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TreeElf

Thanks @Songbird. It's so very confusing. I really did believe that at one point, but the pattern things have taken makes me doubt everything. There was a lot I did deceive myself about, when I thought I was living my best, most honest life. Every time I have tried to regain that life, it's as if the universe says 'no, this is not your path'. Either there's been a suicide or other tragedy in the family, a severe episode of illness, an extreme change in circumstances.

At one point though on a meditation retreat I realised I was never meant to have that life and I was actually ok with it, happy about it. I saw all those circumstances lead me to the isolation I needed to see things as they were. Now it's just a huge confused mess, and the thoughts are non stop, all day and night, like being tuned into 100 TV channels at once. 

 

Realistically, I built some confidence after years of trauma I didn't think I'd survive. That in itself was a miracle. And that has been knocked back way beyond any level it was at before, the sense of self totally destroyed. I guess I just have no idea how you could ever trust anything in yourself again after that. It feels like it would take a miracle. 

I'm glad you figured things out a bit at 50, I do hate being so young. It feels like I should be at least 40 by now, this life is taking so awfully long lol. Thank you for responding x

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Songbird

I spent most of my life feeling like if I could just get everything sorted, I would finally "arrive" and be able to live life at last - I guess I felt like I would reach a point where everything would be perfect (with an underlying assumption that it would stay that way).  After many years I've come to realise that life just isn't like that.  There are good patches and bad patches.  It has problems and resolutions, peaceful periods, and new problems, and sometimes recurrence of old problems.  I don't think you need to accept that life is crappy, more that it may have some crappy patches, but also it may have some good patches.  Don't give up on possibility of some good patches in the future.

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TreeElf

Thanks, @Songbird. It's strange, on one level I know this. Life isn't about achieving anything really, just being/experiencing it in all its forms. I knew this with certainty, and then somehow lost it completely. I don't know anything anymore.

 

Missed yesterday's notes:

 

Morning: took Prozac 5mg and supplements as usual. Some intense emotions and anxiety, but not worse than the previous day. Intense dreams.

Daytime to night: Symptoms have rapidly changed again, to the point where I feel almost high. I've not left my house for over a week, barely been able to get up to make food, but today I was listening to a meditation/channeling thing on youtube, reading a book by Adyashanti etc. At some points I felt deeply connected with everything, compassion, empathy, almost a transcendental spiritual experience. I felt once again like there was huge potential for no only recovery but more than that. It's the 'other' personality.

 

This is not uncommon, but it's so utterly confusing. How can one go from non-functioning terror and feeling like an evil sadist to that kind of bliss and connection? And back and forth over and over. How is it even possible? This has been the pattern from the start. I worry that maybe I'm confusing spiritual experiences for plain old mental illness. I constantly doubt all my former experiences.

 

I've sought out help for this but it's very difficult to find the right therapist (or even afford it), who understands transpersonal issues alongside mental imbalance. On a 'high' (not sure it's the right word), I do everything to transform my situation. I can very powerfully and rapidly alter certain states, it frightens me what I'm actually capable of if I allow it. On the other side of the coin is the existential terror and deluded aspect, which in those moments suggest to me I might in fact just be f**ked in the head, and a very dangerous person.

 

So, that's the way things are today and yesterday. As best as I can describe.

 

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Songbird
19 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

This is not uncommon, but it's so utterly confusing. How can one go from non-functioning terror and feeling like an evil sadist to that kind of bliss and connection? And back and forth over and over. How is it even possible? This has been the pattern from the start. I worry that maybe I'm confusing spiritual experiences for plain old mental illness. I constantly doubt all my former experiences.

 

 

You might find this topic of interest:  Bipolar, Mood Swings, Mania, Hypomania, Depression

 

 

Also:  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Sometimes people get diagnosed with bipolar disorder because of these patterns.  I think mindfulness is the way to go - observe and accept whatever happens.  Enjoy the good parts!  You don't have to judge it or give it a label.  It can all be a spiritual experience in a way.

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TreeElf

@Songbird, that thread was really helpful, thank you. I'd read the waves/windows one before, but not the bipolar one. It's a relief that this is noted as not unusual in w/d.

