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Marsx: I'm suffering so badly after cold turkey

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Marsx

Moderator note: link to benzo thread Marsx: Am I not taking into account a clonazepam withdrawal?

 

Hello I'm a 28 year old female with a history of anxiety and depression which is mainly caused by severe insomnia persistent since childhood. My insomnia was always my first condition which caused the others. I've been on numerous antidepressants since age 18 being a guinea pig for many psychiatrists over the years. I always felt like crap on antidepressants as I told the doctors I wasn't depressed, just i had severe insomnia. 

 

Anyways, for the past 4 years I have been on amitriptyline which was God sent for my insomnia. In hindsight it was just the antihistamines drowsy effect that was helping me. I was on a very high dose of 150mg. Reason is because b4 the amitriptyline I was on Seroquel and again the antihistamine effect and drowsiness put me to sleep and changed my life. But Seroquel was pooping out very fast. I would increase weekly until I was taking 500mg. Finally switched to amitriptyline 150mg and produced the same effect. Was stable on amitriptyline for 4 years until it completely pooped out in helping me sleep. At this point I was tired of all the drugs. I had severe constipation from amitriptyline that caused a bowel obstruction and hospitalization several times and I was sick of it.i was sick of my doctors who were unhelpful. I was sick of my psychiatrists. Everyone sucked. So I completely cold turkeyed off 150mg of amitriptyline. That was 14 months ago to this date. I have been in a living nightmare of suicidal depression along with a host of physical symptoms and brain feeling like it'll explode. Fatigue has been so bad I quit my really good job. I obviously didn't know anything about tapering and thought I was doing the right thing. I hate myself for it. I only got through it telling myself it's just withdrawal and give it one more day. I've been saying one more day for the past year or so and realizing it's not just one more day. Things never got better. I have never been as suicidally depressed as I've been in this past year. My insomnia has not improved in 14 months. I get maybe a max of 5 hours of sleep a week. My hair has fallen out from stress and I'm bald in certain spots. The fatigue has been so bad lately that my body feels it weighs 1000 lbs. I hate my family so I have no support. 

 

I finally read about PAWS and realizing how bad my life is and probably won't get better. So I decided to reinstate at 14 months because I simply have no choice. I just can't do it anymore. I can't. I know I can't and I know my only other option besides reinstating and it's not good. So I reinstated at 5mg and I am getting severe tremors. I remember now even trying to reinstate at 4 months in and getting tremors but feeling like the reinstatement helped. The same thing happens when I try Seroquel. In fact when I try a drowsy antihistamine the same thing happens. These tremors are seriously noticible in my face and hands. But otherwise I think the reinstatement helps right away. My entire body is twitching but it almost feels like I'd rather have this then the hell of withdrawal.

 

On a side note I've been doing a lot of research on amitriptyline. I found literature saying it has the same chemical properties as the old antipsychotics which caused people tardive akthesia, taken long enough. It makes sense as all these drugs have a seditative antihistamine in them. I believe it's all connected. I've tried reinstating with Seroquel and the same tremors are appearing but Seroquel also seems to be too much for my system to handle.

 

Ive lost my job. I look like in 50 years old, and just remembering over a year ago I actually still had a joy for life before going off the amitriptyline. 

 

QUESTION:

checked myself into a psychiatric hospital and obviously they don't recognize paws as a real thing so they suggest ECT therapy for my depression. I'm wondering if anyone has tried ECT for PAWS??? I've never had depression quite like this and it's 100 withdrawal. The physical symptom of brain exploding/burning which I don't know how to explain seems to be the most severe along with being completely bed ridden. I'm willing to do ECT if it helps. 

 

Edited by Shep
removed obscenity (ChessieCat), added link to benzo thread (Shep)

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ChessieCat

Hi Marsx and welcome to SA,

 

Please carefully read Post #1 of About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Q1:  What drug are you currently taking?

 

Q2:  What dose are you currently taking?

 

Q3:  How long have you been taking it?

 

It sounds like your CNS is destabilised and you have reinstated too high a dose.  You might find that taking a very small amount, 0.25mg or 0.5mg may be enough to help with the withdrawal symptoms without causing the issues.

 

Here is SA's discussion:  ect-for-withdrawal-symptoms

 

protracted-withdrawal-or-paws-post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome-how-long-does-it-last

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  

 

This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 

 

 

We encourage members to learn and use  Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

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Marsx

I have read what you asked me to read. I'm having severe trouble focussing and concentrating so I'm getting overwhelmed. I think I created the signature as best I could understand.

From what I've read on here, it's too late for me to reinstate but I have no other options, my withdrawal is too severe. I tried to create a liquid dosage. Anything less than 5mg is still giving me extreme tremors, but not helping the withdrawal. Last few days I took 5mg and I'm having tremors but my brain fried feeling went away so I know the reinstatement is helping even a year later. But tremors are really bad and I'm afraid they'll become permanent. Hands and face are jerking uncontrollably. 

