as you said it can get better.. 

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Peachy

@pug

Thank you for your thoughtful reply! It really does mean so much to me, and everyone else in the group. 

Can I ask what type of deep breathing exercises you used?

This is bizarre, but during the process, when your thinking would get sooo weird and bizarre and negative, did you ever get scared that WD has turned on some kind of "schizo" disorder? At times I start freaking out about this...

Is this normal, and resolve?

XX

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KimLou

Hello to you Pug and all on this thread!

 

I hope I am not being out of line posting here, but I have followed your story, Pug, every since I found this blessed site last year.  I simply wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you Pug (and any others who routinely come back here to answer questions and offer support and encouragement even months and years later).  Though my situation was far less severe than anyone I've read about on this site, your story and others stories helped me so much when I was in chaos.

 

So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I'm so glad you are doing so well.  I have also improved greatly and only have mini moments here and there still, but for the most part so much of the beginning symptoms are gone or when things do return they are much diminished, so I know it will continue to improve. I still get your updates in my email even still and just wanted to let you know how appreciated your continued responses are to those that come here seeking solace of some kind. 

 

And also, if I might add in general to all those out there still struggling, especially with the fear of never being happy again, that will improve as well.  But equally don't forget you are human and even outside true depression or this withdrawal, you will have sad and bad days.  My only point here is that when things do improve, please don't get scared should you have moments of pain or sadness in your life.  It does not automatically mean you are slipping back into withdrawal hell.  You are simply human and we are not designed to be happy 24/7 365.  But, unfortunately, our societies seem to make us feel like we should be and that is an injustice, in my opinion, because we spend so much time trying to fix everything instead of accepting the realities of being human.  Please don't think I am downplaying depression or WD by saying any of this.  I'm simply trying to say not to fear all sadness and pain in your life as you progress in your healing of WD.  It isn't always an indicator that you are regressing if that makes sense.  Forgive me if that didn't come across as I intended.  You are simply human.  Be kind to yourself.

 

Best wishes to you all!  It will get better.  AND THANK YOU AGAIN PUG FOR ALL YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!  And here's to you and your continued healing!

 

Kim

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thecowisback

Thank you kindly - your words mean a lot xxxxx

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Ali75

Pug,

 

Congratulations! Your story is so heartening to read. Thank you for sharing it and following up with so much helpful advice. I was also on an AD (Zoloft) for over 20 years and I often fear that I won’t fully recover, so reading your story gives me a lot of hope.

 

One chronic issue for me has been a seemingly ever changing sense of self or identity, like each day I’m a slightly different person. Did you experience that? If so, do you now feel a more permanent sense of self? Do you feel different from the person you were while on the AD’s?

 

Thank you and I wish you continued success on your recovery!

 

Ali

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pug
On 7/31/2018 at 7:21 AM, Elyssa143 said:

@pug i am so pleased to read your healing journey. Im just in the beginning of mine. Its been absolute hell for the past 5 months. I went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and ended up on zoloft took it a year and got off fine. 3 years later had a panic attack ended back up on zoloft low dose 25mg for 13 months and wanted off i was having tons of side effects. I tapered per my pysch in march which was way too fast and when I took my last piece ended up with SI, reinstated got worse ended up inpatient they upped the zoloft and added buspar got 100x worse went back they ct me from zoloft and buspar after 6 days and put me on zyprexa, took it 10days switched to lamictal for 13 days had life threatening rash went back to zyprexa for 10 days and tapered over 5 weeks. The depression is hell ive never ever had depression,  the suicidal ideations are hell too. Today is 5 weeks off the zyprexa thank god i only took it short term and the zoloft at the lowesy dose for 13 months. My sleep has been horrible except for when i was on the zyprexa, but the past 3 days ive slept 5 hours straight and no night sweats!!! Im hoping thats improvement. I also dont have the internal Akathisia anymore thank goodness that was horrid. I do get windows and waves, my windows i dont feel great in but i feel like a little piece of me comes back? The waves seem to be not as absolutely horrible and the depression may be improving ever so slightly? I know I read where u said u had windows and waves the first year and then continued the whole second year? :( what did u experience the second year? This scares me 😕 as i thought windows and waves were healing? How are u doing now? How did u cope with the soul crushing depression? Suicide scares me so much but sometimes thats what my brain thinks is best? Make sense? Any encouragement or hope id appreciate it. Hope your doing well. Thank you.

