Jump to content
Earthworm

Earthworm: stuck in dirt

Recommended Posts

Earthworm

I lost the ability to sleep 4 years ago... about 3 or 4 months into reinstatment of SSRI after withdrawal started at discontinuation of Lexapro. my sleep got worse over a period of 2 days and on the 3rd day i could not sleep at all... and that is how it has remained for 4 years so far. This is not something that I I'd want people here to debate or doubt, 4 years has been enough for me to find out that I totally cannot sleep anymore or fall asleep no matter how tired I am.

 

When I get too exhausted from lack of sleep, and try to sleep, i go into a state of half sleep, which gives me absolutely no rest but just makes me more tired and hurts me more, and i dont remain in that state long either. i tried herbs of all kinds, suppliments, and benadryl... all of them, even if taken together do absolutley nothing to improve my sleep even a tiny bit.

 

I have been taking 1mg of risperdal and that has been giving me sleep these past 4 years. Without risperdal i cannot get rest for a second. Risperdal makes me sleepy enough that I fall asleep and can wake up rested, although the quality of sleep is not deep like it used to be before withdrawal. nevertheless, i'm happy that at least I dont wake up tired or hurting.

 

i did a taper from celexa, and got down to 3.6mg, and my sleep did not improve one bit. Then i crashed, and my sleep still did not improve. Im scared that I wont be able to sleep for the rest of my life and will have to remain on risperdal. I dont like risperdal, but i dont know any long term sleep drugs. maybe my sleep will return if i get off of the ssri completely? i hope so, but there is a big problem of getting of the ssri. for now I am tapering now at 1mg every 6 weeks. i was at 30, im at 28 currently.

 

i dont even think about getting off the celexa... i've had 3 failed tapers although they were all quick, but it convinced me that getting off is impossible for me. i will taper as low as i can, not expecting much. I've heard poeple mention paradoxical effects. what is that? is that what i had that made me lose sleep? anyone got ideas why my sleep totaly dissapeared or what could have caused this brain damage?

Edited by scallywag
highlight medications, added paragraph breaks and tags

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Hello, again, Earthworm. I moved your topic here because it brings up some big questions about your situation in general.

 

As I recall, you were in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position where you were suffering adverse effects from the drug (was it akathisia?) and you couldn't taper either.

 

It sounded to me like SSRIs were always too stimulating for you. This affects the neurological systems governing sleep. They were reprogrammed by the drug to stay awake instead.

 

When you finally get off Celexa, the stimulation will be removed and your nervous system will have a chance to recover. It has a natural tendency to revert to factory settings.

 

For the time being, at least Risperdal is helping. I know how horrible it is to go without sleep.

 

Are you getting any withdrawal symptoms when you reduce Celexa by 1mg?

 

A paradoxical reaction means, for example. when you take something that's supposed to be sedating, it's stimulating instead. This often happens with benzos and Benedryl.

Share this post


Link to post
Nikki

You poor kid...I feel for you.

 

I'll tell you what happened to me and maybe some suggestions...

 

I did the opposite taper. I weaned onto Celexa and off of Imipramine (tricyclic).

After I finished the Imipramine, I developed terrible insomnia. It lasted for about (6) weeks.

 

I used Propanolol, which didn' help much to my surprise. I tried hydrozine (what's in Benedryl) for sleep and it did work but I had a horrible hangover effect.

 

I purchased Calms Forte from the Health Store. It does have a calming effect. I know someone who used Rescue Remedy during their paxil taper and it helped her alot. During my Lexapro taper I found Calcium/Magnesium to be soothing.

 

Thank goodness...the insomnia stopped after the 6-7 weeks.

 

I wonder if your taper is adding to the insomnia issue. When you were on a full dose of Celexa did you have insomnia?

 

The tricyclics induce sleep. I have taken 2 (Pamelor and Imipramine). I had very little side effects from Imipramine. What about Accupuncture or Hypnosis?

 

Hugs

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

hey moses, what kind of technique does that book teach? it sounds too good to believe for my insomnia. but if it would work, i would be blown out of my mind, it would be a dream come true. has it helped you? what kind of things does it teach? im interested, but i have doubts that a book could solve this.

 

nikki, i am unable to sleep on a full dose, or on 3.6mg of celexa or of any other ssri that i've been on. the insomnia came about a month or 2 months into my reinstatment of SSRIs, and has remained since. it seems to have appeared shortly after i switched from zoloft to paxil... maybe within a week or 2... but i cant be sure, my memory is bad. since getting on paxil, i switched to lexapro and then later to celexa, on which i've been since the end of 2008.

