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PSVT: Misdiagnosis ... because every ill must be anxiety, stress and depression?

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PSVT

G'day SA community

 

My name is Anthony and I have been lurking on this site for a few weeks and thought it time that I start my contribution. And hopefully get some well needed support without being too selfish.

 

I would firstly like to preface my intro by thanking all the members, staff, moderators and founders of this site. It is helping me get through a dark time in my life that I have never ever experienced before. And it has been and still is scary.

 

My story is long (as is most sufferers) so I will do my utmost to be as concise yet brief as possible without losing the important information. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Aeroman in particular as His success story is what I have needed and his time and investment in answering all the questions from the members relating to his journey has been inspiring to say the least.

 

I won't go into the usual diatribe about how I suffered as a child in a dysfunctional home from physical, emotional and mental abuse of which was the case but my story is more about the incompetent people in white coats we see as all knowing, professional, caring and are in their chosen field because they like helping people and not the money!

 

It all started when I was 21 years old. I had recently finished my apprenticeship with a National Manufacturer as a HVAC & R Technician (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and was around two years into starting my own business. Things were going very well when all of a sudden and out of nowhere my heart started racing and I was feeling faint. It was fortunate and by coincidence that I was working next door to a Medical Centre. I literally crawled into the Medical Centre and was dragged by a lovely receptionist wo a consultation room. She got me  glass of water and informed a doctor. Unfortunately by the time the doctor arrived my heart had suddenly reverted back to normal and I was feeling fine. Tired but, well. He did all the usual work up of tests, including a 24hr Holter monitor to check my heart but basically put it down to either dehydration (as it was the middle of summer here in Australia) or anxiety/stress. Anyway, I was given the all clear.

 

A couple of years later, with out any warning, the same thing happened again. And then again. and then again and again and again. There would be sporadic episodes of this that would last from anywhere from 3 minutes to as long as three hours. It would also involve many Emergency Department visits, ambulance call outs, blood tests, tests for this or that, tests for something else more visits with a GP and yet nothing could be found other than that old chestnut. ANXIETY......STRESS......DEPRESSION. Duh...of course I'm stressed out, I am as anxious as all get up because I feel like my heart is either about to stop or beat so fast its going flop out of my chest.......and nobody can find what the...is wrong with me.

 

So fast forward a couple more years and with still no answers I decided to start seeing psychologists, Chinese medicine Practioners, hypnotists, more GP's, more Psychologists, even a Psychiatrist who suggested the bad word.....Anti Depressants.........of which I have never been one to even take a paracetamol for a headache let alone nasty stuff like that. Well, they all promised they could resolve my anxiety and stress related heart problems but none of them ever did. I was eventually convinced by a psychologist (and my wife) to try Zoloft because I was one of those people that was either born with a chemical imbalance or I acquired one due to my childhood traumas. Well lets just say that those three days were what I thought at that time to be pure hell on earth. Stopped CT and straight in the bin with the free sample. With all the money I spent over the years I could have bought my own little Island retreat somewhere in the Pacific Islands.

 

Fast Forward a few more years and continually dealing with my heart palpitations I got married, had two daughters, multiple businesses and generally a reasonably good time even though that this heart issue was hanging over my head constantly my Quality of Life was very restricted. Fast forward a few more years and Feeling pretty bad about this and being at that age where I wanted more out of life I hunted down a new GP who was the mother of my daughters best friend at school, I had known her a few years personally and my wife  thought she would be able to help with this trouble that I was enduring. Well now is where trouble really starts but I did know that till recently.

 

Into the first consultation and boom, out comes the Mental assessment questionnaire and what do you know, I have anxiety and stress bordering on depression. WTF? Being tired of all this I caved in, desperate for my heart to be normal I took the free sample of Lexapro with my tail between my legs, went home and told my wife who was ecstatic (in her defence she only wanted the best for me and a happy life with her husband and the big house and cars and white picket fence and she believed all the doctors saying I was mental blah blah blah). Sucked back my first tablet and went back to my life. Yeah, I thought my life was coming back and that these medicines really do work, why didn't I persist last time because I don't even think about my heart anymore.......A year down the track I went back to my doctor and told her that it feels like it wasn't working like it was 6 months ago, boom, up my dosed from 10mg to 20mg.

