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DaveB: Trying to stop a roller coaster year

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Gridley

Here is a post by Tezza from March, 2013, that I hope addresses your questions:

 

"I hope this gives you hope and encouragement. You will stabilize, I'm sure of it. It will take longer than you'd hope for, I'm sure, but you must believe that it WILL happen. Just try to be as patient as you can and try really hard not to stress over 'not getting better immediately'. Sometimes it just takes longer, especially when a lot of changes have been made."

 

So it can take longer than two months.  Give it time.  At some point down the road you can readdress how you're doing and if you're ready for a taper.  Not now.

 

  If you get even a brief period of relief, that is a good sign.

 

 

 

 

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DaveB

I have seen that many on this site recommend cutting down on sugar and caffeine until your symptoms have calmed down. What about fake sugar in diet uncaffeinated soft drinks? I am getting really tired of just drinking water, not to mention the caffeine headaches and withdrawals on top of the anxiety is very hard. Any advice on this?

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Kitson

Hi Dave,

 

About 6 weeks ago, I cut out caffeine completely, and way, way back on sugar. No more coffee, sodas or sweetened iced tea. I feel so much better for having done so. I remember reading this advice on this board before and completely ignored it. And believe me, I love my sweetened coffee and tea, and sodas! Although I had been drinking lemon-lime soda or ginger ale only for several years. I haven't drank dark cola type soda or diet soda for a quite a few years now.

 

Once the caffeine withdrawals went away and I stopped subjecting my body to sugar surges, I feel much calmer, anxiety has lessened, and my tinnitus went away. Your mileage may vary.

 

I have learned to like water. I have never liked plain water before. Now I drink it all the time. You could try some water with a squeeze of citrus, or some muddled berries to liven it up a bit. There's also those La Croix drinks that are flavored carbonated water that have no sugar or sweetener and come in different flavors. Those are pretty good. You can find them in the aisle where they sell sodas, they have sort of brightly colored boxes.

 

I did find that I still need that hot cuppa in the morning so I have a cup of hot decaf chai tea with stevia. During the day I might also have a hot cup of herbal tea. I bought some concentrated pure stevia on amazon. Most of the stevia you buy at the grocery store is mixed with something else like dextrose which closer to sugar, which is sucrose and I'm trying to stay away from that. I find that staying away from caffeine and sugar is worth it. Although tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I will definitely be eating pie!

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DaveB
15 hours ago, Gridley said:

Here is a post by Tezza from March, 2013, that I hope addresses your questions:

 

"I hope this gives you hope and encouragement. You will stabilize, I'm sure of it. It will take longer than you'd hope for, I'm sure, but you must believe that it WILL happen. Just try to be as patient as you can and try really hard not to stress over 'not getting better immediately'. Sometimes it just takes longer, especially when a lot of changes have been made."

 

So it can take longer than two months.  Give it time.  At some point down the road you can readdress how you're doing and if you're ready for a taper.  Not now.

 

  If you get even a brief period of relief, that is a good sign.

 

 

 

 

Great quote, and very encouraging...but I happened to look up Tezza and yikes, not a happy ending there. Do you know of anyone or can point me in a direction to find someone who held for months and they eventually stabilized? I am confident I can be patient, but I have to admit I don’t see any examples of a multiple month hold where a CNS settled. That has me slightly terrified haha.

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DaveB
57 minutes ago, Kitson said:

Hi Dave,

 

About 6 weeks ago, I cut out caffeine completely, and way, way back on sugar. No more coffee, sodas or sweetened iced tea. I feel so much better for having done so. I remember reading this advice on this board before and completely ignored it. And believe me, I love my sweetened coffee and tea, and sodas! Although I had been drinking lemon-lime soda or ginger ale only for several years. I haven't drank dark cola type soda or diet soda for a quite a few years now.

 

Once the caffeine withdrawals went away and I stopped subjecting my body to sugar surges, I feel much calmer, anxiety has lessened, and my tinnitus went away. Your mileage may vary.

 

I have learned to like water. I have never liked plain water before. Now I drink it all the time. You could try some water with a squeeze of citrus, or some muddled berries to liven it up a bit. There's also those La Croix drinks that are flavored carbonated water that have no sugar or sweetener and come in different flavors. Those are pretty good. You can find them in the aisle where they sell sodas, they have sort of brightly colored boxes.

