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MilaB

Thanks for adding me. I need encouragement. I have been on ADs for 15 years - Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor and now Cymbalta. Also Trazadone when I couldn’t sleep. I missed a dose of Cymbalta in 2016 and was shocked by how bad I felt and decided to get off the med. I was told the wrong way and ended up using advice from FB site. I was only able to taper about 3% every 2 weeks and I got down to 86 beads that way in a year. But I felt stuck, drops were getting harder. 

Then I met someone who suggested amino acids. I started using aminos in Oct 16 at 86 beads. I was very eager to get off the med (big mistake). I didn’t know how bad it could get or what I was in for.

I got to zero beads by the end of Feb and all withdrawal hell broke loose. Started with physical - hands and feet sweating, anxiety running brought me constantly, no appetite and extreme insomnia. It then became akithisia - restless pacing and severe anxiety. I went on Ativan that calmed the akithisia and I am now sleeping after 2 months of very little to no sleep. I’m taking 1mg Ativan during the day (2 half doses) and 1.5 at night along with some hydroxyzine.

The biggest challenge now is my emotional state. I feel like I have to die to escape this pain. I have a constant feeling of doom and anxiety - even with the Ativan - that is so overwhelming and uncomfortable. I have no good feelings at all. I have a family and I can’t die. I have to be here for them. It’s been since March 1 with all of this. It’s all my fault for trying to speed things up. I thought I’d be healthier off the Cymbalta - I hated the side effects. This all seems impossible. I still have 10 beads left and now I’m sure I’m addicted to Ativan and will have to taper that. I don’t want to die, but I am so miserable I can’t see this ever getting better. I have had only a few windows. And even the windows are just a slight improvement over this constant suffering. I never know what to do; I can’t read, can’t work, shop, do art. Nothing feels good. I tried adding in 10 beads of Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago at the advice of Dr Shipko and the anxiety got worse. I also tried a small dose of Prozac for just one day and that made my anxiety awful too. Am I just left to tough this out forever? Please help

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Songbird

Hi MilaB, welcome to SA.  Sorry to hear you're having such a bad time.

 

11 hours ago, MilaB said:

I started using aminos in Oct 16 at 86 beads.

 

I'm a bit confused, your signature says Oct 17 when you were at 86 beads?  If this is the case, then you went from 86 beads (I'm estimating about 14mg) to zero in about five months?  Are you still taking any aminos?

 

Are you still in contact with Dr Shipko?  Did you report back to him your worse anxiety after reinstating, and if so, what was his reponse?   Are you still taking 10 beads, and how have symptoms been since then, e.g. is your anxiety worse, better, the same?

 

I highly recommend doing some form of relaxation exercises regularly - even several times per day - whether progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, gentle yoga, guided visualisation, whatever form works best for you.  If you keep doing them consistently, they can really help to calm down the nervous system, which helps to alleviate anxiety.

 

Please can you also add your other meds to your signature (ativan, hydroxyzine).

 

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MilaB

Hi Songbird,

Thank you so much for your response and help. To clarify:

1. Yes I went from 86 beads to zero in 4 months (stupid), after a year of tapering from 346 - 60mg capsule.

2. I am not taking aminos now because I was advised by Shipko and others it won’t help and could be making anxiety and insomnia worse.

3. I am not Shipko’s Patient - I consulted a couple times because I can’t find a doctor near me who knows anything. He suggested I try reinstating 10 beads to see if it would help. This was after 3 months of withdrawal. I did for one day and it made the anxiety worse and I stopped. Shipko then advised to taper the 10 beads “when I feel better.”

4. I am still taking the 10 beads, praying to stabilize and then slowly taper one bead at a time.

5. Would bridging to Effexor (what I was on before) possibly help or is this an injury that nothing will help with?

Is it even possible to stabilize now on 10 beads? Can this turn out ok? I have been meditating, doing reiki, deep breathing, mindfulness and everything I can think of to calm my nervous system.

I will change my signature to show that I am taking .5mg Ativan at noon and 6 pm. I’m also taking 1.5mg Ativan at night to sleep, as well as 10mg hydroxyzine in the middle of he night. After two straight months of no sleep I am desperate to sleep. I have kids and I need to get through this. Am I going to be ok? The ongoing sense of doom and horrible feelings is overwhelming and torturous. I don’t ever know what to do - I can’t work right now and my mind is overrun with horrible thoughts constantly, despite my greatest efforts to change this. Thank you for your help.

