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Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike


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I tried Lemon Balm and it had no effect on me. Only one night, mind you, so maybe it needs more time to work.

 

But my wife and I took a super-expensive sleep aid called U~Dream ($1.50 Canadian/pill), and we both agreed that it was very effective. I slept an hour longer than usual -- 6 hours instead of 5 -- and my sleep was uneventful save for the usual anxiety upon waking. Here's a link to the product if anyone wants to read it's ingredients:

 

http://www.udreamherbal.com/product/u-dream-full-night/

 

Note that I have no affiliation with this product... It was simply recommended to my wife by a staff member at our local health food store. It's next to impossible to find any info/reviews for it online, so beware.

My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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Whew, this is a long topic, lots to read through! Mostly, I want to discuss the LONG TERM approaches I've taken to addressing my intense problems with sleep. Sorry, you won't get a silver bullet / mag

I have had night terrors and early morning anxiety. Blackout shades and white noise help a lot, so it doesn't happen so often, or as intensely as it did before the shades.   When I wake up scared

Trileptal induces many drugs. On its own it may help but mixing it with other drugs is not something I would do again. If you want to know what it did to me, you can read my thread. I have been taperi

2 hours ago, IanM said:

I tried Lemon Balm and it had no effect on me. Only one night, mind you, so maybe it needs more time to work.

 

But my wife and I took a super-expensive sleep aid called U~Dream ($1.50 Canadian/pill), and we both agreed that it was very effective. I slept an hour longer than usual -- 6 hours instead of 5 -- and my sleep was uneventful save for the usual anxiety upon waking. Here's a link to the product if anyone wants to read it's ingredients:

 

http://www.udreamherbal.com/product/u-dream-full-night/

 

Note that I have no affiliation with this product... It was simply recommended to my wife by a staff member at our local health food store. It's next to impossible to find any info/reviews for it online, so beware.

 

I under-calculated the number of hours I slept on U-Dream. It wasn't 6, but rather 8. I intend to take it for a couple/few more nights to see if it continues to work. My wife is afraid of becoming addicted to it, or having it poop out due to over-use, so she's only going to take it when she really needs it... probably a wise thing to do, but I desperately need sleep so I'm going to risk it.

Edited by IanM
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My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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brassmonkey

Your wife has the right idea. It would not be a good idea to take this supplement on a daily basis, but rather to use it only when really necessary.  None of the ingredients are addicting in and of themselves, but the effect of seemingly improved sleep could be very psychologically addicting.  Only one of the ingredients is a known sleep aid, the rest at best are antioxidents.  The big problem comes in the fact that they all  cause liver damage  and carry warnings to that affect.  They also have strong affects on  blood sugar levels and will cause problems in that regard.  Long term effects are sketchy but it is suggested that none of the ingredients be taken for more than a few days at a time. 

 

In a normal healthy person limited exposure to this supplement could be of some use.  For a person who is undergoing the affects of ADWD it would more than likely cause them much more trouble than it is worth. I would suggest saving the ware and tare on your body and wallet and avoid the use of U-Dream.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks, brassmonkey. Warning heeded. I think I will take it anyway, in spite of the possible problems. I am not concerned about using it for only a few days.

My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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1 hour ago, brassmonkey said:

Your wife has the right idea. It would not be a good idea to take this supplement on a daily basis, but rather to use it only when really necessary.  None of the ingredients are addicting in and of themselves, but the effect of seemingly improved sleep could be very psychologically addicting.  Only one of the ingredients is a known sleep aid, the rest at best are antioxidents.  The big problem comes in the fact that they all  cause liver damage  and carry warnings to that affect.  They also have strong affects on  blood sugar levels and will cause problems in that regard.  Long term effects are sketchy but it is suggested that none of the ingredients be taken for more than a few days at a time. 

 

In a normal healthy person limited exposure to this supplement could be of some use.  For a person who is undergoing the affects of ADWD it would more than likely cause them much more trouble than it is worth. I would suggest saving the ware and tare on your body and wallet and avoid the use of U-Dream.

 

hi bm,

I can't find any reference to liver damage for any of the product's ingredients, and in fact one of them is supposed to be beneficial to the liver. Can you please provide sources for your info? Also, which of the ingredients is the only one that has sleep-inducing properties... tryptophan?

My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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Altostrata

U-Dream:

 

Ingredients
Passion Flower…110mg
Lion’s Mane………..85mg
Schisandra………..85mg
Loquat………………….65mg
Jujube………………….45mg
L-Tryptophan……30mg
Reynoutria…………..15mg
Rehmannia…………15mg

 

 

L-tryptophan is probably doing most of the work. It can be found a lot cheaper.

 

It had a bad reputation for causing liver damage for a while because of impurities. Get it from a reputable source and it's okay now.

