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Noloft: trying to take control of my life

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Noloft

Hey everyone.

 

I was put on Zoloft and Concerta at the age of 11 for OCD and ADHD. I have been on 200mg of Zoloft for a long time. I CT'd the 36 mg of concerta in February 2017.

 

I did not do my diligence. I made a change with my psychiatrist in 2017 for the zoloft. That change sent me to hell. She told me I could discontinue quickly while tapering onto another drug, which I thought I needed for my "sanity." I have since fired her and am off all medications after being diagnosed with "serotonin syndrome."

 

Within a week of tapering from 200mg to 150mg and tapering on to another drug, I began experiencing strange symptoms, which, according to my "doctor" have nothing to do with the medication: complete emotional numbness (I struggle with this already due to depression but it is so so much worse now), a deep disconnection from my identity, ego, self, and external environment, random bouts of visual problems, severe memory loss, cognitive issues and fogginess--I feel like I am walking unconsciously, with the only thoughts I am having are intrusive, detached thoughts that don't make sense to me, along with bouts of suicidal ideation and severe and uncontrollable mood swings, an inability to think, reason, rationalize or plan ahead, a lack of spontaneous thoughts, soul crushing anhedonia, akathisia, tremors, numb crying spells with no feeling of sadness underneath, feeling like I am losing my mind, severe depersonalization and derealization, severe insomnia, muscle and joint pain, back pain, complete loss of sexual functioning, generally not feeling alive or like a human being, unable to connect to my environment, friends or family.

 

I blame myself for not doing my research about coming off these medications and I blame myself for ever even going on them, though I don't remember if that was my decision or my parents. I had a pretty strong  mind despite OCD and depression before coming off the drugs. I was incredibly smart and loved fishing and now I can barely work and my passion in life means nothing to me anymore.

 

I have been in intensive CBT for the last few months, though it doesn't work because I literally cannot put thoughts together myself, my only thoughts are intrusive it seems. Doctors don't believe me and after doing the research I am not surprised. I understand it is too late for me to reinstate and that I am in for the battle of my life. I have been doing some things to help myself, though I have not seen improvement and don't expect to for years: meditation, engagement in life and things I used to enjoy, pursuing goals even though I don't care about them, eating nutrient dense foods, walking and light exercise, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

 

Since I was on these drugs a long time and since I started as a kid I am feeling pretty hopeless that I can get better even though many people keep telling me I can. I expect to deal with OCD, depression, sexual issues the rest of my life but I don't expect to be an emotionless, anhedonic, depersonalized, cognitively impaired zombie who can barely function for the rest of my life.

 

I am looking for hope mainly, a place to come to where people understand, and somewhere I can also offer hope to others who are going through the same. I don't think I can do this by myself anymore, and it is hard to go through all of this when my family and friends don't really understand. It is incredibly difficult to be around people who seemingly are enjoying life and taking for granted their humanity.  It is incredibly isolating to be going through severe depression, depersonalization, and cognitive impairment that no one on my therapy team seems to understand. I cannot process my pain or emotions or my past trauma as I cannot access it on an emotional level. I want so badly to integrate my past pain into my life and recover from my life trauma but I cannot do it in this state. As I type this, I am so disconnected that I don't even feel the emotional pain of all of this.

 

I wish you all healing and prosperity and hope that I will someday improve somewhat, at least to the point where I can enjoy fishing again. All I want to do right now is isolate and avoid people and everything that reminds me of what is missing in my life, but am fighting this urge and trying to stay engaged. I am hoping for some advice or hope from others who CT'd or rapid tapered at the advice of a doctor. I know I am afraid right now even though I cannot feel it in my body or mind. I am lost and am not getting the direction I need from therapy because they think I am just depressed, but this is not just depression. I don't expect to go through life without any suffering but this seems a bit too much to handle most days.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added paragraph breaks

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SkyBlue

Dear Noloft, (great name, by the way!),

 

My heart breaks for you being put on this poison as a child. However, please know that healing is possible. Actually, it's inevitable. 

 

Can I offer you a perspective on something I noticed in your writing? I'm seeing statements about dealing with certain issues "for life" 

--but you don't know that for sure, and it's truly not going to help to think in those terms, although I totally get it!!!! because what we're going through can be (as you said) extremely isolating and just about unbearable at times. Also, I'd like to encourage you to keep reaching out while also taking into consideration that this vulnerable time is probably not the best moment to delve into past traumas. There will be time to heal more fully from the past once you are more stable--which will happen. 

 

Please, please!!! Do not blame yourself about not doing research before going off these "meds!!!" Oh, my gosh. Very much not the patient's responsibility. If something is approved by the FDA and recommended by a doctor, we should be able to take it on faith that it's not going to harm us. And you were a child when you were put on them! ! ! ! ! !! ! You had no due diligence to do. 

 

As you probably already know, now is the time to gain stability from what your system has been through. You are still in acute withdrawal from Zoloft in addition to being sensitized from earlier changes. It sounds like you have good coping skills and habits and I want to encourage you to keep doing them, even though it's so difficult if we don't see results as soon as we'd like.

 

If possible, please keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern. That will help track improvements as well as any possible triggers.

 

On 7/31/2018 at 11:58 PM, Noloft said:

I am looking for hope mainly, a place to come to where people understand, and somewhere I can also offer hope to others who are going through the same. I don't think I can do this by myself anymore

 

People will definitely understand here. You don't have to do this by yourself anymore. 

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FarmGirlWorks
On 7/31/2018 at 9:58 PM, Noloft said:

I have been doing some things to help myself, though I have not seen improvement and don't expect to for years: meditation, engagement in life and things I used to enjoy, pursuing goals even though I don't care about them, eating nutrient dense foods, walking and light exercise, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

These activities help you focus on recovering and stability. Even if they feel like they are doing nothing, they are. I too was on (the poison) Zoloft and -- aside from the oxygen therapy and pursuing goals (as I still cannot plan ahead rationally) -- the light exercise/yoga, good nutrition (check out Dr Kelly Brogan), kundalini meditation, and socializing when up to it, has been helpful. It may not seem like it now but it adds up. At least it has for me.

 

It sucks how you were put on these as a kid. Like SkyBlue said, you are not responsible for due diligence here. I am probably way older than you and a fast taper was recommended by my PCP whom I trusted. Do your due diligence now and get through this -- and you will.

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Noloft

Thank you both for your kind and supportive words. I do realize that self blame is not a productive behavior.  I have been doing this for a long time and find it a tough habit to break. I am planning on making a change in therapy to see someone who can help me identify my bad habits and my poor coping mechanisms so that I can work on those. Hopefully that helps. Dr Brogan’s site is one I frequent, my mother and I have been using it for tips. It’s interestring-my mother has a friend who is a kundalini instructor and I have actually been going to her class once a month and plan to start going more frequently, if I can push through the apathy. In the meantime, I practice the sudarshan Kriya and the Kirtan Kriya every night before bed. I notice a sense of calmness afterwards, and while I am in that state in try to work in some positive affirmations. Positive thinking is something I have NEVER done before. have noticed this helps me  fall sleep easier. Staying asleep is another matter.  

 

I was reading about windows and waves and stabilization earlier. While reading that it clicked with me that there has been improvement, I just hadn’t noticed it before. For example, when I made my first cut in the medication, I was unable to converse with people, and I literally could not stop bawling like baby. I was bedridden for two weeks. I can talk to people now, and I didn’t cry or feel the urge to break down at all today. But, dystonic like movements were bad today and not so bad yesterday. I saw somewhere that this process is like a rubik’s cube in the brain. One thing clicks, another thing doesn’t, and so on. As I type this I am shaking like a dog that almost got hit by a car, but I’m a bit more clearheaded and able to put sentences together. It seems things can change on a dime.