 

alto, i really do hope that i will be able to sleep once i get off celexa, and that it is in fact celexa and other ssris that have been keeping me from sleeping. however, at one point, i was at 3.6mg of celexa, and my sleep did not improve a tiny bit... that worries me that i wont be able to sleep even when i am off.

 

since i started my taper again, i have had absolutely no problems from the taper. i am currently on 27mg. all my conditions remain, and nothing new has appeared.

 

anyways, thank you 3 for your responses, i really do appreciate it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Earthworm, how are you doing now?

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Hi Alto!

 

I'm doing the same, not much changed these 2 years. Still can only sleep with RIsperdal. Still on 26mg Celexa.

 

I tried Lamictal, Deplin, T3, L-Theanine, Inositol, Anafranil, Nefazodone, and Oxytocin.

 

Lamictal and Inositol seemed to improve my OCD a little bit and that's it. Oxytocin really messed me up... caused a lot of anxiety which lasted into my dreams. Took over 2 months for me to stabilize after it. I'm gonna call Dr. Prey and see what he says to try next. I also don't like being on Risperdal for sleep for 6 years now... maybe I can switch to something less dangerous.

 

A big improvement over the years has been with my akathisia/agitation. Its very low now. The longer I go without a crash, the lower it gets. It is very low now and only sometimes a little annoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Well, that's not the best news, but it's still good news. Very happy to hear akathisia is fading away.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

My WD started from Lexapro back in December 2007. Two months later I've reinstated SSRI's, I switched some around until I settled on Celexa in December 2008. Waiting 2 months to reinstate really did me damage that remains to this day. The only thing that got better was the 24/7/365 akathisia, which is is very weak now. OCD is very debilitating to me still, I cannot work or study due to my checking compulsions. My social anxiety is still debilitating too. My insomnia never got better since it started back in May 2008... I'm stuck on Risperdal for sleep since its beginning. Been going to therapy for years and it doesn't help... therapy books helped very little. I don't want to taper anymore either... I might succeed in reducing dosage, but that's the best that might happen. After 3 crashes my brain got damaged quite a bit... it just does not reset after so many of them.

 

I hate being an adult and sharing a bedroom with my adult sister... thus is the way of the sick and poor.

 

The worst thing about all this is that I don't see hope of my health ever getting better, so I'll be stuck in this for the rest of my life... and that is a disturbing thought.

 

I distract myself with music piracy that keeps me busy and entertained, but after several years of doing this daily, it's getting pretty old. I sometimes walk around the city and buy food, but I'm so bored of this now that I just want to stay at home. I chat with my friends online, and rarely go out with them into the city... social anxiety does make it difficult most of the time. I wish I had more caring friends to see, but they are all healthy and can't relate to my world.

 

I'm looking for new ideas to do in order to keep myself from going crazy. What can a person who has a lot of difficulty with socializing do? I thought about art, but my brain turns into a knot when I try to do it. Can't do much reading either, brain turns into a knot there too. Heck, my brain even turns into a knot when I do the dishes lol. WD brain...

Share this post


Link to post
alex

IMHO, you are not in WD, just because you never withdraw from psy medication.

You have been taking it for the last 7 years and still do.

I am in WD, I haven't touched any medication for 2 years and 3 months now.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

IMHO, you are not in WD, just because you never withdraw from psy medication.

You have been taking it for the last 7 years and still do.

I am in WD, I haven't touched any medication for 2 years and 3 months now.

IMHO, you're a noob.

Share this post


Link to post
Chemistry

Your sig says you still taking 26mg of Citalopram, 1mg of Risperidone. So basically i believe you are going through discontinuation to some extant from 2007 and the effects of the drugs you're on, but as you said you probably wont get better, not because you can't, but because you're still taking the drugs that are probably causing this to drag on this long. Am i right? Healing from WD from SSRIs starts when you're off of SSRIs especially Celexa (and ideally any other psych meds). It seems like common sense to me, not noobish advice.

 

Not saying coming off is as easy as 1,2,3 though lol or that you haven't thought of this before, its just that you can't really expect to get much better if you're still taking medication.

Share this post


Link to post
Rhiannon

Actually, there is no actual evidence that people have to be all the way off medication to begin to recover. In fact we see people get a lot of improvement with lower doses, and end up harmed worse if they go with the "got to get all the way off" approach and get off meds too fast. It's a myth that you can't recover from past WD while still taking meds. It can be pretty hard to stabilize if you keep changing meds, and certainly meds do complicate and perturb the situation. But we've found that what matters most is stability. Not everyone can get all the way off all meds, but you can get a LOT of improvement while still on low doses.