 

I did find that I still need that hot cuppa in the morning so I have a cup of hot decaf chai tea with stevia. During the day I might also have a hot cup of herbal tea. I bought some concentrated pure stevia on amazon. Most of the stevia you buy at the grocery store is mixed with something else like dextrose which closer to sugar, which is sucrose and I'm trying to stay away from that. I find that staying away from caffeine and sugar is worth it. Although tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I will definitely be eating pie!

 

Thanks for this, good to hear from someone who this personally made a big difference. Did the caffeine withdrawal exacerbate your current withdrawal, did you get headaches? If so did it not last long?

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Gridley

Hello, DaveB,

 

There are no guarantees, but I can tell you my experience with holding and stabilizing.  A couple of years ago, before I discovered survivingantidepressants, I tapered Imipramine too fast for seven months.  The lower I got, the more symptoms I felt, particularly extreme anxiety.  Then I discovered SA and learned that I should have been tapering my Lexapro (an activating drug) instead of Imipramine (a sedating drug).  But before I could taper Lexapro, I needed to stabilize.  So I held on the Imipramine.  And held.  But I still had the anxiety.  When was I going to stabilize, I asked myself every day (and several times a day).  Finally, a little more than four months after I began my hold,  I stabilized.  That is not to say I was without symptoms, just that they were at last manageable and I could get on with my life.  And in January, 2017, I began my Lexapro taper and am doing well with it.

 

So that is my "success story" with holding and stabilizing.     

 

Overthinking is a symptom of withdrawal.  It is human to doubt and worry.  It is also unhelpful during a hold.  I believe the brain heals better (whether on a hold or taper) when you think your hold or taper is going to work.  Doubt feeds more doubt, creating unease.  Believing the hold is working creates a sense of comfort, which promotes stability and healing.   At least, that was my experience.

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Littlegrandma

I love that Gridley! That is a semi success story. I needed that. Thanks.  Lg

 

hi Dave

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Gridley

Thank you, Lg!

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Kitson
12 hours ago, DaveB said:

 

Thanks for this, good to hear from someone who this personally made a big difference. Did the caffeine withdrawal exacerbate your current withdrawal, did you get headaches? If so did it not last long?

 

It didn't exacerbate any withdrawal symptoms, it just added another layer of minor suffering until the caffeine withdrawals passed. I got headaches for a week, then they stopped. Ibuprofen helps, if you can take it.

 

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ChessieCat

If you have been drinking a lot of caffeine it is better to reduce your caffeine (and sugar) intake gradually instead of going cold turkey.  There are many things which can upset the CNS.  I've only been experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms with my taper, but recently I had a helicopter flying lesson for my birthday.  I noticed that my anxiety increased and it has taken almost a week for it to settle down again.

 

You have made a lot of changes in the past year, both drug and dose changes.  These are the changes you have made just since the beginning of June this year (not quite 6 months) - each change is in bold font.

 

Paxil 20mgs (started)

 

Paxil 40mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs
Paxil 60mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs
Paxil 50mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs

reduced/stopped caffeine & sugar

 

Your brain has been through a lot and generally it is better to hold and give the brain the time it needs to adapt to the changes we have made.

 

I believe that when we worry about something it causes stress which means that the brain's attention is diverted away from healing because it needs to be dealing with the stress.  The calmer and less stressed (both good and bad) environment we provide will allow the brain to do what it needs to do to heal.

 

Acceptance

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Here are some SA discussions:

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Stabilising  - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

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DaveB
On 11/23/2017 at 8:15 AM, Gridley said:

Hello, DaveB,

 

There are no guarantees, but I can tell you my experience with holding and stabilizing.  A couple of years ago, before I discovered survivingantidepressants, I tapered Imipramine too fast for seven months.  The lower I got, the more symptoms I felt, particularly extreme anxiety.  Then I discovered SA and learned that I should have been tapering my Lexapro (an activating drug) instead of Imipramine (a sedating drug).  But before I could taper Lexapro, I needed to stabilize.  So I held on the Imipramine.  And held.  But I still had the anxiety.  When was I going to stabilize, I asked myself every day (and several times a day).  Finally, a little more than four months after I began my hold,  I stabilized.  That is not to say I was without symptoms, just that they were at last manageable and I could get on with my life.  And in January, 2017, I began my Lexapro taper and am doing well with it.

