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Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike


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Hi Fefesmom

 

If I can’t go back to sleep, I get up and have some cereal, do some reading and also take Magnesium Citrate.

 

This usually works for me. But it has been a bit harder recently, maybe because of the onset of spring and more daylight hours.

 

If I have problems getting to sleep in the first place, I use a relaxing, meditative recording.

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

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Hi again.

 

I am taking magnesium 250mg (as magnesium oxide). Can't find mag. citrate or mag. glycinate.

 

Any suggestions where I can look? I got these at CVS. Is 250mg enough?

 

Also got an album for my ipod called Instant Sleep by Glenn Harrold which is very helpful.

 

Thanks! FM

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi fefesmom,

trying going online for the mag citrate or mag glycinate - i couldn't find either in local shops either. I have run out, but i was taking 400mg mag citrate - anymore and i got the runs

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • 1 month later...

I'm confused about cortisol. Mine is low. I was told that Cortisol doesn't cause stress, it is released by the adrenals when the body experiences stress. And that it is anti-inflammatory. And when adrenals are fatigued, they can't produce enough Cortisol to keep up with the stress.

 

How does this line up with everyone wanting to find ways to reduce it? Thanks.

Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

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I went to a holistic dr. For awhile in 2008-2009. He said the only meaningful way to measure cortisol is with a 24-hr. urine collection...don"t know if that is true or not. Mine was quite high, 130 when he said the tipping point for having problems was 100. Personally, I think there are so many possible causes of high and low. I think the nervous and endocrine systems are so linked, and step one is to get off the drugs. It is bad enough that the regular docs are so entwined with Big Pharma, but the holistic docs making a mint out of selling their own supplements takes it to a new level. I have been struggling with my health since 1999...maybe I'm a little jaded :)

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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cmusic, how was your cortisol measured?

 

Meimei is right about the 24-hour urine test for cortisol.

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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So I definitely had to do something over 24 hours - they had 4 data points on a time chart. But I'm thinking it was a saliva test and not urine. Could this be why it showed low? Is that less reliable? Thanks.

Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

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The saliva tests for cortisol are completely unreliable.

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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Damn. Here I am basing things on this and talking to these 'doctors' about treatments. Between that and the food 'allergies' thing it's just madness.

 

So would a good mainstream endocrinologist be able to do an accurate test for Cortisol and adrenal function? Seems like they would just take a blood test. Where would one find a reliable 24 hour urine test?

Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

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Damn. Here I am basing things on this and talking to these 'doctors' about treatments. Between that and the food 'allergies' thing

 

For my $1000s spent, my understanding is the test is real, but does not necessarily correlate with symptoms. It's a different immunoglobin subtype, but imagine I was allergic to a type of pollen , but I lived in AZ where that pollen didn't exist. I would be asymptomatic. Imagine at one time my gut lining was damaged, and I developed gluten allergies. When my gut healed, no more undigested gluten would hit my bloodstream, so I would be asymptomatic even if I ate gluten. The trial is an elimination diet of 4-6 weeks to see if you're sensitive. Just what I was told...who knows the truth.

 

Gluten is a big deal to me, causes fatigue and depression.

 

You might want to read this blog: www.emchpsychiatry.com. He's a holistic psychiatrist in town; I haven't seen him. You can also read his take on the folic acid mutation. But he seems to use some supplements that are not recommended here.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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You could also search beyondmeds.com for adrenal fatigue....I think Gia has thoughts...

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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A 24-hour cortisol test effectively involves urinating into a bucket for 24 hours.

 

You may or may not be able to convince an endocrinologist to order one.

 

However, what would results mean? The endocrinologist won't do anything unless there's a tumor somewhere that can be removed.

 

If you have waves of anxiety, panic, alerting, etc., you can assume cortisol is involved as the neurotransmitter. This may or not amount to something that's measurable on tests.

