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Marmot: just Wellbutrin left

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Marmot

 

Hello, I really appreciate seeing everyone's stories and strategies, and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I am in my late 20s and have been on and off many meds since a hospitalization for depression in 2005.

 

By fall of 2016, when I started the “taper”, I was on 4 medications: Cipralex 20mg, Adderall 30-40 mg, Abilify 2mg and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg. The first 3, I think I was taking for around 2 years after numerous failed treatments including various meds and rTMS; however, I have been taking the Wellbutrin for 12 years. On that regimen of 4, from something like 2014-2016, my mood was generally in-check but my life was beginning to fall apart. I graduated and got a full time job in the summer of 2016, but I was having horrible energy crashes randomly during the day.  Sometimes I couldn't keep my eyes open or stay seated. I struggled socially. My memory and attention were affected, and I would cry randomly. I had trouble believing it could be from the meds because they were supposed to do the opposite. In Sept 2016, I was off work and on disability. It was an incredibly confusing situation, and everyone, including myself, blamed my brain.

 

Soon after that I began having a gradual and profound shift in perspective as I realised that meds may have been more of a problem for me than a solution. At some point in the fall of 2016, I started my withdrawal journey. First, I stopped the Cipralex over a few weeks, and became incredibly anxious. It was really horrible; I would get spells of pacing and yelling at myself. I couldn't meditate or do anything to calm down anymore. After a few months of that, I then tapered the adderall over around a month. At that point, I became really exhausted, was getting frequent (but not ER level) suicidal thoughts, and had trouble doing anything. I eventually got accepted for a volunteer job to which I had previously applied, and reinstated half of the adderall to function. However, I was scared that the tolerance crashes might come back, so my doc switched me to Vyvanse 20-30 mg. It was smoother but I was still concerned that it was not a long-term solution.

 

I finished the volunteer job, then I read about things that other people had tried and decided to do some lifestyle changes. I stopped sugar and gluten and got outside a lot. Then I tapered both the vyvanse and the abilify at the same time over around 2 months. It was not as bad this time, and after a few more months off of them, I was mostly able to concentrate and wasn't getting very many dark thoughts. My emotional depth and variety, as well as cognition, were even beginning to improve. 

 

Once I could sort of focus again, I decided to try the paleo/keto diet and taper the wellbutrin. The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal. 

 

So, I felt a little better on the paleo diet and dropped the WB dose from 200 mg to 100 mg on Oct 25, 2017 (right before I found this forum). I then became very sluggish with low motivation, but after a few weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning again and do a few things. It's been 5 weeks now and no terrible-delayed-withdrawal-depression yet. I'm mostly just tired with trouble getting started on tasks. I asked for an extension on my leave from work to finish sorting this out. Surprisingly though, my difficulty connecting with people and obsessive thinking are improving in intermittently - I'm not sure yet if that's from going off the meds or from the changes in diet, but I greatly welcome it.

 

By reading other people's success stories here, I learned that my best chance at becoming free from the Wellbutrin is to do the rest of my taper extremely slowly. I have an appointment with my doc next week to make a plan. This doc is good so it should go okay. I would be interested to hear anything from you!
 

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Marmot

Something that I meant to ask, is whether any of you found that your allergies or food sensitivities worsened with withdrawal or stress. It seems a little far fetched to think that this could happen but who knows. I normally have 6 typical IgE food allergies, but this year I seem to "react" to essentially random foods with other symptoms like facial flushing or irritability or fatigue. It doesn't make any sense. For example, coconut is not one of my allergies, but it was doing weird things to me so I'm phasing it out. I think that I also developed a new allergy to persimmon last week too, I got the usual itchy mouth, throat, ears, and then I touched my left eye with the hand I was eating from and that eye puffed up. This is another reason why I'm eating paleo at the moment, fewer ingredients = less worrying. Have any of you done the GAPS diet by the way? Did it help with allergies, eczema, withdrawal or mental health? Thanks!

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ChessieCat

Hi Marmot and welcome to SA,

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature which will appear below every post you make.  Please use the following format:

 

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.