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Songbird
8 hours ago, MilaB said:

He suggested I try reinstating 10 beads to see if it would help. This was after 3 months of withdrawal. I did for one day and it made the anxiety worse and I stopped. 

 

8 hours ago, MilaB said:

4. I am still taking the 10 beads, praying to stabilize and then slowly taper one bead at a time.

 

I'm confused - you say you reinstated 10 beads for one day, it made anxiety worse and so you stopped.  But then you say you are still taking the 10 beads?  Was there a gap and then you restarted the 10 beads again?

 

8 hours ago, MilaB said:

5. Would bridging to Effexor (what I was on before) possibly help or is this an injury that nothing will help with?

 

You've been on Cymbalta since 2016, and haven't been on Effexor since then, so it's probably best to stick with the Cymbalta.  Med changes can be very destabilizing, and could potentially make things worse.

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MilaB

So what do I do? Where is this going? I feel like I’m going crazy. My thoughts are so bad. I think about dying constantly. Is it possible to stabilize on these 10 beads then drop slowly one at a time? Is there hope for me? And then I have to taper the benzos. So upsetting

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Songbird

It is upsetting, for sure.  You are not really going crazy, even though it might feel that way.  We will try to help you as best we can, but first we need to understand your situation.

 

I'm trying to understand your history before we can figure out a plan for moving forward from here.  I'm still confused about your reinstatement - please can you answer my question above.  You said you reinstated 10 beads, anxiety got worse and then you stopped.  But then you say you are still taking 10 beads.  That is confusing me.  There is missing information.  Did you stop taking them and restart them at some later date?

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MilaB

So sorry if I’ve not been clear. Here’s the process I went through:

1. I got to zero beads March 1.

2. Reinstated 10 beads March 14.

3. I was still in awful withdrawal so I tried adding 10 more beads end of April for one day. However my anxiety sky-rocketed, so I went back to just 10 beads.

4. I am now taking 10 beads daily.

My biggest issue now is this dreaded doom feeling that is constant and scary. I have no good feelings at all. Will this go away? Will I be able to stabilize and then slowly slowly drop those 10 beads?

Thank you so much for your help.

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Songbird

Thanks for the information - so you tried jumping up from 10 to 20 beads for a day, had increased anxiety as a result, went back to 10 beads per day.

 

I'm trying to get a timeline of med changes and symptom changes.  Please can you add to your signature the dates you began the Ativan and hydroxyzine. 

 

Thinking about how you were before reinstating the 10 beads, and how you are now, have your symptoms improved at all since reinstating?  Or are they the same?  (I'm assuming they did not get worse or you probably wouldn't have continued taking them).

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MilaB

Thank you for your help. Since reinstating the 10 beads March 14, my symptoms have improved. I have not had many windows however. My emotional state is constant doom and I think of suicide a lot. The physical symptoms have improved with the Ativan and of course being able to sleep. I will update signature 

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Songbird

Okay, so you have had improvement since reinstating the 10 beads, that's good.  It's possible that you may need more beads to alleviate withdrawal.  Jumping to 20 beads had a bad effect, so we will need to come up with something more gentle on the system. 

 

In general, big dose changes - whether up or down - are harder for the system to adjust to, so it's generally better to make any changes small and gradual so the system is able to adapt more easily.  Here is some general info about reinstatingabout reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Are you taking the 10 beads once per day?  Cymbalta has a short half-life, which could also be factor - the drug in the 10 beads may not be lasting very long in your system.

 

I see you added the hydroxyzine very recently - what was the reason for adding it?

 

I will consult the other mods to see what they think and we will respond to you here soon.

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Shep
18 hours ago, MilaB said:

I will change my signature to show that I am taking .5mg Ativan at noon and 6 pm. I’m also taking 1.5mg Ativan at night to sleep, as well as 10mg hydroxyzine in the middle of he night.

 

7 hours ago, Songbird said:

Cymbalta has a short half-life, which could also be factor - the drug in the 10 beads may not be lasting very long in your system.

 

Hi, Mila. Welcome to SA from me, too.

 

I quoted the above two items because I think you may be dealing with inter-dose withdrawal from both the Ativan and the Cymbalta.

 

As Songbird wisely states, Cymbalta has a short half-life, and at your lowered dose, that may not be lasting long enough. Please note that Cymbalta's half-life is about 12 hours. For more information on Cymbalta, please see:

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

Ativan has a short half-life of 10 - 20 hours. So going from your nightly dose to the next day at noon may be particularly problematic. Some people find that dosing Ativan 5 - 6 times a day is helpful. 