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PoetJester

Hi Marsx

 

i can relate to quite a lot of what you posted.  the brain exploding thing- (mine feels like it's swelling against my skull a lot of days-  related to eating gluten which i never had a problem with before meds), the heavy body thing- the worse sleep is the heavier my body feels- like i made out of sludge somedays especially in the torso, how all the doctors i have encountered have been tools and no help at all ( i have a feeling there are good ones out there, but i don't know where they are-  all i get are the careless, conceited  and incompetent ones), my family being mostly of no support or understanding, the looking a lot older than i am -  i am 46 and now have huge double bags under my eyes from poor sleep that are bigger and more grotesque than most 80 year old's.  i don't even like to look in the mirror now.  it's depressing to see how deformed my face looks now.  i even tried a reinstatement about 3 years into a cold turkey wd from zoloft and zyprexa.  i was hardly sleeping and my sleep was so shallow that i would stagger around during the day and was unsteady on my feet and felt like a tree about to fall over.   

 

i took remeron and it didn't go terribly well.  i started sleeping deeper and could do a few things, but it caused lots of side effects for me- laryngeal dystonia where my voice changed- lost the ability to sing and reach the higher parts of my vocal range,  blurry vision, headaches, and then about 2 months in i developed bright red rashes in my armpits that were leaking pus and causing my entire apt to smell like fish sticks for months.  i just cold turkeyed off the remeron 3 weeks ago and am back to the bad sleep, heavy body, extreme fatigue thing.  if you feel like reading a couple encouraging posts on reinstatement you could try Bellatrix or Bking.    Bellatrix started with very small amounts of a liquid drug and worked up the dosage slowly and said most wd subsided about 2 months into reinstating.  it seems like our bodies become extremely weakened and stressed by wd and regular doses can be too much for the body.  

 

Poetjester (Derek)

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Marsx

I also have severe bags under my eyes that has done such damage to my face that daily someone always gasps at the darkness under my eyes.

Most people on here attribute withdrawal to lack of sleep but in my case I was actually started on AD and APs primarily for insomnia. I did not have anxiety or depression. I've had debilitating insomnia since I was a child. Looking back I wish I had learned to accept it but therapy didn't help. I've tried everything for insomnia and I've been in PAWS for well over a year and my insomnia has not improved the slightest. I am trying to meditate to learn to accept it but it's hard when I know how much it effects the bags under my eyes and the fatigue felt in my body. I'm only 28 and i don't know how to cope even though I do day by day. Has anyone used radical acceptance as a method of dealing with insomnia and if so can you please give me advice?

 

I think my main issue right now is I'm developing TD symptoms. Its not just tremors,, it's full blown muscle spasms at the reinstatement of amitriptyline. At a minimum 5mg seem to help my PAWS but TD is out of control. Anyone know if there's a way to deal with the TD? Most people would probably come off the med, especially saying I have been of it for over a year. But I cannot deal any longer with the PAWS. I've found stuff on this site of TD symptoms during withdrawal but mine came at reinstatement. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Marsx.

 

I am so sorry you're going through this. What we see is that going on and off psychiatric drugs is wearing on the nervous system, which becomes very sensitive to all kinds of stimuli, drugs, supplements, and sometimes even foods.

 

Do you find you're sensitive to light or sound?

 

The poop-outs you've experienced sound like paradoxical reactions from a sensitized nervous system. When the nervous system feels like it's being pressed down too much by drugs, it can react in a paradoxical way: It is activated. Too high a dose can cause the opposite effect of what's intended.

 

If 4mg amitriptyline causes tremors, try 1mg. Yes, we do see sometimes that people are so sensitive, a reinstatement of 1mg or even less is all they can tolerate. 1mg might even be effective for sleep.

 

Please read this carefully One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

Have you tried non-drug methods to alleviate your insomnia? Are you familiar with "sleep hygiene"? See

 

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

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Light therapy for sleep problems

 

Radical acceptance therapy may help you cope with your life situation, reducing anxiety that may be adding to the insomnia. Also see

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system
 
Mindfulness and Acceptance

 

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ChessieCat

Because you are having difficulty focusing and concentrating I thought that it may be helpful to extract this information from the above post:

 

"If 4mg amitriptyline causes tremors, try 1mg. Yes, we do see sometimes that people are so sensitive, a reinstatement of 1mg or even less is all they can tolerate. 1mg might even be effective for sleep."

 

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Marsx

The issue is I've tried everything less then 5mg and it doesn't help with the withdrawal symptoms. Even 1mg was giving me the TD symptoms. At 5mg the withdrawal symptoms i was feeling in my brain and insomnia seem to finally have disappeared. Does this mean reinstatement is working for me even after a cold turkey withdrawal for the last 14 months? Unfortunately the suicidal thoughts are still here and scaring me. Definitely feel I have ptsd just from withdrawal. I'm really scared this is never going to end. 

 

Guess now I'm just really confused. What was the purpose of all this. Now I'm on 5mg of this drug again after being off it for 14 months and seeing what happens what I try to get off it. Should I be properly tapering now? Or should I just stay on this dose forever? If it wasnt for the muscle spasms I would never even try to get off again. But last night I finally got some sleep until some severe tremors literally jolted my body off my bed. 