 

Alex, it's possible to suffer withdrawal symptoms from past withdrawals even while taking other meds.  Maybe it's not all technically "withdrawal"; terminology is not precise when discussing the ways these drugs screw us up both when we take them and when we try to quit taking them. Regardless of what you call it, the suffering itself is real and I think we can all relate rather than writing it off as somehow less valid than yours.

 

Earthworm, ad hominem attacks are against forum policy. If you disagree with someone's ideas, disagree with their ideas, don't attack them personally. (What's a noob, anyway? Isn't that shorthand for "newbie"? At least originally. Alex is hardly a newbie, he's been around here for a long time, and has a story of his own of suffering and courage that you might do well to read up on before you start name-calling.)

 

I'm sorry for your suffering. These drugs can really mess people up. Have you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker?

 

Also, if you haven't yet, please start a thread for yourself in the Intro section, where people will see it. If you already have a thread there, please add to it there. I won't be continuing to reply in this thread. This section is for discussing specific symptoms and our experiences with them and (ideally, if possible) helpful suggestions for coping with them. (Forgive me if that was your intent and I have misunderstood.)

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

I can disagree with people's ideas, but I do get annoyed by wise-ass statements that I'm not in withdrawal.

 

I should not have posted here, so far I've just got annoyed.

Share this post


Link to post
alex

I can understand your anger and frustration.

All I'm saying is that your "medicine" could be your problem.

Check Citalopram and Risperdal side effects.

Instead of calling me a "noob" (have no idea what it means...and I don`t care) why don't give your poor body a real chance to heal, without puting  more drugs in it?

IMHO, 7 years should be enough...

Share this post


Link to post
Hudgens

I just ended a 4 year taper. I had bad insomnia for about the last  2 years (1-4) hrs a night. Although I only had maybe 2 nights a month with no sleep, 1-2 hrs was very common. All that seems to have changed lately, I'm finally getting between 5-7 hrs a night now.

The situation didn't begin improve until I was well below 1/10th of a 1/10th of a mg. A very small amount, indeed. Anyway things are even getting better these last 2 days since stopping the Effexor completely. I got 7 hrs last night. Not sure if you've ever tried a very slow taper yet. Sounds as if yours have all been pretty quick. What I did was drop 10-25% of each current dose, but then only make the next drop when I felt sure I was stabilized on the current drop. Sometimes that meant waiting as much as 5 months, but I feel like it was worth it, and I always seemed to have fewer withdrawal symptoms than others who were going faster. I don't think there's anyone, no matter how destabilized from whatever in the past, that can't get off of any antidepressant if they go slowly and carefully enough. I think if you can first get off of the Celexa and then the stuff you take for sleeping, that you will return to normal functioning.

Living at home when you're 57 (me) and being completely dependent on others for everything can be seen as humiliating OR it can be seen as a blessing and opportunity for a ill person to get well. Ruminating on  humiliation helps no one and even hurts yourself and others. Getting better-no matter how long it takes, helps everyone. As you progress you will gradually regain more and more of a general sense of well being (something most people take for granted) which will help you see all the way through this rough patch in your life. You can't get much in the way of producing something of value right now or even distract yourself with a novel, but that's not always going to be the case. You also have a lot of people here on your side. Things are going to be alright.    

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Earthworm.

 

I moved your topic from symptoms here, to your own thread because it relates your situation in general.

 

My understanding of withdrawal is that it consists of symptoms which are caused by an absence of a substance which your body has become accustomed to.  You reinstated those substances 7 years ago, and while it may have taken a while for your body to stabilize from the withdrawal and reinstatement, I don't think that after 7 years, what you are experiencing now can accurately be called withdrawal.  Perhaps there is still some residual sensitivity and destabilization from 7 years ago, combined with destabilizing effects from trying various other drugs and supplement

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

What withdrawal when it comes to SSRI means to me, is that the initial discontinuation starts the havoc in the brain... withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. For some people, reinstating is successful and all their symptoms go away. For others like me, perhaps due to the 2 month break from the SSRI, the reinstatement was not able to return my body to the original pre-discontinuation state. All it did was make my situation a bit better and kept it from getting worse (because it just kept getting intolerably worse therefore I had to reinstate).

 

To this day the havoc started by discontinuation of the SSRI has not gone away. I call my situation withdrawal because that is the origin of it all. I do have side effects due to the medication, but those are additional to the symptoms which originated at the discontinuation of Lexapro in 2007. OCD was the first symptom to show up back then, it is the withdrawal symptom. I am not sure about my akathisia and insomnia though, because they appeared sometime after the reinstatement... they could be side effects or just a further development of the havoc triggered by original discontinuation. My poor skin healing, weight gain, muscle fatigue, and sexual dysfunction are side effects however.