 

Well well well, wouldn't you know it. 11pm on a Tuesday night I woke up, my heart was going crazy, I was ill, vomiting, fainting and feeling like I was going to die. Told myself to suck it up, it was all mental, I was mental, I have something seriously mentally wrong with me, the doctors and everyone said so.........three hours later I called for an ambulance, woke up my wife and kids and told them what was happening, my kids were freaking out......The ambulance arrived and as the paramedics came into my bedroom a thud and my heart slowed down to normal, I felt okay, all the stress and anxiety and ill feeling gone just like that. A two day stay in hospital with all the usual tests again and the doctor comes to see me, "Yep, unable to find anything, must be stress or anxiety". Great I thought.

 

So much for Lexapro, time to get off this rubbish because I don't feel anything anymore, no fun, no anger, no happiness, nada......Two weeks later I tapered as per doctors advice and against her wishes I was off the AD's for good. Three months later I was back in her office begging for some relief, I was in bad shape, out of work and my wife again seriously wanted to go back on the meds or there would be repercussions maritally speaking. This time the Doctor said I now had Major Depression Disorder, those words alone stressed me out. Anyway, time to start the heavy hitting SNRI now, I was in bad shape she said..........Well two days later I ended up having another heart episode that was the worst I had ever had, I really thought that I was going to die, I screamed at my wife to call the ambulance, my kids started crying immediately, the Ambulance sent an Urgent care Hi-Priority paramedic who was in my bedroom hooking my with ECG leads all over my body, cannulas in both arms and then said quite casually..."It okay mate, no worries, your not dying....you got SVT. Just relax and Ill fix it for you in a minute I just have to get this ECG trace to show the docs and will get it done"

 

What? SVT? Did I eat something bad, what is SVT. Isn't it anxiety? I asked the Paramedic. 'Nah" he says. Got nothing to do with anxiety. you may have anxiety from having this but having this is definitely not from anxiety" Anyway, a few valslva manoeuvres and a couple of jokes when the transport ambo turns up later I'm feeling quite calm. Off to the hospital for further tests and the Paramedics hang around for a while and with the Doctor explain to me what SVT is. Also known as PSVT (Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia).  24 years of my life chasing this, never not once did any medical or other professional suggest I go see a cardiologist but they were all too willing to take my money...............For those of you who don't know what PSVT is or don't want to use google, I had AVNRT (Atrio ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia) type of heart arrhythmia, there are several, of which I had an additional pathway next to my AV node causing my heart electrical conduction system to short circuit causing my heart to beat at extremely high rates which was captured on the ECG at 230bpm. Diagnosis meant that it was not life threatening, just very unpredictable and uncomfortable...No Joke!

 

After my hospital stay I was referred to a cardiologist for follow but decided I should see my GP so I can stop the Prisitq because I have found out, after 24 years, that I am not mental, or at least the reason why I am a bit skiddish is because the actual heart problem. Again, my wife and GP convince me to stay on the Pristiq to just help get over the next couple of months until I sort out this heart arrhythmia and me, after all these years being brainwashed what did I do....I agreed, good idea, just to get me over the next hurdle because now I have to go and have a heart operation I need to be in the right mindset..............how stoopid am I?

 

I am now back at home waiting to see the specialist cardiologist and everyday my mood is getting worse and worse. I am constantly crying, panicking, thinking I am going to die and I haven't even seen the cardiologist yet. This snowballs to the point that during my Consultation with the Cardio I was in a very bad emotional state my wife had to talk for me. When the Cardiologist found out I was on Prisitq he asked me why I was on this junk, I should get off it as quickly as possible, and medications like these are only for people who are in dire need of help and in Hospital. The Heart operation, Electrophysiology Study and Cather Abalation will resolve the heart issues and I won't have to worry about heart arrhythmias ever again. I informed him that my GP told me I needed to stay on them, well after that there was some correspondence back and forth from my Cardioligist and GP about this and finally my Cardiologist gave up.

 

Operation day arrives and I go to the hospital, supposed to be a day procedure, should be home that night.......Two procedures and two weeks later I am sent home with some complications that the Electrophysiologist had some trouble sorting out. I wouldn't want to go into detail but I was an emotional wreck, my kids were destroyed emotionally as well I am happy to delve further into the complications during and after the procedure if anyone wants to know but, .Lets just say that I had almost, almost was going to have a pacemaker installed but thankfully it was found out that I had some complications from some "Medications" Namely a SNRI Pristiq. Basically I am still not right after three months and I am diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate sinus tachycardia that needs to be controlled with some heart medications. Hopefully this will resolve with time. Nonetheless, I was totally traumatised by that event and I am struggling with it mentally still.