My last option I was thinking was going to clonzapam. It seems my options are slim but clonzapam did help me through some tough parts of my withdrawal. If I just switch to clonzapam then I will eventually face withdrawal again but atleast won't have permanent TD..which I face right now staying on amitriptyline. Please help me decide what to do???

Like 4 years ago I was taking clonzapam and amitriptyline daily for 2 months and cold turkey came off clonazepam without a single withdrawal. 

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Gridley

It very well might mean that reinstatement at 5mg is working for you even after all this time, but it's too soon to tell.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.   What you do next is up to you.  If you decide to taper, do it slowly following the 10% method.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off amitriptyline

 

SA does not recommend starting a benzo like Clonazapam.  Just because you were able to come off it before without withdrawal doesn't mean you'll be able to do it again.

Edited by Gridley

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Marsx

Thanks for your replies. 

 Last night was a terrible night and I don't think reinstatement worked after all. 

I had extreme panic and terror all night. It's actually having a worse effect on me.

I'm really terrified. I only got through this year of withdrawal because I thought there was light at the end of the tunnel and I'd wake up one day completely healed. Finding this site kind of made me lose hope. I'm reading people are still dealing with paws years later. I simply cannot cope and all last night I was having thoughts of suicide and it's made me panic. I haven't acted on the thoughts because I remind myself they are withdrawal thoughts but when I think there's no way out and I'm stuck in this body and mind, I'm completely in terror. I haven't done dishes, grocery, laundry, chores, cooked, worked out in over a year. 2 years ago I was working full time and doing all those things. I completely disabled. Am I always going to be this way? 

I can't even call for help because I'll get hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and that'll do more damage then good.

Is there anything else I can do to cope with withdrawal symptoms if reinstatement isn't working. Is there anyone that quit cold turkey wnd what did they do a year later after realizing it was a big mistake?

Thank you. 

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Gridley

I know you have a hard time focusing but when you can, please take a look at these links that make suggestions that could provide you some relief.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
Many members have found the techniques in the following two links helpful in coping with withdrawal.  
 
 
 
For anxiety, I have found the gentle yoga pose of lying on the floor with your legs on the wall helps.  Be sure to put cushions under you as necessary.  If you can't manage to get your legs up on the wall, lie on the floor with your lower legs bent in a chair.  That helps too.
 
Many members find Epsom salt baths helpful.
 
 
 

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Marsx

I took an epsom bath today and I'm been watching alot of Ellen DeGeneres. Think that got me through the day. 

 

HonestlyI'm trying all the non drug ways that have been listed on this website and I've realized im truly still feeling like I'm in an acute phase some 14 months later. People are talking about windows and I haven't had one. Its been a giant wave. My recent reinstatement seems to now be making things worse and I'm not sure if I taper off the reinstatement?

 

One thing I've realized is I've been on antidepressants and benzos for much longer then Im holding myself accountable. Ive tried all SSRIs, snris, APs, MAOIs, Tris for short periods of time. Always C/T off one and starting another, letting the 2nd mask the first one. This is the first time in 10 years I've been completely off meds. So I'm not sure if my withdrawal is just amitriptyline or the numerous other withdrawals that it was covering. 

 

One symptom I can't seem to escape 24/7 is this brain pressure/burning/fried experince. But the depression is far worse then any physical symptom. I think I'm going to check myself into a mental health facility. I know they are going to use drugs but at this point I don't even care. They obviously won't believe this is withdrawal but I need care right now and I have no support. Will keep this updated with my progress.  

 

Sucks that I'm over a year out and for some reason that year was easier then things are now. Maybe because I was still working. Maybe because I thought I was going to wake up and it would all be over soon and now I realize that's not happening.

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BAT

I just read your thread and I'm so sorry your going through this.  It is awful!

I pray for healing for all of us. 

 

You mentioned your bedridden, have you been like this the whole 14 months? 

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Marsx
47 minutes ago, BAT said:

I just read your thread and I'm so sorry your going through this.  It is awful!

I pray for healing for all of us. 

 

You mentioned your bedridden, have you been like this the whole 14 months? 

Thx for your prayers!

 

The first 6 months or so I continued to work with really bad physical symptoms because I am (was) such a high achiever that i always work through sicknessness. Its the first time that people were really starting to notice my appearance was completely falling apart. Once I left work I was almost completely bed ridden. I didn't know about PAWS at this time. 

 

For some reason the past year has seemed easier then the past 7 days. Its getting harder to deal with mentally over time. I don't have a window to atleast recoup. 

 

Yes I'd say im pretty bed ridden. Today I got up to take a bath and go do grocery.  I was walking to the grocery store and the fatigue took over and i changed my mind and walked back. I ordered food as I've been doing for the past year. My job meant everything to me. Its the reason I started taking meds in the first place, to control anxiety at work. 

 

I've decided to admit myself to a detox or mental health hospital. I hope they admit me, or some sort of rehab place? I have a feeling I'm going through clonazepam withdrawal as well. I have taken A LOT of clonazepam the past 4 years to deal with anxiety at work. I never felt any withdrawal coming on and off it because I think the amitriptyline was masking it. Just realizing the extent of what I'm dealing with. 

