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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)
On 4/14/2019 at 8:37 AM, marconyc said:

My wife and I just found out that she is pregnant. I’m overjoyed but also starting to feel overwhelmed. Yesterday and today I’ve noticed more symptoms—mostly anxiety but also tearfulness, emotional lability, and obsessiveness. At first I thought, “What’s wrong with me? I’ve wanted this for years. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Maybe this is just med-related.” But now I think the reality of pregnancy and fatherhood is settling in, and I’m trying to avoid the mix of powerful emotions that are coming up. I’m also worried that I won’t be able to handle this. 

 

11 hours ago, marconyc said:

Bad anxiety this morning. I’m pretty sure it’s anticipatory anxiety about my wife’s pregnancy. I’m trying to take deep breaths and remind the scared parts of me that we can do this, but it’s hard. I’m tempted to updose the Abilify or even take some Klonopin. I definitely do not want to do either, but this anxiety sucks. I’m not having panic attacks but I feel tense, nauseous, with a pit in my stomach and a feeling of dread. 

 

Oh Wow marconyc,

I'm so glad I scanned posts this evening and saw this.  May I say congrats!!!!!  Super excited for you and your wife.  Oh......and that all goes well too......I will keep this in my heart and prayers.

 

Yes.  Normal emotions I think.  I mean there might be a bit of the neuroemotions enhancing your feelings, sure, otherwise so very normal.  To feel really thrown when the pregnancy actually occurs.  I bet other Dad's here have felt the same.  All WD aside.   And of course a little WD thrown in too.

 

From a women's perspective.......I remember how I felt early preggers........even though it was years and years ago........very unsure and frightened.........even though........it was a very much hoped for pregnancy and all that.  My hubs(he was fairly long term, 22 years married.......divorced though now for over 10 years) was pretty much in shock.........super gloomy and so worried he would be "too old" to be a Dad, at age 38.  He ran out and got a vasectomy when my dear(now adult) Sun(son) was only a week or two old.  I've since forgiven him, my ex........I mean what else can one do?  I always wanted one more, but content with what life and the universe gave me.  It was a process.  Anyway......that's my human interest story for you.

 

I vote no, no, no on any updose of Abilify and definitely don't resort to Klonopin.  Did you take a run today?  Use non drug coping please, please, please.  And just a reminder that no further tapers either, until you feel a bit more back to withdrawal normal.  I've been doing really well with EFT or tapping for gaining courage now.......letting go of fears.  Here's the thread on that too.  EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique)  I just put a couple short videos at the end of that topic.  And found an additional guided fear EFT by the same guy this morning......only 8 minutes or so to do.  I do two sided tapping though for some of the tapping  points, where he doesn't.    Read my other post too there......as far as how it works.  And you can check out the link I left above my last posts there, as to doing a introduction to the whole thing(including the sequence of tapping points), if you are not familiar.    MY take is that it just helps settle some of our usual nervous system reactions to stuff, rather than getting at long term trauma stuff(like EMDR is purported to do).  It's been very helpful, in my own practices for myself, at the stage I am at now, with post medication/drugs WD syndrome.  So maybe it will grab you too. 

 

Anyway.......congrats again!!!!!  Made my day.  Didn't I tell you this would happen?  I was really only hoping.  I am so happy for you both.  You've got lot's of time to adjust too.......you know?  It takes 9 mos........until the baby is ready for birth generally.  B)  Think positively super duper thoughts now!  It'll help.  I guarantee.    Stress is hard, always.......even positive stress like this.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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marconyc

@manymoretodays Thank you for the warm wishes and for all the advice. Very helpful, as always. You’re so kind and knowledgeable. I was afraid you’d tell me not to updose or use any Klonopin, haha. I wasn’t able to go for a run yesterday but I did do some meditation and Internal Family Systems “inner work” to calm myself down. I took my fish oil and magnesium and had a cup of chamomile tea. I’m really trying to hang in there but it’s hard. Sometimes I feel discouraged because I’m still on such a high dose of Zoloft and still feeling crummy. But I have been feeling better over time, enough so to have reduced the Abilify from 1 to 0.25mg and to stop the Klonopin. I just want to feel like I did before my taper went south. 

