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FarmGirlWorks

FarmGirlWorks: Sertraline WD - kundalini yoga helping

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Rabe

I often wonder what feels the worst...feeling betrayed by doctors, feeling abandoned by people closest, or the WD.  Im sorry FGW...it is all so

'crushing' as Rosetta said...just a good description.  Take care! 💜

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FarmGirlWorks

@Rabe, so true, so true. It is crushing but the pestle of WD grinding us into the mortar of life is releasing something sweet -- I have to believe that. I thank god that I found SA and the supportive folks here for each other.

 

ps: I watched a documentary about pharma drugs called "Off Label" on Hulu the other eve (I am a sucker now for big pharma exposés). They had a Pfizer (!) drug rep show how he would get his products into the hands of doctors. It made me ill. I am not too mad at doctors as I think they have not only swallowed the kool-aid but are swimming in the water of the cultural belief that psychotropics are the best option for many issues. Most of them just don't know. I talked with a friend of mine who was a family doc and surgeon about the WD I am experiencing. Her response was to be cautiously sympathetic but said she wished she could get more people on these drugs to "save lives." She's a good person and misinformed but she has credibility among people so nothing will change until the culture shifts. It is a shameful time now.

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Rosetta

You and I are in about the same place.  It is so interesting.  

 

I saw that you wrote to Pug about the fact that your physical symptoms are gone, but depression and brain fog keep lingering.  It's the same for me except that my physical symptoms are very slight most of the time.  I haven't had dystonia in about a week, maybe.  Appetite is pretty constant except on certain days.  The muscle aches and tension come and go.  Today, I have some tension in my face and arms.  

 

However, the mental symptoms just keep bothering me despite the fact that they are getting better.  I'm at 16 months off and you are at 14 months.  I believe we are right on track for healing, FGW.  So many times I have read that at 18 months a person had an awareness of just how far out of the hole s/he was.  Then, at 2 years there was much more improvement.  One person said it was fine tuning from there, but she is still seeing improvements after 4 years.  

 

This is is very frustrating, but I am certain that we will get out of this mess and SOON.  

 

-Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks @Rosetta... encouragement is always, always appreciated. The psychological symptoms are so difficult as I look "normal" on the outside but am dead on the inside. I'm glad to hear your physical symptoms are decreasing. Maybe I misunderstood pug's response (and given the cog fog today, highly likely), but it seemed like he was saying that as his physical symptoms decreased that the mental ones soon followed. That made me feel a bit anxious as I haven't had physical symptoms since late April. I guess that is not long ago in this getting-off-drugs world. But the sun -- normally that which improves my mood -- is just there, nothing special. So, yes! I too am looking forward to the day when this is just a distant memory.

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Rosetta

Oh.  I don't think you can expect healing to happen the same way for you as it did for him.  That doesn't mean your body is not healing.  You are simply slower with the emotional stuff.  I have heard other people say that the emotional stuff takes longer -- JanCarol, AliG included.  For Pug, the mental/emotional stuff was 90-95% gone by the time he wrote his success story.  It appears that was less than three years after he found SA?  He took the drugs for 20 years!!  So, yes the thought of dealing with these feelings for another year or so is very frustrating!!  

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks, @Rosetta... being in perimenopause probably factors in as well.

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Rabe

Hi  FGW.  After reading here it seems everyone's recovery is so so different in every way.  I feel the fact that you haven't had physical symptoms since late April is SO wonderful!  I mean that is such a hopeful sign!  I sure look forward to that!  Have to get off the meds first.  I probably wont remember when and which symptoms I had by then! ;) 

I think that you are right about the hormones...I mean they affect us physically, mentally and emotionally in the best of times, right?

I feel upset with the doctors who make what are really med errors...too high doses, meds that interact with others someone is on, not stopping them when an untoward startup event happens or when odd symptoms start while taking them...the meds are one thing but when I add the other things it goes beyond a pharmaceutical issue in my mind.  You are right about lack of knowledge.  My doctor who rapidly tapered in Sept asked me somewhere along the way here, as I was so so ill and in ER repeatedly, why dont I just stop the V and C.  Out of curiosity as to his thoughts (I had been here by then) I asked him what would happen...he said I would have a little anxiety and then it would be over!  And this is the person who supposedly knows how sensitive my system is. 🤔But bless him!  He sees me, writes the compounding scripts, and listens even though I know he sees things through a different lens.  Some day I too hope and pray that will change for all of us and those who follow!