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GiantsWSC

Marsx,

 

Sorry to hear what you are going through. I've dealt with insomnia on and off for a good 10 years myself, it wasn't until the later years that I found certain habits was having a negative affect on my sleep. With the age of technology fully upon us it's also had an extreme effect on our sleep patterns. It's affected my mother, my wife, and myself.

 

Do you tend to use phones, computers/tablets prior to sleep? Do you watch TV prior to bedtime or do you have a TV in your room? I found just reading a book, newspaper, or doing a crossword puzzle helped me. 

 

You mentioned meditation. I went to a psychologist that introduced me to mindfulness meditation and I must admit it did help me. Maybe more than a drug ever did. It is designed to use the parasympathetic nervous system to help calm your body and slow the heartrate.

 

How much natural light are you getting throughout the day? if you can get 20-30 minutes of natural light outdoors it may help with your circadian rhythm and help put your sleep patterns back on track. 

 

I also took Omega 3 fish oil and Magnesium during the later years. I'm unsure if it helped but I didn't feel any negative side effects from taking them.

 

I found listening to my favorite upbeat music gave me positive vibes and also helps release the feel good hormone, dopamine.

 

Also very important, if you have an unhealthy diet, change it. Minimize processed foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they have their own healing properties. Your body has gone through a lot so eating right is the logical choice to get you back on that healing path.

 

I'm telling you Marsx, you'd be surprised how the human body can heal itself. People have come back from various ailments to live normal lives, you have the ability to do that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dude

Hi again

 

First off, I've just read your introduction posts and would like to apologize again for our previous exchange. For some reason it didn't quite register with me that you are going through severe cold turkey withdrawal. I've been there and it was agony, both physically and psychologically. And I had also tried to reinstate the main drug I was on and it too caused tremors/movement disorders and other symptoms which made it seemingly impossible to reinstate. And, as mentioned before, I too wished that it would all just end and at times and thought that I'd prefer to have some "conventional" health problem, no matter how severe, rather than have to suffer from withdrawal for one moment longer. So I do actually understand what you meant with regard to "trading places" with that person you mentioned. And I'm very sorry for having given you a bit of a hard time about it. If I had written something like that back then myself and someone had given me guff about it, I'd have told them to get lost (to use a euphemism...).

 

And by the way, despite being male, I also understand what you mean about how it's affected your appearance. It's had quite negative effects upon mine and I'm familiar with the type of reaction from others that you've described. And although I was never particularly vain, it's been difficult to deal with (on top of everything else).

 

All that being said, I just wanted you to know that I have been gradually recovering over the years. It's been a difficult process but things have improved quite a bit. The greatest improvement came (roughly speaking) over the first two years. Then there was more gradual improvement and now it seems that the healing is still happening, but at a slower rate than in the beginning (you might picture a logarithm function for a visual representation of the rate of improvement over time).

 

What you should know, however, is that I might not be a typical example of how quickly healing can occur as I have some other health issues and bad habits that may have been interfering with the healing process, such as coelic's disease (which affects nutrient absorption) and smoking, for example. I was in contact with someone here just a while ago who has improved considerably from cold turkeying after only a few months (if I understood him correctly). He still has some issues, but he's a lot better than he was to begin with.

 

So if reinstatement is not an option for you, I would just like you to encourage you to hang in there. As difficult as it may seem, you have to give it some time. The healing is happening even if you can't currently notice much of it.

 

Take care

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Dude

Apologies for the writing errors, again. But it's the message that counts, I guess ;)

 

P.S.: If you by any chance are near a place where they offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), it might be worth a try. It can be expensive, but it's apparently used by some neurologists to help with the recovery from brain damage (Dr. Harch in New Orleans is apparently one of the leading experts in this area). I underwent it in Ireland over several months in 2012. It didn't cure me completely but it at least seemed to help me recover by about 30% while I was over there, which in turn enabled me to function a lot better. I can't say for sure whether it really was the treatment that led to the improvement or whether it was the passage of time coupled with a strong belief in the treatment's benefits. But it might be something to look into in your case.

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Marsx
9 hours ago, Dude said:

Apologies for the writing errors, again. But it's the message that counts, I guess ;)

 

P.S.: If you by any chance are near a place where they offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), it might be worth a try. It can be expensive, but it's apparently used by some neurologists to help with the recovery from brain damage (Dr. Harch in New Orleans is apparently one of the leading experts in this area). I underwent it in Ireland over several months in 2012. It didn't cure me completely but it at least seemed to help me recover by about 30% while I was over there, which in turn enabled me to function a lot better. I can't say for sure whether it really was the treatment that led to the improvement or whether it was the passage of time coupled with a strong belief in the treatment's benefits. But it might be something to look into in your case.

Thank you for this, I'll look into it. 

 

I honestly don't even recognize myself and I'm under so much confusion that I re-read my own posts and have trouble comprehending them. I'm hanging on but the hard part for me is that Ive ct'd 14 months ago and I'm not sure if I've improved at all. Things actually feel worse. But I'm also not working anymore so being at home in my own thoughts and body sensations is perhaps making me think I'm worse. I was in pretty terrible state at work but I was so absorbed in work that I barely had time to think about my health. I wish I could have kept working as my job doesn't require much effort, but i could not focus at all.