 

I placed Ativan, Cymbalta, and hydroxyzine in an interaction checker and there are a few "moderate" interactions. The repot is here:

 

Interactions - Ativan, Cymbalta, Hydroxyzine

 

It will help us guide you in your taper - especially in figuring out any inter-dose withdrawal problems due to the short half lives - if you post a drug and symptoms journal. This format is particularly helpful:

 

Drug and Symptoms Journal Format

 

Please also include how many hours at night you sleep and any supplements you are taking. 

 

I think spacing out your drugs will really help. Rest assured, that feeling of doom is very well known here and it will pass. Please have a read of some of the great non-drug coping techniques that may help make your journey off these drugs more comfortable:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Here are two short videos to get you started:

 

The Breathing Space by Jon Kabat Zinn video (4 minutes)

 

Legs Up The Wall - Foundations of Yoga video (7 minutes)

 

The 4-7-8 breathing technique can also be very helpful:

 

4-7-8 Breathing: Health Benefits & Demonstration

 

As you post your drug and symptoms journal over the coming days, we'll be able to help you set up a better schedule that may minimize some of these difficult symptoms. 

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MilaB

Thank you for all of the help. I will do the journal daily.

Here’s a rough schedule from the last day:

10pm 1mg Ativan sleep

1am Wake 10mg Hydroxyzine 

6am wake .5mg Ativan

Cymbalta - 10 beads

10am wake to feeling doom, sweating, dread day

(I want to sleep as much as possible bc I feel so bad during the day and I’m just recovering from 2 months of no sleep)

10:30am  breakfast - take digestive enzymes, Omega Brite fish oil 1,000mg, pure encapsulations multi Vit (only 1 of 3 capsules bc I am afraid of too much b Vit), 

12noon .5 Ativan

2pm eat lunch 1,000mg fish oil, doom still bad

3pm walk/bike ride for 30 minutes

4pm 100mg 5-htp (was doing twice a day but I cut back bc I don’t think it’s helping)

5pm Doom at its worst

6pm .5 Ativan, dinner

7pm Doom usually starts to taper a bit in the evening

8-10pm Doom there but more tolerable

 

1. What about adding 3 beads during the day to see if that helps?

2. What are your thoughts on clonidine? Would that help during the night rather than the hydroxyzine?

3. Is there any knowing when this terrible doom feeling gets better? I feel like the physical is tolerable and the sleep is a godsend, but my days of obsessive thoughts and misery are so hard to get through.

Thank you for all of the support. 

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Songbird

MilaB, I wouldn't add clonidine or any other med, it could confuse the situation further.  How long have you been taking 5-HTP?  It has a very short half-life, so could be bouncing serotonin levels up and down.  I'd hold off on adding Cymbalta beads until we've analysed your journals and come up with a plan to move forward.  Please be patient and don't make changes just yet and we will respond to you soon.

 

In the meantime, you could try using some mindfulness techniques to help with the doomy thoughts.  Here's a technique I've found helpful:

 

With mindfulness, you are the observer in your mind and you just watch what is going on - kind of like you're a scientist studying some phenomenon.  The idea is that the observer is objective and does not get involved in the drama or pass any judgment on it.  Your goal is not to try to stop the thoughts from happening, but just let them happen without giving them any importance.  Watch the thoughts as if they are clouds floating by, or cars driving past.  Accept that the thoughts are there, but don’t attach any importance to them.

 

I’ve found it can also help to give your internal negative voice a name (e.g. “doomcloud", “chatterbox", "monkey mind" or whatever name you want) so that you can separate this voice from your real self.  When you are able to perceive that this voice is not “you”, it becomes easier to step back from it, get some distance from it, and observe it more objectively.

 

I named the negative voice in my mind the "Doomcloud”.  When the negative thoughts came, I could just observe it happening and say to myself  "oh, there's the Doomcloud again, doing its thing".  This helped immensely to step back from all the negative thoughts and emotions, to be less involved in them, and by getting some distance from them, they felt less intense and not nearly as upsetting or frightening.  Maybe making up your own name for the negative voice might help you to begin the mindfulness process.

