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Tao of the Brassmonkey

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brassmonkey

 

Link to BrassMonkey's Intro topic

 

 

Brassmonkey- A Success Story

 

 

To some people six and a half years is a very long time to take to accomplish a goal.  For me it’s been one tenth of a lifetime, one third of the time I was actively taking psych drugs and one quarter of the total time I was on Paxil.  Given where I started six and a half years ago and where I am now I would gladly do it all over again if it meant regaining my life in the manner that I have.  Six and a half years seems like a long time, but I can so clearly remember the night I made the decision to “do something about it” I can relive it moment by moment.  At the time I couldn’t remember anything for more than a couple of seconds which makes this even more amazing.

 

It’s been 24 some years now since I started taking Paxil. At the time I was in what I though of as a very rough place.  I was in an incredibly stressful job, suffering constant pain as the result of several medical procedures and had developed some really bad anger issues.  Anger was a learned response I acquired growing up, but this was getting out of hand.  Counseling and learning coping techniques would have been the better course of action, but there was this new “wonder drug” on the market that would cure the ”chemical imbalance” that was causing me to lash out in such a destructive manner.

 

And it was indeed a wonder drug.  I could feel the difference just a few hours after taking the first dose.  My life calmed down and things were much better for many, many years.  Then one day I noticed that it wasn’t as effective as it once had been.  Talking it over with my doctor we decided to up my dose.  Things went back to being fine, almost.

 

During that time there were some big changes that took place in my life.  My wife and I had made some good investments and savings and were able to retire early.  We went traveling and such and enjoyed life.  Until one day the stock marked crashed and we lost pretty much everything.  Having to come out of retirement and find a job was a very upsetting experience to say the least.

 

Making it through the next decade plus some was quite a challenge. At first, I was very glad for the numbness that the Paxil was causing.  After a while I again noticed that it was not working as well as it should, and we again upped the dose.  This put me at 40mgai.  It didn’t do much good.  The anhedonia was taking over big time, short term memory was going away, and I hurt constantly. 

 

I’ve always enjoyed my alcohol and I started enjoying it more and more. In my mind it was helping with the physical pain and it did help distract from the day to day survival conditions we were facing.  But it also was getting out of control and I started to spiral down on every front.

Yes, you have to hit rock bottom before you decide to do anything about it, and I did.  It finally sunk in one night just how bad I had let things become and I knew I had to do something about it.  Next stop AA.  But there was much more involved than the alcohol.

 

I knew that the Paxil was not working anymore and was very sure that my doctors recommendation to “just stop taking it” was wrong.  It took several weeks of researching to learn that “the drug was my problem” and I had to get off it.  There was a lot of conflicting information on line and it was quite a slog getting through it.  One day I happened on a site called PaxilProgress and my life changed.

 

PaxilProgress or as I often refer to it now “Prior Place” seemed to know what they were talking about.  They had reference material and a taper protocol that made sense and would work with you and give support as you worked your way off of the drug.  The stories of what some of the people were going through scared the heck out of me though. I envisioned myself sitting in a chair rocking back and forth for months chanting “it’s only withdrawal, it’s only withdrawal”. My lovely wife told me, “if that’s the way it’s going to be, then we will make it through it”.

 

I liked their idea of doing a 10% taper every four to six weeks, but it seemed to me that everyone that was trying it got hit hard with symptoms after each drop.  I was struck with the idea of spreading the drop over four successive weeks and rounding it out with a hold to try and lessen the symptoms.  I decided to sneak up on each 10% over several weeks and see what happened.  This was later dubbed the Brassmonkey Slide Method by one of the other members.

 

Not a whole lot happened. It was almost two and a half years of steady tapering before I noticed that things were starting to change. A year and a half after that, around the four-year mark I knew I was making progress, and the final year and a half was marked with steady improvements. Five and a half years after I started I was able to make the final taper to “0”.

In the middle of all this my Prior Place life line was suddenly pulled out of my hands. I had found another site, SurvivingAntidepressants,org during a previous closure of Prior Place and renewed my account. The atmosphere was a bit different, but much more like home. The knowledge and support here has been a major key to my successful taper and recovery.

 

The recovery story doesn’t stop at reaching “0”.  In fact, it’s only beginning. Once the drugs have totally left the body it can actually start the real job of recovery.  That’s why we like to wait a year before declaring a success story, and that year is up as of April 15, 2018.

 

I’ve glossed over the meat of the taper because there is just too much to write about.  The things that happened, what I learned, coping strategies and much more. Most fo which is already in my introduction thread. This post is to declare that I have succeeded in my quest to get off Paxil.  I am going to start a new journal thread to talk about the details.

For those who have been with me since the beginning, I want to thank you for your support and companionship during a long hard journey.  Some of you have long since finished and have moved on, while others are close on my heels and will be writing your Success Stories soon. There are too many of you to name names, but each and every one of you are very dear to my heart.