 

As I've been medicated since my teens, I was never sure if I had bipolar tendencies. I was always prone to some dramatic mood swings (although I wouldn't show them unless under real stress.) But when I worked in the bank and was on 80mg of Prozac, it was like being on speed. I was the top seller in my team because I wouldn't shut up and would literally vibrate with the high. The manager loved it, encouraged me to drink coffee and increase sales. Looking back, I was just over-medicated because I was deemed 'treatment resistant'. There's definitely been hypomanic episodes over the years, dangerous impulsivity and behaviour, intense mood swings...but this was likely exacerbated by legal and illegal drugs, and intense stress. My brother was diagnosed with bipolar before he died, I now wonder if he stopped taking his meds or if it was an accurate diagnosis.

 

Anyway, thank you. Symptoms are much the same, still haven't left the house in over a week but just taking each day as it comes. x

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Songbird
On 10/13/2018 at 2:22 AM, AbbyElfie said:

But when I worked in the bank and was on 80mg of Prozac, it was like being on speed. I was the top seller in my team because I wouldn't shut up and would literally vibrate with the high. 

 

I got hypomanic on 40mg paroxetine, bouncing around like Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh), relentlessly cheerful.  I'd never been like that in my life before - it felt very weird.

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FarmGirlWorks
On 10/9/2018 at 3:37 AM, AbbyElfie said:

Anyone into astrology? I found out a while ago that my sun (gemini - duality, two personalities lol) is square my moon (virgo - obsessive order, responsibility). So yeah, makes sense where some of this deep conflict comes from in that respect.

I love that you ask this, @AbbyElfie; there is def some conflict there. I was just looking on here if there was a topic about astrology. Procrastinating, I guess. I was feeling sorry for myself because the planet Pluto has been majorly transiting my chart. I used to be into astrology and then the last 18 months of WD have almost stopped it... it is spookily accurate and I know just enough to be dangerous so I didn't want to scare myself.

 

However, I was just looking at when my Pluto (underworld, transformation) transits my natal Venus (December of this year). Pluto conjunct planet transits are not in everyone's chart as the orbit is 248 years and only hits some of us hard -- and dammit, I have gotten it good. In the past 15 years, transits of Pluto conjunct major personal natal planets have been spot on. Brain tumor surgery (conjunct Mercury), nervous breakdown where I started the poison sertraline (conjunct Sun), and now whatever goes down in December with Venus. Venus doesn't only connote love but also what we value. After this experience (well, unfortunately still in it), I def will value life differently!

 

PM me with your birth deets if you are interested.

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TreeElf

@FarmGirlWorks It's crazy how accurate it is! You seem to know a lot more than me, it's funny I only became really interested in astrology this year. Great that you have that insight but yeah, also don't want to scare yourself either. I think the planets are doing especially crazy stuff this year. Would love to send you my birth details, thank you!

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TreeElf

Update: it's been around a month since the last serious wave. Thought I'd update:

 

Positives: out of the danger zone for now, akathisia only occurs in flare ups if I do too much or get overwhelmed, tinnitus has mostly gone, I've been out for short periods walking etc., had some oddly really good moments, managed to meditate a bit, doing lots of mindfulness along with CBT and somatic experiencing therapy, no longer bed bound, less hyper moments, no more skin itching except once or twice, depression and anxiety have reduced, along with OCD although it's still pretty dominant, still mostly in 'danger' mode physically and mentally if I'm doing anything productive or around others, sleep is still good.

 

Remaining symptoms: Still super sensitive to anything so have to be alone at home most of the time, can't tolerate being around people for long without panic rising, OCD/delusional thinking occurring etc., smaller waves of anxiety and depression, lessened but still pretty consistent OCD ruminations, checking and doubt, paranoia, very limited to what I can do and cannot make plans ahead of one day, some memory/cognitive issues.

 

My doctor and pharmacist have also agreed to support a slow taper off the rest of the 5mg (around 0.1mg every 3 to 6 months for now, monitored), which is great and a bit of a relief. I explained this in the topic below. Will update further, for now I'm not getting as attached to the windows, there's an urge to 'stay down' when I start feeling positive as I'm terrified since that last episode. In a way, although I'm not as severely disabled as I was, I feel like I've become more sensitive to stimuli? This makes it hard to judge when I should taper again as I've been on 5mg for 5 months now. We'll see how the next few weeks go.

