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How did you deal with the original problem?


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Hey all,

 

I have read a lot about people being put on meds unnecessarily and having to spend years dealing with the issues that the medication caused. It really is horrible to hear how common this is and I hope all of you find peace on your journey, wherever you're at.

 

I was placed on medication, however, due to the onset of very severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and subsequent depression. The thing is, I always had a tendency towards intrusive thoughts and obsessional fears that disturbed me greatly. It wasn't until I was 16 that one particular fear emerged and destroyed my life pretty quickly. I don't blame the doctor for putting me on medication at the time, to be fair, I was an absolute non-functioning mess. Medication (SSRI's), at that point, saved my life - it completely altered my way of thinking so that I was more clear headed, had less anxiety and was able to actually be positive. Of course, it didn't cure it completely (I still had very unhealthy coping mechanisms and some trauma from my initial breakdown that kept me fearful) but it gave my life back to a large degree, and I had very little physical side effects other than some weight gain and excess sweating, which was a small price to pay for my sanity.

 

It doesn't help that my family have a long history of mental illness on both sides. I also later discovered that relatives I never grew up with had the same type of OCD (Pure-O), and that it was a huge factor in my father's suicide. I guess what I'm asking is, how did you deal with withdrawal on top of the original issue, if there was one? How did you retrain your beliefs after being told for years that 'you have a chronic mental illness and need to be medicated for life'?

 

I should also mention that prior to stopping Prozac I was stable on a medium dose for 2 years mainly due to huge lifestyle changes and developing a dedicated meditation practice. This led to a significant 'awakening' of sorts that is ongoing, which is why I decided it was time to begin withdrawal.

 

Would love to hear any insights or stories from you. Many thanks :)

2008-2013 - Various meds on and off since age 18 incl. Sertraline, Prozac, Mirtazipine, Abilify. Prescribed for severe OCD.

CT'd several times over these years and reinstated after subsequent psych hospitalisations.

2014-2015 - Clomipramine, quetiapine and Epilum

2015-Jan 2017 - Prozac 40mg (stopped contraceptive pill, most stable period of time)

(Beginning of taper) Jan-October 2017 - Tapered Prozac to zero.

15 Jan 2018 - Reinstated Prozac at 2mg due to acute w/d symptoms

February 2018 - tapered to 1.8mg

May 2018 - reinstated at 5mg due to severe w/d symptoms. 9 month hold, stabilized well at around 6/7 months.

March 2019 - Tapered to 4.9mg

Current supplements: fish oils, probiotic, ashwaganda, colostrum powder, cannabis

 

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My original problem was diagnosed first as generalized anxiety disorder, for some reason, 'depression' was thrown in there too, although I don't know why because I wasn't depressed, I was actually very optimistic and motivated to keep trying to fix myself and my life.

 

Thankfully, along with the medication, my doctor recommended some CBT and other education, which is what has lead to a more sustainable 'cure' for what I now realize wasn't a mental illness at all. I learned that I wasn't ill and I didn't have a brain imbalance. I had learned dysfunctional patterns of thinking and acting, from my family and parents, and I was continuing to live like that as an adult because that was what felt safe, that was the first step in my real recovery. But its taken a long time to get to the point I'm at now, where I feel like my 'original' problem doesn't control my life any more. Unfortunately, I'm now still quite sick from the medication I took for over 13 years and stopping it too fast, worse than I ever was before I started taking it. I know I'm going to recover from this eventually, and then will be able to live a much happier life, much more in control of my choices, but I just wish..... well I'm sure we all wish we could have been offered the proper treatment and not the harmful one.

 

Finding the real cause of my problems, and fixing them at their source is how I have recovered from my original issue. But this often isn't easy or quick, unlike popping pills. I've basically been having to re-parent myself by giving myself the healthy emotional support and tools I wasn't given as a child.