 

So out of hospital I meet with my GP as I had lots of Chest pain, and irregular heartbeats etc etc and to finally get off the Prisitq. But no. now that I am in pretty much an uncontrollable state she suggests and refers me to a Psychiatrist to re-evaluate and possibly change medications and wants me to look at going to a Mental Hospital and to help get through the next few days while I am waiting for the Psych Doc appointment that I should start on Valium and Sleeping tabs to get me through. Wait, what. Now I'm treating this med with another med. Anyway, I'm so desperate ill do whatever.........

 

Finally see the Psych doctor and she DSM's me as Panic Disorder only, stops the Pristiq immediately, but after three days break I need to start Lexapro again at 10mgs and then three days after that start 20mgs. Oh by the way, its because you have a chemical imbalance disease in your brain, you will need these the rest of your life, its like insulin for diabetics, most people are on these now, its what you need to live and get by........................................These nasty people play on your vulnerability!.

 

Well I stopped the pristiq on a Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up like a new person. No Crying, energy back, no dizziness, my heart was beating regularly and slowly and I felt brilliant. I told my wife that I didn't want to go on the Lexapro again but after some heated discussion, what she and the kids had been through recently and the potential issues going forward I handed my genitals back to her to put in her purse for safe keeping..........Start sucking those poison pills down again as directed by all those who had never been on this rubbish, two more weeks in bed feeling like death warmed up, headache, nausea, sore mouth, teeth sore everything, could not talk could not eat, that's when I woke up one morning and trashed the lot of pills in the bin. That was the day I Cold Turkey again  Wrong move I know but boy, was I sick. The suicide ideation, the gory vivid dreams, the grim reaper and death is all thought about for those two weeks mixed in with insomnia.

 

Well, I haven't recovered from these two weeks of Lexapro, they have changed something in me and I didn't get the relief I got from when I stopped Pristiq. This time Lexapro, only for two weeks has done something to me and I feel these withdrawal symptoms are going to take something special from me to get through...................These drug pushers need punishment for their actions. All these years of feeling intimidated by these charlatans and all along I had an issue that should have been resolved with a day procedure. Yes it was heart surgery nonetheless but still, my family and I are in a world of hurt now that was unnecessary.

 

Thank You for letting me to get this out, I needed it. I am struggling with the WD side effects and I am concerned for the future and pain that is coming from this but I will no longer be controlled by these poison pills..........................

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi PSVT,

 

Welcome to SA.  I am sorry for what you have gone through.  It's just too easy for the medical profession to turn to the prescription pad, encouraged by the pharmaceutical companies after the $$$.  When I saw my doctor recently he had a work experience doctor in with him and whilst he was out of the room I told her about my experience trying to get off Pristiq (100mg to 50mg after 3 weeks I couldn't type.  Took extra Pristiq and could type about 4 hours later) and told her that doctors need to try non drug methods before turning to the drugs for depression.

 

Anyway, back to you.  You have gone from taking Pristiq, which is an SNRI to taking  Lexapro which is an SSRI.  What you are most probably experiencing now is withdrawal symptoms from the Pristiq.  The Lexapro, being an SSRI, would not help with the Pristiq withdrawal.

 

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

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I realise that you are reluctant to return to an AD I I certainly understand that.  However, this site was started back in 2011 and the only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take the drug that our brain has adapted to.  It is a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine and nicotine.  The decision to reinstate is yours.  However, I suggest you read the information provided so that you can make an informed decision.  Some members, after getting off their drug cold turkey or too quickly, experience withdrawal symptoms lasting for months and sometimes years.  Some have had to leave work, some have had to move in with relatives and some have become bed bound.

 

SA recommends reinstating the drug at a small dose and increasing it slowly if you don't feel improvement.

 

Because you have been off Pristiq for a little while, please do not go back on the last dose you were on because it might be too much.  It is better to start with a small dose and gradually increase than to start too high.  The sooner you reinstate the more chance there is of it being successful.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full dose in the blood and a few more for it to register in the brain.  You may feel some improvement within the first day or two.  It is better to stay on this dose for about 10-14 days and Keep Notes on Paper and Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress so that you can see improvement which you may not feel.