 

I did not mention in my original post my struggles with other drugs. A few months before the taper, I cold turkeyed an 8 year daily addiction to alcohol and marijuana. Poor coping tools I had been using to treat my intrusive thoughts. These also precipitated a portion of my depersonalization issues, made much worse after tapering.  It has been six months since I have used but I assume these will complicate my healing, though I am not sure in which way. 

 

Do  either of you have any advice or experience with the crying spells? I don’t know if I should hold it in or just let it out. I get confused because it seems like I’m crying for no reason at all. It can happen anywhere at any time. 

 

I am still unsure of what to do regarding medication. I am expected to work, to do normal things etc. My lead psychologist thinks I need to be on something like anafranil. I told her I don’t want to be put on another drug. She thinks these issues are autoimmune related and says she hasn’t seen this happen to anyone coming off a drug before. I am unsure if I should share this site with her, since she believes medication is therapeutic not harmful. I don’t want her to think I’m delusional or need to be put in a psych ward, but my previously untrustworthy mind has become even Moreno untrustworthy which is making it hard to function like an adult.  I told one of my doctors about what’s I am currently going through and what I went through while on the drug, and he told me about the time he had to take a nasal spray that caused his allergies to worsen and gave him Indigestion. I was not pleased with that response. 

 

I am being sent sent to the Mayo Clinic by my lead psychologist, with good intentions as she wants to see if my HPA axis or thyroid mighty be compounding my sexual/emotional issues. I don’t expect them to find much, but if my thyroid isn’t working and they want to put me on something, I don’t know if I should take it or not. Could that lead to further destabilizing? Could it help me? Is there anyone on this forum I could talk to who might have some advice on non psych medication during withdrawal? 

 

I am still unsure if my suicidal ideation and severe existential soul searching are symptoms of OCD or withdrawal. Maybe both, maybe it doesn’t matter. I don’t know. All I know is I wasn’t thinking them before making the changes. In any case I guess acceptance is the best way to go for now. This is something I have been working on daily. I have been fighting my mind for my whole life due to ocd. It I’ve never had severe intrusive thoughts before. Sometimes all I can do is just watch them go by, my mind and body are too tired to reframe them or notice they are distorted thoughts etc.

 

Again thank you for the kind words. I had a very long introduction typed out on word that I was going to copy and paste but it wasn’t working and I went with this shortened version. I am wondering if I should give a complete full history like I had typed out. 

 

 

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SkyBlue

Hi Noloft and you're very welcome. : ) 

 

I just have a minute right now (will try to respond more fully later), but wanted to say: 

 

We generally don't work with non-psychiatric meds (advising, etc.), but other people have had thyroid and related issues in withdrawal, or before withdrawal, and you can definitely find those stories here. These drugs can also cause (heal-able) thyroid issues, so getting everything checked out could be a good idea. Again, WD issues are healable so even if there is currently a problem, it doesn't mean it's permanent.

 

For example, I've had to go on blood pressure medication during withdrawal for sudden high blood pressure. I don't love taking another medication (it wasn't responding to exercise, meditation, celery juice, acupuncture, magnesium), but I expect to be able to get off it once my poor body is out of the fight-or-flight stress of this whole ordeal. 

 

Doctors will definitely seek to minimize withdrawal, try to treat it with other psych drugs, etc. It's like they only have one tool in their toolbox. It would be good to decide what you want to do, then decide what you want your doctor's role to be. 

 

I personally found that I need to go as slowly as my body needs to go off Paxil, and basically say whatever my doctor wants to hear, in order to get those refills. When that stopped being useful, I went to other providers. Throughout his tapering, Brassmonkey's doctor thought he was still on 60mg of Paxil and Seroquel as well (which he never took). I'm not suggesting you do this -- but do know that we have more power than we think. We're conditioned to thinking that we need to be in the passenger seat and go along with everything providers suggest, but we do have some agency and can advocate for ourselves. 

 

Also, you mentioned that you have a lead psychologist. Are you seeing more than one? 

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Noloft

I am undergoing CBT and have a team of psychologists I have been working with twice a week. Have not seen much benefit.  I feel CBT only works for individuals whos thoughts are still connected to them emotionally and are able to feel and who have a sense of self. I can’t seem to progress since I feel nothing I am stuck. The loss of my sense of self makes it even harder to progress. Honestly in some ways I am worse than when I started. I do not know what is depression, what is withdrawal, what is run of the mill ocd, and whether or not I am creating some kind of fantasy in my head about what normalcy is, though I don’t think what I have is a healthy way of feeling. , I’m not even afraid of my dark thoughts. I literally feel no fear response, or anything for that matter.  Some days I believe I am psychotic but my doctors keep telling me I am not psychotic as I wouldn’t know I was psychotic if that were so. I just feel unhinged mentally and unable to feel anything at all. I don’t remember what I used to be like before all of this even though it was only six months ago and some days I am in a deep despair and my mind goes to very very dark places. I also have these strange visuals in my mind when I close my eyes almost as if I am hallucinating someone else’s life in my head. They are incredibly detailed stories of other people or situations that have no connection to me. Almost like I am imagining someone else’s life going on in my head  It didn’t start happening until i came off the Zoloft so I attribute that as the cause, but I just have no idea how a medication can cause something like that to happen. 

 

I have  been considering going back on a low dose of Zoloft to see if some of these symptoms abate, though I’m not sure if that is a good idea since I have been off the drug for months now. 

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bluepm

why did  did stop abilifed  ? 

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Peachy

@Noloft

I too have OCD and I started these drugs in my early 20's. I have now been on them for 15 years. I first started concerta, which gave me an eating disorder and anxiety/panic attacks for the first time in my life, I then CT'd off that, and landed with depression too. From there I was put on Zoloft, and trying to get off these are what triggered OCD for the first time. I have been on a slurry of drugs since. 

I understand everything your going through. I have tried so many times to get off. I most recently tried a functional med doctor who put me on a **** load of vitamins/supp's, and amino acid therapy. The amino acid therapy sent me over the top and I believe caused a serotonin syndrome of sorts. I was then told to start tapering my drugs. Since then I have been a mess, BUT it has gotten better. A lot better. It's been 2.5 years, but it keeps getting better. Not perfect, not by any means, I still struggle but I am not in that super dark weird place I once was. I am still tapering, but I am still healing as well. Sometimes I have set-backs, but I am super careful now and I do have days I actually feel a little joy. I just wanted to tell you to hold on. Will we be 100% healed after this **** show? I have no idea, but I know it's going to be better than this, and you will heal dramatically from what you are experiencing today. And it will NOT be linear. 

 

I wanted to ask you about the HBO therapy? I am thinking of trying this. Does it help your symptoms in any way? Do you get side effects from it?

Thanks, and keep doing what your doing, eventually the clouds will part for you. I promise. 

 

Oh, and best to stay away from alcohol and weed entirely. It was a really hard one for me, but I can't touch it now. I was a pretty heavy drinker before too. 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
22 hours ago, Noloft said:

I practice the sudarshan Kriya and the Kirtan Kriya every night before bed.

I've done the Kirtan Kriya at various times (awesome) but am new to the Sudarshan Kriya -- thanks for the tip. I think we may have done it in class a couple times but not regularly. Currently, the studio is doing a 40-day meditation of Har-Hare-Hari-Wahe-Guru (removes blocks) and I am working on that. Taking a 6-day kundalini workshop entitled Vitality and Stress this month. Although I am not a teacher, considering leading a "kundalini-inspired" class that is specifically for psych drug withdrawal/anxiety/depression in the fall if I am feeling better. It is great you are practicing. There have been times, esp. this past winter, that I was white-knuckling it through the day because of withdrawal and waiting for the reprieve of class. I personally believe kundalini helps with withdrawal, esp. meditation.

 

22 hours ago, Noloft said:

It seems things can change on a dime.

