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Hellbutrin: Wellbutrin nightmare - advice welcome

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Bobo71

From my experience DP/DR follows periods of heavy introspection and obsession with symptoms. As we spend more time ruminating internally and less time on taking in the external world, we set up the conditions for DP in particular. I’m 8 months of prozac and DP comes and goes. I find distraction is a good strategy because you can’t think and properly focus on more than one thought at a time. 

 

It is easy to panic about protracted withdrawal and literally scare yourself to death about it. Don’t do that as it adds to the stress that’s already there.

 

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powerback
2 hours ago, Bobo71 said:

From my experience DP/DR follows periods of heavy introspection and obsession with symptoms. As we spend more time ruminating internally and less time on taking in the external world, we set up the conditions for DP in particular. I’m 8 months of prozac and DP comes and goes. I find distraction is a good strategy because you can’t think and properly focus on more than one thought at a time. 

 

It is easy to panic about protracted withdrawal and literally scare yourself to death about it. Don’t do that as it adds to the stress that’s already there.

 

Hi bobo71 I would agree with your opinion on DP/DR.

On Tuesday I was doing some work during a very strong brain fog and strong anxiety wave ,I was practicing mindfulness and kept pulling my focus onto what I was doing and away from the panic  ,the work I was doing took me a while but I got it done to a quality standard but the evening and next day I had strong DP I noticed .

introspection is also an obsession I struggle to drop in withdrawl ,I was doing it before withdrawl so its stuck in me but I try to actively distract when It gets over the top .

I will  add that I was able to have a strong feeling of achievement getting  the job done in the end thus building confidence ,witch can only help .

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Hellbutrin

I have a urgent question that I was hoping someone might be able to answer. Is it common to have more than one acute wave when you're going through withdrawal? I had an acute wave after my initial C/T and then I had a terrible acute wave at the beginning of November, and now I feel like I'm starting to go into another one. Is this common in withdrawal? Is it unusual to have more than one severe wave? Someone please give me feedback! I'm terrified of feeling that way again. I'm doing my best to float through it so that it doesn't get too bad for me to handle. But the morning nausea and cortisol surges are getting to be too much for me to handle. 

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Bobo71

I was a disaster zone at 5 months. Total basket case. Windows starting kicking in at 8 months. Still no picnic but manageable. If you can, just loosen your body and just observe the symptoms but don’t react to them. It sounds incredibly trivial but find a hobby to absorb your thoughts. Don’t panic and add more fear to the picture.

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Hellbutrin
On 1/12/2018 at 5:16 PM, Bobo71 said:

I was a disaster zone at 5 months. Total basket case. Windows starting kicking in at 8 months. Still no picnic but manageable. If you can, just loosen your body and just observe the symptoms but don’t react to them. It sounds incredibly trivial but find a hobby to absorb your thoughts. Don’t panic and add more fear to the picture.

Thank you for the reassurance Bobo, I pray that I can make it to 8 months. I'm trying really badly not to panic and make my waves worse and I think it is helping slightly. But I also know that when my waves start intensifying I can go DAYS without sleeping at all, and at that point I start getting really symptomatic. During my last wave I even resulted to taking a .25 mg klonopin after my third consecutive day with no sleep, and I really didn't want to have to do that but I was starting to fear for my own safety. I had my first night of not sleeping last night and I'm concerned because I know I really need to be able to sleep in order to function and get through this. I'm thinking about trying to take a benadryl tonight to help me sleep if I get really desperate. I know this is not recommended, but I'm not really sure what else to do. I take 50 mg of magnesium daily, but it doesn't do a lot to help with my insomnia. 

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, Hellbutrin said:

I take 50 mg of magnesium daily

 

It is better to take magnesium throughout the day, not in one dose (if that is what you are doing).  You might also be able to increase the amount you take.  I take magnesium 150mg in total daily (1/2 tablet morning and night) bottle says: from magnesium citrate 927.64mg.  It definitely helps reduce my anxiety.

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Bobo71

I’m sorry you feel so dreadful Hellbutrin. I also just had a bad night where I felt my mind was simply falling to pieces. It’s very unsettling and quickly escalates to despair. But it does break up with short windows in between. At these times, have a good cry, have a long shower, keep calm and carry on. 

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Hellbutrin
22 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

It is better to take magnesium throughout the day, not in one dose (if that is what you are doing).  You might also be able to increase the amount you take.  I take magnesium 150mg in total daily (1/2 tablet morning and night) bottle says: from magnesium citrate 927.64mg.  It definitely helps reduce my anxiety.

