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Ibnabu

Ibnabu: An inquiry

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Ibnabu

I took cipralex first for two months in 2015. Stopped after tapering for 2 weeks according to doctor recommondation. I felt good for about five months, then withdrawal started in October 2015.

 

From October till February I did not take any medication. In March 2016 I went to the psychiatrist again and he recommended taking cipralex for six months. So I took it for six months and tapered for about a month. I felt good for five weeks and then withdrawal started.

 

These are the symptoms I had at the start of withdrawal. One fourth head feeling. I felt like major part of my brain is missing. Heart palpitations, fatigue, dry mouth. Frequent urination, anxiety, anhedonia, depression, muscle pain, insomnia. In the beginning I slept only 3-4 hours and other symptoms as well.

 

Now, after 18 months of medication free I feel much better but still not 100% though. My question is, does it take that long for some who took ssri for short time like a total of 8 months to heal?

Edited by SkyBlue
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SkyBlue



Hello Ibnabu and welcome to SA. 

 

It certainly sounds like you've had a lot of drug changes and fast reductions, which can really sensitize and destabilize the nervous system. 

 

It definitely can take people 18 months or more to heal, especially with a lot of drug changes. The good news is that there is hope. People definitely do heal. 

It is very promising that you have noticed improvements in 18 months. It is likely that you will continue to get better. Many people experience healing in a "windows and waves" pattern, with periods of improvement (windows) and periods of increased symptoms (waves).

 

To help us out, please list your recent drug history, dosages, etc in a signature using this link:  Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature 

 

There are topics on this forum that address the withdrawal symptoms you are having. Here is one on insomnia that you might find helpful: in Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

and Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

How are you doing now? Is there a pattern to your symptoms?

 

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Ibnabu

Thank u skyblue

I do not think I have a pattern of my symptoms because most of them have disappeared. In the beginning of withdrawal I think i had windows and waves for about 3 to 4 months but then it changed to continuous suffering. Now I feel ok but not 100% as my old self. I have healed alot though. I still have mild nerve pain in my right leg. Mild health anxiety. 

You said that I had alot of drug changes. I only took cipralex twice of a total of 8 months. I never took any other medication. So it is not alot of drug changes!. Maybe I was not clear enough in my first post. I took cipralex first in february 2015 for two months, tapered for two weeks, felt ok for five months then symptoms started in October 2015. From October 2015 till february 2016 i did not take any medication at all. In March 2016, I took cipralex for six months till September 2016. I felt ok for six weeks then symptoms started. From October 2016 till today I did not take any medication at all. So ur answer is that, yes it takes 18 or actually now 19 months to heal and even longer. My question is then, even for people who took ssri for only 8 months? So i understand that it may take 3 or even 4 years to heal even for people who only took ssri for 8 months? I hope that u be more specific in ur answer.

Thak u alot 

 

 

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Altostrata

Hello, Ibnabu.

 

You have gone on and off drugs several times. This can be wearing on the nervous system. Anyone who has taken one of these drugs for more than a month is at risk for withdrawal syndrome.

 

So, yes, although you did not take a lot of pills altogether, you have had prolonged withdrawal syndrome. We see this fairly frequently.

 

To what degree have you recovered, do you think? 80% 90%

 

What were your withdrawal symptoms like?

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Ibnabu

Thanks Alto 

Yes indeed it is wearing to the cns. My symptoms in the beginning of withdrawal were:

A feeling that a part of my brain is missing. This feeling has disappeared. Insomnia, in the beginning I could only sleep 3 to 4 hours. Now after 19 months I can sleep 6 to 7 hours. Frequent urination and a constant feeling that I have to urinate although it is not a real urge to urinate. This symptoms has disappeared. Dizziness, has also disappeared. Muscle pain, has also disappeared. Panic attacks, were severe in the beginning. Now I do not have them at all. Health anxiety, now it is mild. Depresonlization, this symptom had faded. Bad short memory. Now my memory is much much better. Difficulty concentrating, now I can concentrate much better. And many other symptoms were these either disappeared or become much much less severe. I think comparing to the onset of withdrawal I have 90% healed even more BUT NOT 100%. I still have mild health anxiety, mild nerve pain in my right leg and fatigue. 

Is it expected to heal further or that is it?

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Ibnabu

By the way, i could be so so patient with my withdrawal symptoms agony because of SA site. So thank you very much for the important information and help you provide. Without these information I will be on ssri for along time according to my doctor recommondation. I stopped listening to him after I found SA site. I read many sucess recovery stories on your site and on mad in america and these gave me hope. SO THANK U SO SO MUCH AGAIN

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Ibnabu

Hello every body,

My name is ibnabu and I posted on SA before. I am 25 months drug free and after 19 months I thought I healed. However recently, since a week I have anhedonia. I have no mood to do anything. I am scared that the symptoms will return back. Very strange. Between 19 to 24 months of being drug free I felt ok and i thought I healed. Please tell, is this normal after 25? Is permanent damage? Please help I am very scared

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Altostrata

Hello, Ibnabu.

