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FarmGirlWorks

FarmGirlWorks: Sertraline WD - kundalini yoga helping

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FarmGirlWorks

This site is a go-to to reassure myself that others are traveling and have traveled this road. The discussions about emotional spirals (check) and anxiety, rumination and dread on waking up (check) and depression even worse than before medication (check) have been helpful. I am being extra mindful now of taking Mag powder in the morning and before bed.

 

I started AA and kundalini yoga in mid-May which have both been helpful. Although I really didn't drink much, it was enough (and mostly alone, not social) and any depressant when you are coming off an antidepressant can't be helpful. Also, I changed from hatha/vinyasa yoga to kundalini yoga which is more focused on the spiritual component of yoga.

 

I won't lie: at 4 months, I still fall daily into waves of depression and loneliness. But I do find that there are glimmers of happier times and I am getting clearer -- I hope -- about how to handle the tough times (for instance, I just now think that my beloved dog has a fever and am trying not to emotionally spiral -- ugh). I will be reading this site like mad just to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

Farm Girl Works

Tapered 75mg Sertraline  March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD

Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017

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mammaP

Hi FGW, welcome to SA. It looks like you have done your homework and have a good understanding of withdrawal and how to get through it. This site is the best there is for tapering and withdrawal, Alto has produced something very special here and worked very hard to put it all together, I am so glad I found it too. You have probaly seen it but we have a topic for reinstating if the symptoms become too difficult to cope with. No one ever wants to reinstate but if symptoms ramp up it can give relief at very low doses which can be tapered when stabilised. You are doing great and dealing with it really well but will post the link for information. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

You are describing the windows and waves pattern of recovery, which is the way the brain heals and regains homeostasis. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

If you check out the symptoms and self care forums you will find a wealth of information on what helps and what doesn't. This is a link to the important topics

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/

 

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks, mammaP, for responding to this -- so appreciated. I turned 50 in Deceber 2016 and suspect that hormonal shifts may be at play as well. I've been reading the menopause WD threads here. I have an appt with the ob/gyn on Aug 9th (for a checkup from a benign cyst surgery last year) and am going to ask for a hormone check. If they think I need an estrogen patch or something, I'd rather do that than reinstate at this time. If it hits mid-September and I am still like this, I might have to reinstate a wee bit although I really don't want to. WD has always been rough for me -- less physical and more emotional.

 

Farm Girl Works

Tapered 75mg Sertraline  March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD

Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017

Stopped alcohol May 18, 2017.

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FarmGirlWorks

Yesterday I felt like I was crawling out of my skin with anxiety. I read that Benadryl (which, according to this site is a serotonin uptake inhibitor as well as antihistamine) helps with sleep. I actually took it during the day and do not feel sleepy but just calmer and not so hypersensitive. I took one with magnesium fizzy water this morning as well as Vitamin C powder. I am not sure anymore what "normal" feels like for me but at least I am not paralyzed with anxiety. This "window" is a great relief.

 

I've also heeded the info here to be gentle on the withdrawal brain. The only supplements I take right now are DHA gel caps and aspirin. I also drink lemon water.

 

I also read a user's account of how he was misdiagnosed with depression when he had really suffered trauma. That piqued my interest as the two times I have "had" to start SSRIs was after extended traumatic events. The first time, I returned from San Francisco back to Seattle after a 17-hour brain surgery (benign tumor, acoustic neuroma) and a one-month stint in rehab to learn how to walk, talk, eat with motor skills on my right side diminished. Trigger! After a while back here, just sitting around and sleeping a lot, my then bf suggested I go on Prozac. He was a drug enthusiast and I was just letting others make decisions for me. Big mistake. It was great to feel pleasure again but the WD was awful. The second time (Zoloft/sertraline) was after I had spent six months as a funeral director in central WA which was away from any friends and also culturally WAY different than what I liked; I grew up in the country and that is okay but conservative small town life is not. Stressful situation coming back and, long story made short, was going to an informational interview at a funeral home and was told my SSDI/disability might end. Trigger! I just lost it, refer to it as my first nervous breakdown. After a few months of desperately trying peer counseling (did not work for me) and passionflower (moderately helped), got a job as a cashier at Whole Foods and started sertraline/Zoloft. And yes, it did stabilize me. As well as having an easy job and a manager who actually cared.