 

Thank you again. I appreciate you sharing your husband’s experience. It normalizes what I’m going through. Also, I’ll check out the tapping technique. I’m not familiar with that. Seems interesting.

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marconyc

Pretty bad anxiety again this morning. Maybe a little less intense than yesterday morning, but still bad. I slept fine but didn't want to get out of bed. Trying to get some work done because I have a very busy day full of client calls but feeling that dread in the pit of my stomach. It's hard to eat right now. I'm resisting updosing the Abilify or taking Klonopin but I'm struggling.

 

 

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marconyc

Afternoon update: I'm feeling a little better. The anxiety seems to be worst in the morning and then lessens over the course of the day. One thing that made me feel better today was crying. I'm freaked out about being a father and find myself wishing my own father was still alive, even though he and I had a very difficult relationship. I have a little boy inside me that wants the protection of his father. It makes me think that therapists who focus on attachment are right: one of the key ways that we learn to regulate stress and emotions is through internalized attachments. Unfortunately my parents were both very anxious people when I was growing up (my mother is still very anxious), and I never really was able to go to them to be comforted. My parents were almost phobic about strong emotions. Even now, I tried to talk to my mom about my anxiety over fatherhood and all she can say is, "But you've wanted this for a long time..."

 

Of course, all of my emotions, especially the difficult ones, seem heightened because of withdrawal. It's tough. It's been more than 2 years since I reinstated the Zoloft and added Abilify and I'm pretty sure I'm still going through withdrawal. I feel like a loser to be going through withdrawal at a higher dose than I started. I think the Zoloft didn't quite work as well after I reinstated. I wish my psychiatrist would have said, "Taper slowly if you decide to discontinue, and be aware that the drug might not work as well if you have to reinstate." I might never have tried to come off of it. I know that's not the right thing to say here because this is a forum for tapering off drugs, but that's the way I feel sometimes. 

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marconyc

@manymoretodays I just followed along to one of the tapping videos you posted. Pretty interesting. Not sure I feel much different, but I liked it.

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manymoretodays

Yah, to each his own......as far as what helps I think. 

I feel a difference by the second round through myself........just more relaxed.

And I can think straight again, etc.

 

Just a suggest marconyc. 

You're coming along super with your insights and objectivity and all!!!!

 

Try and stay present.  I know it's tough and you just want off your sertraline too!  Right NOW!

Stick with the program and protocols. 

We're quite proud of you!  :rolleyes:

 

signed: your Mom or fairy godmother, if you will.....lol

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marconyc

Thank you @manymoretodays I feel choked up when I think of the support you've given me. You're right, part of me does want off the sertraline, pronto. And another part of me wishes I could just take whatever meds will make the bad feelings go away. I'm doing the best I can. The fact that other people, like you, have walked this road helps me hang in there. 

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marconyc

I felt a little better yesterday as the day progressed. I did some meditation and went for a run. But I think the thing that helped most was allowing myself to cry. I find that sometimes, when I'm anxious, I need to cry. I used to think crying was only triggered by emotions like grief, but I realize that for some people, myself included, even anxiety can trigger tears. And it's best to let them come. It's like my nervous system doing what it needs to do to feel better. I usually have this feeling of peace and ease after crying that lasts sometimes for more than an hour.

 

I slept well last night, and this morning I'm not quite as anxious as I was yesterday or the day before. I don't feel back to normal, but I do feel a little less of a lump in my throat and pit in my stomach this morning. Maybe I'm learning that I can survive waves of difficult emotions. I don't want to jinx myself, though, because I still do feel anxious. I'm looking forward to therapy tomorrow. 

