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

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Leo1983

@brassmonkey

 

Hi

 

I have asked this question alot in the early days....

 

Is WD all about waiting and you get better, like if you had a virus and felt awful no matter how much you be positive, you feel like crap until your body clears the virus. 

 

So i guess im saying, if you had a broken leg, you could accept it as much as you like, you can sit all day been positive. However you wont get your plaster off until your body does its thing. 

 

Is this the same for WD?? 

 

Or are we saying you think your way out of WD? 

 

I understand the fear and negativity dont help during WD however i think this cant be helped for most as it appears to be what the brain is doing to you. I mean i am scared of very little and i normally have a strong attitude. BUT WD made me a mouse!! i was scared of my own mother visiting! I could not walk outside in my garden. Was this me and my thoughts? or was it a physical/mental issue......

 

 

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icequeen

I was all hope and positivity during the first year imagining that I would recover within a month or so. Then I thought four months and was trying to ignore the debilitating symptoms. Despite that I got worse and worse and at about two years I had improved slightly. I got better for a while and then it started all over again from the beginning. At fifteen years I am no better than I was during the first year. My cognition has improved and I'm no longer as confused and forgetful as I used to be but physically I am just as bad as during the first year. Muscle spasms and rigidity are in fact worse now and so are the involuntary movements, shortness of breath and akathisia. I have tried to reinstate a couple of times and everything got worse. Positivity and thinking has nothing to do with any of this. One can experiment with diets, thinking, supplements etc etc but nothing will cure it except for a lucky few that actually recover. I believe age may be an important factor. The young ones seem to do better and many recover in a few years,

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brassmonkey

That's quite true Leo, we can't think our way out of it. Like a broken leg there have been physical changes made to the body that have to be undone and that takes a very long time.  However, the symptoms that we experience during that time can be somewhat mitigated by positive thinking and it is an accepted medical fact that the body heals quicker and better with a positive attitude.  WD is going to make us miserable, why make it worse by dwelling on it.

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ChessieCat

It's not just positive thinking.  Having an attitude of acceptance means that you are not adding stress to the body.  And also learning and using non drug techniques to keep your system calm.  When there is additional stress the body is busy trying to deal with the stress.  A good example of this is when people in regular life (ie not tapering or experiencing withdrawal) suffer the loss of a person or pet, it is not unusual for them to get sick with a cold or some other health issue, usually fairly minor.  Another example is if a person is not keeping themselves warm.  If they allow themselves to be cold for too long they are more likely to succumb to any viruses that they are around, because the body is busy trying to regulate their systems and keep their vital organs "safe".  Yes I know that they sometimes reduce a person's temperature to slow down their metabolism etc.

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Altostrata
On 9/1/2019 at 1:32 PM, Alice1 said:

Hello @Altostrata @brassmonkey

I just wanted your opinion on something .. I've spoke to a couple of therapist who've actually have gone through WD (AP & BZ) , and said that the length of time to recover has everything to do with how you react to your condition . In other words , CT or rapid taper will most likely trigger a hypersensitive state in which any additional anxiety or stress will fuel and continue .They also say that the "underlying factors" for which you took the medication are also at play , meaning , if you took SSRI's for anxiety, and have not dealt with why you have anxiety. Is it possible this might be the determining factor that affects recovery time ?  There's no doubt that CT and RT are extremely painful , but there must be a reason why some recover in 2 years and some recover in 10 .. I see glimpses of this around this sight .. People who do the right recovery work seem to get better quicker . There are some poor souls on here that have been in WD for a long time with no progress , yet when they write on here you can see the fear,and frustration in there words (and it is absolutely understandable why). I am very appreciative of you both for your time .. 

 

I mostly agree with this -- withdrawal-induced hypersensitivity amplifies normal tolerable anxiety or stress, and anxiety or stress can make withdrawal syndrome worse.

 

Certainly learning more about yourself and making a distinction between yourself and your symptoms is important in being able to manage the bumps, and maintaining calm as much as you can aids healing. We all have to become a little Zen to get through this.

 

On the other hand, some symptoms truly are awful, they're not products of bad self-care. But not panicking when they occur is very important, and this may mean learning techniques to manage pre-existing habits of mind, such as catastrophizing.

 

Getting through withdrawal is a major life challenge, we all come out of it changed by what might be the most difficult thing we'll ever do.

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ShiningLight

Alice1 said:

"They also say that the "underlying factors" for which you took the medication are also at play , meaning , if you took SSRI's for anxiety, and have not dealt with why you have anxiety. Is it possible this might be the determining factor that affects recovery time ?  There's no doubt that CT and RT are extremely painful , but there must be a reason why some recover in 2 years and some recover in 10 .. I see glimpses of this around this sight .. People who do the right recovery work seem to get better quicker ."

