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TheLandofNod: Chronic insomnia is driving me insane. Reinstate or stay the course?


TheLandofNod

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Greetings SA community,

 

 

This is my first post here, but I've been browsing for quite a while now trying to figure out where my symptoms (particularly insomnia) are coming from. Just a quick caveat, my narrative is kind of all over the place right now because I'm going through some pretty severe brain fog.

 

Venlafaxine ER 187.5 mg daily (morning)
Bupropion XL 300 mg daily (morning)
Risperidone 2 mg nightly (bedtime)

 

So I very unwisely cold turkey'd off all three of these since March 14th of this year and am now on my 4th month off. Getting off these three drugs (esp. cold turkey for the Effexor) was worse than the 9th circle of Hell. Needless to say, it was an immeasurable amount of anxiety, anguish, and despair beyond my fathomable imagination. That is all I have to say about the acute withdrawal phase. Just wish I didn't have to learn the hard way.

 

Since March (and during the acute withdrawal process), I have been experiencing chronic insomnia (daily) and terrible mood swings/depression. What's weird to me is that I was only on them for 6 weeks, and before that I had a month long gap of getting off  all my meds before 'relapsing'-- and before that month long gap I was on pretty much of every psychotropic drug you can imagine for 7 years in order to deal with what could've been momentary/situational depression that was instead prolonged into an agonizing boom and bust of cycling and sampling through a plethora of pharmaceuticals and morphing it into the monster of protracted depression/anxiety to very unnatural levels.

 

For the last 4 months, I haven't been able to sleep more than 2-3 hours a night, sometimes I'll be up all night as well or wake up every 30 minutes to an hour. If I'm lucky I'll get maybe 5 fitful, fragmented hours of sleep. I never crash at all, I just feel 'amped' all the time. It seems like no matter what I do my brain just does not turn off. Like whenever I lay down, I feel completely wired no matter how tired I get. And then during the wees hours of the morning, my cortisol level would spike to astronomical levels to the point where my heart feels like it's about to burst right out of my chest and I'm nearly vomiting from the stress. I'm fairly certain at this point that this bout of chronic insomnia (and other symptoms) is from CT'ing off the Effexor (Venlafaxine) because this is the first time in my life that I have ever experienced this.

 

And now, because of persistent insomnia I feel like a shadow of my former self. I can't work, I can't smile/laugh, I can't enjoy anything or experience pleasure (anhedonia/dysphoria), been feeling isolated/alone from my family/friends because it's so difficult to explain what I'm going through, and I feel like I can barely function throughout the day (like eat or even shower). Been hospitalized countless times on top of that. I feel like it's ripped my soul inside out.

 

Subsequently during the 4 month period, I've been prescribed Remeron, Seroquel, Ambien, Vistaril and for some reason Depakote (probably because my psychiatrist thought I was going through bipolar mania) to deal with insomnia and what they considered to be "rebound depression." Either I was hypersensitive to unbearable side effects or they didn't work at all. At the end of the day, I'd still wake up in the middle of the night as fitful as a cold chihuahua, my heart nearly bursting out of my chest from panic attacks. While my psychiatrist insists it is "rebound depression," my PCP/GP insists that the insomnia is primary and not secondary (from medication or medical issues). I really don't know who or what to believe especially in the midst of confusion/frustration from sleep deprivation. Anyways at the moment I am not taking any medications and have already had a physical done (including getting my thyroid checked) and my PCP/GP couldn't find anything wrong with my body. I've recently begun to self-implement CBT-I and SRT as well in order to address this. Although I think it would help if I saw a sleep specialist or a psychotherapist specializing in insomnia. 

 

So this kinda goes back to my original point, is reinstatement even worth doing 4 months out or am I better off just staying the course of staying clean? The reservations I have with reinstatement is that I don't want to prolong anymore unnecessary exposure/risks to a drug (even at ultra low doses because I'm duly convinced that this drug ruined my life) that I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot stick at this point and have to 'reset' my brain's recovery from the protracted withdrawal syndrome of insomnia. Also, considering that based on what I've read on this site about reinstating; I'm pretty sure I already missed the window of opportunity for reinstatement (given that it's been 4 months) and that the risks of adverse/hypersensitive reactions and symptoms prolonging outweigh the benefits of symptom management and reduction in the context of cold turkey withdrawal.

