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☼ dj2010: off all meds for 3 months and been fine now bad insomnia

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dj2010

I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, 

 

I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years,

 

I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death,

 

I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?

Edited by scallywag
insert paragraph breaks for readability

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scallywag

dj2010 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

You've discontinued 4 psychoactive medications over the last year. That's a great deal of change for your brain and CNS (central nervous system) to adapt to over a very short period of time.  Your CNS made many adaptations to the presence of each drug. When the dose is decreased or the drug is discontinued altogether, the CNS has to undo all the changes made to adapt to the drug's presence. Your experience is very common -- the vast majority of doctors do not understand the likelihood of symptoms nor the intensity and the duration of the suffering caused by short taper periods.

 

To understand more about your CNS and withdrawal symptoms, it may help to read content at the following links:

What is withdrawal syndrome.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Your efforts to continue healthy habits - exercise and good food -- are commendable. Although important factors in recovery, they are unlikely to be sufficient to ease your withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms.

 

Many people find at least some relief from symptoms through the reinstatement of a very small dose of medication, usually much smaller than the last dose taken.  To educate yourself about reinstatement, please read

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms -- The first post is the most important content. optional: read the entire discussion at your leisure.

 

In order to give the best information for your situation, 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 to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Discussion topics about symptoms you've mentioned:

Brain fog; blank mind; comprehension, cognitive and memory problems.

Tips to help sleep.

Exploding head syndrome or withdrawal?

 

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.

 

Please take a few minutes to create your signature.  Let us know how you're doing and ask any questions that you have.

 

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dj2010

Thank you so much for your detailed reply, I will try and do my signature later today however I honestly can not fully remember all the information, my memory is non existent, I will do my best to give as much accurate information as possible,

 

Which drug do you think is causing the insomnia? I have been fine for 3 months, eating good and sleeping ok, had next to no anxiety and then suddenly 3 months later full blown insomnia, I read on another post that effexor (venlafaxine) did the same to another poster, do you think its this? i have looked at the reinstatement posts but dont want to reinstate all the meds,

 

Last night was going to be night 3 with no sleep, it got to 11pm and I knew there was no way I was going to sleep so I decided to take 10mg diazapam, I have not took any diazapam in around 10 months, I slept for around 6 and half hours and I feel fine today except weak from not eating for the last couple days,

 

Do you think I made the right decision to take the diazapam? I have 2 young children to look after myself (age 6 and 4) and I run my own business from home so another another sleepless night was not a option as I need to be able to function,

 

You are right about the doctors having no clue about tapering, he wanted me to taper off 200mg quitiapine over 2 weeks, it made me extremely ill and bed bound, I have done the tapering myself this time, my doctor does not even know I have come off my meds,

 

I made multiple attempts to get off my meds over the last 5 years, all have failed miserably, the only thing I did different this time was take lots of turmeric and i found it quite easy compared to previous attempt, I am not sure if it was the turmeric that actually helped but it was the only thing I did differently,

 

I thank you so much for the time taken to reply to me, I see no other place I can turn to as going to my doctor would be pointless,

 

 

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KarenB

Hi DJ,

 

It is more likely withdrawal in general that is causing the insomnia, as it is so common in w/d from any psych drugs. 

 

As Scallyway said, a small up-dose is what we would recommend after this length of time off the drugs.  Which was the last drug you were on?  That is likely to be the best one if you want to reinstate.  (The Signature would be very helpful to us). 

 

Can you find simple foods to eat, maybe rice with chicken, or eggs on toast?  What would appeal?  I know it's tricky managing w/d and children too - and yours are even younger than mine. 

 

It's good to have you here DJ,

Karen

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dj2010

Hi Karen,

 

Thanks for your reply, the last drug I was on was venlafaxine, I have just done my signature but I have been on that many meds and that many doses and done that many tapers that I can not fully remember the exact details, I have put as accurate info as I can,

 

Last night I slept for 7 hours without having to take another diazepam, I was very surprised and I feel fine today and have eaten a couple of meals, so I am not going to reinstate the venlafaxine at the moment, I will see how it goes over the next few nights,

 

I feel so close to fully beating all the medication and I am very determined to not return to the emotionless zombie that I was, I hope I can help others if I am successful,

 

Thanks again,

 

Dan

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Pepita

Hi there! 

My wirhdrawal also kicked in about 3 months after quitting my last dosage. 

