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ghm2018: three doses of fluoxetine and 5 months later ...

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ghm2018

On the heels of an adverse reaction to an anti-seizure medication (different manufacturer), my primary care prescribed fluoxetine. After three doses of only 10 mg, I had an adverse reaction and at 5 months later, I’m still having issues. While some things have improved, I’m still struggling. I am thankful someone shared this site with me, although I wish that this site wasn’t needed for any of us (long term taperers and short-term adverse reactions). It is good to know we are not alone. 

 

Any coping skills for how I can not think about this day in and day out?

 

Has anyone tried acupuncture, reiki, and/or chi kung? 

 

How about neural plasticity exercises?

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ghm2018

In January 2018, on the heels of an adverse reaction to an anti-seizure medication (long story as to why it had been prescribed and as it turns out, I didn't need to be on it) in mid-December 2017, unbeknownst to me the manufacturer had changed, my PCP of 15 years prescribed fluoxetine.  After three doses of only 10 mg, I had an adverse reaction and at 5 months later, I'm still having issues.  I called my PCP right away and was told "You don't have a chemical imbalance.  Go see a therapist."  Symptoms worsened over the next several weeks and I kept returning to my PCP, only to be treated as though I had a mental illness.  I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life, but I know my triggers, I typically cope pretty well and on rare occasion I have used ativan.  

 

I even scheduled an appointment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  In April, I made the journey there with my supporting parents.  I met with Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology.  I asked Psych if anyone had ever experienced adverse side-effects from only a few doses of fluoxetine.  I was told yes, but that no one had ever followed up.  I left that office with educational items on anxiety, CBT, etc.  The EEG from neurology stated that the activity observed in my brain during the video portion "...could be seen as a result of medication effect..."  The final visit with Internal Medicine gave a diagnosis, of sort, of dealing with a component of Centralized Sensitization Syndrome.  

 

After continuing to search the Internet for answers as to whether fluoxetine could still be in my system, which was an easier thought for me to accept, or whether it had caused damaged, I found the name of a psychiatrist outside of the US.  I contacted that person via email who then replied with this website and a facebook group for support.  I am thankful for that information and for this site, although I wish the site were not a necessity.  I am thankful for #6 under Symptoms and self-care - "Are we There Yet?..."  I hope that I will recover fully.  The timeframe is very bleak.  

 

 

I made the mistake in the early months of using melatonin to try to sleep, as the insomnia was unbelievable.  I also tried using Remeron once or twice and ativan, only to find that those caused tremors and anxiety.  I also learned that I apparently could not even take a tylenol without it causing my skin to burn.  After returning from Mayo, I sought alternative methods for potential healing.  A chiropractor recommended supplements which I tried and was hopeful that it would help, only to discover that they exacerbated the symptoms.  

 

I am currently practicing chi kung (qi gong) twice each day, mindful meditation, reiki, and acpuncture.  Has anyone tried any of those forms of Eastern medicine?  Or any other forms of non-intrusive, non-invasive methods of healing?

 

Any thoughts on neural plasticity exercises such as DNRS by Annie Hopper?  Has anyone tried it?  https://retrainingthebrain.com/

 

Lastly, please share any coping skills for how I can try not to think about this day-in and day-out.  I am single and in my 40's.  I have supporting family and friends, but they wish for me to not focus on this.  Well...as with a "normal" chronic illness, it's difficult not to when you cannot escape it.

 

Symptoms (most are improving...at a snail's pace)

*chest pain

*chills

*palpitation

*tachycardia

*vasospasm

*nausea

*esophagitis

*gastristis

*insomnia

*CNS depression (lack of sensation as to void the bladder, knowing when stomach is full, muscle fatigue, etc)

*CNS stimulation (over stimulated nerve in the left side of torso)

*akathisia

*apathy

*depersonalization

*euphoria

*adrenaline surges

*tinnitus

*dry eyes

*taste perversion

*breast pain

*etc, etc...

 

If you made it to the end of this...thank you for reading.  I appreciate any support.

 

ghm2018

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Altostrata

Welcome, ghm.

 

Yes, some people are very sensitive to serotonergic drugs and develop nervous system instability very much like withdrawal syndrome. Like withdrawal syndrome, recovery is frustratingly gradual and can take a long time. See What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

We have many coping skills! See

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

and other topics in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum.

 

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.

 

Depending on your symptoms, acupuncture, reiki, chi kung, neural plasticity exercises can all be very helpful. We see neural plasticity accomplishing healing every day.

 

What is your current symptom pattern?

