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Kernol

Kernol: was doing well on my sertraline taper but now in hell and doc reinstated

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Altostrata

Destabilization's awful symptoms come in waves. You are not losing your grip on reality.

 

You're in the unfortunate position of probably experiencing adverse effects from diazepam and the other drugs, as well as underlying destabilization from sertraline withdrawal.

 

It will still take several weeks for the October 15 vortioxetine reduction to take full effect. Please hang in there. Try not to add your fears about your symptoms to your symptoms.

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Kernol

Thanks @Altostrata your explanation helps so much. I am so grateful for all your help. How do I donate?

 

yesterday was a bit better in the afternoon and I am so grateful for even a notch down on the anxiety for a few hours:

 

2/11

 

8.00am laid in bed feeling the heaviness of depression and anxiety in my stomach 

9.00am took 2mg diazepam and had shower

10.30am walked to corner shop, felt dread and depression 

12.00pm had a salad

12.30pm did some vacuuming, still feeling immense dread and depression

1.30pm random memory of a bus station in a town where I grew up - made me anxious but it didn’t feel like a volcano had erupted in my stomach like on previous days so I carried on doing the housework and I can feel the depression has lifted slightly 

2.00pm took 1mg diazepam

3.00pm able to sit and do crossword and watch football. Took 1.7mg vortioxetine

4.00pm stupidly read a newspaper article online of a benzo withdrawal success story which ended in saying some are not so lucky and end up going to a euthanasia clinic to end their lives. Obviously this makes me anxious but somehow I manage to put it aside a bit better

5.30pm have big meal

6.00pm have an intrusive thought about reincarnation which disturbs me but able to bat it away a bit better

7.00pm take 2mg diazepam. I notice when I think of the places that I have had the bizarre random Memories, the anxiety is there but not as intense. This makes me feel so relieved that just at this point in time the reaction is not as overwhelming 

8.00pm play quiz game with husband 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

10.30pm fall asleep, no nightmares

4.00am wake with teeth clenching and cortisol rushes

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Altostrata

You might reduce vortioxetine to 1.6mg in 2 days.

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Kernol

3/11

 

8.30am got up had shower, not as disorientated

9.00am took 2mg diazepam

10.00am anxiety is strong but maybe slightly less intense chemical feel to it

11.00am play online quiz games

12.00pm do some housework 

1.30pm have sandwich, anxiety still there but not as depressed as previous days

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam

3.00pm take 1.7mg vortioxetine 

5.00pm start to feel a sizzling electric feeling of anxiety coming In stomach, so do some deep breathing 

6.00pm lay down, the random memories and song looping start (first day not had a song looping until now) and anxiety becomes more electric again also extremely fatigued

7.00pm take 2mg diazepam

8.00pm random places causing the doom dread chemical anxiety again, I try and comfort myself that this wasn’t there yesterday so it is transient

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline go to sleep

11.00pm woken repeatedly by numb arms and pins and needles - not had this maybe for a week? It’s probably a sertraline effect as had it when I was destabilised on reinstatement at beginning of year so could just be vortioxetine changes affecting this. Disorientation on waking  which didn’t have previous night. 
1.00am-4.00am pretty restless sleep and disorientation again when waking but no major nightmares or panic attacks just waking more with the numbness of arms and some burning on stomach and back 

4.00am teeth clenching starts to wake me and then cortisol rushes start 

 

ok @Altostrata will go down to 1.6mg tomorrow. 

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Kernol

4/11

 

8.00am got up had shower feel usual dread feelings

9.00am take 2mg diazepam 

10.00am do some housework

11.00am do some work emails, dread but not as electric/chemical feeling 

12.00pm get strong doom feeling listening to someone outside having a conversation no real reason. Tell myself my nerves are just sensitised 

1.00pm have sandwich, notice bit more skin pain today on stomach and the burnt skin feeling on legs 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam 
3.00pm do some work emails dread there but not as electric. take 1.7mg vortioxetine

4.30pm starts to get dark and feel the sizzling electric anxiety stronger in stomach. do some deep breathing

5.00pm have very real feeling intrusive memory of watching a soap opera as a child. Scared me a bit as so real feeling like I am actually there and makes me feel derealisation surroundings feel unfamiliar 

6.00pm have some dinner then go and lay down as starting to get more random place memories with strong chemical anxiety feeling in stomach

7.00pm take 2mg diazepam 

8.00pm fall asleep but have very strong anxious doom feelings attached to random memories and wake up 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline. 