Hang in there and it will get better! You're not insane or mentally ill (just in case your doctor tries to tell you so, or you might think so;)) - if you experience insomnia or other symptoms for the next time - it's withdrawal for sure

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dj2010

thanks Pepita, how long have you been off it now? how long did it take until you was better?

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love
7 hours ago, Pepita said:

Hi there! 

My wirhdrawal also kicked in about 3 months after quitting my last dosage. 

Hang in there and it will get better! You're not insane or mentally ill (just in case your doctor tries to tell you so, or you might think so;)) - if you experience insomnia or other symptoms for the next time - it's withdrawal for sure

I like your answers

Did you have insomnia in wd?

 

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love
On 28.6.2017 at 7:29 AM, dj2010 said:

I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, 

 

I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years,

 

I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death,

 

I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?

Its look like you are strong

Good for you that you did this!!

you said you tried taper in the past?

How was is? What is the different in the last time?

How yoy taper?

Do the toemeric help to anixty?

For what you took drugs?

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dj2010

hi Love,

 

Yes I have had many attempts at tapering from quitiapine over the last 5 years but failed every time, I would not sleep and not eat and went very skinny, looked dreadful and could not function at all from lack of sleep and food,

 

There was not much difference this time, I found it very easy compared, I am sure it might be the turmeric, if you read online there are many articles saying how it reduces inflammation in the brain and helps it regrow, my anxiety is also non existent, I have suffered from severe anxiety all my life, I still use turmeric every day, I am also using mucuna pruriens which instantly lifts my mood, it is known to boost dopamine,

 

I was put on medication when i was around 18 as I was using many drugs (amphetamine, ecstacy, cocaine, cannabis etc) the drugs set off extreme anxiety, panic attacks and depression, also had episodes of psychosis, I keep using drugs and drink for many years, I was diagnosed with BPD at around 20, a few years ago I was told that I dont have BPD and that I was misdiagnosed, it was the drugs that was causing all my mental health problems not BPD,

 

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love
On 3/7/2017 at 5:03 AM, dj2010 said:

hi Love,

 

Yes I have had many attempts at tapering from quitiapine over the last 5 years but failed every time, I would not sleep and not eat and went very skinny, looked dreadful and could not function at all from lack of sleep and food,

 

There was not much difference this time, I found it very easy compared, I am sure it might be the turmeric, if you read online there are many articles saying how it reduces inflammation in the brain and helps it regrow, my anxiety is also non existent, I have suffered from severe anxiety all my life, I still use turmeric every day, I am also using mucuna pruriens which instantly lifts my mood, it is known to boost dopamine,

 

I was put on medication when i was around 18 as I was using many drugs (amphetamine, ecstacy, cocaine, cannabis etc) the drugs set off extreme anxiety, panic attacks and depression, also had episodes of psychosis, I keep using drugs and drink for many years, I was diagnosed with BPD at around 20, a few years ago I was told that I dont have BPD and that I was misdiagnosed, it was the drugs that was causing all my mental health problems not BPD,

 

I know people who have bpd from cannabis and all their life **** up

Do you sure its temporary?

So your anixty stoped?

I am in shock

How?????

Because of the turmeric?

did you had anixty with the drugs before you took tumeric?

why it doesnt help your sleep?

Edited by ChessieCat
****

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dj2010

yes my anxiety has stopped except for in social situations (I am no good at face to face conversation), I am in shock myself, it is like I have been given a second chance,

 

I have been living very clean, I have not had a alcoholic drink for around 1 year and eating healthy, I am not 100% sure if it is because of turmeric but I am sure it is helping,

 

I got another good nights sleep last night at over 6 hours,

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scallywag

dj2010 - I'm quoting the posts exchanged in another topic about supplements, particularly mucuna pruriens.

 

7 hours ago, dj2010 said:

The supplements I have been using which I have found are helping me a lot are turmeric + piperine capsules, I have managed to get off all my medication and think these have helped achieve that,

 

I have also been using a herb called mucuna pruriens which i find gives me a almost instant boost in my mood, it is known to boost dopamine levels, there is a good explanantion of how it works on here which is where I have been getting mine:

 

https://www.healthessentialsdirect.co.uk/products/buy-mucuna-pruriens-powder-l-dopa

 

I have been mostly fine since quitting my meds except from some insomnia which I have wrote about here:

 

Studies show turmeric reduces inflammation in the brain and even helps it heal a lot faster, I would advise anyone struggling to try it,

 

 

4 hours ago, scallywag said:

dj2010 - please be very careful with any substance, even a natural herbal one, that is or claims to be psychoactive.