 

So that is my "success story" with holding and stabilizing.     

 

Overthinking is a symptom of withdrawal.  It is human to doubt and worry.  It is also unhelpful during a hold.  I believe the brain heals better (whether on a hold or taper) when you think your hold or taper is going to work.  Doubt feeds more doubt, creating unease.  Believing the hold is working creates a sense of comfort, which promotes stability and healing.   At least, that was my experience.

 

Thanks for this, I needed to hear a good stabilizing story.

 

On 11/23/2017 at 9:57 AM, Kitson said:

 

It didn't exacerbate any withdrawal symptoms, it just added another layer of minor suffering until the caffeine withdrawals passed. I got headaches for a week, then they stopped. Ibuprofen helps, if you can take it.

 

 

Good to know, thank you!

23 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

If you have been drinking a lot of caffeine it is better to reduce your caffeine (and sugar) intake gradually instead of going cold turkey.  There are many things which can upset the CNS.  I've only been experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms with my taper, but recently I had a helicopter flying lesson for my birthday.  I noticed that my anxiety increased and it has taken almost a week for it to settle down again.

 

You have made a lot of changes in the past year, both drug and dose changes.  These are the changes you have made just since the beginning of June this year (not quite 6 months) - each change is in bold font.

 

Paxil 20mgs (started)

 

Paxil 40mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs
Paxil 60mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs
Paxil 50mgs, Zyprexa 2.5mgs

reduced/stopped caffeine & sugar

 

Your brain has been through a lot and generally it is better to hold and give the brain the time it needs to adapt to the changes we have made.

 

I believe that when we worry about something it causes stress which means that the brain's attention is diverted away from healing because it needs to be dealing with the stress.  The calmer and less stressed (both good and bad) environment we provide will allow the brain to do what it needs to do to heal.

 

Acceptance

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Here are some SA discussions:

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Stabilising  - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

Thanks for all this info, it has been very enlightening.

 

Unfortunately I listened to my doctor last week, he thought I should come off the Paxil all together as it "isn't helping" my anxiety. I am to reduce by 10 mgs a week and then go from 10 to 5 for a week, then off. After hearing from you guys here and all the information I have looked at, I am going to tell him that now that I am at 40mgs, I want to hold for a few months and see where that puts me. I know it won't be easy as when something is as broken as my brain has been this year, I just want to feel like I am doing something to fix it. However, all that kind of thinking has done for me is drag out what I believe could have been a more simple and much more painless process had I just reinstated a small dose of Zoloft and held in January instead of going on this doctor prescribed roller coaster. Hopefully I haven't permanently damaged my brain and i can soon stabilize as get back to being myself again. 

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ChessieCat

I suggest you check out these topics before you see your doctor.  Knowing how to be assertive without being aggressive is very helpful when talking with the medical profession.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

One thing to consider is Are you still going to be able to get Paxil in the future?  Or is there a possibility your doctor would refuse to continue prescribing?

 

Your topic title "Trying to stop a roller coaster year" - my suggestion - HOLD ON!!!  (Pun absolutely intentional)

 

At least now you have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

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DaveB
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

I suggest you check out these topics before you see your doctor.  Knowing how to be assertive without being aggressive is very helpful when talking with the medical profession.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

One thing to consider is Are you still going to be able to get Paxil in the future?  Or is there a possibility your doctor would refuse to continue prescribing?

 

Your topic title "Trying to stop a roller coaster year" - my suggestion - HOLD ON!!!  (Pun absolutely intentional)

 

At least now you have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

 

Thanks Chessie, I love your suggestion of HOLD ON!!!! Yes I will absolutely be able to continue to get Paxil. My doctor (not the same as the original one who put me on the roller coaster of one med after another) may not "get it" as far as whatever is going on with me, but he is a great guy who works with me and not against me. 