Before this website, I've been writing on medhelp.org for years. I tried to go back and read my posts which seem to go back to 2007 and list various antidepressants and advice from fellow members to keep going through the trial and error of drugs. At this point I'm just very confused. I know there's nothing for me to do but wait. But I don't even feel like I know what in withdrawing from. How much damage have I done? I could care less about my appearance anymore I'm just merely trying to survive. I'm sorry if I've said stuff that doesn't even make sense or is offensive. I'm truly the last person someone should take advice from so I should stay off advice forums. I wish someone could read through my medhelp.org posts as this describes the numerous meds I have taken as I can't even remember them. And honestly, I hate that site for their pro-drug, pushing members. There's only guy on there who told me I have protracted withdrawal and I think he gets criticized by the drug pushers often.

 

Let's say ive been on numerous antidepressants, like over 20, but for short trial periods, 3 to 4 months. Always stopping CT and starting another one. Then took one main antidepressant for a few years while taking benzos on and off. Is my withdrawal occuring from the last antidepressant I was taking or is it a combination of harm done from several drugs? Very confused about this and I know it doesn't matter at this point but it's in my nature to want to know what's going on with me. 

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powerback
19 minutes ago, Marsx said:

Thank you for this, I'll look into it. 

 

I honestly don't even recognize myself and I'm under so much confusion that I re-read my own posts and have trouble comprehending them. I'm hanging on but the hard part for me is that Ive ct'd 14 months ago and I'm not sure if I've improved at all. Things actually feel worse. But I'm also not working anymore so being at home in my own thoughts and body sensations is perhaps making me think I'm worse. I was in pretty terrible state at work but I was so absorbed in work that I barely had time to think about my health. I wish I could have kept working as my job doesn't require much effort, but i could not focus at all.

Before this website, I've been writing on medhelp.org for years. I tried to go back and read my posts which seem to go back to 2007 and list various antidepressants and advice from fellow members to keep going through the trial and error of drugs. At this point I'm just very confused. I know there's nothing for me to do but wait. But I don't even feel like I know what in withdrawing from. How much damage have I done? I could care less about my appearance anymore I'm just merely trying to survive. I'm sorry if I've said stuff that doesn't even make sense or is offensive. I'm truly the last person someone should take advice from so I should stay off advice forums. I wish someone could read through my medhelp.org posts as this describes the numerous meds I have taken as I can't even remember them. And honestly, I hate that site for their pro-drug, pushing members. There's only guy on there who told me I have protracted withdrawal and I think he gets criticized by the drug pushers often.

 

Let's say ive been on numerous antidepressants, like over 20, but for short trial periods, 3 to 4 months. Always stopping CT and starting another one. Then took one main antidepressant for a few years while taking benzos on and off. Is my withdrawal occuring from the last antidepressant I was taking or is it a combination of harm done from several drugs? Very confused about this and I know it doesn't matter at this point but it's in my nature to want to know what's going on with me. 

Hi Marsx welcome and good to have you ,your a fighter so its good to have you .this is a brilliant site [I have not been paid for this endorsement :D]exhaust the self help and care section and keep following members that you think have healing qualities and characteristics .ive connected more on here than I have years of nonsense in my "real life ",we bond because of trauma on her that's a great leveller if you want to call it .the real world is extremely superficial and fake ,that world can damage us when trying to heal from what we have to put up .

I get you about the work ,I haven't worked properly for a year and a half and its torture at times but I cant force it ,ile end up back were I was [nearly hospitalised ].be very careful letting this stress build up .

Them pro med sites can be trouble alright so your good to be away .I don't even look at 90% of my old friendship base because there idea of a goodtime is going binge drinking [a lot of them married with children ,this is an illness in Ireland ].

I know I'm not really an example anyone wants to see but I'm still alive myself after a very long road .look into your diet ,alcohol ,coping mechanisms ,everything ,don't exhaust an avenue within reason.

Take care .    

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Altostrata

Marsx, I did not get a response to my questions in this post.

 

 

On 4/3/2018 at 10:42 AM, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Marsx.

 

I am so sorry you're going through this. What we see is that going on and off psychiatric drugs is wearing on the nervous system, which becomes very sensitive to all kinds of stimuli, drugs, supplements, and sometimes even foods.

 

Do you find you're sensitive to light or sound?

 

The poop-outs you've experienced sound like paradoxical reactions from a sensitized nervous system. When the nervous system feels like it's being pressed down too much by drugs, it can react in a paradoxical way: It is activated. Too high a dose can cause the opposite effect of what's intended.

 

If 4mg amitriptyline causes tremors, try 1mg. Yes, we do see sometimes that people are so sensitive, a reinstatement of 1mg or even less is all they can tolerate. 1mg might even be effective for sleep.