2 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1020-cowhage.aspx?activeingredientid=1020&activeingredientname=cowhage

 

Please read through the usage, side effects and interaction tabs. I would not recommend using this supplement.

 

1 hour ago, dj2010 said:

yes it might be best if I stop taking this one, I have tried countless supplements over the last few years and nearly all of them have had bad effects, the most recent being vitamin D capsules which are supposed to help sleep but they had opposite effect and I couldn't sleep at all, the other being 5 HTP which is also supposed to help sleep but I woke up 2 hours after falling a sleep with racing thoughts and lots of energy, I could not get back to sleep and felt terrible all day,

 

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dj2010

only 3 and half hours sleep last night, woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep, have that strange tension feeling in my head again, started taking fish oil capsules yesterday, not sure if that is why?

 

in for a crap day, when I do not sleep much I have no appetite, no energy and no patience with my children, getting through my work load is also a struggle

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Survive

I do fish oil at every meal.

 

I do Magnesium Citrate at lunch and 2 before going to bed.  This helps with sleep.

 

I do quality multi at lunch.

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dj2010

Thanks Survive, 

 

Slept great last night at around 7 hours and feel alive today, woke up again at 3am but managed to get back to sleep after about 45 minutes and then slept until 6am,

 

Sleep seems to be up and down, sleep good for few days and then have a bad night or 2 and then sleep ok again,

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Kiaza

Wow you've been on a lot of medications and you are still alive. How is your exercising? I haven't had nearly as much medication as you but I have a really hard time exercising and getting back to shape as exercising HURTS and makes me vomit. Did you have hard time with exercise? If you had, how did you overcome it?

 

Take care,

 

Kiaza

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dj2010

Hi Kiaza,

 

Yes I am amazed I am still alive after all the meds also lol, exercising was very hard while on meds, the only exercise I could do was walking,

 

A couple of years ago I started walking my children to school every morning, that was a 30 minute walk in total and really helped clear my head in the mornings, over the last year I tried to get 10,000 steps a day, I bought a fitbit so could see how many steps, I find the long walks really helped me get off all my meds,

 

In May this year after 1 month of being med free I joined the gym and have been attending H.I.I.T classes (high intensity interval training) these are very difficult and after the first few classes I felt very sick and had to lie down for a long time afterwards, these are becomming easier and after a class I feel a sense of achievement and really feel alive with all the adrenaline pumping, I am also doing weights on the days i do not do the HIIT classes, yesterday I did a 30 minute uphill walk on the treadmill and a swim,

 

Today if I finish my work early i will be going to do some weights before I pick my children up from school,

 

If I do not exercise for a few days I start to feel a bit down and have little energy, the more exercise I do the more energy I have and the better I feel, it is very important for my recovery, on days where I have hardly slept I find it too difficult to go to the gym so I just try to and do as much walking as i can do,

 

My advice to you would be to just try doing the 10,000 steps a day and while walking if you feel you can start a slow jog then try this, each day try to do a bit more than the last until you feel you are ready to take it to the next level and try a fitness class at your local gym,

 

If you are struggling for energy then try a cup of matcha green tea before your workout, this has caffeine in it but also has some amino acids that gives a calm energy unlike coffee which gives me anxiety,

 

If you have any questions please ask, hope this helps,

 

 

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Kiaza

Thanks for the tips. In spring I was able to exercise 5 times a week but then I injured my knee and couldn't train anymore. How is your diet? My diet is actually really bad right now... way too much carbs because I get hunger pangs and it's really hard to resist them.. I guess exercise feels bad because the toxins start to come out

Edited by scallywag
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dj2010

my diet has improved a lot, I am starting to eat really healthy now and notice the healthier I eat the better I feel, the better I feel the healthier I want to eat, on days where I have not slept I find it hard to eat so just eat whatever I can, I do also eat quite a lot of carbs also, I am actually trying to put on weight as have lost loads since coming off the meds and look a bit skinny now,

 

If you get hunger pangs try eating lots of bananas instead, these have been a life saver for me as very easy to eat when no appetite and feeling sick when I was coming off the meds, also lots of greek or natural yogurt will help, make sure it has the live cultures for your gut health,

 