 

You may still experience occasional waves of symptoms. You may have done something recently that stressed your nervous system. Be patient, this will gradually go away.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

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Ibnabu

I am ibnabu. I have a question. Does sex help healing or make symptoms worse? I am a 49 years old man and i am two years off my ssri and noticed that when I make sex to my wife the first day I feel better but the next day I feel worse and the third day even much worse. So I wonder if any of you have an idea on this. I searched the net but found nothing.

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Ibnabu

I am ibnabu. Do we really heal after stopping ssri or it is just suffering and waist of time? I am 2 yrs off cipralex and although I noticed huge improvements but still have some symptoms and i was recently hit by wave. I only took the drug for 8 months altogether. Will I find answer here or not?

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ChessieCat

Hi Ibnabu,

 

Please put questions about your own situation in your Introductions topic.  This way your history will all be in one place.

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  You can either use the site search function or use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

On 5/4/2018 at 5:43 AM, Altostrata said:

although you did not take a lot of pills altogether, you have had prolonged withdrawal syndrome

 

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

 

On 10/19/2018 at 5:02 AM, Altostrata said:

You may still experience occasional waves of symptoms.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

From this topic what-does-healing-from-withdrawal-syndrome-feel-like:

 

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  


And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the buiding is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes. 

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Ibnabu

I do not believe that it is healing after 2 years

 

Hello every body, 

I am ibn abu. I just wonder some symptoms return after two years of not taking any medication, no alcohol, stopped smoking cigarettes, two years and i still have some symptoms. Some times I sleep only 6 hour with 2 awakening. Usually I sleep more. I sweat too much specially at night, not every night though. If i dont sleep between 9:30-10pm then I fall in sleep but I wake 2-3 times, some times more.

I do bot believe it still withdrawal. I think it is a sort of damage. Hope some body reply and assure me  thank everyone.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title to post before merging with intro

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Ibnabu

Thank you for your reply chessieCat. You sent this to me before and i read it. What is that supposed to me. I took the drug first for two months and after half a year took it for six months. So in total I took cipralex for 8 months.  I know I stopped ct. I have made alot of improvements during the past two years. Are you telling me that it may take 3-5 years?. By the way what is PSSD in the article?.

Thank you 

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ChessieCat

PSSD is Post SSRI/SNRI Sexual Disfunction

 

13 minutes ago, Ibnabu said:

Are you telling me that it may take 3-5 years?

 

We don't know how long it is going to take.  All we can tell you is that it is going to take time.  You can't make the brain adapt any quicker.

 

When we take a psychiatric drug it introduces chemicals to the brain and the brain changes.  The brain is always trying to regain homeostasis, or level things out, so when we take a psychiatric drug that changes the chemicals in the brain, the brain's response is change things, or adapt to getting the drug.  When we take some or all of the drug away the brain starts trying to level things out.  This is what creates the withdrawal symptoms.  When you first get off the drug  it's a bit like huge pot holes in a road because the brain is trying to do a lot of levelling out.  Over time the brain adapts so things level out, like levelling out a road so it only has some minor bumps instead of pot holes. As the brain adapts the withdrawal symptoms get fewer and/or milder.

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Ibnabu

Sorry for asking too much. Will I heal at the end even if it takes 3-5 years. I am 25 months drug free and comparing to the beginning it is much better. Many symptoms disappeared completely. But some appeared after 13 months in withdrawal. All psychological symptoms have disappeared e g. no more depression, no more panic. 

Will I heal if i wait or shall I reinstate the drug?

Thanks 

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ChessieCat

You are feeling better than you used to.  That is a very good sign.  Sometimes symptoms go away but might come back for a while.  Sometimes you might get new symptoms.  Understanding that your brain is healing helps you to know why you have times when the symptoms appear.

 

After being off the drug for 25 months, and being much better now, reinstating the drug may make things worse and/or slow down the healing.

 

It's a good idea to learn non drug techniques.  These can help you during times when the withdrawal symptoms are worse, but they are also good things to learn to help you with living life afterwards.  If you went on the drug because of anxiety you need to learn ways to cope with anxiety without using drugs.  If you went on a drug to help with depression you need to learn ways to cope with times when you feel depressed without using drugs.

 

Leo put it in a nutshell:

 

On 11/10/2018 at 8:32 PM, Leo1983 said:

What your saying to me is you need to learn techniques to manage your life whilst in WITHDRAWAL! And they will also serve you well once you HEAL. 