 

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

 

18 hours ago, Marmot said:

whether any of you found that your allergies or food sensitivities worsened with withdrawal or stress

 

allergies-and-overactive-immune-system

 

These are some of SA's helpful topics:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

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Marmot

  Hey ChessieCat,

 

I read the link that you posted, and it seems like food sensitivities happen. I see that someone else suddenly started reacting to omega 3 too. I couldn't believe it when that happened to me, it's supposed to be really healthy. Oh well.

 

I'll make my drug signature soon.

 

Thanks for the info!

Marmot

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ChessieCat

You are welcome.  There are a lot of "strange" things which happen in withdrawal.

 

40 minutes ago, Marmot said:

I just joined a peer support course and some of my peers there really like their meds.

 

Check out this video about medication spell binding.

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Marmot

Oh wow. I just watched the video. He nailed it with the term "medication spellbinding". I don't know my new friends well enough to say that they have it, but I totally relate to that, and I'm still deprogramming it from my mind.  Last year, I didn't know who I was inside, but I would thank my previous doc frequently because I thought that he had made me all better. There were many subtle things that were off about me, and which worsened over time. I think that I was more selfish and less self-aware. Never violent or manic, but more mechanical. I didn't pick up then that it could be from the meds. Then there's the obvious that I almost lost my job and have now been spending over a year in various withdrawals. But ya, I thought that that those pills were essential; ya, spellbound. I'm still trying to make it all clear in my head. I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who's emerged from it too. 

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manymoretodays

Hi again Marmot.  Good links from Ccat per usual.  And I'll follow.  And good that you are getting familiarized with the site.

 

The signature will be really helpful to us.

 

mmt

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myndfull

Marmot -- 

 

You wrote, "The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal."

 

One of the big lies docs feed us is that as we get off the drug the horrible effects we begin to feel are actually the return of the underlying psychological issue(s) that caused us to seek help and go on them in the first place. No. What we're feeling is the drug wanting replenishment. Withdrawal. Neuro-emotions.

 

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: In my case I never really felt actual depression until I started to withdrawal from Celexa. In a way that I find hard to explain, knowing now what depression (and its cohorts: anhedonia, depersonalization, derealization, disassociation, etc.) really is only makes me stronger emotionally.

 

Though we're all different, the withdrawal symptoms for all of us here are universally bad. The hopeful thing to bear in mind is that these drugs CAN be beat. Slow and steady works. Patience and time work. They have in my case. And that optimism you already have is a gift that will keep giving. Don't lose it.

 

Myndfull

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Marmot
18 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Hi again Marmot.  Good links from Ccat per usual.  And I'll follow.  And good that you are getting familiarized with the site.

 

The signature will be really helpful to us.

 

mmt

 

Hi mmt,

 

Thanks for clarifying the AA question on your thread! I made the signature here as best as I could, although the earlier years might be a little off.

 

Marmot

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Marmot
4 hours ago, myndfull said:

One of the big lies docs feed us is that as we get off the drug the horrible effects we begin to feel are actually the return of the underlying psychological issue(s) that caused us to seek help and go on them in the first place. No. What we're feeling is the drug wanting replenishment. Withdrawal. Neuro-emotions.

 

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: In my case I never really felt actual depression until I started to withdrawal from Celexa. In a way that I find hard to explain, knowing now what depression (and its cohorts: anhedonia, depersonalization, derealization, disassociation, etc.) really is only makes me stronger emotionally.

 

Though we're all different, the withdrawal symptoms for all of us here are universally bad. The hopeful thing to bear in mind is that these drugs CAN be beat. Slow and steady works. Patience and time work. They have in my case. And that optimism you already have is a gift that will keep giving. Don't lose it.

 

Hey Myndfull,

 

I like how you see these struggles as making you stronger. That seems ideal. I've been trying to think more that way too, but its hard to remember when life gets difficult. I did recently give up on trying to find a med or therapist to help me, because that had somehow turned into a bit of a trap. I feel more powerful now. I do believe in optimism too and that if I think things will work out okay, then it's much more likely to happen that way. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Thanks for your hope!

Marmot

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manymoretodays
1 hour ago, Marmot said:

Hi mmt,

 

Thanks for clarifying the AA question on your thread! I made the signature here as best as I could, although the earlier years might be a little off.