I just wanted to say that I think you are doing so well!  You are special FGW and I hope this healing of yours continues in leaps and bounds!!!💜

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FarmGirlWorks

@Rabe: I look forward to the day when you are free of meds and WD too! Thanks for the warm encouragement.

 

I hear what you are saying about doctors who misdiagnose, misprescribe and do not care enough to really talk to a person before writing a scrip. I saw my AA sponsor tonight who works in an ICU and she said she was appalled by the way doctors pile on meds without checking contraindications for other drugs people are on or possibly stimulate a triggering action to substances someone may have been addicted to.

 

I watched a 37 minute doc today that was posted here on SA about a Norwegian woman who was wronged by psychiatry for 10 years and showed her confronting (in a polite Scandinavian way) the doctors and psychiatrists who misdiagnosed her. Highly recommend although it is hard to hear the doctors' responses to her but goes to show that there are officious jerks all around the world.

 

https://www.thehappypillfilm.com/

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FarmGirlWorks

Good news! I changed primary care docs and had my first appointment with the new one today. She already knew my medical history well(!) and did not treat me like I was crazy for stopping psych drugs and mentioned that I might be a slow metabolizer of Zoloft as the reason for the length of "withdrawal" -- she actually used this word instead of the hated euphemism "discontinuation syndrome." I do not remember what SA opinion is on metabolization but seem to remember it's negative; however, glad she at least acknowledged that withdrawal is a real condition. Her assistant told me she got off of Effexor cold turkey and was up-and-up sick for a good month then it took a few more for recovery -- I was so jealous of that timeline!

 

The doctor recommended a specific therapist after listening carefully to me and reading about my situation. While I am not keen on the psych establishment these days, I am open to the idea now of seeing a therapist if it helps me think in a more expanded way.

 

ps: I said that I am over all physical symptoms but was counting "head pressure" as a psych symptom. Wrong: it is not. I still have that one strong with brain fog... not sure if that is physical or mental but I've got it.

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Altostrata

Good to hear you've found a helpful doctor, FGW.

 

Her reasoning about slow metabolism is incorrect, but no matter, she's sympathetic.

 

Slow metabolizing is significant in drug-drug interactions, not tapering or withdrawal.

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bubbles
Quote

"withdrawal" -- she actually used this word instead of the hated euphemism "discontinuation syndrome."

 

My doctor has started to do this too. I'm not sure if it is just humoring me - I personally do use words like "dependence" and "withdrawal" - or if it indicates a change in thinking. Glad you found a helpful doctor.

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Rosetta

Hi, FarmGirlWork, I hope your doctor is going to work out for you.  So glad you found her.

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Rabe

SO grateful to hear about your new doctor FG...more of a caretaker hopefully!!!💜

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FarmGirlWorks

I’ve been participating on this forum for almost a year and still don’t know some basic terms (although I’ve picked up a few). One thing I don’t know and would like feedback about is how to tell when your CNS is stable or stabilizing. Is there a thread about this? 

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks 

Im in the beginning months of sertraline withdrawl. I was on for 14 months at 25mg and tapered too quickly

 Its been hell ever since horrible depression and SI. Are you doing any better? Are you on other meds? 

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Rosetta

Hey, FGW,

Are you ok?

Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks

@Rosetta: thanks for the check-in. I'm still depressed and have fleeting thoughts of SI. I also have fleeting minutes of "neutrality." At kundalini class I have two blessed hours of feeling okay, even good (it was not always so). Read something (perhaps here on SA?) that the CNS can be permanently damaged and that freaked me out so I did interweb research. I  already had the tumor surgery and now this pharmaceutical insult to the brain... I want to believe that I am doing everything with my limited resources  to recover. I just want to be better like everyone here. And, I've been feeling loneliness and lack of any family heavily the last few weeks. It weighs.

 

However, JanCarol recommended a video about depression by Jeff Foster (he is on YouTube); I watched him today and felt calmed down. He gets to the heart of acceptance, I think, without blaming or shaming  or judging yourself about having "negative" feelings. In fact, he calls b.s. on the idea of higher and lower vibrations of emotions (some guy was going on about this the other night and it made me feel so damn ashamed). There are just sensations in our body, fleeting or lasting, and thoughts in our mind and the idea is to let them exist and not try to run away from them. So I am feeling sad now and trying not to have judgement around it. It is uncomfortable but I've got to do something different to survive this.

 

Will visit your thread soon.