 

You might experiment with buying l-tryptophan and a few of the other ingredients separately and mixing your own little cocktail. Don't overdo it on the l-tryptophan.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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ChessieCat

Here's the SA topic:  5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Feb 2021:  Pristiq 0.365 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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The homebrew cocktail is a good idea, and I already priced out the various ingredients... well in to the $300 Canadian range, and then all the hassle of mixing them in 'proper' proportions (whatever that might be). Feels like way too much effort right now, so I'm gonna stick with the admittedly crazy-expensive U-Dream. And given that I've been on Olazapine solidly for over half a year, the relative safety of this supplement is of no concern to me... for the short term.

My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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Focusing the sights back on disruption of the microbiome as a causal factor in mood disorders and cortisol dysregulation. 

Gut-brain research is increasingly promising.

 

More on GOS:

 

Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410136/

 

This is the best GOS product out there: https://klaire.com/k-gal-galactomune-powder

It also comes in capsules.

 

Klaire Labs (same company) just recently released this new psychobiotic product that was formulated to help with mood stabilization: https://klaire.com/gbx-target-gbx

https://klaire.com/klairelabs/cache/file/395984E5-A21D-4CC0-9270D527926E38CA.pdf

https://klaire.com/klairelabs/cache/file/599DDA80-D8DC-482B-83A999981DEBCBC2.pdf

 

On a side note - Klaire Labs has been around a long time (been taking their products since the early 80s) and has enjoyed a stellar reputation in the nutraceutical sector.

MEDS SUMMARY:

1) Valium: 10mg avg prn from 09-06-14 to 10-20-14
2) Xanax: 0.75mg avg prn from from 09-19-14 to 10-16-14
3) Lexapro: 5mg q.d. from 10-06-14 to 10-16-14
4) switched immediately to Clonazepam: 0.5mg average/day for 2 weeks (10-17-24-10-30-14); titrated to 1mg (0.5mg bid) on 10-31-14 to present; started microtaper @ .625% (.0031250mg x 2) from 08-09-15 to 08-15-15; .800% (.0038750mg x 2) from 08-16-15 to present; destabilized 08-19-15 (due to change from original tablet); reinstated, on day 54, and have tapered a total of 14% as of 09-30-15 with zero symptoms (knock on wood)!
5) Lamictal: 100mg q.d. from 10-23-14 to 12-04-14; started tapering 12-05-14, 25mg every 2 weeks; destabilized 01-15-14; reinstated 01-22-15 at 25mg q.d. from 01-24-15 to 02-19-15; cut approx. 3-4mg every 5-10 days until 03-22-15, then cut 2mg every 5-6 days until 05-12-15; holding at 4mg q.d. from 05-13-15 to present.
Detailed Analysis - Lamictal history: https://app.box.com/s/rnermghleue9aemyhd57l1a00gsk2i4u

6) Also taking meds for blood pressure (Coreg @ 6.25mg b.i.d. and Losartan @ 50mg b.i.d.) + for blood clot I had back in 2012 (Xarelto @ 10mg) + for hypothyroidism (Armour Thyroid @ 1grain q.d.)

 

HISTORY & SUPPLEMENT LIST: https://app.box.com/s/mc9mch8za2lbizgs9z8j4mzhz2oswn8l

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On 4/12/2011 at 8:26 PM, Altostrata said:

In excess, cortisol causes the awful anxiety, depression, and insomnia many of us suffer in withdrawal syndrome.

 

Your natural level of cortisol, a daytime hormone, starts rising about 4:30 a.m. Withdrawal syndrome exaggerates the level of cortisol in the early morning. The normal cortisol peak at dawn is felt as a jolt of anxiety or panic.

 

After the peak around dawn, the cortisol level declines somewhat to the daytime level. At a normal level, cortisol makes you feel energetic for daytime activities.

 

The rise in morning cortisol is triggered by light on your eyelids. Sunlight controls all our circadian rhythms, see https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Circadian_rhythm

 

Blocking out light to the bedroom might help blunt the effect of the morning cortisol jump. If your bedroom gets a lot of morning sun (as mine does, it's south-facing), you might want to put in blackout shades, blackout curtains, and wear a sleep mask. Try a sleep mask first, it's least expensive.

Only two pages into this thread, will read it little by little but was wondering about this. Is the light usually only troubling in the mornings for people? When it comes to anxiety (rather than just the ''physical light sensitivity'') I mean. Because I'm experiencing this all throughout the day, the sunlight makes me feel a lot worse mentally in general, and I'm not sure why. Might sound strange and maybe doesn't make sense at all, so I'm wondering if this is just in my head or if it has any possible logical explanation.

2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Some people become light sensitive and this can trigger symptoms, too. See our topics in Symptoms about reducing light stimulation.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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46 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Some people become light sensitive and this can trigger symptoms, too. See our topics in Symptoms about reducing light stimulation.

Okay, thanks. Will do.

2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Whew, this is a long topic, lots to read through! Mostly, I want to discuss the LONG TERM approaches I've taken to addressing my intense problems with sleep. Sorry, you won't get a silver bullet / magic pill answer in this post from me, but what I've been doing is working.

