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Musk: is this withdrawal?

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musk

Moderator's note: link to Musk's members-only benzo thread - Musk: how to taper 5 mg diazepam every two days

 

Hello, this is my first post. So grateful to find this forum. I am in Spain, not able to comunicate properly in english, I use googletraslator. My history: since spring 2015, postnatal depression with anxiety and somatization due to extreme fear of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases. Sertraline 100 mg & diazepam 5 mg from June 2016 to August 2017. Right after appendicitis with surgery (28 august 2017) and chronic hip and lumbar pain since 4 months. In consultation of rheumatology I discover that I have a hlab27 gene related to ankylosing spondylitis, which conditions me mentally more and more. But pain has not an inflammatory pattern and there is no sign of inflammation in blood. Now progressively more and more depressed with new symptom really the most disabling: severe insomnia. Medical proposal: return to sertraline. Big temptation, but I refuse. I continue with diazepam 5 mg (ocasionaly). Is this a possible case of withdrawal sindrome? Opinions welcome. In psycotherapy, I had some little epyphany (childhood trauma, obsesive negative thoughts...) Many many thanks.

Edited by Shep
added username to title, added tags, added moderator note with link to benzo thread

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Shep

Hi, Musk.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

The insomnia may very well be from withdrawal from sertraline and / or from the occasional use of diazepam. Please note that diazepam has a half life of up to 200 hours, so it's possible to become dependent with even "as needed" type of use and in as little as two weeks. 

 

Here is some information on withdrawal:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

It's possible you may benefit from reinstating a very small amount of sertraline, but we'll need more information before recommending a specific dose. 

 

For more information on reinstatements, please see:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

Since your main symptom is insomnia (which is very common when coming off these drugs), please see:

 

Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Questions -  1.  How quickly did you taper the sertraline?

                       2. What dose of sertraline where you on when you stopped taking it back in August 2017? 

                       3.  How often do you take the diazepam? 

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements 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. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Please use this thread to provide updates on how you're feeling as well as to ask questions. 

 

 

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musk

Many thanks,  Shep.

 

Since spring 2015: stress, depression and irrational fear of suffering diseases. Fall 2015 somatizations begin: leg numbness, shoulder pain, etc. Numerous medical tests, with normal results. But they follow obsessive thoughts. Docs propose medication, but I refuse. June 2016 I give up - I start sertraline 50 mg and diazepam 5 mg. Autumn 2016 sertraline up to 100 mg. A good and productive year with the antidepressant. June 2017 I start tapering with psychiatric control.

 

I reduced sertraline in a month and a half, as the psychiatrist said: I was taking 100 mg-one month with 50 mg-then 2 weeks 25 mg-then 2 weeks 25 mg day-yes-no.

 

Since September 2017, Horrible gradual return to depression with new and more serious symptoms, localized pain in the sacrum-hip, insomnia (I can fall asleep but awake at 2 AM, but without anxiety). Also confusion, sensation of dullness, sensation of reduced range of vision, malaise, great episodes of crying ...I am clearly worse than before the medication! 

 

December 2017 I get a lot worse and I lose a lot of weight. This month I tried several supplements, hyperycum, 5htp, vitamins ... chaotically without waiting for results. I try yoga, meditation, relaxation but incapable, I break into tears. 

Currently I only take omega 3 fish oil & diazepam 5 mg every 2 days (aproximately). 

 

I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE ANYTHING ELSE: I'm afraid of everything, I've also started to see the doctors negatively.

 

Sometimes I think I prefer to cross the tunnel because I have already made a path. 2 weeks ago experienced what I think were some very small "window". Is it possible? 

 

Sometimes I even think that I am conditioning myself in this forum ... because I do not know what's happening, it's all so strange. If you can help me here, it would be great, but I do not know, I do not believe in anything anymore, I'm like in another world. 

 

Sorry for the gramnatical errors. 

 

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scallywag

Musk -- -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA) from me too!

