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ryan1982

Ryan1982: my journey

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ChessieCat

The trouble with being on them for the rest of your life is that the drug can poop out, or reach tolerance.  When this happens the medical profession may either increase the dose (and continue to increase it)and/ or add another drug, change drug and if that doesn't cover the withdrawal from the first drug add in another drug.  Then if that combo of drugs causes issues you could end up being given another drug to try and deal with the issues.  I have seen quite a few members who this has happened to.  And when we do a drugs interaction we sometimes find that there are major interactions between the drugs.

 

Another thing to consider is that the drugs can actually end up causing the issues they are "supposed" to stop.  There is a chapter in Dr Peter Breggin's book - Your Drug May Be Your Problem But You May Be the Last to Know

 

I can understand your impatience and you wanting to "fix" what you are experiencing at this time.  It is hard and it may take several months before you "come out the other end", however, it is short term discomfort in the scheme of things and in my opinion it is much better to get through this tough time and eventually be off the drug or at least at a lower dose.

 

I strongly suggest that you research psychiatric drugs.  This is what I did when I first joined SA.  When I first joined here I was trying to lower my dose because I was suffering mild serotonin toxicity taking 100mg Pristiq.  Once I started learning more about the drugs and I started feeling better as my dose got lower I decided to keep reducing and I'm now down to 11mg.  Even though I have been tapering carefully since joining here it has not been all plain sailing.  I am currently dealing with changes in my work situation and I would love to feel more numb like I did on a higher dose so I could get through thsee 2-3 months more easily.

 

I've created a website and there are links to things I have found on the internet (about half way down the page on the Info Links page).  On the first page there is information about how the drug companies are only required to provide 2 studies to the FDA (but can do as many studies as they like).

 

https://adwithdrawal.weebly.com/

 

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutical drug rep for 15 years:

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

Books:

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic - Robert Whitaker

 

Your Drug May Be Your Problem - Dr Peter Breggin   Chapter 3 - But You May Be the Last to Know

 

 

It is important to learn non drug techniques to get through the difficult times instead of relying on a quick fix.

 

Claire Weekes was a doctor who suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways to cope with it.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help ...

 

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DrugfreeProf

Ryan, lots and lots of people say exactly the same thing you did--that they would rather stay on the meds than feel like this--and that is why so many people stay on these drugs for decades, or a lifetime. The lucky ones are the ones who are able to get off and stay off.

Please keep in mind that, as I think you've heard already, there are non-drug strategies you can learn to help cope better with WD symptoms AND with the anxiety problems you took drugs for in the first place. And there's no better time than the present to learn and practice those techniques, as they will serve you well over the course of your life. If you read the success stories and other intros on this site, you will see that in general, WD symptoms eventually change and become less acute and more bearable over time. 

Really, this whole idea of having a "mental illness" due to "biochemical imbalance" is bound to die a well-deserved death. I think more and more people are recognizing that the DSM is a crock of s---- conjured up by 12 men in a room. We now know more about the plasticity of the brain and its ability to change throughout adulthood, and about the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and later "mental illnesses," which are thought to stem from childhood adversity, not brain chemistry imbalance.

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ryan1982

@ChessieCat @DrugfreeProf

 

Thanks so much. Super helpful and insightful as always. 

 

So...I don’t think the 12 hour interval is going to work. It’s almost as if I never get enough of the drug at one time. I also tried splitting my doses at 9 AM and 1 Pm for example and it’s OK, but its like I don’t have enough drug in the morning to function. What are your thoughts? Should I try and take my entire dose at 9 AM and hope it lasts?

 

Coming up on week 3 tomorrow at this dose- should I consider updosing a small amount? By how much and would taking everything in the morning be a good play?

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ChessieCat
2 hours ago, ryan1982 said:

Should I try and take my entire dose at 9 AM and hope it lasts?

 

As I've said previously Luvox has a very short half life and doesn't cover 24 hours so splitting your dose will help with any interdose withdrawal.

 

Q:  Are your doses now 12 hours apart?

 

Q:  How many days have you been on doses 12 hours apart?

 

Q:  What symptoms are you experiencing currently?

 

Q:  Have the dizziness and anxiety improved at all, even a tiny little bit, since moving your doses apart?