 

The funny thing is, the anxiety I've experienced while going through withdrawal is 100 times worse than anything I ever felt before, so going back to my original levels of anxiety will be a pleasure.

 

 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petunia!

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm really glad you have developed tools to heal negative early-life beliefs, it's such an important thing to do for pretty much anyone, we carry so much unnecessarily into adulthood.

 

I have done similar in terms of re-wiring through CBT, deep meditation, silent retreats, etc. And I do feel I've done a significant amount in regards to not identifying with earlier beliefs and thought patterns. What does concern me a little, however, is that the terror, depression and severe Obsessive Compulsive obsessional fears were all something I experienced intensely BEFORE medication. This is another reason it has been so hard for me to believe I can withdraw from meds, because the symptoms that come back are just like the ones I had prior to being medicated as a teen. I was hospitalised and pretty much in a suicidal state all the time, then medication took the edge off so I was able to exist somewhat, albeit with no quality of life and pretty much addicted to drugs and alcohol just to get by.

 

Has anyone experienced severe mental problems prior to medication use, withdrawn from the drugs and successfully managed to cope? I'm confident it can be done, I've spent the last two years 'prepping' my mind somewhat having dedicated my life to spiritual practice (non-theistic and non-religious, meditation etc). I know the mind can do incredible things, I've seen that directly over the last 24 months. Yet that little niggling fear is something that springs up and challenges my recovery sometimes.

 

Petunia - best of luck in your recovery, wishing you lots of love and happiness. :)

2008-2013 - Various meds on and off since age 18 incl. Sertraline, Prozac, Mirtazipine, Abilify. Prescribed for severe OCD.

CT'd several times over these years and reinstated after subsequent psych hospitalisations.

2014-2015 - Clomipramine, quetiapine and Epilum

2015-Jan 2017 - Prozac 40mg (stopped contraceptive pill, most stable period of time)

(Beginning of taper) Jan-October 2017 - Tapered Prozac to zero.

15 Jan 2018 - Reinstated Prozac at 2mg due to acute w/d symptoms

February 2018 - tapered to 1.8mg

May 2018 - reinstated at 5mg due to severe w/d symptoms. 9 month hold, stabilized well at around 6/7 months.

March 2019 - Tapered to 4.9mg

Current supplements: fish oils, probiotic, ashwaganda, colostrum powder, cannabis

 

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Junglechicken

In terms of dealing with the "original problem", I'm still in therapy after a year and also seeing a Naturopath for healing my body (and mind).

 

Its a long journey, and I have hit a big bump in the road due to a possible auto-immune disease diagnosis.

 

Trying to minimise contact with "stressors" helps somewhat, although I always seem to have a level of stress to deal with and can't just shut myself off from that.

 

I'm still learning, and I think will never stop learning to try and look after myself better.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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Hi Junglechicken, 

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, that is a big additional stressor. I totally agree that it is an ongoing learning process. 

 

At the moment I am seeing a reiki practitioner, who really helps. On the flipside, Monday to Friday I have to look after my two younger siblings at the moment as my mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment. The stress of it is becoming unbearable, it's not their fault but I am constantly triggered and end up exploding in a rage when they misbehave. Then the anxiety is so bad I struggle to get through the day. I've been lying in bed crying all morning because my OCD got sick bad last night I'm convinced I'm a monster. 

 

The funny thing is, when my sister had them at the weekend and I had some time to myself I made a lot of progress. I had a reiki session and felt almost transformed. Then I collected the kids and tried my best to stay calm but they are so constantly demanding I feel like physically and emotionally my nervous system freaks out. 

 

My mum is away for an indefinite time, it could be another month or two. I'm concerned this situation might make things a lot worse. :(

2008-2013 - Various meds on and off since age 18 incl. Sertraline, Prozac, Mirtazipine, Abilify. Prescribed for severe OCD.

CT'd several times over these years and reinstated after subsequent psych hospitalisations.