 

Here are some other topics that you might find helpful:

non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

The Dr Claire Weekes method of recovering from a sensitized nervous system

Mindfulness and acceptance (especially JanCarol's post)

 

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MilaB

Thank you Songbird,

Here’s my journal from yesterday... I rated my Doom feeling 1-10. Yesterday was pretty good. Thanks for the suggestions for calming the nervous system. I’ve been doing some of these. Nothing seems to help the mental anguish tho. That’s why I’m wondering if adding beads will help me stabikize at this point. Lots of different opinions out there and it makes this so hard. Also what about bridging to another AD? 

 

10:00am wake doom 8

10:30 breakfast, fish oil, Multi Vit, enzymes

12noon .5 Ativan doom 3

2:00 walk at park doom 3

3:30 1,000 fish oil/100mg 5-htp doom 4, having trouble knowing what to do. When things get still I get bad thoughts 

5pm headache; doom 5

5:30 .5 Ativan

8:30 doom 2

9pm 1,000 fish oil, 1,000 magnesium threonate

10pm 1mg Ativan

12pm 25mg hydroxyzine 

4am .5 Ativan

9am wake doom 8

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font size

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Altostrata

Hi, Mila. Have you gotten a headache after taking 5-HTP before? Not sure if taking this is a good idea.

 

Please be aware that depression can be a side effect of benzos. Did you have these feelings of doom before taking Ativan?

 

Is the anxiety worse or better any time of day? Is it constant or does it come in waves?

 

Since you went off Cymbalta completely, which symptoms have gotten better? Other changes?

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MilaB

Hi, Thabks for your help. First off, I’m still on 10 beads of Cymbalta. I went off March 1 completely (too fast) and March 14 I added in 10 beads after days of extreme withdrawal. I probably should have added in more beads but I didn’t really know when I was last stable.

I’m planning to stop the 5-htp. I was taking 200mg at a holistic doc’s suggestion, but I think it may not be a good idea. So I cut it back 2 days ago. I’m not sure if the headaches are related to the 5-htp, I’ll take note today. I was on it for 2 weeks. I thought I should take it at 100 for a couple more days then stop. Does that sound ok? Or how should I stop?

 

The doom has been consistent, I don’t think it’s  related to the Ativan. But I could be wrong. In any case, it’s too late to stop the Ativan because I have to take that for the constant physical anxiety. The akathisia was too awful without the Ativan.

 

I feel like the physical anxiety - electricity through me, pounding heart, sweating hands and feet is under control with the Ativan. The emotional symptoms - depression, doom, awful thoughts are the worst in the morning and lighten in the afternoon. They get a bit worse at dinner time and are best in the evening. 

 

Since going back to 10 beads March 14:

1. I have started sleeping again with consistent Ativan and hydroxyzine started May 14. I don’t want to use meds, but I was not sleeping at all for 2 months. I was very suicidal and having akathisia and extreme anxiety.

2. The physical symptoms improved, again due to consistent Ativan.

3. The emotional symptoms became more difficult. I think I’m just tired of thinking about having to die to get though this. I don’t see many options, other than suffering in my mind constantly. These feeling seem to have improved in the last couple of days, but are bad in the morning and definitely there most of the day. It’s never really gone. 

4. I have tried bridging to Prozac for one day and that made me more anxious and I stopped.

5. I tried adding in 10 beads for one day and that made me more anxious. 

 

Other sites have told me to try adding 10 beads again bc I only tried for one day. I have a feeling the same thing will happen again. Is my only choice to suffer?

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MilaB

Another question, sorry. I am getting different info about Ativan. I understand after dependency the sedative effect wears off. I’m already there. But will it also stop calming my nervous system? Meaning will it not work to prevent the akithisia symptoms of heart pounding, sweating, electricity through my body, heavy chest, etc? Dr Shipko says he has patients on for years and their nervous systems stay calmed while they recover and taper. What is the way this works? I am now taking it 5 times a day to calm my system. Thank you for your help,

Emilia

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Songbird

Hi Mila, I've been there with the severe anxiety and akathisia and not sleeping at all.  I know how horrific it is.  What really helped me was doing relaxation exercises several times per day every day.  Over time my system began to calm down.  The main one I used was David Swenson's "Just Relax" ashtanga yoga DVD which has gentle yoga, followed by progressive muscle relaxation and then a guided visualisation.   You don't have to use that one (although I do recommend it!), just find any kind of relaxation exercises that work for you.  I was also finding it difficult to do anything and had to take time off work.  I found I could do a few little things around the house, such as laundry.  Some days my focus would be just on hanging out some laundry, then bringing it back in and folding it and putting it away.

 

If you answer Alto's questions, we will be able to come up with some ideas to try to help.  I think dropping the 5htp first could be a good idea, as it may be confusing things.