 

I think it's helpful to have a positive attitude and behavior, which can influence whatever portion of this is modifiable. Who knows what that portion is? In addition to that, I think a lot of "the reason" is luck, genetics, environment, social support, or some combination of those and other factors.  I believe that someone who does "the right recovery work"--whatever that is, can still take a very, very long time to get better. People can do everything right and sometimes it's just not in the cards.

 

There is a tendency in "mainstream" USA, to think that if we only did the right thing or tried hard enough, we'd be able to pull ourselves out of whatever mess we're in. For example, pulling myself up by the bootstraps; if I only worked harder, I wouldn't be struggling financially, etc. This line of thinking puts the blame squarely on the individual. The purpose of this line of thinking is actually to quell societal anxiety about some level of things that are not 100% knowable or controllable. For example, when you look at my situation, it's scary to think about the possibility that I did everything right to make my way out of poverty and still got bad results. Because it means the same may happen to you. But if you think that I did something wrong, and you believe that you won't make that mistake yourself, it's not so scary anymore. That is how I see the attempt to figure out "the reason" why some people get better faster than others. If there's a reason, then I have hope that I can prevent myself from having a suboptimal outcome. But I don't think it's that simple, and I think this line of thought risks alienating people whose healing is slower.       

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Leo1983

I still dont think from an evidence based point of view this has a clear cut answer to the initial question. 

 

PUG - Suffered for 3 years! healed said nothing but time helped.

 

Aero- Time healed only.

 

Undiagnosed - Time healed only.

 

Mattise - Time healed only

 

Baylissa - Time healed.

 

Ian Singleton - 18 months nothing helped just time. 

 

Paul story time healed.

 

So you see my point? No one talks about healing because of the way they mentally managed the way the felf in WD. Very few say i started been more positive and healed. 

 

I know me personally i took AD to help with performance anxiety, that was " Snowballing" at work! i ended up a zombie with most and just felt crap mainly. Then i stopped this last 1 and all hell let loose. I had thoughts of dying, anxiety on crack, stopped seeing family and friends, pains, lethergy, burning, insomnia and much more. Never had this before ever!

 

In the start of WD i know i was a nightmare, all i got was warnings on here. BUT it shows how poorly i was.. i have since the SYMPTOMS calmed been able to manage myself better however, no matter how mentally positive i am i still feel damaged unlike i ever was in my life. 

 

I dont think this is about how you think or condition yourself. I personally think its a broken brain/CNS and as you slowly heal you are able to manage yourself better. I remember in the first 6 month i had ZERO control over my brain.

 

I know accepting this situation and waking each day been positive and trying to get on with life is valuable. However for me TIME appears to heal the damage and how you manage that time determines how you spend your wd. 

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persistente
On 9/2/2019 at 9:09 AM, Leo1983 said:

@brassmonkey

 

Hi

 

I have asked this question alot in the early days....

 

Is WD all about waiting and you get better, like if you had a virus and felt awful no matter how much you be positive, you feel like crap until your body clears the virus. 

 

So i guess im saying, if you had a broken leg, you could accept it as much as you like, you can sit all day been positive. However you wont get your plaster off until your body does its thing. 

 

Is this the same for WD?? 

 

Or are we saying you think your way out of WD? 

 

I understand the fear and negativity dont help during WD however i think this cant be helped for most as it appears to be what the brain is doing to you. I mean i am scared of very little and i normally have a strong attitude. BUT WD made me a mouse!! i was scared of my own mother visiting! I could not walk outside in my garden. Was this me and my thoughts? or was it a physical/mental issue......

 

 

i have asked this question myself very often. it seems to me that in my case it is the time that was needed to get better. there was nothing i could do to make it shorter or easier.

 

my task was to be patient, day after day, wave after wave.

all i could do was keep myself as safe and as sane as possible. sometimes i could not do it on my own. 

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Altostrata
12 hours ago, ShiningLight said:

I think it's helpful to have a positive attitude and behavior, which can influence whatever portion of this is modifiable. Who knows what that portion is? In addition to that, I think a lot of "the reason" is luck, genetics, environment, social support, or some combination of those and other factors.  I believe that someone who does "the right recovery work"--whatever that is, can still take a very, very long time to get better. People can do everything right and sometimes it's just not in the cards.

 

This is exactly what we're trying to get across. Each person is traveling uncharted territory. We cannot predict what will happen. All we know is, if they hang in with patience, persistence, and maybe luck, people slowly get through the process and come out on the other side.

 

8 hours ago, persistente said:

my task was to be patient, day after day, wave after wave.

all i could do was keep myself as safe and as sane as possible. sometimes i could not do it on my own. 

 

This is the key. For some people, patience is hard to learn. They fight against learning the lesson, wear themselves out, and hurt themselves by clinging to unrealistic expectations, sinking into self-blame or rage, and refusing to acknowledge something has happened that has changed their lives -- sadly, not for the better.