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RichT
3 hours ago, marconyc said:

I felt a little better yesterday as the day progressed. I did some meditation and went for a run. But I think the thing that helped most was allowing myself to cry. I find that sometimes, when I'm anxious, I need to cry. I used to think crying was only triggered by emotions like grief, but I realize that for some people, myself included, even anxiety can trigger tears. And it's best to let them come. It's like my nervous system doing what it needs to do to feel better. I usually have this feeling of peace and ease after crying that lasts sometimes for more than an hour.

 

I slept well last night, and this morning I'm not quite as anxious as I was yesterday or the day before. I don't feel back to normal, but I do feel a little less of a lump in my throat and pit in my stomach this morning. Maybe I'm learning that I can survive waves of difficult emotions. I don't want to jinx myself, though, because I still do feel anxious. I'm looking forward to therapy tomorrow. 

 

‘Hi Marconyc,

 

I feel the same. Even if feeling like crying is a symptom of withdrawal, which sometimes I think it can be for me, it is also a relief!

 

I’m glad you’re feeling better.

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marconyc

Thanks @RichT I have always tried to fight tears but I’m becoming a proud weeper.

 

How are you doing?

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Barjar

I’ve been off of Abilify for 10 days and I’m weeping.  I’m going back on 1mg a day and will try in the future to reduce even slower.  

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marconyc
15 minutes ago, Barjar said:

I’ve been off of Abilify for 10 days and I’m weeping.  I’m going back on 1mg a day and will try in the future to reduce even slower.  

 

@Barjar I'm at 0.25mg of Abilify, down from 1mg. That stuff digs in like a tick. Even the slightest change in dose can have me feeling like garbage. Take it slow. I finally listened to the moderators here and limited my cuts to 10%, with long holds. 

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RichT
57 minutes ago, marconyc said:

Thanks @RichT I have always tried to fight tears but I’m becoming a proud weeper.

 

How are you doing?

 

Feeling stressed but not too anxious. Better than I was prior to re-instatement. 

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marconyc
2 minutes ago, RichT said:

 

Feeling stressed but not too anxious. Better than I was prior to re-instatement. 

 

That's great to hear @RichT Awesome. 

 

Are you still on citalopram or have you stopped taking that?

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RichT
Just now, marconyc said:

 

That's great to hear @RichT Awesome. 

 

Are you still on citalopram or have you stopped taking that?

 

Thanks! Still on that

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marconyc
1 minute ago, RichT said:

 

Thanks! Still on that

 

Yeah, I'm still on sertraline. I don't know if I'll be able to completely come off it.. I'd love to, but I'm terrified of going through the withdrawal again. I'm taking it slow. Right now I'm focused on discontinuing the Abilify. And I'm glad I was able to stop the clonazepam. 

 

Keep up the good work @RichT

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marconyc

Yesterday while driving to my therapy appointment I had the thought, "Wow, I feel back to normal. I really feel like myself." And just at that moment, I noticed a certain "hyperawareness of consciousness" kick in. Some people with anxiety describe being preoccupied with their own heartbeat or some other bodily sensation that usually goes unnoticed, but I seem to get preoccupied with the basic fact of being a conscious being in a body. It will suddenly feel kind of strange or precarious, as if I can't be confident that my basic sense of self is solid and okay. Often this occurs in response to or together with a feeling of depersonalization triggered by stress/anxiety. In this case, though, it seemed like a part of me wasn't comfortable feeling at ease--in other words, it wasn't triggered by stress but by feeling relaxed.

 

I talked to my therapist about it, and we're going to explore this more. I wanted to share it here as well. I'm a bit hesitant to do so because I worry that others will think I'm weird or crazy. I had experienced transient depersonalization at times in the past, even before going on sertraline. My therapist (and even a psychiatrist I saw for a second opinion after I started experiencing withdrawal) said that it often stems from trauma or abuse. My father never hit me but he was harsh and punitive and probably would have been considered emotionally abusive. As an example, I remember playing soccer as a teenager and I fell on my wrist and came out of the game. My dad humiliated me in front of my teammates, saying I was playing like crap and was only pretending to be hurt. He wouldn't take me to the doctor, but then three days later I insisted and found out my wrist was badly broken. My point is that my tendency to dissociate may stem from those kinds of experiences. But since this withdrawal started in 2017, I've been experiencing more depersonalization and hyperawareness of consciousness. (I probably only experienced it a handful of times during the 17 years I was on sertraline, before my attempt at tapering.) It's definitely decreased as I've felt better these past two years, and in fact I hadn't felt it for a few months before yesterday. But I find it pretty distressing. I'm trying to just let it be and not feed it by getting anxious, but it's tough. 