 

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Altostrata

Sounds like your nervous system is stabilizing, AE.

 

Just wanted to put this here:

 

On 10/25/2018 at 11:04 AM, AbbyElfie said:

Hey guys, wanted to share some positive news with you in regards to the above letter I sent my doctor. I hadn't heard anything back so I rang today and requested a call back from her, as I have a referral to a new psychiatrist next week and wanted the doctor to forward the letter to them also.

 

A while later I got a call from the head pharmacist at the local chemist. My doctor had asked her to call me, which at first confused me a bit. But the pharmacist basically said she had also read the letter and appreciated the information I'd provided - that they understand there is some evidence now that indicates 'some' individuals experience protracted withdrawal, but they also have to work within their system and the current evidence they use. However, both her and the doctor are prepared to support me in a very slow taper off the remainder of the Prozac, and she gave me a guideline plan of reducing by 0.1mg approx every 3 to 6 months (I want to go extra slow now), with the intention of getting off it completely.

 

Have to say I was really impressed with how pro-active and understanding this lady was, and also how readily she listened to the evidence. Initially I'd been a bit defensive and ready to have an argument with them, but she had a plan all laid out for a super slow withdrawal and was happy to help with it. It apparently costs more to prescribe liquid fluoxetine and she will have to justify ordering it for me for such a long period by saying that the intention is to come off it completely. She did suggest that, for now, this is still considered an 'unusual' case (HA!), but I'd say that is a big step forward all things considered.

 

I hope you guys have similar success with healthcare professionals, I was pleasantly surprised by her attitude! Wishing you all the best x

 

That is remarkable. That study is helping people already.

 

Could you also copy your letter into this topic?

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TreeElf

@Altostrata isn't it great. A friend who is also coming off an ssri told me also that yesterday when she got her prescription they had new warning labels? About potential risks and withdrawal, as well as pregnancy risks, that weren't on there before. Quite amazed how quick progress seems to be moving, at least in some places.

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Altostrata

No, those warnings were there before, your friend just noticed them now!

 

Your letter is here

 

Could you please convert it to text form (some people don't have Microsoft Word to open it) and start a topic in Events, Controversies, Actions to more widely share it and your experience with it? It will be visible in Web searches, you'll want to remove any personal identifying information. I'll pin your new topic to the top of the forum.

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TreeElf

Ahh I see, how did I miss that lol. Yes I will convert it and share tomorrow when I'm at my laptop 

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Altostrata

Your letter and its results are worth a topic all their own!

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TreeElf

@Altostrata @ChessieCat and any other mods..

 

I've been offered Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation by a company with a UK clinic for treatment of mental health conditions. It was a press release for journalists (I'm a writer although not working due to withdrawal, but my boss sent me this as she thought I might be interested), so basically they are offering £6000 of treatment in return for editorial content. 

 
They said: 'The clinic specialises in ''magnetic brain therapy' otherwise known as TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). In short, TMS treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain affected by mental health conditions and effectively awakens brain cells that have fallen asleep and are not functioning properly.
 
TMS treatment is NICE approved (so the big medical authorities have rubber stamped it!), non-invasive and there is a 60-80% success rate at Smart TMS clinics.'' 
 
I've replied with brief details of my history and withdrawal, so I might not even be a suitable candidate. But do you guys have any clue whether this might help or hinder in withdrawal? Or if it may be worth trying? Would appreciate your thoughts. 

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Altostrata

I have no idea.

 

Supposedly TMS can treat depression, but withdrawal syndrome is not depression.

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TreeElf
15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

I have no idea.

 

Supposedly TMS can treat depression, but withdrawal syndrome is not depression.

 

Yeah, it seems to be the same as most treatments - potentially quite effective under 'normal' circumstances but neither here nor there when it comes to withdrawal.