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DaveB
On 11/24/2017 at 3:00 PM, ChessieCat said:

I suggest you check out these topics before you see your doctor.  Knowing how to be assertive without being aggressive is very helpful when talking with the medical profession.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

One thing to consider is Are you still going to be able to get Paxil in the future?  Or is there a possibility your doctor would refuse to continue prescribing?

 

Your topic title "Trying to stop a roller coaster year" - my suggestion - HOLD ON!!!  (Pun absolutely intentional)

 

At least now you have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

 

So...I have been a week now at 40mgs, and I would say I am significantly better than where I was at on 60mgs of Paxil. Is holding the best option, or should I continue to go down as so far, even though I have gone down way too fast compared to this site's recommended 10% per month, I have improved?

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brassmonkey

Hi Dave-- welcome to SA.  I'm so sorry that your doctor has been making so many changes to your dose. Considering all that has happened in the last six months I would not make any changes until February at the earliest. Then we can see how stable you are and maybe start a slow methodical taper.  There have been a lot of physical changes made to your CNS over the past months and a huge amount of chemical confusion caused by all the dose changes.  The doctors don't seem to take those into account when they make dose and drug changes and that's where a lot of the WD problems come from.  I'm very glad that you're feeling better on 40mg.  It's a much better place to be than on 50 or 60mg.  I would expect things to be a bit rocky for the next month or so.  Please don't be upset by what ever the drugs throw at you, it's your body trying to sort it out and make sense of it all.  There is no timetable for stability, but it does come and then you're back in control.  If you have any leftover pills from those dose changes do not get rid of them.  When starting a taper it is a good thing to have a "reserve supply".

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DaveB
11 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Hi Dave-- welcome to SA.  I'm so sorry that your doctor has been making so many changes to your dose. Considering all that has happened in the last six months I would not make any changes until February at the earliest. Then we can see how stable you are and maybe start a slow methodical taper.  There have been a lot of physical changes made to your CNS over the past months and a huge amount of chemical confusion caused by all the dose changes.  The doctors don't seem to take those into account when they make dose and drug changes and that's where a lot of the WD problems come from.  I'm very glad that you're feeling better on 40mg.  It's a much better place to be than on 50 or 60mg.  I would expect things to be a bit rocky for the next month or so.  Please don't be upset by what ever the drugs throw at you, it's your body trying to sort it out and make sense of it all.  There is no timetable for stability, but it does come and then you're back in control.  If you have any leftover pills from those dose changes do not get rid of them.  When starting a taper it is a good thing to have a "reserve supply".

 

Thanks Brassmonkey, I appreciate your comments and advice. I guess I just need reassurance that essentially doing nothing is the right thing to do. At times I feel I am doing much better than I have been this year, but when I get hit by a wave it is just frustrating and I lose patience with it all and want to be back to myself. Especially at this time of year with my 3 kids, not being back to myself is really hard. I am such a good father who puts my kids and wife first, but this whole ordeal this year has made me stuck in my head about “how I am feeling” and therefore quite selfish and focused on me and I hate that. I just want to be stable, as I honestly don’t think I need these pills to deal with my anxiety, but want to attack this from a stable point of strength, which is, unfortunately, not where I have been this year.

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DaveB
14 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Hi Dave-- welcome to SA.  I'm so sorry that your doctor has been making so many changes to your dose. Considering all that has happened in the last six months I would not make any changes until February at the earliest. Then we can see how stable you are and maybe start a slow methodical taper.  There have been a lot of physical changes made to your CNS over the past months and a huge amount of chemical confusion caused by all the dose changes.  The doctors don't seem to take those into account when they make dose and drug changes and that's where a lot of the WD problems come from.  I'm very glad that you're feeling better on 40mg.  It's a much better place to be than on 50 or 60mg.  I would expect things to be a bit rocky for the next month or so.  Please don't be upset by what ever the drugs throw at you, it's your body trying to sort it out and make sense of it all.  There is no timetable for stability, but it does come and then you're back in control.  If you have any leftover pills from those dose changes do not get rid of them.  When starting a taper it is a good thing to have a "reserve supply".

 

Also I wonder if I am not stabilizing due to the fact I should be trying to stabilize on Zoloft instead of Paxil. I was on Zoloft for almost 9 years and maybe that is what my body wants and needs to stabilize. I don't know, it has just been a bad year and I am losing hope I will ever stabilize and be myself again. Also anytime I make a dosage change either up or down, it seems like I have a few days when I feel better, but then I go back to feeling more or less the same, is this just a placebo effect or would there be a reason behind this?