 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
Video:  EMDR - Balloon

 

 

BrassMonkey wrote:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

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Ibnabu

 Hi every one, I am ibnabu,

I read a lot about the 10% tapering method and it's importance to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms and to shorten the period of healing. But the reality is different. I have calculated the time span for some one who will start tapering from 20mg lexapro. If he or she applies the 10% rule and wait 4 weeks after each reduction it will take around 50 months (4.1 years). If she/he waits 6 week after each reduction to stabilize the it will take 75 months (6.25 years). The question is, is this realistic? Add to this the time it takes her/him to heal, to recover. It means at least 10 or more years. In this method the drug will stay in the system for very long time and the damage (If any) will be more. Where is research to support the 10% tapering rule?. I am not saying to stop ct like I did but also not to taper for such a long time. If someone was 2 years on 20mg lexapro and taper according to the recommended 10% then this person will need between 4.1y - 6.25y plus the time to recover, heal (may be 2-3years). After all this time there is no grantee this person will heal in 2-3years. It may take longer, much longer. In this case it is frustrating. Some one tried this 10% and it worked for him (James Heaney). I hope there will be a more realistic approach.

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Ibnabu

Hello everyone, 

I am ibnabu, wrote my story before and got relpy. I am now 31 months in withdrawal from cipralex 20mg taken for about 7months. Alot of symptoms disappeared and in general feel much better than in the first two years. On Monday 28th of April 2019 I was feeling great, peace in myself and all of a sudden all my symptoms disappeared and I said to my self waw I never felt that good in 31 months. The night of that day something very strange happened. I woke up at 1am and while laying on my back and tried to rol to my right side I felt the whole room spinning, rotating very fast. I got scared, very very scared. I stood up after that and the dizziness dissapeared and went to the toilet to pee and came back. The moment I played down a very intense dizziness took place. The whole room was spinning very fast, very vast. I was tired and fell in sleep again. In the morning I woke up with fear. I went to wash my hair and while moving my head dowm waw the room was spinning again and i got very scared. I wnt to bed again with fear that something dangerous was going on. I said to my self i have to go to work, I have to work. How can i work with this dizziness. I can not function like this. In my country if you do not work you can not live. You do not get money from the government. I have a family to look after. I search the internet and found " BPPV" "Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" that has the symptoms I have. The dizziness depends on my head movement. I called the ear doctor and made an appointment at 15:00 pm. He checked my middle ear and found nothing and I became more scared. Then he said he will send me to the ear centre to do more tests. I was received by a special ear doctor and made the neccessary tests with computer program connected to a special device that was placed on my head and asked me to move my head several times and said he found the problem and the solution is very easy and I got a sense of relief. He said that the calcium carbonate particles in my inner ear were dislocated and that he will reposition them and the vertigo will dissapear. I thought waw is it so easy????? Will it really dissapear? I hope so. He asked me to lay down and said he will rotate my head to the left and that I will feel very very dizzy and I should tell him when the spinning stops. Oh the room was spinning like 100 round per second and finally the dizziness stopped after about 2 minutes. We repeayed the procedure on the right side and it was the same feeling. He gave me a piece of paper with some excercies to do for four weeks. The fear did not go away. I was still scared and kept asking myself what was that? Is it still withdrawal? It is soooo scary, so scary. Now after about a week I feel better but I am lift with mild dizziness but without spinning and nothing to compare with what I had. But I noticed positive things. The inner tension I had for 31 months has dissapeared. What is lift from my heart palpitations dissapeared. I became much more relaxed. My resting heart rate went down from 75 to 58 bmp. My blood pressure went down. Inner relaxation is the thing that appeared and the inner tension that has dissapeared. I do not know if this has to do with withdrawal or not. I did not have head injury that can cause the dislocation of my inner ears particles. I am not sure. Can it be withdrawal after 31 months. Please relp and tell me if this is withdrawal or not.

Wish all of you a good health and fast recovery

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herod

Hi Ibnabu!

You are not alone, I also experience the spinning sensation and the inner tension you described. It does get better, you will heal completely.

It could be withdrawal, I didn't get dizzy until 4 months after I stopped taking the drug, and some people on this forum took years to recover.

But the most important point is that you WILL heal completely, and you're probably over the worst now.

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Ibnabu

Thank you very much herod

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Ibnabu
Posted (edited)

Is it really withdrawal

 

Hi everyone, I am ibnabu,

Hope everyone is doing jus fine. I took cipralex 10mg first for two months Jan. 2015 to March 2015. I then tapered following doctor advise in two weeks then stopped. I did not feel any symptoms till end of September 2015. I had all the symptoms that people in SA know. I waited until February 2016 where I went to a psychiatrist and told me to take cipralex 20mg every day. I took it for six months and then stopped CT in August 2016. The first month I had no symptoms at all then after a month I was struck with many symptoms. Since September 2016 I am in withdrawal. Since this time I stopped smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and black tee and took no brain active substances. Many symptoms have disappeared. But still I am not 100% healed. Now I have mild fatigue, Lightheadness, strange feeling inside my head. It is not pain but weird sensation. Is it withdrawal after 32 months? Does withdrawal last this long? Please assure me and tell me the truth. Is my brain damaged. Will I live like this? I need some answers. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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