 

My question is will the insomnia last forever unless I reinstate Effexor? I'm absolutely terrified that I have to live with this for the rest of my life.

 

Also, any links/tips to dealing with insomnia (although chances are I probably already read about it) is appreciated as well.

 

In the meantime, I'm trying my best not to fixate/obsess over my symptoms and live life the best I can with where I'm at now and stay positive despite the doom and gloom I constantly feel all day. It's hard, but it's not impossible to keep hope alive even during the abyss.

 

 

Thanks for reading this,

TheLandofNod

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to TheLandofNod: Chronic insomnia is driving me insane. Reinstate or stay the course?
  • Moderator Emeritus
21 hours ago, TheLandofNod said:

 

So I very unwisely cold turkey'd off all three of these since March 14th of this year and am now on my 4th month off. 

 

So this kinda goes back to my original point, is reinstatement even worth doing 4 months out or am I better off just staying the course of staying clean? 

 

My question is will the insomnia last forever unless I reinstate Effexor? I'm absolutely terrified that I have to live with this for the rest of my life.

 

Also, any links/tips to dealing with insomnia (although chances are I probably already read about it) is appreciated as well.

 

In the meantime, I'm trying my best not to fixate/obsess over my symptoms and live life the best I can with where I'm at now and stay positive despite the doom and gloom I constantly feel all day. It's hard, but it's not impossible to keep hope alive even during the abyss.

 

Hello, Nod, and welcome to SA. 

 

Your terrible insomnia is directly related to acute withdrawal. 

Please help us out by creating a drug history signature here: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

It sounds like you are somewhat familiar with reinstatement. Here is a thread on that subject; as you can see, reinstatement comes with possible risks and possible benefits. https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/ It's a really individual decision and pretty much the only universal "rule" is to reinstate only a tiny, tiny amount--much less than your last dose.

 

Here is a thread on insomnia. Other info can be found by searching the site -- you might want to browse topics in the Self-Care section of the forum.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/53-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

No, you will *not* have to live with this for the rest of your life, not at all.

 

I'm sorry for what you're going through. I want to congratulate you for living the best you can with where you are now. This is a great attitude that can only help your recovery. 

 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I updated my drug signature, it's not very thorough right now I know but I will update it.

 

Alright, I can't stand this anymore. I'm going insane and can barely function (if at all) because of chronic insomnia. Even though it's been 4 months since I had my last cold turkey dosage; I know it's risky but I think I have no choice but to reinstate. 

 

So if I originally took 187.5 mg of Effexor XR, then how many beads should I start off with for Effexor XR reinstatement after 4 months? I know it's risky 'm a little confused because each capsule has a different amount. Like one capsule I counted 37 big beads and 4 small beads, another capsule I counted 36 big beads, and 0 small beads, and last capsule I counted 38 big beads and 1 small bead. 

 

I heard taking 10 beads is the "standard" for Venlafaxine reinstatement but how do you know that's the standard if I'm not even seeing a standard amount of beads per capsule?

 

Other questions I have is how long am I supposed to be on 10 beads (or whatever is the starting amount) before tapering down to zero?

 

Before I reinstate, my first goal right now is to get off Trazodone. I've only been on it for 4 days (took 50 mg for the first two days, and 100 mg for the last two days). Is it safe to just cold turkey off now because I've only been on it for less than a week.

 

Thank you.

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Land of Nod, while you're waiting to hear from the moderators regarding the meds (I am waaaay out of my league with regard to your med tapering/reinstatement questions), just wanted to say that I have had very bad insomnia too after 20+ years of SSRIs and many a failed, too-fast taper trying to get off of them. My body is now hyper-sensitized to just about everything, and two things have really helped me with insomnia and just generally not feeling like crap: taking a Magnesium supplement and ditching gluten/making diet changes. 