 

Please read this carefully One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

Have you tried non-drug methods to alleviate your insomnia? Are you familiar with "sleep hygiene"? See

 

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

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Light therapy for sleep problems

 

Radical acceptance therapy may help you cope with your life situation, reducing anxiety that may be adding to the insomnia. Also see

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system
 
Mindfulness and Acceptance

 

4

 

Did you read One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome ?

 

What we see is that going on and off psychiatric drugs is wearing on the nervous system and it becomes sensitized. This can make many problems, such as a tendency to insomnia, worse.

 

The nervous system becomes intolerant of many drugs, supplements, and even foods. It becomes prone to paradoxical reactions, such as panic and anxiety when taking benzodiazepines. Most doctors attempt to treat this by loading on the drugs -- almost certainly, this will be what will happen in a hospital -- which causes the nervous system to activate even more. 

 

What your nervous system needs is calming by very gentle, subtle means, not large doses of multiple drugs. It will slowly settle down. This can take a great deal of patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, no one else can provide this for you but you.

 

Please read One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome .   This is my fourth reminder.

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BAT

I tried many different ssris like 7 of them, also Xanax and Ambien. But, I was switched many times, on and off repeating the same ones like 20 different times. (Hope that makes sense). I regret saying anything to my doctor that I felt a little sad (by little I mean like a few hours before my Dr appt, which was a follow up for something else).  My mom passed away, two weeks later my dad went unresponsive in front of me when he was in the hospital.  Which I did have panic when that happened.  He did pass 4 weeks later.  Hours after The first pill I took I had side effects. Then from there on it was switch, side effects, switch side effects, switch, stop felt worse 2-3 months later and repeat. Sleep messed up, bunch of symptoms happened..  I have been off antidepressants and xanax for 19 months now, but have taken Xanax here and there mainly to go to doctor or dentist (which I hate doing this) but have bad panic, agoraphobia and tons of other symptoms. It's been really hard,.. The first 5 months off was not as bad mostly had panic. Then more symptoms started and started getting worse. 

I know as time goes on I start to wonder if something else is wrong, do I need medicine, do I now have some type of anxiety/panic disorder..  I was not like this before meds, not even close.  My doctor said what happened with my parents caused what I'm going through.  I know my biggest fear is death.  

I also had to quit my job and I'm in the house all the time and its so hard because I was always on the go.  

I can say this there were many many months were I stayed in my room all  day, my husband, son or daughter had to bring me my food because of panic.  I didn't go out for 8 months a couple times in my backyard. The past couple months I have been out of my room somedays like 8 hours, I have been getting my own food, washing the dishes, watching tv in the loft area, went for rides like 8 times in the past 2 weeks. Today I went for a ride and part of me wanted to stay out, came home and went in the backyard,

I do have a hard time accepting this is the way my life is now, have problems seeing any type of little improvement, being positive or having hope.  But, I can see this is important to do and I'm trying to figure out how to do it. 

Unfortunately, for some, it's a long slow road to healing. 

I have thought many times to reinstate but I just can't.  Some people do and it works for them and for some unfortunately it doesn't. After all this, what I say or what any one else says it is your decision. You have to do what is best for you. I know making that decision is very hard because you don't know what the right one is. 

 

I pray for healing for you and all of us.

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Marsx
4 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Marsx, I did not get a response to my questions in this post.

 

 

 

Did you read One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome ?

 

What we see is that going on and off psychiatric drugs is wearing on the nervous system and it becomes sensitized. This can make many problems, such as a tendency to insomnia, worse.

 

The nervous system becomes intolerant of many drugs, supplements, and even foods. It becomes prone to paradoxical reactions, such as panic and anxiety when taking benzodiazepines. Most doctors attempt to treat this by loading on the drugs -- almost certainly, this will be what will happen in a hospital -- which causes the nervous system to activate even more. 

 

What your nervous system needs is calming by very gentle, subtle means, not large doses of multiple drugs. It will slowly settle down. This can take a great deal of patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, no one else can provide this for you but you.

 

Please read One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome .   This is my fourth reminder.

Hi Altostrara,

 

I'm sorry I did read your post, I'm just having a lot of trouble focussing or comprehending. I understand the withdrawal now, I'm just not well enough to keep waiting. Ive also taken lamotrigine in the past and wouldn't retry it. 

 

Yes- I'm very sensitive to sound and light. The brain pressure I'm feeling seems to be better in the morning and gets worse as the day progresses. I'm wondering what I'm doing in the day that's making it worse. 

 

I'm also curious if anyone has tried clonidine. When I worked in addictions it seemed to help people with drug withdrawals. I know we are advocating non use of drugs, but for people who are suffering really bad and can't get through the day, im hoping there's something. I did a search and it didn't bring anything up. 

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Marsx

Nvm sorry. I was searching this thread. There does seem to be info on Clonidine here. 