If you have damaged your knee can you still swim? this is a very good exercise for recovery I find, if you can not exercise at all then I would suggest using a sauna and steam room regularly, at the gym i go to there is a cold shower next to the sauna and steam room so I have been doing hot and cold therapy where you go in the steam room for 15 minutes and then take a 2 minute cold shower, then repeat this a few times, then I do the same in the sauna, it gets the blood moving round your body and I feel great and very calm afterwards, I usually have really good nights sleep after doing this, it also helps remove toxins by sweating them out,

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Kiaza

I'm from Finland so I've been going to sauna a lot! When my withdrawal started I was in sauna all the time since I was cold and shivering a lot. I lost 10kg's in a few weeks back then but now I've gained a lot of weight because I was put on lot of meds in hospital and I'm still recovering from that. Hopefully I can get all the excess weight off.. Thanks for the banana tip, I'll try it!

Edited by scallywag
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dj2010

last 2 nights I have been unable to sleep unaided, Sunday night I could not fall asleep so I took a melatonin tablet, that worked and I then slept for around 7 hours,

 

last night I could not fall asleep again so I took another melatonin tablet, this did not work for some reason, I ended up having to take diazepem again, this got me to sleep but I only slept for a couple of hours and woke up feel terrible with a hangover type headache also,

 

Todays going to be a real struggle, I have my daughters sports day at her nursery and then straight after I have my sons sports day at his school, I know there will be the part where parents are asked to race, I do not think this will be possible, I also have loads of work to do,

 

It seems to be getting harder and harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, I did not have this problem for the 1st 2 months after my last dose of venlafaxine so not sure why it is happening after 3 months? should it not be getting easier after the time goes on? why suddenly after 3 months?

 

I do also have a lot of stress in my life at the moment which will not be helping, my Thai wife was refused a visa in January and we are going through a lengthy appeal process with the government, my children are finding it difficult being away from their mother, especially our 4 year old daughter,

 

My brother also made a serious suicide attempt around 6 weeks ago, a psychiatrist has said he has 1st episode psychosis, he is now undergoing early intervention treatment, my poor mother is finding this very hard, she is also recovering from cancer,

 

All these article I keep seeing abut how poor sleep is linked to alzheimer's is not helping, that is all I seem to be able to think about the last couple of nights when not been able to sleep, it makes it worse, I am terrified of getting this disease,  

 

I have ordered some magnesium citrate that is arriving today, will try this tonight, hopefully it will not give me insomnia like all the other supplements that supposed to help sleep do

 

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dj2010

the gods have answered, the heavens have opened and it is pissing it down, my children's sports days have been postponed so that is a big big relief :)

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powerback

Hi DJ your going through a lot ,your main strategy needs to be stress management ,it took me having a breakdown before Christmas and the last 6 months of a nightmare  to really pay attention ,diet/environment ,everything needs to be examined ,call on friends and family if you can ,do loads of reading up on stress and solutions ,you really have a lot on your plate ,at least you can have relief from the sports day today .

we want quick fixes ,which is understandable ,but our body's don't work like that ,doctors and big pharma like us to think that .

stop reading these articles there way to strong triggers ,I cant watch or read anything at the moment .

find a peaceful place to walk with your children and I hope it works out for you and your wife soon .

PB

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dj2010

thanks PB, I will look up on stress management, things didnt use to bother much when on all the meds, use to have no emotions and zero empathy for anyone, emotions and empathy have been coming back over the last few months,

 

thanks again

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powerback

HI DJ ye I was the same and I'm still on the meds but I'm 10 days into micro taper no 3 and this time I'm sticking to it ,I get this feeling of being overwhelmed with emotion so it can sway the opposite way so be careful and watch out for it if it happens to you

take care

PB

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dj2010

thanks PB some emotions have certainly been overwhelming, finding out my brother has psychosis and he has been put on olanzapine and sertaline overwhelmed me, I broke down and cried for the 1st time in well over 10 years as I know he will be suffering and will suffer similar to what I have over the last 15 years,

 

if you haven't tried turmeric then it might be worth trying during your taper, I find it helped me massively get off quitiapaine and venlafaxine, it reduces inflammation in the brain and helps it regrow, there is a discussion on it in the link below, good luck with your taper, 

 

 

 

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powerback
15 minutes ago, dj2010 said:

thanks PB some emotions have certainly been overwhelming, finding out my brother has psychosis and he has been put on olanzapine and sertaline overwhelmed me, I broke down and cried for the 1st time in well over 10 years as I know he will be suffering and will suffer similar to what I have over the last 15 years,

 

if you haven't tried turmeric then it might be worth trying during your taper, I find it helped me massively get off quitiapaine and venlafaxine, it reduces inflammation in the brain and helps it regrow, there is a discussion on it in the link below, good luck with your taper, 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info ,ye I've read about turmeric I was putting it in smoothies with black pepper and I've read about turmeric water ,I must do some .

ye your bang on from what I've read about inflammation and the brain ,totally correlates to how I've felt for a long time .