 

Those of you who have joined along the path; even though it will be rough and bumpy along the way the end destination is so worth it.  Keep at it and you will make it. Your company has been invaluable.

For all new ones who are joining each day: it’s very scary, rough, and painful journey but it is the only path there is to follow.  In just a few short years you will all be writing your own Success Stories too, and I can’t wait to read them.

I have worked with many thousands of members over the time I’ve been tapering and have yet to find one who did not have the strength, once they truly set their mind to the task, to be able to see it through to a successful conclusion.

 

(((((((((((((((((((((HUGS TO ALL)))))))))))))))))))))))

 

Brassmonkey

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added link

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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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Frogie

Brass:

 

Happy tears are running down my face reading this.

 

So wonderfully written. And you have done so well.

 

I just hope I can do as well as you.

 

Congratulations again!

 

Take care,

Frogie xx


PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!!

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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brassmonkey

This is the third journal thread that I have had during my travels with the drug Paxil.  Each one has been indicative of the state I was in at the time I was posting.  My first, "Letters from the Island of Anhedonia", documented my early years of learning about tapering and the variety of experiences, feeling and lack there of and surviving one day at a time until thing started to improve.  Sadly it was lost with the closing of PaxilProgress.

 

My second journal, "Brassmonkey- Talking About Myself", is still available here and is about to be closed to further posting.  In it I have chronicled the day to day experiences of a long taper.  I have also added bits of wit and wisdom about "life, the universe and everything".  It has served well as a record of my thoughts, but it's time has come to a close also.  

 

Having reached a full year of being drug free it is time to move on. No, I'm not leaving, you can't get rid of me that easy. Rather it is time to start a new discussion documenting the post "0" experience, how I got here, what worked and what didn't during my taper.  I am also going to throw in a lot of my philosophy of life, beliefs and ways of living that have gotten me to this point of my life. Which is why I'm titling it "Tao of the Brassmonkey".


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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KayM

Brass,

Thank you for all of your support and congratulations on reaching the one-year mark!

Looking forward to reading your new thread!

 

KayM


2002-2016: 20 mg paxil - tapered over a 9-month period with prozac bridge.

 

Continued with prozac, tapering 10 mg over a 3-month period until quitting in December 2016. Severe depression 3 months later. 

 

300 mg wellbutrin, 7.5 mg remeron and 100 mg zoloft at end of 2017 to present.

 

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wantrelief

I am relieved you are sticking around, Brassmonkey!  I look forward to reading more about what you felt worked and didn't work during your taper.  It is really too bad that your old journal was lost when PP closed. It would be helpful for those of use in "surviving one day at a time" mode to read how you made it through that time yourself.  Thanks for being here to help those of stuck in the middle of withdrawal life.


-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium glycinate; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg

2020: 1/14/20: 10.89 mg (1.27% drop); 1/22/20: 10.75 mg (1.29% drop); 2/28/20 toe surgery; 4/26/20: 10.62 mg (1.21% drop); 5/3/20: 10.5 mg (1.22% drop); 5/10/20: 10.4 mg (1.24% drop); 5/17/20: 10.2 mg (1.25% drop); 6/7/20: 10.10 mg (1.27% drop); 6/14/20: 9.98 mg (1.19% drop); 6/21/20: 9.85 mg (1.30% drop); 6/28/20: 9.7 mg (1.22% drop); 7/12/20: 9.6 mg (1.23% drop); 7/19/20: 9.5 mg (1.25% drop); 7/26/20: 9.4 mg (1.26% drop); 8/2/20: 9.3 mg (1.28% drop); 8/17/20: 9.14 mg (1.19% drop); 8/31/20: 9.0 mg (1.31% drop); 9/6/20: 8.9 mg (1.22% drop); 9/27/20: 8.8 mg (1.23% drop); 10/4/20: 8.7 mg (1.25% drop); 10/11/20: 8.6 mg (1.27% drop); 10/18/20: 8.5 mg (1.28% drop)

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apace41

Great success story, Tom!

All the best,

 

Andy


Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Shep

Beautiful, Tom. So glad to see you on this side of the forum. Thank you for sharing your success with us. 


Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Dan998

I knew you'd get there, Tom.

 

Thanks for being the light that has helped to guide us along the path to recovery.


2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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bhasski

Well.. 

Its great that you are sticking here and  it gives hope when you told about it.

 

I am on  '0' - the only difference is that there is no taper.

 

Congrats and best wishes.. 

Keep helping people coz its very rare in world to get by in these circumstances.

