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Noloft: trying to take control of my life


Noloft

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Hey again Noloft

 

i saw you were up here in Minnesota for a while.  Did you get to fish at all, while you were here?   Walleye fishing is our state past time with Minnesota's nickname being "The Land of 10,000 Lakes".  You basically, get married, find a job and take up fishing for Walleye.  i used to live in the Southeastern portion of the state in Wabasha which is small river-town on the Mississippi, and did a lot of shore fishing for striped bass, walleye, and smallmouth bass many years ago.  This was around 2002-2003.  The river around there besides having excellent shore-fishing, is also surrounded by huge bluffs and is a major nesting area for Bald Eagles.  Wabasha is also home to the National Eagle Center, which is a small museum devoted to eagles and that occasionally rehabilitates injured eagles.  

 

i had the fishing bug too growing up.  i didn't like school much as a kid, but fishing was always one thing i would look forward to.  When i was a child,  my grandmother had owned a cabin on a small lake in Western Wisconsin, about an hour away from Minneapolis where my family lived, that we would go for a couple weekends each summer.  those 3 day trips were the highlights for me every year- just anywhere that wasn't in the suburbs.  We never had a working boat at my grandmother's cabin so it was mostly just fishing off the dock for crappies and sunfish and the occasional bass or small northern pike, but still it was the one time a year where i would actually get up before sunrise in anticipation of going down to the dock and going fishing.  It was mostly crappies, that i would go after, with different colors of Mr. Twister lures. 

 

i haven't been fishing in about 10 years now, but when i stopped zoloft and zyprexa in 2014, and began having sleep problems, i started doing volunteer lake shore clean up (there's a 900 acre lake one block from my apartment complex) where i would spend a few hours each day picking trash out of nearby lakes and shorelines as a way of staying busy, since sitting in an apartment with insomnia and fatigue is pretty tormenting.  On these garbage picks, i began a collection of rapala floating lures and fishing bobbers that i would find in weed beds or along the shore.  My fishing bobber collection is pretty extensive now and with all the rapala lures, i end up cutting off the treble hooks from, and turning into key chains to give away to people i know.

 

anyways,    glad to see you are at least sleeping better even if the anhedonia is still a problem.  i think a lot of us have that disconnect or else a problem with sort of watching ourselves do things in wd as opposed to actually doing things.    

 

Poetjester   

 

Ps (if you ever find yourself up in MN again, you should probably try fishing up on Rainy Lake sometime.  it's on the Canada/Minnesota border and has some of the better scenic fishing in the state.  It's pretty famous for it's Walleye/Smallmouth Bass/Northern Pike fishing.  I went there twice on week long fishing trips to friend's cabins about 20 years ago.  Really beautiful place.  )

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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Yesterday and today have been very tough. I believe I am in a pretty severe wave of mental symptoms. Deep, deep depression the last two days, along withdark thoughts of what’s the point of continuing, suicidal ideation. My mind starts thinking about killing myself but I don’t want to die. I don’t understand why my mind starts going to these places. Some days I don’t have suicidal ideation at all and then other days it seems like my mind is a broken record and it’s the only thing going through my head. All  I could do was try to work and keep myself busy when this happens but I feel like a prisoner in my mind when this is going on and I can’t think of anything else due to blankness. It is very scary to feel like this and makes me  sometimes question whether or not I need to go back on medication, despite having a sense that it will be very bad to do so. This morning I woke up feeling this awful sense of rage and anger for no reason and I took it out on my poor mother who is just trying to help me the best way she can but I feel like the littlest thing sets me off when I am like this. She told me not to let my ocd get me stuck on how I’m feeling and I just blew up on her about how this isn’t my ocd and it’s impossible to not get stuck on how I’m feeling when it is engulfing me on a daily basis. I don’t want to be the person I am when this happens but I feel no control over any of this at all and trying to choose how I respond to people is often the last thing on my mind in any given situation. 

 

The only consolation I had today was a brief 20 minute period of motivation and calmness at work but that was it. I went from extreme rage, to anger, to “calmness” then back to feeling like a prisoner in my mind and panicked,   to severe depression and crying, then back to just baseline depression over the course of a day. All of this stuff feels like it is hitting me so fast, like one minute last year my life was fine and now I am in this black hole of dissociation, depression and other crazy mental symptoms.

 

I am trying to be strong but it is very difficult on days like these. 

 

I do do not know how I am working and socializing though all of this and maintaining my friendships through all of this. I must believe deep down that this is just a phase of my life and not the rest of it because I constantly question why I keep going on like this and coming up short with answers. Yet I am still here. 

 

I am am hoping tomorrow will bring some reprieve from this maelstrom of pain and torment. I constantly have thoughts that if one more bad thing shows up that’ll be it and I will call it-sort of catastrophizing in a way and my mind expecting things to get worse. 

 

How does one one recover their mind from all this? How will I ever be the person I once was? Will that ever even happen....

 

so frustrated today. 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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45 minutes ago, Noloft said:

Yesterday and today have been very tough. I believe I am in a pretty severe wave of mental symptoms. 

 

 

Hi Zoloft,

 

Yes, it sounds like you are in a bad wave. I'm sorry to hear that. And you are still here, existing. That is what is important.

 

Make sure you have resources if it becomes a crisis situation. I deal with withdrawal-induced suicidality on an extremely regular basis--it's not *me* that's feeling that way, but the brain is so riddled at that point that it's hard to separate it and it feels really real. During that time, I have to rely on others (if I'm able to reach out) who promise me that I'll get better. Honestly, I don't tell many people that I'm having SI, just that I'm feeling very very low and need help. Keep some numbers handy, like the 741-741 crisis text line. There is a whole thread on these resources here on SA. 

 

How does one recover? Well, we do recover. Very slowly. 

 

Does your mom understand withdrawal, or know a bit about what you're going through (and that it's bc of Zoloft etc)? I've found that it helps for family to know this, so that they understand what might be going on.

Of course, it's not an excuse to treat people badly, but that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about (temporary) neurological damage that can make people act in uncharacteristic ways. 

 

It's beyond frustrating, and I totally feel your pain. We all understand, here. Hang in there. Reach out as needed, take care of yourself, and keep posting here. 

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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Sky,

 

i dont think i can I put what I am experiencing in words! I try to explain to my mother what is happening to me. She is the only one who is really willing to consider this may be due to the drugs and not entirely my mental health issues. Even then I don’t think she truly understands the nature of what I am going through. In my rant this morning I tried to explain how awful it feels to feel like a stranger in your mind and body, that depression does not cause oneself to lose their sense of identity, that drugs do that. But at the same time, having to deal with my original illness (OCD) which is off the rails right now due to the withdrawal and dissociation. To feel like a walking body without a soul and all that is left is the obsessive part of my brain which I can’t quiet down due to anhedonia and emotional numbness.  

 

On  top of that, I am working 25-30 hours a week despite not really feeling well enough to do that. My therapist who my parents sent me to says I won’t get well doing nothing and that I need to contribute to society. I know I do, but I also know that my body and mind have taken a huge hit and I sometimes think no stress is the route to healing. At the same time, I am not so well off that I cannot work—my brain fog is not so bad anymore and my recall is well enough to the point where I can get through my normal tasks relatively efficiently, I just don’t want to do them and find it purposeless right now due to anhedonia. 

 

I should mention I am culpable in all of this to an extent as part of what I am going thru is marijuana related. A degree of my dissociation is a result of a bad pot experience similar to the one oskcajga had (if you are familiar with his partial success story). However I do not think this would have happened to me had I not been in withdrawal. I had smoked pot for a long time and despite it making me a bit more anxious and giving me a bit of a racing heart beat for a while, it never caused me to have such an intense period of fear and dissociation which I am still stuck in and fear I will be in for a very long time. 

 

I don’t have a lot of emotional support from my brothers. My youngest brother is 16 and I do not want to burden him with this at such a young age. My mom told me he  often asks her  “what is wrong with Chris” because he has seen me so unstable and knows what I was like before. It kind of breaks my heart and I don’t want him to worry about me too much at such an impressionable age so I try to keep what is going on with me away from him as much as possible and when I am with him I try to enjoy myself as much as possible and act normal as much as I can. I take him fishing a lot because we are a family of fisherman and it is something we always enjoyed doing together. 