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  What you are doing at the moment is levelling out the dose in your body.  Once your dose is at 12 hours apart it could take about 1-2 weeks after this to give you an idea of how things are going.

 

There is no quick fix.  You need to give it time, and this requires patience.

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ryan1982

Thanks @ChessieCat  

 

Ive kept all my notes on paper and I am 12 hours apart for the last couple days. I think the best days I had was when i was taking doses at 9 AM and 1 PM or 8 AM and 2 PM. The problem I’m finding is that I need the drugs during the day, not when I’m sleeping. Would a 9-1 or 8- 2 give me enough coverage?  The anxiety is way better on those intervals- bad at 12 hours apart. 

 

I’m experiencing brain fog, muscle tension in my back, irritability and insomnia. 

 

What do do you think?

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ChessieCat

Q:  When did the insominia start?

 

If this commenced after you started splitting the dosing, and especially if it worsened when the doses where further apart then it may that the morning and lunchtime doses could be a better option for you.

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ryan1982

Thanks so much. It started after the 12 hour intervals so I definitely don’t think that’s a right fit. I’ll go with the split dose in morning/early afternoon. 

 

I know @ChessieCat- patience, right? I am curious to see when you think I should increase by a small amount? It’s been 3 weeks and been pretty rough. Gotta get rid of this brain fog. Should I go up .5 MG or 1 MG? Less? More?

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ryan1982

@ChessieCat How do we feel about melatonin?  I took some last night and feel like it caused the cog fog to creep back in.  Took 3 MG.  On the other hand, I did sleep better.  

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ChessieCat

There are many existing topics on SA.  I use google and include survivingantidepressants.org in my search term.  Example:  survivingantidepressants.org melatonin

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ryan1982

Thanks much. Seems like a mixed bag. I won’t take it. 

 

I had had almost two full days of a window this week and I’m back in a wave today. Hopeful that I can start getting more windows!

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ryan1982

Hey all-

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m considering an updose. I’ve been on 12.5 MG of Luvox for 4 weeks and it hasn’t been enough drug. I know the acute withdrawals I’m having is from my extremely rapid taper, I know. What can i updose to?

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ChessieCat

You are still adjusting to splitting your doses and getting the timing right.  I don't think updosing at this time is a good idea.  It may be better to hold at the current dose and times for the next week, keep daily notes of doses and symptoms and then reassess at the end of that time.

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ryan1982

@ChessieCat I had a nervous breakdown this weekend and I was pretty close to being admitted into the hospital. I redid my math and I was actually on 14 MG instead of 12.5 MG. Doesn’t really matter as the weights were the same each time I took my dosage. I have the 14 MG almost a full month. 

 

That said, 14 MG was unbearable and I had some very disturbing thoughts. I made the decision to updose to 17 MG. I’ll update my drug signature soon. 

 

I just want to start over and do do it right this time. Is that an option? Can I go back to a normal dose of a drug that worked for me, stabilize and then start the weening process?  These tiny doses clearly aren’t cutting it. 

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ryan1982

Hi everyone,

It's been a long time since I've posted on my intro topic; what a wild ride it's been.  As you can tell by my drug signature, I've made some mistakes and haven't given my body much time to stabilize.  I know looking back that I was crazy to think I'd be able to get better.  I absolutely had to get off Luvox as I was in a tailspin that almost cost me my job.  Zoloft never agreed with me and I'm making some headway with Lexapro, it seems.  

 

I am currently on 4 MG, having to take it at night to combat the nausea I feel when I take it in the morning.  I'm not sleeping all that great but I have Interstitial Cystitis so I never sleep all that great anyways!  I'm doing *OK* at the moment.  It's been about 12 days since I went down to 4 MG from 4.5 MG...how long until I stabilize?  Will I ever feel like myself during withdrawals or will I simply struggle for multiple years through this process?  My anxiety is manageable...I just feel physically pretty terrible.  

 

I plan on staying on 4 MG for a long time and I'm really, really hoping things will get better as time passes.  

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ryan1982

I take Lexapro in the morning and feel nauseous but when I take it at night, I don't sleep.  Any ideas?