10.30pm wake with very strong teeth clenching - not been this bad or early in the night for a while clamping down hard

11.00pm-2.00am waking with anxiety and teeth clenching 

3.00am get up as the anxiety in my sleep when dreaming is so strong and my stomach and back burning Like nerve endings on fire

4.00am go back to bed but just have more anxious dreams with burning and teeth clenching waking me

6.00am head is electric tingling feels like it’s in a vice 

 

@Altostrata bad evening and night. Not sure if it is to do with the last vortioxetine cut even though so small a cut or just a wave of destabilisation. I am also noticing I have had hair loss for last few months of this destabilised time but last few days it has become worse like handfuls coming out 

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Altostrata
8 hours ago, Kernol said:

3.00pm do some work emails dread there but not as electric. take 1.7mg vortioxetine

4.30pm starts to get dark and feel the sizzling electric anxiety stronger in stomach. do some deep breathing

 

My reading is that your symptoms intensify after you take vortioxetine. My guess is the vortioxetine has to go. I would continue to reduce it by 0.1mg every 3 days. Hang in there.

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Kernol

5.11

 

8.00am get up have shower feel tired after bad night 

9.00am take 2mg diazepam 

10.00am do some work emails and play some quiz games. Dread is ever present but that’s normal at moment

11.00am do some vacuuming. Notice a fair amount of skin pain sunburn feelings today on back stomach and legs. Hair is also falling out all over the place 

12.30pm have intense random memory of a train station which gives me strong chemical feeling of anxiety in stomach back and head burning 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam try and lie down

3.00pm don’t have any restful sleep feel dread and some sizzling electric anxiety feeling in stomach. Take 1.7mg vortioxetine 

4.00pm play quiz game

5.00pm try and do some visualisation of being in places like supermarket to see if I can create a positive one. Doom feeling imagining being there makes my head feel like it’s on fire all nerve endings feel like they are tingling 

6.00pm do more visualisation and this time not as bad reaction. So odd. Feel a bit calmer

7.00pm take 2mg diazepam. Have dinner

8.00pm watch football match on tv 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

10.30pm - 4.00am sleep ok

4.00am - Woken with strong teeth clenching and really strong electric/burning anxiety in stomach and back all burning/nerve pain. Fall back to sleep but wake again at 5am with same.

6.00am have to get up as can’t face it happening again and the feeling of this chemical fear is still with me for some time after waking 

 

hi @Altostrata sometimes it does seem to intensify after vortioxetine but other days it seems to happen before it so I don’t know really. The only time I seem to not have intensified symptoms is usually after the morning dose of diazepam for about 2 hours and then I can feel it wear off at lunchtime but I agree vortioxetine has to go so will do next drop on Friday as you suggest. 

 

One other observation I have noticed is that the last month or maybe longer I am less restless ie I can actually sit still. I spent February- October with so much adrenaline I would have to pace or run on the spot I could never just sit during the day I had to walk about room to room all the time - now I dont seem to do that much at all. I have no idea if that is because I am currently not tapering the sertraline or currently not tapering the diazepam but it is a definite change. In some ways that was preferable to what I am experiencing now but I just thought i would mention it.

 

 

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Altostrata
5 hours ago, Kernol said:

One other observation I have noticed is that the last month or maybe longer I am less restless ie I can actually sit still. I spent February- October with so much adrenaline I would have to pace or run on the spot I could never just sit during the day I had to walk about room to room all the time - now I dont seem to do that much at all. I have no idea if that is because I am currently not tapering the sertraline or currently not tapering the diazepam but it is a definite change. In some ways that was preferable to what I am experiencing now but I just thought i would mention it.

 

This is a subtle improvement.

 

Vortioxetine has a very long half-life. The vortioxetine you take every day affects you all day long and into the next day. This is why it's taken so long for the reductions you've already made to take effect -- reducing the symptoms that are the adverse effects of vortioxetine. Your system is only now noticing the reduction you made on October 15.

 

You are being very brave, there's a way to go, but it will continue to get better.