 

My other brother is 24 and just moved to Austin. He has his own problems with ocd, depression and depersonalization but he has had all of these his whole life. He tells me he never had an identity or ego or sense of self. He seems much happier than I am. I expect this is a case of you don’t know what you could have had if you never had it. In my case, I had my struggles but also had a sense of self, emotional connection and an identity but it has dissolved throughout all of this and I basically have no more personality and am confused about how to act.

 

he also does not have PSSD and anhedonia. and has a healthy sex life. I am 26, never have had a relationship or a sexual encounter because I never had much of a sex drive, but at least I had the capability for sexual interaction. Now I don’t and fear Ill never know what life’s greatest pleasure feels like. This I could live with, if I didn’t have anything else to deal with I could accept this, but the fact I cannot feel anything at all towards anything or anyone makes it unbearable sometimes and my only escape is work because it keeps my mind occupied. Not even fishing can get me going and that was like heroin for me my whole life. 

 

my dad has no clue what this is like. He thinks I am just depressed and obsessive (to be fair, i am both of these things right now)  and blindly listens to doctors and flat out told me he has no regrets putting me on medication because doctors recommended it to him and that I am not a doctor and I need to trust them. I don’t know how I could ever trust a psychiatrist after what I have been through and am going through. I love my dad but he has never been very good with connecting emotionally but he has provided me with a great life (paying for education, lots of family trips and other opportunities which I would like to get back to enjoying).

 

My family is very dysfunctional on an emotional level and always has been. A few years ago, my mother and I would get into extreme arguments over her perception of my drinking problem and my late sleeping patterns. She yells about everything. It has been better now since I have become so ill. I think she feels a sense of guilt for putting me on medication and is doing her best to help me. Our relationship for the most part is much better now, but it only happened at the expense of my mental and physical health. She is trying her best to be supportive and to push me to keep living my life. She’s my alarm clock. Most mornings the despair is so bad I cannot get out of bed myself, until I hear her coming as I know she will be upset if I don’t get moving—deep down I know I need to get up and eat but it’s hard to find the strength when you feel insane. Sometimes I think I may have cptsd or something from the years of dysfunction I have put up with. 

 

I get my emotional support from my close friend Chad, who has struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time. He is open to my ideas about meds despite him being on them and he believes that withdrawal does exist and doctors are ignorant to the difficulty of coming off of medications. So he listens to my rants about what I am going through mentally and physically. He also tells me it will get better, that I am not doomed to a life of misery. I try to believe him but it is hard. He said for 8 years he lived with no emotions and never thought he would recover (meds helped him get his emotions back on track, but for me they took them away). 

 

Sorry for the Long answer for such a short question.

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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Noloft, did you CT the Zoloft? Did I miss your medication history? 

2009- started lexapro at 10mg, could not manage so went down to 5 mg a couple weeks later I think 

(somewhere along the lines I dropped to 2.5mg not actually sure when)

2014 summer- CT’d 2.5mg

2015 winter- reinstated lexapro 2.5mg

2017 dec- CT’d lexapro 2.5 mg

2018 beginning of may- reinstated lexapro 2.5mg- stopped CT after 6 days because of extreme adverse reaction and side effects 

2018 end of may In hospital- 2 doses of 10 mg Prozac, 1 dose  remeron 7.5mg, a couple doses of vistaril, klonopin not sure dosage and 1.5 weeks of beta blockers 

 

In addition may 2018- used Xanax .0125mg prn maybe 2-3 times a week for about 2-3 weeks 

 

last p drug  was .0125mg Xanax May 31st 2018

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Also, I’ve been struggling with suicidal ideation recently. I understand what you’re going through and I want you to know you are not alone and all of us will get thru this someday! I do really believe life is transient and we will find relief and feel better again. Though, I sometimes wonder if things don’t get much better in the future months I might have to try reinstating because the suicidal ideation is hard to deal with. I believe all of our stories are different but we will all persevere one way or another. And when we do find relief we will appreciate it on a whole other level and I’m excited and looking forward to that day. 

2009- started lexapro at 10mg, could not manage so went down to 5 mg a couple weeks later I think 

(somewhere along the lines I dropped to 2.5mg not actually sure when)

2014 summer- CT’d 2.5mg

2015 winter- reinstated lexapro 2.5mg

2017 dec- CT’d lexapro 2.5 mg

2018 beginning of may- reinstated lexapro 2.5mg- stopped CT after 6 days because of extreme adverse reaction and side effects 

2018 end of may In hospital- 2 doses of 10 mg Prozac, 1 dose  remeron 7.5mg, a couple doses of vistaril, klonopin not sure dosage and 1.5 weeks of beta blockers 

 

In addition may 2018- used Xanax .0125mg prn maybe 2-3 times a week for about 2-3 weeks 

 

last p drug  was .0125mg Xanax May 31st 2018

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Fighter33,

 

i agree with you I believe that once life returns to being somewhat normal and my brain goes back to having run of the mill ocd and not severe depression, dissociation that I will never take another day of my life for granted ever again. 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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Today was weird. 

 

Woke up feeling like I got hit by a truck. Felt like I was exhausted. Made it from bed to couch and just laid there for a few hours.  I felt physically and mentally drained yet my

mind continued to race and kind of felt like I was half awake and half asleep. I had wanted to go into the office this morning and catch up on some things but it just wasn’t in the cards. I assume I felt this way after being in the Everglades yesterday afternoon bass fishing for a few hours with a friend must have taken a toll on me physically. 

 

I finally  had to get off the couch and so something because the pain of just sitting with my mind right now is sometimes unbearable. I just have this instinctual feeing now that I need to busy somehow, that I can’t be alone with my head. I felt this way when I got home yesterday-just a general sense of fear of being alone with my mind. 

 

Made it it to work around 1 today and wasn’t pretty productive despite feeling like my mind and soul were somewhere else completely. Got ALOT done and made sure to congratulate myself when I locked up. This wasn’t inspire of having intrusive thoughts about not being able to take this anymore etc. etc. I am trying to let those thoughts be there and sometimes, sarcastically agree with them to lessen their power. If I weren’t so dissociated I don’t think I would be able to handle the sheer volume of these intrusions. 

 

Told myself I was proud of myself for even going to work with all of this going on with me and that most regular people wouldn’t be able to even think about that. 

 

Made it home and my kid brother had a bunch of friends over and I hung out with them for a bit, played a bit of beer pong (didn’t drink any lol) Plagued by instructive thoughts of every nature this whole time, but felt a little less dissociated and numb. Was able to watch the panthers game. Hockey was one of my passions before the shock of all this started and now when I watch it I usually feel less into it and less like it’s a part of me. However tonight I found myself screaming and yelling at the tv actually into the game though I still felt like I wasn’t “feeling” the emotions behind it. It was nice to see that the interest is still there though. I was debating whether or not I would watch and ultimately made the decision that I should, because I feel I need to expose myself to these things or give my emotions the chance to kick back online, maybe eventually they will click. I did feel a bit upset when they lost in OT, rather than apathetic about it so that must be progress. During the game though my mind just get al over the place—not truly watching the game but somewhat removed. 

 

I felt a little overwhelmed by the amount of people in the house. I also had some strange physical stuff going on while engaged in the hockey game—weird fatigue like feelings, like too drained to emotionally get into it. This prompted a lot of comparison like intrusive thoughts about what I used to feel like when watching hockey, how I used to feel engaged and passionate etc. I am hoping these thoughts are not a result of my ocd but weather withdrawal related and if they are ocd, then they will lessen in intensity as withdrawal becomes easier. I hope this happens.

 

it is strange how I can go from the deepest despair to feeling somewhat betterish within a few hours. Not one of my kid brothers friends would have suspected anything was going on with me, but inside I feel turmoil. 

 

I am somewhat afraid that what I am experiencing isn’t only withdrawal and that my nervous system is too weak to recover. I wasn’t the healthiest person to begin with, and this whole process started for me after an acute stressful period of my life which included a bad experience from weed. Sometimes I feel the traumatic nature of everything that happened to me before withdrawal has set my nervous sysyrem up for a smaller chance of recovery, since it wasn’t all that strong in the first place. Not to mention the more I look back the more I feel my nervous system was destabilized for a very long time (since the first change I tried in 2011) and that I basically doomed myself by counting to use drugs and alcohol after stabilizing after that change. I never paid much attention to my body but now that I look back I can see it was under a lot of stress during my drug using days, coupled by the stress of my anxiety disorder. I feel like the collapse I had last year was bound to happen eventually, but I get frustrated at how I handled it and basically made my myself worse by making med changes and such. 