2014-2015 - Clomipramine, quetiapine and Epilum

2015-Jan 2017 - Prozac 40mg (stopped contraceptive pill, most stable period of time)

(Beginning of taper) Jan-October 2017 - Tapered Prozac to zero.

15 Jan 2018 - Reinstated Prozac at 2mg due to acute w/d symptoms

February 2018 - tapered to 1.8mg

May 2018 - reinstated at 5mg due to severe w/d symptoms. 9 month hold, stabilized well at around 6/7 months.

March 2019 - Tapered to 4.9mg

Current supplements: fish oils, probiotic, ashwaganda, colostrum powder, cannabis

 

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Junglechicken
4 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

Hi Junglechicken, 

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, that is a big additional stressor. I totally agree that it is an ongoing learning process. 

 

At the moment I am seeing a reiki practitioner, who really helps. On the flipside, Monday to Friday I have to look after my two younger siblings at the moment as my mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment. The stress of it is becoming unbearable, it's not their fault but I am constantly triggered and end up exploding in a rage when they misbehave. Then the anxiety is so bad I struggle to get through the day. I've been lying in bed crying all morning because my OCD got sick bad last night I'm convinced I'm a monster. 

 

The funny thing is, when my sister had them at the weekend and I had some time to myself I made a lot of progress. I had a reiki session and felt almost transformed. Then I collected the kids and tried my best to stay calm but they are so constantly demanding I feel like physically and emotionally my nervous system freaks out. 

 

My mum is away for an indefinite time, it could be another month or two. I'm concerned this situation might make things a lot worse. :(

 

So sorry about your mother Abby, nothing takes away the pain from a sick loved one.

 

Our nervous systems are incredibly fragile throughout WD, and it doesn't take much to be pushed "over the edge".  I know that only too well.

 

All we can do is look after ourselves as best we can Abby, despite the "stressors", and I hope your sister can help look after your siblings more often??

 

TC,

JC xx

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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8 hours ago, Junglechicken said:

 

So sorry about your mother Abby, nothing takes away the pain from a sick loved one.

 

Our nervous systems are incredibly fragile throughout WD, and it doesn't take much to be pushed "over the edge".  I know that only too well.

 

All we can do is look after ourselves as best we can Abby, despite the "stressors", and I hope your sister can help look after your siblings more often??

 

TC,

JC xx

Thank you. She's only 20 and has her own child, so I'm usually the one who helps everyone out lol, which unfortunately means it's mainly up to me. Although she has been worried this week after seeing me get worse quite quickly and has said she will try and help here and there. 

The OCD fears are the worst at the minute. I'm convinced I've done and/or thought terrible things and should be punished (a recurring ocd theme since my teens), and suddenly it's all incredibly real again. I had a panic attack this morning that almost made me start screaming and hyperventilating, and the level of depression is simply inhuman. Yet this evening I miraculously managed to relax and read the kids a story. I can't fathom the speed of how things rapidly change, and don't trust what my mind will do next. 

I've started the 2mg reinstatement as of yesterday though, so hopefully that will take the edge off soon. Thanks again for your kind words, I appreciate it x

2008-2013 - Various meds on and off since age 18 incl. Sertraline, Prozac, Mirtazipine, Abilify. Prescribed for severe OCD.

CT'd several times over these years and reinstated after subsequent psych hospitalisations.

2014-2015 - Clomipramine, quetiapine and Epilum

2015-Jan 2017 - Prozac 40mg (stopped contraceptive pill, most stable period of time)

(Beginning of taper) Jan-October 2017 - Tapered Prozac to zero.

15 Jan 2018 - Reinstated Prozac at 2mg due to acute w/d symptoms

February 2018 - tapered to 1.8mg

May 2018 - reinstated at 5mg due to severe w/d symptoms. 9 month hold, stabilized well at around 6/7 months.

March 2019 - Tapered to 4.9mg

Current supplements: fish oils, probiotic, ashwaganda, colostrum powder, cannabis

 

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