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brassmonkey

Hi ghm-- welcome to SA, I'm so glad you found us.  I'm so sorry to hear that you've had such a bad reaction to just three doses of medication.  We have had a number of members in similar situations but they are all recovering or have recovered nicely.  We have a large amount of information here on coping tools, alternative medicine and the like.  Doing a google search on "survivingantidepresants.org plus the topic of interest" is the best way to find things.

 

This thread will be your personal space for keeping records, asking questions and making friends.  Have a look around the site and ask any questions that come to mind.

 

Welcome

 

Brassmonkey

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ChessieCat

Here is SA's discussion on acupuncture.  Acupuncture - Posts #6 & #8 (not detox or stimulation)

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ghm2018

Altostrata - thank you so much for welcoming me to the group. 

 

My symptoms seem to cycle daily on a 6-8 hour pattern along with every two weeks. I have been journaling and the cycles seem to follow this sort of pattern. This seems very unusual to me. Is this typical?

 

Right now I cycle through both physiological issues, which alternate, and psychological issues. 

 

*Insomnia (nightly)

*tinnitus (everyday, especially at nite)

*burning skin (sometimes two days in a row, sometimws a week alart)

*tremor (similar pattern as burning skin)

*spasms in my esophagus (daily)

*good-mood (I normally am not smiling ALL the time. I’m pretty even-keeled most of the time)

*2-3 hour episodes of frenzied feeling inside followed by moments of crying or euphoria

*muscle spasms across my back and neck

*lacking several emotions

*lacking internal physical sensations

*vasospasm

*stimulated nerve in left torso

*breast pain - left side

*chest pain

 

How might I find someone in a similar situation, where we took only a few doses several months ago, but are still suffering?

 

Peace and blessings to you and all who are here.

 

ghm2018

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ghm2018

ChessieCat - Thank you. I appreciate that. 

 

Ghm2018

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ghm2018

Brassmonkey - thanks to you as well. 

Ghm2018

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ghm2018

Just providing an update for anyone who might have experienced an adverse reaction to only a few doses of an AD and are looking for encouragement. 

 

A month has passed since I provided my introduction and not a whole lot has changed in the last 6 months, although some symptoms seem much less severe.

 

Some of the physiological issues such as insomnia, akathisia, adrenaline rushes, and esophagus spasms are less severe, but most all are still present.  The psychological issues remain about the same.  

 

-ghm2018

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Altostrata
ghm2018

Altostrata - Thank you for responding. Those suggestions have been helpful. A lot of the information at this site has been very helpful. I have been so thankful for this site and to know that there is hope for recovery/healing. 

 

ghm

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ghm2018

Hi there...Just curious if I should have any concerns with taking Gaba Calm considering, as part of the adverse reaction I had, I have CNS depression (lack of sensation such as voiding bladder, muscle or joint pain, etc). As suggested here at this site with taking any supplement, OTC, etc., I have taken only 1/4 at a time the last few days and found that it helped to relieve anxiety and provide some hint of relaxation, but my concern is whether it will impede the healing of those neurotransmitters than seem to be dormant.

 

Any thoughts? 

 

Thank you,

ghm

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ghm2018

Just providing another update for anyone who might have experienced an adverse reaction to only a few doses of an AD and are looking for encouragement. 

 

Nine months have passed since the adverse reaction and four months have passed since I discovered SA.

 

Some of the physiological issues are less severe, but most all are still intermittently present .  New ones have appeared on an intermittent basis as well, such as pins & needles.  I also still have the lack of physiological sensation. 

 

The psychological issues are slightly improving, although the mood cycling still occurs 6-8 hours each day. Pieces of my personality are still silent, although my family says I have become more animated. I haven't been crying as much and I find that I sometimes yawn in the evening and almost feel sleepy and or tired as most people do after a long day of work and taking care of errands and household chores. 

 

I had a bit of a setback after being involved in a significant car accident in July. I was driving and was hit head-on on the passenger side, then the back door and also struck a pipe fence. The air bags deployed and my car was totaled. No one was in the car with me, thankfully. The left side of my body took most of the impact and is, coincidentally, the hypersensitive side and the right side seems to be dormant. My right ankle was sprained, but I only felt the pain briefly. A toe was broken, along with a torn bicep and small rotator cuff tear, all on the left side. I could only feel the pain intermittently as well, by that I mean that several days would pass before I noticed pain. Due to the bicep muscle "pop-eyein" and significant bruising pooled at the elbow, an MRI was taken of the shoulder and revealed the small rotator cuff tear. I elected to try physical therapy for now and avoid surgery. PT was challenging as the PT's would always say "let pain be your guide".  Well...that's tough when your brain isn't interpreting or sending signals properly.  My left hand and fingers stayed swollen for two months and only began to return to normal last week.  