 

Marmot

 

Oh good.  I didn't mean to discourage because it really does help me with both......"my protracted withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome"............and total abstinence from any psychoactive substances.  And I do feel I am an alcoholic.  There have been a lot of people here who have also tried AA.......mixed results.   I just googled "alcoholics anonymous surviving antidepressants .org" and  many of the discussions came up.  I've never really done an intense 12 step program before and I think that the way AA does it is great and I am, indeed benefiting.........spiritually, socially, etc.  I've done years of the other.......therapists, etc...........still on occasion do therapy with my DBT skill oriented therapist.  She's great.  I don't know if you have tried DBT yet or not but it also is one of those therapies, that everyone.......all the "normals" too could surely benefit from.

 

I just didn't want to confuse you........that your drug dependence is the same as addiction/alcoholism.  It's not.  And I want you to learn all you can about harm free, careful reduction of your Wellbutrin.  AA wouldn't be able to help with that.

 

As far as your "peer group"........I mean that could work out unless all they do is talk about medications.  You can try and educate them, if they will allow, as far as what you now know about the realities of long term medication, or refer them to a book you like, or here to just do some reading.  Share your own story even.  Hopefully they offer non drug support and a sense of community as well.  Friendships.

 

I would suggest that you continue holding through the holidays at your 100mg. of Wellbutrin.  Holidays are great but usually for most of us........not a great time to taper.  Holding is good.  Holding is work.  And you've done a fair amount of changes that your system needs time to adapt to in this last year.  This is a really good time for you to work hard on gathering as many non-drug coping techniques as possible.

 

Excellent on your signature.  You are doing great.  I think, from my own experience of coming off a stimulant as well(mine was adderall )........that at least some of your fatigue could certainly be explained by W/D.  It gets better.  I mean it still comes and goes for me but overall........improvement.  How are you doing with physical stuff?.........any kind of movement or exercise at regular intervals can really help.  Do some wild expressive dancing around your room even.  :DB)

 

Love, peace, healing/in recovery, and growth........and dancing!

 

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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Marmot

Hey mmt,

 

Thanks so much for your input; I've been thinking about what you said. I'll probably hold until after Christmas then go down by around 10%, so I'll have that conversation with my doc this week. I also usually find Christmas to be draining, and I don't want to make things worse. I'm not back to normal yet since my decrease from 200 to 100 mg. It's definitely a different experience for me than the SSRI W/D though. when I stopped escitalopram last year, I felt as though the world was going to end or something - I would become frantic. My thoughts would spin. That is not the case now. Now the main problems are that I have trouble getting myself to do anything, I can't concentrate, and I have slow negative thoughts. Like, I'll sit and eat breakfast, and then I'll continue to sit for a few more hours in the same spot doing nothing. Then I get upset with myself for being like a vegetable. Then I sign up for something to get out of the house, but I show up late and feel bad about it.

 

I'm becoming more familiar with this now though and know that it will go away with patience and effort. For example, before meds, I would vacuum or sweep once a week with moderate effort. When on Adderall/Vyvanse, for awhile, I was vacuuming daily and automatically. When in W/D from those stimulants I simply wouldn't vacuum for weeks. As the W/D improved, I was back up to vacuuming every 2 weeks with lots of effort and scheduling etc. Since decreasing the WB, cleaning has been very minimal, but it's gradually happening more. 

 

I took your advice on the expressive dancing, cranked up the music, and gave it a try. It made me feel better and motivated enough to do some stuff after :) . I do normally jog for 10 minutes a day which helps a lot with the ruminating thoughts. Really glad to hear that you're getting a lot out of AA. Many people seem to be benefiting from spirituality in one form or another.

 

Cheers!

Marmot

 

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manymoretodays

Marmot,

B):blink::)   

 

Best then on your upcoming Doctor's appointment.........and conversation with he/she.    And excellent on your daily exercise.  And holding!!  That's good, and will give you time to organize for some judicious tapering later.

 

What music did you crank up? 

 

mmt

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Marmot
On 03/12/2017 at 10:42 AM, manymoretodays said:

Best then on your upcoming Doctor's appointment.........and conversation with he/she.    And excellent on your daily exercise.  And holding!!  That's good, and will give you time to organize for some judicious tapering later.

 

What music did you crank up?