They do! I just had a blessed several day window that came out of nowhere. Suddenly, I am back to the usual low-mood, depression and it feels, for lack of better words, "chemical."

 

22 hours ago, Noloft said:

A few months before the taper, I cold turkeyed an 8 year daily addiction to alcohol and marijuana. Poor coping tools I had been using to treat my intrusive thoughts. These also precipitated a portion of my depersonalization issues, made much worse after tapering.  It has been six months since I have used but I assume these will complicate my healing, though I am not sure in which way.

Me too! Actually, I quit alcohol one moth after a rapid taper/CT of zoloft. It is difficult -- if impossible -- to tease apart what is antidepressant withdrawal and what is alcohol withdrawal. I just recently quit cannabis too; it had paradoxical effects the last month or so. Plus I am now in AA which I feel I need to be "straight-edge" to do properly; I use AA to combat the isolation engendered by all forms of WD and also decrease my tendency to self-absorption. I still plan to use cannabis in the future (and make a killer THC salve for pain) but not now. They both are definitely affecting your WD.

 

Gotta go but SA is a fantastic resource and glad you found it. Hang in there... it does improve.

 

 

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Noloft

Hi Peachy, 

 

Thanks for your reply and for the optimism. It is much needed in my life right now.

 

Before I started HBOT, I read a lot about what it does. Apparently, it has incredible anti-inflammatory properties, can promote neurogenesis (not sure how true this is but there have been a few studies saying it does), can help with cognitive impairment, help heal TBI, and is also highly beneficial for gut related issues. I have undergone about 30 sessions so far (which has cost me a whopping 4K--my savings account hates me but my health is more important). It has been HIGHLY beneficial for my physical symptoms--aches and pains, dizziness, indigestion, and back problems which I had prior to all of this. I have not noticed any cognitive benefits, but to be honest I am trying to be less vigilant when it comes to the cognitive issues as my OCD has latched on to everything--the way I think, feel, interact, even recall memories so I am trying to just let my brain be as it is so to speak. But it has been highly beneficial for physical pain. There have been times when I go in to the chamber in a great deal of physical discomfort, and come out with no pain at all. It has also helped me a great deal with fatigue. Before starting, I was walking incredibly slowly, could not lift things etc. Since then I have been able to get back into exercise, am able to walk 5 or so miles a day, and can fish again without being in physical pain (mental pain is another story).

 

I am only 4 months in with no meds so I have no idea if my pain issues are going to worsen or not. I do know that from when I started, the HBOT has helped relieve a lot of the symptoms so far.

 

I do recommend it, but it is an incredibly expensive and time consuming therapy. Most sessions are 90 minutes and they say to really reap the benefits, you need to go at least three times a week, as the anti-inflammatory effects are not long lasting but are cumulative, so as you continue to go you will have a cumulative anti-inflammatory effect on your system. I am not sure how much of this is marketing related but I have noticed the more I go the more it helps. 

 

In terms of side effects, sometimes when I am in the chamber, I get a bit of visual snow or increased floaters in my vision. Maybe from toxin die off, I don't know. Sometimes,  while in there, if you are already feeling a bit wonky, you can feel even more wonky due to the pressure changes, but that passes once you are out, at least for me.

 

let me know if you have any other questions regarding the therapy. 

 

 

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Noloft

Blue pm,

 

I stoppped the abilify as I was doing better. I did not need it anymore. Once I stopped though, I started using marijuana again, which compounded my psych issues, leading to more medication changes which sent me down the hell hole. 

 

 

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Noloft

Hi all,

 

I am currently suffering from zoloft and concerta withdrawal (at least I think I am). My symptoms are as follows:

 

Emotional numbness, apathy, anhedonia and severe depersonalization

Worsening OCD, severe mood swings

Tremors and shakiness that occur in bouts

Loss of focus, attention span, ability to think or reflect, plan

Generally feeling like I have lost my soul and my will, my personality, my thoughts and my sense of attachment to my favorite fishing gear (fishing was my main reason for life and that is gone now, I swear I an live with all the other stuff if I could get the passion for that back)

Muscle soreness

Crying spells, often random but often tied to a sense of being irreparably broken

Exercise intolerance

Waking up confused, almost delirious

Loss of sense of smell, taste, hearing

tinnitus that occurs in bouts (like a flashbang went off near me)

Visual problems, sensitivity to light

Unable to feel anxiety, fear response. feel frozen in nothingness in a sense

"Blank mind" in the sense that I do not think about day to day activities, my interests, or what I need to accomplish in a given day, etc.

Physical numbing--face, arms and legs seem to lack sensation

Severe PSSD--genital anethesia, anorgasmia, ED (noticing improvements with concentration), PE (also improving, can last longer than 30 seconds now), lack of arousal with visual or emotional stimuli; no libido (I was drugged so young I don't even think I know what a libido is or what it feels like, while on the drugs I was never realy interested in sex but I had my functioning in tact except for libido (hope this is not offensive or too graphic)

Frequent intrusive thoughts about death but also about my life, my past, my symptoms etc.

Auditory hallucinations when trying to sleep or when laying in bed, also, strange visuals at rest when eyes are closed, feels like I am being transplanted int another persons life, like I can see someone else's story laying in my mind when my eyes are closed and it feels like I am there, it is highly disturbing

Memories lacking in emotional charge

Ability to laugh, cry, joke around, but not find any pleasure or enjoyment in doing these things

I can literally feel the weight of my brain in my head, sometimes it feels like it is being squeezed

Bouts of anger and rage that  can't calm myself from, though it doesn't feel like anger or rage because it doesn't seem to be precipitated by anything, and I do not have the physiological effects of it (heart racing, flushed skin, tightness in chest, weight in body, etc.)

 

I started zoloft and concerta when I was young (11) and have been on 200 mg of zoloft for 8 or so year before my "doctor" recommended a fast taper and to be put on viibryd after I told her I was feeling blah. I am 26 now and am drug free for 4 months, alcohol and marijuana free for almost a year. Little did I know that blah feeling was probably the drug and not me. The more I think back, the more I seem t think the reason I started drinking in excess, and smoking pot, was due to the fact that I was being blunted by the medications. I was on these drugs since youth and don't really recall being put on them or how I felt before, though I do have memories that arise now of what emotions felt like and what I felt like as a kid, a teenager etc., and from these memories it seems my brain health had gone drastically down hill since I started taking these medications.

 

I cannot blame them entirely for my current state, as I assume chronic stress, anxiety and depression all have a role to play in levels of anhedonia, brain fog, lack of interest in life, etc. I was not a healthy thinker while on these drugs, but despite that, I still enjoyed being in the company of my friends, fishing (my passion before all of this--I still do it despite this crap), watching entertaining tv etc. I also felt I was more connected to myself and my life/surroundings, though there was always a bit of a disconnect due to my underlying anxiety, depression, OCD, low self esteem.

 

My questions for you all are as follows, as  have had thoughts about all these the last few days:

 

Do my symptoms align with those of someone in withdrawal, or am I just in a "deep depression" as my doctors claim?

Does having past emotional trauma in your life, and having a history of mental health issues, coupled with chronic low self esteem, get in the way of healing from the SSRI damage? Is the nervous system an integral part in the "self" which leads to the feelings of depersonalization during all of this?

Is healing even possible for someone who was drugged as a kid and in the long term and is still struggling with the same issues he was drugged for?

I have been reading a lot of your stories and it seems that many of you struggle with worsened anxiety and fear. My case is the opposite--an inability to feel anxiety or fear in my body. Anyone struggle with this, and does this get better? I miss anxiety, it kept me moving. I also felt more alive when I was anxious. Not so much now.

I dealt with many of the issues listed above while on the medications, made worse coming off. Does this mean healing for me will take even longer since the issues weren't only withdrawal related?