I'm tapering venlafaxine 37.5 ,I've had terrible symptoms taking the drug so its a must to get off ,it pooped out a long time ago .

my cognitive functioning has been terrible for way to long so I'm never turning back .a member said one time .when your in hell just keep going .I think Churchill said that originally

take care

PB

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dj2010

yeh cognitive function seems to be a massive side effect of venlafaxine, mine has been terrible also, for example just now I supposed to call in the shop on the way home from picking my son up from school to get some food bits etc, I have drove right past the shop got home, gone in the kitchen and then realised I have not been to the shop lol, yes keep going never give up and keep pushing forward, take care

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mammaP

Hi DJ,  you asked about my sleep after tapering off venlafaxine.  I have had a chronic sleep disorder for many years that was worsened by drugs. Unfortunately insomnia is also a side effect of the tramadol that I am now tapering so I can't say that my sleep is fixed. 3 hours is a good night, 4 hours is fantastic but rare and there have been only 2 nights in 20 years that I have slept for 8 hours. I would be happy with 3 hours every night but only get that maybe 3 or 4 nights a week.  Withdrawal insomnia is the worst, night after night of zero sleep is terrible but we all get through it somehow. I would be very very careful with the benzo, it might help very occasionally but will have no effect after a few doses as you have discovered. I take magnesium glycinate, it is gentler on my stomach than citrate. I take 3 at night and it seems to help me to relax. 

I don't worry about sleeping, worrying makes it harder to fall asleep. I just love being in bed snug, warm and safe

 

I try to leave any worries outside the bedroom and think only of positive things. Having said that I don't have children or the stress that you have to deal with. It must have been a terrible shock when your brother tried to kill himself, it is terrible when someone close commits suicide and just as traumatic when they attempt it, even if it fails. Your mother going through cancer would also have been traumatic. It is good when cancer has been treated but no one tells you that there is a recovery period for everyone, it turns your life upside down and could have been what tipped your brother over the edge. I had a complete breakdown after my husband had cancer, his surgery was successful but I ended up in a psych ward! Then there is the issue with your wife's visa, there is little wonder that you are finding it hard to sleep. You are doing so well considering all the drugs that you have tapered in such a short time and everything that is going on. Try not to focus on the lack of sleep, and keep to a good schedule. It is best to get up at the same time every day, which you probably do with young children, they are excellent alarm clocks! Go to bed at the same time and try not to use screens an hour before bed, except maybe for some relaxing videos. I particularly love this one and others like it. I hope your wife gets her visa soon, and hope your brother is ok. Take good care of yourself as you are doing and you will get through this.

 

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dj2010

MammaP, thanks so much for your reply, I am sure your sleep will improve a lot once you beat the tramadol, from looking at your signature I can see you doing extremely well tapering so you must be strong and you will be drug free soon,

 

I tried magnesium citrate for the 1st time last night and i slept from 9.30 until 4.30 without waking once, not sure if it was the magnesium that did it or just that I was so tired from little sleep the night before, it is a relief anyway as i have to meet my sons new teacher today and take my daughter to a fancy dress party,

 

Yes cancer certainly turns your life upside down, when my mum was diagnosed I moved back from Thailand to the UK with my children, I am happy to hear your husbands surgery was successful, 

 

Thanks so much for the video, I used to use these videos during my attempts at getting off quitiapine, they really helped, I will start trying these again, the last few months I have been watching boring documentaries in bed to help me sleep, i set my tv on a sleep timer, it is impossible to sleep without watching something on tv as my mind races to much,

 

Thanks again for your kind helpful reply,

 

Take care

 

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dj2010

Insomnia again! fell asleep at 9.30 but then woke 10 minutes later, took melatonin at around 11pm, it did nothing again, got to 1pm so took 6mg diazepam, still couldnt sleep, took another 4mg and then I slept but only for a couple of hours, woke up in a mess and was sick,

 

insomnia seems to be getting more and more frequent, I still can not understand why I was fine for 3 months and then it happens? can anyone explain this?