 

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MilaB

Hi Songbird,

i did answer Altos’s questions earlier today:

Hi, Thabks for your help. First off, I’m still on 10 beads of Cymbalta. I went off March 1 completely (too fast) and March 14 I added in 10 beads after days of extreme withdrawal. I probably should have added in more beads but I didn’t really know when I was last stable.

I’m planning to stop the 5-htp. I was taking 200mg at a holistic doc’s suggestion, but I think it may not be a good idea. So I cut it back 2 days ago. I’m not sure if the headaches are related to the 5-htp, I’ll take note today. I was on it for 2 weeks. I thought I should take it at 100 for a couple more days then stop. Does that sound ok? Or how should I stop?

 

The doom has been consistent, I don’t think it’s  related to the Ativan. But I could be wrong. In any case, it’s too late to stop the Ativan because I have to take that for the constant physical anxiety. The akathisia was too awful without the Ativan.

 

I feel like the physical anxiety - electricity through me, pounding heart, sweating hands and feet is under control with the Ativan. The emotional symptoms - depression, doom, awful thoughts are the worst in the morning and lighten in the afternoon. They get a bit worse at dinner time and are best in the evening. 

 

Since going back to 10 beads March 14:

1. I have started sleeping again with consistent Ativan and hydroxyzine started May 14. I don’t want to use meds, but I was not sleeping at all for 2 months. I was very suicidal and having akathisia and extreme anxiety.

2. The physical symptoms improved, again due to consistent Ativan.

3. The emotional symptoms became more difficult. I think I’m just tired of thinking about having to die to get though this. I don’t see many options, other than suffering in my mind constantly. These feeling seem to have improved in the last couple of days, but are bad in the morning and definitely there most of the day. It’s never really gone. 

4. I have tried bridging to Prozac for one day and that made me more anxious and I stopped.

5. I tried adding in 10 beads for one day and that made me more anxious. 

 

Other sites have told me to try adding 10 beads again bc I only tried for one day. I have a feeling the same thing will happen again. Is my only choice to suffer?

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MilaB

I also posted this earlier:

Another question, sorry. I am getting different info about Ativan. I understand after dependency the sedative effect wears off. I’m already there. But will it also stop calming my nervous system? Meaning will it not work to prevent the akithisia symptoms of heart pounding, sweating, electricity through my body, heavy chest, etc? Dr Shipko says he has patients on for years and their nervous systems stay calmed while they recover and taper. What is the way this works? I am now taking it 5 times a day to calm my system. Thank you for your help,

Emilia

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Songbird

Sorry, Mila, I must have misread - thanks for answering the questions.  I'm not experienced with Ativan, but other mods will respond to you about it soon.  They want to fully understand your situation before making any suggestions for changes.  Last time you added the extra 10 beads you have a bad reaction, so I don't think it's a good idea to try it again.  I can't see the 10-bead Cymbalta dose on your journal - what time of day did you take it?

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Shep
On 6/4/2018 at 12:26 PM, MilaB said:

10:00am wake doom 8

10:30 breakfast, fish oil, Multi Vit, enzymes

12noon .5 Ativan doom 3

 

On 6/4/2018 at 12:26 PM, MilaB said:

5pm headache; doom 5

5:30 .5 Ativan

8:30 doom 2

 

 

Mila, thanks for the journal.  I'm noticing a pattern of taking the Ativan and a noticable reduction in "doom" afterwards. 

 

After conferring with Alto and the other mods, we'd like you to spread out your Ativan doses first. It really looks like inter-dose withdrawal is a problem. 

 

I'm a bit confused with when you are taking your Ativan. This is what you have in your signature:

 

              .5mg Ativan at noon, .5mg at 6 pm; Night: 1.5mg Ativan

 

However, in your first journal entry, you took 1 mg at 10 PM, .5 mg at 6 AM, .5 mg at noon, and .5 pm at 6 PM. 

 

And in your second journal entry, you took .5 mg at noon, .5 mg at 5:30 PM, 1 mg at 10 PM, and .5 mg at 4 AM.

 

In order to spread out your doses:

 

1. Please pick the times and doses that you would like to take your Ativan. I would space out 5 doses a day. You may want to leave a higher dose at night to help with sleep if it makes you drowsy. 

 

2. It's best to only move your a dose an hour a day (this is gentlest on your nervous system). 

 

A goal would be to dose at 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm. 