 

This is is all the rotisserie and what not and maybe it’s just the nature of withdrawal causing me to second guess everything and distorting my past memories. I don’t know. I guess time will tell. I’m gonna keep holding on and hope that I physically do not get worse than where I am because if that happens I may need to try reinstatement.

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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On 8/1/2018 at 5:58 AM, Noloft said:

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 is extremely common and a symptom of withdrawal. This has been confirmed to me here and the counsellor at the bristol tranquilliser project here in the U.K. He says he hears it everyday. No less scary but it helped me to contextualize and feel less alone.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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On 10/4/2018 at 3:45 AM, Noloft said:

On  top of that, I am working 25-30 hours a week despite not really feeling well enough to do that. My therapist who my parents sent me to says I won’t get well doing nothing and that I need to contribute to society. I

This therapist lacks compassion. Have you heard of person centred therapy? Really worth looking into. You need a therapist that understands the gravity of what you are experiencing. Just a suggestion. It might not be for you. 

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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On 8/1/2018 at 5:58 AM, Noloft said:

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 is extremely common and a symptom of withdrawal. This has been confirmed to me here and the counsellor at the bristol tranquilliser project here in the U.K. He says he hears it everyday. No less scary but it helped me to contextualize and feel less alone.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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11 hours ago, Noloft said:

 

I am somewhat afraid that what I am experiencing isn’t only withdrawal and that my nervous system is too weak to recover. I wasn’t the healthiest person to begin with, and this whole process started for me after an acute stressful period of my life which included a bad experience from weed. Sometimes I feel the traumatic nature of everything that happened to me before withdrawal has set my nervous sysyrem up for a smaller chance of recovery, since it wasn’t all that strong in the first place. Not to mention the more I look back the more I feel my nervous system was destabilized for a very long time (since the first change I tried in 2011) and that I basically doomed myself by counting to use drugs and alcohol after stabilizing after that change. I never paid much attention to my body but now that I look back I can see it was under a lot of stress during my drug using days, coupled by the stress of my anxiety disorder. I feel like the collapse I had last year was bound to happen eventually, but I get frustrated at how I handled it and basically made my myself worse by making med changes and such. 

I often feel like this but remind myself of the human potential for recovery. I know myself of people who have defied  medical convention. Also, the placebo and nocebo effect. In dark moments, I try to hold onto this and the quote " the body is intelligent beyond measure".  I'm no neuroscientist but there is a difference between structural and functional brain damage and damage is a loose term. Anyone else  on here who can ?

I know a friend who is into the book 'The brain that changes itself'. I too am experiencing exactly what you describe.... memory issues and also the identity issues that have come with derealisation/dp. I am so slowed.      

I'm sorry you were medicated young. I personally think that children under 18 should not be medicated . Sometimes I try to imagine myself as a warrior, still against the wind. I try to tell myself I will not let it beat me (I have concurring conditions.. of course you cannot separate mind and body). In the u.k. there is this expression 'keep calm and carry on'. It originated during the second world war, it's remained , a tribute to British stoicism. I use it sometimes as an affirmation to myself in times of distress.

I personally believe all mental illness is just a response to trauma. Have you heard of the cep ?I'll put a link in a post bellow. They have lots of encouraging interviews on vimeo, about 40 follow the trail.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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Today was ok and I can remember what I did today (this was something I was previously unable to do, recall seems to be getting stronger). I spent some time bass fishing in the everglades, caught some good ones. Spent some time with a friend I met in therapy and caught up with him and discussed what is going on in our lives, and how we have both decided acceptance is the way forward. I also focused on letting go today. Not worrying so much about what goes on in my mind, distancing myself from what thoughts I have and realizing they are not me. I focused a bit on radical acceptance of my condition and doing so sort of felt a little lighter. When in the throws of mental anguish I do not think there is any way out other than acceptance. You cannot fight something intangible and irrational as it will feed on that. This is something I have learned in the last few days.  I know I am traumatized by all of this. I know for a fact I have severe withdrawal symptoms. But I am getting better at telling myself I can heal and the  mind and body can heal, that I have hope for getting better. 

 

I am not sure if I am in the windows and waves pattern yet. I do not think my anhedonia and depersonalization are going to lift for a very long time. Same with PSSD and the numb body feeling.

 

I have noticed certain strange symptoms have disappeared, then returned, then disappeared again, sometimes within days, sometimes within hours. 

 

Another thing I am working on is not waiting for things to get better to live my life. Things are awful right now but despite how bad they are, I have been dealt this deck and I have to live with it, and I will live with it until it goes away. I have to believe it will go away eventually. But while it is here I will continue to fish, to hunt, to watch hockey and to work (fatigue permitting).

 

Something I have been focusing on is the the nature of change and how change is inevitable--nothing can ever stay the same forever. This resonated with me alot today. I do not believe any of this damage can be permanent. It just cannot be. 

 

 

I have begun to use EFT at night before bed in addition to my deep breathing exercises, I am hoping this can help aid my nervous system out of hell and into purgatory.

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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On 10/8/2018 at 6:30 AM, Noloft said:

 I know I am traumatized by all of this. I know for a fact I have severe withdrawal symptoms. But I am getting better at telling myself I can heal and the  mind and body can heal, that I have hope for getting better. 

You are doing amazingly. Keep going. I am learning so much from everyone here! Their amazing courage.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg 7 May 22 2.31mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Noloft: trying to take control of my life

Today I got hit by a massive wave of my physical and mental symptoms after pushing myself to go fishing with a friend in a tournament. I fished for 8 hours and walked 6.5 miles while fishing in the Florida heat. 

 

This was a hard day for me. Harder than usual. At least, while I am at work, I can stay relatively focused and distracted from the extent of my anhedonia and chemically induced emotional pain. 

 

Having OCD, this is incredibly difficult to do while trying to engage in the activity I used to be passionate about and built my identity around. 

 

While the fatigue was not as noticeable while fishing, the emotional numbness and anhedonia were there. I was in a decent mood most of the day with my friend--not ecstatic but not super depressed. However, when I was fighting the biggest fish I hooked today, I just couldn't focus on the actual fight as I was so caught up in how emotionally numb I felt while fighting it. I started searching for a hint of emotion or life--looking for an adrenaline kick or something but nothing was there just zombie mode and this triggered my OCD even more. Towards the end of the day I felt I was starting to slow down stamina wise but also I felt more obsessional and thoughts like "what's the point" and stuff started running through my head. My mind started comparing my current experience with my past experience in these tournaments--how in the past I didn't want to STOP fishing before the tournament ended like today, how I looked forward to going to the weigh in instead of dreading it, etc. I know this is also my OCD but it is purely obsessional and I struggle handling this because it makes me feel like I can never get back to the way I was before. 

 

I ended up skipping the weigh in and heading home early and as soon as I started to drive home the overwhelming sense of exhaustion just flooded over me. As soon as I got home I laid down for a bit. My buddy texted me and said he was going to the gun range and I noticed that I kind of wanted to go with, despite how crummy I was feeling. I guess this is progress? Wanting to do something? I don't know. In any case, deep down I knew it would be best for me to rest and not push anymore as I already knew I had pushed too hard. I tried to sleep but felt stuck in this lucid awake/sleep like state where I started having really strange thoughts that terrified me. I felt exhausted, fatigued, unable to breathe, numb but also afraid and panicky, and just totally crazy. After trying to sleep didn't work I got out of bed but I started coughing hysterically and could not breathe well at all. I got incredibly flustered and the intrusive suicidal thoughts began. When it gets this bad I forget that I need to float through this and NOT give in to the despair, but when you are so deep in the throws of it it seems impossible some times. I get stuck on the notion that I am going to be suffering for a very long time with no end in sight, and that I am never going to have the life I had back, and that health is something I will never know. I don't know how I could possibly be healthy again with my mind and body so incredibly broken right now. I am tired of withdrawal and OCD being the only thing on my mind, I miss when I had other things going on in my head, I miss my good emotions and my identity. I do not know how my life could have been going so well just a year ago and now I am reduced to this shell of a human being. I want to say I am living for myself but I am really not sure. Sometimes when I see my kid brother I think how devastated he would be to lose me, and then I think about how messed up it is to be even having that thought in the first place, when I should be out enjoying life with him.