 

You are almost certainly dealing with symptoms of withdrawal after discontinuing sertraline.  Decreasing from 100 mg to 0 over 2 months is too fast for many, many people. Your doctor gave you advice that was very risky and now you are paying the price. 

 

Thank you for answering Shep's questions about sertraline and for putting that information in your signature. 

  • Please add the detail in your signature about how you reduced and removed sertraline in July and August 2017 from 100 mg, "then one month with 50 mg, then 2 weeks 25 mg, then 2 weeks 25 mg day-yes-no."
    --- and ---
  • You've said that you're taking 5 mg diazepam.  How often are you taking it?  Please add that information to your signature.

Keep posting. We'll do our best to help you figure out the next best step.

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musk

Thank you Scallywag for your response. I added the signature ... I think I did it well.

 

The reduction was done as ordered by my psychiatrist. But he said that it could also be interrupted from one day to the next without any problem !!

 

Yes, I will keep posting ... if I do not follow,  is that I have been hospitalized or something worse .... I am desperate, especially with the problem of sleeping.

 

My fall in depression has been gradual since September 2017. Given the months passed, is there a solution for me?

 

What can be the natural course of this situation? I've had a few little window (or I want to believe it) ...

 

Help! 3 little children depend on me.

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musk

Hi.

I'm in hell ...and I am afraid that even worse things are coming.

Sorry for the negative tone ... the last 2 horrible days, hell. In the mornings, since dawn, I have suffered extreme anxiety, like never before: large tremors and uncontrollable movements (especially in left leg and arm), uncontrolable crying episodes. Insomnia, global insomnia. I stay in bed quiet and at dark, and I'm very frustrated. I'm frustrated because I remember how well I slept a month ago. What a feeling of loss.

 

In the evening, however, I tend to be more normal, a little more "me".

 

I need words from experience: having taken only for 1 year, 42 years old, and already left for 5 months ... what can I expect? I know that all bodies are different but ...

 

Do not leave me alone, please... my family does not understand what happens, everyone encourages me to go back to the garbage of the sertraline.

 

For the moment I continue with diazepam, to fall asleep ... But that I have to remove too ... when is it better to start reducing little by little? now with insomnia would be impossible? or not?

 

on Monday I will ask the psychiatrist how to reduce diazepam, possibly he will tell me that there is "no problem", that it is "easy", and he will set me a too fast guideline ...

 

On the other hand, within 10 days I have a consultation with an orthomolecular and hygienist psychiatrist ... it will cost me a lot of money ... it seems that it gives a lot of importance to the diet and for that it analyzes the imbalances in aminoacids of each patient ... he is a heterodox psychiatrist whose reference I found in this forum ...

 

I have a little hope that he will support me in my decision to get out of these drugs completely ... but I am also somewhat distrustful, I am so tired of contradictory information ... in the end, I think that every person heals himself, when he believes in it and that doctors only help a little ...

 

and I'm not sure I believe in me! I am my biggest enemy, I can not fight against mmyself!!! Aaaaah! Help!

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powerback

Hi musk welcome ,sorry you going through this ,you will not die .breath deeply and try your best to distract your thinking ,ive been to hell and back myself and I have used the bad times to remember I can keep going .I even have a weird kind of confidence from getting through it [sorry last thing you want to hear ] 

Please listen to the mods ,I know its horrendous but we need to actively distract our thinking when its so bad ,if you are committed to come off the drugs you need to get a handle on your mind [I know easily said than done ] .because the irony is coming off these meds can make us end up  in hospital and thus doctors tell us we need meds and the revolving door never stops .I think its wise to be critical of doctors ,I have changed my opinion for life on doctors and I actively research how to heal and look after my body so I don't have to go near them.

As I said please give yourself time to look and learn from all the suggestions the mods give you ,at this particular time you need to pursue and practice your care .

Be well .

PB

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musk

What do you say about WHEN I plan to start tapering diazepam veeeery slowly?