 

Hello,

 

So sorry you are suffering and that you had to endure the drug change hell that they put you through; it really is shameful that they treat human beings like a lab experiment.  I am glad that you have had some better days; that is encouraging and gives you something to hold on to; that healing can happen.

 

I do believe that windows and waves are a sign of healing, although I have read of people who had no windows for a long time and then had a window that never went away, so there are many different ways that people heal.  I know that for me I never seemed to make any progress until after a severe wave of terrible symptoms.  You ask about my second year, well I had windows and waves during that year just as in the first.  Some of the waves were so long that it felt like continuous misery instead of windows and waves, but eventually I would get a little break at least, and that would keep me going through the next wave. Somehow we find the strength needed to make it through the suffering and misery until there is a break in the symptoms.

 

I dealt with the depression and suicidal thoughts just like I dealt with all of the other symptoms I have had; I just did my best to focus on making it through one more minute, hour and day with the hope of recovery as my guiding light.  I chose to believe the success stories that I read and made them a part of my life by reading them several times every day until I have them memorized.  Why would these people lie?  If they say they suffered like I am now, and then they got better, then I can get better too!  I hung on to those messages used them to survive the terrible symptoms until one day, I did feel a little different, a little better.  It happened for me and it can happen for you!

 

I understand your fear, and I think we all face it.  Our brains are damaged, we can’t think straight, and we focus on the horror stories and the most troubling recoveries and assume that it is going to be our fate also.  But the truth is that many people recover more quickly and move on with their lives; if only we could focus on that instead!  I very purposefully avoided any negative stories about horrible symptoms and long recoveries and only allowed myself to focus on the stories of recovery.  I had to focus on what would help me make it through another day, and I don’t think there is any shame in that.  I knew I must care for myself first, heal and recover, and then I would be able to help others; and that is what I am trying to do here on my success story.

 

Please keep going and just try to make it one more minute, hour and day; healing can happen and life can be good again!

 

All my best,

 

pug

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On 7/31/2018 at 9:30 AM, mirage said:

@pug Hi pug. Been reading your post and, THANK YOU, for coming back and answering questions and giving hope. 

 

This journey is so darn difficult, as you know. You have been through it all and I am so thrilled to hear all of your progress. Tomorrow will be 14 months into my journey. When I look back 5 or 6 months ago, I can see pretty good progress. When I look back a month ago, not so much. I take 1 step forward and 5 back. 

 

Most all of my symptoms are physical. So much dizziness. I did have a few vertigo days that were just awful. One in June of 2017, November of 2017. I had 2 minor ones in January 2018 and May. Both of these were much shorter and milder. That said, I am praying the vertigo is behind me. The "fake" anxiety is still with me, again, it is lighter. It does cause the dizziness to be worse. Sleep, ugh, or there lack of! I am getting about 5 to 6 hours a night and my 4am cortisol wake up is now at 5am. I know we are all different, but, do you recall when these things, if you experienced them, returned to some normalcy? 

 

I am keeping my chin up. I work part time, stay social, work out and eat healthy. I just had my first window that was pretty okay. I still had symptoms but they were manageable and just popped in here and there. It was also my first window that lasted a couple of days and the first one that I truly noticed was a window. I was just noticing windows when I would go back into a wave. I fell back into a wave yesterday and, oh boy...it is back to the struggle and it comes back with a vengeance. 

 

Again, thank you for sharing and for letting us know about the light that is at the end of the tunnel. 

 

Hello,

 

It is great to hear that you have had some windows and that you have been able to continue with maintaining areas of your life.  The vertigo/dizziness is a nasty symptom and one that took a long time to go away for me, but it is now gone for the most part and I am very happy about it.  It is hard for me to pinpoint an exact time when things like the vertigo/dizziness, anxiety and sleep issues started to get better.  For me it was very gradual and I had so many ups and downs that I had a hard time tracking it.  All I can really share with you is that it did get better and everything has improved greatly.  Sleep for instance is still one thing that I struggle with at times, but I am usually able to get 5-6 hours of sleep or more, and that is enough for me, and if I have a bad night of sleep now, it does not keep me from living my life.