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Kernol

6/11


8.00am got up had shower feel dread in pit of stomach but normal

9.00am take 2mg diazepam

10.00am bit calmer do some housework

11.30am do some work emails

12.00pm intrusive memory of shopping centre comes with a strong wave of chemical anxiety

1.00pm - mother in law showing me photos of houses and gardens, brings on the strongest feeling of electric anxiety in my stomach like some chemical is being poured in there I feel so peculiar when I look at the photos for no reason.   Brain feels like it’s burning. 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam

3.00pm still feel strong chemical anxiety in stomach just having a benign conversation about their motorway journey to visit me - so strong. I try and accept but this is hard 
Take 1.6mg vortioxetine

4.00pm play online quiz game, do some work emails

6.00pm eat dinner 

7.00pm feel a bit calmer, like down and do some deep breathing and try some visualisation of feeling better in the future. Take 2mg diazepam

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

10.30pm - 3.00am sleep ok

3.00am teeth clenching and some burning wake me

5.00am wake to cortisol rushes

 

thanks @Altostrata I keep going!  This chemical anxiety was v strong yesterday again lunchtime to afternoon but not there in the mornings. It’s weird I never had this particular feeling when I was destabilised last year/beginning of this year on sertraline  it is totally new/alien feeling to me and getting stronger these past weeks. Do you think that means it is likely to be the vortioxetine causing it as it’s so unfamiliar and if so is it normal it would get stronger as we reduce down? Or is it just this time the sertraline destabilisation is manifesting differently?

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Altostrata

I think the vortioxetine is interacting with the other drugs and as you lower the dosage, the balance of all of them is shifting.

 

My guess is that even looking at innocuous domestic photos or planning a normal trip makes you anxious because you worry you will be able to fulfill your responsibilities. This anxiety is magnified by your sensitized nervous system. Please keep telling yourself you're getting through this. You've done it so far, managing to appear relatively normal. When these feelings occur, reassure yourself, you'll get by.

 

When is your next decrease in vortioxetine?

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Kernol

Hi @Altostrata thank you yes maybe I worry I will always feel this intense chemical anxiety wherever I go or whatever I think about and that makes it worse combined with the bizarre anxiety reactions to inocuous memories like random streets and places which hold no meaning - just feels like my memories and emotions have got all mixed up in this chemical mess even my happiest memories like my wedding I get the same awful feeling when I think of them but I keep telling myself it won’t always be like this. In the morning after the diazepam dose the chemical anxiety feeling is not nearly as intense it feels more like my organic anxiety and dread and I can think of memories more normally which is preferable to the strong chemical feelings that come after that wears off.
 

My next drop will be tomorrow to 1.5mg if you agree? 

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Altostrata

Yes, I would go off the vortioxetine continuously, decreasing by 0.1mg every few days until you get to 1.0mg.

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Kernol

ok @Altostrata will do. Here is yesterday's symptom log, I assume you want me to keep doing these still?

 

7/11

8.00am got up had shower, notice red line down side of my face where i have been lying and stays until the afternoon. Strangely I have noticed over this year, when i have done sertraline cuts, my clothes have left strong red marks on my skin - must be the same thing.
9.00am - took 2mg diazepam
9.30am - walked to corner shop, felt usual dread, gloom feelings but not the intense chemical feeling
10.30am- had psychologist visit
12.00pm - had random memory of a dream I had weeks ago in mid conversation but dealt with it
12.30pm - feeling chemical anxiety starting to rise, cannot engage in conversation with mother in law too well, as talking about train stations anything is making me think about me in those places and intense feeling of dread and head tingling and burning starts
1.00pm - have lunch, notice skin pain
1.30pm - strong de ja vu feeling
2.00pm take 1mg diazepam
2.30pm - do a bit of housework and play online quiz, random memory of a shopping centre brings very strong chemical anxiety feeling, try and let it pass, tell myself it will end soon it wont always be like this
3.00pm - take 1.6mg vortioxetine
4.00pm - play online quiz, still strong chemical anxiety, finding it hard to engage in conversation as anything seems to set it off
5.00pm - try some deep breathing. Get another strong de ja vu feeling.
6.00pm - manage to have dinner at table, lots of bizarre intrusive thoughts but stay at the table and eat even with a volcano of anxiety going off in my chest and stomach
7.00pm - take 2mg diazepam, play online quiz games and sit with family downstairs for a while
8.30pm - go to lie down. Trying to hang on to hope this will get better, its hard.
9.00pm - take 16mg sertaline
10.30pm - sleep ok until 2am woken with some teeth clenching. Back to sleep til 4am then panicky cortisol rushes and intense dreams until 6am
 

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Altostrata

You seem to think of shopping centers in the afternoon.

