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Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?

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brassmonkey

Hi Waiting--  adverse reactions end up being seen as part of the ebb and flow of a taper and don't get  success story as such.  People work their way through the adverse reaction and then continue on.  So any success story would be buried in their intro threads.

 

Yes, my statement would be an all inclusive one.  An adverse reaction has many similarities with a bad wave and as such it must be worked through and when the time is right a persons taper can be continued.  Although very uncomfortable and such an adverse reaction boils down to just another bump in the road to recovery. Have you tried doing a search on Adverse Reaction?  It would take a bit of digging but you may find some success stories that way.

 

Brassmonkey

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Waiting12
3 minutes ago, brassmonkey said:

Hi Waiting--  adverse reactions end up being seen as part of the ebb and flow of a taper and don't get  success story as such.  People work their way through the adverse reaction and then continue on.  So any success story would be buried in their intro threads.

 

Yes, my statement would be an all inclusive one.  An adverse reaction has many similarities with a bad wave and as such it must be worked through and when the time is right a persons taper can be continued.  Although very uncomfortable and such an adverse reaction boils down to just another bump in the road to recovery. Have you tried doing a search on Adverse Reaction?  It would take a bit of digging but you may find some success stories that way.

 

Brassmonkey

 

Thanks for the response. I didn’t realize many people had adverse reactions during tapering. Thanks for clearing that up. It brings up another question. What about those who didn’t have a chance to taper due to said severe reactions. Would that be considered a CT wd and not recovery from an AR? Sorry, I’ve been recovering for 20 months and I’m still confused on what happened to me. Maybe I’ll send you a PM or invite you to my intro thread.

 

In the meantime I’ll do more searching. Thanks!

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brassmonkey

An Adverse Reaction is an overly strong reaction for a person who is sensitive to the drug.  It hits hard and fast and once the drug is removed, it can take a long time to stabilize.  Adverse Reactions typically happen at one of three points. When a drug is first started, by doing too large an updose during a taper, or from a reinstatement after the drug has been stopped for a while.  The reaction is the same, just the timing is different.  All three situations will stabilize and resolve given enough time as I discussed in the essay above.

 

As for whether or not it's a CT, that all depends on timing and a bit of semantics.  Stopping a drug in one step after it has had time to establish itself in the body would be considered a CT.  Different drugs and different people take different amounts of time to get established.  We generally consider one month to be the starting point, but anything over two weeks gets iffy in terms of CT.  Less than that and a person falls into the category of "I only took it for a week".  These are not hard and fast designations, but rather ones that we have established from experience to help us determine what course of action to follow.

 

Your thread would be a better place to follow up on this.

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bubbles
Quote

An Adverse Reaction

 

Are we differentiating this from "side effects" which may be dose dependent? I tend to lump them all together, but perhaps that muddies the waters.

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brassmonkey

Side effects are a different thing from WD symptoms, but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.  We have some lengthy discussions about the differences around here somewhere.

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thecowisback

so does anyone manage to 'get out alive' when they taper per the doctors orders? reading these posts terrify me as i have family members on ssri and snri drugs and i'm so scared for when they decide to come off them. i've spoken to them about tapering but they don't believe it takes as long as it does to taper off safely. i'm 17 months out from a too-fast taper and living proof that tapering too fast has horrible consequences but i'm still not sure they believe me. 

why won't the medical profession and drug companies listen to people about slow tapering? (rhetorical question 😉).

 

does everyone who tapers too fast or ct get protracted withdrawal further down the line? is this why they end up going back on more drugs? 

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Kilimanjaro

Go brassmonkey! 

You are a GODSEND!! 

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Ryder
Quote

 

What it boils down to is, if you’re worried about how you feel get it checked out.  When the results come back saying that there’s nothing wrong, “Let it go” it’s “just” withdrawal.

 

 

Thanks I really needed this reminder today. Saved me from posting a long long post 😂.

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mFrustrated
On 5/22/2018 at 5:07 AM, brassmonkey said:

But I only took it for a Week

(6)

 

I think that some of the most unfortunate members we have are the ones who only took the drug for a short time and had an Adverse Reaction. Over the years I’ve seen a good number of members join who have taken their drugs for one day to a week and then stopped.  Yet they are suffering very acute symptoms.  This is an Adverse Reaction, acute symptoms that hit immediately and hard.  Some people’s chemical makeup just isn’t compatible with psych drugs and their body immediately tries to reject them, but in doing so throws itself into chaos.