 

Please let me know if you need help setting up a schedule to move your doses out an hour a day. If so, please let me know if you want to leave a higher dose at night and if so, the amount of the dose (you have 1.5 mg in your signature, but you've been taking 1 mg at night according to your journal).

Edited by Shep
fixed typo

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MilaB

Thank you Shep and everyone for the support. It was quite a doom day yesterday. I am getting info from many different people and I am overwhelmed. Here’s my journal from yesterday:

2 Mon 6/4

9am wake doom 8

9:30 Breakfast 1,000 fish oil, 

11am .5 Ativan

2pm lunch doom 4 fish oil

4pm .5 Ativan doom 5

6pm dinner doom 5

8pm doom 7

10pm doom 9 1mg Ativan

12 wake

1am wake 25mg hydroxyzine 

3am wake .5 Ativan

5am wake

7:30am wake

9am get up

Some background on my life is that I am a stay at home mom with 2 kids during the summer with no school. I am struggling to stay upbeat. I had a lot of conflict with my 15 year old yesterday and I think it ignited the doom. 
Here are some points I’d like to understand:
Quick question: You said: “2. It's best to only a dose an hour a day (this is gentlest on your nervous system).” Is there a typo - I don’t understand.
1. I’m feeling like the anxiety/doom is not from Ativan interdose wd, but rather withdrawal itself. I have been taking the Ativan long enough that I don’t think it helps with the anxiety part of this withdrawal anymore. It calms the physical part of my nervous system - the sweating, racing heart, tension, etc. But it does not have a sedative/relaxing effect on my mind and mood anymore. It seems that’s why it’s not recc long term in studies, etc.
(Ive clarified my signature on the Ativan. Honestly I’m afraid to add another dose. I don’t want to have an awful time withdrawing from the Ativan and I don’t think it’s adressing my mental anxiety - just the physical nervous system at this point.) what do you all think?
2. It is being suggested to add 10 beads again and see if that helps the doom/withdrawal ease up. I only tried this for one day and I’ve been told that’s not enough time. When I did this I had just started round the clock Ativan and I was right around my period when things get bad, so maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance? My concern with going to 20 beads is that it will lengthen my tapering. This is a problem bc I feel I’m on a ticking clock with the Ativan. I’ve been told at some point it will stop working to calm my nervous system. It seems with 20 beads I’ll have to use Ativan for years.
3. It’s also been suggested to add an SSRI, but in my genetic test, I am not a fit for SSRIs, even though I’ve taken them in the past. Maybe that’s why they didn’t do much. When I tried the Prozac bridge for one day, my anxiety was through the roof.
4. Adding small dose of Effexor is a thought, but that seems like another withdrawal rabbit hole. I could be wd-ing from Cymbalta, Ativan and Effexor. Terrrible.
Would love your thoughts on all this. Very grateful to your team and knowledge,
Emilia

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Shep
6 hours ago, MilaB said:
Quick question: You said: “2. It's best to only a dose an hour a day (this is gentlest on your nervous system).” Is there a typo - I don’t understand.
 

 

Sorry, yes, that is a typo. That should say:

 

"It's best to only move your a dose an hour a day (this is gentlest on your nervous system)." 

 

I also edited my earlier post to reflect this so it doesn't confuse anyone else reading this thread.

 

6 hours ago, MilaB said:

(Ive clarified my signature on the Ativan. Honestly I’m afraid to add another dose.

 

Thanks for updating this. Dosing 4 times a day may be enough, but please continue with the drug and symptoms journal. You are right that your most recent journal may have included "doom" from dealing with stress, so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and you'll have a better account of how the drugs are really affecting you.

 

 

6 hours ago, MilaB said:

This is a problem bc I feel I’m on a ticking clock with the Ativan. I’ve been told at some point it will stop working to calm my nervous system.

 

This sounds like you're referring to tolerance withdrawal perhaps?

 

We have a thread about that over in the benzo forum about this. 

 

"Benzo Tolerance withdrawal" during tapering -- does it exist?

 

It's true that benzos are only supposed to be taken for 2 - 4 weeks and that there are studies that they stop working within this time frame. Basically, we stay on them to stave off withdrawal. As you'll see in that thread, sometimes it's impossible to tell what is causing what when you're also dealing with antidepressant side effects and withdrawal. 

 

You may also find this thread helpful:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

The first post in that thread gives a really good explanation of why you may wish to taper the benzo last, so I hope that puts the "ticking clock" worry out of your mind. 

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