 

Here's what happened: Through no fault of your own, you have been injured in an accident. Think of it as being hit by a car. Through bad luck and maybe bad driving (or taking chances crossing the street), you've been injured, there's no real medical solution, and you need to recover as best you can. You cannot turn back the clock to before the injury.

 

Every person here suffering from psychiatric drug withdrawal is an accident victim. Accidents don't happen to everyone, but one happened to you. Friends and family members who have not suffered accidents may not understand how wrenching this is.

 

(This accident metaphor is somewhat strained because poor medical practice causes drug "accidents." Many adverse drug reaction accidents could have been prevented if physicians paid appropriate attention to the warning signs. But then, many car accidents could be prevented if drivers and pedestrians heeded signs.)

 

At least here we know that recovery tends to be very slow, with frustrating setbacks, so we can say there's a trajectory towards healing. One of the reasons this site exists is to document that trajectory.

 

10 hours ago, Leo1983 said:

So you see my point?

 

No, @Leo1983, I don't see your point. If you look at each of these people, none of them had catastrophizing,  self-defeating habits of mind, or they overcame that early on. Baylissa has spent years and years counseling people in skills to get through withdrawal.

 

Yes, we know that time heals, that's what we're saying over and over. It takes as long as it takes.

 

Time heals, you can help it along by not working against yourself. Moving towards serenity in the midst of chaos will assist, adding emotional chaos to neurological chaos will not assist.

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drugged

For myself I find acceptance is important.  At the end of the day it doesn't matter how I got to this place of polypharmacy and CNS damage (reversible for the most part).  This is where I'm at this moment of this day.  My body and mind are injured and suffering.  The curious scientist in me would like to understand all the mechanisms behind the injury.  The social justice warrior in me wants to change the way our society deals with mental and emotional pain.  The child in me wants to feel better right now so she can run and ride horses and explore the world outside.  These are all parts of me but the body and mind that could make all these things possible needs time and compassion to heal.  My job today is to accept that I'm injured and that it will take time to heal, to allow myself the time to heal.

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ChessieCat

Well said, drugged.  That's it in a nutshell.

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persistente

driugged, you nailed it. i love the way you call and describe those parts of yourself. that s exactly how i have felt. 

 

with time i got better and the child part in me was fulfilled, scientist part is always here and the social warrior part is becoming more active.

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persistente

and then the wave comes and i am back to child part in me. good i wrote this earlier. i could not write it now.

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Matti

Everyone starting on the path of quitting ADs should read these pieces by brassmonkey.

 

I wish I'd known this stuff years ago. I've been unknowingly making big mistakes with my medications and now I'm suffering for that. I just didn't know any better.

 

Reading this topic, a lot of my struggles and symptoms seem to make more sense. These past years I've been searching inside myself trying to find things that are the cause of my condition, thinking that there must be something really wrong with me for feeling this way.

 

But I didn't realize how much of it has been caused by fast tapering off psych meds. So I've been hard on myself and beating myself up for no reason. 

 

Thank you SA!

 

 

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Iowan

@brassmonkey THANK YOU!!! I had attempted to read your essay within some pretty heavy initial waves, and I just couldn't wrap my brain around it all. Now that my ADWD has improved and I've stabilized, I've been able to read and digest the entire thing, and it all makes SO MUCH SENSE now!!! I've experienced most of what you've written about and if I would have just read and followed this to begin with, I could have potentially avoided a good majority of the pain and suffering that I've endured. Slow and steady wins this ADWD race. I'm at a 90% total reduction of my SSRI this week with the remaining 10% ahead of me. I realize the next few years won't be without their waves, but I've fully accepted the situation that I'm in and believe that the worst is behind me. Thank God!

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Nevertoolate

 I really long to be in this space. 

FB_IMG_1570797888915.jpg

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Hellbutrin
On 3/24/2019 at 12:26 AM, brassmonkey said:

There are too many variables to really make an accurate call on a fast taper or ct without further information. Suffice it to say all the CTS I've known were still having problems after five years. 

Hi Brassmonkey,

 

Thanks so much for starting this thread, there's so much valuable information. Can you provide more clarification on what you mentioned about the CTs that you know that are still having issues 5 years out? I C/T 29 months ago and I was starting to see a slight ease in certain symptoms (mainly my constant suicidal ideation that I had never had prior to starting the medication) until I had to have surgery on my TMJ and was given a cocktail of 13 medications despite my insistence that I not be given anything psychoactive. After that I went back into acute and the only thing that kept me from hospitalizing myself was the fear that they would attempt to put me on medications. I know that there's no way to give me any definitive information. But does everyone truly eventually heal from withdrawal, even those of us that C/T? Can you tell me what symptoms the other C/Ts that you mentioned are still experiencing at 5 years out so that I know what I should prepare for? 

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