 

 


08/13 - 01/14
Olanzapine, petril MD (Clonazepam ), Dicorate ER (divalproex). Soza 10 (Zolpidem)

02/14 - 05/14
Flunil ​20mg , Divaa OD 250 mg(divalproex), Amisulpride 50mg (1-0-2), zolfresh 5 mg , Quetiapine
05/14 - 08/14 Venlafaxine 75 xr ( 1-0-1), zapiz 0.25
10/14 Zaptra 12.5mg , Oxetol xr 150mg (0-0-1)
11/14 - 08/15
Paris CR 25 (paroxetine) , Oxetol xr 600 mg (0-0-1), nitrest 5mg , Quetiapine for a month.
09/15-11 Venlafaxine XR 75 ( 1-0-1), Mirtazipine 15, Respiredal 0.5, Lamitor 25, zillion 10.
12/15-02/16 Off Meds (C.T)

03/16-Mid April Sertraline, Aripropazole, Quetiapine, Etizolam.

After that : CT and on OTC supplements (Roadback), now on Ayurveda

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katieb

Congratulations Tom. So glad for you and also glad that you are sticking around. As you my or my not remember I am 6 months behind you in my withdrawal. So from being on paxil for 20 years I am now 6months post 0. Things have been OK with a month of anxiety and dizziness (this last month) and mild depression. None of these did I have before I took the drug but things are slowly getting better. I still have muscle pain in neck, shoulder and forearms and very loud tinnitus  but I am paxil free. I am also  perimenopausel so this may be exacerbating things its too difficult to know at the moment but I too hope to write a success story. I never believed that I would see this day. There is hope. If I can do it then you all can. Thanks to the p p   forum and surviving antidepressants site and every one on here. 


Been taking paroxatine for approx 15 years.Tried a few times yo stop but failed. Am currently on 3.5mg liquid

Jan 2016 been slow tapering paroxatine and i am currently at 2.9 mg and last drop was 5 weeks ago.

Started to feel awful about 3 weeks ago with brain ???? , shakes, blurred vision and dizzyness. ..

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Tootsieroll

I'm literally crying too.  There's a strange sense of bittersweetness when one door closes behind you and another is about to open.  I vividly remember the period in my life when I stumbled upon the PP forum desperate for some insight as to what I was experiencing after a cold turkey and a reinstatement. I was welcomed by many members and one of which were you.  I remember thinking 'Gee what a long name Brassmonkey is for a forum name' :)  That feels like a lifetime ago.  Now here we are, with what 'feels' like the closing of an era.  I'm so proud and happy to have been on this same journey with you.  Enduring these years is indicative of the strength we all possess to see this through.  Wishing you nothing but the best moving on forward.


<p>10 years of ssri and finally tapered off in 2 years. Off Celexa by jan/28/2014 and off benzos by March/6th/2014 after only two months use and still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

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gigi63

Brassmonkey you were one of the first to be responsive to me when I crashed. Thank you for your help. I have followed your thread and have learned and listened and learned. Patience, time, patience, time...  have been key critical themes I have heard from you. I have thought of you often as I knew you were at zero and have waited for this post!   Congratulations to you!!!!!  Very very encouraging to myself and many, thank you.  I eagerly await your new thread. Thank you. You have a beautiful story here!!!!  So much hope for ALL!

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RealMe

Brassmonkey, thank you so much for generously posting your success story.  There is so much hope in your experience, especially that in time and with perseverance the suffering will eventually come to an end.  The "medications" I was prescribed were different from yours, but my experience was strikingly similar.  At first, I thought I improved dramatically; then it turned into worse pain than I had ever known before the medication.  I have been tapering since August, 2017.  I CT'd the largest part of it before I found SurvivingAntidepressants.org, but for the end run I am working the recommended slow taper.  I look forward to reading your "Tao of the Brassmonkey." :)

xo RM


Alcohol periodic excessive 1963-1976, Valium sporadic 1964-1973,  Imipramine off & on 1982-1985, Fluoxetine 10mg-80 mg. Oct., 1995-Jan., 2014; Cymbalta, other ADs 1/2014-3/2014; Abilify 5 mg. 3/2014 - 8/8/17; Trintellix 20 mg. 3/2014 - 9/2017; Propranolol 60-80 mg. sporadically Sept-Oct, 2017; Seroquel few days Sept 2017 (c/t); Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sept, 2017 updosed to 300 mg. few days till c/t Oct 8, 2017, fish oil, vitD, vitE Oct 16, 2017-pres. Lipoflavonoid 4/2017-pres.  Fluoxetine 10 mg. Sept-Oct 8, 2017, 20 mg. 10/9- 10/15; 10 mg. 10/16 - 12/29;  9 mg. 12/30 - 2/9; 2 mL liquid (8.1mg) 2/10 - 3/7; 1.8 mL (7.29 mg) 3/8 -3/20; 1.6 mL (6.561mg) 3/20-4/2; 1.4 mL (5.9 mg) 4/3-4/14; 1mL (4 mg.) 4/15-4/22; .9mL (3.6mg) 4/23-5/1; .81mL (3.24 mg) 5/2-5/24; .73mL (2.916mg.) 5/25-6/8; .65mL 6/9-6/23; .6mL 6/24-7/17; .58mL 7/18-7/28; .525mL 7/29-8/13; .5 mL 8/14-21; .45mL 8/22-31; .4mL 9/2-21; .35mL 9/22-10/4; .3mL 10/5-28; .25mL 10/28-11/10; .2mL 11/11-11/24; .18mL 11/25-12/3; .1mL 12/4-12/18. Zero-12/19/18-present.