 

It is important to take the same dose, at about the same time, on a DAILY BASIS.  Do not skip days.

 

The idea of reinstatement isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.  Once you are stable, which may take 3-4 months (you need to listen to your body, not the calendar) you could then do SA's recommended taper of no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow your brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

I will give you some links to check out and then please ask questions here in your Intro topic.  If you do decide to reinstate, once we know the last dose you were taking we can suggest a small dose for you to try.  Please let us know whether you would like to do this.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms (see Post #1)

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

These really helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 

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PSVT

Hi ChessieCat and thanks for your reply it is very much appreciated.

 

It has now been 29 days since I took my last Lexapro. I totally understand and appreciate your advice on re-instating but I just can't. I just don't have it in me to put another pill of poison in my body. I have tried a couple of times over the past number of weeks but, I just can not get the courage to do it. Some part of me wishes I could but yet, I just cant!

I think the reason for this is how I have felt over the last 3-4 months. I have never ever been so ill, so obsessed with death (and I don't mean suicide but how these drugs amplified my fear of death) and that was compounded again throughout my recent procedure and hospital stay. I only let my daughters come and see me once in hospital because I was so ill, emotionally and physically depleted and in my own mind that one visit was a sort of goodbye because I was in such poor shape (from Pristiq) I did not think I would get out of hospital breathing. This was also further entrenched due to a complication while in the operating theatre. As I was needed to be awake for the entire procedure so that the SVT could be induced and paced, I needed to be administered a drug called Adenosine.  This stops your heart for around 10 sec to reboot the electrical conduction of heart. For me, this was about as close as I could imagine to dying, you can feel your heart stop, breathing stops, and yourself slowly fading away knowing this is out of your control and might just be the end...........then bang, youre back on board. The surgeons needed to do that twice, an experience I am still traumatised by today. And to top it all off, my opinion is that the Pristiq I was taking attributed to all these problems with my procedure! 

 

However, I am still not well. Not working and feeling all, and I mean all, the withdrawal symptoms, not knowing when I will be back up on my feet and back into some form of Quality of life, I am much better and stable off the meds then at anytime of me being on them. Still, I am not convinced which is the right way to go about this as far as removing these Poison Pills from life all I know is that I do not have the strength to start eating these things again. 

 

Anthony

 

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ChessieCat

I would like to caution you about how you talk to your doctors about symptoms you are experiencing.  If members go to a doctor complaining about any issues they are having, the doctors seem too ready with a prescription to "solve" the problem.  Please refer to the Glenmullen checklist so that you are aware of what withdrawal symptoms are possible.  Members have ended up on new drugs (including benzos) when what they really needed was to reinstate the drug which their brain was still needing.  

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AliG

Hi Anthony. Welcome. I'm very sorry for all that you have been through. I'm glad you found us and decided to share your story. Unfortunately, it is an all too familiar scenario currently.

 

I have also suffered from SVT ( Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). I believe that in my particular case it was actually caused by the drugs. I didn't have it prior to taking antidepressants. I have had incidents whilst on the drugs and also during withdrawal. Like you, I have been taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room on a number of occasions and during one of those times when the medical staff could not get my heart back into rhythm, I was injected with Adenosine, which as you said previously, stops the heart for 10 seconds thereby rebooting the electrical wiring. There's nothing quite like it!  :o

 

I can usually handle an incident on my own now, with a few moves that I have picked up along the way and it often reverts back to normal rhythm fairly quickly. It's when it goes on for hours that you can really run into trouble. I think my highest recorded rate was 280 bpm. I haven't had an episode for approx.18 mths so the frequency has been declining during W/D.

 

There is a discussion here you may be interested in reading ~ I have written a little of my own experience.

 

 

Regarding reinstatement, I would urge you to read or re- read all the links and keep an open mind to the possibility of reinstating. It may just save you from a world of pain in the long term.

If you have all the facts and information then you can make an informed decision going forward, in terms of possible symptoms and length of time involved.

 

These drugs are very strong and often a minute amount can sometimes help relieve symptoms and enable you to stay more functional and engaged in life. A low dose lets you explore the option with less risk of being sensitized.

 

My experience was a cold turkey as I didn't know to gently taper off. When I found SA, I was 9 months out and I chose to continue on, as I was already so far along and I didn't want to risk destabilization. In retrospect, if I had it to do over again I would try a small reinstatement. As it is, I'm now 3.5 yrs and have had major improvements but it's been an ongoing struggle.