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marconyc

The DP and hyperawareness settled quite a bit over the weekend. They didn't totally disappear but were reduced substantially. My wife and I and our two dogs spent the weekend at my Mom's house for Easter. It was good being with family and out of the city. I went for a few long runs and was able to kick back, watch soccer on TV, and take my dogs off leash. 

 

Yesterday toward the end of the day I started to feel crummy again--more depressed, more anxious. I noticed the anxiety first and then realized I miss my father, who passed away several years ago. In spite of a difficult relationship, I loved him and miss him, especially around holidays. Once I got in touch with that sadness, the anxiety pretty much dissipated. It's also possible that the depression is really "neuro-emotion" from protracted withdrawal and that missing my father is more like a convenient way for my nervous system to release pain and tears. Probably both are true. 

 

Now this morning I feel crummy again. I can't seem to get much done. I'm tired and I I feel depressed and anxious. I think it's probably the job. I'm recovering from the burnout but still often feel like I can't stand my work situation. Also, working from home has its advantages but can be lonely. 

 

Today is the 45th day at 0.25mg of aripiprazole. Still at 200mg of sertraline and no clonazepam. Still taking a multivitamin, fish oil, and magnesium daily. Sometimes I take a B-complex and vitamin D, but not regularly. I don't seem to have any adverse effects from the B or D, I'm just not as diligent about those because I know that SA recommends fish oil and magnesium most of all. My diet is pretty good. I have little caffeine or alcohol. Maybe a couple of glasses of wine per week and a couple of cups of coffee/black tea per week. Other than that, it's decaf tea (green or chamomile). I exercise daily but haven't been as consistent in my meditation or journaling the past few months. I go to therapy weekly. My "WD Normal" is decent and bearable and very slowly seems to be improving. But I still have plenty of tough days and get discouraged. My withdrawal started in late Dec 2016 and my nervous system hasn't been the same since, in spite of reinstating and adding medication. Sometimes I can't believe I've been going through this. I try not to catastrophize but it can feel like a nightmare. 

 

One other thing: my wife and I know that we can't stay in this apartment once the baby comes. It's too small, and NYC is ridiculously expensive. Lately we've been talking about moving to the west coast. We have close friends in Oregon and are considering moving there, where we could live much more comfortably on my salary. We also have family in California, although that's almost as expensive as NYC. The problem is that also have most of our family on the east coast, especially here in the NYC area. Maybe some of my anxiety is related to all of these changes that are coming up. 

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RichT

Hi Marconyc,

 

thanks for writing about where you are; I enjoy reading about that.

 

I can understand your feelings about the length of time this has been going on, and the stress from work. But you do seem to be on an upward path, even if it’s a gradual one.

 

moving to Oregon seems like an interesting idea.

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marconyc
1 minute ago, RichT said:

Hi Marconyc,

 

thanks for writing about where you are; I enjoy reading about that.

 

I can understand your feelings about the length of time this has been going on, and the stress from work. But you do seem to be on an upward path, even if it’s a gradual one.

 

moving to Oregon seems like an interesting idea.

 

Thanks @RichT Sometimes I just need someone who has experienced this painful process to say, "I understand. Hang in there." None of my friends or family have been through withdrawal from psych drugs. I'm the only person I know who has made a concerted effort to discontinue and then experienced protracted withdrawal. The only people I know who've tried to discontinue went back on meds very quickly and were fine. Most people I know haven't even considered coming off. At least the folks on this site know what this is like. 

 

How are you doing?