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aberdeen

Congratulations on the one year off! I remember being surprised at how much effect the tiny doses below 1mg could have, but they really do. I dont think they would in  average circumstances, but for those sensitized or in a reactive place, I believe they can and do have an effect. More recovery wishes being sent your way. I believe we all can heal, but the key is time and going very slowly. Enjoy your spring. It missed us, we had a storm closing the schools down and leaving us buried in ice and snow, just on Monday *sigh*.  Soon I hope.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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kitschywoman

Congrats, Brass!  I've been crossing my fingers for you, but I've always suspected that you'd do well, given your scientific methods and steady pace.  I still pop in and out and follow your progress very closely, as I am patterning my taper after yours (only I've been doing a combo dose of pill and liquid).  I've gotten down to 25 mg and have been holding for several weeks (as I tend to do over the winter when the weather is blah and I'm not as active).  I was thinking of taking a longer break from tapering (like a year) just to see how things settle out before starting again, but I may change my mind once winter finally ends here.  I'm very much functional, although anxiety/insomnia are my unpredictable companions.  But they're like annoying siblings now, not nearly as fear-inducing as they used to be.

 

Glad you've passed your one-year Quitaversary and I'm greatly looking forward to future updates!


Started Celexa in 2001, moved to Lexapro (at doctor's suggestion), then Cymbalta (when Lexapro pooped out), stayed on Cymbalta for several years until it pooped out in 2011 (had a hospital stay and polydrugging that included Seroquel, Trazodone, Remeron, Ambien and Klonopin...never at the same time...just individually with my AD for insomnia).  Tried Celexa again without much success and then settled on Zoloft (Sertraline) in 2012.

 

2012-2014 - Sertraline 150mg

2014-2015 - Sertraline 100mg (after unsuccessfully discontinuing and having to reinstate after about 3 months)

Summer 2015 - Cut dose down to 50 mg over several weeks, but started having anxiety and insomnia again.

Fall 2015-Spring 2016 - Stabilized at 75mg in September 2015 and held until May 2016.

May 2016-December 2016 - **STARTED BRASSMONKEY SLIDE**  Moved from 75mg (25mg liquid and 50mg tablet) down to 50mg.

January 2017-May 2017 - HOLD at 50mg

May 2017 - Starting to taper again from 50mg (25mg liquid and 25mg tablet)

February 2018 - Now at 25mg Sertraline and holding for one year (just to give the ol' noggin a rest)

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nick1990

Thanks Tom - your a true legend . 


Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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Hibari

Thank you for posting your success story Brass  I appreciate the detail of your journey and the confidence you have that the rest of us can make it by taking it step by step.

 

Hibari


Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .00475mgai 9AM, 0.0045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

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coldturkmama

Awesome!! :)


Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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Santino

BrassMonkey

You did it bro. You re a hero around here and you re keeping it up to it with this story. I am really glad you made it my friend and i wish you a happy life ahead. Take your time and enjoy cause you worked hard for this.

All the best

Santino


2015 -  2016 Xanax only rescue doses of 0.125 mg 1-2 times per month
 March 2016 0.125Mg * 2 Xanax for 10 days.

20 March 2016 0.25 Mg * 2 Xanax for one week. 1 April 2016 Tranxene 5 mg and Fevarin but bad reaction for 5 days.4 April 2016 25 Mg Amitryptiline + 6 MG bromazepam at night

Started tapering Bromazepam 6 days later reached up to 3 MG in 10 days and withdrawal. Pdoc asked to go 6 MG again.

10 of May started Remeron 15 MG and started tapering Bromazepam again.

SINCE 09/06/2016 BENZO FREE - Started Tapering Remeron 04/07/2016

 

04/Jul/16 12.8 Mg, 11/Aug/16 12 Mg, 20/Aug/16 11Mg, 3/Sept/16 10Mg, 11/Sept/16 9 Mg, 30/Sept/16 8.1 Mg, 14/Oct/16 7.25 Mg, 17/Nov/16 6.7, 23/Nov/16 6.5, 2/Dec/16 6.25, 9/Dec/16 6Mg, 25/Dec/16 5.7Mg, 4/Jan/17 5.4Mg, 20/Jan/17 5.2Mg, 07/Feb/17 5 Mg, 15/Feb/17 4.8Mg, 27/Feb/17 4.5Mg, 15/Mar/17 4.2Mg, 23/Mar/17 4Mg, 1/Apr/17 3.7Mg, 14/Apr/17 3.4Mg, 27/Apr/17 3.1Mg, 06/May/17 2.8Mg, 22/May/17 2.6Mg, 31/May/17 2.3Mg 09/Jun/17 2Mg, 20/Jun/17 1.7Mg, 29/Jun/17 1.4Mg, 11/Jul/17 1.2Mg, 20/Jul/17 1Mg, 31/Jul/17 0.8Mg, 11/Aug/17 0.6Mg, 23/Aug/17 0.5Mg, 05/Sept/17 0.4Mg, 13/Sept/17 0.3Mg. 22/Sept/17 0.2Mg, 03/Oct/17 0.15Mg, 10/Oct/17 0.1Mg, 23/Oct/17 0.05Mg, 22/Nov/17 0.025Mg, 06/DECEMBER/2017 MIRT FREEE.