 

 

Brass monkey, I’m one of the unlucky ones that had an adverse reaction. It’s been 2, 1/2 years and I’m still fighting with horrible waves every now and again...mainly harm ocd and some jitters.  Would it be possible to say full recovery from adverse reaction can take longer than 2 to 3 years? I’m in a wave now and I’m fighting the “this isn’t adverse reaction, you have a serious issue” ocd with terrible suicidal intrusive thoughts. (I had none of this before the drugs) I know you aren’t a doctor, but just trying to find reassurance that I will be ok I guess. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced amount of quoted text

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brassmonkey

Hi mFrustrated- I'm typing this one handed with my left hand due to injuring my right shoulder yesterday, so I'll have to keep it short. Even though it's a minority I'm surprised at just how many members we have that only took their drugs for a week or so and have been suffering for a long time.  Things do get better, but it can sometimes take a similar timeline as a CT.  Most of the members I alluded to in the  essay were fairly well recovered by the three to four year range, some took longer, some were shorter.  There frequently was a marked improvement at about three years.  Keep up on your coping skills and don't let the OCD take command. Things will eventually settle down.

 

Brassmonkey

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed excess white space

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Bridgetini

Thank you, brassmonkey, for taking the time and care to put all that information together here for us all. There is NO other place with so much information. 

You are saving me from the temptation to rush the end of a taper to please my psych and spouse ( who both think that I am a tad obsessive about my tapering). I will have to accept that it will take me several years to taper off all three meds. If my psych labels me as 'non-compliant' or 'treatment resistant', I will have to either educate them or change prescriber. I have explained (again) to my spouse about WD and will try to keep him involved. 

Thanks for the reminder about alcohol. 

I gave officially stopped drinking 9 years ago today, but over the last year have taken occasional 'social' drinks - probably not a good idea. 

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RachelSusan

OMG, this is amazing. Thank you brassmonkey for writing it. The entire thing was perfect however at this stage of my tapering  Part 12 was most appropriate to me. I still have at least another year and a half to go but being made aware of things to come once I jump off is very helpful.  I can't thank you enough.  I'm going to put this link in my thread so I can find your manifesto whenever I need it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

RS

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JackieDecides
On 5/26/2018 at 11:56 AM, brassmonkey said:

I don't know of any actual studies or articles that talk about the ten month wave Bubbles. This is based on empirical information from watching many members both here and at Prior Place.  It appears to be very common in people who have done slow event-less tapers

 

this is me and, while I want to thank you very sincerely for this entire thread,  I think the 10 month wave is something I had better expect/prepare for. since my last dose of Lexapro was  May, I am just at six months, yes?  and 7 to 12 months means I could have a wave next month, at month seven.

 

my WD symptoms were very mild compared to everyone  else that I have read here so far, but in June especially and into July I really struggled. i was only working barely part time and could hardly do that. tons of anxiety and insomnia and horrible time trying to think, especially in writing. it might take me 2 hours to finish a short email to my boss, for example.

 

but really I've been feeling pretty good lately and working full time (although stressing and lots of insomnia still) but I suspect this winter will be tough as I have SAD and holidays tend to be tough. who am I kidding, holidays are very hard. 

 

so this is very good info for me, especially the part about not getting to comfortable and thinking it's OK to drink and so forth, and I thank you again. 

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Needtoheal30

Brassmonkey thanks for this I took it for a week or so was already dealing with Benzo withdrawal wasn’t bad at all then I took antidepressants for a week then all hell broke lose after I stopped.never had anything like this before this  I started getting crazy intrusive thoughts all type harm,sexual, every bad thought in the books and dr dp .I’m 15 months feel much better first 5 6 months felt like I was going crazy but now ocd  still there but I can kinda deal with it now or brush it off . Windows are longer . Is this normal ?? Hopefully I heal in 2 3 years. Thanks a lot for this information first time reading the one week adverse reactions help me a lot to realize that it’s withdrawal. You hear story’s like mine? Because I took Benzo for  like 2 years of and on I stoped ct  after 7 months took antidepressants then all the withdrawal hit me like crazy ?? Does the adverse reactions still apply to me or no because I took benzodiazepines before ??? Thanks a lot.