 

Any thoughts on stem cell therapy for the rotator cuff tear?

 

I pray a lot, practice Chi Kung twice each day, try to keep carbs at a minimum, try to choose organic foods as often as possible, take magnesium and high quality fish oil (800 DHA, 600 EPA, 2000 total), practice good sleep hygiene, and keep stress reduced as much as possible. 

 

Prior or to this I ran 20+ miles per week and attended fitness classes. I stopped running when I realized it exacerbated some of the physical issues and when I realized I wasn't feeling pain. My concern was becoming injured. I stopped fitness after the car accident since I'm not certain how much weight I can or should lift with my left shoulder injury. In the last few weeks, I have begun walking again and I tried running a little over this passed weekend. I know that I should have sore leg muscles, and a few times I have noticed fleeting soreness here & there, but not on a consistent basis like a normal body should when exercising after a long period of rest. 

  

I feel like staying hopeful and optimistic is helpful. Unlike many here, I have been fortunate to be able to continue working, although productivity and quality have been less than stellar. I hope that anyone who reads this will continue to hang in there and believe with me that we will recover and heal, in due time.

 

-ghm


 

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ghm2018

Here’s another update for anyone who might have experienced an adverse reaction to only a few doses of an AD and are looking for encouragement. 

 

13 months have passed since the adverse reaction. 

 

Some of the physiological issues are less severe, but most all are still intermittently present. 

 

The psychological issues still occur 6-8 hours each day, although they are more tolerable and manageable. 

 

I still pray a lot, practice Chi Kung (mindful meditation) almost everyday, walk outdoors daily as weather permits, use magnesium and  fish oil, practice good sleep hygiene, and keep stress reduced as much as possible. I recently started the paleo diet. I had aready been eating pretty healthy, but decided to eliminate refined sugar. 

 

 

I am thankful for every month that passes and hope that it brings me and others closer to complete healing. 

 

 

-ghm


 

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eymen23

ghm,

 

Sorry to hear you’ve had such a continued reaction to just several doses of fluoxetine. Your latest update seems very positive, in that you’re well onto the road to recovery.

 

Your healthy habits and positive mindset are likely playing a part in this, so keep up the great work :)

 

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ghm2018

Eymen23,

 

Thank you for acknowledging. I appreciate that so much. 

 

I hope all is going well for you. ☺️

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bheb

Hey ghm! I also had an adverse reaction to Prozac -- I was on it longer (about a 1.5yr) but developed akathisia after an updose (preceded by months of going up and down). I don't really have many other symptoms besides intense restlessness, agitation, and akathisia, which kinda all fuse together in my experience but still very hard. I'm sorry you've had akathisia + a slew of other symptoms BUT it seems like you're well on your way to recovery! How's the diet change been going for you?

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ghm2018

BHEB - I apologize for not responding to your comment. I must have overlooked the notification.  I hope all is going well for you.  I think eliminating refined sugar is helpful, but sometimes I simply give into sweets. They have always been my weakness.

 

 

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ghm2018

Here’s another update at 19 months out.

 

Some of the physiological Continue to be ess severe, but most all are still intermittently present.   I am thankful to able to be out in the sunshine without a noxious feeling to my skin. The spasming in my esophagus seems to be gone as well, but sometimes when I think a symptom has gone away, it rears its head, although in milder fashion. 

 

I do have the ability to smile and laugh genuinely at times has returned and I'm sure other sensations that are hard to define. Psychological issues still occur 6-8 hours each day, although they are more tolerable and manage

 

A few few months ago I decided to just go on with what my life used to look like in the best way that I could. I have been to a few concerts with friends, have interest in DIY projects at my house, and attend social functions. People comment that I'm not very chatty, but I assume that will return eventually as well. 

 

I walk and have included a little bit of slow jogging. I still pray a lot, use magnesium and fish oil, try to be a clean eater and practice good sleep hygiene. 

 

All in all, I am thankful for every month that passes and hope that it brings me and others closer to complete healing. 

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ghm2018

Just a quick update...two years have come and gone all that I can say that I still deal with various psychological, mental and physical issues off and on throughout the day.  I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what all of my triggers are, but I do work hard at changing the channel when I recognize that I need to. 

 

I am very thankful that insomnia really isn’t much of a problem for me, unless I am under stress. 
 

Quite honestly, I still have moments of hopelessness because even though the symptoms are manageable, not a day has gone by that I have been symptom-free. 
 

I pray for all of the members here and for those who are suffering and have yet to find this site.
 