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Shep
1 hour ago, musk said:

What do you say about WHEN I plan to start tapering diazepam veeeery slowly?

 

Hi, Musk.

 

We've been discussing this already over on your benzo thread. Please see my response here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16686-musk-how-taper-5-mg-diazepam-every-two-days/?do=findComment&comment=323452

 

Please respond to my post over in your benzo thread. Thank you. 

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musk

 

3 hours ago, Shep said:

 

Hi, Musk.

 

We've been discussing this already over on your benzo thread. Please see my response here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16686-musk-how-taper-5-mg-diazepam-every-two-days/?do=findComment&comment=323452

 

Please respond to my post over in your benzo thread. Thank you. 

Sorry Shep, you are right. I've put it in the other thread.

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musk

Hello. 

 

I also have diarrhea, alternating with constipation. Sometimes I am very concerned that everything that happens to me is not due to depression or withdrawal! There may be the disease that originally feared (autoimmune disease) ... these diseases are also related to the mental and emotional issue ... according to what I read.

 

I am very afraid.

 

In my life there is no place for a difficult and chronic disease, I want to be FREE.

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scallywag

Musk, SSRI medications such as sertraline affect all serotonin receptors in your body, not just the ones in your brain but also the majority that are in your intestines or "gut". Digestive problems -- nausea, diarrhea, constipation -- are known and common symptoms from taking sertraline and from discontinuing it. It's most likely that your symptoms are the result of that; if you're concerned about it, please ask a medical professional. If they find nothing, that's good news: your symptoms are "only" withdrawal.

 

You may want to keep a copy of of a printed list of symptoms so that if a new symptom arises you can check.  You can download a list from the links in the first post of this topic: Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

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musk

Thanks Scallywag. 

 

I do not know ... but I see that I am in a very difficult situation:

 

one, suffering the withdrawal of sertraline, insomnia basically, but also more horrible things.

 

two, I'll have to make another withdrawal, the withdrawal of diazepam. that now I need to sleep, although it makes me sleep badly,

 

And three, I have to solve the chronic pain, clarify if I suffer from the disease I fear, I am sure it is a psychosomatic illness, with which I feel a personal responsibility in it.

 

all this, in the context of a working mother with 3 children.

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musk

An hypothesis about why some people's healing from antidepressants seems to proceed very slowly: BDNF and SSRI-induced "critical periods"

I read this in Toxic Antidepressants website. and I got depressed more! there is no solution?! Our nervous system has been damaged. By God, I can not with my life, what horror.

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musk

I have a question to ask: I read that the pattern of recovery is usually in windows and waves ... that means you are always on a window or in a wave? Or are there periods in which you are more or less depressed, without being in a window or in a wave?

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musk

I'm having a bad time, depression and very big anxiety ... being 5 months out of sertraline. Is it feasible to start reducing diazepam now?

 

if I must pass two withdrawals (sertraline and diazepam) better all together? I do not know if you can suffer more than I suffer now ...

 

My big question is whether in withdrawal there is a risk for irreversible damage, coma or death.

 

I find it strange that my problem is the withdrawal of sertraline: 5 months off, and taking only one year without interruption and with medical control. I never had health problems or hypersensitivity... I'm getting mentally sick, maybe? I'm so scared!

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musk

I'm about to give up.

 

I know what happens: cortisol constantly elevated. that's why I do not sleep at night or day, panic attacks ... the problem is, that constantly elevated cortisol can cause it to develop a disease of the immune system. it is something possible, that I fear a lot. My relatives say that "I am looking for it" (a serious disease), and that if I look for it, I will find it.

 

I am about to obey the doctors and return to sertraline, because so afraid.

 

Can withdrawal cause diseases?

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musk

I am 5 months off sertraline. passing it very badly. My idea is to start reducing diazepam slowly. Today I was very scared with the effects of benzo withdrawal, I have been scared that psychosis can develop ... fear fear and more fear.