Edited by Needtoheal30
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Freesia

You mention two supplements that might be helpful but the rest of them you seem to negate. I didn't see any mention of what the supplements were.  When I went off of my meds I was taking a crap load of supplements.  The naturopath would go low and slow is becoming very expensive I couldn't afford it anymore so I got stuck in supplement hell to manage. I feel as though I've just elongated my withdrawal with all of this. I ended up going off and sort of Reinventing the wheel constantly on my own. I am off of medications since February of 2017 but I'm really having a hard time of late a lot of anxiety lot of traumas at the past year and I just don't know what to do I don't really want to go back on the meds at this point and I don't know if I can survive it what do you think and what are the names of those supplements? Ty the supplements have been helping me to function but now things are getting worse something's not right. And then do you have to like go off the supplements at the end?

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ChessieCat

@Freesia The only 2 supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

Try a small dose of each one separately to see how they affect you.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Please start an Introductions topic for yourself here introductions-and-updates (top right, green rectangle, start new topic) so we can get to know your situation and you can be supported during your recovery.

 

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jaxlin
On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 8:15 PM, brassmonkey said:

So, When Will We Get There?

(14)

Like any other parent faced with this question I will give the traditional answer. “We will be there when we arrive”.  There are just too many factors with the medication and when combined with each person’s individual physiology and circumstances it becomes impossible to say.  The one thing we can say is that it will take a lot longer than any of us would like.

 

When we decide to reduce our dependence on psych drugs we are taking a large frightening step into the unknown.  The medical establishment knows very little about how to reduce dependence on these drugs and will frequently give out faulty information as to how to do it and through their lack of knowledge can sometimes force people into very unpleasant conditions. As frightening and painful as those conditions are, after removal of the drugs, they will eventually correct themselves and our bodies will heal.  The one thing that is sure to work is time, lots, and lots of time.

 

Each step of the journey must be taken carefully because it’s a very slippery path filled with things that can trip a person up.  Once they’ve fallen, it’s even harder to get back up to start traveling again.  Everyone is different in how fast they can traverse the path, but everyone must take it very slowly, one step at a time.  There is very little to hang on to along the way to keep from falling and almost nothing that can help speed things up. But there are a few things that will help make the time pass a bit more comfortably.

 

The human body is an amazing thing. From the first combining of two single cells it contains all the information necessary to build itself.  If it gets broken, it has all the information it needs to fix and adjust itself.  It’s such a complex mechanism though it takes a lot of time to sort out what is wrong, adjust the problem one cell at a time and test the results.

 

The latest calculations determined that on average there are 37.2 trillion cells in the human body. About 95% of those cells are replaced each year.  That’s a lot of cells and replacement to keep track of.  Then throw on top of it trying to sort out the changes made by psych drugs to every part and system of the body, and you have a monumental job ahead of you. Which brings up the old question “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Time after time after time……..

An amazing amount of information thank you. I did it all the wrong way, but it's good to know the reason for all the distress over the last 3 years!

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Freesia

Wow very eloquently put ty brass monkey

 

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Galmond

Thank you brassmonkey for the time you spent in putting this together. It's been very helpful and disheartening at the same time. I'm one of your statistics that CT cymbalta. But it was done in a treatment facility and I had no idea about this site or info. Which explains why I'm still living in hell 17 months after last dose. But thank you for clarifying some things for me.

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Leo1983

Not sure if this should be put here? (post moved from another topic)

 

I understand tapering 100%. Also the rationale for it.

 

However there are alot of people who have done fast tapers and CT who have recovered in short medium and long term. 

 

Aeroman been 1 example. Pauls story was another.... there are alot of CT / fast taper benzo stories all over you tube. 

 

I think instead of the site suggesting ALL people who CT or fast taper are going to have a longer harder time than anyone else, it should be said each case is unique. It just adds fear. 

 

The truth is no one knows wht experience ANY individual will have. Some people taper and once off are sytomatic for 2- 3 years. Aeroman recovered in that from a 4 week taper. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
post moved from Why Taper? SERT Occupancy topic

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ChessieCat
8 minutes ago, Leo1983 said:

The truth is no one knows wht experience ANY individual will have.