 

 

 

I do not know how diet and time and omega 3s can fix this. How can these things repair my mind and body? How can I get stronger if I cannot endure exercise? I feel like a 90 year old man in a 26 year old body.

 

I know I am incredibly early on in this process but I can sometimes get very disheartened. I thought today would be better, that I would have the stamina to engage in day of fishing and not crash after. I thought maybe the emotional numbing would lift a little today and I would feel a bit reconnected with myself. 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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Making a note for myself that the day after fatigue from a full day of fishing is not as bad today as it was last time, I do not feel as absolutely terrible as I did last time. Also my casting arm is much less sore despite having done a lot of casting.  

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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I have some questions about windows and waves

 

I understand that everyone has a different story and a different case and that everyone's path to healing will be different. What I am confused about is the nature of windows and waves and what I have seen on here.

 

I am early on into this but I have not noticed any windows of any emotional/psychological symptom lift, save for ONE night when I was watching a hockey game with my brother and I felt a bit more into the game, not apathetic about it, I could feel the sensations I would feel in my body before withdrawal when I got aroused by a situation (a great hit, a huge save etc.) Other than that, there has been no let up to any of my other psychological or emotional symptoms (suicidal ideation, detached and strange thought patterns I don't recognize as my own, feeling cut off, severe DP, anhedonia, emotional anesthesia, hundreds of daily intrusive thoughts, etc.) My mood lifts and stabilizes once in a while but more often than not I am still severely screwed up mentally and emotionally.

 

I have noticed improvements some improvements in my physical symptoms. For example, the severe back pain and muscle pain has been gone for a few months, but it has been replaced with a numb body feeling. Sometimes, my vision seems more normal like I remember it but most of the time it still seems "off" and sensitive to light etc. Some nights, I get better sleep than other nights, but never any consistency. The severe fatigue and exhaustion has improved a bit, but overall I am still exhausted most of the time. My PSSD has gradually improved from feeling like I had a traumatic brain injury that destroyed my sexual functioning completely, toward a noticeable shift in return of some functionality, but nowhere near close to normal. I have not had the severe allergic like reactions I was having a few months ago, but now different things are happening with my body instead. I was suffering from severe nocturia for a few weeks, which has gotten better, but now I have frequent urination in the mornings instead of throughout the night. 

 

Is it a good sign for my physical symptoms that things are changing, even though they don't feel like they are improving? I assume that stagnation is not as good of a sign as change, but that is just my take. 

 

I do get concerned that my mental and emotional symptoms do not seem to be improving much. Do mental and emotional  symptoms tend to improve later down the line into withdrawal or is it always an individual case by case basis in terms of healing? Have any of the mods or experienced posters noticed any similar tendencies in how people heal?

 

How can I identify if I am in a window if things barely seem to be changing, or are changing so subtly that I can barely notice them and are often being replaced with something else? Is this the norm--gradual, subtle changes? Or do windows tend to be this amazing lift in symptoms in which you feel like yourself again for a bit, which then fades into a wave again? Do windows get better the longer you have been off the medications, ie, more and more symptoms lift during a window 3 years down the line than opposed to what was happening only six months out?

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions I am just trying to wrap my head around all of this.

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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I think these windows and waves are so hard to predict. I think it all depends. I have noticed some minor improvements in me, which is being a bit more involved in people and things like me, but the fears have gone through the roof, and the fear itself had made it impossible for me to gauge the improvement with other symptoms. It is only when the fear dies down a bit (maybe ever for 2-4 hours a day) that I start noticing some small improvement in focus, memory, caring, attention span, etc. etc. 

 

I have heard of people having full-on windows for days or even weeks on end while some barely get them over. It is just so frustrating at times. I was sure hoping that I would start seeing some tangible improvements as my doses got lower, but I'd only seen fairly small ones. Or perhaps, it's all gone for so long that it hard to be realistic at this point. 

Prozac 1997- 2013, stopped after 1 month short-taper. 

Ativan  0.5mg intermittent use, end of 2010 - end of 2014

Ativan  up to 2-3mg/day Dec 2014/Jan 2015

Partial Valium crossover: down to 0.5mg/day Ativan and 10mg/day Valium (2015-2017)

(2/2018 - 10/2018, tapered down Valium from 10mg to 3.75mg Valium per day) (HOLDING at 3.75mg/day)

(10/2018) - Ativan 0.5mg a day (HOLDING @ 0.5mg since mid 2017)

11/2018 - Cut valium to 2.5mg a day

3/23/2019 - Cut Buspar from 20mg to 15mg/day (intense symptoms)

4/4/2019 - Updosed Buspar from 15mg to 17mg

4/13/2019 - Ativan - 0.48mg/day

4/17/2019 - Buspar down to 16mg/day

4/24/2019 - Buspar down to 15mg/day

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved your post to your Intro topic because it is about your personal situation and will keep your history will be in one place.

 

This topic might be helpful:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On October 14, 2018 at 11:30 AM, Noloft said:

 

I do get concerned that my mental and emotional symptoms do not seem to be improving much. Do mental and emotional  symptoms tend to improve later down the line into withdrawal or is it always an individual case by case basis in terms of healing? Have any of the mods or experienced posters noticed any similar tendencies in how people heal?

 

How can I identify if I am in a window if things barely seem to be changing, or are changing so subtly that I can barely notice them and are often being replaced with something else? Is this the norm--gradual, subtle changes? Or do windows tend to be this amazing lift in symptoms in which you feel like yourself again for a bit, which then fades into a wave again? Do windows get better the longer you have been off the medications, ie, more and more symptoms lift during a window 3 years down the line than opposed to what was happening only six months out?

 

 

Hi.  I have seen Mods say that mental and emotional symptoms tend to be the last to go.  Evenso, people have Windows during which those symptoms are greatly improved.  I have.  

 

For me, there have been Windows I did not know I was experiencing until a new wave hit.  I have seen other people say the same. Gradual, subtle changes are definitively the norm, in my opinion, and again, others say the same.  It's easier to look back months in the past and see how much better a symptom has become over time.  It's a lot harder to see a window when it occurs -- at least early in the healing process.  Sometimes there is a bright, knock your socks off window.  It sounds like you had one during the hockey game?  They can be very short -- perhaps only minutes long -- or they might last for hours.  Someday you will have one for mental/emotional symptoms, and it will be very surprising.  

 

I'm wondering myself if Windows get longer later in the process.  I do know they can vary in length back and forth just as the intensity of symptoms can vary.  I've had all day Windows and even Windows that were a couple of days long, but then I went back to having shorter Windows.  For me, Windows are not times when there are no symptoms at all.  In fact, sometimes my symptoms alternate -- I may have no physical symptoms but really disturbing emotional symptoms and then the emotional symptoms lessen and the physical symptoms increase in intensity.  I'm either in emotional pain or physical pain -- back and forth.  Then, there will be several hours in between when I feel a better window free of most symptoms.  Sometimes, I feel like myself again on an emotional level, sometimes I'm just happy that I'm not in physical pain, but I see no hope for the future and vice versa.

 

When you said everyone is different, you were right.  There is no expected progress that is the same for everyone such as when a broken bone heals.  There's no way to track the symptoms and say that we are "on track."  I think that's because each brain is unique, but bones are bones in all of us.  

 

Have you seen the analogy of our brains being rebuilt like a damaged building being restored and remodeled?  The elevator is over here one day and over there the other while people are trying to come and go amidst the construction?  We are trying to use our brains while the repairs are taking place, and we aren't seeing what we expect to see every time that we try to access a function.  Some days I'm obsessed with one thing, another day a different thing.  Some days I can eat and everything works ok, more or less, other days I feel sick and disgusted by food for hours.  I'm not even sure my digestion is working sometimes.  I may feel the effects of low blood sugar even though I ate well.   Is it a problem with the pancreas or the digestion?  Who knows?  As long as my brain and body are not manufacturing neurotransmitters and hormones or not using them appropriately, I'm struggling with lack of function or, in my case, overkill such as when I have intense cortisol spikes and anxiety.  

 

Its natural to want to figure out what is happening, and I hate to tell you that it doesn't matter whether you understand it or not.  Sometimes the act of trying to understand gives your mind something to do while you are stuck in this awful state.  Being able to take that understanding and change your condition is another thing entirely.  Coming to acceptance that you are along for the ride while your brain drives like a maniac and scares the Hell out of you every so often is very difficult.  Acceptance will come and go, too.  I can't get there and stay there.  I'm trying to accept that, too.  Many people claim that Claire Weekes' book have helped them with the anxiety all this uncertainty causes.  You might try listening to her books on audio or reading them.  