 

@Elyssa143: oh, the early months are so much fun 🙂 Take heart and be strong. I have improved for sure over the last 15 months. There were more physical symptoms earlier on and now "just" head pressure and the psychological depression/anxiety, anhedonia, and occasional SI (the SI has definitely lessened). No other meds and I don't drink alcohol or coffee or even smoke weed now. My signature is accurate. Know that, while the timeline is different for each person, it does slowly get better. You never know what's around the corner so hang in there.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks

Thank you for responding Ive been in mental hell since I tapered too quickly in march, I was on 25mg for 14 months. I reinstated 4 days later, ended up getting worse with severe SI went in patient they upped my zoloft and added buspar, got 100x worse went back they ct me and put me on zyprexa which i was on for 10 days tapered too lamictal got the life threatening rash went back to zyprexa for 10 days and tapered over 5 weeks.  The depression and suicidal thoughts have been absolute hell. Ive heard many people either have physical symptoms in the beginning or a honey moon period and then get smacked with withdrawls. I havent been functional for 4 months. I do have windows where things arent so horrible, so im hoping thats a good thing. You did say you are feeling better? Is it anhedonia or severe depression? Did you have depression before the meds? I was only put on for anxiety. Im so scared i wont make it out of this 😕 i went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and went on zoloft for the first time after for a year and got off fine. This time not so much. Im really praying this gets better. And you too!!! I eat extremely well too. 

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Rosetta

All I can say is that I'm feeling about the same at the moment, but I can remember feeling better; I know I will feel better and this will pass. That's a real improvement.  It used to be that I couldn't feel anything positive during a wave.  You will be able to feel what I feel soon, FGW.  You are doing what's you must -- avoiding the kindling.  So, I have no doubt you will keep getting better.

 

The guilt and shame are WD emotions, and they are outsized.  They are not occurring because you have done anything to create them.  I have them, too.  I had a down day when my cold was newer.  I rested all day.  The next day I went out.  Then that next day was the day the cold was the worst, but I felt guilty about resting that day!  It's ridiculous.  There was no reason for it.  I would not have felt bad about that in the past.  I was doing all I could and all anyone needed me to do.  I can't sleep in the day if I want to, but I felt guilty for staying home. It's absurd.

 

The loneliness is also outsized.  I feel crushing loneliness when I'm in a wave, and only recently did that feeling go away during a window.  Usually, it simply lessens.  It's very, very hard to be a friend in withdrawal.  I don't feel any connection to anyone, and I have no energy to make an effort to see people.  I don't enjoy being with them and they make me anxious.  All this will change; it is changing.  I can force myself to go out now.  I can talk to people, and sometimes I feel a slight connection.

 

You are going to have a great life again someday even though you don't have family, FGW.  It's very hard to have to wait for it, I know.  When our brains let us become engaged in life again, I think we will find many new friends.  I'm hoping that your brain injury from surgery is made better by this process of recovering from WD.  Some people claim that their lives are much better than before ADs.  I find the claims to be plausible.  We are older and have much more life experience.  We could reform our brains into much better versions now then when we were teenagers.  Maybe kundalini will help you do that.  Maybe SA will help you do that.  Maybe the fact that you want to be well so badly will help you do that.  It's a very different situation than most people ever experience.

 

semding all my love, 

Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks

@Rosetta: thanks for the heartfelt encouragement. As ever, I keep a close eye on you and your journey. It is true that I can remember feeling better too during this wave and that was not available this winter during heavier waves. And, I am feeling a little less depressed today -- not hopeful but less depressed. Your story about the cold is so true -- the guilt of taking care of yourself is ridiculous.

 

3 hours ago, Rosetta said:

You are doing what's you must -- avoiding the kindling.

What exactly does this mean? I thought one kindled before getting off ADs but wasn't sure.

 

3 hours ago, Rosetta said:

The loneliness is also outsized.  I feel crushing loneliness when I'm in a wave, and only recently did that feeling go away during a window.  Usually, it simply lessens.  It's very, very hard to be a friend in withdrawal.  I don't feel any connection to anyone, and I have no energy to make an effort to see people.  I don't enjoy being with them and they make me anxious.  All this will change; it is changing.  I can force myself to go out now.  I can talk to people, and sometimes I feel a slight connection.

Me too! I have dropped so many friends as I have a hard time listening to their stories and, in my mind, highly successful lives. Connection is not happening. And, conversely, while I may not have been officially dropped, former friends have disappeared. Unless you've gone through WD, there is no way to understand or empathize. The only new connections I've made are from the Meetup group I did for people in AD withdrawal.