 

10 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

This is SA's topic:  tms-transcranial-magnetic-stimulation

 

This member has written a long post about their experience:  

 

 

 

Thank you for this! Just what I was looking for. Again, it seems to be the case that it can be effective generally, but in withdrawal who knows. I already have a CES device that is a bit like a lighter version of this stimulation. I can use it at home to gradually raise my baseline over time anyway, so I don't think the TMS is going to be worth trying. I also don't want to add anything extra into the mix while I'm still so sensitive. Just seemed very coincidental that this popped into my inbox! Need to be mindful of trying to accelerate this process though, as I'm only just starting to learn the art of patience lol. Thanks for sharing the link though x

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TreeElf

General update - things are the same in the sense that each day is different and I never know what might happen. Have had some amazing moments and some dark ones, still very restricted in my home but it's the only way I stay safe. Paranoia has been nuts at some points, lots of head pressure, weird throbbing in the ears especially when I use my phone, general confusion, extreme mood swings. The usual.

 

Also wanted to note a few things that have got me by lately, they might be helpful to others. I'm really just trying to fill my time with anything besides just withdrawal stuff, and it helps to write it out:

 

1. Bought Peter Breggin's book 'Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal', a guide for patients, therapists and their families. It scared me a little reading the intro so I haven't got far with it yet, but there seems to be a lot of info in there. Intending to give this to my new psychiatrist next week along with the letter I wrote to my doctor.

 

2. Decided that this month I will stop smoking cannabis. It has been my only crutch the past year and this frightens me, but I really can't risk exacerbating anxiety/paranoia with any other substance. Not sure how I'll do it but I've put it out there - A life coach I know gave me free access to his online course, which I was reluctant about because I know coaches etc think everything can be solved with simply 'mindset', which it can, but it's a bit more complicated than that in withdrawal. However, doing the first exercise of remembering the law of attraction and writing down goals helped me make this decision. I felt oddly motivated at one point and felt healing could be possible, which was big.

 

3. Brain training - there's an app I've been using called Elevate. You get 2 weeks free trial then I think it's about £30 a year. Great for distraction, keeping the mind busy, and 'exercising' a foggy brain.

 

4. Nature. Walking just ten minutes out the back of my house along the country road helps ground me. Try to do as often as I can, although still tough getting out of the house.

 

5. Simple breathing/Vipassanna meditation - I know I've clung very hard to spiritual practices, but I also know I need to relax a bit with it. It just became another obsession. So instead of reading or practicing too much spiritually orientated stuff, I've limited it to simple breathing or Vipassana meditation. I've got to let go of that identity of being a 'seeker' and come back down to earth. Somehow my spiritual life has gone all out of whack and I think for now the most important thing is grounding.

 

Still lost, very little direction, have to be mostly in silence and on my own at home most days due to sensitivity, having a constant existential crisis ...but also have faith that things are playing out as they're supposed to, whether I can see it or not. Just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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Songbird

You don't sound lost - you've just listed out 5 non-drug techniques you're using to help yourself.  You sound on a good path!

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Bluebird2009
On 10/8/2018 at 5:30 PM, AbbyElfie said:

Hi @Bluebird2009, his name is modestas and he operates a clinic some days a week in comber and some up near Helen's Bay. I believe he might have to go to the US for a period soon though so try and see him while you can. Tell him Abby referred you, he knows a bit about my withdrawal and can advise on hypersensitivity. Here's his site:   https://holisticdoctor.eu/

 

I'm still on 5mg from May, when I updosed from 1.8mg. I was off completely back in Oct 2017 but had to reinstate a tiny amount due to extreme symptoms. I've been on 5mg since and probably won't be moving from that for a long time. 

Oh where abouts in Comber is he based. I had that treatments you are talking about and I have a virus and really bad gut and they think that's where the problems are steeling from. A practioner has me now starting anpowder to clear chemicals from the body to see

if I can tolerate things. I feel if I could I wld go

back on a tablet as life is hell

like this

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TreeElf
4 hours ago, Songbird said:

You don't sound lost - you've just listed out 5 non-drug techniques you're using to help yourself.  You sound on a good path!

 

Thank you Songbird. I feel hypocritical much of the time because I swing between this and the opposite constantly. it all goes out the window (no pun intended) during a wave. I think of it like trying to find my way in the dark, I'm lost overall but still keeping on and feeling my way through. There's a fair bit of hope in that though.