 

 

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, Rosetta said:

Have you seen the analogy of our brains being rebuilt like a damaged building being restored and remodeled?  The elevator is over here one day and over there the other while people are trying to come and go amidst the construction?

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

And this is also very good.  I think the Rubik's cube analogy is excellent:  Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

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Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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The last few days have been harder than usual. Last night I was feeling very overwhelmed by the chaos I have been thrown into and I just felt like I scared kid. Every day I feel like a scared child, not the adult person I was last year. I tried going to my parents for some emotional support and didn't really get any. My dad told me everything was going to be ok and that I was going to be fine but it is so hard to believe. My mom empathizes with me but continues to tel me to get my act together because I am creating a huge toll on my family. I don't want to be a burden but I am struggling to cope with the acute level of distress I am in. I don't know why I look for support because even when I get it I do not feel any better about the situation.  The only person I seem to get support from is my friend Chad, he is the only one who lets me rant to him about what I am going through. Every day is a nightmare there is no peace of mind, ever. My body feels so disconnected from my mind and the nothingness I exist in is terrible. I look normal from the outside but inside I feel completely broken and damaged and unrepairable. My parents and psychologists think I need to try getting on some form of medication at a very low dose to see if I can take the edge off of this, but I do not want to. I also do not want to be in this much pain every day. I do not want to be so broken. 

 

 

There have been no improvements in my mental state at all. I know it is still very early for me but I do not know how people live like this for years and continue to work and engage in life. I have a good (part time) job, good friends, a decently supportive family and a home, yet I cannot feel gratitude for these things. I also cannot be grateful for the fact that I am more well off than others on this site, nor do I feel any sense of guilt for this either, which is just as bad.

 

I struggle to accept that my life may never be the same as it was last year. I want to be the person I was but you how can you go back to that state of being once you have witnessed this hell. I want to believe that the clouds are just very thick above my head right now and if they can start to dissipate, I will be able to see that my life isn't as bad as I think it is. I feel like I have had six strokes and a heart attack. How do you recover from that. 

 

I get stuck now on how this was completely avoidable. If I had not tried to tinker with my meds, or smoked pot while unaware of my withdrawal state/sensitive nervous system, that I would not be in this state of mind, that I would still feel like myself and be engaged in my life. My mind drags all this up sometimes and I do not know how to confront it. 

 

I guess I have no choice but to keep going until something good happens. I have been practicing yoga twice a week, eating well (though irregularly due to my inability to get out of bed before 11AM) and have been walking a mile every evening. I try to fish with friends on the weekends and the anhedonia is so bad I have to force myself to engage in my passion. It is so messed up.

 

Things that have improved are my insomnia levels. I still struggle with an inability to fall asleep, but I go to bed at the same time every night and once asleep I have been able to stay asleep until 6AM or so, when my dad feeds the dogs and they start barking. I can fall back asleep for a few more hours but then I wake up and I just do not have the will to get out of bed, I feel a terrible sense of inner restlessness all morning. This has not improved.

 

In general, my fatigue levels have improved and I do not get severe "crashes" after a day of activity on the water or in nature. 

 

My cognition at work has improved slightly. My focus is still a little off, but overall I can think clearly enough to get through my tasks. 

 

The physical aspects of my PSSD have improved slightly from where they were six months ago, but not enough to make life bearable. Not that it matters, as dating is not even close to being an option for me at this level of instability.

 

 

 

I wish I never took for granted all of the normal aspects of life. I did not realize how fast and easily they could be stripped away from you.

 

I am trying my best to tell myself that people do recover from this hell and that even if they don't recover fully then can be happy again. I keep telling myself that I can be happy again and that I am not doomed to a life of suffering, that no one on this site is doomed to a life of suffering, that recovery in some form will come for all of us.

 

Does anyone have any tips on coming to terms with not knowing what kind of life you would have had if you had never touched any psych or recreational drug? This is something I am struggling with a lot right now. My mind spends too much time asking this question. 

 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 1 month later...

I have been having a difficult time lately and am not sure what to do or what to believe anymore. 

 

None of my doctors are willing to believe what I am going through is withdrawal and they all believe that I need to be on medicine again to function.  

 

I myself am starting to question it. I am concerned that rapidly coming off antidepressants triggered CFS/Fibromyalgia, treatment resistant depression, adrenal exhaustion and other problems. If it were withdrawal I feel I would have had a window by now, but many of my symptoms are stagnating and some are worse than they were when I first started. Out of the myriad of things that I have developed during all of this, the only thing that has slightly improved is my sexual function, and my ability to lift my mood with socializing and engaging in hobbies with friends, when my body allows it. Insomnia, fatigue, flu like symptoms, myalgias, post onset muscle soreness, shortness of breath at times, etc. have not improved at all. 

 

I am gravely concerned that what I have is CFS/Fibromyalgia triggered by a rapid taper, and not just withdrawal, since I have not experienced any windows in the physical symptoms over the past year. Unless I am still in acute withdrawal? How long does acute withdrawal last? 

 

I am stumped at at this point and am pretty desperate for some relief and some sleep and some healing. I can’t envision myself living in this state for years. 

 

I have  been doing as much as I can to promote healing. I have been ensuring I am in bed by 9-10 pm. I have changed my diet completely to one that is wholly organic. I am focusing on healing area a of my body that may have been hurt before all of this such as my gut. I am briskly walking 30 minutes a day. I am doing 30-40 minutes of breath work daily. I am meditating. I am taking magnesium baths daily and ensuring my body is receiving tons of vitamins and minerals. I am trying to cut out excess stimulation such as TV and music when able. I am spending most of my free time in nature. I am practicing restorative yoga and kundalini yoga twice a week. I have been getting acupuncture twice a week.  What else is there that can be done? Do we just wait for things to get better and just hope we aren’t stuck like this for the rest of our lives?

 

At this point I am so bad off that I don’t even care if the depersonalization and depression and ocd lift at all I just want some energy and stamina and strength back so I can actually do my life even if I’m not happy. This is ridiculously frustrating. 

 

How is do you put up with this state for years at a time and not become utterly demoralized? 

 

Acceptance was Working for a while and helping me cope but with the holidays and my birthday approaching I just don’t know how I’m gonna be able to quietly suffer through them and to act like nothing is wrong when I’m basically screaming inside but too numb to actually scream and too tired to use up the energy to let a scream out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm sorry to read that you are still suffering so badly.

 

Have you seen this topic?  Acupuncture - Posts #6 & #8 (not detox or stimulation)

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Totally feel your pain and can relate.

 

You do seem like you are doing WAY better than when all this started, which was what 9 months ago?

- 2003 to 2015: celexa, 20 mg, ~12 years

- 2015: easy switch off celexa and onto cymbalta, 30mg

     (over a decade of fantastic years in here, with one anxiety/depressive episode brought on by a breakup, which I got through with therapy, tools, etc)

- 2017: Nov/December: tapered off cymbalta, 20mg --> 0, over 1.5 mo. in conjunction with my (former) psychiatrist. Zero date: 12/15/17

     (I was just sort of curious to try being off meds after so many (great) years. I wondered the degree to which meds may have been affecting my sex drive/orgasm/access to deeper emotions. After going off was ok for about 3 mo... then: horrible anxiety, panic attacks (first time in 14 years and way stronger than I ever had before), agitation, suicidal depression, crushing physical sensation, anhedonia, dp/dr, emotional numbness. Horrible.)

- 2018, July 21: Tried going back on celexa, 5mg

    (HORRIBLE adverse reaction, discontinued after 10 days, stopped 7/31/18, thought I would need to be hospitalized)

- 2018, Aug 3: Tried remeron, got up to 15mg for 14 days, then tapered back down to 3.5 mg/d (super sedating, couldn't think and could feel even less)

- 2018, Sept 7 - Oct: Restarted Cymbalta, ~4mg (sept 9, stopped the 3.5 mg of remeron). Went up to 13 mg Cymbalta, then right back down to 4.5mg.

    (Now see it as withdrawal and am wanting to get off and heal.)

