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jenthorz

Jenthorz: Where is the real me

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jenthorz

Moderator note:  link to jenthorz's members-only benzo thread

 

My name is Jennifer. Been on some form of antidepressants and/ or benzo starting off and on since age 16. I'm 45 now. Life's been challenging non-stop. Some because of poor decisions, some from trauma, and some from just being an anxious and fearful person. Married too young. Must be all my Daddy issues. Had baby at 18. Divorced that guy. Brother died around then at age 14. Was hit by two drunk drivers December 12, 1989. 

Married again later to someone I knew was good for me and son. Thought I would learn to love him. Sure you know how that ended up, but during that time 3 more children. 1 girl and a pair of twin boys. All wonderful. My oldest has Severe Autism and scizophrenia. First 7 years were difficult but manageable and his intermittent explosive disorder was dealable. I love him very much. Age 12 hit him and then whammo!! Rapid growth and his episodes became so violent I usually ended up looking like hamburger after. He bit hard you see. Doing that for 21 years gave me PTSD. I'll spare you the details. Anyway, I'd have to write a book to explain all the heartbreak, so I'll just end it here with my current med situation.

Depression/Anxiety Disorder and PTSD
Zoloft 75 mg. And Valium 15 mg a day, but tapered to 1.5 mg. A day over the course of months. Keeping Zoloft at current dose until well off Valium. Valium also assisted with vertigo not just panic attacks. Most bothersome withdrawal symptoms during taper: night sweats, zaps, eyesight changes, insomnia, queasiness, nightmares, concentration issues, and extreme fatigue.

Thank you for letting me join. Besides all that above, I'm a pretty insightful, intelligent, kind, and funny gal. Nice to be here.

Edited by Shep
added link to jenthorz's benzo thread

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ShakeyJerr

Hi Jennifer -

 

Sorry that you have so much to deal with. But you came to a good place to find support. An Admin will be by shortly with helpful links and tips.

 

I just wanted to stop in and say welcome and hang in there! You will find hope and get healing. Your Intro title "Where is the real Me" echos the sentiments of many of us who are/were on these drugs. You are going to discover the real you - and you will be happily amazed!

 

SJ

 

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scallywag

Jen -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

You've had a hard row to hoe, so to speak, and made it through. That shows a great deal of strength and love.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link: user settings to create or edit signature.
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

When someone is taking two or more medications, we request two things: That you

  1. read the first few posts of this topic: Taking multiple drugs? Which to taper first.
  2. obtain and post an interactions report. Enter your drugs in the Interactions Checker at drugs.com; copy and past the report here in a new reply to this topic. Drugs Interactions Checker.

Our brain and the rest of our CNS (central nervous system) respond to these medications by adjusting the neurochemicals (serotonin, etc.) and the cells that transmit and receive the neurochemicals. These changes happen over time and need to be undone over time, many months NOT weeks. We, therefore, suggest that people taper medication by decreasing them one at a time and by no more than 10% per month. You can read more about that in these topics:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.  (note: Tapering benzodiazepine medications are somewhat different. We may ask you to start a topic in the benzo forum when you're ready to taper off Valium.)

 

Also relevant to your situation:

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

 

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jenthorz
6 hours ago, ShakeyJerr said:

Hi Jennifer -

 

Sorry that you have so much to deal with. But you came to a good place to find support. An Admin will be by shortly with helpful links and tips.

 

I just wanted to stop in and say welcome and hang in there! You will find hope and get healing. Your Intro title "Where is the real Me" echos the sentiments of many of us who are/were on these drugs. You are going to discover the real you - and you will be happily amazed!

 

SJ

 

Thank you for your message of Hope. No more drugs like this when my journey is complete. Will seek out healthier methods. Excited to be here. Hope I did my signature correctly this time ?

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jenthorz
5 hours ago, scallywag said:

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

...

Also relevant to your situation:

 

 

Thank you so much. Feel free to edit my signature as needed. Not very good at this stuff. I read the suggested reading. My mind is pretty splotchy these days so I can't remember dates in my history very well. Did the best I could, but may need some help, if you would. Glad I found you too.