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DaveB

Anyone have any information or advice for me?

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Gridley

As advised previously, because of the many recent changes in your drugs and dosages, you should not make any changes at this time.   It can take months to stabilize.  More switches can further destabilize your system.

 

 

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DaveB
15 minutes ago, Gridley said:

As advised previously, because of the many recent changes in your drugs and dosages, you should not make any changes at this time.   It can take months to stabilize.  More switches can further destabilize your system.

 

 

 

Sounds good, thanks Gridley. Someone on another thread mentioned they would switch to my original AD of Zoloft as that was what they did and it helped them stabilize. I know it is early on in my drop from 60 to 40mgs, but I think I am already seeing signs of stabilizing. Many of my physical symptoms (shaking, oily skin, burning eyes, IBS) have either lessened or quit altogether. Hopefully the anxiety will start to diminish soon as well, but this is probably the most stable I have felt this year (however I would have told a much different story yesterday). Thank you for all your help!

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DaveB

I feel like I am doing ok, but really up and down. I am getting a few hours a day where I don't feel it at all, I feel really good and it is such a breath of fresh air to feel normal, then a wave where the anxiety is overwhelming and comes out of nowhere. Is this to be expected at this point and it should even out, or does this seem like a problem?

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brassmonkey

You're doing fine Dave.  Things will be all over the place for a while.  Those big changes over the past few months will be causing unexpected swings for a while as they settle out.  Even once you're stable you will probably get some pretty good changes through out the day or week.  What we are looking for right now is to establish your baseline of WDnormal. This is a CONSISTENT level of feeling crappy, without the wild swings.  It will take several months to get a feeling for what is average and what is a swing.  As you proceed with your taper the level of WDnormal will slowly rise.  As in "hey, I just realized that I'm feeling better than I did six months ago".  This is the true gage of progress, not the day to day, week to week swings.

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DaveB
On 12/1/2017 at 1:00 PM, brassmonkey said:

You're doing fine Dave.  Things will be all over the place for a while.  Those big changes over the past few months will be causing unexpected swings for a while as they settle out.  Even once you're stable you will probably get some pretty good changes through out the day or week.  What we are looking for right now is to establish your baseline of WDnormal. This is a CONSISTENT level of feeling crappy, without the wild swings.  It will take several months to get a feeling for what is average and what is a swing.  As you proceed with your taper the level of WDnormal will slowly rise.  As in "hey, I just realized that I'm feeling better than I did six months ago".  This is the true gage of progress, not the day to day, week to week swings.

 

Thanks brassmonkey, I do need to think more in long term, hard to do in a wave. So when I am holding to “stabilize,” will I not find myself getting back to normal, do you think I am truly years away from feeling good again?

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brassmonkey

While you're in the process of stabilizing you should start to feel better.  Instability is essentially a bad wave and as you stabilize the wave diminishes until you get back to your current WDnormal.  

 

Because every person has a different experience, different symptoms and handles them in a different manner it's very hard to predict.  I can however, give you some numbers based on mathematics and observation.  I just completed tapering off of 40mg of paxil.  All in all I had a very uneventful taper and managed to taper at 10% every six weeks the entire time.  My taper lasted 5 and a half years.  If everything goes smoothly you're looking at about the same length of time, it's just how the numbers work out. BUT (you'll notice that that's a big but)  it was not all pain and misery.  I had been in severe poopout for several years, drinking very heavily and on the verge of losing everything when I started to taper.  I didn't really see any signs of improvement for about two and a half years.  Then things slowly started to get better. Finally about the middle of the fourth year I was consistently feeling pretty reasonable and saw great improvements throughout the fifth year.  I'm not all the way back yet, but pretty darn close.  I had a number of "taper buddies" several of who started before me and several at the same time, all of who followed a similar pattern.  All of them have now been off of their drugs for several months to several years and all are doing very well.