 

Exactly.  Nobody knows.  We are all an experiment where N=1.  The 10% reduction protocol is a harm reduction method.  Some people may be able to go faster, and some may not and have to go much slower.  Just as some might CT with no problems and recover quickly.

 

On 8/6/2011 at 6:43 AM, Altostrata said:

 

The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs. While it is not a guarantee you will have trouble-free withdrawal, we believe this conservative tapering method will cause harm to the fewest number of people.

 

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ChessieCat
43 minutes ago, Leo1983 said:

I think instead of the site suggesting ALL people who CT or fast taper are going to have a longer harder time than anyone else, it should be said each case is unique. It just adds fear. 

 

It would seem that the post you have made is about your own fear and realisation about how long it may take for you to recover.  It is understandable and it can take some time to come to terms with the fact.  And many other members are having to deal with their own fears regarding these drugs, being on them, getting off them and how long it is all going to take.  I was expecting to be off my drug by my 60th birthday at the end of 2017.  It took me a while to accept that I'm going to be tapering until the end of 2020.  Even now, I yoyo between increasing my dose and thinking I'm only on 5mg why not jump off. 

 

Regarding this comment:  I think instead of the site suggesting ALL people who CT or fast taper are going to have a longer harder time than anyone else, it should be said each case is unique. It just adds fear. 

 

Cold turkeying and fast tapering are risky ways to get off a drug.  Unfortunately we have many members join after the fact.  Some join soon enough afterwards that they are able to reinstate.  However there are lots who can't.  We are a fact providing site and it is a fact that many people who CT or fast taper may be in for many years of discomfort from withdrawal symptoms.  We can't change that.  It isn't helpful to lie to a member that they are going to feel better in a short period of time when this may not be the case.  This would giving them a false expectation and can end up being worse than being truthful from the beginning.  At least being aware that they are experiencing prolonged withdrawal because of their CT or rapid taper, they understand what is happening to them and can learn ways to handle the discomfort and understand that their brain is trying to regain homeostasis.

 

SA tries to be sensitive about the way this information is provided to the members.  However their CT or fast taper is a reality and the reality is that it may take them many years to recover.  And some members prefer the truth outright and others would rather not know.  SA cannot be everything to all members.

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JP904

thank you Brassmonkey!!! I really appreciate you sharing all this information and all the time you put into supporting people here. It's reassuring to read that most people take many months or years to recover. I'm 1 year deep and don't feel much better than I did the first few months after finishing my taper. 

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icerose87

But can you stabilize on a drug you’re not withdrawing from? It’s too late for my sister to reinstate Lexapro (cold turkeyed twice) and lorazepam. She’s been trying to stabilize on Mirtazapine and Zyprexa. 

 

Also, can she heal from her Lexapro/Lorazepam withdrawal while trying to stabilize on Mirtazapine and Zyprexa? She literally had no choice. She was starving to death her withdrawal was so bad and she wasn’t even on these meds for more than 2 months!

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ChessieCat
On 1/2/2019 at 8:52 AM, Altostrata said:

icerose, one might stabilize on anything, including no drugs at all. Your sister's situation is a little more complicated, please see your Intro topic.

 

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Annietherese
Posted (edited)

Thankyou for your honesty. I went CTed a month ago from lexapro 20mg and it's been a rollercoaster ride. I now do not feel like a failure and took 5mg. 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

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Annietherese
Posted (edited)

MOD NOTE:  Please see the following post which is the "0 point warning" sent to remind member to start Intro topic.

 

Not cool chessiecat. I thought we were on here to help each other not hinder. I am, like a lot of other people going through a rough time so to get a warning and have my post removed leaves me feeling like I have no one to turn to.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note

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ChessieCat

@Annietherese

 

Friendly reminder: Please start an Introductions topic for yourself

 

 

Penalty

 

  • Given 0 points which will never expire.

Note for member

Hello --

 

Thank you for participating on our site. Please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions and Updates forum so we can get to know you better.

 

Your Introductions topic keeps your history all in one place so you don't have to repeat it in your posts. You can post questions about your particular situation in your Introductions topic and report your progress there.

 

You can read about others' experiences in their Introductions topic. The Introductions topics also are a collection of case histories to educate the medical profession about tapering and withdrawal.