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Marsx
2 hours ago, BAT said:

I tried many different ssris like 7 of them, also Xanax and Ambien. But, I was switched many times, on and off repeating the same ones like 20 different times. (Hope that makes sense). I regret saying anything to my doctor that I felt a little sad (by little I mean like a few hours before my Dr appt, which was a follow up for something else).  My mom passed away, two weeks later my dad went unresponsive in front of me when he was in the hospital.  Which I did have panic when that happened.  He did pass 4 weeks later.  Hours after The first pill I took I had side effects. Then from there on it was switch, side effects, switch side effects, switch, stop felt worse 2-3 months later and repeat. Sleep messed up, bunch of symptoms happened..  I have been off antidepressants and xanax for 19 months now, but have taken Xanax here and there mainly to go to doctor or dentist (which I hate doing this) but have bad panic, agoraphobia and tons of other symptoms. It's been really hard,.. The first 5 months off was not as bad mostly had panic. Then more symptoms started and started getting worse. 

I know as time goes on I start to wonder if something else is wrong, do I need medicine, do I now have some type of anxiety/panic disorder..  I was not like this before meds, not even close.  My doctor said what happened with my parents caused what I'm going through.  I know my biggest fear is death.  

I also had to quit my job and I'm in the house all the time and its so hard because I was always on the go.  

I can say this there were many many months were I stayed in my room all  day, my husband, son or daughter had to bring me my food because of panic.  I didn't go out for 8 months a couple times in my backyard. The past couple months I have been out of my room somedays like 8 hours, I have been getting my own food, washing the dishes, watching tv in the loft area, went for rides like 8 times in the past 2 weeks. Today I went for a ride and part of me wanted to stay out, came home and went in the backyard,

I do have a hard time accepting this is the way my life is now, have problems seeing any type of little improvement, being positive or having hope.  But, I can see this is important to do and I'm trying to figure out how to do it. 

Unfortunately, for some, it's a long slow road to healing. 

I have thought many times to reinstate but I just can't.  Some people do and it works for them and for some unfortunately it doesn't. After all this, what I say or what any one else says it is your decision. You have to do what is best for you. I know making that decision is very hard because you don't know what the right one is. 

 

I pray for healing for you and all of us.

Thank you for your prayers. I'm sorry what you've been through. I can certainly relate. 

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Marsx

As this is sort of a journal for me, I'd like to add something important. When I first cold turkeyed, a few months in the insomnia was so bad that I decided to buy benadryl extra strength for sleep. I didn't realize at the time it was extra strength and for some stupid reason I kept thinking a antihistamine is a safer sleep alternative. I took the first one and felt nothing, so over the next few hours i added 4 more. That's a toxic amount, 4x the max dose. I'm seriously contemplating if this is what completely destroyed my brain. I started having severe muscle spasms, this was the first time I'd ever had spasms. I had to go to the hospital and they gave me a medication, I think topemax. They said I had EPS (extrapyramidal) symptoms. The medication did help my symptoms. 

 

It was after that, everytime I tried to reinstate amitriptyline I would go into severe spasms. I don't know know the purpose of remembering my stupididy. But I do know that these muscle spasms or TD symptoms seem to be common amongst paws so I'd recommend staying away from antihistamines to anyone. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added extrapyramidal

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Dude

I completely agree. Antihistamines do can trigger extrapyramidal movement disorders in those who's nervous systems are already sensitized by ssris. As for the brain damage, if I'm not mistaken, Altostrata recently pointed out that despite the emergence of such symptoms, the brain hasn't necessarily been physically damaged. Chances are it's due to general dysregulation of the nervous system in that the neurons are oversensitized and start firing uncontrollably (in a sense). That's how I see it, though an expert in neurology (or related field) might be able to clarify the issue.

 

But the bottom line is indeed to stay away from antihistamines. The same goes for alcohol, caffeine and solvents, by the way.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
correction made from member's following post

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Dude

Correction: Antihistamines can trigger extrapyramidal symptoms (i.e. movement disorders) in those who's nervous systems have become sensitized by antidepressants in general (or other psychiatric drugs) as opposed to just ssris, of course.

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Marsx

I started off feeling good today for the first time in over a year and as the day progressed, my brain pressure symptom intensified. Right now though, depression is absolutely tearing me apart. I feel like I had a long history of depression, ptsd and trauma BEFORE the withdrawal even happened, that ive been getting therapy on for years. As someone who had already been struggling with ptsd for years, how do I fight the withdrawal battle now. This seems nearly impossible day by day. I'm not sure the depression is withdrawal, I think it's just me. That's a hard fact to face. I've done CBT for years before withdrawal and never found it helpful. Same with talk therapy. Anyone else who was already dealing with significant trauma before withdrawing? I was already a barely functioning adult with childhood issues. Now I'd give anything to have that life back. I've read through the non drug methods of dealing with emotional spirals. It seems like it's for people who are not in severe withdrawal or who have stabilized a bit. Ugh 

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, Marsx said:

I started off feeling good today for the first time in over a year

 

This is a positive and something that you can use as a reminder that it takes time and patience.

 

Are you keeping a journal?  When you are feeling bad for so long it can be very easy to miss the very small improvements.  If you take note of whenever you have a tiny improvement you can use it to remind yourself that they do happen.  We need to learn to accept that we can't change the past or return to it.  All we have is the now.