 

Hey, so I had my dr appointment today, and he gave me a script for Wellbutrin 90 mg to be compounded after Christmas. He is good at listening, but he might still think that I'm nuts for wanting such a slow taper. The thing is though, the 4 out of 4 quick tapers that I did in the past led to depression, and then back onto meds, so there's really no point in trying that same method again. However, to most docs in my past, these failed tapers were evidence that I needed the medication. There don't seem to be many or any studies out there though about fast vs slow tapers, so I'm going to claim the benefit of the doubt!

 

My personal concern is different from theirs but is also similar - I worry that since my brain has partially matured while taking this medication, I have become so adapted to it that I might need it for life. I have no reason to believe that would be true though, it's just a worry. Recently, I've decided to believe in myself, and I am developing a stronger faith in hope and in the power of the mind. For example: If I believe that I am destined to be depressed forever, then the chance of that actually happening is increased. Likewise, if I believe that I am getting better each month, and that I can build other ways to enjoy life, improve my energy, and be productive, then the chances of that happening would also be increased.
 

By the way, mmt, the music I chose was Bruno Mars, "That's what I like". Lol, its such a dumb corny song but I love the enthusiasm!

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Marmot

Oh, and withdrawal update: I'm at 6 weeks now after the decrease from 200 to 100 mg. Overall, things are a little rough, but I don't feel depressed. I get super tired sometimes, and fall asleep at inconvenient times. I can find things to enjoy though, and my energy and motivation are a little better each week. The main problem with the slow taper is that I will likely need to pause it to return to work. But I'd much rather sit at 75 mg for a year and continue the taper later than rush it and mess up again.

 

Thanks everyone for your stories and support!

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Marmot
2 hours ago, Marmot said:

4 out of 4 quick tapers that I did in the past led to depression, and then back onto meds

 

(I should have specified that that was all relating to wellbutrin, not the other meds)

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manymoretodays

Good thoughts Marmot.  And great on finding a compounding pharmacy to assist.  Bruno Mars, eh?  No, nothing is too corny.........I often do the "Happy" song in repetition.  And Native American flute music for meditation.

 

Have you found our music section yet?  Lot's of stuff there and you are welcome to add to it.

 

I'm glad you are tapering now.  And I agree on the positive thinking making a difference.  And some kind of faith.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

 

mmt

 

 

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divegrl

Hi Marmot!

 

I just finished my Wellbutrin taper; and I can definitely relate to your story. I saw 7 different doctors and they all said I was nuts for tapering so slowly. :(  We just have to keep listening to our bodies and intuition to determine the right pace. 

 

I also found shifting my story to be extremely helpful. I wanted my story to be about rebirth and transformation. A shedding of the old labels, and stepping into the light of who I truly am. I used the mantra, “I am healed”..... believing this to be true at each step of the taper. 

 

Wishing you love and healing my friend!!!

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Marmot
On 07/12/2017 at 10:58 AM, manymoretodays said:

Have you found our music section yet?  Lot's of stuff there and you are welcome to add to it.

 

Thanks for the tip! I'll check that out and maybe expand my playlist a bit. 

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Marmot
16 hours ago, divegrl said:

I just finished my Wellbutrin taper; and I can definitely relate to your story. I saw 7 different doctors and they all said I was nuts for tapering so slowly. :(  We just have to keep listening to our bodies and intuition to determine the right pace. 

 

I also found shifting my story to be extremely helpful. I wanted my story to be about rebirth and transformation. A shedding of the old labels, and stepping into the light of who I truly am. I used the mantra, “I am healed”..... believing this to be true at each step of the taper. 

 

Thanks for this. I just read your thread and found it very hopeful. Ya, I have a mantra-type-thing too. It doesn't sound as positive, but it works when I get caught up in believing that there's something wrong with me. I say to myself "there's nothing wrong with your brain". :blink:

 

By the way, when you say "shedding of the old labels" are you talking about diagnoses? 

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Kristine

Hi Marmot, I was reading your thread again and I truly empathise with your story.  It frustrates and angers me that so many of us were thrust into a system where we were never able to give 'informed consent' for the drugs prescribed, because the truth of side effects and withdrawal were omitted.  When atypical antipsychotics were approved for the augmentation treatment for major depressive disorder, the pharmaceutical companies rubbed their hands together with glee.  Oh, feeling fatigued by the side effects of an antipsychotic...no worries, we'll thrown in an ampethamine for good measure.  Oh, your now feeling a wee bit anxious, that's ok, here's a benzo!  You can probably detect my sarcasm! If it wasn't so darn serious, I'd laugh. 