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brassmonkey

Well, it's not being a total walk in the park.  Got hit with an acute episode of depression last night.  It lasted several hours before calming down.  What I really hate about them is that they turn everything in the world black, nothing is right, everything hurts that's the way it is and always has been.  It really sucks the joy out of life.  Got to bed late and had a bad night so I'm quite tired this morning.  Now I just have to get through the "hangover" and residual depression, could be a few hours, could be a week.  I'm pulling for a few hours.


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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coldturkmama

Ah, just a glitch. Hopefully a few hours and you’re good to go. :)


Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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Hibari

Sorry to hear about the drop down and I'm  hoping it is a small glitch in your recovery.  It's an icky awful feeling when it happens but you have so much time of feeling well and moving toward health.

Wishing it to be a few hours as well.

 


Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .00475mgai 9AM, 0.0045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

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brassmonkey

It was just a small hic-up, the acute lasted several hours and I spent a bad night from it.  Had a bit of depression hangover for a couple of days, but I'm back to Recoverynormal.  Thank you everyone for the well wishes, they always help.


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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Frogie

I'm glad you are in Recoverynormal. 

 

You always snap back. I hope someday I will be able to do that.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx


PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!!

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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Rabe

So happy to hear was so transient brassmonkey!  You deserve it!!!


-Nardil 1976 < year, stopped. Reactions to AD's. Klonopin .5BID ?1990, 2.5mg ? til 2016

-Klonopin doubled Jan '16. Tapered to 2.25mg May '16 to Nov '16, Heart raced after 1 Lexapro, stopped. Reacting to Prevacid to tapered off. Nov

-November '16 Tapered .25mg Klonopin in hospital. Jan 2 '17 started Viibryd, 20mg from 2/20 to 6/10 '17,     

-20mg to 10mg Viibryd from 3/25 to 6/10 2017, 12/15 10% Viibryd taper...back up next day

-Clonazepam 2mg to 1.85mg 4/14 '17 to end November; taper to 1mg Clonazepam in hospital 9/1 tp 9/14 '17

-Feb '18 Amiloride .25mg  5/18 off Amiloride d/t react. Clonaz compounded  

-4/27 '18 Viibryd 9.5mg, 6/11 9.0 mg, 1/27 '19 Viibryd 8.75mg, ; Clonazepam .2mg 530pm and .7mg 1130pm, Premarin .3mg 830PM CARAFATE QID 2/27/19 to 3/5/19

-July 6'19 1/2 10mg Claritin 230pm, stopped it about July 18, started Oct 11 '19, 

-7/27 Viibryd 8.5, 8/29 Viibryd 8.25 -10/18 Carafate 1/2 NOC-10/24 Viibryd 8.0, 12/6 Viibryd 7.75, K+ 10meq qd

-NOW 1115am-Viibryd 7.75mg, 3pm-K+ 5mg, 515pm-Clonaz .2mg, 6pm-K+ 5mg, 830pm-Premarin .3mg,1115pm-Clonaz .9mg, 115am Carafate .5gm.

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caperjackie

Congratulations Tom! A long and hard road but one well worth travelling!

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Miko789

Congrats Brass!!! Was a difficult road. Patience  and being  methodic was key to the success getting off.


2011 protracted withdrawal symptoms from Effexor, managed to come off
2013-2015  risperidone consta 50 mg, started tapering from March 2015 to 1,66mg/day and from 02/2015 started seroxat 10mg/day

06/16 Seroxat 3mg/day, olanzapine 5mg,risperidone consta 2,5mg

09/16 Seroxat 2,7mg,olanzapine . 5mg,risperidone  consta 2,5mg

01/17 Seroxat 2,0mg,olanzapine 5mg,risperidone consta 25mg/every 15days

05/17 Seroxat 1mg,olanzapine 5mg,risp.consta 25mg/every 15days

06/17 Seroxat 2drops,olanzapine 5mg,liquid risperidone2mg

07/17 Seroxat 1 drop,olanzapine 5mg,Risperidone 0mg, 10/17 Seroxat 0mg,olanzapine,5mg,Risperidone 0mg, 12/17 Seroxat 1/2 drop, olanzapine 5mg,  04/18 Olanzapine 1,25mg, 04/18 xanax 0,5mg

24/06/2019 doc said to take 10mg olanzapine for 13days and down to 5mg
 been taking 10mg for 14 days, 5mg for 8 days  and  tapered to  3/4quart. 5mg  for 14 days, 1/2 5mg for 14 days,

01/08/19 2,5mg

Supplements Omega 3, Turmeric, Magnesium

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brassmonkey

We've had a bit of a cold snap the past few days with some rain so it's been cold and damp.  I let my feet and legs get a bit chilled a couple of days ago and now I've been having "Jimmy Legs" where the muscles twitch making my feet and legs jump around when I'm trying to sit still.  It's actually quite funny to watch the first few times, but gets boring pretty fast.  I'm going to try some walking and stretching and keeping them warn to see what happens.