Does having obsessive intrusive thoughts almost all day about my symptoms keep me from healing? I can't control these thoughts from happening, and since I am so numb it is quite easy to just accept them and watch them float by but I question if they will get in the way of my body's repair process. I just feel like you can't heal if your mind is too focused on symptoms and the healing process itself. 

Has anyone felt like they lost their soul and has that come back for you at all?

Has anyone gotten their cognition and memory back? I was an economics major at Boston College, graduated four years ago with a 3.5 GPA, now I can barely hold down my job in insurance.

My mind beats me up over not feeling good, though I try to accept these thoughts and not let them affect me as I know I am not these symptoms and they are not my fault. But I have always been a perfectionist, so this makes acceptance hard. Will this compound my withdrawal related problems and lead to slower healing? How important is acceptance in the healing process?

Has anyone been able to find purpose throughout all of this? Has anyone been able to get interest in their passions back?

Am I hurting myself by trying to engage in favorite activities, since my mind is so focused on my inability to enjoy them?

Anyone deal with existential thoughts all the time due to the emotional numbness, anhedonia, etc.? Like, what is purpose? Who am I? WHAT AM I?

 

I am sorry for the barrage of questions. Just a lot of things going through my mind right now.

I have been praying for myself every night before bed. I think tonight I will start praying for you all as well. 

 

PS-I am set to embark on a wilderness program in November. I do not think this will help with my withdrawals, but I am hoping it can help me reconnect with life, nature, and maybe, myself and my purpose. At least a little bit.

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Altostrata

Hello, Noloft. I moved your post here as it is very specific to your case.

 

Yes, your symptoms are very similar to those suffered by many people here. You can assume most are a consequence of the drugs.

 

Many of your questions are answered in topics listed here:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

What we see is that people very gradually heal, in a very frustrating pattern of waves and windows.

 

Since withdrawal syndrome arises from a nervous system that is stressed, further stress from negative emotions, such as obsessive worrying over symptoms, does not do it any good. Learning how to manage a tendency to health anxiety is a skill that will serve you well the rest of your life. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help with this, as can learning meditation and guiding your mind away from such thoughts.

 

You might also want to ask the community your existential questions in the Finding Meaning forum.

 

 

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thecowisback

i have a lot of your symptoms after doing a too-fast taper of prozac. my doctor says i have depression and wants me to go back on the meds but i'm still thinking about that one.(i took it for my ocd in the first place, not depression)  i've been off for 17 months now and i don't really want to throw that healing time away - i just want to feel normal again. you've come off some very strong drugs in a very short time so you are going to feel horrible for a while. others here are better at giving advice than me  so i'll let them do it but you are not alone and everyone here has been through something similar xxxx 

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Noloft

Hey all just wanted to let you know I have noticed minor improvements in sexual functioning over the last month or two. I take this as a win right now as not much else he improved as of yet. However, I have begun to notice that my physical symptoms aren’t the same as they were a few weeks ago—for example, no more hives and allergic like reactions, no more burning skin, but now I have nerve like pain in my legs and difficulty with putting pressure on my feet. I assume this is a sign of certain parts of my nervous system figuring itself out. My fatigue is still very unrelenting, which makes it hard to get out and try to improve my depressive state—I am trying to spend time on my boat fishing with friends, an activity I used to greatly enjoy, but the fatigue makes it quite difficult. 

 

I took my first kundalini yoga yoga class today and I felt so good for an hour or so. Still felt like I was completely dissociated and brain damaged, but I couldn’t stop smiling and felt somewhat peaceful. I am going to continue this practice as my instructor, who is also a family friend, said that the benefits of kundalini for the nervous system and organs are numerous. It is also beneficial for freeing up emotional blockages and stress, and I know for a fact I have a ton of that living in my body. 

 

Anyways, I am hanging in there. Working part time at my job right now, staying at home with parents but thinking about getting back to my apartment as sometimes my parents relationship can become a bit too toxic and it adds stress, but I hate being alone with my mind right now. I used to highly value alone time, now I want to be around people constantly—I’m not sure if this is withdrawal related, or just a fear of solitude. 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
13 hours ago, Noloft said:

I took my first kundalini yoga yoga class today and I felt so good for an hour or so. Still felt like I was completely dissociated and brain damaged, but I couldn’t stop smiling and felt somewhat peaceful. I am going to continue this practice as my instructor, who is also a family friend, said that the benefits of kundalini for the nervous system and organs are numerous. It is also beneficial for freeing up emotional blockages and stress, and I know for a fact I have a ton of that living in my body. 

Great news, @Noloft... kundalini strengthens the central nervous system and works on getting the glands stimulated then fully resting them. I've been doing it for over a year and while I am still recovering from a Zoloft ct, I believe kundalini is helping it heal. At least it is showing me non-drug coping skills. I am taking a class "Vitality and Stress" through my studio and already I have a clearing picture of my stressors and more ways to alleviate toxic stress that accumulates in our body like heavy metals.

 

Good on you for doing this.

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jozeff

Hi noloft, good to read you had some minor improvement. I admire your ability to notice them and to describe them. I wish you all the strength in the world from the Netherlands.

 

Have I nice day with some healing for you!

 

Jozeff

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Noloft

Just an update everyone,

 

My symptoms have been out of control with only a few short windows of being in a somewhat better mood and feeling a bit more present, these last a few hours and have only occurred when I am with my friends on my fathers' boat.

 

Psychologically and physically I am still in a very rough spot and struggle with the thought that I may have to endure this suffering for a very long time--both the suffering of withdrawal, coupled with the suffering of underlying OCD and anxiety and now depersonalization. 

 

I keep looking back on the months that led to this state of mind trying to figure out how I got so messed up. I got super duper depersonalization from smoking pot and having a panic attack, but i had been smoking for years without ever having issues other than a bit of agitation sometimes. This panic attack happened after I had attempted a taper a few months before, so I feel that I was in withdrawal already and did not know it, which led to the DP.

 

It feels as if I lost my sense of identity and self, and I often feel trapped in my mind--when I notice this the only thing that helps is distraction. My mother pushes me when I feel I have had enough and tells me that she believes I can have a healthy and full life 

again even though at the moment i am struggling to see that for me when literally everything feels wrong and broken. I feel so handicapped and some days my mind tells me I feel like a dumb baby, which in a way soemtimes feels so true as I am so spaced out, lost, and confused. 

 

I am currently in Rochester MN seeing an HPA-axis specialist at the Mayo clinic to see if I can get answers for some of my physical symptoms, particularly sexual dysfunction, nerve pain, insomnia, visual issues, and autonomic issues with breathing and stamina. I intend to explain to them that all of this started after a fast taper off zoloft. I assume I am going to be given a diagnosis of CFS/Fibromyalgia and told to restart SSRI use though I do not know for sure what the answers will be. I am mainly here out of the request of my psychologist, who thinks i need to get these things looked into and resolved before they can come up with a new plan for getting me better. Unfortunately my team of doctors do not believe that any of these issues can be remnants of my SSRI use, and I feel that I cannot get better until they accept that I was damaged by these drugs and that going back on them may be a very bad idea. I keep telling them I have a highly sensitized nervous system, but they just don't seem to think that SSRI's could cause so much suffering when they have helped others.

 

I have friends in the program I am in who are progressing well on medication and I am jealous that I can't just figure my stuff out and get my life together. It is very hard to do with anhedonia and depersonalization--I sometimes don't even know right from left. All of this stuff has led to a pretty severe case of existential obsessive thoughts, intrusive memories of when I felt better and things were fun and I felt connected to my life and my passions, and what it was like to have interest in things. When I try to fish I almost always have intrusive thoughts about how it used to feel, what it was like to feel emotionally connected to your hobbies, and if I will ever feel good enough again to enjoy fishing or if it is a part of me that i have lost completely.  I almost feel as if I NEED to remember what these things felt like on order to feel them again. Like if I forget what my life was like before all this, I will never be able to recognize when I am out of anhedonia and depersonalization. I am trying my hardest but it doesn't feel like it is enough most days. I know I have potential but I cannot access it. My mother says I need to dig deep and find my strength, but when you don't feel like you are you anymore that is a very difficult task. 