 

You don't get "filled" with cortisol when you get these waves of cortisol-mediated symptoms. The amount of cortisol needed to transmit these impulses is small.

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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  • 2 months later...
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I now have to deal with reactive hypoglycemia and I'm back on the "dawn patrol."

 

It may be that low blood sugar plays a part in this early-morning alerting. To deal with hypoglycemia, it seems that ingesting some protein during the night can help reduce the early-morning cortisol spike (the adrenals release cortisol to deal with low blood sugar).

 

I've heard that taking some whey protein isolate when you wake up in the middle of the night can help. Have some unflavored whey protein with NO SUGAR or artificial sweeteners mixed in some water handy. It doesn't taste bad, it's very neutral.

 

Take this with a cider vinegar tablet to prevent a blood sugar spike, which will further wake you up. Vinegar and lemon juice slow the progress of sugars into the bloodstream.

 

This seemed to help me to get back to sleep last night. Theoretically, this ameliorates low blood sugar in the early morning.

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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Can't remember where I recently read this but it is something about the 'glial cells' that wake us up in the morning and it is they who respond to the dip in blood sugar. For awhile there, when I woke up at the proper time, I'd say to myself  'I've got to feed my glias'. Now, I generally have to force myself to eat in the morning, the bit of sugar and creamer in my coffee is the only thing I give my whining glias. I am so thankful I do not have any sleep issues at the moment. I wake up to pee and can gratefully fall back to sleep easily. On the meds I had to constantly fight my urge to stay awake and DO something because often sleep was elusive and prompted the use of clonazepam.

 

Good to know about the isolate if I ever need it.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Alto,

Is that a recent onset or change? How was it diagnosed? I'm sorry you're dealing with this now.

 

B~

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Relora review:

 

I got the Now brand which contains 300mg.  Relora (a proprietary blend of a patented extract from magnolia officinalis bark and a proprietary extract from Phellodendron amurense bark).

 

The claims are that it reduces stress, is relaxing and supports healthy cortisol levels.  I wanted to find out if it would reduce my daytime cortisol symptoms.

 

The quick answer is that it did, in that respect, for me it worked very well, but there were some side effects, so I wont be using it on a regular basis, as is recommended.

 

For me, the calming effect took between 1 -2 hours to kick in.  When I took it in the morning, it stopped the inner vibrations and shaking and general feelings of body tension, but I was so 'relaxed' that I wasn't able to do anything but lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling.  I had no motivation or interest in anything. I didn't even care that I was laying on the couch all day doing nothing. Usually I want to want to do things, but don't because I feel too sick. In hindsight, maybe that was a good thing, but at the time, realizing that I wasn't caring made me panic.  I imagined that I would just lay there for ever and never move again, not even to eat or drink.  I also dozed off to sleep on and off.  Perhaps if I had taken it for longer, or even a lower dose, it might not have had such an impact.  It was reported that some people get initial drowsy effects, but that they wear off.

 

The main thing I didn't like about it was that there was a significant rebound anxiety effect.  For me, they would wear off after about 6 -7 hours, and if I didn't take another one, I would be suffering with another cortisol surge, even if it was late afternoon or evening, and for me that's unusual.

 

Yesterday I took one at 6pm because I'd had a difficult stressful day (because of certain events) and desperately needed to calm my body down.  So I had a pleasant evening, but by about midnight, it had worn off and I couldn't go to sleep. I usually sleep quite well, but last night I didn't get much sleep because of rebound cortisol, I could have taken another capsule, but then it would have been wearing off during the early hours of this morning and the cortisol surge would have been worse than ever, as it was, it was pretty bad, probably rebounding from the capsule I took at 6pm.

 

The recommended dose is one cap 2 -3 times a day.  I took them twice a day for 2 days.  I think I would need to take them at least 3 times a day to avoid the rebound.  On one night I woke up at 1am with a jump and surge of panic, so I took another capsule and went back to sleep and slept through until about 8am.