 

It appears to me that vortioxetine is still a problem. Would you like to try reducing vortioxetine by 0.1mg every day, until you get to 1.0mg? Then you would reduce by 0.05mg per day, until you get to 0.5mg.

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Kernol

Hi @Altostrata yes a lot of the Random intrusive flashbacks happen in the afternoon from lunchtime onwards. They have become more frequent over the last month now multiple a day and also de ja vu feelings started a few days ago.

 

I will reduce by 0.1mg daily until I get to 1mg which should be next Wednesday. My husband isn’t sure he can get 0.05mg cuts accurately on the scales we are using but he is going to test it today and see. Thank you 

 

 

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Altostrata

Hang in there. I would think of the flashbacks as chemical accidents occurring as your internal ecology rebalances on reduced vortioxetine.

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Kernol

8/11

 

8.00am get up had shower, felt dread

9.00am took 2mg diazepam

10.00am did some housework

11.00am did some work emails, doom and dread feelings but no strong Chemical feeling

12.30pm random flashback memories start 

1.00pm feel the chemical feeling anxiety rising in my stomach 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam 

3.00pm anxiety very strong in my stomach feels electric. Take 1.5mg vortioxetine 

4.00pm anything and everything making me feel anxious even innocuous conversations it’s there 

6.00pm sat at table had dinner

7.00pm went to lie down as intense feelings of dread/doom and some burning in head. Take 2mg diazepam 

8.00pm play online quiz

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

11.00pm - 3.00am slept but woken with anxiety jolts and Teeth clenching and disorientated when waking 

4.00am anxiety rushes start in and out of sleep until 7.00am

 

9/11

 

9.00am got up had shower, felt dread, take 2mg diazepam

10.00am did crosswordS with family 

11.00am conversations ok anxiety there but not overwhelming

12.30pm anxiety starts to increase feels chemical 

1.00pm do some deep breathing 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam. Anxiety starts to become stronger, world seems much more doom and gloom. Random dream snippet flashbacks 

3.00pm try and watch my favourite comedy programme but I get an extremely strong anxiety reaction so have to leave the room. Feel disappointed. Take 1.4mg vortioxetine

4.00pm - 6.00pm lay on the bed upset that I can’t even watch a comedy programme without this intense anxiety reaction 

7.00pm take 2mg anxiety and force myself to go downstairs and eat dinner at table with the family 

8.00pm go back upstairs and try to calm down and then start trying to visualise myself in places like shopping centres train stations to see if I can imagine it without the strong feeling. I can’t so I give up.

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline

10.00pm fall asleep

11.00pm wake With nightmare that I had died in my sleep felt very real was covered in cold sweat

12.30am -4.00am slept in and out of anxiety waking me but not disorientated when waking 

5.00am strong teeth clenching and slightly different mini panic attacks where my heart felt like it was shaking - different to usual 
 

hi @Altostrata That’s a good way of looking at the flashbacks thanks. One thing that I haven’t had too much in last couple of days is the constant song looping in my head! 

 

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Katy398
On 10/22/2019 at 7:44 PM, Kernol said:

3.30pm - children walk past house coming home from school, reminds me of being at school and get intense electrical anxiety reaction right through to my head,brain tingling and feels like its on fire - for no reason, I didnt have a traumatic schooling. 