 

2 hours ago, Bluebird2009 said:

Oh where abouts in Comber is he based. I had that treatments you are talking about and I have a virus and really bad gut and they think that's where the problems are steeling from. A practioner has me now starting anpowder to clear chemicals from the body to see

if I can tolerate things. I feel if I could I wld go

back on a tablet as life is hell

like this

 

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so rubbish. He is based in the square in comber, at Physio Plus. (He rents a room from there) Here's their number - 02891 871701

You'd need to request an appointment with Modestas through the receptionist. The gut health stuff can definitely affect things, have you looked at your diet overall? I can't remember from your thread. It won't cure your withdrawal but it has a big impact on the severity of many symptoms, in my experience.

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Bluebird2009
9 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

 

Thank you Songbird. I feel hypocritical much of the time because I swing between this and the opposite constantly. it all goes out the window (no pun intended) during a wave. I think of it like trying to find my way in the dark, I'm lost overall but still keeping on and feeling my way through. There's a fair bit of hope in that though.

 

 

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so rubbish. He is based in the square in comber, at Physio Plus. (He rents a room from there) Here's their number - 02891 871701

You'd need to request an appointment with Modestas through the receptionist. The gut health stuff can definitely affect things, have you looked at your diet overall? I can't remember from your thread. It won't cure your withdrawal but it has a big impact on the severity of many symptoms, in my experience.

I'm now on the ketogenic diet, I have just started it and hope that healing the gut will help. A lot of my symptoms now in my opinion are from the stress of this whole thing, I was getting better and then had a stressful time and my system is now in chaos. I feel my adrenals are effected. I don't know what's withdrawal and what's anxiety/stress or adrenal issue. Hope you are ok. Unfortunately I was on my drug 18yrs. But my anxiety is so severe now it is hard to deal with and I have medication reactions to lots of things so hard to treat. 

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Songbird
15 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

I think of it like trying to find my way in the dark, I'm lost overall but still keeping on and feeling my way through. There's a fair bit of hope in that though.

 

I think we're all doing that.  Someone once said, you don't have to be able to see the whole path, just the next step.

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TreeElf
23 hours ago, Bluebird2009 said:

I'm now on the ketogenic diet, I have just started it and hope that healing the gut will help. A lot of my symptoms now in my opinion are from the stress of this whole thing, I was getting better and then had a stressful time and my system is now in chaos. I feel my adrenals are effected. I don't know what's withdrawal and what's anxiety/stress or adrenal issue. Hope you are ok. Unfortunately I was on my drug 18yrs. But my anxiety is so severe now it is hard to deal with and I have medication reactions to lots of things so hard to treat. 

Yeah it is often all so interlinked it's hard to know what's effecting what. I hope things start to balance for you, I think it will over time and when your system has a chance to level out a bit. Reducing all stress as much as possible seems to be the way forward. 

 

17 hours ago, Songbird said:

 

I think we're all doing that.  Someone once said, you don't have to be able to see the whole path, just the next step.

Yes! It's good to remember this. I'm constantly learning to slow down and just try and deal with what's immediately in front of me. 

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FarmGirlWorks
On 11/2/2018 at 5:00 AM, AbbyElfie said:

2. Decided that this month I will stop smoking cannabis. It has been my only crutch the past year and this frightens me, but I really can't risk exacerbating anxiety/paranoia with any other substance. Not sure how I'll do it but I've put it out there - A life coach I know gave me free access to his online course, which I was reluctant about because I know coaches etc think everything can be solved with simply 'mindset', which it can, but it's a bit more complicated than that in withdrawal. However, doing the first exercise of remembering the law of attraction and writing down goals helped me make this decision. I felt oddly motivated at one point and felt healing could be possible, which was big.

That's a biggie, @AbbyElfie.


I quit drinking about two months into this WD nonsense but only quit cannabis smoking/taking tinctures three months ago. It was my only crutch (aside from Netflix) and I thought it wouldn't be too hard... but it was. I do feel that it is one less "supplement" in the mix. I hate that I feel so terrified of ingesting any substance aside from healthy foods.

 

Want to go off for a year and then see how I feel. I'm also doing AA which means no

 habitually changing of one's consciousness. I do want to use psychedelics again but now is def not the time. Too fragile. Anyways, keep us apprised of your reflections after quitting.