 

Dr. Kelly Brogan, a holistic psychiatrist who supports tapering (who I found out about on SA), has lots of free info on her website that I think is worth a read, including how to cope while coming off meds https://kellybroganmd.com/stop-madness-coming-psych-meds/ and here she is on magnesium: https://kellybroganmd.com/magnesium-most-important-female-supplement/.  I take either 200 mg of magnesium glycinate a day or if I'm feeling amped and like I"m not going to sleep, then 400 mg. It's been recommended that I take more, but with 400 mg I sleep really well, so that's the max I've taken.

 

I wish I could help with your med Qs but it's all I can do to manage a 10% drop in my Cymbalta dose. Good luck to you!!

 

September 2016 - Paxil 12.5 mg CR stopped working for depression and anxiety after about 15 years on it

October - December 2016 - Wellbutrin not effective for depression; Lexapro gave me a panic attack

December 2016 - January 2018 - Zoloft low dose (can't remember) - this drug, in my opinion, ruined my digestive system

January 2018 - Tapering Zoloft while adding 5 mg Prozac intensified digestive problems; doctor insisted on immediate CT

February 2018 - 21 days CT after about 25 years on antidepressants. A living hell, not functional except at work. 

March - April 2018 - Prescribed Cymbalta 20 mg. Reduced 10% in April due to weight gain, digestive issues. and experienced severe withdrawal (extreme anxiety, depression, brain fog, memory loss, night sweats)

May 2018 - Updosed and held at 18.5 mg Cymbalta. 

December 2018 - switch to 20 mg Paxil after continued, slow taper on Cymbalta produced unmanageable anxiety. 

Jan-Feb 2019 - started tapering on Paxil; currently 2.5 mg Paxil and 75 mg Wellbutrin

 

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Hey LandofNod  (  i googled the name, didn't realize it was a Robert Louis Stevenson poem.  Kidnapped had been a favorite novel of mine, back when i could sleep and thereby read novels)

 

Anyways, i don't have a lot to say over here, i am half dead myself from the effects of insomnia but i did want to say "hi" and thanks for the username choice which led me on to the poem and your introduction, as well.  i have called myself "Haggard the Horrible" on some facebook posts, after the famous Dik Browne cartoon "Hagar the Horrible", due to the effects of this sleep deprivation on my face.  \\

 

i did try trazadone for 3 or 4 days as well about 8 months or so into my wd from zoloft and zyprexa and was ok withdrawing from it.  i basically just went back to my fragmented depressed sleep and feeling exhausted.  joy.  joy.    .  i had had some upper body weakness from the trazadone and it really wasnt giving me much for sleep anyways.  

 

sorry, for the silly post.  hope you see some improvement on the sleep front soon.

 

Poetjester 

 

 

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 7/3/2018 at 12:34 AM, TheLandofNod said:

What's weird to me is that I was only on them for 6 weeks, and before that I had a month long gap of getting off  all my meds before 'relapsing'-- and before that month long gap I was on pretty much of every psychotropic drug you can imagine for 7 years 

Hi Landofnod, the above sentence speaks volumes, 

 

On 7/3/2018 at 12:34 AM, TheLandofNod said:

Subsequently during the 4 month period, I've been prescribed Remeron, Seroquel, Ambien, Vistaril and for some reason Depakote

 

On 7/3/2018 at 12:34 AM, TheLandofNod said:

 Been hospitalized countless times on top of that. I feel like it's ripped my soul inside out.

 

You have been polydrugged for 7 years with every drug imaginable.  What were the ones you quit before venlafaxine, buproprion and risperidone? 

Did you take any of them for a longer period? I am sorry, I know it isn't easy but it is extremely important that we have you full history,  and detailed for  the last 12 months.  Your nervous system is very unstable from all the drugs and my heart goes out to you. Depending on what you quit before being prescribed effexor you may be able to reinstate another less difficult one to help with withdrawal. 

 

We have some great topics on insomnia. It has been my biggest problem too. 