 

Anyways, that is where I am at. I have been practicing kundalini yoga once a week, and restorative yoga once a week. I am now gluten and dairy free, and have consumed more vegetables in the last 3 months than I have in my entire life.  I do not know if I am strong enough to exercise, or if my OCD just tells me I am not. I am working part time in insurance and it is incredibly difficult to do. 

 

This past Saturday I was just so numb and bored and felt so crazy that I HAD to get up and do something to try to get my mind off of it. I went fishing, something I was always able to do and enjoy before all this.  It was difficult as I was still stuck in my head during the activity and I felt out of breath most of the time I was walking, so it was hard to direct my focus on the actual activity. I give myself credit for trying.  

 

I wish there were a program out there that had step by step instructions on how to deal with all of this and how to get into a better place. I know it is all so individualized but I feel there must be some guide we can all use to help heal from dysautonomia, depersonalization and anhedonia.

Edited by SkyBlue
paragraph breaks for readability

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Altostrata
On 7/31/2018 at 9:58 PM, Noloft said:

I made a change with my psychiatrist in 2017 for the zoloft. That change sent me to hell. She told me I could discontinue quickly while tapering onto another drug, which I thought I needed for my "sanity." I have since fired her and am off all medications after being diagnosed with "serotonin syndrome." 

 

Within a week of tapering from 200mg to 150mg and tapering on to another drug, I began experiencing strange symptoms, which, according to my "doctor" have nothing to do with the medication: complete emotional numbness (I struggle with this already due to depression but it is so so much worse now), a deep disconnection from my identity, ego, self, and external environment, random bouts of visual problems, severe memory loss, cognitive issues and fogginess--I feel like I am walking unconsciously, with the only thoughts I am having are intrusive, detached thoughts that don't make sense to me, along with bouts of suicidal ideation and severe and uncontrollable mood swings, an inability to think, reason, rationalize or plan ahead, a lack of spontaneous thoughts, soul crushing anhedonia, akathisia, tremors, numb crying spells with no feeling of sadness underneath, feeling like I am losing my mind, severe depersonalization and derealization, severe insomnia, muscle and joint pain, back pain, complete loss of sexual functioning, generally not feeling alive or like a human being, unable to connect to my environment, friends or family.

 

This does not sound like serotonin syndrome. Why did you and your doctors think you had serotonin syndrome? What combination of drugs were you taking at the time?

 

I am asking because reinstating 1mg Prozac has potential. But we need more detail about your "serotonin syndrome."

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Noloft

Alto,

 

I went to the ER after waking up one morning with an excruciating headache and inability to stand up. The psychiatrist there told me that it sounded like a symptom of too much serotonin--I was on 60 mg of prozac at the time. The doctors told me to stop the drug cold turkey. At this point in time I had no idea what withdrawal syndrome was. It is only since being off all the drugs and getting worse and worse did I begin to look into it. I suspect I was in withdrawal before being put onto prozac, and that being told to stop that drug cold turkey probably has made everything worse. 

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Noloft

Sorry, I meant to say 40 mg prozac

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SkyBlue
23 hours ago, Noloft said:

but they just don't seem to think that SSRI's could cause so much suffering when they have helped others.

 

I encourage you to share (or continue sharing) with the doctors at Mayo how the symptoms coincided with stopping the Zoloft. They may not believe you, but patients deserve doctors who are willing to listen to their lived experience. 

 

That being said, almost zero doctors will acknowledge the physical reality of severe psych drug withdrawal. This thread can be--if not uplifting--helpful: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/2746-what-should-i-expect-from-my-doctor-about-withdrawal-symptoms/?hl=%2Bwhat%2B%2Bdoctors%2B%2Bknow#entry106638

 

 

You said you have friends in your program -- are you currently inpatient psychiatric at Mayo?

 

23 hours ago, Noloft said:

I wish there were a program out there that had step by step instructions on how to deal with all of this and how to get into a better place.

 

This (SA) site isn't a step-by-step program, but it's the best thing going on the web for dealing with this condition, and it contains a wealth of information on getting to a better place. Please visit the Symptoms and Self-Care section; for example, here is a thread on anhedonia: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness/

 

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Noloft

Skyblue,

 

I am currently outpatient in South Florida at Neurobehavioral Institute--a small but relatively well known treatment center for OCD and related anxiety disorders that specializes in CBT/ ERP techniques for depression, OCD, etc. Not sure how CBT can help you feel better when you literally do not feel and are severely depersonalized and messed up, numb to your own thoughts, anhedonic etc. It has made me more functional--gotten me back to work and fishing when I am strong enough, but it has not helped me cope with any of the things going on with me other than my intrusive thoughts. I am at Mayo this week at the request of my lead psych in FL who wants me to get these physical issues looked into.

 

I saw a very intuitive acupuncturist today named Warren King on the way to Mayo. He picked up right away that I am struggling to reignite my "fire" and that right now I am allergic to life and I could not agree more. He did the pulse check thing and said my adrenals are super weak right now (which I already assumed to be the case). It sometimes feel sas if my heart rate never increases, even if I exert myself. This makes offshore fishing very difficult and makes life seem very cruel. Like, its hard enough I can't mentally or emothionally enjoy my favorite activity, now I can barely do it physically. I am not sure how to handle recovering these glands. Everyone tells me sleep, diet, stress reduction and time, but my sleep is awful, I feel frozen in fear mode and don't know how to get out of the freeze, and I am pretty sure my gut is totally out of whack from years of antibiotics so I am not sure how well I am absorbing nutrients. He said it is likely I am also struggling with some parasites and recommended some dietary changes. The first thing he mentioned was Omega 3s. He said I need to meditate 20 mins a day, deep breathing 20 minutes a day, and sun gazing (watching the sunset) for 3 minutes every night. I already do the meditation and breathing but I have no idea what sun gazing is going to do but it probably cannot hurt. He says that in a past life I committed suicide and that I need to relive those feelings in this life and learn from them this time around and live through it so that I can come out stronger on the other side and be able to help others. He believes that somewhere down the line I will be involved in helping struggling teenagers to find their purpose and to find hope when they can't feel any. This struck me as odd but then I remembered a few weeks ago I had offered some insight to this 18 year old kid in a group therapy session who was struggling with finding purpose, so maybe that is the path I am already on. He also mentioned that in a past life I had a deep hatred for Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran church. Which was absolutely crazy because 10 years ago I had an episode with my my mom who wanted to take me to a Lutheran mass while visiting my grandmother, and I had this outrageous passionate outburst about how crummy of a man Martin Luther was because of his hatred for Jewish people. I guess that strong anti Luther position came from a past life, but it was pretty nuts he was able to find that out. So I'm pretty sure his recommendations should be beneficial just based on the Luther thing--I was sold on it.

 

He did recommend a couple of herbs to help with digestion and removal of the parasite he believes I have, though I am not sure if I should take them, or just try them and see what kind of effect they have--is there a general protocol for trying things while in withdrawal and having a sensitized nervous system?

 

I don't know why I am telling you about this it doesn't really seem important or on topic to your post at all. I think I just need some distraction right now because my mind and body do not feel like safe places to reside in at the moment. Thanks for listening.

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PoetJester

Hey Noloft


i have tried some herbal concoctions for parasites in wd.   i had anemia for years  and still suffer from severe fatigue and gastroparesis along with a terrible fecal smell coming from my stomach and lungs, which are signs of parasite infection and a possible partial blockage of my bowels,  so i ate a cup of ground up pumpkin seeds last March mixed in carrot juice and had found clumps and clumps of small 1" clear strands , around 200,   in the toilet the next day.  they were probably small hookworms, it's hard to know.  i have a hard time finding dependable information online and doctors are mostly ignorant or dismissive if you go in complaining of parasites .  i have also taken wormwood supplements with clove and black walnut and found lots of eggs, they looked like vermicelli, along with several clear strands that were likely worms. 