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RichT

I’m doing quite well. I have many withdrawal symptoms - muscle tension and aches, itching, hyper vigilance, jaw clenching, hyper sensitivity, fatigue, day time sleepiness, general low level flu-like symptoms  -  but I have so far escaped significant anxiety, DP/DR and insomnia since my reinstatement which are the symptoms I find really hard to bear. How i’ll feel if this continues for many months might be different though.

 

R

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marconyc
2 minutes ago, RichT said:

I’m doing quite well. I have many withdrawal symptoms - muscle tension and aches, itching, hyper vigilance, jaw clenching, hyper sensitivity, fatigue, day time sleepiness, general low level flu-like symptoms  -  but I have so far escaped significant anxiety, DP/DR and insomnia since my reinstatement which are the symptoms I find really hard to bear. How i’ll feel if this continues for many months might be different though.

 

R

Great news @RichT! Keep up the good work. 

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marconyc

One of the hardest things about a wave, for me, is when they immediately follow a window. That kind of wave feels particularly bad in comparison. I had a few days over the weekend of feeling good and now I'm upset and frustrated at this anxiety and depression.

 

My symptoms really feel tied to stressors or anticipation of stressors, even minor ones. The stress intolerance sucks. 

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marconyc

Right now I'm feeling like I'll never get back to feeling the way I did before trying to taper. 

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marconyc

Last night I went to soccer practice. Thank God for spring in NYC, and friends, and the joys of chasing around that little ball. I woke up today feeling neither overly anxious nor overly fatigued. I even decided to go to a local coffeeshop to do some work. I'm having an iced latte. I hope I don't regret the caffeine, but it tastes so good. Been awhile since I had one. 

 

Some days I fear that I'll never fully recover, and other days, I have hope. One thing I'm learning: regardless of how good I feel, I need to take care of myself every day: exercise, meditation, eating right, taking fish oil and magnesium, maintaining a regular sleep schedule. I have a friend in AA, and he learned in recovery that you have to be proactive and keep doing all the things that maintain sobriety. Sometimes I feel the same is true for people in psych drug withdrawal. 

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RichT
2 hours ago, marconyc said:

 

Some days I fear that I'll never fully recover, and other days, I have hope. One thing I'm learning: regardless of how good I feel, I need to take care of myself every day: exercise, meditation, eating right, taking fish oil and magnesium, maintaining a regular sleep schedule. I have a friend in AA, and he learned in recovery that you have to be proactive and keep doing all the things that maintain sobriety. Sometimes I feel the same is true for people in psych drug withdrawal. 

 

I think you’re right. It’s certainly true for me when I suffer depression too.

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marconyc
10 minutes ago, RichT said:

 

I think you’re right. It’s certainly true for me when I suffer depression too.

 

Same for me with episodes of depression. It can feel like they will never end, or that you'll never be able to return to the level of happiness you once had. 

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Rosetta

Thank you for posting on my thread.  I hope you are feeling all right tonight.  -Rosetta

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marconyc

Out of town for work and feeling more anxious and depressed than I have in a while. Still at 0.25mg/day of aripiprazole. 

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marconyc
On 4/24/2019 at 8:42 PM, Rosetta said:

Thank you for posting on my thread.  I hope you are feeling all right tonight.  -Rosetta

Thanks @Rosetta! I tried to reply last week but there was some technical problem with my account. 

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wantrelief
15 minutes ago, marconyc said:

Out of town for work and feeling more anxious and depressed than I have in a while.

Hopefully it is situational being away from home on a business trip....that sounds stressful and a cause to feel more anxious and depressed.  I have my fingers crossed you feel better once you are home.

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marconyc
1 minute ago, wantrelief said:

Hopefully it is situational being away from home on a business trip....that sounds stressful and a cause to feel more anxious and depressed.  I have my fingers crossed you feel better once you are home.

Thanks @wantrelief

 

I've been feeling quite a bit better in general these days. In fact, I wasn't anxious at all before leaving for my trip, which usually happens. These trips can be stressful because we have lots of client meetings. 