Thanks ChessieCat, I'm only taking 100mg per day of magnesium and I've been taking it at night because I usually take my fish oil supplement in the morning and I thought that it wasn't a good idea to take fish oil with magnesium at the same time. Do you have any feedback about this? Should I be switching the time that I take it or take more?

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Hellbutrin
17 hours ago, Bobo71 said:

I’m sorry you feel so dreadful Hellbutrin. I also just had a bad night where I felt my mind was simply falling to pieces. It’s very unsettling and quickly escalates to despair. But it does break up with short windows in between. At these times, have a good cry, have a long shower, keep calm and carry on. 

Thanks Bobo, I appreciate that. I've been crying a lot lately which is kind of a change for me from the beginning of withdrawal, I had only cried twice in four months even though I was miserable constantly. I'm scared that when my emotions start coming back that I'm going to be even more of a mess than I am now. 

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ChessieCat

I take fish oil and magnesium together, morning and night.

 

Not sure if you have seen SA's topics:

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

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Bobo71

How are you Hellbutrin?

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Hellbutrin
4 hours ago, Bobo71 said:

How are you Hellbutrin?

I've been better Bobo, thanks for checking on me. I'm continuing to have some pretty extreme depression and I've started having a lot of lethargy and fatigue lately. I'm not sure what is causing this and it's really distressing because it's making my concentration even worse off than it already was. I hope that this is one symptoms that dissipates after a while. I'm 6 months off and I would say that I'm still struggling as much if not more than I was in the beginning of withdrawal. But some days are worse than others. How are you doing?

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Hellbutrin
On 1/14/2018 at 7:47 PM, ChessieCat said:

I take fish oil and magnesium together, morning and night.

 

Not sure if you have seen SA's topics:

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Does this intensify anxiety/ depression when they are taken together?

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Bobo71

I ask myself how I am doing all the time. This week has been an ordeal but I had a few bright moments today. I’m not yet feeling any consistency or stabilisation. Anyway, congratulations on getting to 6 months without being tempted to reinstate. You can bank that time and it’s an important milestone. I’m focused on just getting through this year a day at a time. Its clearly not easy but each day that passes is a day closer to getting some serious distance between myself and the day I stopped the pills. It’s so like a marathon in that it’s very painful and exhausting but you feel like you are travelling as the miles clock up. Time is the only solution.

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RachelSusan

Hi Hellbutrin,

I wanted to answer your over all concerns about recovery.  I am in a slightly different situation than you though.  You went off you medication with a more rapid taper and I am doing a slower taper.  I still suffer from symptoms, especially with every new taper.  I do however plan to be a success story. As of this writing to you I am currently down to 4.75mg of Setraline (Zoloft) and I am at the moment very functional after going through h*ll. From what I have been reading about various timelines of healing it sounds as 6 months off is sort of the peak zone for your situation. I do believe you will heal and like I said, I do plan of being a success story myself. I am thinking of you and hope you get your relief soon. 

RS

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Hellbutrin

Emotional blunting and lack of positive emotions has been my %100 most persistent symptoms throughout this whole process and I was just wanting to get some feedback to see if this does eventually resolve itself. I can't imagine a life where I will feel like this forever, it seems kind of pointless. 

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ChessieCat

Each member has only 1 Intro topic.  Please do not create any more Intro topics.  Please use your existing topic.

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GiantsWSC

Hello Hellbutrin,

 

I hope my own experience will be motivation for you. I recently completed a 4+ year taper from 10mg of paxil and the waves you have gone through were similar to what I experienced. Since your taper was so rapid I believe that is a cause of the stronger emotion or lack there of. The blunt emotions and lack of positivity was also very prevalent during my taper course. I didn't want to talk to anyone, do anything , appetite was horrible and found joy in relatively little if anything at all. 

 

The key drivers for me was that I wanted to get better no matter what,  I had to do whatever it took to get back to who I was. I saw people on here getting better albeit with varying degrees of waves but they were on a path to normalcy. For me at least I found two things that helped: going to the gym (or some kind of physical activity) no matter how much I didn't want to go or do it and kept telling myself" I will get better this is just a test and nothing more!" As soon as I started getting into a rhythm at the gym I felt I didn't even think about my symptoms because I guess i was "in the zone." The other thing was mindfulness meditation as I'm sure you've heard already. This basically helped me accept my current situation as not something bad but kind of took it and numbed the sensation. Kind of like saying, "ok withdrawl, you're here so what, I'm still here, breathing, living my life..." Kinda of hard to explain but it did calm things down quite a bit for me. 

 

Bottom line is never, ever, give up hope. All this will pass with time, how much time is different for everyone but it will pass you can bet on it.