 

But afterwards I have thought that I can not always be intensely focused on everything, I can not allow fear to dominate my life.

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powerback
On ‎08‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 9:28 PM, musk said:

https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/

 

I have read this and I have been scared and depressed even more! According to this doctor, some of us will not be cured !? I have taken something wrong ... it is because I use the translator ...?

Hi musk you will need to stop reading these articles while your system is very delicate and stressed ,learn when is the correct time to do research and when to just rest and relax  .when we are healing we cant let this stuff keep us from healing and especially keeping us in a depression .

Respect .

PB 

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musk

I agree PB, you're right. I have self-control problems and I read and read on the Internet compulsively. 

 

Thank you.

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BAT
On 1/8/2018 at 3:28 PM, musk said:

https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/

 

I have read this and I have been scared and depressed even more! According to this doctor, some of us will not be cured !? I have taken something wrong ... it is because I use the translator ...?

 What do people think about this article? Is this true, will we not heal?

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powerback
11 hours ago, musk said:

I agree PB, you're right. I have self-control problems and I read and read on the Internet compulsively. 

 

Thank you.

No worries musk your more than welcome ,I totally get you how hard it can be reading articles constantly,it took me a long time to realise and stop.my ego got in the way and would say  toughen it out .I got better at reading my mind and body's ability to cope .I changed my compulsive reading into health and healthy foods .this is now my obsession .  

Take care .

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musk

IM feeling bad. depressed, crying, anxiety and insomnia. I have visited an orthomolecular doctor and he has done blood tests on amino acids. I have quite altered things, one of them very low tryptophan. so he puts me diet and supplements, for example 5htp. I have read here that we must be very careful with 5htp ... but I have not taken an antidepressant for 5 months ... question: 5htp does not work when tapering, or does it not work when you are off meds but suffering from withdrawal?

 

I've 2 weeks with diazepam 2.5 mg... for now I have not noticed any changes.

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musk

Hello everyone,

I'm in what I think is a "window" that lasts 24 hours at least. Although two things are present: insomnia and sacrum-hip pain. Although that, I feel now a "normal person", I have not had mental confusion, or derealization, panic attack or crying. At dawn I had anxiety and fear, but remember the book "Letting go" by David Hawkins, I thought "it's just fear" and I let it be. and I've calmed down.

 

In any case, I am worried about leaving this journey of psycho-meds withdrawal having developed a disease as a consequence, since the whole organism is unbalanced.

 

Now I know that there will be more good moments, I will remember.

 

Hugs for all of you who are now suffering.

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Rosetta
2 hours ago, musk said:

Hello everyone,

I'm in what I think is a "window" that lasts 24 hours at least. Although two things are present: insomnia and sacrum-hip pain. Although that, I feel now a "normal person", I have not had mental confusion, or derealization, panic attack or crying. At dawn I had anxiety and fear, but remember the book "Letting go" by David Hawkins, I thought "it's just fear" and I let it be. and I've calmed down.

 

In any case, I am worried about leaving this journey of psycho-meds withdrawal having developed a disease as a consequence, since the whole organism is unbalanced.

 

Now I know that there will be more good moments, I will remember.

 

Hugs for all of you who are now suffering.

 

Musk,

 

That is good news!  A window is a very good sign.  Yes, remember this window every time you feel bad.  You will have more windows until there is always a window.  

 

I am a mother, too.  I know exactly what you are experiencing.  WD is awful for everyone no matter whether they have little children or not, but I am saying that my own challenge of raising a child while feeling sick and mentally ill at random with no control over the matter is similar to yours.  When I took Celexa I "thought" I had taken control of a problem such that I could raise a child.  How wrong I was!