 

You out are doing so well and I love your optimism. K

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Kristine

....I should add that the 'health professionals' rarely link the side effects to the medication but a rather a symptom of 'mental illness'.  It is mind boggling to imagine the millions of people over the world who have been unwittingly strapped into a rollacoaster that is so difficult to get off.  However, the pharmaceutical companies have failed to consider the strength and resilience of the human spirit and its fight for survival...."We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.  In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome" Isabel Allende

 

Sorry Marmot, think I got a little carried away 😳 K

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Marmot
16 hours ago, Kristine said:

"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.  In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome" Isabel Allende

 

Amazing, such a strong quote, thanks for that! 

 

What you mentioned in the first post about the piling up of meds was super messy for me. Rollercoaster was a good word; I've used the word merry-go-round as well because it was also kind of circular. I guess that I was complicit in the mess though too, because somewhere in there I ended up drinking lots of coffee and chewing 10 nicorettes to get through the day. People would ask me "why do you chew nicorettes, you're not a smoker" and I honestly didn't know how to answer them. Maybe stress? Or maybe to cope with the drug side effects?

 

Lol, now I have a normal amount of coffee and consume zero nicotine.

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Marmot
16 hours ago, Kristine said:

I should add that the 'health professionals' rarely link the side effects to the medication but a rather a symptom of 'mental illness

 

That's the story of my life. My diagnosis changed depending on the meds that I was taking at the time...

 

There's nothing wrong with my brain. I'm a person who experiences occasional suffering. 

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greenwell3977

Hi Marmot,

 

I am tapering from Wellbutrin (Buproprion SR), as well.  I'm currently at 140mg (was at 300mg).  When I taper, I experience brain fog and melancholy but it usually goes away after 3 or 4 weeks (assuming I lower it 10%). 

 

I would definitely go as slow as needed.  That way when you lower it, you are lowering it for good and won't have to go up again.  I have found that the 10% every 3 weeks is the way to go, even if it takes a long time to eventually get off.  Again, permanent lowering is better than going down too fast and having to increase later. 

 

Keep us updated!

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Kristine

Hi Marmot,  how are you travelling?  Just letting you know I'm thinking of you.  It's like being stuck in friggin quick sand! K (originally posted this in Realme's intro by mistake) serious brain impairment 🙃 Make silly mistakes every....single ....day. K

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Marmot
On 09/12/2017 at 9:08 PM, greenwell3977 said:

When I taper, I experience brain fog and melancholy

 

Hey, thanks for letting me know about your taper. Brain fog and melancholy, that's similar to my experience. Except I've been calling it poor concentration and fatigue, haha. You're doing it the smart way, down by 10%, which is what I'll be doing soon too. If I had dropped the dose any more than I did; I would be in pretty rough shape right now. The rest of the taper will be a proper one, and I won't go down until I feel mostly normal. Take care!

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Marmot
5 hours ago, Kristine said:

Hi Marmot,  how are you travelling?  Just letting you know I'm thinking of you.  It's like being stuck in friggin quick sand! K (originally posted this in Realme's intro by mistake) serious brain impairment 🙃 Make silly mistakes every....single ....day. K

 

Hey Kristine,

Your brain is well on it's way to healing, go easy on yourself!

I'm doing okay, I make affirmations every day of how I want my day to turn out, and it sometimes works. Then I do a gratitude journal at the end of the day. I can't meditate because I fall asleep if I'm not actively doing something, so these two things are my replacements.

Cheers!

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Kristine

Hey Marmot, I like the affirmation idea. You are such an inspiring person 😊

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Marmot
On 11/12/2017 at 2:46 AM, Kristine said:

Hey Marmot, I like the affirmation idea. You are such an inspiring person 😊

 

Thank you so much Kristine. I feel like I have a lot of work to do regarding my beliefs about myself, having spent my adolescence and early adult years thinking that there is something wrong with me, and that I'm somehow naturally depressed or something. Even my family got caught up in this illness stuff, they're really good people, but they need deprogramming too. It's all taking a lot of persistence and repetition.