Scroll down the first post to find links to sleep topics.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/

 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator

LandofNod,

 

I have a tip on insomnia that has worked for me, allowing me to get 7-8 hours of broken but decent sleep per night.  Insomnia has been one of my biggest WD problems, but about ten days ago it worsened.  It so happened that I saw a link on SA (which I don't have, sorry) about the connection between the large leg muscles and the brain.  The upshot was that it's a two-way communication, not just brain-to-leg muscles but leg muscles-to-brain and that exercising the major leg muscles had a positive effect in the brain (that is a very poor synopsis, sorry).

 

I can't do strenuous exercise (too activating) but, with nothing to lose, I started doing a few minutes of  exercises of the large leg muscles, mostly my quads.  I have a machine that allows me to do leg presses, but squats would work too.  The first night after doing the exercises my sleep was markedly improved, and I went from 4-5 hours sleep to around 8.  So every afternoon now I do my exercises and every night my sleep has remained improved.  Not a cure, by any means, but definitely better sleep.  You might want to give it a try. 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi all, thank you for all your responses.

 

So I know it's not black-and-white because of the sheer complexities and idiosyncrasies of individual physiology and neuropharmacology, but I do have a rather peculiar question about drug reinstatement that's been lingering in my mind since I first discovered this site.

And my question is:

 

What exactly is the purpose of reinstatement? 

 

Is it to enhance/shorten the healing process, and perhaps prevent what might otherwise be permanent withdrawal symptoms? 

or

Is it to make your symptoms alleviated or at least bearable while you undergo a healing process that is either-way not affected by reinstatement?

 

If it is the first case, then I would without hesitation go for reinstatement even though it's been 4 months since my last dosage of Effexor XR.

If it is the second case, then I am going to rule out reinstatement and stay the course on staying clean even if I am still dealing with insomnia.

 

In the meantime, I am currently getting off Trazodone. Tonight will be my final dose of 50 mg (I've only been on it for 5 days so far) and hopefully the last time I will take psychotropic drugs.  I know I am not alone, but I am utterly sick and tired of being sick and tired of this whole ordeal that has stolen so much from me and want to finally want to find a solution for it ASAP (although I acknowledge that the healing process is not overnight).

 

I have sincerely reached a point beyond desperation and sometimes beyond reason to address this, as others here can attest to as well. Lately, I've been feeling a lot of frantic despair because I simply can't decide on what to do.

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  • Moderator

It is the latter, to alleviate withdrawal symptoms so they are bearable.  This is what I generally write about the purpose of reinstatement:

 

"Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer."

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Landof.

 

You have a fairly typical case of withdrawal insomnia. In fact, getting 2-3 hours is not the worst it can be.

 

You have a choice: To try reinstating a very small amount of a drug or see if you can improve your sleep by non-drug means and stress reduction.

 

You must assume that going on and off drugs and experienced severe withdrawal and other adverse reactions has made your nervous system hypersensitive. You will need to be careful with drugs and supplements, and avoid stress to let it settle down.

 

Reinstating is tricky because you've been on so many drugs for such a long time, it's impossible to tell what might work. If you have Effexor on hand, taking 10 beads out of the capsule (or even fewer) might be a way to see if it will have a beneficial effect.

 

If poor sleep is your major withdrawal problem, you will want to build it up with non-drug techniques. See

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

As Poulesportive mentioned, magnesium can help. 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.

 

To restore sleep, it is absolutely essential to limit light stimulation before bedtime and to get off the computer early in the evening.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I've updated my sig. 

 

True, it could be worse -- way worse. I'm already taking magnesium supplements and also have implemented an extremely strict regimen of sleep hygiene/restriction (although it is admittingly still a work in progress).

 

Thank you for your post, Altostrata. You're right, given the factors that I've dabbled in so many different drugs (in my desperate attempts to alleviate, at times, absolutely unbearable symptoms and subsequently exacerbating them), that my nervous system is probably in complete disarray right now, and the risks over benefits being too high; I've decided that I am going to cancel reinstatement and stay the course.

 

Now, my last question arose from this Quora post: https://www.quora.com/Can-permanent-damage-arise-from-abruptly-discontinuing-an-SSRI-or-will-I-just-experience-temporary-withdrawal-symptoms

 

I know you answered this question in a different rendition as well, Gridley. When you stated that reinstatement is simply for symptom alleviation and not to enhance/shorten the healing process.