 

On a positive note, I didn't get any of the other possible side effects like headache or stomach cramps.

 

This morning was fairly bad, but now, I'm feeling about the way I usually feel at this time of the day and its been 23 hours since I took the last capsule, so I think the paradoxical or rebound effects are very short lived compared with the unbalancing effects of meds like xanax and valium.  But my 'experiments' haven't been very scientific and this is just my experience.

 

I'm glad I got them, because for the occasional emergency situation, they don't seem to be as toxic or harmful as Xanax, but I'm not planning on taking another one any time soon.

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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Just catching up with this -- Barb, I've always had very mild reactive hypoglycemia, and simply didn't eat much sugar. I got more sensitive to it lately. But that's going away now. I started having a whey drink at bedtime again, it helps.

 

Thanks for asking.

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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Alto, I seem to be going through a similar thing too. I'm awake and miserable to be in bed in the total darkness at "dark o'clock". I haven't looked at the clock but assume its 4 or 4:30.

 

Do you have any problem with reflux after you do your whey night time shake? How much do you have? A glass, half a glass?

 

Is there any end to this?

I started withdrawing off remeron in August of 2009, with the help of a holistic physician.The reason for the withdrawal was a year or two of off and on nausea, deterioration in my thinking, and more depression. It took me a full year to work from 135 mg down to 45mg. At that point, more drops were causing more depression. Unfortuately, the nervousness that I was also feeling for the last year continued with the 45 mg. Thirty one days ago, I stopped the remeron. I am still feeling the nervousness every day and the last week, I am feeling what I think is depression but not sure. In bed in the morning, I'm already dreading another day feeling this way. I am intensely unsure of myself and find it very hard to do anything. I was a practicing veterinarian for 29 years until I found I could not practice anymore. First of all I couldn't think, or remember, and I had absolutely no confidence in anything I did. These were things I did with relative ease for twenty+ years. So, this feeling of no confidence has been during the time I was on the AD(the last 2 years) and today. I take no other medication other than my blood pressure meds. I tried supplements with my holistic dr. but they seemed to make the intense nervousness even more intense. Anyway, I truly feel stuck.

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No, I don't have any trouble with reflux. I drink a small glass at about 8 p.m.

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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I have had this for so many years.  Is it the fear of the anxity coming on?  LIst of things to worry about - the worry habit?

 

Or is it something that meds were supposed to to correct and only made worse?

 

On the rare occasions that I did not wake up with this annoying anxiety which has become a morning ritual I felt wonderful, alive and blessed.  It never really lasted for more than a few days.

 

Are some of us just wired this way????????

 

If I eat sugary things at night it does affect this negatively.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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I have had this for so many years. Is it the fear of the anxity coming on? LIst of things to worry about - the worry habit?Or is it something that meds were supposed to to correct and only made worse?Are some of us just wired this way????????

Nikki,For me, this is a distinct withdrawal symptom that I've only experienced after cold switches in 2008 (including Paxil CT) and then when DCing Pristiq. I had no idea what it was in 2008 and docs added antipsychotics, upped the benzos, etc. None helped and I, fortunately, didn't continue on that cocktail for long. Throughout the last 2 years it's cycled from pure panic/ anxiety with racing heart and then to anger / irritability / rage for a few months. When in panic cycle, I wake with thoughts that i have to escape my home situation (flee) which, of course, intensifies the anxiety and fear. I try to remind myself that this is caused by the drugs and not give it airtime in my head. This is not to say the issues don't exist but attempting to figure out a real life cause (and solution) during the throes of drug-induced neuroemotions is like trying to reason with someone who is drunk or high. I've been waking at 4:30 again with panic after several months reprieve. It seemed to worsen with summer and long days, but that may just be coincidence.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Yes, in the winter, the light stimulation is less intense.