 

Maybe this will be of some help to ease your fears:

You must understand this: the very intense misery is not of the same intensity for months or years.  I think that concept is lost when people in severe WD hear that WD can last for years. The same is true when they hear that someone is "still healing" at 12 months or 18 months or 2 years.  The person in agony thinks that her experience of WD being nearly unbearable is all that WD can be.  It's not.  WD can be unbearable; it can be bearable; it can be very miserable; it can be debilitating, but it can also be simply annoying.  WD gets easier overtime, but there are still differences in the way our bodies and brains work for years, I believe.  When people say they are still healing it means that they still notice that their bodies and brains are not operating the same way they did before taking antidepressants.  It does not mean that they are in agony, both physically and mentally, for 2 years.

 

My waves of mental suffering are only hours long right now.  They used to last for 10 days!! They may get longer in the future, but I will remember that they were once only hours long.  I did not document my dark days here on SA, but they were very, very dark.  Sometimes they were darker than any depression I had ever felt before taking ADs.  I also had uglier, scarier symptoms than depression.  Those symptoms are gone.  Mental symptoms now are mild to medium, usually; rarely are they intense, and they clear quickly.

 

Physical suffering has not been as difficult for me as the mental suffering, but I have noticed that it can follow a different pattern.  An example: I get muscle spasms all over all day long every day.  They are not painful, but they are not normal at all.  I have headache or pressure on one side of my head every morning from clenching my jaw all night.  Yet, I do not think of these two constant symptoms as a sign that I am in a "constant wave."

 

I have other symptoms that don't hurt, but don't clear as quickly as the mental symptoms do.  They have longer waves, I suppose.  I recently developed constipation; it has been an every day problem for 2-3 weeks, and I'm waiting to see if it is going to leave.  I used to have rapid drops in blood sugar every day when I was very ill.  I'm sure it contributed to my mental anguish.  Now, I have lack of appetite most days and then, suddenly, I will feel very hungry all day.  I can't eat enough.  It is clear to me that my healing is affecting my gastrointestinal system every day right now.  I suppose the part of my brain that has healed has disrupted the operation of my gastrointestinal system.

 

By my definition, when I feel that I am in a wave it is when a physical symptom becomes painful and/or mental anguish becomes painful or intense.  I had a short mental wave last night at bedtime.  It was mania.  This is a symptom I have had rarely in WD, but I used to have it frequently when I was on Zoloft -- even for days or weeks.  At that time, I did not sleep much.  Last night, I thought "Oh, wonderful!! Mania at bedtime?!!  I will not sleep tonight!! Oh, no!!"  Then I tried to relax, and I fell asleep without even realizing it!!  It was very, very short lived.

 

The article you posted:

 

I agree with PB that reading articles is sometimes bad for people in WD.  I read that article you posted.  I read it when I was very sick, and I read it again today.  I can understand it clearly today.  It scared me a lot several months ago.  I was very upset by it.

 

The author, Dr. Shipko, doesn't know what is going to happen to us.  He says there are no studies on long term effects of taking antidepressants or the consequences of stopping them.  That's true.  

 

Right now, you are in a period of severe WD.  Your every thought is formed while in a state of fear, and that means that your every thought is likely to be negative.  I experienced the same thoughts and read many articles. All that resulted from my research was more fear.  Please wait until you start to see more clearly to read anything that might be cause fear.

 

Dr. Shipko is sounding the alarm on ADs.  He's saying there is too much we don't know.  He is not saying most of us will not heal; he is saying that he has seen a lot of suffering.  He is saying that he has met people who have not healed completely for many years.  He is pointing out that patients should be warned before they are prescribed the drugs that negative affects may last years after stopping the drug.  What he is not saying is that all people who experience delayed or prolonged WD will not heal.  He does not know that to be true and, in fact, it is not true.  That's clear from the information on this site.  It's too bad that anectodal stories are all we have, and Dr. Shipko would be laughed out of the AMA if he said the stories here prove anything.  He's saying he believes there is proof of prolonged WD if the researchers are willing to look for that proof.  He's saying that pateints should be told that prolonged WD is real and that there is no treatment for prolonged WD.  