 

I've dealt with very intense "sleep problems" for at least as long as I've been on and withdrawing from psych drugs (25+ years), and my sense is that sleep has been an issue at some level for me since childhood. In my adult life, my daily cycle has been waking up completely groggy, lethargic, "out of it," and yet my mind is racing and I have a sense of frozen terror. Some days this has been not as bad, some days it has been waking up into a nightmare. It completely sucks. This state I experience when I wake up can last for hours. But as the day goes on, generally I would feel better, until by late afternoon, I would start to feel really pretty good. By evening, I felt I could take on the world, but by nighttime I would be laying in bed ruminating about all the things I could have and should have done differently (BETTER) that day, and how I would do better the next day. As time went on, I used a variety of substances (along with psych drugs) to try to address the challenges of this cycle . . . alcohol at night (along with a nighttime benzo dose to "settle down", caffeine and nicotine upon rising to get my body going, and to compensate for a morning dose of the benzo to "settle my anxiety." I would drink coffee throughout the day, generally a pot or so a day. And eventually, you guessed it, everything collapsed. 


My WD process has been to remove all of these (what I consider to be) "external toxins" from my body and to try to work with my body, mind and soul to regulate itself. There has been a lot of talk about supplements in this thread, and believe me, I GET IT! Sleep is SO IMPORTANT to general healthy functioning, and not getting it in the right ways throws everything off. It's excruciatingly painful. And during my WD process, I tried different supplements, and if some of these things provide temporary relief for folks during the WD process, AWESOME! But for me, my overall goal has been that I need to stop finding extra new stuff to put into my body, and keep tapering OFF of the stuff (toxins) that I've been putting into my body all these years, and let my body heal itself. As I get my body "detoxed," its ways of "speaking" to me have become more clear, and I'm learning to listen to the messages.

 

For me, it doesn't work to say that a cortisol spike is THE CAUSE of my morning anxiety and nighttime agitation (insomnia). But yes, I can understand what is going on in the context of cortisol, and do things to MANAGE my experiences of these fluctuating, and perhaps extreme, cortisol levels.  But I have to ask, WHY ARE MY MORNING CORTISOL LEVELS SO EXTREME? Nadia touched on what I'm referring to in one of her comments:

On 7/19/2011 at 1:05 PM, Nadia said:

I think there is a difference between "balancing neurotransmitters", which as you say is highly suspect now, and neurotransmitters having an effect period. For example, it's clear that a drug such as MDMA floods your brain with serotonin, and that it certainly has an effect on mood. This doesn't mean it "fixes" anything, however (and of course is potentially very damaging). It could be that the 5HTP alters mood temporarily... just as taking an antiacid will help with acidity in the short-term, for example. But this is just masking a symptom, not finding a cure, and because of our body's counter-reaction, it can be more harmful in the end.

 

I think the answer to all of this is finding ways for our brains and bodies to heal themselves and find balance internally.

 

With regards to the psych drugs, I believe they masked and ultimately exacerbated my sleep issues (specifically on this topic), and more generally, my internal body regulation with regards to my fight / flight / fawn / freeze responses (that were disrupted for me beginning in childhood). In short, my cortisol levels were out of wack and the psych drugs ended up wreaking havoc on my danger response systems and now, the WD process is going through the process of healing ALL of this wounding. I also believe I was experiencing a cyclical "interdose withdrawal" with the benzos (withdrawal between a.m. and p.m. doses).

 

At this point, I take a multivitamin for general health. Aside from that, I try to eat reasonably well (meaning I try to limit sugar, simple carbs and processed foods, eat  organic when I can, don't eat a lot of meat, and try to eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies). I'm not currently exercising much, but this is something I'm moving towards again because I know it's really important. Smart health, nutrition and exercise I think makes a lot of sense in the physical arena of good "self care."

 

Another part of good "self care" for me is good "sleep hygiene" (behavioral self care). There are tons of books out there on the topic, but from a quick Google search, here are most of the basics:

 

Sleep hygiene tips:
  • Maintain a regular sleep routine.
  • Avoid naps if possible.
  • Don't stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 minutes.
  • Don't watch TV or read in bed.
  • Drink caffeinated drinks with caution.
  • Avoid inappropriate substances that interfere with sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Have a quiet, comfortable bedroom.
  • If you are a 'clock watcher' at night, hide the clock.
  • Have a comfortable pre-bedtime routine.

And perhaps most importantly, I've been working on emotional self care. This means that I have to be gentle with myself as I don't PERFECTLY do the physical self care and the behavioral self care. :) And it means I have to go back and heal wounds that were created in early childhood. I was not taught good self care, and that's the most important thing I'm learning now in my WD process, how to care for myself as if I was the most important thing in the world . . . to me. So I'm trying to make "bedtime" for myself the way that a child needs to do bedtime . . . no electronics after a certain time, no sugar before bed, doing quiet activities in a safe, comfortable environment. And then when I wake up and have anxiety, I have to be gentle with myself like a little kid waking up. I encourage myself to get out of bed, and then I wrap a cozy blanket around me and do a walking meditation for a while, gently soothing myself. I could go on and on about what I've developed for myself, but my point is that I have had to find WHAT I NEED do to "regulate my cortisol levels" physically, behaviorally, emotionally . . . and spiritually, intellectually, etc. 