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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Rabe

Yikes!!!  You are literally dancing as fast as you can. ;)

Sorry...hope improves as they warm!!


-Nardil 1976 < year, stopped. Reactions to AD's. Klonopin .5BID ?1990, 2.5mg ? til 2016

-Klonopin doubled Jan '16. Tapered to 2.25mg May '16 to Nov '16, Heart raced after 1 Lexapro, stopped. Reacting to Prevacid to tapered off. Nov

-November '16 Tapered .25mg Klonopin in hospital. Jan 2 '17 started Viibryd, 20mg from 2/20 to 6/10 '17,     

-20mg to 10mg Viibryd from 3/25 to 6/10 2017, 12/15 10% Viibryd taper...back up next day

-Clonazepam 2mg to 1.85mg 4/14 '17 to end November; taper to 1mg Clonazepam in hospital 9/1 tp 9/14 '17

-Feb '18 Amiloride .25mg  5/18 off Amiloride d/t react. Clonaz compounded  

-4/27 '18 Viibryd 9.5mg, 6/11 9.0 mg, 1/27 '19 Viibryd 8.75mg, ; Clonazepam .2mg 530pm and .7mg 1130pm, Premarin .3mg 830PM CARAFATE QID 2/27/19 to 3/5/19

-July 6'19 1/2 10mg Claritin 230pm, stopped it about July 18, started Oct 11 '19, 

-7/27 Viibryd 8.5, 8/29 Viibryd 8.25 -10/18 Carafate 1/2 NOC-10/24 Viibryd 8.0, 12/6 Viibryd 7.75, K+ 10meq qd

-NOW 1115am-Viibryd 7.75mg, 3pm-K+ 5mg, 515pm-Clonaz .2mg, 6pm-K+ 5mg, 830pm-Premarin .3mg,1115pm-Clonaz .9mg, 115am Carafate .5gm.

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Centime

Thank you Brassmonkey. Your posts have helped me already—given me hope. I’ve been on Paxil for 30 years. 


Long history with many psych drugs beginning in 1987. Went through two too-fast Paxil withdrawals in the past. Ended up in ER both times. I successfully got off Wellbutrin, and (occasional only) Seroquel, Concerta, and Klonopin over six months. Current supplements: multivitamin, probiotic, D3, magnesium, CBD. Current drugs: Ranitidine 300 mg. for acid reflux, Paxil (tapering off).

 

Paxil Taper History, 2018/2019

Jan.1: 60 mg. May 1: 55 mg. May 13: 50 mg. June 3: 47.5 mg. June 14: 45 mg. June 21: 42.5 mg. July 5: 40 mg. Switched to figuring by weight. 40 mg. = .704 July 22: .686. July 29: .669. August 5: .652. August 12: .635. September 2: 30 mg. October 2: 25 mg. November 2: 22 mg. December 1: 20 mg. January 6: 18 mg. Now using a digital scale and an emery board to taper. January 16: I decided to go back on the drugs after a year of tapering. I’m more depressed than ever, and do not believe it’s withdrawal. Thank you, everyone, for your support, advice, and kindness. Centime.

 

 

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nicolantana

Hey Brassmonkey. Congratulations! and thank you for sharing with us. Not sure if you've answered questions or are open to answering questions, but if you could describe some of the Anhedonia and return of emotion when you get a chance?? were you completely emotionless/zombiemode for a while and now back to a full range?? how was that??

 

cheers, and best of luck!!


late July...lexapro 10 seroquel 25.....due to mild depression......adverse reaction, suicidal thoughts, hospitalization

August....felt that meds were ripping stomach apart....docs didn't believe me..upped meds to seroquel 125, lexapro 20, mirtazapine 30, olanzapine 20....stayed on these drugs unitl mid november......severe anhedonia all the time...mid novemeber 2016 , began taper.....very small windows of emotion...Christmas....off everything by Christmas day......last six weeks, cried and laughed on a number of occasions for first time since taking initial meds....8 occasions of strong emotion over 6 weeks in ealry 2016.......doubting recovery......