 

You are going to get well.  Even if it takes a long time to get well, the degree of suffering you feel right now is not going to last.  It will change for the better; you will get more "used to it;" you will learn to manage it; you will get new symptoms while others disappear, but when the anxiety eases you will see more clearly and you will realize how far you have gone.  So, right now, you need to focus on reducing your anxiety.  

 

One way to ease anxiety could be to stop reading articles about an illness (ADWD) that none of the researchers with the money to do the research are willing to research.  I know how hard that is to do when you need answers so badly.  The answers are not there -- only the questions.  What you do have that is positive is SA, and I do not believe that the Moderators would be putting so much effort into helping us through this site if there was no hope of recovery for the majority of us.  Some day you will begin to believe that, too.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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powerback

Great news musk ,rejoice and enjoy your window .

Take care. 

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musk

Many thanks Rosetta & PB for your wise words. I'm scared like a child.

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powerback

your welcome musk ,oh ye I know the feeling ,we got to put trust in ourselves to keep building our strengths .I'm pulling on my copeing tools today  .

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musk

The window is over, I'm wrong again. I have slept 1 hour tonight and since then I suffer a great agitation.

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Rosetta

I'm sorry, Musk.  I'm thinking of you and hoping it passes quickly.

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musk

Could I benefit from reinstating?

 

I am suffering, with hardly any hope. I am the only person I believe in hang on... all around me, conventional doctors, psychiatrist, psychologist, family relatives, ... believe that should reinstate. Can so many people be wrong except me? I do not think so...

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powerback

A mod should be along to help musk, ,I'm not qualified for the meds question ,but ile tell you this I have gotten through extreme states that I could of went to hospital for .only you can judged yourself .for now you will have to actively breathe and take your focus off your symptoms.go straight to the coping techniques and exhaust it until you calm .

Big deep breaths .

Take care .

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musk

Yesterday, January 22, I had another window, of a whole day. I felt normal, although with back pain and insomnia as always (1 hour of sleep every 24 hours).

 

Today the window has closed again: big anxiety, depression,  crying, catastrophic thoughts... 

 

I wonder if the body is able to resist sleeping 1 hour every 24 hours, and for how long. I never feel sleepy through the day. 

 

I reiterate the question: a reinstatement could benefit me?, or is it better to wait for the body to balance itself.

 

My relatives press me a lot about to return to antidepressants, because they do not understand what happens to me.

 

 

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Rosetta
On January 3, 2018 at 11:56 AM, scallywag said:

Musk -- -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA) from me too!

 

Hi Musk, I'm sorry to see you suffering so.  One hour of sleep a day is not sustainable.  

 

I can't advise you on reinstating, but maybe someone can.

 

Rosetta

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musk

I'm really suffering, uncontrolled thinking, impossible to focus, anxiety, crying. low back pain. obsession. I feel strange, as if I was not myself. I do not care or care about the world that surrounds me, nor my children ... !!

 

I am gradually reducing diazepam, now I am at 1.87 mg per day. I made a memory and I realized that I really started taking 5 mg at the beginning of December, after many months of not using it.

 

I have diet and I am taking supplements from my orthomolecular psychiatrist: magnesium, omega3 and 5HTP. I have not noticed clear changes since I take these supplements. He also proposed passionflower (passiflora incarnata) as a tranquilizer to sleep, but I do not take it for not mixing with diazepam. 

 

I started the supplements on January 18, it took a week.

 

The last two nights I have slept more hours, but a very fragmented dream.

 

I have started EMDR therapy.

 

I keep wondering if reinstating would help me, or is it better to wait,  I have that question daily.

 

Almost 6 months off sertraline. I'm not sure I can handle this journey. I take only for 1 year, is it possible to take so long to heal?

 

I am also very afraid that the symptoms will get worse when I continue to reduce diazepam or  when finish diazepam.

 

I am also very afraid of ending up developing a chronic immune, hormonal disease, etc. to never recover my good health anymore.

 

I feel so lonely and strange, even though I'm surrounded by family members.

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