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TreeElf
5 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

I quit drinking about two months into this WD nonsense but only quit cannabis smoking/taking tinctures three months ago. It was my only crutch (aside from Netflix) and I thought it wouldn't be too hard... but it was. I do feel that it is one less "supplement" in the mix. I hate that I feel so terrified of ingesting any substance aside from healthy foods.

 

Want to go off for a year and then see how I feel. I'm also doing AA which means no

 habitually changing of one's consciousness. I do want to use psychedelics again but now is def not the time. Too fragile. Anyways, keep us apprised of your reflections after quitting.

 

I will! Yeah I had to totally stop drinking earlier this year, although I had already reached a point where I would only have one or two drinks at a time. The weed somehow replaced things, especially since my diet suddenly became very limited and sweet food (my favourite) was no longer a crutch. All of this is extremely difficult when you've spent years in 'addict mindset' - I think of my next 'fix' as soon as I wake up and it goes on all day.

 

That's great that you're doing AA. I did look at the 12 steps and got a book on it, but felt too overwhelmed at the time. I know I'm not in a position to surrender enough to it, and that's the only way it works. If things get bad I might have to get a vape thing, but I don't want any extra substances.

I'm thinking the same about psychedelics, I'd love to do them again as they were completely transformative, but now is definitely not the time. I would have to wait until my mind was very stable for a long period, which seems a far off dream these days lol. I'll keep you updated.

Hope you experience some healing this week x

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TreeElf

Copied over from the other thread - Update:

 

I went to a psych assessment at the hospital this week. I thought it would be with a psychiatrist but it was a community psych nurse. Glad to say she was brilliant - she was somewhat familiar with protracted withdrawal immediately, said she had had a woman in the previous week with the same issue, and listened to everything I had to say. I didn't feel I needed to convince her of anything.

 

She did a full assessment and said that there was no point referring to psychiatry because they simply won't accept it yet (she had tried with the previous patient, they just disregard evidence). Plus, they can only really prescribe meds. But, she did say I will be supported as much as possible since my notes are now all with them, and gave me information for something called the Recovery College. It's a program of courses designed to support people recovering from mental ill health, ranging from mindfulness, psychosis management, understanding depression etc. It's patient centered and they're always adding new programs, plus it's good social support in general. She suggested if I was ever able to I could start one on medication withdrawal.

 

She also mentioned that there is a psychiatrist here in Belfast who has apparently been doing research on withdrawal for the past few years. I'm going to try and get in touch with him. Generally it was a really good experience, this lady was very understanding, practical, and I could feel she was restricted by the system in place, although she said it was gradually changing and would in time. Those 'higher up' so to speak just can't allow an entire psychiatric model to collapse over night.

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WiggleIt

Hi Abby,

I've been on this site for years, but only now came across your thread.  Your writing and candor here are lovely, even though your experience has been harsh.  You don't know how lucky you are to find a psych nurse who is familiar with protracted withdrawal!  I'm very happy for you with that.

I'm sorry about your experience in your teen years.  I've also read that young women who react badly to birth control can then get misdiagnosed with mental illness.  Of course, the hard part is looking back at the past and trying to figure out if the birth control was responsible or if the signs really were there for anxiety and depression.  It's a hard puzzle, and you sound like you are being very gentle with yourself, which is good.

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TreeElf

Aw thank you @WiggleIt. You're right that it's so hard to know what caused what, or what my 'actual' condition is. So far, I believe I had underlying predispositions towards OCD/depression, but this was majorly exacerbated by meds etc. I've also had something 'come up' recently - a questioning whether something happened in childhood that triggered certain things. It's neither here nor there, but it's popped up once before during a previous withdrawal attempt. I'm concerned it's either something important underlying, or that I'm just super paranoid and making things up to validate my experiences. I don't think it's possible to come to clear conclusions in this state, or find solid answers, either.

 

I see you've been off meds for 4 years and had a rough time of it, too. Have symptoms improved at all in the last year?

It is good to speak to professionals who even remotely understand or who are willing to listen, I feel very lucky. I hope we start seeing more of that across the forum over time.