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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Suggestion: Magnesium oil can be helpful for those middle-of-the-night wakeful surges, with more convenience and less stomach distress than taking a tablet. It is absorbed through the skin and the effect can last for hours. Because it's directly absorbed, it's very powerful. A little can go a long way; too much can go paradoxical. Try just a dab or one spray to begin with.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Second review of Relora:

 

Yesterday morning I took a quarter amount 75mg by opening the capsule and dividing the powder.  It worked in the same way as a full capsule by calming the inner shaking and physical cortisol symptoms, there was also the same depressing, unmotivated effect, but not as bad as with a full capsule, but bad enough that I found it disturbing. It also killed my appetite for the entire day, which is mainly what they are promoted for.  I usually get my appetite back about mid afternoon when the cortisol decreases. There was no rebound effect with 75mg.

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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Thanks, Phil!I tried 2 months of Seriphos for reducing cortisol... it's hard to know for sure, but I think it helped. I'm ordering another month's supply to take it again in case my recent setback lasts longer or gets worse. (I'm still a million times better than I was when I first came to the site, though! Important to remember.) I think the Seriphos and walking for 45 minutes a day helped me most.

 

I thought about trying Seriphos last year, but I didn't know when to take it during the day. I read online that it helped if your body produced too much cortisol in response to stress, which I'm sure was happening to me, but it also said you have to time it right for maximum effect so I was confused.

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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Hi Finn,

 

Seriphos is a tricky one. I agree there's so much conflicting information out there about how and when to take it.

 

For my part, it didn't help at all. In fact when i took it, I awoke every hour on the hour. It disrupted my sleep.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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From a conversation with a sleep doctor, I've gleaned that low blood sugar might add adrenaline to the early-morning cortisol surge.

 

He recommends loading with complex carbohydrates before bedtime, such as split-pea soup or other legumes, whole grain toast, or steel-cut or rolled oatmeal.

 

Complex carbs work with melatonin, help keep blood sugar level, and may reduce the cortisol surge.

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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This happens to me constantly. It's waned a bit in the past few days but man, do I wake up with jumping, shaking, slowed breathing, anxiousness that something terrible will happen to me.

I am off of all meds as of May 20th, 2013, after 5 weeks on Zoloft and a 4 week taper. Still experiencing: moderate anhedonia & PSSD, I am otherwise mostly healed. 

 

2.1 years off of medication. 

 

"If I walk away, don't hate me. I've got to see where the pain will take me.

 

I found no angels...I found myself."

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  • 3 months later...

Hi guys is it okay to take phosphatidylserine complex? bottle says phosphatidylserine complex 500mg. It has Phosphatidylserine 100mg, phosphatidylcholine 55mg, phosphatidylethanolamine 40mg, and phosphatidylinositol 20mg. i tried it a few times on small doses maybe like 1/8 to 1/4 of a tablet around 9-10 pm because i usually wake up at 2-4am. it seemed to help but i was having weird dreams so i stopped for a few days. then this morning i had segmented sleep again so i took a 1/4 tablet around 4am just to try it in the morning. i seemed to feel anxious then i took some cal/mag/zinc+d3 and the anxiety went away. any ideas? thanks all and hope you are all hanging on and steadily improving.

Dec 2012 tried 10 mg Lexapro caused panic attack 

                 titrated 5 mg, and finally settling at 2.5 mg for some time

Jan-May 2013 on and off carelessly experimented on doses from 1.5 mg to as high as 12.5 mg 

June 2013 had extreme anxiety/panic attacks/paranoia when I ran out of samples.

July 7 2013 - August 10 2013 went back to 2.5 mg to relieve the anxiety and it worked until i felt restless and agitated

August 11 2013 AD-free and substituted with 5-HTP and it seemed to work together with GABA after I read "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross 

dec 20, 2013 switched to 5mg Valium from 0.25mg-0.5mg xanax daily and felt better

dec31 3.75mg V

 

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Look for "SERIPHOS" and take 1 capsule at bed time.