 

Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.

 

Of course, this is your decision and if you decide against it there are many valuable tools and information in the Symptoms and Self- Care section.

This one is particularly helpful:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Edited by AliG

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PSVT

Just an update.......

 

next Wednesday will be 11wks since my last devil pill. I am in such hell! Non functioning! Yes, some symptoms have left such as the vice grip head ache/tension and the constant crying spells but,  anxiety levels and panic is through the roof with the onset of agoraphobia.......24/7 high anxiety started at around three weeks out but subsided about two weeks ago after a middle of the night panic attack that left me with shivers/tremors for the rest of the night. For some reason also I struggle with taking a shower as well.

 

sick of of the three to four am wake up. 

Sick of the muscle and joint pain

sick of the nausea

sick of the sick

sick of the anxiety

sick of the panic

sick of not being a Dad to my kids

sick that I've ruined the family xmas

Sick that I'm suffering and my GP who put me here is living the dream. 

Sick of being alone but sick of being with people

sick of home but sick I can't go out

Sick of feeling that this will never end and this my new normal,.....a non functioning, debilitated mess of a man who has ruined the lives of his family.

sick of knowing that everything I have worked might be lost due to incompetent doctors. 

Sick of being sick on the drugs 

sick of being sick off the drugs

sick of missing summer

 

most of all, sick of missing that once confident man that was just about to graduate from his four years studying his MBA,  entrenching the dangers of drugs in his children, never had used drugs in his own life yet suffering from this barbaric drug problem I have been given,  it's cruel and unforgiving.

 

i hope that it is what all the healed say it is and not just lip service........that we all heal in time?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed obscenity

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Kristine

Hey PSVT,  I have just read your intro post and like so many others this should never have happened to you. I'm so sorry you are suffering, Lexapro is a shocker (been there). It's criminal. I was reading your "sick of" list and it's the same for me. Just need to change the word 'dad' for 'mum'.  Just a heads up...the pharmaceutical company 'Lundbeck' seems to have a strong hold over the psychotropic medication market here in Australia. After a bit of digging, I've found some disturbing data related to Lundbeck's expenditure on 'funding' various educational events for psychiatrists and other health professional's.  Lexepro is one of their best sellers.  Over the past two to three years they have been pushing their new wonder drug 'Brintellex' (vortioxetine)...that's also a nasty beast.  

Try not to beat yourself up about Christmas and your family.  This withdrawal caper is nothing short of trying to claw your way out of hell.  I used to fight it so hard but now I accept it. This just wasted my precious energy. Now I try and surf the wave instead of getting caught in the rip.  It will pass PSTV, you are going to be ok 🙂 Cheers. K 

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PSVT

Hi Kristine

 

You are too kind, after reading your exposure and history in this charlatan field they call psychiatry I have nothing to complain about. Yes I feel very unwell like I have never experienced before but seeing what you have had to endure surely I can come through this with as much grace and understanding as you have shown.

 

I am behind you all the way. Don't be shy to PM if you need someone to talk to. I have not enough experience to offer advice but if you need to vent!

 

Anthony

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Kristine

Hi Anthony,  You have every right to complain!  Unfortunately, you inadvertently got sucked into psychiatry because various medical professionals failed to diagnose your heart condition. Also thank you for your kind words. 

I hope you are able to enjoy time with your family over Christmas and you get some windows of relief.  Perhaps a swim at Manly Beach! K

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PSVT

WTF? Could this be a ........window?

 

symptoms are relieving, both physical and mental, not gone but, not so intense!

 

Notice myself giving my kids a natural smile

 

I ran up the stairs.......without thinking about it.

 

Lets relax and wait for the inevitable wave!!!!!

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ultimatumprisoncell

 Hi PSVT,

 

With a history of working in cardiology I'm not at all surprised to hear of your misdiagnosis. It is unfortunately a very common one and a classic scenario.  My concern from reading your post ( I am not a physician nor am I giving medical advice) was the part about the HVAC school and work. This is also another classic scenario in which people are exposed to a"trigger" (viral, fungal, etc.) And either comes down with flu like symptoms or just remember being a bit sick. This often can be the cause and early indications of a cardiomyopathy which is another nasty thing that often gets misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. And mistaken for "psych" symptoms. It sounds like you are being followed closely by a good cardiologist now and I'm sure this has all been ruled out, but very scary to say the least. I wish you the best of luck in your journey to recovery, and I'm always here to listen.