 

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It’s been about 14 months since withdrawal started for me but only 6 months off medication. I’m coping with the depersonalization and depression or whatever it is and my intrusive thoughts and all the other strange mental things going on but I’m just really tired of the fatigue and muscle pain and feeling like I have meningitis and the flu every single day and it doesn’t abate at all. 

 

I’ve kind of given up on getting my full previous life back and my past sense of self and can make do with that but I just want these flu like feelings and exhaustion to go away already it’s been 12 months. 

 

I am  doing better in the sense that I am able to socialize, able to work part time, and able to engage in hobbies but I’m still pretty anhedonic and empty and I have no motivation at all. I feel like if these darn flu like symptoms and fatigue would lift my motivation might improve. I thought depression sucked but fatigue and muscle pains are so much worse because at least with depression you can still do the things you love and find some peace in it right now when I go hunting or fishing I’m just a physical mess all the time and I’ve got the stamina of a 70 year old man. It sucks. I want so badly to exercise and build muscle but the malaise after is terrible. 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:24 AM, Noloft said:

It’s been about 14 months since withdrawal started for me but only 6 months off medication. I’m coping with the depersonalization and depression or whatever it is and my intrusive thoughts and all the other strange mental things going on but I’m just really tired of the fatigue and muscle pain and feeling like I have meningitis and the flu every single day and it doesn’t abate at all. 

 

I’ve kind of given up on getting my full previous life back and my past sense of self and can make do with that but I just want these flu like feelings and exhaustion to go away already it’s been 12 months. 

 

I am  doing better in the sense that I am able to socialize, able to work part time, and able to engage in hobbies but I’m still pretty anhedonic and empty and I have no motivation at all. I feel like if these darn flu like symptoms and fatigue would lift my motivation might improve. I thought depression sucked but fatigue and muscle pains are so much worse because at least with depression you can still do the things you love and find some peace in it right now when I go hunting or fishing I’m just a physical mess all the time and I’ve got the stamina of a 70 year old man. It sucks. I want so badly to exercise and build muscle but the malaise after is terrible. 

 

 

Have your depersonalization and cognitive function improved now that your more then a year off?

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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My cognitive function has improved. I am able to plan ahead for things I am trying to accomplish and do, and my work quality ha much improved from where I was in January during the heavy acute stuff. It felt like I could barely communicate or make sense of my work tasks, though I was able to get through them. Now, I am able to d thee things much quicker. 

 

Depersonalization has not lifted, but I have had moments in which I get fleeting glimmers of connection with music. I feel something changing in my body and mind, but it is just very muted and not like it used to be. I still feel estranged from myself. For example, I used to be a pretty avid instagram poster and loved sharing pics of the fish I caught with friends and followers. Now, I still do it, but it feels robotic and like its not a "part of me" anymore. I don't know if this makes sense to you. I have not given up my hobbies and i have taken up new ones, but I feel distant and cut off from myself and everything around me. 

 

I have normal emotional affect, but I don't "feel" emotions or pleasure in my body/mind like I did in the past. This is one of the hardest things to deal with. I could cope with the other problems a lot better if this weren't so bad.

 

 

My OCD (which I have always had) has latched on to PSSD and my emotional symptoms and constantly barrages me with intrusive thoughts about it. As if having the problems weren't bad enough in themselves. I am stuck in an existential crisis in my head.

 

 

I will be attempting TMS therapy to see if it can help with the depersonalization. Most of it was induced by marijuana and stress, not the withdrawal. The withdrawal created the other problems, and has exacerbated the depersonalization due to the obsessive nature of my mind at the moment. Lots of hyperawareness etc.

 

I am trying to keep myself occupied with work and social life. My therapist is recommending I attempt to date and at least try to have sex and see if it won't kickstart something. He says waiting around for it to go away isn't going to cure it, but actively using the sexual organs and trying to create connections with others gives me at least a chance at kickstarting things.

 

Some days I am torn--I am not sure if the void I live in is better than what would be happening if I felt connected to all of my thoughts right now. At least in this state, I can just sort of let them float by and happen. it is a state of perpetual not being bothered by anything. Some might like it but I miss feeling really good, or really bad, etc.

 

I am trying my best to just let all this stuff be there and to be okay with it and to accept it and just continue to try to figure out what kind of life I can build from here as I am lucky enough to still have some functioning as I know there are some here that are completely unable to work or engage in their lives and I am trying to remind myself that even though I have all of these things right now I am lucky to be able to still engage in my life for the most part, despite it being distressing and painful.  

 

I am trying to be more open to suffering and to stop fighting it and avoiding it but at the same time I am still spending a lot of time researching what I an do to heal, if I can heal, etc.

 

This week has been the most productive in terms of my acceptance levels, coping, productivity etc. I am trying to liken my situation to those created by car accidents, falls, or massive injuries. People end up in similar states to the ones we are in and go on to live productive lives despite lingering issues, so I am trying to keep an attitude of despite having these problems, I am going to keep working as much as I can, go fishing with friends when I can, go hunting when I can, and have sex when I can. I am still physically able to do all these things despite the lessened quality and meaning in them.

 

 

 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I just wanted to provide an update to everyone on how I am doing. I have been spending less time on the forum as it was becoming a bit of an obsession for me and since I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I want to be careful with that.

 

Some things that have improved for me as of late:

Cerain aspects of cognitive functioning--there has been slow and steady progress in certain areas of my cognition. My short term daily recall has improved to an extent in which I am able to recall and discuss work related items with my father after work when I am home, and am able to recall minute details a bit better. Last week, he had asked me a question about whether I had handled something at work, and my recall of my doing so was quick and easy. 

My short term memory has improved. I am able to recall things I have done a few days ago, and am able to discuss them with people in more detailed context. Longer term memory recall is still difficult, but sometimes it is better than other times. There are certain memories that are easily accessible, but many are not. I have noticed during this time, A LOT of prior emotional events that were stressful and difficult for me (though at the time, I did not acknowledge them as such) have been dredged up and brought into the forefront of my mind.I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. As much as I would not like to remember difficult things that have been a part of my life, I feel it might be a good thing they are coming up, as they may need to be worked through at some point with my therapist. It is possible that my lack of processing throughout my life has led to some of the health related struggles I am dealing with now, and may have made withdrawal worse for me. 

My ability to make plans has improved and I am once again able to make plans with friends and to engage in hobbies, even though I have to push through some physical and mental symptoms such as aches and pains, discomfort, neuralgias and neuropathies.

Some aspects of my cognitive functioning are still very much a struggle. Focus levels are not very good. Sometimes I struggle with putting sentences together, and other times I am much more fluid in my conversation.

 

Ability to work--I am in the office 25 hours a week at this point.

 

Physical component of sexuality--during the beginning of withdrawal, my sexual dysfunction was at 150% it was that bad. The physical component has improved somewhat over the last 11 months. I am still struggling with genital anesthesia (though sometimes the sensation of touch has a bit of a nicer feel to it which keeps me hopeful for more progress down the line), PE, weak/absent orgasm quality, and lack of pleasurable orgasm sensation (there is like 2% pleasurability to it now which is an improvement albeit slight).

 

Post exertional issues--At the beginning of withdrawal, I would still push myself to engage in my favorite recreational activity which is fishing. After a full day of doing so, I would be physically and mentally incapacitated the next day and sent into hellish waves of severe symptoms. I have noticed that as of late, after a day of activity, my following "rest" day is much less of a problem. For example, today I am taking a rest day after fishing yesterday from 7AM-7PM with a fair amount of lifting and exertion involved. I was also battling a plethora of mental and physical symptoms while out there yesterday. I also had a few long conversations with friends on the phone in the evening. When I got home, I had that wired but tired feeling. Today, I am fatigued and beat up, but not to the extent it was like months ago. I was able to run a few errands, make my meals, call a friend and chat, hang out and have a lazy Sunday so to speak. I even read a few chapters of one of Louise Hay's books and have found some good positive affirmations for myself which I have posted on my bathroom mirror. These are all things I wouldn't have even thought to have done a few months ago on one of my recovery days. Though it is still frustrating to me that at 27 I am left to deal with these health problems, I am trying to remain optimistic that one day I won't need to take these rest days for myself. I have also been working with a physical therapist/personal trainer on a program put together for me with a focus on improving my posture, alignment, and stability and then working on muscle conditioning health permitting. My posture is not good at all, and I am dealing with some lower back pains and neck issues that I am pretty sure are not withdrawal related but are more physiology related, so I want to address them now so as to avoid problems later in my life. I have noticed that the hour of exercise I do gives me a little more energy afterward, as it is not super intense exercise and mostly stability related, and it has also helped me to get out of my head for an hour which is nice. The trainer is also super nice and deals with her own autoimmune like problems, so we have some things in common with each other. I still cannot sweat heavily when performing physical activity which is bothersome to me.