 

Let me be clear, while these "non-supplement" approaches sound simplistic, for me, they are the HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD TO DO. I was not taught good self care as a kid . . . to listen to myself and be aware of my body sensations and emotional feeling. I was taught that to be in OK in the world, that I needed constant "pats on the back" and you don't get pats on the back from others for good self care . . . I have to do that for myself, and it's boring, and frustrating, and stupid, and I hate that it's this way, and WHY DIDN'T MY DAMN PARENTS TEACH ME THIS STUFF AND WHY ISN'T THERE JUST SOME STUPID SUPPLEMENT I CAN TAKE and . . . and . . . and . . . ?!?!?! . . . right? :) 

 

I've also come to discover that while I do seem to have certain "rhythms" (cortisol levels) that correspond to the cycle of a day, I also oftentimes have anxiety WHENEVER I awaken. For me, I think the transition from wakefulness to sleep, and sleep to wakefulness, is just scary. I have a sense that my morning anxiety is basically aspects of myself that are just terrified to face another day. Because another thing I wasn't taught as a kid was healthy boundaries, and each day of my life has meant not having the means to skillfully and safely interact with others. So I wake up, and I don't feel safe going out into the world. And at night, I lay awake ruminating about all the things I SHOULD have said to others and how I should have stood my ground better . . . to speak my truth out loud, and how I will do a better job of it tomorrow! So part of my learning how to SLEEP better involves learning how to LIVE better: Feel my feelings, understand my wants and needs, speak my truth and set boundaries as needed. If I do this, I can go to sleep with less rumination, and wake up with less fear. Again, sounds simple but for me, this little mantra has been the hardest thing in the world for me to put into practice. But I'm doing it.

 

And, I have to say, as I continue with my RECOVERY in the ways I've described generally, I AM learning to live (and sleep) differently . . . more peacefully. So yes, find the things that work for you in the short term (there are many great suggestions in this thread) and continue gently and patiently with your drug WD. But I'd also encourage you to make the long term investments of finding and practicing new gentle expressions of self care habits (self love) each day you awaken.

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Well done, elbee! You are an avatar of self-care. Thank you for posting this.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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32 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Well done, elbee! You are an avatar of self-care. Thank you for posting this.

 

Wow, if I'm an "avatar of self-care" now then my life really IS changing! Thanks Alto ;)

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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9 hours ago, elbee said:

.

Very well put elbee. I think most people can resonate with this in some way. You hit the nail on the head for me with the last part. I haven't even really considered the specific cause of why before, but I am afraid of going to sleep just because I know I have to face another day. Getting to the root of that fear and solving it is probably a very important step. WD is easy to fear in itself of course, but there could be other things like the one you mentioned.

2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Hi all. 

I just wanted to point out that morning anxiety is not always drug related, and happens to lots of people that aren't on/withdrawing from drugs. Case in point: My brother is in the middle of a divorce, and he is waking early with bad anxiety. He is not now, nor has he ever been on psychiatric meds. But he is definitely thinking of going on something, and who am I to stop him? Anxiety is a killer.

My previous drug history was confusing, so I deleted it in favour of the following summary, as best I can recall:

2017 - Jun 2019: olanzapine, dose erratic, ranging from 1.25 to 2.5mg per day.

2017 - Jun 2019: klonopin, dose erratic, ranging from 0.0625mg twice a day to 0.25mg twice a day.

2017 - Jun 2019: gabapentin, dose erratic, ranging from 200 to 300mg per day.

Date uncertain: Lamotrigine, small amount for two months, C/T.

Jun 2019: admitted to hospital after months of severe rage (which I am certain was caused by akathesia, but no doctor caught it). Doctors cold-turkeyed all drugs, I submitted to 10 courses of ECT, and was put on 50mg of seroquel at bedtime.

Jul 2019 - Feb 2020: reduced seroquel sporadically from 50mg to 18.75mg.

Apr 19, 2020: Reduced seroquel from 18.75mg to 16.5mg.

 

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That is true, Ian. Because he's under stress, your brother has an exaggerated reaction to the early morning cortisol spike. He probably isn't sleeping well, either.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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jonnypeters1234567

Looking for tips for how people get through this in the mornings please?

 

Thanks

2009-2010 Citalopram 20mg CT no problems

 

Sertaline 2010- 6monnths

 

2011- 2017 June 2017- Citalopram 20mg CT

 

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What helped me was writing the jumble of thoughts on paper until they settled down. Then I would write down my plans for the day and check them off as I got them done. Sometimes they were just simple things like take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, feed the dog, walk the dog, feed the cat etc. Then I would list the errands I wanted to run for the day. Sometimes I had to cross things off that I had put down because they did not make sense or were inappropriate. Doing this helped to get my morning brain organized in a more linear fashion instead of going over the same thing or things over and over again. It even helped distract me from the morning anxiety.