 

UPC

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PSVT

HI UPC

 

Thanks for your concern and info.

 

Yes, like most suffering with A/D or benzo withdrawal it appears that misdiagnosis and/or mishandling of the original or underlying issue appears to be a common theme which also goes to cement the theory of the big pharma/general practitioners and $$$ relationship.

 

I have been given the all clear by both my cardiologist and electrophysiologist. I have had numerous tests both before and after my procedure. They have zero concerns with my heart condition or function other than the Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia that I was suffering, as I am sure you are aware this is an area that has not been fully researched so they are only aware that it is a sinus node/autonomic dysfunction, which blends really well with the freefall in health I suffered once starting pristiq and is even further confirmed that since stopping prisitiq just over 11 wks ago it appears this issue has eventually resolved itself. I have just gone for a small walk and although I am still suffering with a little panic anxiety still there was zero hint of any inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

 

I have not been "on the tools" for many many years and have worked the majority of my career in supervisory or management roles so I think my exposure to triggers as you have mentioned has been kept to a minimum especially with things like legionella and the like.

 

Fingers crossed the oncoming wave either does not rear its ugly head and I can improve regularly in an upward trajectory but I wont hold my breath given the experiences of all that are suffering and have suffered on this site and others.

 

Hoping you are doing well!

 

 

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ultimatumprisoncell

Glad to hear you've had a proper medical workup, and probably even more pleased to hear they pinpointed it to the Pristiq! I've fought my own cardiac battles induced by both Pristiq and Effexor. The Effexor part of which I at least  have medical documentation to back me up. And those, at least in my experience were nasty ones to withdraw from.

 

I'm taking things one day (or minute) at a time. I'll be okay. Someday!

Hang in there!

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PSVT

Window?

 

That really didn't last anywhere near long enough! This is a truly chemical terror to get past. Is it really possible?

 

Back to the depths of hell on earth, it now feels even further if that is possible........really starting to think that this is the new normal, which is no way possible to live, or maybe I do have a permanent chemical imbalance and DO need these devil pills to exist?

 

Feels like I'm worse now than I have ever been, thought healing started when there is no more of the devil pill in the system. Sure doesn't feel like healing, feels more like damage!

 

Anyway, back to the foetal position with some tissues.........

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Kristine

Hi Anthony,  Just thought I'd stop by and see how your early evening is going. Yesterday didn't sound like a picnic.  The foetal position and tissues are the only way to survive the waves at times. It is not the new normal.  You will experience more and more windows. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. K

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PSVT

Thank you Kristine

 

it has definitely been a tough ride but I did feel symptoms starting to subside again yesterday so I am encouraged a lot by that. 

 

Nowhere near  feeling well just not so sick. Fingers crossed that this continues the trajectory towards getting back my life. 

 

So so hard to accept everyone enjoying Xmas and New Years and I am in bed waiting (hoping that this is not permanent) for this to go away while also ruining my kids holidays. 

 

Wishing you some improvement as well during these emotional times of the year!

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AliG

Hi Anthony. I understand that you are over the drugs but reinstating a small amount can sometimes have a very beneficial effect and is the only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms ~ it probably wouldn't be enough to start the heart problem. Please think about it or this can go on for a very long time ~  Just saying.  :)  If not ~ then, all good and hang in there ! It may take a while, though.

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PSVT

Hi Ali

 

excuse my ignorance surrounding reinstatement but, I am a little lost as to why I would reinstate Pristiq at any dose that made me so incredibly ill within a week of starting. I am not sure how reinstating would help other than prolong having this chemical in my system longer. I believe that recovery is not possible until the chemical is no longer being introduced?

 

I think even prof Ashton indicates something of this nature in her manual.

 

I also understand and appreciate tapering but having an adverse reaction like I did I am unsure how this would help me in the long term other than to protract my suffering?

 

Thanks.

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Kristine
On 01/01/2018 at 8:46 AM, PSVT said:

So so hard to accept everyone enjoying Xmas and New Years and I am in bed waiting (hoping that this is not permanent) for this to go away while also ruining my kids holidays. 