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ryan1982

@brassmonkey

 

Hey BrassMonkey- I've followed you for quite some time and I really enjoy the information that you give.  As you can see by my taper, I went way too fast and I'm now (still) paying for it.  I'm at 4 MG of Lexapro and I'm on a really, really long hold to try and stabilize. I want to do the BrassMonkey slide whenever I do start as I want to ease my system into it.  Would you mind answering a couple questions when you have a moment?

 

1) How long will it take until I stabilize on 4 MG of Lexapro?  I've literally had this rollercoaster of symptoms and some days are OK, some are good and some are really bad.  Should I wait until I have a pretty stable month before I proceed down?  I took a little bit of magnesium glycinate (25 MG) and that threw my system off terribly so I'm in a pretty unstable place.

 

2) I modeled out what the BrassMonkey slide would look like for me at 4MG and it has me being completely at zero in 5.3 years.  That seems awfully conservative, especially from such a low dose.  Am I doing the math wrong, especially at the end?  Will it really take 5.3 years of my life to taper completely?

 

Thank you so much for your time and help!  I feel a bit isolated in this as no one else in my family really understands what I'm going through.  I really appreciate the support of this community and hope to give back one day as others have to me.  

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brassmonkey

Hi Ryan-- If you've been following my posts then you've probably already read it, but I talk about all of this in my essay Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take? 

 

There really is no way of predicting how long it will take to stabilize on any given dose.  In general it's best to hold for at least three months and then reevaluate the situation.  Many people will stabilize with a hold of three to six months but it's not uncommon for it to take longer.  Holds of over a year have been reported, but the stability eventually comes. It's a long, frustrating process.

 

My last post on the above link just happens to address this very subject.  For a quicker calculation, the half life of a 10% every four weeks taper is about 6 months. So if you were to start today in six months you'd be at 2mgai and in a year 1mgai. Following this progression you would be in a good position to make the jump to "0" in about three years.  The half life for a basic Brassmonkey Slide is a bit longer at 9 months.  Following the same progression you'd get to a jump point between four and four and a half years.  So taking the time required to stabilize and following a basic Brassmonkey Slide, yea, it will take about five some years to be drug free.

 

The thing is, it won't all be pain and suffering.  Once you're stable and following the taper your symptoms should be quite manageable and decrease as the slide progresses.  A number of our members report greatly reduced symptoms once the Slide is underway.  It makes it so that the taper is more routine than anything else.

 

Brassmonkey

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ryan1982

Not sure if anyone will see this so I’m going to tag @Shep and @ChessieCat- so sorry if I’m not supposed to do that. 

 

Each day is different than the next. I was actually doing pretty well until I tried magnesium. I can’t stay asleep for a long time so my symptoms are exacerbated. Have a fair amount of anxiety for no good reason today. 

 

Am I still in withdrawals or is this breakthrough anxiety? How long should I stay on 4 MG. My plan is to stay as long as it takes but I just want the slightest glimmer of hope it will get better. 

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ryan1982

@brassmonkey

Thanks so much.  I've probably read your essay 10 times...it's actually screenshot on my phone so I can refer back to it.  Thanks for the reminder!

 

I guess I'm curious...how do I know whether I'm in withdrawals or whether I have new breakthrough symptoms?

 

Do you think I need a higher/lower dose or should I just hold?

 

Lastly, for the dose decrease of 2.5%, do you subtract 2.5% from the previous week or from the original dose of the 6 week cut?  i.e. if I start on 10 MG and then week 1 taper down to 9.75, do I subtract 2.5% for Week 2 from 10 MG or 9.75 MG? 

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ChessieCat

I've let the other mods know that you need some assistance.

 

What time do you take your drug?  What is your current symptom pattern throughout the day?  Are you taking any other prescription or OTC drugs or supplements?

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ryan1982

Thanks so much @ChessieCat 

 

I take my dose at 9 PM. I generally few pretty good in the morning but generally very tired. I get to work and I’m generally OK until about noon when I start to have some weird, floating type symptoms and get extremely fatigued. I feel front face congestion and some anxiety throughout the day. I feel Ok in the evening and then sleep pretty terrible at night- I have a tough time shutting off my mind. 