If you do this and it works for you, you have gained a tool that helps. If it does not, then you haven't lost anything by giving it a try.

Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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lucyinthesky

Has anyone ever tried using crystals to help manage their sleep symptoms?

 

I am frequently waking up with a high heart rate, anxiety and a crazy loud buzzing in my ears. I'm finding that using the right type of crystals really helps with this.

 

Firstly, I use peaceful green/blue and white stones to help me drift off to sleep. I've noticed using these stones give me a deeper, more restful sleep overall, and I have fewer instances of waking up (although I still wake up at least twice). Examples of these crystals are Howlite, Green Aventurine, Amazonite, Blue Lace Agate. I really recommend Howlite and Amazonite!

 

Then for when I wake up with panic/anxiety, I use more grounding stones like Black Tourmaline and Hematite. The tourmaline is amazing, it really centers my energy and calms the entire nervous system. This really helps me get back to sleep.

 

You just hold the stone in your hand. If you want to you can meditate with it. 

 

I must stress that many crystals are way too over-activating, you most likely want to avoid anything that works on the higher chakras (avoid purple and white stones). I even find Rose Quartz to be too activating for sleep.

 

I know to most people this will probably sound far-fetched. The first time I tried using a crystal for sleep I really didn't expect anything, but I was so amazed by the results that I started doing research and testing out different crystals. It's worth a try anyway!

31st May - 11th Aug '18: Olanzapine 2.5mg, Seroquel 50mg

12th Aug - 18th Aug '18: Olanzapine 2.4mg, Seroquel 50mg

18th Aug - present '18: Olanzapine 2.3mg, Seroquel 50mg

22 Sept '18: Olanzapine 2.2mg, Seroquel 50mg

01 Oct '18: Olanzapine 2.1mg, Seroquel 50mg

09 Oct '18: Olanzapine 2.0mg, Seroquel 50mg

28 Oct '18: Olanzapine 1.8mg, Seroquel 50mg

09 Nov'18: Olanzapine 1.6mg, Seroquel 50mg

1 Dec '18: Olanzapine 1.5mg, Seroquel 50mg

27 Dec '18: Olanzapine 1.4mg, Seroquel 50mg

02 Feb '19: Olanzapine 1.3mg, Seroquel 50mg

 

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This happens to me on and off. It happened this morning. Glad I came across this topic. Now I know the cause of this too. 

Prozac (2007-2008), Zoloft (2009-2017) Paxil (2017-2018), Celexa (2018), Luvox (2018-Current) Average 50-200. Nothing as of January 2019

Lorazepam 2007-Current 2MG 3 times a day

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On 8/14/2018 at 5:51 PM, IanM said:

Hi all. 

I just wanted to point out that morning anxiety is not always drug related, and happens to lots of people that aren't on/withdrawing from drugs. Case in point: My brother is in the middle of a divorce, and he is waking early with bad anxiety. He is not now, nor has he ever been on psychiatric meds. But he is definitely thinking of going on something, and who am I to stop him? Anxiety is a killer.

Absolutely, IanM.

From my personal experience in 1977, I view these non-drug related earlywaking/anxiety attacks as two of the classic symptoms of one "having a nervous breakdown".

This was the terminology used in the 1960s/70s, maybe longer, in the popular media.

 

One's first experiences can be likened to the sudden feeling of shock and panic as if a large, roaring lion had entered the room.

 

I was prescribed Ativan, then, and signed off shift-work which I had been doing for the first 14 years of my career (1964-1977).  Not the best overall solution from the elderly doctor with a very comforting bedside manner, but, clearly, Roche/Wyeth (IIRC) had been incredibly convincing.

Later, I believe the benzo, whilst holding off acute anxiety for a few hours, (I slept through the battle scene of the Star Wars movie's premiere in Edinburgh!) did not prevent a full-blown plunge into clinical depression and may even have exacerbated it.

Look after your brother, and best wishes.

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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  • Moderator

Just saw a study about probiotics Lactobacillus helviticus and Bifidobacterium longum used in combination reduced cortisol in urine.

Whether this is good for spikes or not, is unknown.  However, simple lactobacillus rhamnosis (available in kefir or yogurt) can improve GABA regulation, and anxiety scores.

 

From this talk:

 



The probiotic research is getting really good.  I'd rather take bugs than drugs! 

Edited by JanCarol

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Half a cup of coffee decrease the surges for me. Any input on this? 

 

Edit:obviously I don't use this method for early wakings *giggle*

-2012  January started Olanzapine 5mg, 7mg, 10mg, 25mg (2 months), 10mg (long time),5mg.

-2016 June 15th quit Olanzapine from 5mg to 0mg CT.

Other drugs; Imovane,Theralene, Propavane, Stesodil, which I took when I needed to. Quit them w/o trouble late 2015.