 

The SSRI switching didn't make things worse for me, nor did the supplements. But the original Lexapro discontinuation did... it started all this mess.

 

I have tried 3 tapers during these 7 years, although they were fast and I crashed horribly. That set me back pretty good. After that 3rd crash, my body takes much longer to stabilize, although it never stabilizes in regard to insomnia or OCD or social anxiety. The latest thing to destabilize me was a supplement however, oxytocin. I took in February I think, and I still get bad waves from it. This is the first supplement which I've taken to screw me up bad.

 

Tapering is something I only dream of. No one needs to tell me that I need to be off this crap. The problem is that the 3 crashes made me very sensitive to tapering, and I don't even really see a point of doing it anymore because of the suffering it will trigger. I am convinced from my experience and 3 crashes that it is impossible for me to taper off this drug. I may be able to taper to a lower dosage, but all hell breaks loose at the lower doses. My life is sh*tty as it is, I don't want to make it worse by doing another taper that is doomed to fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Earthworm,

I apologize about my last post, I had actually written a lot more than posted, but I was having trouble uploading and that's all that posted.  I understand why you think of what you are going through as withdrawal, and that's fair enough, in some ways I'm similar, my current problems started back in 2010 with a too fast taper from Lexapro, subsequent trials of other drugs, irregular use and supplements made things much worse, but I still call it all withdrawal.  Its probably more accurate to call it continued nervous system destabilization.

 

I have tried 3 tapers during these 7 years, although they were fast and I crashed horribly. That set me back pretty good.

 

If/when you do manage to stabilize again, I think you could be successful with a 'proper' taper.  You have never tapered slowly and carefully all the way down to zero, so you have never given yourself the chance to find out if its possible for you to be medication free.  I'm not saying it would be easy, but I do think its possible.  Because a lot of your symptoms are actually side effects of the drugs you are on, I don't think you should rule out the possibility of getting off the drugs.... if you wanted to.

 

Some very sensitive people are able to be successful with doing a micro taper over several years.  You are going to be taking the drugs anyway for years if you don't stop, so why not try tapering off the celexa very very slowly, slow enough that you don't make yourself feel worse.

 

 As I recall, you were in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position where you were suffering adverse effects from the drug (was it akathisia?) and you couldn't taper either. It sounded to me like SSRIs were always too stimulating for you. This affects the neurological systems governing sleep. They were reprogrammed by the drug to stay awake instead. When you finally get off Celexa, the stimulation will be removed and your nervous system will have a chance to recover. It has a natural tendency to revert to factory settings. For the time being, at least Risperdal is helping.

 

 

What concerns me is that you haven't given yourself a chance by tapering slow enough and have reached the conclusion that its not possible for you based on your previous tapering experience.  The way I see it is you have learned what not to do, and can now try something different.  But of course its your life and your choice and we will support you whatever you decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Dammit, I got drunk a month ago, and have destabilized my system further. My nervous system is more sensitive and reacts to anxiety and stimuli more easily now. I wish I could drink alcohol, it really made socializing easy for me and took all anxiety and tension away.

 

I made a plan to meet with friends in a week, and now I can't stop feeling anxious about that day approaching.

 

I ate so much magnesium today... 1.4g but it hasn't helped. Does magnesium citrate expire? Mine is, and I wonder if this is why it's not working.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Does anyone have advice for me?

 

I'm gonna see 3 old friends next week, and I have a feeling they'll ask me what I've been up to these past 6 years that I haven't seen them. In my experience these conversations either upset me or make me really angry, because people tend to not take me seriously when I say I've had health catastrophe which has severely debilitated me.

 

I keep thinking about the day approaching and how I'll explode in anger if anyone tries to brush off and minimize this illness.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Yes I agree, I would love to know how others talk to old friends and new people about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

* post moved from symptoms section

 

I put like 10 drops of some relaxation blend of essential oils on my feet, lavender oil being the top ingredient, and that triggered off nervous system sensitivity.

 

I feel like the nerves in my limbs and chest/solar-plexus are sensitive and start to vibrate with anxiety at various stimuli. Things like watching a dramatic music video, sudden sound, or slightly negative emotions trigger this agitation and vibration-like unpleasant sensation.

 

I wasn't expecting stupid essential oils to cause this.

 

Experiencing stronger levels of anxiety makes it a lot worse, and starts sciatic nerve itching/agitation... that one feels nasty.

 

In late November I had another destabilization caused by my wine drinking experiment.

 

Frustrating and upsetting all these destabilization are. They take weeks or months to get better. Need to curl up and avoid stimuli for a while.