BIG WINDOW IN july 2017, felt incredible, lasted a month or so, felt close to recovered...window left, september to Chrimstas 17 was anhedonic hell.....Turn of the year, January 2018, some very strong days (a window) offering renewed hope

back to hell until late February 2018, strong 10 day window....followed by anhedonic wave for 7 months straight! not a flicker of normalcy

September 2018 ...incredible window...followed by three month wave.January 2019.... a strong window

window subsided, but new baseline was higher.....life since January 2019 ( 9 months and counting) has been far better. Complete anhedonia is gone!! God, I've tears writing that. I am far from recovered, but far from hell...to use a scale, if life is rated out of a hundred, I was about minus 50 for the majority of 2 years..I know feel about 30 per cent of self, experiences intermittent flickers of normal life regularly....My days have more quality and I am optimistic of recovery. 

 

 

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Rosetta

Brass,

 

So glad that dip cleared up quickly.   Hope it's smooth sailing from here on out.  

 

-R


https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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brassmonkey

I Think I Have Anhedoina, But I Don’t Care

 

Anhedonia is one of those symptoms that really upsets people, and not with out cause.  It can be very unpleasant and disheartening. It is, however, a very important part of the healing/recovery process and needs to be embraced rather than feared.

 

I experienced anhedonia to some degree for a lot of my time on Paxil and during my taper off of it.  As I have mentioned before, I have done two major up doses while on Paxil. From 20mgai to 30mgai and again from 30mgai to 40mgai.  I first started to notice the anhedonia about a year into the change to 40mgai.  I had been going through a rough patch “life wise” for several years and thought that my lack of caring was due to the cumulative effects of life’s hard knocks.

 

During my downward spiral with the high dose of Paxil, drinking and continued life challenges, the anhediona continued to increase.  About the time I decided to do something about my life I pretty much didn’t care about anything.  I didn’t care enough to care about not caring. Until that flash of insight that set me on the path of righting my life.

It took getting sober and about two and a half years of tapering before I noticed any changes.  Another year and a half would pass before I really saw my emotions start to return.  From there it was a stead climb out of the black hole of emotionlessness. Once I made the jump to “0” things really started to improve. Today I still get small bouts that last for a few hours, but they are nothing like what it was in the beginning.  Now it’s more just normal emotional fluctuations like anyone would experience.

 

So, what did I do to get through it. Not a whole lot. I found that fighting against it only made things a whole lot worse. I found that accepting the anhedonia was much preferable to the alternatives of unrelenting anxiety and panic. I learned to look at anhedonia as a blessing in a way.  Without it I would have been feeling the over whelming panic and anxiety that is so common in WD.  Sure, I wasn't enjoying life, but I wasn't suffering either, and the loss of a happy life to it is only temporary. 

 

When it comes to WD, anhedonia is nature’s way of protecting us from the excruciating experience of constant panic attacks, nonstop anxiety, adrenaline rushes, cortisol spikes, palpitations, suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts, and the like.  Your mind decides that it is better to feel nothing at all than to be put through the ringer 24/7 with emotions and sensations that wrack the body and soul and slow the healing/recover process to a snail’s pace.  When the mind is allowed to feel nothing, the body is then allowed to relax and direct its energy to where it really needs to be used. This provides for faster more complete healing, less painful WD symptoms and a better quality of life.

 

Yes, anhedonia is no fun.  Primarily because we make it that way.  We all want to regain our feelings as fast as possible.  But we are in a healing situation where the body needs to be allowed to do what it needs to do, because it knows best how to put itself back together.  Once we understand this, accept it, and stop fighting it we will start to heal at a faster rate and life will be much more pleasant as we do so.  

 

You can't fight against it.  This is a drug induced sensation that we have no control over.  Trying to fight it or overcome it just burns a lot of precious energy and causes a huge amount of frustration and anxiety because it doesn't help anything.  The emotions, feelings of joy, happiness, love, and excitement as well as creativity, ambition, and a whole lot more are being chemically suppressed and for the time being are just not accessible. Acceptance of the situation is the best path to follow.  As you reduce your dose further and your body has a chance to heal your emotions and all will slowly start to come back, but it does take a lot of time.

 

One thing I did learn was to look for and cherish all the little moments of joy.  They are popping up all the time but are very fleeting and easily overlooked.  When you look at a flower, instead of thinking "darn, I can't enjoy this flower", watch for the momentary little flash of joy that that flower brings when you first see it, and acknowledge it when it happens.  Stop and try to see the beauty in things, even if you don't feel it. "Wow, the sun on those clouds is really pretty, one day soon I will feel it again".  Stop and recognize the joy/wonder in the scene, but let your body react in its own manner.  This exercise will help reestablish the neural pathways and little by little dig out and strengthen the feelings. It is one of the symptoms that is really good to practice AAF on, as there is nothing you can do about it but live with it as best as you can.  Like a bad house guest, ignore it long enough and it will eventually go away.