 

Going into it, seeing the numbers spelled out, can be very disheartening and downright scary.  But every one of my taper buddies has commented about how fast the time actually went.  Once the improvements start to show up and you see how far you've come the time that's left doesn't really matter any more.  It's also been proven time after time that a taper can't be rushed.  The setbacks and extra pain caused by rushing make things stretch well past where a slow taper would have ended.

 

It's a pretty horrible situation we've had dumped on us and it takes a frustratingly long time to get through it, but recovery does happen.

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DaveB
20 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

While you're in the process of stabilizing you should start to feel better.  Instability is essentially a bad wave and as you stabilize the wave diminishes until you get back to your current WDnormal.  

 

Because every person has a different experience, different symptoms and handles them in a different manner it's very hard to predict.  I can however, give you some numbers based on mathematics and observation.  I just completed tapering off of 40mg of paxil.  All in all I had a very uneventful taper and managed to taper at 10% every six weeks the entire time.  My taper lasted 5 and a half years.  If everything goes smoothly you're looking at about the same length of time, it's just how the numbers work out. BUT (you'll notice that that's a big but)  it was not all pain and misery.  I had been in severe poopout for several years, drinking very heavily and on the verge of losing everything when I started to taper.  I didn't really see any signs of improvement for about two and a half years.  Then things slowly started to get better. Finally about the middle of the fourth year I was consistently feeling pretty reasonable and saw great improvements throughout the fifth year.  I'm not all the way back yet, but pretty darn close.  I had a number of "taper buddies" several of who started before me and several at the same time, all of who followed a similar pattern.  All of them have now been off of their drugs for several months to several years and all are doing very well.

 

Going into it, seeing the numbers spelled out, can be very disheartening and downright scary.  But every one of my taper buddies has commented about how fast the time actually went.  Once the improvements start to show up and you see how far you've come the time that's left doesn't really matter any more.  It's also been proven time after time that a taper can't be rushed.  The setbacks and extra pain caused by rushing make things stretch well past where a slow taper would have ended.

 

It's a pretty horrible situation we've had dumped on us and it takes a frustratingly long time to get through it, but recovery does happen.

 

Thanks Brassmonkey, I saw you post on your thread today that the worst symptoms from a big drop show up after 3 months. Does this mean I should expect to feel worse 3 months from now? I was hoping I would see steady improvement as I wait to stabilize. 

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brassmonkey

Sorry to say it, but there is a good chance it may happen.  There's also a reasonable chance that it won't.  These drugs are extremely unpredictable as to how people react on an individual level.  The best we can do is talk in terms of overall trends when trying to predict the future.  There are so many little variables that can affect things.  Some people make a lot of large changes with no problems but then have a glass of wine and end up suffering for months. Others take one pill for the first time and suffer for months trying to recover.  People getting blindsided by symptoms at around three months is a well documented phenomena and one of the primary reasons we stress the idea of making small orderly cuts.  Personally I wouldn't expect it to happen, but not be too surprised if it does.  Trying to second guess symptoms is a good way to trigger an anxiety spiral.  It always works out better to try to be prepared for what ever happens and roll with what ever comes along then to worry about what might happen.

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DaveB
1 hour ago, brassmonkey said:

Sorry to say it, but there is a good chance it may happen.  There's also a reasonable chance that it won't.  These drugs are extremely unpredictable as to how people react on an individual level.  The best we can do is talk in terms of overall trends when trying to predict the future.  There are so many little variables that can affect things.  Some people make a lot of large changes with no problems but then have a glass of wine and end up suffering for months. Others take one pill for the first time and suffer for months trying to recover.  People getting blindsided by symptoms at around three months is a well documented phenomena and one of the primary reasons we stress the idea of making small orderly cuts.  Personally I wouldn't expect it to happen, but not be too surprised if it does.  Trying to second guess symptoms is a good way to trigger an anxiety spiral.  It always works out better to try to be prepared for what ever happens and roll with what ever comes along then to worry about what might happen.

Shoot, well I was seeing some improvements and was hoping it would mean I was stabilizing, I guess I won’t get my hopes up too high.

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DaveB
On 11/29/2017 at 4:22 PM, Gridley said:

As advised previously, because of the many recent changes in your drugs and dosages, you should not make any changes at this time.   It can take months to stabilize.  More switches can further destabilize your system.