 

If there isn't an improvement which you can note down in your journal, make a note about something that you are thankful for.  It doesn't need to be a big thing.  It doesn't even have to be something which makes you feel good.  Start trying to notices things around you.  Something small like I cuddled the cat and it purred or I threw the ball for the dog and it made the dog happy or my child laughed at something today.  Doing this can help to change your thinking patterns.

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Marsx
9 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

This is a positive and something that you can use as a reminder that it takes time and patience.

 

Are you keeping a journal?  When you are feeling bad for so long it can be very easy to miss the very small improvements.  If you take note of whenever you have a tiny improvement you can use it to remind yourself that they do happen.  We need to learn to accept that we can't change the past or return to it.  All we have is the now.

 

If there isn't an improvement which you can note down in your journal, make a note about something that you are thankful for.  It doesn't need to be a big thing.  It doesn't even have to be something which makes you feel good.  Start trying to notices things around you.  Something small like I cuddled the cat and it purred or I threw the ball for the dog and it made the dog happy or my child laughed at something today.  Doing this can help to change your thinking patterns.

Thank you for this. I haven't been able to keep a journal but somehow typing away on my phone seemed easier. I think I'll muster it up to do that. I also think there's a reason I progressively got worse today. There must be something I ate or did. Now I'm back in bed with these terrible head symptoms like my brain is about to explode.  I think I have to start writing everything I eat. I did feel a window in the morning. I will keep a journal, there was a glimmer of hope today. I'm also going to take time off this site as I'm getting very anxious. I'm going to come back when I start feeling a bit better. Thank you 

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BAT

Just wondering are you still on 5mg of amitriptyline (i think that is what it is)?

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ChessieCat

Something you might find that helps.  You could set an alarm to remind you to do this.

 

Throughout the day check in with yourself to see how you are feeling.  Hourly would be a reasonable period of time.  Sit quietly and do some concentrated deep breathing to still yourself and your mind.  I started doing this 2 years ago.  It became second nature to me and I do it when I find myself uptight in my body, or my mind starts racing.

 

The reason for setting the alarm is for a couple of reasons.  It means that you don't forget to do it and it also helps to bring yourself "back down a bit" before things build up too much.

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ChessieCat
22 hours ago, Marsx said:

When I first cold turkeyed, a few months in the insomnia was so bad that I decided to buy benadryl extra strength for sleep. I didn't realize at the time it was extra strength and for some stupid reason I kept thinking a antihistamine is a safer sleep alternative. I took the first one and felt nothing, so over the next few hours i added 4 more. That's a toxic amount, 4x the max dose. I'm seriously contemplating if this is what completely destroyed my brain. I started having severe muscle spasms, this was the first time I'd ever had spasms. I had to go to the hospital and they gave me a medication, I think topemax.

 

Would you please add dates and benadryl extra strength with DOSE and Topomax to your drug signature please.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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Altostrata
On 4/7/2018 at 3:38 PM, Marsx said:

I'm sorry I did read your post, I'm just having a lot of trouble focussing or comprehending. I understand the withdrawal now, I'm just not well enough to keep waiting. Ive also taken lamotrigine in the past and wouldn't retry it. 

 

Yes- I'm very sensitive to sound and light.

 

What dosages of lamotrigine did you try?

 

If you're sensitive to sound and light, that could be one factor in your nervous system being in an uproar. Have you put blackout curtains and shades on your bedrooms windows, is your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet? Do you use a sleep mask and earplugs? Do you wear amber glasses when using the computer? All of those cut down on the stimulation of sound and light.

 

You need to work on reducing stimulation of your nervous system. Do you ingest a lot of caffeine?

 

Do you take a bit of melatonin at nightfall? We suggest 0.25mg to start, then turn off all the lights. You need darkness, as absolute as possible, to trigger sleep.

 

All of this, by the way, is described in detail in

 

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

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Light therapy for sleep problems

 

which I've urged you to read several times.

 

Bizarre as it might seem, something like this could help you https://ostrichpillow.com/products/ostrichpillow-original

https://ostrichpillow.com/products/ostrichpillow-light-reversible

 

I've never recommended these to anyone before, but they might be what you need.

 

We won't be able to help you with the depression. If it existed before you went on drugs and is based on past trauma, you will need to see therapy for that. Radical acceptance and Dialectical Behavior Therapy may be what would work best for you.

 

Since you asked about clonidine, it appears you are in the habit of seeking a drug solution. We won't be able to help you with that, either/

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Marmot
8 hours ago, Marsx said:

I've done CBT for years before withdrawal and never found it helpful. Same with talk therapy. Anyone else who was already dealing with significant trauma before withdrawing? I was already a barely functioning adult with childhood issues.

 

Hey, I noticed you on Kristine's thread. There are other people with trauma here, they might be focusing on making it through withdrawal first, so maybe that's why they aren't speaking up. I'm not sure. Perhaps someone will see this and correct me... I relate to the therapy thing you said though, although I was in it for other reasons. I got years of various therapies while on the meds. CBT was one that got me nowhere because I was so bad at it that I would get upset with myself. What a mess! I'm hoping that there are many possible things people can use to grow and perhaps we all need different things and that's fine. I think we'll each figure out what works and what doesn't for ourselves in time. Sending love!

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