Edited by scallywag
trim quoted text

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jenthorz

PS. Already tapering of the benzo. Please advise when to start a new topic on it.

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scallywag

The information in your signature is helpful. As far as I know, moderators can't edit signatures. Would you change at least the last line from that lists an age to the actual year?  That way we don't have search for an earlier post where you state your age and then do the subtraction.

 

About tapering valium: Please read the topic posted above about which drug to taper if you're taking more than one.

Edited by scallywag

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jenthorz

I adjusted my signature. I read the information.

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jenthorz

So after I read the information about what drug to quit first it seems I have done this backwards, which is quite distressing :o

So do I stop where I am at 1.5 and start with the Zoloft after stabalized? 

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scallywag

It depends.  It *might* make sense to try lowering the possible stimulating "accelerator" effect of the Zoloft.

 

What symptoms are you having?  Is there a pattern to them? Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log: Take notes of doses and symptoms.

 

Edited by scallywag

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jenthorz

What symptoms am I having withdrawing off Valium? Or do you mean what symptoms does Zoloft cause? I didn't feel particularly energetic or anxious with the Zoloft as I lowered Valium, but I do have a pattern of withdrawal symptoms when I lower the dose.

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scallywag

What symptoms, if any, are you currently experiencing?  What are the symptoms that arise when you lower the Valium dose?

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jenthorz

Got it. Okay, in order this is what happens each time I lower the Valium dose. Started on 15mg and went to 12.5. Waited 3 weeks. As soon as I felt no more withdrawal I went and lowered the dose again. From 12.5 to 10. Then 7.5...psych gave me 2 mg. pills after this stage. 6 mg. ...5, 4, 3 and now 1.5mg. and on liquid Valium.

Here are the symptoms. Days 1 to 3 nightmares and night sweats, days 3 to 5 mild headache, mild nausea, and irritability. Days 5-9 I get muscle aches and occasional cramps mostly legs. Slight chest pains,  sense of motion or mild vertigo, lethargic or sleepy, and loss of appetite. After that things seem to subside give or take a day. When one symptom started another would stop. They don't seem to travel together. I'm on 1.5 now.

Benedryll helps with the symptoms if they get too annoying. I have always had insomnia, so I didn't notice this as withdrawal. Been on 75 mg. of Zoloft the duration of the withdrawal period.

 

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TryingToHoldOn

Hi.  Just wanted to give you some support.  Your story resonated with me.  I am the mom of two kids with high functioning autism, both under the age of 5.  I'm in severe WD from sertraline and a couple of other meds that were thrown at me.  I didn't CT, but a 4 week taper is pretty much the same thing.

 

This is a great forum with great advice.  The moderators have a wealth of information and should get you through this process with hopefully only mild discomfort.  Be thankful you found this place before being "properly weaned" off by a doctor.  Wishing you the best.

 

Trying

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jenthorz
1 hour ago, TryingToHoldOn said:

Hi.  Just wanted to give you some support.  Your story resonated with me.  I am the mom of two kids with high functioning autism, both under the age of 5.  I'm in severe WD from sertraline and a couple of other meds that were thrown at me.  I didn't CT, but a 4 week taper is pretty much the same thing.

 

This is a great forum with great advice.  The moderators have a wealth of information and should get you through this process with hopefully only mild discomfort.  Be thankful you found this place before being "properly weaned" off by a doctor.  Wishing you the best.

 

Trying

Thank you so much for your support. Yes, 4 weeks seems pretty much like CT to me. I'm sorry you are going through that, and then trying to parent special needs kids too! Luckily, I noticed with my son that having autism gave him the gift of not needing my constant apologies for all the resting I needed, as he seemed content as long as his routine was kept. Of course, it's also more difficult for them to understand why Mom seems "off". I hope you feel better soon.

I also noticed the staff here seems very knowledgeable and helpful and I'm grateful.

 

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Shep
On 6/11/2017 at 2:22 AM, jenthorz said:

Got it. Okay, in order this is what happens each time I lower the Valium dose. Started on 15mg and went to 12.5. Waited 3 weeks. As soon as I felt no more withdrawal I went and lowered the dose again. From 12.5 to 10. Then 7.5...psych gave me 2 mg. pills after this stage. 6 mg. ...5, 4, 3 and now 1.5mg. and on liquid Valium.