 

I have always taken supplements and herbs to soothe my frayed nerves. Skullcap, angelica, chamomile, holy basil, ashwaganda, St John's Wort, melatonin, Tryptophan, 5htp, SAM-E, Gaba, curcumin, saffron... I am sure I am missing about a hundred others here. And vitamins! Lots and lots of vitamins. So, there has definitely been a feeling in me that I needed help. And since I was a little kid, have always taken a barrage of pills. But there were lots of traumas growing up and I am tightly wired. Maybe -- and I realize now, at 50 -- I just needed human support thru all of the traumas, not pills. I didn't have the human support and thought pills would be a shortcut to being "normal."

 

Right now, in W/D which seems to be worse a few months out than it was a few weeks in, my human support (friends) are telling me that it is not worth it to be unhappy and to go back on meds. But I am resolute that I will expel this poison from my body. 

 

I have gotten a few big pimples/acne on my face from the stress. That is a bummer.

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FarmGirlWorks

A question: is there a way to gently stimulate and support the healing of the brain and creation of neuroreceptors? I quit sertraline 4 months ago after a fast taper of 4 weeks. I'd prefer to find any other way than reinstating that poison into my system. Right now, I am taking Benadryl 3x a day (tomorrow will be third day) and that seems to be helping.

Edited by scallywag
merged topics

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scallywag

In a member's introduction topic, Altostrata wrote:

 

1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

You cannot force the receptors to upregulate -- we don't even know if that's the problem in situations like yours. All you can do is gently calm the nervous system and let it heal.

 

I've merged your post and the topic you started (Is there a way to "jump start" ...) with your introduction so that all your questions and information stay in one place.

Edited by scallywag
add comment about merged topics

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FarmGirlWorks

Sigh... the more I read here, the more I see that just time and gentleness is all one can do. I had two blessed days of "windows" and am having a bad "wave" today.

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TryingToHoldOn

Hang in there.  It can get tough, but just focus on one day at a time.  Hope you get a break soon.

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scallywag

Developing patience and gentleness with one's self is probably the greatest gift (possibly the only one, ;)) of this experience.

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for the kind words. I had two days of windows, two days of waves, and -- blessedly -- feel like this is a window day. I started a low-histamine diet yesterday and am hoping improvements for improvements to my nerves. I was already off of alcohol and, the other day, intuited that coffee was too much. However, now no black or green tea and gave away all fermented food, most dairy -- still love cream in my turmeric tea), tomatoes, and (aaaagh!) avocados. Avocado toast was a mainstay for me. However, I definitely feel better today. Yesterday was only a one Benadryl day and I am hoping for the same today. We shall see.

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FarmGirlWorks

Update: I have had at least 4 days of windows and I am so, so grateful. I know it has been only 4-1/2 months since I did a fast taper (4 weeks) of Sertraline and it has been a serious rollercoaster. And, I know deep in my heart, that waves will probably appear again. And, yes, I will be right back on here through teary eyes when that happens.

 

But right now, this moment, I am fully appreciating that I feel content and am making steady personal strides. It has been 3 months since I quit drinking and also 3 months since I started kundalini yoga regularly. One month since I try to make a few AA meetings per week. I also am on a loose low-histamine diet for a little over a week now. All of this helps me hold it together when things are rough.

 

I just wanted to put it out there that with waves, it is important to appreciate the windows. Bless us all.

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Madeleine

Good to hear about the window days.   It's true you might have waves again -- but maybe not -- but absolutely no doubt if you have had some good window days, you will have more and increasingly more of those, :-)

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FarmGirlWorks

Update: the day before the solar eclipse started a 17-day run (and more, I hope) of window days. I am still not drinking (and don't plan on doing again), no caffeinated drinks, eating a low-histamine diet, and go to kundalini yoga 3-4 nights a week. I accidentally ate something higher in histamines and immediately could feel the "chemical" spiral starting to happen. I drank a bunch of magnesium powder, a probiotic and Vit C to compensate.

 

I also had stopped marijuana in month 4 of this WD. However, in month 5, after the eclipse, I started again. It is relaxing at present but keeping a close eye if it triggers me.

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FarmGirlWorks

Well, after a window of a good 4 weeks after the eclipse, I have slid back into a wave probably around 9/22. I am not sure what panic attacks feel like but, in the past, I have a few times had this feeling of high, high anxiety and wanting to jump out of my skin. It is so hard. I took Benadryl a bit ago to, hopefully, tamp this down.