 

Both times, after the pumpkin seeds and wormwood, i noticed a big boost in energy the next day and my food sensitivities (severe after meal sneezing fits) went away , although with the wormwood supplement i developed pretty severe kidney pains after 3 days of taking the supplement, which is not all that uncommon with wormwood.    

 

Poetjester

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Noloft

Thanks for the info poetjester. I’m gonna be looking more into parasites once I get back from the Mayo Clinic. So far, they have found nothing wrong with me. 

 

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Altostrata

Noloft, what is your current daily symptom pattern?

 

On 9/4/2018 at 10:58 AM, Noloft said:

Sorry, I meant to say 40 mg prozac

 

This is a sizable Prozac dosage, which could cause big adverse effects short of serotonin syndrome in someone whose nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal. 1mg Prozac is not likely to cause this reaction -- it's literally 1/40 of that dosage.

 

What did the HPA-axis specialist say about your symptoms? Did anyone give credence to iatrogenic damage?

 

If your symptoms are from withdrawal, and it looks very much like they are, none of the treatments you're seeking will eliminate your symptoms, although you'll always find those non-drug techniques handy.

 

If your symptoms are from withdrawal and you're worrying, quite reasonably, about them, you do not have OCD or depression or anxiety. You have drug withdrawal syndrome. This cannot be treated as though it was a psychiatric disorder.

 

Please read this: What is withdrawal syndrome? , particularly

 

One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

dysautonomia

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Noloft

Alto,

 

No credence to iatrogenic damage despite bringing this up. I have one more day of testing before I get together with the HPA specialist to review all of my results and to go over the results from various departments.  I have undergone autonomic testing screens, adrenal function testing, thyroid testing and an EMG. If everything appears normal, and even if it doesn't , I will revisit the idea of iatrogenic damage with the specialist. THe HPA specialist said she did not know what was causing them. The only person who seemed to actually believe that I know my body better than my doctors do was the NP at the urology department--she wasn't taken aback by my story about how all these wierd things started happening to me after getting off my medications. 

 

I was diagnosed OCD and ADHD at the age of 11, and my OCD was pretty severe to the point where I was not functioning (I don't remember this but this is according to my mother). I was put on zoloft and concerta, and was able to thrive throughout middle school and high school. Though, I do not think I ever was able to develop emotionally or physically because of these medications, and I am angry for that. My psychologist back in FLorida even mentioned this--that sometimes i act like a child, not an adult, and I said no ****, I have been drugged since I was a kid, not able to develop cognitively, emotionally, and physically.  Especially in the sexual area--I don't think I know what a true orgasm feels like and I don't think I ever will. I would just like my functioning to go back to where it was while on zoloft, at least then it felt good enough to actually enjoy the activity. 

 

My history is complicated--I smoked a lot of marijuana and drank a lot of booze over the last ten years while on these medications and also have been through considerable emotional stress---so I am not sure to what extent my mental/emotional symptoms can be tied in to substance abuse and past stressors,  though I suspect healing from substance abuse is similar to the process of healing from antidepressant damage. I am not sure how to heal my nervous system from the effects of years of anxiety, pushing myself, and working very hard without taking a lot of time for myself.

 

I do know, that despite having OCD and anxiety, and being a drug user (sober for 1 year now), that I had NO issues with breathing, walking, thinking clearly, debilitating episodes of intrusive thoughts, inability to stop crying, inability to feel emotion even the bad ones, not feeling like I am me anymore, muscle pain and fatigue, headaches, altered sense of consiousness, loss of interest in hobbies, anhedonia, sexual dysfunction, etc. until I came off of the zoloft.

 

I believe that what I am suffering from is my underlying condition (OCD), some depression, a bit of marijuana induced depersonalization (I smoked a joint while  unaware I was in WD and felt like I was having some kind of awakening, my back began to hurt, I felt this energy rush to my head, and then suddenly everything seemed different, and I panicked and got messed up)  and a severe case of PWS.

 

My symptoms vary on a given day.  For example, today, I was in a clear enough place to go have lunch with a friend and to then go to dinner with my mother and some family friends, and was able to walk a bit in nature without feeling like my head was going to explode and like I was going to pass out. In some ways, I was myself--joking around, conversing and getting involved with other people.  However, despite feeling physically ok, I still felt kind of insane in the head, detached from myself, confused about my thoughts and generally feeling numb, but like less uncomfortable in that numbness than I usually am, if that makes any sense. Just not feeling right in the head or body, feeling like I am not me, like my voice doesn't sound like mine anymore, like I am watching my voice sometimes. Luckily I actually was able to have a nice conversation with a friend of mine from college who I haven't seen in a few years, and I was able to laugh and things, but it just doesn't feel right--I am grateful however for the reprieve in physical symptoms, and the reprieve in the dark mood state. I hated the feeling of recalling our past experiences during our studies in London, and not having any kind of emotional connection to them. I really, really hate that feeling. I still feel foggy and unclear, less present and removed, but in much less physical and mental pain. Also, as I type this I noticed that I had no problems today with my vision!  Unfortunately, now i have an awful headache. It just feels like if it isn't one thing it's another thing. I have had other days like this, where I am able to go fishing with my friends or go out on my dad's boat--still dealing with physical issues and fatigue but to a much lesser extent. These days are infrequent, maybe once a week tops. All other days are like the days below.

 

On my worst day:

I wake up around 9-10 AM (granted I was able to sleep the night before). My mind is racing with thoughts as soon as I wake up, nothing important, but it feels like I am watching them. I try to get out of bed, and my legs and feet hurt as soon as they touch the ground. I feel sore and stiff, like a truck ran me over five times. My legs feel like lead. As soon as I stand up, I get lightheaded and dizzy, and sensitive to light. The sensitivity to light tends to wax and wane, and on days like this, I need to be extra careful standing up.  It takes me a while to get to the bathroom and get in the shower.  Sometimes, things will look like they are moving. My head is pounding and throbbing like the worst hangover ever. My mind will race for a bit in the morning and I have trouble identifying what is going on in my mind--I feel unable to think about what it is I need to do in a given day, like what do I need to accomplish today, etc. This is a feeling that has not changed in months--I feel "blank" in my mind when it comes to the things I should be doing or accomplishing.  I feel very fatigued. In the morning, generally, my mood is at its lowest--it is incredibly dark, and the best way I can describe it is feeling like I am in hell. I get a couple hours where I am a bit more clear, able to work for a bit, but then sometimes the dark thoughts will return, telling me I am insane, comparing myself to my past, looking for answers in my head, telling me I cannot feel this way anymore, that i can't go on this way--when this happens i get an uncontrollable urge to cry and it seems I am unable to talk myself down from this urge, unable to center myself at all--it feels like I am panicking, but at the same time, it doesn't--my body doesn't tense up, my heart doesn't start to race--just my mind and my emotional affect. I have never felt anything like this before and this did not start until after coming off the medications. Sometimes, these crying bursts last for 30 seconds, sometimes 20 minutes. I am lucky if I am at home and my mom can talk to me and help me get it together. If I am at work I struggle--I have to go outside or to my truck for a bit.