Edited by Petu
added note

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Earthworm,

I moved your most recent post from another part of the site to your introduction thread here,  because its about your own situation specifically.  Please add information and updates about your changing circumstances, and ask questions here in your own thread.

 

I also had a reaction to using lavender oil in an oil/water diffuser.

Share this post


Link to post
ladybug

I'm not a fan of Lavender oil either. I've sprinkled some drops on my pillow before when I was having sleep problems. It never really did much and I remember the last time I used it I had some brief half awake nightmare or something strange like that. I was about to fall asleep when all of a sudden a scary image flashed into my mind and it jolted me awake. I've stayed away from it since then. Strange how even essential oils can affect us negatively in WD.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

I'm allergic to lavender oil. I wouldn't put any on my skin!

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Hmm I guess I'm not the only one.

 

Been doing a lot better with that sensitivity lately... pretty much don't feel any during my regular stay-at-home life, but still more sensitive to all stressors.

 

I been feeling motivated about CBT lately... I got a new therapist. Gonna be working on social anxiety, OCD, and depression.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

I'm happy to hear you are feeling a bit better Earthworm, the CBT sounds good, do let us know how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Been in a bout of depression/anhedonia now for about 2 weeks. Crawl out of it at times during the day only to fall back into it again.

 

The sight of happy people enjoying life/who have health and education/career throws me into sadness as I am disabled since age 20 due to discontinuation syndrome. I share a bedroom with my adult sister due to poverty.

 

Life was sh*tty before age 20 too since I've had crippling social anxiety. I just feel terribly unlucky, why did all this **** happen to me? Why was I the one to have my life ruined? ****.

Share this post


Link to post
Martina23

Earthworm, I am sorry for what you are currently living through. It is really terrible. But on the other hand, you have at least still your adult sister. When I started to have problems during the withdrawal, my parents were absolutely not interested to help me. I am taking caring of two little children alone and still go working within acute withdrawal. You have someone to turn to, you sister. Sometimes in the life it is more important to have the bad times to share with someone, it gives you better feeling than even to have millions but to be alone. I truly hope that you will start to fell better on day and can accomplish all the things you desire and be with lots of nice people and enjoy the life to the fullest.

Share this post


Link to post
LoveandLight

Yes I hope for that too for you xx

Share this post


Link to post
Martina23

Earthworm, maybe it is too much for you right now, but can´t you find some not difficult work? You would have more money and you would be with people, then you would not think only about your health problems? That is a pity that I dont know so much about you, but I can imagine some not very difficult work would only help you and maybe give you motivation to try solutions which would fit to you. And please dont worry about that you are living in the poverty. When I was 20 - 24, I also had nothing, I was living in the students house, because it was cheap, did ocassional works for very little money and dreamed about the time when I would a big boss in an international company which would belong to me. I dont have it even yet :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Wildflower0214

Been in a bout of depression/anhedonia now for about 2 weeks. Crawl out of it at times during the day only to fall back into it again.

 

The sight of happy people enjoying life/who have health and education/career throws me into sadness as I am disabled since age 20 due to discontinuation syndrome. I share a bedroom with my adult sister due to poverty.

 

Life was sh*tty before age 20 too since I've had crippling social anxiety. I just feel terribly unlucky, why did all this **** happen to me? Why was I the one to have my life ruined? ****.

I'm having to live at home because of this. And, I know living with your sister is not ideal, but I just spoke with someone who is going through this with no one. They hve nowhere to turn and no help. Gratefulness goes a long way. Some people end up in shelters, so I'm gonna say, having to live with a family member is probably not that big of a deal. The fact that there is a family member to live with is a HUGE deal and something to be thankful for. I have to remind myself of this a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Earthworm

Thanks for your responses. I suppose I should keep in mind that living with my family has its advantages too. My sister isn't supportive though, hardly ever do I have a normal conversation with her, or a conversation that is pleasant. My mom though is supportive, so that's good.

 

I wish I could work as well, I hate being poor and wish I had money to buy some stuff. However my social anxiety and OCD are crippling and debilitating... I haven't made progress with them at all despite years of therapy and drugs. I get super anxious around people and can't maintain focus on any tasks I do, plus I get checking compulsions with a lot of tasks that I do even at home... they are time consuming and painful.

 

I'm considering going to some agency here for disabled people that tries to get us back to work, they have jobs at the agency. However, I'm expecting either they don't take me due to my poor performance (lack of concentration/endless checking), or I just leave it myself quick due to my level of anxiety and painful checking. I still plan to visit that agency on one of my better days though to see what they say.

Share this post


Link to post
LoveandLight

Sounds good earthworm..about the agency..

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...