Here are the symptoms. Days 1 to 3 nightmares and night sweats, days 3 to 5 mild headache, mild nausea, and irritability. Days 5-9 I get muscle aches and occasional cramps mostly legs. Slight chest pains,  sense of motion or mild vertigo, lethargic or sleepy, and loss of appetite. After that things seem to subside give or take a day. When one symptom started another would stop. They don't seem to travel together. I'm on 1.5 now.

Benedryll helps with the symptoms if they get too annoying. I have always had insomnia, so I didn't notice this as withdrawal. Been on 75 mg. of Zoloft the duration of the withdrawal period.

 

 

Hi, Jenthorz.

 

I saw you had posted to Woof over in the Members-Only Benzo forum.  Please feel free to start a thread for yourself over in the benzo section if you'd like more information on benzo withdrawal.

 

I'm concerned that you are tapering the Valium too fast. Going from 15 mg to 12.5 mg is a 16.67% decrease. Going from 12.5 mg to 10 mg is a 20% reduction. And then your last reduction listed, 3 mg to 1.5 mg, is a 50% reduction.

 

We recommend tapering no faster than 10% a month. Valium has a half-life of up to 200 hours, so the reductions may not catch up to you right away. Since you also have Zoloft to taper, I'm concerned about the wear and tear on your nervous system during your benzo taper. Some people who taper one drug too fast have a lot more problems when it comes time to remove the next drug. So going slow now can really save you down the line. 

 

Please let me know your thoughts on slowing down your taper. 

 

I'd also like to invite you over to the non-drug coping skills sections. You've had quite a journey on psych drugs and you may enjoy learning about meditation, gentle yoga, journaling, art, and many other ways of nurturing your nervous system:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Non-drug techniques for dealing with physical pain

 

You may also like this series of cartoon videos about withdrawal for information and reassurance: 

 

Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement

 

I'm glad you found SA for information about coming off these drugs. I hope you find this information helpful and hopeful. Please keep asking questions here or over in the benzo area. 

 

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jenthorz

I will follow all your advice, especially on slowing the taper. I joined this room after 2 weeks into the 1.5 mg so I definitely will take it much slower. Today I was achy, tired, and recovering from all the night before, where I had digestive issues big-time. That gets confusing though since I'm very sensitive to MSG and acidic food. I have liquid Valium now and a 1 mg. syringe so I can slow this taper down accurately.

Thank you for the abundance of information to support me. I will absolutely look into each one. I will also start my own topic as you suggested in the benzo forum. Thanks!

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TryingToHoldOn
On 6/11/2017 at 9:17 PM, jenthorz said:

Thank you so much for your support. Yes, 4 weeks seems pretty much like CT to me. I'm sorry you are going through that, and then trying to parent special needs kids too! Luckily, I noticed with my son that having autism gave him the gift of not needing my constant apologies for all the resting I needed, as he seemed content as long as his routine was kept. Of course, it's also more difficult for them to understand why Mom seems "off". I hope you feel better soon.

I also noticed the staff here seems very knowledgeable and helpful and I'm grateful.

 

I noticed that you're also a fellow Texan. :)  I no longer live there, but I did attend Texas State University (formerly Southwest TX State) and lived in Austin for 10 years.  

 

Take me care of yourself and go slow.  Do whatever it takes to keep your sanity.  

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jenthorz

Yes we are 1 hour from Austin. Been here 6 years. Spent most of my adult years in Vegas and childhood in SoCal. I shall go slow.:D

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jenthorz

I have reduced my sertraline HC a little because it was keeping me awake at night due to my benzo withdrawal. The thing is I have been sighing a lot. I mean really noticeable increase in sighing. Deep soulful sighs. Even my family noticed. Is this common?

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scallywag

The sighing could be a withdrawal symptom.  Please update your signature with your new Zoloft dose and the date you decreased.

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jenthorz
15 minutes ago, scallywag said:

The sighing could be a withdrawal symptom.  Please update your signature with your new Zoloft dose and the date you decreased.

Okay. Edited signature. 

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