 

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This happens to me every morning and every time I try to nap I wake up immediately scared out of my mind. If I could sleep without this I'd just sleep everyday lol. My families like if you don't feel well why don't you just go to sleep? 

I'm like I'm scared to sleep and they look at me like Im crazy.... 

Fluanxol dosage n/a - 6 months cold turkey Start/ may 2015 end/august 2015

Sertraline 100mg - 10 months cold turkey start/ may 2015 End/Feb 2016

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On 11/14/2018 at 10:34 AM, Mewmewkitty said:

Half a cup of coffee decrease the surges for me. Any input on this? 

 

Edit:obviously I don't use this method for early wakings *giggle*

 

yoh, me. the cortisol surge ends every morning after my first cup of coffee. i think it is worse when i am not fully awake.

june 2014 to feb  2015- on xanax 0.25 to 1mg/day- then CT - jan 2016 - panic attack, went on 3.75mg remeron to sleep march 2016- CT remeron (because it caused me tinnitus)- deep depression, couldn't sleep because of  intrusive Tinnitus

april to june 2016- valium 4mg, xanax as needed, lunesta 3mg

june 2016 - valium 4mg, lexapro 10mg

oct 2016- valium 2mg, lexapro 10mg- hold

march 2017- started daily micro liquid taper of valium and lex- -taper speed 0.0033mg valium daily and 0.033mg lex daily

may 2018- valium 1mg, lexapro 2.4mg - i had to slow down the rate of my daily micro taper considerably

LAST dose of Lexapro: 0.05mg on 05/17/19

LAST dose of valium: 0.04mg on 08/18/19

April 26th 2020- intense panic attack that lasted 4 days, akatisia, 0 sleep- suicidal, almost hospitalized- took rescue doses over 2 days- total: 1.5mg xanax, 18mg valium, 2x5mg lexapro

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, trenace said:

I'm like I'm scared to sleep and they look at me like Im crazy....

 

Trenace . . . I think for me part of my being scared to sleep is from being scared to awaken. I know as a kid, waking up to the new day was a scary proposition for me. I've carried that into adulthood and I'm now learning to work with that. Also, for me, dreaming is like a portal to the unconscious . . . an extremely vulnerable place. Waking up can be a raw transition from such vulnerability into "the real world" and the cause of a lot of anxiety to start my day. Luckily I've found ways to work with this and my situation has improved greatly. It CAN be done :) 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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On 11/27/2018 at 9:09 PM, elbee said:

 

Trenace . . . I think for me part of my being scared to sleep is from being scared to awaken. I know as a kid, waking up to the new day was a scary proposition for me. I've carried that into adulthood and I'm now learning to work with that. Also, for me, dreaming is like a portal to the unconscious . . . an extremely vulnerable place. Waking up can be a raw transition from such vulnerability into "the real world" and the cause of a lot of anxiety to start my day. Luckily I've found ways to work with this and my situation has improved greatly. It CAN be done :) 

 

 

I am so glad I read this thread and saw your posts elbee!
I have a trauma history as well and have been experiencing a lot of what you talk about, eps the waking up with the memories of how scary the daytime was as a child

I have to try hard to remind myself that these feelings are rooted in the past and that time no longer exists

 

it's hard though.

I just started having more cortisol spikes and was starting to worry that it was from adding back vit D3 (I only take in during fall and winter due to the lack of sunlight where I live in New England)
I just upped the dose of vit D3 and am going to try backing down on that to see if there's a difference.... I am not sure I need the D3 at all.

 

I like your ideas about self care....I am having trouble convincing myself that I am worth it though. It feels too selfish to me.

 

I've got to come back to this thread when I have more time and my head is clearer,  but just wanted to bookmark it for now and to thank you for sharing your experiences and tips

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Nov. 2020, loving life ❤️ 
 
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1 hour ago, Happy2Heal said:

I like your ideas about self care....I am having trouble convincing myself that I am worth it though. It feels too selfish to me.

 

Happy2Heal, learning self-care for me has come through the context of an "inner child" / "reparenting" framework. Like you, I've had incredible resistance in numerous ways, including feeling "selfish" as you mention, but also overwhelmed, resentful, angry, scared, frustrated, etc. The focus of this topic thread is more biological in nature (cortisol spikes) when dealing with morning anxiety, but I do talk about my "reparenting" work on my own thread, and at some point I'll create a topic specific to the subject ;) 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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On 3/22/2011 at 4:40 PM, Altostrata said:

I was lucky, in the early days of withdrawal syndrome I had anxiety on waking for maybe 1.5 years.

 

It was only much later I realized blocking out the light would have helped.