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WiggleIt
16 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

Aw thank you @WiggleIt. You're right that it's so hard to know what caused what, or what my 'actual' condition is. So far, I believe I had underlying predispositions towards OCD/depression, but this was majorly exacerbated by meds etc. I've also had something 'come up' recently - a questioning whether something happened in childhood that triggered certain things. It's neither here nor there, but it's popped up once before during a previous withdrawal attempt. I'm concerned it's either something important underlying, or that I'm just super paranoid and making things up to validate my experiences. I don't think it's possible to come to clear conclusions in this state, or find solid answers, either.

 

I see you've been off meds for 4 years and had a rough time of it, too. Have symptoms improved at all in the last year?

It is good to speak to professionals who even remotely understand or who are willing to listen, I feel very lucky. I hope we start seeing more of that across the forum over time.


Yes, some of my symptoms have improved a bit over the past year, but I have to be honest that I did develop a new problem in this past year that I strongly suspect traces back to the physical damage from psych meds.  Sometimes it's hard for me to answer this question plainly, because it's true that I've improved, but it's also true that I'm still damaged.  I don't want to give false hope, but I know for a fact that there is a LOT of hope on the horizon, and that's why I'm here now telling people it gets better.  Because it DOES.  You would simply not believe it if you saw me four years ago versus today.  I was in a wheelchair four years ago because of psych meds, and today I can walk again.  My case was one of the most extreme ones that I've ever seen on this site in terms of physical damage, so it's very inaccurate for other people to compare their cases to mine.

Also, you are younger than me, which gives you a HUGE advantage in your healing.

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Songbird

I'm so glad you got someone understanding and helpful - I wish there were more like her, we really need them.  The Recovery College sounds great - let us know if you find out more about it.  Also keep us updated if you manage to get in touch with that psychiatrist.

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TreeElf
6 hours ago, WiggleIt said:

I was in a wheelchair four years ago because of psych meds, and today I can walk again.  My case was one of the most extreme ones that I've ever seen on this site in terms of physical damage, so it's very inaccurate for other people to compare their cases to mine.

 

This is fantastic. Isn't it crazy how resilient human beings can be, even when they think things are totally hopeless? I understand what you mean about it being a hard question to answer - in many ways I'm more damaged since earlier withdrawal this year, but at the same time there's definitely been some healing. As well as huge changes in how I approach the whole thing. I'm glad you're seeing improvements and hope you continue to do so.

 

4 hours ago, Songbird said:

I wish there were more like her, we really need them.  The Recovery College sounds great - let us know if you find out more about it.  Also keep us updated if you manage to get in touch with that psychiatrist

 

We really do. The Recovery College is apparently a program started in Scotland that was so successful they brought it in over here in Northern Ireland. I'll definitely keep you updated on things, I also need to try and remember the name of that psychiatrist

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Cleerity

Hello AE,

 

I only now came to read your thread.   I want to share that with the help, support and encouragement of the members from this site, you seem to be doing better.  I truly, truly hope this continues for you!  Time and again, when I read here, I am enamored with the support and loving kindness I see flowing from/to forum members.  May it continue to be a healing balm for you.

 

I wanted to comment on something you wrote earlier in your topic:  

Quote

I look around at my immediate family and not one of them has a happy life. They are either dead, in prison or mentally miserable ... I sometimes think, what makes you think you would be any different from them? 

 

You think you are different from them because you actually are and also because you aspire to be, because you have the dream and desire to break the cycle.  You might share some genetics, but your spirit IS different than theirs.

 

I came from a SEVERELY dysfunctional family.  Though there were no "diagnosed" conditions of mental illness in my family members, there actually was illness, a lot of it.   I started visiting my eldest sister (now dead due to AIDS) in prison when I was 10.  All but one of my four brothers are indigent.  One is strung out on heroine. One sister is heavily medicated with a host of illnesses.  Another is very unconscious and doped up on weed 24 hours a day (I am not against weed, but believe it should be used in moderation).  I believe cycles can be broken.  When working on this in my own life, I experienced a lot of guilt and some profound separation anxiety in leaving my family mess behind --- even though that something I was leaving behind was not what I wanted in my life any longer.  Still, it was what I knew.  As counterintuitive as it sounds, I had comfort in the insanity I lived in as a child because it was all I ever knew.  Leaving that to embark on change was a great unknown to me and very scary.  I had to become someone different and I did not know who that was.  I also experienced a lot of guilt (which, as you know, is a toxic emotion), survivor's guilt.  The chains can be broken, in time.  