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Marmot

By the way, I just wanted to post about my experience earlier today with wine in medication withdrawal. I don't know if other people have experienced something similar, but it was NOT GOOD!

 

The past two days were a clear window, until...I had a mug of mulled wine. I haven't had any alcohol for months because I've been coming off of the meds and I feel very protective of my brain. However, today the whole family was having wine before dinner, and I was like, "hey, it's Christmas, I haven't changed my dose in 2 months, I'll be fine". I've previously been okay with having a few glasses of wine socially. Today though, it sent me into an awful space. At first it was tolerable, I was just a little drowsy and relaxed, but hours 2-5 after drinking it were reaaally stressful. Like the feeling you get in a nightmare. I had to leave the dinner and hide in a dark room, plug my ears, and do deep breathing. Whatever happened has now fortunately long passed, and I just feel physically weak. Needless to say, I won't be having any more alcohol this holiday season!

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manymoretodays

Thanks for sharing your experience Marmot.  And I'm so glad......that so far, so good for you.  That it seems to have passed. 

 

I have kind of wished I could have some......."just a little bit" lately.  Very thankful for tea and good old ginger ale.  Yum.

 

Happy Holidays and enjoy the music!

 

Best,

mmt

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Kristine
18 hours ago, Marmot said:

Thank you so much Kristine. I feel like I have a lot of work to do regarding my beliefs about myself, having spent my adolescence and early adult years thinking that there is something wrong with me, and that I'm somehow naturally depressed or something. Even my family got caught up in this illness stuff, they're really good people, but they need deprogramming too. It's all taking a lot of persistence and repetition.

 

Hi Marmot,  It's such a long road. You clearly possess a tremdous amount of insight, which is vital through this process and life in general. This will serve you well. For years I believed I was "mentally ill" and genetically predisposed to this condiction. In reality I experienced normal human reactions to ongoing trauma. The medication helped in the short term, but was damaging in the long term.  I feel like I was brainwashed into believing I was fundamentally mentally flawed. So like you I also have a lot of work to do regarding my beliefs about myself! K

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Marmot

Thanks Kristine and MMT for writing to me on Christmas! I read and really appreciated your kind words. 

 

My 11 week update is just to say that things are still challenging and I haven't forgotten about SA. I wrote in December that I was planning to go down to 90mg of Wellbutrin by now, but that hasn't happened. I think that the current problem is because my housing situation is sub-optimal, which is money related, which was because I stopped working, which was ultimately because I had been overmedicated. Either way, the place I am living now has been causing me a lot of stress and allergies for the past few weeks. I'm pretty sure that this has affected my progress with the withdrawal recovery. Because of the stuff going on, I also stopped exercising and started eating some processed foods again. Then last week, everything caught up to me and I started waking up every day exhausted and seriously miserable.  

 

I'm getting back on track now though, sorted out the housing issue, exercised yesterday and the day before, but I don't feel ready to drop the dose yet. I felt my motivation and energy improve a little more in the past two days, so I'm still making progress. Another problem is that I'm supposed to be getting ready to go back to work now. I should be fully back in the spring and there's some prep to do before returning. However, each medication change throws me off, so I might need to pause for awhile at 100 while I sort out my life. 

 

I'm so impressed by the strength of everyone here. Once again, you people are awesome.

Marmot

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Marmot
On 25/12/2017 at 6:14 PM, Kristine said:

 I feel like I was brainwashed into believing I was fundamentally mentally flawed.

 

For some reason society thinks it's a good idea to tell people that their suffering is biologic. Maybe it is because of the initial relief they see when we are told for the first time - "it's not your fault, your brain is just wired that way" or "it's genetic". Or maybe it was an idea pushed by pharma. Either way, it's time to start thinking about what that might do to someone in the long term. And for kids? Everyone's different, but for me, over the years, it made me frustrated with my own brain, and it made me helpless about my suffering. Now as an adult, I'm trying to go back on my own and untangle the mess. I think that what actually happened in my situation, years ago, were shyness and loneliness which led to some different behaviours and eventually the first depression. That's my working theory for now at least, it's hard to know for certain. Now, I'm trying to connect with people in my life in a deeper way so that I'm less likely to fall into the loneliness thing.