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wantrelief
2 minutes ago, marconyc said:

I've been feeling quite a bit better in general these days. In fact, I wasn't anxious at all before leaving for my trip, which usually happens. These trips can be stressful because we have lots of client meetings

That is great you've been feeling better in general and that you didn't get anxious at all before leaving for your trip. All of this seems positive that you will feel better once the stress of the client meetings have passed.  You are doing so well getting through the rough times when you have them....it is very inspiring!

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marconyc
1 minute ago, wantrelief said:

That is great you've been feeling better in general and that you didn't get anxious at all before leaving for your trip. All of this seems positive that you will feel better once the stress of the client meetings have passed.  You are doing so well getting through the rough times when you have them....it is very inspiring!

Thank you very much @wantrelief I really appreciate it

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marconyc

Hi @manymoretodays

 

I hope you're doing well. I just got back from a 5-day business trip. It was stressful, with lots of client meetings, but I didn't experience as many WD symptoms as I normally do. I managed to go for a few long runs and even saw some cousins who live in the area where I was staying. I got back last night. I'm pretty tired today and not feeling great emotionally, but I believe that's because I just worked 5 long days without a break and I'm back at work today. 

 

One thing that I'm still struggling with is the stress intolerance. It's slowly gotten better over the past 2.5 years, but it's not totally gone. I think stress intolerance is one reason I've been crying more. I just read that crying is one of the most basic responses to stress in infants. It's something we do naturally in response to stress. 

 

I'm still holding at 0.25 mgai of aripiprazole. I've been at that dose for 2 months now. Should I continue to hold?

 

 

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hey Marco!

 

Ah yes......we ARE infants with our emotions a bit.  That makes me laugh too as part of your stress is in and around a growing fetus/infant to be.  And hoping all are well, and your wife is feeling a bit over the moon now. 

 

And well done on all the business travel going well enough. 

I'm coming around to the conclusion that as we work our non-drug coping and meditation, etc.........exercise and movement included.........that eventually the usual things that stress us will become non-stressors.

 

I'm just pulling your more recent history together here:

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

7 Febr. you were on .4 mg aripiprazole

16 Febr.  0 mg aripiprazole

19 Febr.- all the way down to .1 mg (and a whopping 25 % decrease from the .4 mg above)

.......and then some time after that back to .2 mg

Which you then jumped off of again, less than a week ago.

Right now I'm actually taking about a 0.25 mg dose. I thought it was 0.2, but when I weighed the amount I'm taking, it was a little more than 11mg. 

 

And then I think you came up with the date of March 11th as to when you got consistent with the .25 mgai(active ingredient) that weighs in at  12 mgpw or .012 gmpw

 

Anyway, if a 2mg dose weighs 90 mg, then:

 

1mg dose = 45 mg

0.5mg dose = 22.5mg

0.25mg dose = 11.25 mg

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

So you've been consistently dosing now for around 2 months!!!  Yay. 

How do you feel about doing a 10% decrease now or in the next couple of weeks?

 

And then to figure out what that 10% decrease would be in both mgai and mgpw just multiply your present numbers by .90.

0.25 mgai(dose) X .90 = .225 mgai

11.25 mgpw(weight) X .90 = 10.125 mgpw

 

I come up with you weighing out .010 in grams of pill weight(gmpw) on your scale, which then gives you a dose of .22 mg(mgai).

Check me there with the math and see what you get too.  Round up too, whenever needed.

 

So......up to you.......if you want to wait just a bit longer, or go for a 10% decrease soon.  You had a bit of an inconsistent approach going up until March.....so, if you want to be cautious and wait a bit longer(let your CNS settle) that is going to be just fine too, marco.

 

I'm glad it's going well enough marco.  And do you pre weigh and measure your doses or travel with your scale?  I just wondered.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

p.s.  update your signature in Account Settings too please when making tapering changes. (and I hope you don't mind that I just did a little rearranging of yours that you might notice).  It's up to date for now too!

 

Edited by manymoretodays
formating, grammar fixes

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