 

I am sorry that you have fallen back into another wave, but I feel that it is an indication of healing happening.  That doesn’t make it any easier, but it does give hope that once you get through it you will be that much closer to recovery, more healing, and better times ahead.  So keep going!

 

Wishing you a new window very soon.

 

pug

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On 7/31/2018 at 7:41 PM, Liamb123456 said:

Thank pug for your reply your truly inspirational person telling your story and come back it amazing.. just bloating  I was talking to women on this her name was fema4psychiatrists she told me she has swollen tummy last 7 years from withdrawals and it hasn't got better she told me it's permanent damage.. sorry didn't mean come across negative if I did I'm sorry about that just freaked me out wen she said it was permanent damaged.. I'm praying as you said it can get better.. 

 

Hey there,

 

No worries, I understand how easy it is to be freaked out and scared when suffering through withdrawal; it seems to be part of the process for most of us.  If this woman has been suffering for 7 years with no relief or breaks, I feel bad for her and what she is having to endure; it is very unfair. But her story is not yours and you don’t have to assume that you will suffer in the same way and for as long as she has. We are all different and no one knows what their healing path will be.  Many people recover much, much sooner than she is and that is the thing to focus on; keep you focus on those positive stories of healing and recovery.

 

Hope that you are getting some breaks; keep going!

 

pug

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On 8/7/2018 at 1:16 PM, KimLou said:

Hello to you Pug and all on this thread!

 

I hope I am not being out of line posting here, but I have followed your story, Pug, every since I found this blessed site last year.  I simply wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you Pug (and any others who routinely come back here to answer questions and offer support and encouragement even months and years later).  Though my situation was far less severe than anyone I've read about on this site, your story and others stories helped me so much when I was in chaos.

 

So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I'm so glad you are doing so well.  I have also improved greatly and only have mini moments here and there still, but for the most part so much of the beginning symptoms are gone or when things do return they are much diminished, so I know it will continue to improve. I still get your updates in my email even still and just wanted to let you know how appreciated your continued responses are to those that come here seeking solace of some kind. 

 

And also, if I might add in general to all those out there still struggling, especially with the fear of never being happy again, that will improve as well.  But equally don't forget you are human and even outside true depression or this withdrawal, you will have sad and bad days.  My only point here is that when things do improve, please don't get scared should you have moments of pain or sadness in your life.  It does not automatically mean you are slipping back into withdrawal hell.  You are simply human and we are not designed to be happy 24/7 365.  But, unfortunately, our societies seem to make us feel like we should be and that is an injustice, in my opinion, because we spend so much time trying to fix everything instead of accepting the realities of being human.  Please don't think I am downplaying depression or WD by saying any of this.  I'm simply trying to say not to fear all sadness and pain in your life as you progress in your healing of WD.  It isn't always an indicator that you are regressing if that makes sense.  Forgive me if that didn't come across as I intended.  You are simply human.  Be kind to yourself.

 

Best wishes to you all!  It will get better.  AND THANK YOU AGAIN PUG FOR ALL YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!  And here's to you and your continued healing!

 

Kim

 

Hello Kim,

 

I understand and agree with what you are saying.  We are all human and our lives and moods ebb and flow from hour to hour and day to day.  One of the greatest lessons I have learned from having to endure a long and painful withdrawal and recovery from AD drugs has been the power of acceptance and of just waiting.  If we can just manage to give it time most things in withdrawal and life will work out and resolve on their own.  I make use of this lesson pretty much daily!

 

I am happy to hear that you have improved; it feels good to be feeling good!

 

pug

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On 8/13/2018 at 7:02 PM, Ali75 said:

Pug,

 

Congratulations! Your story is so heartening to read. Thank you for sharing it and following up with so much helpful advice. I was also on an AD (Zoloft) for over 20 years and I often fear that I won’t fully recover, so reading your story gives me a lot of hope.