 

Anhedonia can be a real relationship challenge.  I went through that for quite some time.  I learned that even though I couldn't call up or experience the feelings they were still there inside, just not accessible.  At the time I had been happily married for 33 years but couldn't summon up any of the feelings I had for my wife.  I mentioned this, and it lead to several "late night discussions".  Once we both understood that it was a manifestation of the drugs things started to improve.  After I had been tapering off of the Paxil for a while the feelings slowly started to show themselves, until, now I am more in love with her then ever.  We celebrated number 39 a couple of months ago.  It's a big test of a relationship, but if the feelings are true in the first place and both people trust each other it is something that can be gotten through and make the relationship all the stronger.

 

Like everything else we feel or don't feel in WD, Anhedonia comes and goes in waves and windows.  It is, however, frequently one of the last things to go.  Some people have it bad until after they jump off, while for others is clears up as they taper.  Given a lifetime, the time spent in ADWD/recovery is insignificant.  We have all had our "life" cruelly taken from us and want it back now.  But to get it back fully we need to let the WD/recovery run its course, put on a brave face, and accept whatever it throws at us, whether we can feel it or not.  With time, the healing will happen and when it knows we are ready, our minds will allow us to feel our full range of emotions again and life will be even better.


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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Rabe

That was wonderful brassmonkey!!!  Thank you!!!  My daughter was 'honest' with me aGAIN today and I have been beating on myself since...but perhaps I ought to be grateful that I feel sad and down about what I am not in her eyes...least Im feeling!


-Nardil 1976 < year, stopped. Reactions to AD's. Klonopin .5BID ?1990, 2.5mg ? til 2016

-Klonopin doubled Jan '16. Tapered to 2.25mg May '16 to Nov '16, Heart raced after 1 Lexapro, stopped. Reacting to Prevacid to tapered off. Nov

-November '16 Tapered .25mg Klonopin in hospital. Jan 2 '17 started Viibryd, 20mg from 2/20 to 6/10 '17,     

-20mg to 10mg Viibryd from 3/25 to 6/10 2017, 12/15 10% Viibryd taper...back up next day

-Clonazepam 2mg to 1.85mg 4/14 '17 to end November; taper to 1mg Clonazepam in hospital 9/1 tp 9/14 '17

-Feb '18 Amiloride .25mg  5/18 off Amiloride d/t react. Clonaz compounded  

-4/27 '18 Viibryd 9.5mg, 6/11 9.0 mg, 1/27 '19 Viibryd 8.75mg, ; Clonazepam .2mg 530pm and .7mg 1130pm, Premarin .3mg 830PM CARAFATE QID 2/27/19 to 3/5/19

-July 6'19 1/2 10mg Claritin 230pm, stopped it about July 18, started Oct 11 '19, 

-7/27 Viibryd 8.5, 8/29 Viibryd 8.25 -10/18 Carafate 1/2 NOC-10/24 Viibryd 8.0, 12/6 Viibryd 7.75, K+ 10meq qd

-NOW 1115am-Viibryd 7.75mg, 3pm-K+ 5mg, 515pm-Clonaz .2mg, 6pm-K+ 5mg, 830pm-Premarin .3mg,1115pm-Clonaz .9mg, 115am Carafate .5gm.

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Rabe

Brassmonkey how can we read Talking About Myself?


-Nardil 1976 < year, stopped. Reactions to AD's. Klonopin .5BID ?1990, 2.5mg ? til 2016

-Klonopin doubled Jan '16. Tapered to 2.25mg May '16 to Nov '16, Heart raced after 1 Lexapro, stopped. Reacting to Prevacid to tapered off. Nov

-November '16 Tapered .25mg Klonopin in hospital. Jan 2 '17 started Viibryd, 20mg from 2/20 to 6/10 '17,     

-20mg to 10mg Viibryd from 3/25 to 6/10 2017, 12/15 10% Viibryd taper...back up next day

-Clonazepam 2mg to 1.85mg 4/14 '17 to end November; taper to 1mg Clonazepam in hospital 9/1 tp 9/14 '17

-Feb '18 Amiloride .25mg  5/18 off Amiloride d/t react. Clonaz compounded  

-4/27 '18 Viibryd 9.5mg, 6/11 9.0 mg, 1/27 '19 Viibryd 8.75mg, ; Clonazepam .2mg 530pm and .7mg 1130pm, Premarin .3mg 830PM CARAFATE QID 2/27/19 to 3/5/19

-July 6'19 1/2 10mg Claritin 230pm, stopped it about July 18, started Oct 11 '19, 

-7/27 Viibryd 8.5, 8/29 Viibryd 8.25 -10/18 Carafate 1/2 NOC-10/24 Viibryd 8.0, 12/6 Viibryd 7.75, K+ 10meq qd

-NOW 1115am-Viibryd 7.75mg, 3pm-K+ 5mg, 515pm-Clonaz .2mg, 6pm-K+ 5mg, 830pm-Premarin .3mg,1115pm-Clonaz .9mg, 115am Carafate .5gm.

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brassmonkey

You should be able to read it, but just not post to it.

 


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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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