Having weird dreams is common in w/d.

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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I am still struggling with significant morning dread and anger and waking with racing heart (2.5 years post Pristiq). I've been through various workups (blood testing- not reliable, I understand) for adrenal exhaustion. Hydrocortisone and ADR adrenal supplement to increase cortisol both seemed to make me worse.

 

I've been considering PS /Seriphos for a few years, but have been afraid of its effects if my cortisol is, indeed, already low. I found this exerpt from something Nadia posted back in July 2011:

 

"Phosphatidylserine is believed to facilitate the repair of the

cortisol receptors in the hypothalamus. It is believed that the

cortisol receptors get damaged by high cortisol levels reducing the

ability of the hypothalamus to sense and correct high cortisone

levels. Because Phosphatidylserine helps repair the feedback control

apparatus, it is useful in correcting both high and low cortisol

levels."

 

Question: if my cortisol is spiking in early AM, is it reasonable to think that might result in a low/trough level at 8am?

 

Any thoughts or precautions on trying PS in light of my (possibly) low adrenal function? My others symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (low heartrate and low BP) have normalized.

 

I greatly appreciate any feedback. This issue is so confusing to me and produces my worst symptom - the morning dread followed by hours of crushing fatigue that lets up later in day.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Have you tried taking magnesium glycinate when you wake up or in the early hours?

 

Also, is your bedroom blacked out from the early morning light?

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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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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  • 1 month later...

This anxiety in the mornings is one of the big ones I'm worried about coming back when beginning this taper. I did not get this until about four weeks after I finished my last prozac dose. I took my curtains down because I thought it had something to do with not having enough sunlight. Now I'm reading it's the opposite.  Somehow even though I had a rapid taper, I was fine while weaning. With my husband traveling it leaves me to be the one to put on the chipper face and wake the kids up which is so hard when I'm alone and feeling miserable. I remember wanting to flee my house and not wanting to be in there. Which is kind of hard when you're a stay at home mom. I was kind of hoping since I now know how to correctly come off the meds that I might not get this again. :(

- 2006 - 2009 Prozac 20mg 

- June 2009- February 2010 OB/GYN recommended switching to wellbutrin while pregnant with 2nd child.

- February 2010 switched back to Prozac 20mg

 

Have been weaning since 2013ish - Currently at 4mg

 

 

 

 My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5546-kristinacc-intro/

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Hi Kristina;morning anxiety is awful and it is due to high cortisol levels.

Try to keep your room dark and cool.

This is a very tough process;the good news is that it gets better.I'm telling you this because I've been there and it has gotten much better for me.

 

Be patient,take care of yourself, and have faith it will get better.

 

Hugs,A.

 

PS How long have you been off AD? It would be good if you put your drug history

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

EO, I just Googled this thread and pulled it up because I wanted to post in it today! I wasn't expecting there to be any recent posts. We must be on the same wavelength.

 

Having some cortisol mornings these days...just the usual thing, withdrawal. It happens periodically, when I've made a set of cuts.  Cortisol mornings are one of the ways I know it's time to hold for a month or so.

 

Not severe now, just very unpleasant. I lie in bed restless, anxious, hating my life, but don't want to get out of bed. I don't know why, it's just always been that way for me, I feel too restless and awake to sleep but I don't want to get up and go deal with the world either, that feels too anxiety-provoking.

 

But eventually the restlessness wins out and I get up. Now I've got a pot of (decaf) tea brewing and I feel like I don't want to do anything but I have to do something. So I'm here. I'll spend some time on my computer, check my email (anxiety provoking also). Maybe today I'll succeed in dragging myself out for a short walk, but maybe not. 

 

In a few hours it will be time to go to work, then I'll work, then I'll come home and go to bed, and by then I'll be feeling better, but the whole cycle will start again tomorrow morning.

 

I hate it and it feels like my life will never get better than this. And maybe it won't.

 

Sorry to be such a downer.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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