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Downbutnotout
On 3/1/2018 at 11:22 PM, DrugfreeProf said:

Hellbutrin, Lex1002, my daughter, had emotional blunting accompanied by severe DP/DR with paranoia and emotional flatness. She spent months in silence with mostly no emotion. She is now about two years since originally discontinuing Lexapro, which she did in Feb. 2016 after a gradual taper; she then had a failed reinstatement, about a year and a half ago, followed by forced drugging, which ended about 17 months ago. So technically around 17 months off of all drugs. AND during just in the last month or so, she is showing a normal range of emotions again, including laughing and joking and showing the same sense of humor she had pre-WD! So yes, from my experience with her, normal emotions DO return. Have faith, you will definitely improve!

Oh that’s encouraging!

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Hellbutrin
On 2/25/2018 at 12:49 PM, mirage said:

Wellbutrin 300xl for 8 years. Went off CT in May 2017. Had no knowledge I needed to tapper. I was put on it by my obgyn. I was having some slight stress at the time because I had just lost my mom to cancer and was left to help take care of my dad and an elderly aunt that my mom cared for. Had no anxiety or depression. My dr, said it would help with the overwhelming feelings. My fault for not looking into it before I started it.

 

My symptoms did not start until around 4 weeks off. So, early June 2017. Started with severe vertigo that lasted about 4 days and then came the severe anxiety. Heart pounding, non stop. High cortisol. Intense sensitivity to light, sound, anything scary or sad. Always dizzy and terrible nausea. My internist said it was severe anxiety and that it is common during menopause. Hmm...I believed that. Was put back on Wellbutrin 150xl. It took away a few symptoms but didn't do much. My weight was dropping fast and I am already small, 115lbs, so I couldn't afford to lose any. Because of that and not being able to sleep, 30mgs of Remeron was added in early September. 

 

Was having too many symptoms from the Remeron so I decided to wean off of it. Started the wean first week of January. Took a month to wean but it was too fast. Ended up re-instating at 3.25mgs a couple of nights ago. I'm not sure that helped. No benzos. I have not weaned off of the Wellbutrin 150xl yet. My system is just too fragile to do any more. 

 

The dizziness is just awful and I think that is causing me to have more problems with the nausea. I have never been a fan of carnival rides or spinning so this is no fun! I have not been on any car trips longer than a couple of hours. I do okay. Haven't noticed a difference between that and shorter rides. 

Hi Mirage,

 

I’m also having a hellish time getting off of Wellbutrin. I C/T withdrew from it 9 months ago after taking it for 2 years. Have you seen any difference in your symptoms? I still experience a total lack of memory, emotional bluntness, intrusive thoughts, severe depression and anxiety. I’m scared that I might have been to sensitive to be taking the medication in the first place and that I might have permanently damaged myself from it. Like you, I felt great while I was on it, but I didn’t do any research to see how it would effect me long term. I was originally taking it to help with some minor anxiety that I had from school. But it caused me to start feeling panicky again when I decided to quit taking it C/T. I would have tapered if I had know I’d still be in hell 9 months later. How are you doing now? Any change? 

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Hellbutrin

It's the most bizarre thing. I haven't had a menstrual cycle for the last three months in a row and I've been in withdrawal for 9 months. I'm wondering if this is normal and if this is just one of the many areas of my body's biological clock that has been ravaged by withdrawal. It's frustrating not knowing if I should worry about this or not, I'm only 28 so there's no reason that my cycles should have stopped all of a sudden..

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Hellbutrin

Does anyone know why we get intrusive thoughts in withdrawal and how to make them go away. I'm 9 months into withdrawal and they are as bad as ever!

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manymoretodays

Hi Hellbutrin,

I went ahead and moved your post about menstrual irregularity from Success Stories back to here on your Introduction.  It's not TMI........as far as I'm concerned.  However, we reserve the  Success Stories area for posts where members feel that they have made a complete recovery.   

 

We do have a discussion about menstrual irregularities here:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/8142-pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal/

 

And I'm also assuming you have no worries about pregnancy?  You can.......... of course........ do a broader web search on the topic of hormonal disruption during W/D or use of A/D's.

 

Okay.....mainly......I just wanted to explain the whys of moving your topic for now....

 

Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

manymoretodays

Edited by manymoretodays
remove excess white space

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UnfoldingSky
10 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

It's the most bizarre thing. I haven't had a menstrual cycle for the last three months in a row and I've been in withdrawal for 9 months. I'm wondering if this is normal and if this is just one of the many areas of my body's biological clock that has been ravaged by withdrawal. It's frustrating not knowing if I should worry about this or not, I'm only 28 so there's no reason that my cycles should have stopped all of a sudden..