 

Thanks again: responses here make me feel a little less alone. And this past Monday, I got to meet Laura Delano who, along with Alto who is truly amazing, is inspiring in activism and education about pharmaceuticals and society. It was heartening to see psychiatric survivors who have healed or are in process and are so motivated to get the word out.

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FarmGirlWorks
5 hours ago, Elyssa143 said:

Thank you for responding Ive been in mental hell since I tapered too quickly in march, I was on 25mg for 14 months. I reinstated 4 days later, ended up getting worse with severe SI went in patient they upped my zoloft and added buspar, got 100x worse went back they ct me and put me on zyprexa which i was on for 10 days tapered too lamictal got the life threatening rash went back to zyprexa for 10 days and tapered over 5 weeks.  The depression and suicidal thoughts have been absolute hell. Ive heard many people either have physical symptoms in the beginning or a honey moon period and then get smacked with withdrawlas. I havent been functional for 4 months. I do have windows where things aren't so horrible, so i'm hoping that's a good thing. You did say you are feeling better? Is it anhedonia or severe depression? Did you have depression before the meds? I was only put on for anxiety. Im so scared i wont make it out of this 😕 i went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and went on zoloft for the first time after for a year and got off fine. This time not so much. Im really praying this gets better. And you too!!! I eat extremely well too. 

@Elyssa143: wow, you have been through the wringer! I am so so sorry you were given all those drugs. What are you on now? Do you know how to do your signature here? It is in the account settings and there is a sidebar to the left with a link to "signature." Knowing your drug history and what you are on now is helpful when asking moderators or other members for advice. Plus we get to know you! Both my and Rosetta's signatures above are good examples of short ones. Others are more detailed and also good.

 

I stopped 50 (or 75, not sure)mg of Zoloft/sertraline after a fast 4-week taper March 2017, off on April 1 2017. I'd say I was feeling the same the month of April and then increasing anxiety May-Aug. I had a nice window roughly for three weeks last September and felt hopeful. Then October-April a wave that included physical symptoms of "leaking eyes" and head pressure. I still have the head pressure off and on. Mainly I've had impaired memory, "cog fog" or brain fog, depression, anxiety, SI, and anhedonia. The anxiety has been minimal recently and it was absolutely horrid earlier on. I would wake up last fall and this winter with shaking hands and internal akathisia. Only epsom salt baths -- and the occasional benadryl -- got the shaking to stop.

 

I did have bouts of minor depression before the meds but was put on for extreme anxiety. Frankly, it was an extended traumatic event that got me into that state. I wish to hell that the first thing docs do is not stick you on medication. But that is the past and there is no going back.

 

You will make it. Of that, I am certain. Come to this forum for advice and tips about how to get thru. One of my go-to tactics is to read the Success Stories like mad. One good one for zoloft and cold turkey is Pug's success story -- highly recommend that one to give you strength to continue. It is the hardest thing I have ever gone thru (and, for the record, I had friggin' brain surgery for a tumor in 2004). You're eating healthy and that is good. Supplements are tricky for people in WD and the only ones recommended here are magnesium and omegas (with vitamin E for absorption).

 

You're not alone. Keep coming back.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks

Thank you so much for responding back to me. Im trying to find a more positive, supportive forum. The ones on facebook are too triggering and not very positive.  I went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and I had no idea antidepressants could do the same thing! I read Pugs wonderful story. I too hope I recover. Ive been in such hell im praying it doesnt get worse. I do have times where things arent as horrific.  Its so hard I have a family and a wonderful fiance Im worried hell leave that this is too much, im worried im really early in this and it will get worse. :(. Im literally taking it moment by moment.  The depression is hell. The SI have calmed down a bit they have been horrible but the depression is very scary, is yours better? More like anhedonia? Im on nothing now only natural thyroid low dose. Ive been off zoloft 3.5 months, 4.5 months since this all started and 1 month off the zyprexa but i wasnt on that long and tapered. I hope you are feeling better and able to function now? Im greatful for the little windows I get but by no means do I feel great in them. I will work on a signature not sure how to do that.

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FarmGirlWorks

You'll be okay... just take it moment by moment and try to distract yourself. These are neuro-emotions (there's a thread about these that is helpful). Regarding signature, go to settings then signature. If you can post then you can easily do that :)

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/settings/signature/

 

I have to go so can't respond for a while. Take care and hang in there.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks thank you, I did the signature :). Did your depression ease up? Are you able to function better? Im taking it moment by moment 💓

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks i believe you mentioned you were in menopause or maybe I could be wrong. Do you think thats affecting you now? Have you had any hormone, nutrient or thyroid testing? 