 

One chronic issue for me has been a seemingly ever changing sense of self or identity, like each day I’m a slightly different person. Did you experience that? If so, do you now feel a more permanent sense of self? Do you feel different from the person you were while on the AD’s?

 

Thank you and I wish you continued success on your recovery!

 

Ali

 

Hello Ali,

 

I hope my story will help to ease your fears of not recovering and help you to believe that you will recover.  I certainly never thought I would recover; week after week, month after month I was sure I would never feel well again or return to wholeness, but I was wrong.  With each passing year I continue to get closer and closer to complete recovery and I know that I will eventually get there.  I still have a few issues to deal with but they are mostly annoyances and irritations and don’t really prevent me from living my life and enjoying my day; and after withdrawal I appreciate each day more than ever!

 

To answer your question, yes I often felt different from day to day with different symptoms popping up along with the ones that seemed to be constantly with me.  I think the unpredictability and the never knowing what tomorrow would bring did make feel like I wouldn’t know who I would be when the next day came.  I am not sure if this is what you mean, but it is not easy to describe and words don’t adequately capture the real hell that we go through.  All I can share with you is that I have healed and gotten so much better, my sense of self is much more predictable and stable from day to day, and that the joy of living has returned!  I don’t really feel like a different person than when I was on AD, I am just feeling better.  The AD use for so many years was taking its toll on me.  The medical community does not acknowledge the changes that the medication makes to your entire system, but for me I had gained 80 pounds, sleep was bad, sex and sex drive were very damaged, bladder issues were happening, and other symptoms were making life challenging.  Many of those symptoms were intensified in withdrawal, but have gone away or gotten much better as I have recovered.  Coming off of the AD medication was the best choice for me and I am starting to realize how much better things are going to be as I get further and further from the days of taking a little yellow pill every day.

 

Wishing you a speedy recovery,

 

pug

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mirage

@pug THANK YOU for contacting me and answering my questions. I have, definitely gotten better. I think of myself as being about 60% healed. I am able to still work, work out and do my normal, daily things. I push through the symptoms as much as I can and, for the most part, I can get through every day. That said, I know healing is taking place. 

 

I am 15 months into this journey and, from what I read, that is still pretty early in this recovery. The dizziness is still with me each and every day, but it is a bit different. It is easier to manage while still being pretty rough. Did you notice this sort of change during your journey?

 

I think I can understand, when you say it is hard to know when things actually got better. Each of my days are different but I always have symptoms. Even when I am in a window. But, some days the symptoms seem lighter or more manageable. The healing is so slow and so slight that over months I notice a symptom gone but I am not able to go back and figure out the day it went away. 

 

I have accepted that this will take years. That helps me get through each day. There is no way to go faster. It is quite the process and it takes a lot of patience and faith. I lean on both daily. 

 

It is great to hear you are living life wonderfully. I managed a 5 day vacation a couple of weeks ago. While I was pretty much able to do everything, it was rough and not as much fun as it would have been if I didn't have these yucky symptoms. I am looking forward to the day I wake up and I feel good again. 

 

You are a blessing to those of us still on this journey. 

 

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On 8/3/2018 at 9:48 AM, Peachy said:

@pug

Thank you for your thoughtful reply! It really does mean so much to me, and everyone else in the group. 

Can I ask what type of deep breathing exercises you used?

This is bizarre, but during the process, when your thinking would get sooo weird and bizarre and negative, did you ever get scared that WD has turned on some kind of "schizo" disorder? At times I start freaking out about this...

Is this normal, and resolve?

XX

 

Hello,

 

I really found the book The Healing Power of the Breath by Richard P Brown and Patricia L Gerbarg to be a big help.  At the time I purchased it I was unable to really read much so I didn’t read a lot of it at first, but it comes with a CD that I use to play every day.  I had a copy of the CD on my phone and when I would go to bed at night I would have it ready to play with headphones plugged into my phone and sitting by my bedside.  When I would wake up during the night having a panic attack or so fearful that I thought I was going to go mad, I would quickly put on the head phones and hit play and then follow along with the breathing exercises.  It really did help a great deal and allowed me to make it through very rough patches during the middle of the night.  I highly recommend it!