 

Insomnia--I have had windows of much improved sleep in the last few months, usually lasting a period of a week or two. I find that when these windows occur, I am able to stay asleep for more hours at a time, and I am pretty sure during these times I am also able to get some deep, dreamless sleep. Much of the time I do dream however. (I had a sexual dream for the first time since this all started but I had sexual dysfunction in the dream--it appears withdrawal also affects me in my sleep state). Some of my dreams have been incredibly bizarre, but I figure if I am dreaming, I am sleeping, and if I am sleeping, I am doing good for my body. So I try not to let the bizarre nature of my dreams get to me. 

 

 

Crying spells--In the beginning of withdrawal I had these every day often multiple times a day. Some days I still have them multiple times a day but at much less frequency. I still tend to have overwhelming negative neuro-emotional moments on a daily basis.

 

Deep, dark depression--I have episodes of serious dark despair and wanting to not continue. When this all started I was like this every day. Now I sometimes go a whole day without this. My baseline is still pretty low, but not anything compared to where it was.

 

Allodynia--This symptom appears out of the blue for me, and then disappears. Some days, certain areas of my skin touching the chair is uncomfortable, but then other days that area has no problem touching the chair at all.

 

Sensitivities--I think these have improved somewhat though I am not sure. I reintroduced gluten into my diet as I was not getting enough carbs and I did not notice any severe reactions other than needing to pass stool a bit more often throughout the day.

 

Emotional numbness--I have moments of feeling when I am watching TV. I have to intensely focus on what is going on however. I can feel empathy, sorrow, and a few other things, but they are very blunted and not really worthwhile for me.

 

Things that have not gotten better:

 

Dissociation--The level of severity varies. I can sometimes be in a conversation with someone and I feel I must be overwhelmed at the time, because it feels like I am not even there in the conversation. Generally, I have unremitting depersonalization that manifests both physically and mentally. I feel profoundly disconnected from myself and my life, and most of my body is numb and I sometimes am so numb I am completely indifferent to painful sensations. I can still feel the pain, but it does not cause me any visible distress. I was bit in the leg by a 100 pound dog last week and I didn't even move or jump--it was like my mind didn't even register it. 

 

Disconnect from my identity and sense of self--This has not improved at all, though I am trying not to let it stop me from engaging in the things that used to hold value for me, such as fishing (I have not been watching hockey. I feel like I kind of want to, but I also am expected to work and need to conserve energy and am sacrificing this at the moment. Though I believe that watching hockey and engaging in it might help me reconnect with myself a bit. I feel like without engaging in these things, I won't get my mind back to working the way it used to. Like in order to rekindle an interest I need to actually engage in it. 

 

Disconnect from interests and motivation, action--I am still interested in hockey, fishing, work. But I don't have the feeling of motivation to go engage in it. 

 

Lobotomy feeling---Generally I feel like I have a lobotomy.

 

Myalgias--Not improving. I still feel immense discomfort in my feet and legs while standing or squatting or moving my position. It makes me feel old as I have to move so slowly sometimes so as to avoid exacerbating it. I have also noticed small aches and pains in my knees and on the outside of my elbows and my forearms which I did not have before withdrawal. I don't know if they may be immune related or not, but my knees have been making some awful sounds. Also having problems with my wrists now.

 

Visual problems--I still have issues focusing my vision, sensitivity to light, and just an overall sense of my vision not being right. Sometimes I notice this less than other times.

 

Feeling burned out--I feel this way constantly. Emotionally and physically exhausted. Constantly operating on low energy.

 

Muscle atrophy--despite eating a ton of food I still feel like I am losing muscle. I am hoping my time at the gym helps with this.

 

Feeling weak--The occasional problems I experience with lifting minor things such as pots and pans are still occurring. I am also hoping the gym helps with this. 

 

Wooziness and swaying--These still happen a lot. 

 

Apathy--Unrelenting. I don't feel concerned about my health in the way I used to.

 

Feeling my heartrate in my neck and head, general pulsing sensation in upper body--this doesn't seem to be getting better at all

 

Aletered skin sensation--The skin on my whole body feels numb and altered, uncomfortable. My face feels like sandpaper. 

 

Sweat response--still severely diminished.

 

No reward system--I don't have a sense of reward from my accomplishments.

 

Feeling fearful--I am constantly fearful of my thoughts even when I try to be mindful and accepting. Even benign earworms seem to irritate me. I don't know if it is because I am more "mind aware" now, or if it is just withdrawal. 

 

 

Overall, still am in a very difficult place, and I am frustrated with my progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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  • Administrator

Slow and frustrating -- but progress, Noloft! Thanks for letting us know.

 

You'll want to be protective of your nervous system, it's still vulnerable.

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, 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/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

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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Alto and others,

 

I have been using Nordic Natural Omega-3s every morning, 2 capsules equating about 1200 mg of Omega-3. I have taken breaks from them to see what kind of effect they have on the withdrawal, I have not noticed much on or off. On occasion I will use a teaspoon on Natural Calm magnesium powder.

 

I should also mention that I have a pretty strict diet at the moment, I am eating pounds of vegetables on a weekly basis, and very morning I make sure to get tons of kale in my smoothie. I am severely deficient in B3, B6 and B12, and I assume these deficiencies are playing a role in my fatigue and mental issues. I am trying to get my B's from greens and chicken liver, and other organic meats. Though, I fear I am not getting enough as I feel I am meeting the requirements for B vitamins for someone who is not deficient in them--I don't know how to make up for the deficiency. I wish I could just pop a B-Complex, but am a little afraid to do so due to the nature of this condition.

I have been using L-Glutamine in my morning smoothies (have not noticed any symptom exacerbation from this addition though it may be impacting me, I use a very small amount) in an attempt to help support my gut and immune function. I also use Immune tree Colostrum powder and have noticed a beneficial impact on my digestion--I won't get into the details but my bowels are functioning better than they have in my whole life since I have been focusing on gut health and healing. I have also been using Baobab powder for vitamin C and Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder in my breakfast smoothie. They appear to be beneficial so far. I have been thinking about introducing maca into my diet for energy, but I believe it is stimulating so I am on the fence about it. 

 

 

I do not have the cognitive capacity or mindfulness skills to really pick up on what actions, foods, supplements etc may be affecting what symptom(s) of my underlying illness and the withdrawal and drug related complications. I have to conserve my mental energy for work related tasks, and mindfulness sort of scares me in this altered state I am in--I am already much too mindful of the noise in my head due to the dissociation and ocd hyperawareness, I prefer to not be in my head as much as possible. I do not know if I suffer from some sort of alexythymia like condition/autistic spectrum condition that makes it hard for me to really key in on how I am feeling, what things are affecting me, etc. My mind has never been one to do that. Even in therapy I struggle to describe what it is I am experiencing to my therapist. I just tell her it is an unbearable emotional distress. Even when well, I just knew what good felt like, and then bad. I don't really recall having the kind of mind that was fully capable of processing and understanding the full spectrum of human emotion, etc. 

 

One of my concerns is with exercise. I really want to build some strength, but doing so may, and has, caused malaise. I am not sure if experiencing this malaise is bad for my long term health, and doctors haven't given me answers. The best advice I have gotten so far is from my physical therapist/personal trainer, a very understanding woman who asks me how my symptoms are every time I go in and how they and when I am exercising and when I am finished. She keeps notes and tells me my body is not capable of strength training right now, but with time and focusing on stability work, my body will adapt to be able to perform strength training. I hope this is the case, as I am diminishing in weight and and muscle tone and I need these things for fishing.

 

I didn't train prior to withdrawal, and tbh was quite unhealthy with diet and alcohol/marijuana use. I was active until 14, then turned to academic pursuits and found little time for exercise other than walking while fishing (which I struggle to do even in this state, my balance is terrible and stamina just as bad).

 

Another thing I have been trying is the WIM HOF breathing and cold exposure method. I have noticed that on days I use this breathing technique, I do not have panic-like spikes in my anxiety. 