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Annietherese said:

have my post removed

@Annietherese

 

I did remove a post made by a member, possibly you.  It was a quote from a topic (possibly this topic) which was quoted in a completely different member's topic.  It had no context or response.

 

6 hours ago, Annietherese said:

I thought we were on here to help each other not hinder. I am, like a lot of other people going through a rough time so to get a warning and have my post removed leaves me feeling like I have no one to turn to.

 

You have been a member since 30th June 2014 and have only posted 4 (possibly 5) times and have not created an Introduction topic.

 

There are many other members who are in a similar situation.  Because the members are experiencing similar things, they are able to relate to and understand what other members are going through.  It is precisely because of this that I sent a reminder to start an Introduction topic, so that you can ask questions about your own situation, journal your progress and be supported by other members of the SA community.

 

BTW, whenever a new member posts in a topic without creating an Introduction topic they are sent the same Friendly Reminder "0 point warning" which you received.  It is because we want to make them feel welcome that we do this.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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MaggieSmalls

Hello Brassmonkey, ChessieCat and all other people who are reading this. Feel free to leave your thoughts too!

I just came across this topic and read about "Adverse Reaction" for the first time. I hope I understood it correctly because I´m not a native speaker but there is a difference between people who react from the very first moment they are touching the drug and the people who react after stopping or tapering ?

It´s interesting for me because I remember from the very first moment I took Paxil I reacted very heavy to this drug.

The doctor told me I can start with 40mg straight (Today I know thats unbelievable / irresponsible) so I took it in the evening and I woke up on the first night on Paxil with crazy nightmares, sweaty and the feeling of burned skin all over my body. I remember I told my girlfriend it feels like ants are all over my body and they try to burn my skin. From this moment I had all those common "WD Symptoms" . It started to feel better after about 1 month and I thought the drug is healing my disease now but I think my body just got used to the drug back then. Anyway, when I tapered all those initial symptoms came back stronger and heavier than I ever could imagine. Lots of mistakes and wrong tapering later I am here, 2 years after taking my last pill and still having huge WD symptoms. The worst is constant feeling of being hungover, drugged, derealized, tinitus / white noise and head pressure. 

 

If I suffer from Adverse Reaction, does it changes anything for me? I had windows and waves from the moment I tapered off until today. I feel everything is changing all the time and I cant say excactly how it changes or healing takes place. I can definetly say that the depressive feelings during the first 1 1/2 years after 0mg have gone / healed. My mood is very good and has improved a lot within the last 4 month. Now and then I have these depressive waves but they usually are not lasting longer then a few hours.

Thanks for your help!

Maggie

 

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JackieDecides
On 1/18/2019 at 12:35 PM, MaggieSmalls said:

My mood is very good and has improved a lot within the last 4 month

 

I'm glad to hear you are improving. I feel like maybe people missed this post so I'm tagging @ChessieCat

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Nubl

Thank you so much for the support. How do I go about chatting with you? I’m new to this stuff. I have a few questions for you. Is talking on the cell not acceptable?

nubl

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ChessieCat

BrassMonkey, who wrote this topic, is currently traveling on holidays.

 

SA is an online peer support forum staffed by unrostered volunteers.  We don't provide phone support.

 

If you have questions about your own situation the other mods and members may be able to assist.  Please ask them in your Introduction topic which is here:  nubl-pws

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Molly19

Thanks for this amazing information Brassmonkey! I really appreciate it. I believe I am suffering from the 10 month wave. I was greatly improving and then BAM it's like starting all over again. Have you heard of the 10 wave lasting longer than 5 weeks? I'm on week 7 now😞 I suppose everyone is different I just hope this goes away soon!

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StarEyes

Thanks for this, Brass Monkey! I am only just seeing it now.

 

I recently posted on my thread about some severe insomnia and anxiety I was going through, almost ten months into the Brass Monkey taper. Now I see this is so common and happens to many people who are tapering. Sounds like there could be a lot of this in my future, as I am at 13mgpw, down from 25.5mgpw. It's very difficult, but knowing that it's part of the process and experienced by many takes some of the edge off.

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robcbar1

I've been on this site for years and just seeing this now!  THANK YOU Brassmonkey, from the bottom of my heart.  Spot on and helpful, even for someone like me who has been struggling for a long time.    

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