-ghm

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for the update @ghm2018... I like how you say that you are going on with your life despite lingering symptoms. Same here. Definitely tolerable and manageable now which gives me hope for further healing. Hope that comes for you as well.

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ghm2018

@FarmGirlWorks thank you for responding and for saying you have hope for further healing. I hope that you find recovery just around the bend. 
 

-ghm

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bheb
On 1/14/2020 at 1:42 AM, FarmGirlWorks said:

I like how you say that you are going on with your life despite lingering symptoms. Same here.


well that makes three of us! I also recently have made more of an effort to live as I used to though in many ways impossible. But at least trying to change the mindset of being on hold.

 

I’m sorry you haven’t gotten a symptom free day yet ghm. But you appear to be healing pretty steadily so hopefully around the corner!

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ghm2018

@bheb thank you for responding and for your encouragement. I truly appreciate it. 
 

I’m glad to hear that you, too, are trying to go on with your life.  That must mean that you are healing steadily as well. I know there are some here who are not yet able to do that.

 

peace & blessings to you!

-ghm

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Lzieb

Hi, how are you doing now? Just wondering. Did you take melatonin for insomnia or do you think it's a bad idea? Thx

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ghm2018

Lzieb - hi there.  I’m doing better than I was in 2018; however, I still have issues. 
 

Have you had an adverse reaction to a medication, too?

 

I tried .5mg of melatonin for a while. I’m not sure that it really helped me any, but I also think it was not harmful, at least not for me.  
 

This site has quite a bit of helpful info pertaining to supplements. The recommendation is to try just a small amount and see how your system reacts.  
 

I am reluctant to try any supplements or medications of any kind,  but that’s just me. While all of us here are in a similar situation, what works for one person may not work for another. 
 

Feel free to message me any time.

 

ghm

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Lzieb

Yes, I took Zoloft 6 days and had an adverse reaction. I've only just begun this journey...this is my 22 day. Any encouragement or wisdom you can give me? When did the crisis mode stop for you and your body start getting better...even a little. I know you aren't where you'd like to be. Im just wondering

 

I like how you decided to just go on with your life. I am trying to do the same. I am trying melatonin myself. Same dose. I'm not sure it's helping either. How many hours are you sleeping now? 

 

I see you wrote that you haven't had a symptom free day...has that changed or have you learned to manage? Have some symptoms home away? Is it still acute? I feel like there may be this issue we carry for a long time but Lord willing, make a decision to press on. At least that's what I am battling for. 

 

Please feel free to message me anytime too. Right now we need each other. 

 

 

Also, do you find yourself sensitive to other medicine now too...like antibiotics?

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ghm2018

Lzieb

 

Sorry for the delay. I am sorry about the adverse reaction and that you’re only 22 days in; however, there is always hope that you could be one of those cases where you recover more quickly than others. We can hope and pray for that. But I’m thankful you found this site as quickly as you did. There is a lot of help and support here. It took me months to find this place. 
 

Fortunately, I haven’t encountered the need for antibiotics, so I haven’t taken any.  I do take fish oil though and I was taking magnesium for a while but haven’t been lately. 
 

I would say that things became less acute after 20-24 months. It’s hard to put a definitive timestamp on it. I haven’t had a debilitating headache in a few months nor have I had intense chest pain. I have had chest pain but not severe. 
 

The symptoms cycle daily for me, but I can say that the bouts of sobbing uncontrollably, extreme drandruff, and extreme insomnia are gone. Most nights I sleep 6 hours without interruption and every 4-5 weeks, I might have 1 or 2 nights where I sleep 8 hours. Lately I have been waking several times through the night, but I think it might be stress related. 
 

In August of 2019, I decided to start exercising again. That was 20 months after the adverse reaction. 
 

For the most part, I have learned to manage and I still try to limit the people I am around to just those I know very well. I have gone to social events, but I still worry that people will figure out that something is wrong, but most people are self-absorbed and don’t notice. 
 

Please take care of yourself and allow your body to rest and don’t lose hope.  You will recover.
 

-ghm

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Lzieb

Well I'm glad you have gotten better. That's awesome. I pray you continue to improve

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ghm2018
Posted (edited)

@Shep @Altostrata

 

I believe I have made the biggest mistake ever, aside from having taken fluoxetine. I am 2.5 years in from an adverse reaction to fluoxetine. I was still experiencing rapid cycling of mental, emotional and physical issues on a daily basis, although the symptoms were getting manageable.