 

i know I can not keep taking diazepam or I will become addicted to it again, can anyone suggest a safer sleep medicine?

 

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dj2010

looking online a lot of people are saying estazolam is best for sleeping, would anyone recommend me getting this from my doctor for the nights I have insomnia? sleepless nights are not a option as I have to function to look after my children and run my business, help needed

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rupa

Hi dj,

I appreciate for being a best dad.

I am taking 5 m.g olanzapine for sleep purpose.

I heard antipsychotic is a better option than benzo for sleep.

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dj2010

Hi Rupa, thanks for the suggestion but I really do not want to take olanzapine again, I spent around 15 years either on olanzapine or quitiapine and spent many years of hell trying to get off them with unsuccessful tapers, I was a emotionless zombie and didnt even have enough energy to push my kids on the swing at the park when on them, 

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Shep
1 hour ago, dj2010 said:

looking online a lot of people are saying estazolam is best for sleeping, would anyone recommend me getting this from my doctor for the nights I have insomnia? sleepless nights are not a option as I have to function to look after my children and run my business, help needed

 

Hi, DJ.

 

SA doesn't recommend adding drugs to aid in withdrawal symptoms. No drug has been found that can help and usually causes more problems long term. A small reinstatement may help, but other than that, we don't recommend adding drugs. 

 

Estazolam is a benzodiazepine derivative, so that especially would not be indicated for someone who is 9 months off diazepam. 

 

Some thoughts:

 

Your periodic use of diazepam may become a problem, as diazepam has a half-life of up to 200 hours (8 days). Even "as needed" use of a benzo can cause dependency in as little as 2 - 4 weeks. 

 

You have come off quite a cocktail of drugs, as well as alcohol. This can cause a kindling reaction in your central nervous system (CNS), making your CNS increasingly hypersensitive.

 

Limbic Kindling -- Hardwiring the brain for hypersensitivity

 

I think you are entering the phase of withdrawal and recovery where your nervous system is becoming more and more sensitive even to things you were able to tolerate previously. Many of us become sensitive to certain foods, supplements, drugs we were able to tolerate previously, stress, and even exercise. Also, be careful of using a sauna, as heat can be a trigger for people going through withdrawal. Throwing your nervous system into any extreme state can stress it, especially when it's destabilized. 

 

Right now, nurturing your destabilized nervous system is key. Lots of variations in what you require of your nervous system will destabilize it even further. Gentle walks may be better right now than intense exercise. Remember, this is only temporary. Once you heal, you will be able to get back to it. These are a couple of videos that give some good tips on this and how you should proceed slowly.

 

Healing from antidepressants: The power of neuroplasticity - video 7 minutes

 

Healing from antidepressants. How to speed up the recovery process - video 5 minutes

 

I'm concerned about your use of supplements. Matcha green tea has caffeine in it, which may be increasing your insomnia. And Mucuna pruriens is a "mood enhancing" supplement which contains L-Dopa, the body’s pre-cursor to dopamine. So that one also may be contributing to your insomnia. 

 

The only two supplements SA recommends are magnesium and fish oil (Omega 3). It's best to add in only one supplement at a time and at a small dose. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

I really think at 3 months off you are just entering the phase of delayed withdrawal and your nervous system may be hyper-reacting to your supplements and high intensity interval training. You may find relief from the insomnia with some of the items listed here. The non-drug techniques for handling anxiety are particularly good for insomnia, as learning self-soothing techniques can help ease you into sleep. 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Breathing techniques and the body scan are really good for learning how to relax for sleep. And this is something you can even share with your children. Calm children make for calm adults. ;)  Here are a couple of cartoon versions of the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique and The Body Scan that you and your children can use:

 

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise by GoZen - video 3.5 minutes

 

Body Scan Meditation by GoZen - video 6 minutes

 

You have done remarkably well getting off the number of drugs you were on for many years. But now your recovery has most likely shifted into the phase of delayed withdrawal and what worked to help you come off the drugs may actually work against you now. So I would not add in new drugs and I'd come off the supplements (except for magnesium and Omega 3) and really start nurturing your nervous system. 

 

For those of us who went on these drugs as children or teenagers, it's important that we learn these non-drug coping skills in order to function well off the drugs. These non-drug techniques help with withdrawal and are skills we need to handle stress as we live drug-free for the first time as adults. 

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