I seem to have a fear of sleep/relaxation and darkness when I’m not feeling well 😕

 

Rachel - 1998-2012 Prozac 20mg

2012-2014 Prozac 40mg

Sept 17 Remeron 15mg, March ‘18 7.5mg

Jan 31 - Feb 13 1/4 - 1mg Ativan

Jan 31 - feb 5 - 2mg Prozac, 4mg feb 7

feb 10 - 10mg rem, Feb 27 - 7.5mg rem

Feb 27 - March 6th - 5mg Baclofen 

March 12th - Keppra 250mg

March 24 - 30mg phenobarbital 

 

 

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On 6/29/2012 at 8:33 PM, annej said:

Hi Barb,

 

Just some rambling thoughts. . .

 

My morning ritual is very similar to yours. For me, I think my AM "fuzzy and disoriented" feelings are related to the hangover effects of the Klonopin as I tend to clear up during the course of the day. I am working very diligently on not returning to bed, even though the feeling is quite overwhelming. I think it makes me feel all around worse if I go back to bed. The Klonopin, being a benzo, depresses the CNS, and definitely accounts for my overall lethargy. I felt great for the first 4 weeks I was off the K until I took that trip to hell. I am saddened that I had to reinstate the K, but I could not live with the non-stop Tardive akathisia and Tardive dyskinesia. K was the only thing that stopped the torture. At the moment, I have to learn how to live with the side effects of benzos; the sedation, the fuzzy thinking, etc. After more stable time after reinstatement, I will ever so slowly reduce my dose. It simply comes down to quality of life - keeping the TA/TD at bay (while hopefully these recede as more time passes since my last dose of the offending drug(s), and learning how to live as best a quality of life that I can while being on a benzo. I realize that you are in a very similar situation as K helps you with the horrendous bruxism. :) Hugs, Annej

Hi @annej

 

how did your tapering get along? How did your ta/td develope until now?

 

tanha from germany

2010-2018 sertralin, venlafaxin, cymbalta 120 mg, march bupropio, Lorazepam 4 to 0,5 mg qetiapine 200-400 mg Apr mirtazapin 30 - 45 mg, lo tapered, to 0; Apr switch to diazepam 3 mg; jun/jul 15mg, taper to approx. 4,5 mg, Aug: 200 to 400 mg q, 50 mg levomepromazine, m 45 to 30 mg; since tapered q 400-230 mg, m 30 to 15 mg, 1dez m to 16 mg, 4dez 250 mg q, 31. dec 200 mg q

March 1, 2019 - 200 mg quetiapine, 4,5 mg diazepam, 16 mg mirtazapine

March 3, 2019 - 200 mg quetiapine, 4,0 mg diazepam, 16 mg mirtazapine

March 4, 2019 - 200 mg quetiapine, 4,2 mg diazepam,16 mg mirtazapine, 

june 5, 2019 - 100 mg quetiapine, 3 mg Diazepam, 12,185 mg mirtazapine 

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On 3/29/2011 at 3:03 PM, squirrel said:

For me it was like waking up in shock every morning.

This is what it's like for me as well.  Every morning.  Shock.  And I have to talk myself down just to function. 
  
I have been dealing with Psychological Shock since May 2018.  My boyfriend left me suddenly, 3 weeks after doubling his dosage of Lexapro, and his personality changed right in front of me.  All of a sudden he no longer loved me or cared about me or my daughter, and basically detached emotionally from everything he once cared about.  My story is in the Marriages Destroyed by ADs section. 
 

But I do not think the breakup is what is causing the "shock" for me each morning. 

When I discovered what the antidepressants had done to my boyfriend and my relationship, I made a choice to go off of my prescribed medication.  I didn't feel like I really needed it, and I didn't trust the doctors or the "system".
Starting in July 2018, I completed a "fast taper" of Topamax.  I actually tapered this much slower than what doctors recommend, but it still wasn't the 10% per 2-3 weeks as the forums suggest, and now I am paying the price.
I had NO IDEA that the Topamax I was taking for migraines was actually a psychiatric medication called a mood stabilizer.  I had taken it for over 4 years, and no doctor ever asked me how it was working, or if it was affecting my moods. 

They just kept auto-refilling.

Or that it has a 53 page Warnings and Precautions label on the FDA website. 53 pages of fine print about this drug!
I was clued into the fact that I had been taking a psychiatric medication when on the first day I was med-free, I had that "wake-up" experience where colors look brighter, the outlook on the world looked much better, and I was all of a sudden in a brighter mood.
But by then it was too late, I had tapered too fast.  So I went back to my dosage as of 3-weeks before that (per many posts saying that is the best we can do to avoid kindling).  
But I am still paying the price for a fast taper.  
   
I had never experienced depression in my life.  But now I can say this hit me like a freaking truck. 
I am tracking my drug-induced depression symptoms daily, taking supplements to ease things (Omega-3 fish oils, Magnesium L-Threonate, coconut oil, and I am checking out Vitamin C as well).

Every morning I also have this shock or dread, even before I open my eyes. 

Sadness, gloom, and I have to talk my way out of each thought sometimes just to face the day without crying. 

Sometimes it's even before any sunlight is visible.  

I am considering the mask to sleep in to see if that makes things better.