 

I thought I might be able to move things along by trying Cereset. It sounded like the exact thing that would help. It is a system that uses EEG to measure brain wave frequency and then play those frequencies back to your brain in real-time. Supposedly the brain hears itself and tries to correct what is out of balance. I had one session 5 days ago and now it seems I’m in a mess. I did not go back for subsequent sessions. 

The second morning, I woke up sweating and of breath. I got up to visit the restroom and began to sweat profusely. I felt as though I might pass out, so I laid in the floor and my breathing was labored. This lasted about 5-10 mins. I havent had anymore elisodes like this; however, the previous two mornings I have awakened sweating and breathing rapidly after having vivid dreams. 

 

I have a new kind of insomnia. Mine from 2.5 years ago had improved, but now I’m experiencing panic and crazy thoughts when I doze off. I have taken approx .5mg of melatonin to help sleep the last two nights. I suppose it’s possible that the panic is coming from the melatonin?  I am tempted to take a small amount of ativan to help offset the panic so that I can sleep. 
 

I have been on this site long enough to know that benzoanare not encouraged; however, I am desperate for sleep. What are your thoughts on trying ativan for sleep until things can calm down?

 

ghm

Edited by ghm2018
Tagged Altostrata

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Shep
21 hours ago, ghm2018 said:

I am tempted to take a small amount of ativan to help offset the panic so that I can sleep. 
 

I have been on this site long enough to know that benzoanare not encouraged; however, I am desperate for sleep. What are your thoughts on trying ativan for sleep until things can calm down?

 

According to your signature, you took Ativan periodically from 2003 - 2018 and from your posts, it was taken rarely. 

 

Do you feel you ever developed dependency? If so, you may be more prone to kindling now. Please see:

 

What is the kindling phenomenon that occurs with benzodiazepines?

 

If you do resort to Ativan, I wouldn't take it more than two or three nights. That may be enough to get some sleep and stop a crisis state from acute insomnia. Be mindful of Ativan's short half-life, which can result in rebound anxiety symptoms. 

 

The other option is to work with non-drug coping skills.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

A hot epsom salt bath (which contains magnesium), some relaxing music or a guided sleep meditation, may be helpful. 

 

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ghm2018

@Shep  Thank you for responding. I was always very careful about using ativan previously because I never wanted to develop a dependency. I’m a pretty cautious and conservative individual.

 

Fortunately, the hellish wave of anxiety has passed and I was able to sleep 7 solid hours last night without the use of ativan or any supplement, etc. 
 

Thank you for including the links on kindling and non-drug coping mechanisms  and for the epsom salt bath.  I had completely forgotten about trying that one in particular. 
 

I appreciate you and all that you do here to help others. 
 

-ghm

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Shep

Very glad to read you're feeling better and didn't need the benzo. Excellent update! 

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ghm2018

@Shep

 

Unfortunately feeling good was short-lived. I had another night of zero sleep and had anxiety in the early morning hours. The anxiety and thoughts of despair weren’t as bad as on Saturday. 

I feel like I have had a terrible setback after the session at Cereset.  I hope that I’m not back at day 1, but it sure feels like it. 
 

-ghm

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Altostrata

Your nervous system has been sensitized by going on and off psychiatric drugs and then your adverse reaction to fluoxetine in in 2018.

 

Because of your drug history, you now have a tendency to neurological kindling. That electrical stimulation was too much for it.

 

We often see people whose nervous systems have been sensitized by psychotropic drug mishaps might have withdrawal-like flare-ups when they inadvertently try something that's neuroactive. Like withdrawal-related symptoms, this will settle down in a wave and window pattern, with frustrating setbacks.

 

As you can see, your stabilization from the overstimulation is settling down already. It probably will take some weeks for you to get back to baseline. You seem to have good self-care habits, I'd continue with them as much as you're able, but take care not to get overstimulated by too much sun, heat, stress, etc.

 

On 5/31/2020 at 3:20 AM, ghm2018 said:

I have taken approx .5mg of melatonin to help sleep the last two nights. I suppose it’s possible that the panic is coming from the melatonin?

 

0.5mg might be too much melatonin for you. I'd try 0.25mg. This small amount can be quite effective.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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ghm2018

@Shep @Altostrata

 

Thank you both for responding. I appreciate it. Monday afternoon wasn’t so great and I didn’t sleep at all that night; however, I slept well last night. 
 

I appreciate the encouragement that things will settle over time and I should get back to a baseline.  I was worried that I might be back to square one. Hearing encouragement from someone who has been there has more meaning. Sometimes being able to apply logic is tough during a rough wave, but when you get through it and recognize a window, it’s easier to be able to think more positively.  😊

 

Thank you again, so much. 

 

-ghm

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