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FarmGirlWorks

Hi... not in menopause, probably peri although cycle is still regular. Thyroid tests normal. It is impossible to tease out what is hormonal change and WD. 

 

I am am feeling better today... it does improve. Hang in there!

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Elyssa143

This is very true. Im glad your feeling better today. Was your depression like a soul crushing depression? Has it lifted? Im just so scared and worried. This is absolute hell. 

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FarmGirlWorks

Soul crushing depression? Check. It is a painful and transformative experience. Poke around this site more and you’ll see that everyone goes thru it. 

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Elyssa143

Thank you, Im trying to stay more positive and looking for people doing better. Is it better now? Did it last long? Ive been suffering since I came off. Are you feeling better? Thank you

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks in a bad wave again. The depre. Has ussion is horrible has yours gotten better? I know yours came on later do you know how long it lasted or if it was continuous? I do ger some windows so im greatful for that. Hope your doing better. 

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FarmGirlWorks

Hi @Elyssa143: windows and waves, windows and waves. Have you read the thread about windows and waves? The waves are possibly when your brain is working on healing. Just like construction of a building, dust and dirt is everywhere, jackhammers are pounding, sidewalks are closed and parking is hard... but eventually, there's a shiny new building in the end. You'll get there, be compassionate to your brain while it rebuilds... if you occasionally get windows then you are healing! 🙂

 

I am on day five of a window and so grateful. Doing as much as I can until the next wave hits. The cycle of waves-to-windows for me(!) seems to be quicker. I went thru a good 7-month wave that had deep depression, anxiety, and SI along with physical symptoms. Everyone's journey/timeline is different with similar elements.

 

Glad to see you are getting involved with and supporting others on this site. Also read the threads in "finding meaning" and "symptoms" -- it really helps.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks thank you for answering me. Its really helpful to have someone who understands and has been through it. The depression is absolutely devastating I feel like a horrible mom and wife. 😕 I got off the meds because I wanted a better life I wanted to be a better mom and wife and it landed me in hell. I will look into those that you suggest. I just get so scared I wont make it through this, the depression is absolutely agonizing.  Its so scary and dark. It takes over my whole body. :( im so glad your in a nice window! I do get some days where the depression isnt as horrific. My appetite is back most days, my sleep seems to be improving a bit 2 nights in a row with 5 hours consecutively of sleep and no night sweats! My SI has seemed to slow down a bit and im able to bring up positive memories which I havent been able to. This feeling is just so sickening im so scared I wont make it. I have a family I feel like im letting them down. The depression has to get better right? I never had it before. 😕 thank you for your support. I hope your window continues forever!!

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks my windows and waves seem to be pretty quick too, im hoping that means theres healing happening!

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FarmGirlWorks

16 month update: I am on Day 6 of a window. When I am socializing, I feel good and my thoughts are not racing and confused. Probably because I am paying attention to the interaction instead of my crazy brain. Of course, this has not always been the case and during the winter -- hell even last month -- I had problems interacting with people. I am already feeling anticipatory anxiety(!) about going into another wave but trying to appreciate the window and note it in writing so I can look back and see that I felt better recently and hope to feel even better in the future and, most hoped for of all, THINK CLEARLY. Not sure that is completely withdrawal-related but it certainly has not helped going through this. Earlier, I was listening to an audiobook, Mother Night, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She makes a good metaphor to baking a cake which needs intention and clarity for the finished product but the process of mixing needs to be orderly or the batter spills or goes flying if we pull the beaters out while they are still going... it's analogous to thinking. The book is really good especially for those of us who are empathic or sensitives (and it seems like a lot of folks here are). Highly recommend.

 

The other great news is that I got my period today and have only experienced physical symptoms (cramps, sore breasts, increased appetite) and none of the PMDD/PMS mood deep dive that usually happens. I know this happened once last year too so it is not unprecedented but very unusual. Physical symptoms are so, SO much easier for me than the psychological ones.

 

It's usually rough but as someone here pointed out, the brain is focused on how it feels in the present moment. And while I noted that this time last week I was having "black daze," same time this week is okay. Healing is fickle that way.

 

ps: I've been eating smoked and raw oysters for over a week now as they are high in zinc which helps lift the mood. I am cautious about taking supplements now but figure a food-based zinc supplement can't hurt -- plus I love oysters. Don't know if that has helped or is coincidental but duly noted.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks this is a wonderful update! What if you dont go back into another wave! Or from here on out there very minimal compared to what they have been! Your healing. I hope your window continues!!!

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