 

Hi Hellbutrin,  came by to see how you were and I noticed this, I had that happen too. If I recall properly at the time I was on Propranolol, and I cut it back and then it came back.  I'm not sure if that was a coincidence or not.   

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Hellbutrin
4 hours ago, UnfoldingSky said:

 

Hi Hellbutrin,  came by to see how you were and I noticed this, I had that happen too. If I recall properly at the time I was on Propranolol, and I cut it back and then it came back.  I'm not sure if that was a coincidence or not.   

I'm totally off my medications though, and have been for the last 9 months and for some reason I haven't had a cycle for the last three months in a row

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UnfoldingSky
4 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

I'm totally off my medications though, and have been for the last 9 months and for some reason I haven't had a cycle for the last three months in a row

 

Hi Hell, It could be the stress of withdrawal alone is doing it...stress is a potential way to have this happen I believe.  In my situation I was in withdrawal already from two drugs, but still on Propranolol when it disappeared.  However as I'd been on the higher dose for a while, and it disappeared maybe a year into that dose, then, it may well have had nothing to do with Propranolol, and my lowering the dose might have seemed like it fixed it when it could have been a coincidence. 

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Marmot
On 2018-04-16 at 6:18 PM, Hellbutrin said:

Does anyone know why we get intrusive thoughts in withdrawal and how to make them go away. I'm 9 months into withdrawal and they are as bad as ever!

 

Hey Hellbutrin,

 

I get those often. For me, when I tried to forcibly kick them out, they came right back, sometimes even stronger. What I started doing is this visual thing in my head where I hold onto the thoughts and breathe into them a few times with deep breaths. It's hard to explain, but so far it's been the most helpful thing for me. Definitely not perfect, but takes the edge off. I'm also trying to figure out where they are coming from. In my case they are mostly self-criticisms and doubts which are strengthened by certain people in my life, so another thing I'm experimenting with is not talking to those people, just for a couple months, and instead trying to believe in myself more. I'll bet the "why" part is different for everyone though. 

 

Have you tried or thought about trying anything for yours?

 

Take care,

Marmot

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Hellbutrin
3 hours ago, Marmot said:

 

Hey Hellbutrin,

 

I get those often. For me, when I tried to forcibly kick them out, they came right back, sometimes even stronger. What I started doing is this visual thing in my head where I hold onto the thoughts and breathe into them a few times with deep breaths. It's hard to explain, but so far it's been the most helpful thing for me. Definitely not perfect, but takes the edge off. I'm also trying to figure out where they are coming from. In my case they are mostly self-criticisms and doubts which are strengthened by certain people in my life, so another thing I'm experimenting with is not talking to those people, just for a couple months, and instead trying to believe in myself more. I'll bet the "why" part is different for everyone though. 

 

Have you tried or thought about trying anything for yours?

 

Take care,

Marmot

Yeah, a lot of mine perpetuate my lack of self confidence at work. I’m in a position where I’m responsible for assisting with employment goals for individuals with disabilities (ironic right?). So my job puts a lot of stress on me to try to be the source of confidence for a lot of my clients. This is hard to do when I constantly feel like I’m losing my mind. I get intrusive thoughts that my coworkers think I’m inadequate and that I’m going to have a wave that’s going to cause me to lose my job and my source of financial support. I’ve never been the most confident person, but I feel like my self esteem/confidence has totally plummeted lately. I also have seen a worsening of my symptoms the last couple weeks, so I’m scared that this withdrawal process is going to go on for so long that I’m eventually not going to have any choice but to leave my job. I’ve also been really struggling with my memory lately. I can hardly remember what I did 5 minutes ago much less what my boss asked me to do yesterday. I can’t imagine that I would wake up and any of these symptoms would suddenly be gone. So that makes me think that I’m likely one of the slow healers that going to be stuck in this nightmare for years. At this point I would try reinstatement if I didn’t think it would make me worse... 

 

thanks for your feedback, I really do appreciate it. 

 

I used to be such a positive person so it really disappoints me that this is what I’ve been reduced to. 

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wantrelief
3 minutes ago, Hellbutrin said:

Yeah, a lot of mine perpetuate my lack of self confidence at work. I’m in a position where I’m responsible for assisting with employment goals for individuals with disabilities (ironic right?).

If only your clients knew what you are going through and despite all of that you are still there helping them - they would be inspired.

 

I too get a lot of intrusive thoughts.  I wish I knew physiologically why this happens in withdrawal but I don't, to me it just seems like an indication of how our brains are misfiring or whatever is happening that isn't working quite right.  I do know how distressing these thoughts can be.  I try to just acknowledge the thought and think something like "there was another one of those weird thoughts" or "another withdrawal thought" and try to move on with whatever I am doing at the time or purposefully think about something else. 