But I often have this shock feeling that lasts well into the afternoon, sometimes late evening.

How long does this last?  

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term treatment with psychiatric medication
          May 2018
  Boyfriend left me without warning after double-dosage increase in Lexapro (also taking Ambien). He was not planning it - made the decision in 5 minutes. 
          Jul 2018    Discovered truth about Antidepressant impact to relationships. Docs did not warn boyfriend or any family of these dangers.  I do not trust my meds.  Decided to stop my prescription meds. 
                             Tapered slower than docs instructed. Was not on ADs, but did NOT know that my migraine med was a psychiatric med - and I tapered too fast.

          Sep 2018   Experienced "wake-up" - recognized it as something AD users experience when stopping meds.  Started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstated low dose.  

 

Sep 2013  |  Topiramate 50 mg   Jun 2014  |  Phentermine 37.5 mg

Jul 2018   |  Topiramate 50 mg    |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Aug 2018  |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate   0 mg   |  Phentermine   0.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Jan  2018 |  Topiramate 22 mg    |  Phentermine 37.5 mg                        Supplements: Omega 3, Magnesium L-Threonate, Probiotic

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It had never occurred to me that my extreme anxiety could be caused by my meds or by withdrawal.

 

I discovered, in 2011, that my wife was having an affair.

 

This led, very quickly, to our divorce.

 

I was gutted. I had made the mistake of making her my world, which is unhealthy and very risky and, as it turns out, it would end up destroying me.

 

In addition, after the divorce, my ex-wife, knowing my psychology, embarked on a campaign to hurt me as much as she could using means aimed at triggering my anxiety.

 

It worked very effectively and for the last seven years I have been battling with extreme anxiety, even though my ex-wife is no longer trying to cause me any problems.

 

It made it almost impossible to work and, over time, I lost everything. House, car, the lot.

 

Over the last seven years I have been prescribed countless different drugs in efforts to give me back my life.

 

None of it has been very effective and now I can't help thinking that the drugs themselves, or the constant switching of drugs, might actually be causing or perpetuating the anxiety.

 

Many nights I will have horrendous nightmares that affect me for most of the following day.

 

Most mornings I am woken up with a heart trying to pound its way out of my chest and a sense of fear, dread and impending doom.

 

It does usually ease somewhat as the day progresses but the mornings can be very hard to gt through.

 

Each day is about just making it to bed time to escape again.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1983 to 2016:  Didn't keep a record. Will try and find info and post here if/when I can.

 

Jan 2017:   paroxetine 50mg     risperidone   0.5mg     gabapentin   600mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 30mg
Apr 2018:   paroxetine 25mg     risperidone   0.5mg     gabapentin 1800mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 60mg
Aug 2018:  paroxetine 25mg     risperidone 0.25mg     gabapentin 1800mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 60mg
Nov 2018:  paroxetine 25mg     risperidone 0.12mg     gabapentin 1800mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 30mg
Dec 2018:  paroxetine 25mg     risperidone       0mg     gabapentin 1800mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 30mg
Jan 2019:  paroxetine 25mg     risperidone       0mg     gabapentin 1800mg     Ritalin 20mg     mirtazapine 15mg

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Waking with panic or anxiety - managing the morning cortisol spike
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Thought I'd mention what has happened to me a few times recently.  I wake up feeling relaxed and my body temperature is comfortable, ie I am not feeling hot, then all of a sudden as I am just lying there and still relaxed and not having moved, I start sweating.  One time it was all over body sweating where I could feel it oozing out of my skin and my nightie ended up quite wet.  I am past menopause so it is not related to that.  I'm assuming that it is a cortisol surge.  Thankfully I don't seem to get any other sensations or feelings at the same time.

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Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Feb 2021:  Pristiq 0.365 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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I’m really struggling with this. I’m having awful dreams and then waking in a panic, shaking, trembling and feeling confused. 

 

Heart thumping and thoughts racing. I then feel limp like a noodle and exhausted. I am then feeling better by about 11am and back to normal by the evening. 

 

 

Current Dose

0.5mcg Clonidine and 1.25 Diazepam PRN for treatment of iatrogenic hypertension. 

2010 .Prescribed Pristiq 100 mg in July by GP

2010 .Reduced to 50mg by splitting and weighing. Held at 50mg

2014. Reduced from 50-35 .Held at 35mg. 

2017. Taper from 35mg commenced using compounded Desvenlafaxine

2018. 23/06 13.5mg. 21/07  12.5mg. 25/08 11.5mg. 09/2018 10mg. 14/11 11mg (updose) 21/11 -12mg (updose)

2019. Still holding at 12mg and stuck. 

2020. January 2019 Prozac Bridge-- Prozac 2.5 to 10mg and

Pristiq 23rd Jan 6mg/ 27th Jan 5mg/ 28th Jan 3mg/ 30 Jan 0

Prozac 6th Feb 9.5mg. Vitamin D3 5000iu with K2

Magnesium Glycinate with Glycine and Passionflower  600mg 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike

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