 

On 11/15/2017 at 3:43 PM, ChessieCat said:

Hi Dave and welcome to SA from me too.

 

 

On 12/3/2017 at 7:46 PM, brassmonkey said:

Sorry to say it, but there is a good chance it may happen.  There's also a reasonable chance that it won't.  These drugs are extremely unpredictable as to how people react on an individual level.  The best we can do is talk in terms of overall trends when trying to predict the future.  There are so many little variables that can affect things. 

 

So...if I would have written this post a week ago (last Monday) I would have been talking about how I have stabilized and I was feeling somewhere between 60-80% of my "normal" self. However after a really good, Sunday - Wednesday last week, I have slowly gotten worse to where now I feel my anxiety is as bad as it has ever been. I am almost a month into holding at 40mgs of Paxil and 2.5 mgs of Zyprexa. I changed NOTHING last week, so why is this happening? So frustrating, shouldn't I be slowly getting more stable, not the opposite? I just am sick of feeling this anxiety and want to be myself again, I found my old Zoloft prescription from November of last year (the one I filled, but never took at 50mgs cause I felt I didn't need them anymore). Has this one decision of quitting Zoloft at 50mgs cold turkey permanently ruined my life? I am so worried my wife will leave me as she has been on this roller coaster with me this year and there is nothing she can do to stop it or control it. I have tried to put on a brave face and not show on the outside my inner turmoil to try to shield her and the kids from it, but it is so hard.

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Madeleine

It seems the symptoms affect us in "waves" and "windows" -- sometimes with no rhyme or reason.    You mentioned that you had 4 days feeling good, so you had a window...  
Those are often followed by a wave, which you are in now.   I do think that anxiety and worry can exacerbate the symptoms, so try not to worry.  When you are going through a wave, just try to ride it through and hold on to positive thoughts that things will improve.  Think back to when you felt better, and have faith that you will feel like that again.

When you are feeling better, give your wife a bit of extra attention. Treat her special when you can.  When you are feeling bad, try not to burden her too much with how you are feeling during a wave, come here and share instead.

 

Best wishes,


M.

 

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DaveB
17 hours ago, Madeleine said:

It seems the symptoms affect us in "waves" and "windows" -- sometimes with no rhyme or reason.    You mentioned that you had 4 days feeling good, so you had a window...  
Those are often followed by a wave, which you are in now.   I do think that anxiety and worry can exacerbate the symptoms, so try not to worry.  When you are going through a wave, just try to ride it through and hold on to positive thoughts that things will improve.  Think back to when you felt better, and have faith that you will feel like that again.

When you are feeling better, give your wife a bit of extra attention. Treat her special when you can.  When you are feeling bad, try not to burden her too much with how you are feeling during a wave, come here and share instead.

 

Best wishes,


M.

 

 

Thanks Madeleine, I appreciate the support and advice. I guess I just keep holding and hope for the best. I think having a "window" can make the "wave" feel worse than maybe it actually is. Like feeling good again gives too high of expectations if that makes sense. 

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Madeleine

It can make it feel worse, depending on how you approach it and what your thoughts are about it.   Maybe try to accept that there are rainy and sunny days, and when you have a rainy day, don't let it get you down, just do what you can when it rains -- e.g. stay inside, read a book quietly, etc. and have faith that the rain will end and the sun will shine again...

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DaveB
On 12/12/2017 at 11:51 AM, Madeleine said:

It can make it feel worse, depending on how you approach it and what your thoughts are about it.   Maybe try to accept that there are rainy and sunny days, and when you have a rainy day, don't let it get you down, just do what you can when it rains -- e.g. stay inside, read a book quietly, etc. and have faith that the rain will end and the sun will shine again...

 

Thanks, Madeleine, my recurring thought is that I will NEVER stabilize on this stuff because I am on a different drug than the one I took for 8 years. I am almost a year into this crazy anxiety (more than a year since my Zoloft CT) and I just want some relief! Is it possible to stabilize on a different med? Is that really the best course of action? I just am not feeling improvements which is SO frustrating. 