 

One thing I am struggling with throughout all this that is really hard for me to handle is feeling like my psyche has collapsed. I went through a period of time where I was researching why this may have happened to me. A lot of self analysis in my head, trying to figure out if I was healthy before, if I had narcissistic tendencies, if I was repressing too much pain for too long. I don't have the answers to these things, but while in this state it has come to my attention that I have never been good at coping with my underlying mental illness (OCD), or even distress for that matter, that my mother and father have severe issues and did not teach me how to function in society and did not provide me with a secure sense of attachment during my childhood, and that my mom may have some really severe psychological stuff that she never worked through which may have affected my brother and I during our developing years. I still feel like a traumatized kid on many days, not an adult despite being 27. I don't know if I have codependency issues, or if I have toxic shame or guilt, or if I do, what affect they are currently having on me. I do feel like I have complex PTSD of some sort, as I am somewhat fearful of my mother and her outbursts (and always have been). I sometimes wonder if the antidepressants I was on were allowing me to cope with a massive amount of psychological burden, and now I have no coping mechanisms and twice the amount of burden to deal with. it does feel like my nervous system is completely shot--even while on antidepressants, I was a stressed out, agitated person, who was not really fully in touch with himself and his emotions, had low self esteem, and didn't really have any clear path in life post college. I am now left with borderline psychotic levels of cognitive anxiety symptoms, and no secure identity in my mind to ground myself with. I don't really know how to use CBT (which is the therapy I am receiving) to resolve these issues, and am not really sure what modality can help me, or if I should even work with a different modality other than CBT. All I know is I am not gaining benefit from CBT for my OCD related issues, dissociative issues, and depressive issues. My mind has a tendency to just go to dark thoughts, seemingly out of nowhere. I would like to get to a point where I don't have suicidal ideation anymore, but I don't know how. I also don't know if these thoughts are withdrawal related, or just how I think now, or if they are just OCD. It is so very confusing for me to not be able to trust my mind AT ALL.

 

 

One thing I am trying to do right now is practice gratitude. When I notice I am not suffering as much as I was 2 hours ago, or yesterday, I try to tell myself, "I am grateful for this reprieve" or something along those lines. Yesterday, I was out fishing with my cousin at a new spot I have never been to near Lake Okeechobee. Though I was suffering a lot, I was able to laugh and joke around, and hold a conversation and find a little bit of respite from the immense suffering I have been going through, and I kept telling myself how grateful I was for that little bit of respite. I feel this may be a good way to keep myself from thinking my suffering is always at an intolerable level. I feel like with this condition (or with any sort of mental health issue) it is very easy to get stuck in the immense suffering behind it, and this can make day to day life even more difficult. So I feel gratitude for the reprieves is an essential coping tool and also an important way to rewire the brain. I have always been a negative person even when I was better. So I am trying to change that somewhat with gratitude. 

 

I just found out that I carry the COMT -/- gene mutation, which puts me at higher risk for chronic pain syndromes and is also an important indicator of one's coping ability ( I was told that with this gene, it can be harder for one to accept difficult circumstances). Finding I had this makes sense, as I have always struggled with acceptance and still do. I find myself constantly wishing for less suffering, for a more emotionally and physically normal life like my friends have. I am not sure how to override this, though I am sure I can, as I have been told genes are not your destiny they are just your tendency. I assume everyone wants to be free of suffering, but I believe there are some who cope with intense suffering much better than others, and who are able to live incredible lives in spite of the suffering. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind for me. The man was tortured by his mind but was able to lead a nation during a time of huge social upheaval that changed the course of our country's history. 

 

 Right now, the suffering is running my life and I am making decisions based on elimination/easing of suffering. I sometimes wonder if this is the right way to go about it. I wonder if I should just accept the suffering is there and live with it rather than trying to eliminate it. I feel like I could live a pretty good life in the state I am in in terms of accomplishing many things. I just would prefer to live a life in which I am happy and feel well. It is a difficult situation to ponder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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On 1/13/2019 at 5:29 PM, Noloft said:

I am severely deficient in B3, B6 and B12, and I assume these deficiencies are playing a role in my fatigue and mental issues.

 

Hi, Noloft. If I were you, I'd start with crumbs of a sublingual methycobalamin tablet to build up B12. It is stored in your liver but can be depleted by stress.

 

I found I could build up gradually over a few months from tiny crumbs to a whole 1000mcg tablet.

 

Please do come back and tell us 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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  • 1 month later...

Hello all

 

It has become apparent to me that I am not doing as well as I thought I was. I thought I was coping well but in looking back, I see that I have been able t work and socialize to the extent that I have been able to do so, only because I have been sleeping 12-14 hours a night. I did not realize how much of my life has been restricted until now.

 

Prior to my withdrawal when I was on medication, I was able to handle 12-14 hour days no problem. THis has only become apparent to me after coming back from a work related trip with my father. We had to engage in 3 full days, and though I was able to look the part, inside it was pure chaos. I was unable to follow the powerpoints and just sat there in the meetings like a dull person, which I am not. I have a degree in economics and a Masters in entrepreneurship.

 

By the end of the three days, I was so drained that on the travel day I was walking so slowly that I couldn't even keep up with my parents in the airport. I was speaking so slowly that I thought I had an aneurysm. All the while I was having thousands of intrusive thoughts and crying hysterically on the airplane while my mom was trying to get me to stop, but I just couldn't stop crying, I couldn't stop and it was making me sick all of the thoughts and the inability to stop crying.

 

I have struggled even more for the past few days and don't know what to do. I don't know if I should keep exercising with the trainer I hired as I don't know if it is hurting me or not. I have lots of symptoms when I exercise but I don't want my body to deteriorate any further than it has. I can't lose any more weight I have lost 25 pounds and am underweight for my age/height despite my eating 2500 calories a day and basically burning none of them as I barely exercise anymore. 

 

I am not coping well with the anhedonia, the dissociation, the panic and the anxiety, the rapid mood fluctuations or the sexual dysfunction, and the exhaustion and pain. It is like a living nightmare. I am working with a psychiatrist as my parents are forcing me to do so and I am somewhat inclined to do so at this point because I honestly cannot take the severity of this situation much longer.

 

Everyone is suggesting to go back on medication. My friends, my family, my psychologists. Everyone I talk to. I don't know what to do but I need some relief and I need some functioning back because this is not the life I was meant to live and I refuse to continue in this state.

 

I just want  to be well enough to go to work every day, enjoy fishing and nature, and enjoy sports again. I had a very simple life before all of this I never asked for a lot and never wanted a complicated life with tons of relationships and activities, I just want my simple life back and I want to be able to think like myself again. I cannot accept a life of poor health and deteriorating body at the age of 27 my life was just starting before all of this. I don't know how to cope anymore, I am tired of accepting the suffering, this is too much suffering day in and day out with no real progress being made. I don't think I can make it through years of this. I am not a weak person I am battling every day but I can't survive this state for years on end and I don't know what else I can do about it.  No one I talk to understands what this is like and no one believes me and they tell me I am more capable than I think I am but it does not feel that way at all and I am tired of the dark thoughts every day I have been fighting them every day but I am tired of them. I don't know why I can't deal with this situation very well but I am not dealing with it at all. I have so much support around me but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference, I feel stuck. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added paragraphs for easier reading

2001-2017-worked my way up from 25mg of zoloft and 2mg of Concerta to 200mg of zoloft and 36mg of Concerta

February 2017-Stopped Concerta cold turkey

September 2017-Added 2mg of Abilify

November 2017-came off Abilify

December 2017-began taper of zoloft 50mg a week while tapering on to Viibryd

January 2018-back on zoloft 200mg

February 2018--tapered off zoloft over a month onto 40mg of prozac

April 2018-CT prozac due to suspected "serotonin syndrome"

 

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Q:  When did the worsening start?

 

If you had been managing before the trip you probably became stressed leading up to the work trip, and then being in unfamiliar surroundings and around other people and conversations, noise, lights (and alcohol? caffeine?) just added more stress and was too much for your sensitised nervous system.  Overstimulation.  It's taken me about 5 minutes to think of that word.

 

Please read through the posts in this topic:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

Any added stress, even good stress, can cause symptoms to increase.  I had a helicopter flying lesson for my 60th birthday at the end of 2017 and it ramped up my symptoms for several weeks.  Members who have gone on vacation also notice the same thing, even though they've enjoyed themselves.

 

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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