 

It sounds like you've figured out your story Kristine, that it was trauma. Is there anything that you've decided to do or think differently since discovering that your reactions were normal?

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Kristine

Hi Marmot, I was excited when I saw your post, I know you only visit occasionally but I've missed you!

 

5 hours ago, Marmot said:

 

On 26/12/2017 at 10:14 AM, Kristine said:

 I feel like I was brainwashed into believing I was fundamentally mentally flawed.

 

For some reason society thinks it's a good idea to tell people that their suffering is biologic. Maybe it is because of the initial relief they see when we are told for the first time - "it's not your fault, your brain is just wired that way" or "it's genetic". Or maybe it was an idea pushed by pharma. Either way, it's time to start thinking about what that might do to someone in the long term. And for kids? Everyone's different, but for me, over the years, it made me frustrated with my own brain, and it made me helpless about my suffering. Now as an adult, I'm trying to go back on my own and untangle the mess. I think that what actually happened in my situation, years ago, were shyness and loneliness which led to some different behaviours and eventually the first depression. That's my working theory for now at least, it's hard to know for certain. Now, I'm trying to connect with people in my life in a deeper way so that I'm less likely to fall into the loneliness thing.

 

 

Many valid points Marmot.  We live in a fast paced, quick fix society.  People plaster their "perfect" lives across social media...the focus is perfection, the self absorbed "selfie" culture, flaws and differences are not celebrated and our society has become fickle and disconnected.  I don't think many of us even know how to deal with our inner turmoil because we have never been taught.  Then any open expression of negative emotions are shunned, pushed aside by ourselves or the people around us....in general emotional suffering is not accepted.  It must be fixed...quickly.   In Australia there is a mental health campaign called "Are you ok? Day".  I loathe it.  If I ask someone if they are ok.....I really want to know.  However, I have been asked that question many times and I have witnessed the glaze forming over the questioners eyes as they start to shuffle uncomfortably in their own skin.  Now, with most people, I answer.... "I'm fine, and you?"

 

You may be thinking "what on earth is she going on about!"  I guess my point is...if we don't "fit" into the "norm" our culture has the powerful ability to make us feel inadequate, isolated, alone and marginalised.  Then if we seek professional help and a label is attached to us, this validates that our culture is correct.  It sends a very clear message to our psyche.. we are not ok as we are, our brains are broken and damaged.  We need to be fixed and changed into something else.  We are being forced to "fit". I think this may lead to the frustration that you describe? 

 

You descibe going back to "untangle the mess" of your past...the loneliness and shyness which eventually lead to depression.  In my opinion this is the healthy part (painful but healthy).  I think it is essential that we understand who we are, how we react, why and what we react to....a could go on.  It's an ongoing process...I believe if we keep asking questions, keep moving forward, continue to make decisions we are on the right path.  Perhaps being stagnant is the most damaging.

 

5 hours ago, Marmot said:

It sounds like you've figured out your story Kristine, that it was trauma. Is there anything that you've decided to do or think differently since discovering that your reactions were normal?

 

Yes and no.  I'm a work in progress.  Ongoing trauma led me to the medication.  However, I believe it was ingrained negative beliefs about myself that kept me on them.  I was raised but a mother who had many "skeletons in the closet" but her main goal was to appear "perfect" to the world.  This included a relentless pressure on me, as an child and an adolescent to fit this image.  She would even scold me for laughing to loud.  I wasn't allowed to be emotionally expressive. Negative or positive.  If I wasn't perfect she would scream at me, belittle me and beat me.  Always behind closed doors of course.  Then she wouldn't talk to me for days.  My brother wasn't subjected to the same abuse.  Thankfully, I have escaped this.  I have put in place the neccessary boundaries to protect myself.  Because her behaviour was never about me.  She is an unhappy, destructive and bitter woman.  It makes me sad, it still hurts but her life is not my responsibility. I learnt that the hard way!  So for over ten years I been learning mindful meditation, literally meditating and sitting with emotional pain...giving it space, letting it be, instead of running away from it (I used to be a workaholic 😳).  The other practice is loving-kindness towards myself.  I am getting much better at this but I have a long way to go.  As I said.."I'm a work in progress" 😉

 

So so lovely to hear from you Marmot. Hugs to you. K

 

 

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