While I am at work, there are times where I am able to focus a bit better, but generally i feel slow and lethargic in my brain capacity. I struggle to get through things like I used to, and often forget what it was I was doing, while I am doing it. Generally speaking, while all this is going on, my vision is hypersensitive and everything looks a bit strange and off--like my dad's face (he is also my boss) just doesn't look right to me anymore, and looking at the computer is difficult without wearing my sunglasses. It seems the cognitive impairment never lifts and I am stuck in my head, looking inward instead of focused on the external environment, even when I am a bit more clear and getting things done. It is like the state of "flow" is impossible. My dad will come up to my desk and ask me something, and I get these strange feelings where I am behind my eyes, and am not participating in the conversation I am actually in with him. Over the course of the day, I have three or four more episodes of crying spells, or possibly, an episode in which I begin to feel agitated and irritable, frustrated with whoever I am around for no reason. I cannot feel this feeling in my body, it is just a mental sense but it causes me to need to get up and move or be angry at someone, and I feel out of control. But this eventually passes and I am back to the baseline severe depression and depersonalization and pain. This happens several times throughout the day. During the day, I notice waves of lethargic speaking, stuttering, and difficulty with recall--I was always sharp, not this dull. After work (or therapy depending on the day of the week), I return home to my parents' place where I am staying right now. I have an apartment, but I just hate being alone all the time with this going on, I think I feel safer near my parents and my brothers who I love very much, but can't seem to express this love to the on days like this, in which any kind of positive feeling or sense seems to be replaced by tears. I will tell my brother I love him and this makes me feel sad, not happy, for some reason. I eat dinner, sometimes making something for myself, but it brings me no real satisfaction. Normally, I would spend my evening out fishing. But since I am too fatigued to fish, or know that if I go, I will be too fatigued to go to work the next day, I usually just peruse these boards or watch tv, even though I am bored either way. At this point in the evening, I lack a sense of tiredness, almost like it is the morning. I wake up feeling like it is time to go to bed, and when it is bed time, I feel like I should have just woken up. Around 9, I will sit in my massage chair and try to knit or something (I have taken up knitting during all of this) but the nerves i my hands seem to feel like they are being pinched, and soon, this feeling begins to migrate throughout my body.  By 10:30-11, I meditate, then try to go to sleep, usually in less physical discomfort, but often in severe emotional pain. Never content. Now, dealing with nocturia--the last four nights i have gone 5+ times in one night, only to let a little bit out, never a lot of urine but once its out I feel I need to go again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noloft

Hey all today I found myself in a fairly decently mood for most of the day. I was able to get about four hours of work done and felt a bit less foggy, then i was able to go fishing with a friend and found myself in a good mood most of the time. A better mood than I have had in a while. When I am in this mood state I finding it easier to cope with the loss of my former self. I find it easier to accept that I don’t enjoy things the same way as I used and that I don’t have that emotional connection to things right now. I actually noticed some happy thoughts going through my mind today, and I had a few moments where I remembered something funny and smiled, this hasn’t happened in a while.  Still struggled with some pain but was able to brush it off a lot easier today. Also went for a 30 minute walk tonight, and I’m laying in bed right now feeling somewhat peaceful.

 

I have had a few days like today in the past and I find that when I get better days, my mind likes to play memories of the day before when I was struggling, or of a more difficult time in withdrawal instead o this time letting me have some total reprieve. I hate that this happens because it makes it hard to enjoy the moment  but I am trying to accept the fact that my mind and I do not get along with each other right now but that this is not a permanent thing and is likely due to withdrawal and OCD. Has anyone else noticed symptoms like this? How do you handle them? 

 

Does anyone one else have problems with intrusive thoughts about comparing? My mind likes to notice symptoms, or the return of positive things, and compare it to the past. I don’t know if this is my ocd or just some symptom of withdrawal type thinking patterns. Any advice on this?

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Noloft

Hey all,

 

For those of you who suffer from fatigue/exhaustion and central sensitization issues (I generally feel physically uncomfortable most of the time), what has helped you the most to overcome these problems during withdrawal and to see healing? 

 

I am  an avid fisherman. My dream for the last ten years has been to set the record for most species of fish ever caught. In order to achieve this I need some stamina back as I need to be able to fish more than one day a week without feeling like I’m gonna die for a few days after. I need my ability to recover back, and I’m concerned it’s gone forever and I’m stuck with managing fatigue problems on top of ocd, depression and depersonalization for the rest of my life. I am 26, and was “generally healthy” from a western medicine standpoint before all this started despite having anxiety and stress related issues. I did struggle with alcohol and marijuana abuse for a few years but have been sober for a year now and have changed my lifestyle (diet, sleep habits, etc.) considerably. 

 

Any  advice for getting back to a somewhat  active lifestyle? Is it time? Do I exercise even though it hurts?  Not sure what to do here. I am 10 months into withdrawal and 3 months off all medications.

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peng

I see you have been on psychotropic drugs since you were a child, Noloft.

Wow!  Why does "America" with so many facets admired here in the UK and Europe, come up with such dumb solutions?  (Trouble is, since the good stuff like the Westerns and Coca Cola of my generation's childhood, we have tended to copy most of what you offer.)

 

Speaking as an kindof outdoorsman for most of my life - when health permitted:

The trouble with taking antidepressants is that extreme fatigue, lethargy and countless other mental and bodily discomforts are really common symptoms for almost all.

I shudder to think how many times the words "fatigue" and insomnia" come up on this site.

 

In my 73 years, I have had lengthy spells of feeling fit.  Firstly, before I became ill at 32, and then for intermittent, but considerable periods since. 

However, when increasing, decreasing,  going cold turkey, or even staying on a constant dose that used to "work", the aforementioned symptoms - and countless others - will seriously limit many of us in our abilities to carry out our life's ambitions.

 

Two solutions to the problem, IMO, are:

i - an effective partial, or complete, withdrawal from psychotropic medication, or,

ii - the taking of a therapeutic dose (MOD NOTE:  please see following post) of a medication that allows you to function as you wish to, without significant restrictive side effects.

 

IMO, some of us, depending on, e.g, our earlier life experiences, may find it extremely difficult or impossible to stop taking the prescribed medication.  One has to weigh up the risk/benefit one's self.

 

Youth is still on your side, though, Noloft, so best wishes to you.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note

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MMMM

Hi Noloft, yes, I can totally relate to that.

 

I will sometimes fluctuate between feeling all the bad things (severe nostalgia for my 'former' self, comparing, etc) and then feeling ok, hopeful that I will recover, etc within the span of a day (happened to me today).

 

This thread has helped me a lot, you might want to check it out: 

 

I think the really hard thing about all of this is the fear that it is permanent and all the upset around that.

 

In terms of the numbness, I have that too and find it terrifying.

 

I am doing a brain training practice where each night I write out simple pleasures from the day (which is sort of like a gratitude list, with permission to not *feel* the gratitude). And then I look back over it, and it helps me to appreciate the little things so I can build on them.

 

I have come to think of it as my brain/emotions went from the fight or flight response, over into the playing dead response (like an animal's survival strategy). And I think that I am going to have to get really diligent and focused on calming my nervous system and then practicing opening up space to allow the emotions to unfold again. The hard thing is, like so many people mention here, I think it is going to take a lot of time, and not be the immediate fix/back to normal change that I desperately want.

 

Anyway, I really relate to what you are going through (I am going through a lot of it too), and wish you all the best.

 

 

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ChessieCat
13 hours ago, peng said:

the taking of a therapeutic dose

 

Alto's post:

 

On 5/4/2016 at 9:32 AM, Altostrata said:

"Therapeutic dose" means absolutely nothing. It's an arbitrary number from the drug companies.

 

Arbitary = based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

 

A better option is to find the lowest effective dose.

 

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ChessieCat
On 9/16/2018 at 5:11 AM, Noloft said:

For those of you who suffer from fatigue/exhaustion and central sensitization issues (I generally feel physically uncomfortable most of the time), what has helped you the most to overcome these problems during withdrawal and to see healing? 

 

Start with gentle exercise and build up gradually, healthy eating including leafy green vegetables, having a good sleep routine and trying to get enough sleep.

 

exercise-do-more-do-less-do-nothing-what-worked-for-you

 

You might want to get a full blood test to see if you are low in anything.