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Marmot
9 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

So my job puts a lot of stress on me to try to be the source of confidence for a lot of my clients. This is hard to do when I constantly feel like I’m losing my mind. I get intrusive thoughts that my coworkers think I’m inadequate and that I’m going to have a wave that’s going to cause me to lose my job and my source of financial support.

 

Ya, that sounds like a lot of pressure. I know what it feels like too to be totally maxed out when it comes to abilities and cognition in withdrawal. It's possible that your co-workers and clients don't notice though. I think that it's really incredible that you have been working during this. Are they cool with you taking a "medical leave" if you ever happen to need it?

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Hellbutrin
On 1/10/2018 at 5:53 PM, Altostrata said:

Yes, we have people here who have had great difficulty going off Wellbutrin.

Hi Altostrata,

 

What would you recommend for people that are in my situation?

 

I tried to taper off of Wellbutrin 9 months ago by skipping days for three weeks, obviously this was not nearly long enough for a "taper" and my doctor told me to taper by skipping doses, which obviously made my situation worse. I'm terrified that I might have permanently destabilized my nervous system. I haven't had ANY windows in the 9 months since I quit taking the medication. On bay days I'm suicidal and on good days I feel like hell. I still have all of the classic withdrawal symptoms such as anhedonia, memory loss, lack of ability to concentrate on anything, depression and anxiety, head pressure, muscle burning and intrusive thoughts. None of which did I have prior to quitting the medication, I started taking Wellbutrin for some mild anxiety that I was having at school, and now I'm here. I've been seeing frequent reports of individuals who end up in protracted withdrawal for years, and in some cases permanently. I know that typically these are cases of individuals who had been taking the medication at high doses for decades, and I was only taking the lowest dosage of mine for less than two years. But I feel like with how extreme my reactions have been so far, that I could end up being one of those lucky few that gets stuck like this. I know that this is a negative way to think, but I want to be prepared for how I'm going to handle this. I don't want to reinstate, and I don't want to ever take another psychiatric drug ever again. But I'm starting to wonder if I need to start thinking about some other options since I'm this far into withdrawal and I feel like I'm getting worse. 

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Itzakadoozee
1 hour ago, Hellbutrin said:

Hi Altostrata,

 

What would you recommend for people that are in my situation?

 

I tried to taper off of Wellbutrin 9 months ago by skipping days for three weeks, obviously this was not nearly long enough for a "taper" and my doctor told me to taper by skipping doses, which obviously made my situation worse. I'm terrified that I might have permanently destabilized my nervous system. I haven't had ANY windows in the 9 months since I quit taking the medication. On bay days I'm suicidal and on good days I feel like hell. I still have all of the classic withdrawal symptoms such as anhedonia, memory loss, lack of ability to concentrate on anything, depression and anxiety, head pressure, muscle burning and intrusive thoughts. None of which did I have prior to quitting the medication, I started taking Wellbutrin for some mild anxiety that I was having at school, and now I'm here. I've been seeing frequent reports of individuals who end up in protracted withdrawal for years, and in some cases permanently. I know that typically these are cases of individuals who had been taking the medication at high doses for decades, and I was only taking the lowest dosage of mine for less than two years. But I feel like with how extreme my reactions have been so far, that I could end up being one of those lucky few that gets stuck like this. I know that this is a negative way to think, but I want to be prepared for how I'm going to handle this. I don't want to reinstate, and I don't want to ever take another psychiatric drug ever again. But I'm starting to wonder if I need to start thinking about some other options since I'm this far into withdrawal and I feel like I'm getting worse. 

Just realize that you are almost guaranteed to feel vastly improved given enough time to heal.

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Hellbutrin
3 minutes ago, Itzakadoozee said:

Just realize that you are almost guaranteed to feel vastly improved given enough time to heal.

Do you think given my current state that i would be better off reinstating and tapering slowly off over a number of years?

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Itzakadoozee
8 minutes ago, Hellbutrin said:

Do you think given my current state that i would be better off reinstating and tapering slowly off over a number of years?

If you feel like you can’t handle it you could try to reinstate a very very low dose to try to see if it helps. If that works and you feel better, add more to get to a comfortable dose then taper off extremely slowly.

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SkyBlue
On 4/19/2018 at 7:47 PM, Hellbutrin said:

Do you think given my current state that i would be better off reinstating and tapering slowly off over a number of years?

 

If you're interested in learning more about reinstatement, here is a link about it. Keep in mind that you're now several months out from your rapid taper, 

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

 

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