Hi Anthony,  I hope you are continuing to feel a little better and any waves have been short lived.  I'm not sure how old your kids are but I have an 18 year old son and he has seen me battle for ten years.  I have always been honest with him and we have a close relationship.  Over the years my explanations have changed as he has grow, to be age appropriate.  He has developed a wisdom and an empathy for others which is beyond his years.

 

I just thought I would share a story with you.  Not long ago my son was offered an antidepressant from his GP.  He went for a blood test because his iron had been low earlier in the year and he was having trouble sleeping.  He was in his final year of high school, exams looming, girlfriend issues, normal teenage confidence issues and watching his mum go through this hell.  He independently refused the AD because he was well educated...by me.  My son and I talked in depth about his troubles and made an appointment with a therapist.  Introduced omega 3, magnesium and vitamin B complex.  I was very firm about sleep hygiene (always found that term odd) and encouraged routine in this area.  We spoke to his teachers at school, they were very supportive and made some small changes to lessen the load.  The result?  He is content, passed his exams, got his licence and has just bought his first car.  More importantly he is building the tools to deal with adversity.

 

My point is this....These medications will be prescribed for years to come for no good reason.  We have no control over this. Many people do not have the insight to this like you do.  This is priceless gift for your children.  K

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scallywag

PSVT - You're right, if you've had an adverse reaction to a medication it does not make sense to reinstate it. That said it's difficult to discern the source of your symptoms because you started taking Pristiq with Lexapro in July only 3-4 months after having discontinued Lexapro by a rapid taper.  Unfortunately there's no way of knowing. 

 

We wouldn't suggest that you consider reinstating two similar medications. Lexapro is the medication that your CNS (central nervous system) is most used to so in your situation we'd likely suggest an extremely low dose of that.  When you stop taking Lexapro, it takes a week or so to get to neglible levels in your bloodstream.  Unfortunately after having been exposed to the Lexapro over several years your brain and CNS have adapted to its presence. Undoing those adaptations takes MUCH MUCH longer than a week.  You can read/view explanations that others have found helpful at these links:

One theory of anti-depressant withdrawal syndrome

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

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

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PSVT

Thanks Scallywag

 

I did have a three day washout  per psych doctors orders between dropping the Pristiq and restarting the lexapro......

 

nonetheless What you are saying makes sense.

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PSVT

14 weeks since I C/T these poisons.

 

it has been and still is tough...........while there are still symptoms they have diminished in intensity with many disappearing altogether. 

 

Of the remaining symptoms the ones that bother me mostly are;

Unbeleivable pain and burning in the soles of my feet

Slight muscle twitching in lower legs

Anxiety (low levels of agoraphobia and panic,  feelings of this being permanent/not healing)

Mood changes

4 am wake ups (although this too is improving)

 

Need I say it again.......

 

Doctors need some accountability in this......

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed obscenity

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PSVT

100 days psych med free.......

 

I feel like crap, death warmed up.......

 

I can't believe this is my life.......shattered!

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ultimatumprisoncell

 

On 1/19/2018 at 12:01 AM, PSVT said:

100 days psych med free.......

 

I feel like crap, death warmed up.......

 

I can't believe this is my life.......shattered!

100 days is an impressive feat. This is HELL. Anyone on this site, currently or having gone through taper and eventual discontinuation feels your pain... In our own ways and to varying degrees. But we feel your suffering. You are not alone, remember that through every moment of this. I am currently about 2 months Effexor free after a long and controlled taper. I am still horribly ill And incredibly weak... And this after adding Prozac as part of the final tedious weaning process. I still have a long way to go. I look forward to 100 days psych med free (done the proper way).  I commend your strength, please know that we all care. Never minimize or deny your suffering, nor allow anyone else to. Enough voices may eventually get a message through and changes made.  Even if it's just one moment at a time, every little effort counts.

Until then, continue to take care of yourself!

 

UPC

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PSVT

UPC

 

Thanks. This means a lot. 

 

Its BS that people have to go through this relentless suffering. It really does feel like normal resumption of service will never come but I guess it is about keeping faith and belief in those who suffered before us and got through this. Success like Aeroman, Belissimo, Mr B (benzo buddies) and others.

 

For me, and I'm sure like many others, having to go through this for an issue I never had is something I am struggling to come to terms with. It is death by a thousand cuts............

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PSVT

It's tough, real tough. 

 

But yesterday afternoon it all stopped, after quite a few tough days, it all stopped.

 

No internal vibrations no abnormal anxiety, clear vision, no tinnitus........it all just stopped.