This is so common for me. It’s one of the scariest things because I don’t know what is true. A photograph of my children when they were little brings on a similar reaction of anxiety and I can’t understand why!!! You are not alone and in time these feelings will pass I’m sure, or so we are told. Take care, hang on in there Katy398 

 

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Kernol

10/11

 

9.00am took 2mg diazepam 

9.30am got up had shower, feel dread but not too bad

10.00am Have breakfast and do crossword with family 

11.30am play online quiz games. Dread and anxiety is there but not chemical feeling anxiety

12.00pm help mother in law rake leaves in garden

1.00pm feel my anxiety changing, starting to get random memories and some song looping 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam. Notice head tingling electric feeling is there and the more chemical intense anxiety is there when I am having a conversation about anything

3.00pm take 1.3mg vortioxetine 

4.00pm watch football match on TV with husband. Able to concentrate ok

6.00pm have dinner at table 

7.00pm have to go and lie down as they have the TV on and even the adverts are making the anxiety worse. take 2mg diazepam 

8.00pm strong electric head feeling and burning on stomach 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

11.30pm awaken from nightmare and in a cold sweat on chest

1.00am-5.00am Restless sleep waking in and out of anxiety, some disorientation on waking, teeth clenching still but not as strong as some nights

 

11/11

 

8.00am get up have shower

9.00am take 2mg diazepam

10.00am do laundry, clean kitchen, dread feeling in stomach but not the chemical intense feeling

11.00am do online quiz and chat to mother in law.

11.30am walk to Corner shop, anxious thoughts and feelings like what if I suddenly go into some awful catatonic state of depression or a state of terror that never leaves me. Try and bat these away.

12.30pm have lunch and help tidy away

1.00pm still able to have conversation and do crossword with mother in law

2.00pm notice anxiety rising and electric tingling in head is strong. View of the world seems to become dark and distorted in afternoon and the intensity of the chemical anxiety intensifies. take 1mg diazepam

3.00pm manage to do a work conference call

take 1.2mg vortioxetine

4.00pm help to prepare dinner 

5.30pm have dinner and clear away

6.30pm electric feeling in head is strong and I feel very tired. They start to watch TV but even watching an innocuous cooking programme the anxiety in my Stomach is overwhelming 

7.00pm lay down and take 2mg diazepam

7.30pm try and test myself thinking of me going places and visualising it but get the strong anxiety doom dread feeling so feel disappointed but tell myself it’s not as bad as last week 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

10.40pm awaken nightmare in cold sweat on chest

11.40pm - 5.00am broken restless anxious sleep, some teeth clenching but not as strong as some nights 

 

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Kernol

12/11

 

8.00am got up had shower, bad head in a vice tight feeling in head and pains behind eyes (had this in initial days after each sertraline taper)

9.00am took 2mg diazepam, feel anxious but not intense 

10.00am put laundry on

11.00am do some work emails 

12.00pm have lunch, head still feeling bad

1.00pm feeling anxiety reactions starting to get stronger 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam. World seems to start looking darker, feel more dread and strong chemical feeling of anxiety in stomach 

3.00pm lay down - take 1.1mg vortioxetine

5.00pm feel very intense reactions when visualising myself in places much stronger than when visualising myself in places in the morning. The stomach sinking feeling is combined with a very intense chemical electric anxiety and my head starts to burn 

6.00pm have dinner

7.00pm take 2mg diazepam 

8.00pm feel a tiny bit calmer able to look at some online shopping sites without feeling overwhelming doom 

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline. Old Dreams start to come rapid fire 

11.00pm - 6.00am restless sleep with lots of cold sweats and anxiety but no panic attacks and Teeth clenching Is Less intense. Wake with head vice feeling, head tingling and pain behind eyes. 

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Kernol
 
Hi @Altostrata I have noticed that not only does my anxiety get stronger and more chemical in the afternoon but my head tingling and skin pain, fatigue and other physical withdrawal symptoms also seem to increase. Doesn’t seem to be after I take the vortioxetine sometimes it happens before but it’s quite strange.

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Altostrata

My guess it you're taking a bit too much diazepam and getting paradoxical reactions as it builds up. Even though you're tapering vortioxetine, do you want to try a small reduction in the 2 p.m. diazepam dose, from 1mg to .75mg?

 

The .25mg reduction is 5% of your daily diazepam dosage. Ordinarily, we urge changing only one drug at a time, but like vortioxetine, diazepam has a very long half-life and you're not likely to feel the effect of the reduction for a while.

 

Of course, please keep daily notes and let us know how you're doing.

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Kernol

Hi @Altostrata I hadn’t even considered it could be the diazepam as it seems to come on along with an increase in my classic sertraline withdrawal symptoms like the head in a vice feeling and the tingling but happy to reduce it by 0.25mg. 

 

I think the vortioxetine drops are now catching up with me as my sleep has been very poor the last couple of nights as well although strangely the teeth clenching has been less. I didn’t even feel the need to wear my mouth guard last night. 