 

On 11/3/2011 at 9:29 AM, Altostrata said:

Diagnosis of subclinical B12 deficiency

 

Low B12 may not show up in a normal blood test. It may be circulating in the blood because it's not being properly absorbed in the gut.

 

...

 

B12 deficiency can be "subclinical," meaning blood tests are normal, and still be very serious. In its extreme state, B12 deficiency is anemia. Symptoms of subclinical B12 deficiency include leg aches and pains, confusion, depression, anxiety, tiredness.

 

 

vitamin-b12-essential-for-mood-nervous-system

 

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try them one at a time and start with a small dose to see how you react.

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Noloft

Thanks for the replies.

 

i have been taking omega 3s both before withdrawal and while in it, I haven’t noticed any adverse reaction. I recently started using natural calm magnesium and it has helped me be able to get to sleep. According to the app I use, sleep cycle, I do get into deep sleep, though not for an entire night. Hopefully this improves. 

 

I am am currently walking daily. I had started weight training prior to all this but had to stop when I realized I was not well anymore. 

 

I invest loads of kale on a daily basis, and tons of green drinks. I know for a fact I am low in B12 as I had that tested, but have not tried any supplemtation for that. I also am low in iodine, and try to take kelp capsules when I can.

 

i am only 3 months off all medications although I suspect my nervous system has been out of whack since 2012 when I made an adjustment that’s did not go well and stabilized on my original dose. The **** hit the fan last year when I came off of Zoloft and concerta too quickly while trying to taper onto something else after developing pretty significant depersonalization from marijuana use. I am sober one year now and don’t intend to ever go back to alcohol or drugs even when I regain my health. 

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peng
13 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Alto's post:

 

 

Arbitary = based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

 

A better option is to find the lowest effective dose.

 

 

I know what I mean by therapeutic in my own text.

 

Nobody owns an exclusive right to the use of words or phrases that another may wish to use to express something.

 

Some "authorative" people on here believe a doctrine that teaches that the Earth is 6,000 years old.  Many would wonder about their credibility to offer advice to the now mostly and increasingly, secular population.

 

 

 

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Noloft

For anyone following my story (and this is also for me so I can come back to this) I wanted to post an update on some things I have noticed are better these last few weeks.

 

Physical symptoms--no strange allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, foot or leg pain with standing in the morning. Fatigue levels WAY down--I have been able to fish consecutive days the last few weekend swithout feeling like I cannot move the next day (being 26 I am happy for this) and I attribute this to my strict sleeping regimen of bedtime by 11 and getting at least 8 hours in bed. Much less nerve pain and sensitivity these past few weeks. 

 

Insomnia--much, much better these last few weeks. No more nocturia since being in Minnesota. This is a godsend. Sleep seems better since beginning melatonin 10mg at night and have not noticed any reactions to that. 

 

Mental symptoms--I honestly did not notice these disappeared until I remembered them having even happened to me. The last few weeks i have not had a single auditory hallucination at night, nor have I had strange visuals with my eyes closed when trying to fall asleep. A lot less "brain farty" thoughts that don't make sense to me.

 

Areas with not much improvement-

 

Physical--most of my body still feels numbish, especially by genitalia. A general lack of ability to feel thirst or hunger, though my appetite is healthy (as opposed to beginning this journey I did not want to touch food). SOme days my stomach is a bit more sensative than others. Lots of strange feelings in my brain. Not sure if they are "zaps" but I get these crawling sensations in my head at night, along with pressure behind my eyes and in my head.

 

Psychological--not much improvement on what I cannot control, but a decent amount of improvement in my OCD. Have been using Shaun O'Connor's guide to depersonalization and have found his take on things very helpful. I have been treating my dp less like brain damage and more of a symptom of my mind not being able to cope with the rapid changes in neurochemistry it underwent in 2017 (smoking weed certainly did not help). I also wonder if this is why my body is numb--I had pretty bad back pain in 2017 before withdrawal and my personality type caused me to react to it with anxiety rather than calmness and I think that precipitated alot of the acute stress I went through in 2017 leading to changes and then withdrawal. In this regard I also sometimes wonder, if I am doomed with depersonalization in some degree for the rest of my life, since my mind has always been a fearful one. I do not know how to "feel safe" really. I get these concerns that my dp will never go away, because if it did, then I would feel so much pain (physical and mental) it would be unbearable. I realize this thought makes no sense, and I challenge it with the fact that I am pretty much in unbearable pain right now of a different nature, and I am still here, dealing with it. Still getting a lot of spirals and crashing with hopelessness, despair, suicidal ideation on some days. I do not know if this is me or withdrawal.

 

Getting fairly decent at staying busy and changing the channel as much as possible. I just asked my dad to give me back some of my previous responsibilities at work, to keep my mind more occupied and my attention off of myself as much as possible.

 

 

 

I can laugh, and cry, and look away from embarrassing and gross moments of things on tv, but the emotional connection is not there. I can land a big fish and know it makes me happy because I smile, but I cannot feel that smile. The disconnect is severe.  Sometimes it feels like there is a psychological barrier between my mind and my body's ability to feel, and I can feel that barrier sometimes. It's such a messed up way to feel and live, and no one I am close to understands what that is like other than my brother who has his own problems with depression and depersonalization (he has dealt with many of these emotional symptoms his whole life but not at the result of medication, but I am pretty sure he is doing better than I am at feeling alive since he is out living his life).  

 

Identity confusion is pestering me. I am not sure if this is a result of depersonalization, but I just feel estranged from my old patterns of thinking. I often find myself in situations I have been in before (mostly hobby related) and I find myself remembering what it was like when these things felt a part of me, not just something I do with my free time, and I remember the thought patterns I used to have when I would do things or want to do things. I feel as if I exist with a severe lag. Like my body and part of my mind are doing things, but the totality of the experiences is not there. I hope I can one day get this back.

 

Anhedonia is still severe. Some would say I am not anhedonic because I can laugh, but I do not feel pleasure when I laugh, and the fact that I have to search for a feeling that should just naturally be there is super messed up. I do find myself some days having non anhedonic thoughts--for example, today, after going fishing, I thought it would be nice to go get a sub from one of my favorite sandwich shops. I did not feel the desire to do it, I just had the thought . It is very strange to have inconsistent patterns of thought. Like my mind is a new mind on a daily basis and I never know what to expect.

 

I worry the anhedonia is permanent to an extent. I have always had a degree of it due to my underlying anxiety disorder and the stress it has caused me. I know stress changes the brain but I am not sure if the effects of chronic stress can be reversed. This sometimes makes me feel hopeless.

 

Lots of other strange psychological things happening still, TONS of earworms. I can't listen to anything without it getting stuck in my damn head, and then I just watch it in my mind on loop because of the depersonalization. Really frustrating.

 

Severe PSSD. Some physiological improvement, but my mind doesn't seem to be involved in my sexuality at all. Makes sexual release frustrating, though I still try to engage in release as I don't want to get too much stagnant energy in my body. I feel asexual, unable to fantasize. Feel complete loss of sexuality mostly and not very hopeful this will come back without going back on some kind of medication, which I do not want to do and refuse to do for now. 

 

 

I am trying to minimize my time spent on the forums and engage in life as much as possible. I feel healing does not happen reading blog posts, and I can only get so much from the internet. I must do my best to stay engaged in my life and do what normally would be done in order to help myself (with some additional self care along the way). I am doing yoga thrice weekly, just found a great accupuncturist and will be starting that. Hoping she can bring some life to me. I spend my weekends in the everglades, bass fishing alone or with friends. I feel this is a good way to help my nervous system. I am not sure how being in nature helps, but it can sometimes get me feeling less depressed, despite everything that is going on.

 

 

Good luck everyone, keep on chuggin hopefully one day we will all get to where we want to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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