 

Slowly though during the day today it is starting to ingrain itself back into my body. Tinnitus is at full piercing, body aches and pains, all of it.

 

Windows ? ..... More like teasing. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed obscenities

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Kristine
1 hour ago, PSVT said:

This is bulls...t!

 

Windows my arse..... More like teasing. 

I couldn't agree more Anthony.  Sending you hugs. K 🌻

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PSVT

So I thought that over the past few days I had settled in a new better baseline level........throw in a small window here and there I was heading in the right direction.

 

well today has been mental torture.......terrible disgusting thoughts like 3 months ago, non stop crying spells, tinnitus etc.

 

Approaching four calendar months, don't know how to do four more days!

 

 

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PSVT

Phew.....that's over.  Finally achieving some good sleep and that had made a big difference.

 

back to a better baseline. Morning anxiety has nearly completely disappeared although some gut churning still happens when I contemplate how I am going to re-enter the world and life both work and social. It is possible that I have suffered some type of trauma from the hugeness of the panic attacks from the first few weeks of "discontinuation" which may take some doing to rebuild confidence that this won't happen again and as much as I realise it was chemically induced it is still difficult to completely  accept this as the case and that its not rebound or underlying that the so called medical professionals have drilled into me on more than one occasion.

 

The only symptoms that bother me now are piercing tinnitus, some slight muscle twitching in my legs, mood changes and frustration and as mentioned above some low level anxiety about returning to full health and rejoins the world.

 

until the next wave...........

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PSVT

Further to my last post my wife has a friend who is an ER nurse and my wife was explaining my situation to her, especially about my misdiagnosis. 

 

Anyway, her friend started opening up how many people are on these psych meds, even she was shocked and said that these doctors are just handing them out like lollies.  Young teenagers especially, for simple things like braking up with a boyfriend etc.and that they only get like a ten minute consult, they spend no time with their patience and then pull out the prescription pad.

Everybody is on this ****, what a medical disaster. These doctors really need to pull their **** together.

 

sounds real familiar!

 

so so so f'ing angry at this. 

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PSVT

Well I stumbled upon Phil Lawrence and the Numb Documentary......what a let down.

 

the pharma and the doctor weren't wrong when they said that I will need these meds for life..........

 

thinking i might just try and find a poison that doesn't mess me up too bad and accept my fate of swallowing this poison for the duration..........

 

i never had a mental illness before this crap but I sure as hell got one now!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reworded obscenity

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Martina23

PSVT, please dont catastrophize. You have to believe that you can live drug free anytime and that you will heal. And you will do. What you are thinking, you are forming with it your destiny.

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PSVT

Thank you Martina,, you are right,  amazing when I look back I can see how bad the day was that I was having........

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PSVT

This is a strange phenomenon........this healing business!

 

After my recent hopelessness rant I did have a sudden decrease in symptoms in both quantity and intensity which has been very relieving over the past couple of days and is still continuing. It does feel though that there has been some sort of breakthrough with this as it has been a total change to the schedule of pain that I have been feeling and become accustomed too.just feel that little bit better.........

 

the current symptoms list:

unnatural anxiety  / panic levels

early morning wake up with panic(3-4am)

calf muscle twitches

occassional sinus tachycardia / pots

fatigue

slight depression around rentering life and the world

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Kristine
11 minutes ago, PSVT said:

This is a strange phenomenon........this healing business!

 

After my recent hopelessness rant I did have a sudden decrease in symptoms in both quantity and intensity which has been very relieving over the past couple of days and is still continuing. It does feel though that there has been some sort of breakthrough with this as it has been a total change to the schedule of pain that I have been feeling and become accustomed too.just feel that little bit better.........

Hey Anthony,  What wonderful news! ...and love your sense of humour btw!  Baby steps. Love K xo

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Longestroadhome

Hi PSVT, wow what a story. It doesn’t surprise me but it still upsets me when I hear things like this. I am glad you finally got a diagnosis but sorry you were put through hell. 

 

I am a slow withdrawer of meds. I don’t know what it’s like to CT but after reading many stories here I am thankful I didn’t do that. It is still hard coming off slowly but perhaps the landing is softer. 

 

I find the wondows come come more often once I have reached the 4 month phase after a cut. And usually they follow a particularly bad day. Not always but a lot of the time!  I pray you will start to see more windows in your journey. 

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