 

The despair of letting my freelance occupation slide until I have no clients at present is hitting home hard. And I have not made much progress on the side project that I want to make money with (felting cremation urns). Plus I started a new romance with a man who really has his act together... it's hard not to get into the comparing game. Or feeling that my current lack of success will be the ending of this relationship. Although I know that it is not useful or accurate. Anyways, the new relationship is stressful even though he is being sweet. I want to hide like usual but I can't.

 

I hate being like this, so anxious.

 

 

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RachelSusan

Hi FarmGirlWorks,

I'm sorry to hear that you are in the middle of a wave. Hang in there.  I too am dealing with a Zoloft situation.  Mine is a taper after a CT and reinstatement. It's brutal, isn't it?

RS

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for responding. Do you feel the reinstatement/sensible taper has made a difference in the severity of waves? And YES: it is ever so brutal.

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RachelSusan

I reinstated last year, after two months of going off of Zoloft, CT.  I had to reinstate, I was so physically sick.  For days at a time I could barely leave the house.  The reinstatement did work.  I am now tapering but I'm still have problems.  I tapered for months using the guidelines taught here, with no problem, no symptoms whatsoever.  Suddenly 8 weeks ago I started with the physical symptoms again. I'm using Meclizine when I get nauseous, however I am trying to use it very sparingly. I noticed that you take Benadryl. Does it help much?  I too feel like I am going to jump out of my skin.

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FarmGirlWorks

Good to hear you were able to reinstate after two months; I think I may be too far along now. The Benadryl helps tamp down the anxiety so I can at least function a little bit as opposed to being catatonic. I take it in the morning... when I am feeling better my body knows it would just make me sleepy.

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FarmGirlWorks

The wave is lingering and just passed 7 months. However, last night I had a validating experience at kundalini yoga as I met a real-life person who went through zoloft/sertraline withdrawal. This site has a source of digital hope that it will all get better one day -- I read success stories like mad. But to meet someone in the "real world" who also went through this hell --  the wanting to jump out of your skin, the suicidal despair, the utter craziness -- of WD and that she was healthy. She said that zoloft/sertraline is the most difficult SSRI to kick and that it took her a good year. I don't know but from personal experience, I did get off of Prozac CT many moons ago and it was maybe a 3-4 month process (that I remember).

 

She also said that Lamcital has been a godsend for her. I read about it here but am scared to add a drug into my system. My PCP seems to know little about med WD. And she does seem spacy and perhaps "too happy." Her husband, the Sikh teacher of the studio, drew me aside, and suggested a nutritionist to help in the process. He said he was there for her WD and it was harrowing. I feel like the low-histamine diet and little caffeine (I still have a black tea in the morning with cardamom) is most of what a nutritionist would suggest and I cannot afford anyway.

 

This weekend definitely triggered me and I have noted that going off the diet and triggers will definitely make this worse. I went to a conference and was surrounded for two days by taupe walls and fluorescent lights. I ate lunches they provided which were at least histamine-rich if not high histamine. I talked to my mother on the phone. I had a cup of coffee! And it was five days of no kundalini yoga and no walks. Yeah: that all makes a huge difference in WD. Yesterday (Monday) was horrible and I went to an impromptu acupuncture session (it helped a little but I could not even sleep) before kundalini. Today I feel improved but just took a Benadryl to tamp increasing anxiety.

 

This is a little rambly, but just wanted to note that meeting someone who gets it and has come out the other side was incredibly valuable and came just when I needed it most.

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kokoro1974

 so you mean she is not healthy at all, because she is now under lamictal which is a very strong drug also. It is discouraging to hear so, cause i have been doing kundalini since i start my tappering and it has been the only tool which has helped me to reach half of my paxil dosis. But I wonder how it is going to be when I get to 8 mg, 7, 6 mg and low... I wonder if kundalini will help me the way it has been helping me, since this woman can´t make it without a drug even having kundalini yoga and all the meditations and more powerfull kriyas available trhough the wisdom of her husband. Very frightening indeed.

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

I hear you: it is frightening to think that nothing will ever work and we'll never be healed.

 

She was on a "cocktail" of drugs (I do not know which ones) and said sertraline was the most difficult for her. Yes, it is discouraging that she is still on a "mood stabilizer." I guess what I really valued was the recognition and validation that this is indeed a long-term and harrowing experience. I wish I had better resources at the time to have never gotten on this hell ride but it's too late now. Just to be able to deep down know that I am not crazy was a lifesaver.

 

After reading about Lamictal on this forum, I have definitely decided not to take it. Kundalini is probably the most potent tool in my arsenal. That, diet, and acceptance of time.