 

Another tool that I used in a similar fashion during the day was the coherence clock which can be found at www.coherence.com  or the direct link www.coherence.com/coherence_clock.html  I would often spend a half hour or more several times a day following along with the clock, inhaling and exhaling and it would have a calming affect that would allow me to survive some tough times when I was sure I would die from panic or go wild with akathisia.

 

To answer your question about feeling as if I had developed some sort of schizo disorder, yes I was sure that I had developed some kind of disorder, schizo or otherwise.  I couldn’t believe that how I was feeling was all from withdrawal and I was convinced I was going mad or that I had brain damage that was leading to some sort of severe psych disorder; what a mess!  But I had found the SA forum and started to get educated on what was really happening and I read success stories where others talked of their psych issues during withdrawal, and I finally started to realize that all of the bizarre and crazy symptoms were a product of the withdrawal/recovery process.  I think most of us experience these type of symptoms and for me they have all pretty much gone away!  We just have to have faith and wait long enough for the healing to happen and the symptoms begin to improve.

 

I hope that you are seeing signs of improvement.

 

pug

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22 hours ago, pug said:

 

Hello Ali,

 

I hope my story will help to ease your fears of not recovering and help you to believe that you will recover.  I certainly never thought I would recover; week after week, month after month I was sure I would never feel well again or return to wholeness, but I was wrong.  With each passing year I continue to get closer and closer to complete recovery and I know that I will eventually get there.  I still have a few issues to deal with but they are mostly annoyances and irritations and don’t really prevent me from living my life and enjoying my day; and after withdrawal I appreciate each day more than ever!

 

To answer your question, yes I often felt different from day to day with different symptoms popping up along with the ones that seemed to be constantly with me.  I think the unpredictability and the never knowing what tomorrow would bring did make feel like I wouldn’t know who I would be when the next day came.  I am not sure if this is what you mean, but it is not easy to describe and words don’t adequately capture the real hell that we go through.  All I can share with you is that I have healed and gotten so much better, my sense of self is much more predictable and stable from day to day, and that the joy of living has returned!  I don’t really feel like a different person than when I was on AD, I am just feeling better.  The AD use for so many years was taking its toll on me.  The medical community does not acknowledge the changes that the medication makes to your entire system, but for me I had gained 80 pounds, sleep was bad, sex and sex drive were very damaged, bladder issues were happening, and other symptoms were making life challenging.  Many of those symptoms were intensified in withdrawal, but have gone away or gotten much better as I have recovered.  Coming off of the AD medication was the best choice for me and I am starting to realize how much better things are going to be as I get further and further from the days of taking a little yellow pill every day.

 

Wishing you a speedy recovery,

 

pug

Pug,

 

Thank you for your thoughtful, encouraging reply. You’re right about it being difficult to describe so much of what we experience during withdrawal. I think that, in my case, the exaggerated, seemingly uncontrollable  neuroemotions have the effect of altering my sense of who I am sometimes.

 

Anyway, thank you again for your all of your feedback. It has given so many people a great deal of comfort. I hope you continue to progress towards a complete recovery!

 

Ali

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thecowisback

when you recovered was it gradual? i'm nearly 18 months out and the thought of at least another 18 months feeling like this is unbearable. i wondered if you had any sort of turning point when you noticed a big change, or was it case of 3 steps forward, 1 step back kind of thing? 

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Liamb123456
18 hours ago, thecowisback said:

when you recovered was it gradual? i'm nearly 18 months out and the thought of at least another 18 months feeling like this is unbearable. i wondered if you had any sort of turning point when you noticed a big change, or was it case of 3 steps forward, 1 step back kind of thing? 

What's symptoms are you still experiencing did you cold turkey meds 

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thecowisback

As good as ct. I have very bad ocd, anxiety and depression. Most physical symptoms have gone.

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Liamb123456
19 hours ago, thecowisback said:

As good as ct. I have very bad ocd, anxiety and depression. Most physical symptoms have gone.

Why were you put in these meds has any off mental got better 

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thecowisback

Put on for ocd. 

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