 

But what's your take on this, Altostrata? Or anyone else reading this?

 

Can you get permanent damage (like to the brain/neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, etc. whatever) from abruptly discontinuing (i.e. going cold turkey) a SSRI or SNRI that would otherwise have been prevented if you tapered off properly?

 

I'm seriously starting to get panic attacks over this. Getting really worried. Okay, deep breaths. 4-7-8.

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The worst part about the recovery process from antidepressant protracted withdrawal is just how lonely it can get. There is no literally no one else in my life that I can talk to about these symptoms. I think I either come off as some crazy hypochondriac or someone with obsessive compulsive tendencies (actually I was diagnosed with OCD, although I don't necessarily identify with it). 

 

In the meantime, I'm applying for jobs and looking for housing because I am currently on the verge of homelessness. It's extremely frustrating and a real uphill battle because I feel a complete lack of momentum from simultaneously dealing with withdrawal symptoms.  It's hard for loved one or really anyone in my life (especially doctors) to understand the private, personalized Hell in a hand-basket that withdrawal can be, especially for drugs that are nominally legal. 

 

People look at me and think "Well, you look fine to me." No, I'm not fine at all. I'm far from it. Actually, my life is a constant living nightmare like every second right now and the only yearning wish I have at this point out of everything else in my life is knowing how long this would last. This is the eternal question that bounces around my head (and bypassing my prefrontal cortex, which feels practically dissolved in its current state) that can never be answered and is always followed up by the agonizingly predictable but for-the-lack-of-better-words response: "It depends."

 

But what can I say, I have to muscle through this, right? There is no alternative unless I want to panic and grasp at straws again: whether it is getting back on medication to alleviate symptoms or drive my own head in a tailspin to try to "figure it out." At times, I have to completely disassociate myself from my own body because the pain and the sheer mindf**k is just too much to deal with; like my brain is on the verge of short-circuiting or shutting down from all the anxiety and stress. But again, the worst part is the loneliness. 

 

I know there's plenty of links I can go to for this matter, but how do you guys personally have overcome or dealt with the waves of hopelessness or despair (like contemplating and imagining the worst case scenario 24/7) during this often Byzantine process of healing?

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  • Mentor

You are right that it can be isolating to feel like crazy death inside and look normal on the outside. A friend the other day was updating me about a mutual acquaintance who was diagnosed as bipolar a month ago and is now on meds (don't know which ones). My friend was appalled and surprised by how people had ditched this person and were even talking about her behind her back. I told her that as someone going thru this for friggin' 15 months now, yes! people leave you because it is scary, boring, and socially not accepted. What is ironic is that this friend is one of the people who I see as someone who disappeared when I got sick.

 

I'm sorry you're going thru all that you are right now with WD on top of it. As far as tips, my yoga teacher said after a suicide last year of a local boy rockstar, "Poor Chris. He just forgot to wait one day to see if it would change." Sometimes just hanging on to the next minute was all I could do. However, the suicidal ideation (SI) -- while not completely gone -- has decreased greatly from earlier months of this. And making myself go out occasionally has helped. I can't always but when I can, I do.

 

Yes, it is annoying to hear "it depends" and "time is the best healer" but that seems to be very true. Best of luck and hang in there.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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On 7/14/2018 at 12:03 PM, Altostrata said:

Reinstating is tricky because you've been on so many drugs for such a long time, it's impossible to tell what might work. If you have Effexor on hand, taking 10 beads out of the capsule (or even fewer) might be a way to see if it will have a beneficial effect.

I have been off Trazodone since 7/15 (yesterday). Should I wait or is it safe to reinstate Effexor now at 10 beads every morning? Also, is it 10 beads out of any capsule whether it is a 37.5, 75, or 150 mg?

 

And how long should I be on 10 beads before tapering down to 0?

 

Thanks. 

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  • Administrator

How about starting with 5 beads? Any Effexor capsule will do -- but always take beads from a consistent dosage capsule from the same manufacturer.

 

We need to see how you do before determining how long you might be taking a bit of Effexor.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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