 

I mostly just wanted to share that I can relate to a lot of what you have wrote/experienced and to let you know that you have another supporter out here.

 

Also, when I read your words on the forum, I see a very bright and intelligent spirit/mind.  This is what you exude.  

 

Best Wishes,

Cleerity

 

 

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TreeElf
11 minutes ago, Cleerity said:

As counterintuitive as it sounds, I had comfort in the insanity I lived in as a child because it was all I ever knew.  Leaving that to embark on change was a great unknown to me and very scary.  I had to become someone different and I did not know who that was.  I also experienced a lot of guilt (which, as you know, is a toxic emotion), survivor's guilt.  The chains can be broken, in time.  

 

Thank you Cleerity, it sounds like you've come from similar circumstances and have made huge transformations. It's really good to hear. I can definitely relate to the guilt, my family are really all I have as well which makes it difficult to detach from. My brother has 'detached' to a large degree - he lives in another country, is on the psychopathy spectrum and pretty much completely deluded, yet he thinks he is 'different' and better than the rest of us. I guess I'm afraid that if I break some family cycles and become a different person, I'll really be deluding myself as well. I can't break away fully as I do love my family, and my younger siblings, even though we have our difficulties. They're not bad people, they've just been through an awful lot and together we can become quite toxic. But I have learned to distance myself a fair bit. Sometimes I see the potential in my Mum and my sister to have better lives, and my Mum really does try her best. But I have to accept I can't help them, they have to do it themselves.

 

I too have been wowed by the amazing compassion this site seems to bring out in people. So many kind words and support from strangers, it makes the world of difference. Especially when you feel very disconnected in 'real life'.

 

General update: The last few days have been strange, and I've seen the return of some of feelings of rage. Which were prevalent at the start of withdrawal but I thought had reduced. Lots of intense irritation and bubbling up of stuff, overreacting to things like stubbing my toe or struggling to remember something. This morning I screamed F*** really loudly and was almost shaking because I couldn't figure out how to open my vape pen lol....my poor neighbors. I am still caught in the vicious cycle of attempting to do things, getting stuck and ending up in paralysis, so nothing ever really gets done. I keep trying nonetheless. Still pretty terrified to experience anything overly positive, because I quickly experience it's opposite. Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day, other days I get glimpses of progress, although this may be me just trying to find some kind of meaning in it all.

Loads of old memories, regrets, confusion, sensations etc coming up. Like painfully becoming human again. Lots of chattering of different voices and viewpoints in my head constantly that just argue away with each other and result in a 'freeze' state, combined with some milder but frequent cortisol rushes. Constant doubting of myself and my intentions. OCD fears etc etc - all that said, it's the week before my period which is always the worst. So this could account for the rage and increased anxiety etc.

 

In some ways I think there's been improvement in the last year, and in others ways I just think I've learned to bare it a bit better. My quality of life and day to day living is pretty rubbish. But my attitude is different, I'm not looking for a quick fix and not obsessing about how long I'm going to feel like this. Often this slips into a resigned type of defeatism/nihilism. But I'm not judging 'progress' as much anymore. I've done 6 weeks of CBT but to be honest it has only really helped in the sense of feeling like I'm 'linking in' with someone and attempting to do something productive. There's that 'teacher-student' kind of feel to the relationship which isn't really helpful therapeutically. But I still have hopes with the Somatic Experiencing therapy, which I am currently on week 4 of.

 

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TreeElf

Hello, 

 

Been a busy week.. I wanted to ask admins something - my lower back has gone into spasm (did this last year, and a few times before that), and while there's not a whole lot I can do but rest, I do get prescribed 2mg diazepam for emergencies, although the last time I don't think I took any. Do you think it would be safe in withdrawal to take one or two over the next week or so? Just to help the muscles relax, or should I avoid any drugs at all unless it's an emergency? Would appreciate your thoughts, thank you

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