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kokoro1974

Yes, I Wish I had known kundalini yoga back in the days when i was so depressed and panicked that the only choice to remain alive were antidepressants... if i had know..

And yes, kundalini is the most potent tool i had find to deal with this, i also have cut all grains, diary and legumes, i am trying to recover from a neverending cholitis.

i´m soooo glad that  you decide not to take lamictal, it is another devil. Stay away from all psych drugs at all cost please!

by the way, is time for me to make my daily kundalini meditation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

Thank you for the reminder of nutritional help... I think I could do better on that front. Rugged morning already. Deep breath, deep breath.

 

Sat nam.

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FarmGirlWorks

This is the second day of a blessed window. When windows appear, I feel like I have woken up from a bad dream.

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FarmGirlWorks

And welcome back Wave, can't say I've missed you.

 

Yesterday was a high anxiety day and took two Benadryl to be able to get thru the day. Today I am doing a wee bit better but am considering Benadryl... going to hang on for another hour. This drug, Zoloft, just makes me so pissed... and sad. Mainly sad. I got on it because my anxiety was so bad that I physically hurt and when not going to peer-counseling sessions was trying to sleep it off. I think I was feeling the after-effects of extended PTSD. The past five years of Zoloft -- while it did get rid of the pain -- numbed me out and I slept a lot. And now, finally committing to getting off it and -- thank god -- finding this site has enabled me to travel down this rough, rough path. I just get sad and freaked about how much time has been lost to brain-numbing. This poison is the worst.

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Marmot

Oh No! I just read your article. The fish are reproducing less too, that's no surprise. Very sad, and they have no option of quitting because they're surrounded by it.

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FarmGirlWorks

So I had a cuppa coffee this morning (after not having one in a couple months) and -- spoiler alert -- caffeine is indeed a drug. Loose bowels, racing heartbeat, and hyperactive. It tasted amazing. But I won't be having any more for a long, long time.

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FarmGirlWorks

Today is just as anxious as yesterday. I feel like jumping out of my skin. This sucks. I wonder why I keep going. Hope that it will get better again. Sure doesn’t feel like it now.

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RachelSusan

Hi FarmGirlWorks,

Sorry to hear about the anxiety.  It can be really brutal. Hang in there and hopefully you'll have a window soon.

Rachel

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks, RachelSusan.... this has been the worst wave since I fast tapered sertraline. 

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Kristine

Hi fgw,  Anxiety is so debilitating 🙁 I'm so sorry you are suffering. You can get though this wave, just as you have before. I'm sure a window will appear soon.  The "jumping out of my skin" you describe is very familiar to me.  It's horrible.  I said to my husband the other day..."I just want to crawl into my little toe and hide...it's the only part of my body that isn't screaming in physical or emotional pain" ....weird thing to say, but that's how I felt at the time. It will get better. K 

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks, Kristine, for the support. I love the metaphor(?) of hiding in your little toe... that is exactly right. Yes, today I woke up early with stress and anxiety, went on a short walk in the woods with my bf and could barely function or make small talk. I feel like I look like that emoji on your phone that has eyes wide open (not here). Yes, at 8 1/2 months I hoped deep in my heart that I'd be past bad waves -- apparently, not so much.

 

Wow: you've come thru quite the cocktail of psych drugs. Congrats on that path.

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Kristine

😳...is this the one?! Know that feeling well.  So happy you managed a walk in the woods with your bf.  Small talk is not always possible and I'm sure your bf would understand.  So important to be in nature. I'm lucky enough to live next to the beach....very therapeutic. K

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FarmGirlWorks

Ha! Yes, that is exactly the emoji. I often think of it and how I probably look like that (but not so yellow). Yes, we were going to walk around downtown Seattle to see the xmas lights but both of us needed less anxiety and more nature. So even a short walk in the trees was better than that. The beach would be so nice and relaxing. I used to live near a beach here and would walk the dog there every morning.

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RachelSusan

Farmgirlworks,

I wish I had a magic wand and could make it go away for you.  I'm a Sertraline victim myself. I feel for you.  I read your previous post about coffee.  I've been avoiding caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.  I would love to have an ice tea, a big doughnut and any sort of cocktail that comes with an umbrella.  Maybe in another two or three years.:D  Ok I'm trying to have a sense of humor about this for both of us, because we need it when it gets this bad.  You might not be up to that right now, but I'm trying.  It sounds like you are taking good care of yourself during this difficult time, so that's positive.  I hope this wave passes quickly.

RS

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