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DaveB

Since I didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms until trying the Zoloft again in February, could it be that I am prolonging my suffering indefinitely by continuing to take an SSRI after an adverse reaction? I just don’t get it, why can’t I stabilize? Been on the same dose of everything for almost a month now, feeling really bad right now. Also, usually strenuous exercise has really helped me to get a few hours of feeling normal, the last few times I have done this, it has seemed to somewhat trigger a wave. Isn’t exercise supposed to be the best thing for anxiety?

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DaveB

I think am starting to stabilize! Seems like I am getting a really good window about every other day, then kind of a grind it out day, followed by another good one. Weird...right? I have seen that this site recommends tapering the "activating" SSRI (in my case Paxil) before a "brakes" medication like Zyprexa. Is this ALWAYS the case? I think I would rather get off the Zyprexa 1st as I am on a really low dose, the side effect profile frightens me, and to be honest I am sick of the weight gain. I am NOT doing ANY tapering for many months as I hope to stabilize much more, but wondering if I could try to get off Zyprexa 1st when the time comes.

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brassmonkey

Hi Dave-- I'm so glad to see that you're stabilizing and aren't going to rush things.  The suggestions we make are recommendations only and in the end its all up to the person making the taper to decide which direction to go.  The reason we recommend to take the breaks off first is because as the activating load decreases the breaks tend to take over and make them feel sluggish and lack motivation and the symptoms generally get in the way of tracking how the other taper is going.  However, I think a staggered taper might be a better option.  40mg of paxil is a very large dose, and from the sert loading charts anything over 20mg is basically wasted because it has very little "clinical" effect on the body.  But it does have a very large physical effect.  It would only take six or seven tapers, about 36 weeks, to reduce your paxil load down to 20mgs.  This would reduce the affect the drug is having on your body quite a bit.  Once you get to the 20mg of paxil stabilize for a couple of months and then taper off of the zyprexa.  Once that is out of your system for a few months you could continue with tapering the paxil.

 

Paxil is notorious for weight gain also. As much as we want it to happen right now, it's more up to the drugs and their time table than our desires.  We can watch our eating habits and do all the correct things and when the time is right the weight will come off, but until then try not to get too frustrated. I've been fighting it for years and have found that it comes off in drops and plateaus.

 

Brass

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DaveB
On 12/21/2017 at 12:44 PM, brassmonkey said:

Hi Dave-- I'm so glad to see that you're stabilizing and aren't going to rush things.  The suggestions we make are recommendations only and in the end its all up to the person making the taper to decide which direction to go.  The reason we recommend to take the breaks off first is because as the activating load decreases the breaks tend to take over and make them feel sluggish and lack motivation and the symptoms generally get in the way of tracking how the other taper is going.  However, I think a staggered taper might be a better option.  40mg of paxil is a very large dose, and from the sert loading charts anything over 20mg is basically wasted because it has very little "clinical" effect on the body.  But it does have a very large physical effect.  It would only take six or seven tapers, about 36 weeks, to reduce your paxil load down to 20mgs.  This would reduce the affect the drug is having on your body quite a bit.  Once you get to the 20mg of paxil stabilize for a couple of months and then taper off of the zyprexa.  Once that is out of your system for a few months you could continue with tapering the paxil.

 

Paxil is notorious for weight gain also. As much as we want it to happen right now, it's more up to the drugs and their time table than our desires.  We can watch our eating habits and do all the correct things and when the time is right the weight will come off, but until then try not to get too frustrated. I've been fighting it for years and have found that it comes off in drops and plateaus.

 

Brass

 

So I screwed up...BAD! I went to Montana for Christmas, feeling pretty good. I accidentally took 2 .5mg pills of Klonopin instead of my 2 20mg pills of Paxil. This happened for what I think was at least 2 days, but could have been as many as 4 or 5. For those few days I went from feeling good, to better than good like almost completely normal. Not even sure why I brought klonopin, I hadn't taken one since May...just felt like a safety net I guess. Now I have been back on the 40mgs of Paxil for about a week and feeling worse every day. Doc thinks 40 mgs of Paxil might be just too activating and is recommending me drop down to 20 starting tonight. Since my nervous system is already in chaos I am kind of inclined to agree with him to use this setback as a way to get stable on a much lower dose. What is everyone's thoughts? Those 3 days of almost normal made me realize I was never stable on 40mgs, so why not try 20mgs. 

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