 

I take fish oil, a prebiotic and a probiotic. Should I try and stop the fish oil?  Magnesium was terrible for me and caused my current wave. 

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Altostrata

Hello, Ryan.

 

What do you mean by "weird, floating type symptoms"? Do you get dizzy?

 

Would you say Lexapro makes you feel tired? If so, what you might want to do is divide the dose. Move 2mg of the 4mg an hour or two earlier in the day until you are taking it in the morning.

 

This may reduce the sleep disruption you get from taking 4mg all at once at night, the hangover effect the next morning, and the breakthrough symptoms in the afternoon. Since you're on such a low dose, it could be you are metabolizing it fast enough that you get a bit of withdrawal in the afternoon.

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ryan1982

Thanks so much, @Altostrata. I get dizzy at times; it almost feels as if the extreme fatigue catches up with me. 

 

I’ve had lots of stressful things happen at work so it doesn’t surprise me that I feel anxious. But I’m concerned that I’m not on high enough of a dose and that the entire taper is going to be this bad. 

 

I really like like the idea of splitting up my dose- thanks for that. 

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Altostrata

Let us know how you're doing as you move the dose.

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ryan1982

Thanks so much. I’ll do it. 

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ryan1982

Thanks so much for your guidance, @brassmonkey. I went and saw my psych today and she’s convinced that it’s breakthrough anxiety as opposed to my nervous system being in withdrawal. 

 

Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate your time and help. 

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ryan1982

@brassmonkey

 

Hey Brass,

Last question- I took some magnesium last week and it seemed to have thrown my system off pretty bad. How long do you anticipate these waves should last? During waves, do you need to avoid sugar, alcohol, etc?

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brassmonkey

Hey Ryan-- waves have a mind of their own and are totally unpredictable so there is no way of telling how long one will last.  It's a good idea to avoid alcohol all the time during a taper.  It's the best way to derail a good taper.  Many people report having trouble with sugar and caffeine so they are a good thing to avoid also. Too bad about the magnesium, like everything else it helps some people and not others. Maybe when things calm down a bit it could be useful.

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ryan1982

@brassmonkey

 

Hey Brass,

Is it normal for something as small as 25 MG of glycinate to throw my system off for over a week?

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ryan1982

@Altostrata

hey Altostrata- is it normal that I would have a week-long wave caused by magnesium glycinate? I took a 25 MG pill last weekend and I’m still nauseous and dizzy with a full head. I didn’t have these symptoms before. 

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ChessieCat

Yes it is possible.  Anything which we do/take which is too much for our nervous system can cause issues.

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ryan1982

Thanks, @ChessieCat. This process never ceases to amaze me. 

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Altostrata

My guess is 25mg mag glycinate didn't cause those symptoms, taking it was coincidental with a wave.

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ryan1982

Thank y’all both so much. Have a great rest of your day. 

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ryan1982

@Altostrata @ChessieCat @brassmonkey- thank you all for all your time and help recently.  I've hit a bit of a tough patch and managing through with my corporate job and young children has been really tough.

 

Good news is that the nausea and dizziness subsided yesterday!  Unfortunately, as of today (at work), they have been replaced by edginess...almost like a butterflies in the stomach type of feeling. It's weird because today is not at all a big day at work and I don't have any reason to feel uneasy. My question is...how do I know that I don't have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and that I really don't need these drugs?  I just don't want to get to the end of this and decide that I actually do need some medication.  I'm starting to feel nervous and uneasy about the most ridiculous things.  Unfortunately, I have Interstitial Cystitis so sleep doesn't last long for me, so I'm up and down all night.  I know that doesn't help my stress levels.  I guess ultimately do I just need to go on faith that I don't need these medications? 

 

Lastly, in South Carolina, they apparently want you to try the liquid version of generic Lexapro before trying compounding. I'm currently using a digital scale and using branded Lexapro.  The reason I'm interested in the liquid version is because I want a guarantee that I'm getting the exact correct dose and the Genesis scale I'm using makes me nervous that it isn't 100% correct.  

 

I'm concerned that since I'm not exactly stable that making a change to liquid and generic isn't the right thing to do at the moment.  My wife and I have discussed and we're leaning towards staying with the way I've been doing things until things stabilize.  Y'all are the pros- what do you think?  

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