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Shep
37 minutes ago, Kernol said:

Hi @Altostrata I hadn’t even considered it could be the diazepam as it seems to come on along with an increase in my classic sertraline withdrawal symptoms like the head in a vice feeling and the tingling but happy to reduce it by 0.25mg. 

 

I think this is a good idea, too.

 

Please note that diazepam has up to a 200 hour half-life, so you may not feel the reduction for a week or so. So if you don't get an immediate response from this change, it's okay. Hopefully reducing both of these drugs will bring relief over the coming weeks. 

 

As Alto stated, we don't usually recommend reducing two drugs at once, so please keep taking careful notes and let us know how you're doing. 

 

40 minutes ago, Kernol said:

I think the vortioxetine drops are now catching up with me as my sleep has been very poor the last couple of nights as well although strangely the teeth clenching has been less. I didn’t even feel the need to wear my mouth guard last night. 

 

Teeth grinding can be unpredictable. Unless the mouth guard troubles you and keeps you awake, you may want to keep wearing it. I broke a crown during withdrawal even with a mouth guard, and I'm sure it would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been wearing it. 

 

I would give yourself a few days or weeks without any teeth grinding before you stop wearing the mouth guard. Just a thought. Having to stop tapering to deal with dental work is not good.

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Kernol

Hi @Shep good advice thanks I couldn’t possibly even get to the dentist at the moment so I will wear the guard. 

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Kernol

13/11

 

8.00am got up had shower dread feeling and some intrusive thoughts like what if I’m not real what if the worlds not real / these are old thoughts I’ve not had for a while, gives some panicky feelings but manage to let them flow and they die out

9.00am took 2mg diazepam

10.00am able to do some online shopping and manage to watch the comedy programme that I couldn’t watch in the evening without the intense anxiety. Visualise going to shops and there is dread feeling but not the intense reaction. Feel hopeful that maybe the chemical anxiety is lessening 

11.00am do some online quizzes 

12.00pm do some laundry 

1.00pm psychologist visit. Goes okay

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam 

3.00pm looking at recipes - not had desire to do this for months. Take 1mg vortioxetine 

4.00pm head vice feeling and tingling and fatigue strong 

5.00pm try and order a pizza takeaway and it reminds me of a pizza place where I used to live that gave me an extreme reaction for no reason a few weeks ago. Strong chemical anxiety again. Feel so distressed as there’s no reason to why these places should cause this feeling 

7.00pm try and watch TV - the most intense reaction just watching a property renovation programme the strongest in weeks. I have to turn it off. Upset by this and then try and visualise myself going anywhere and the feelings are overwhelming. Feel so disheartened the second half of the day was so different to the morning. Took 2mg diazepam

8.00pm laying down lots of old dreams coming rapid fire

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline

10.00pm - 5.00am - very restless sleep kept waking with anxiety repeatedly felt like every 30 minutes. Teeth clenching less. No disorientation on waking. 
6.00am - get up with a stronger than normal chemical anxiety feeling in stomach and intense headache and tingling all over my head.

 

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Altostrata

Kernol, my sense is that the activation from the vortioxetine is lessening, as evidenced by less jaw tension at night. Your sleep should settle gradually.

 

Please hang in there, you are a trooper.

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Kernol

Hi @Altostrata @Shep yes I hope so thank you. I do have a few questions that I keep going over in my mind. Like last evening the chemical anxiety was very intense and I noticed when I took the evening dose of diazepam it did calm slightly and so then I think if it was a paradoxical reaction to the diazepam building up during the day wouldn’t it be worse not better after the evening dose? I will reduce by 0.25mg today anyway but I just have this concern that it is more the vortioxetine and sertraline causing a lot of this but I know it’s impossible to tell. I guess I just hoped that there might be some lessening of the memory flashbacks and strong chemical anxiety if the vortioxetine was the culprit but I know it’s not always clear cut. My worry is that if things don’t improve off the vortioxetine then that points to destabilisation from the sertraline and then I don’t know what I am going to do. I keep thinking is it because my brain just can’t handle less than 25mg of it as this happened last year and again this year when I got below this threshold. That scares me.

 

One other odd thing I have noticed which may not provide any clues at all but I have a rug in the living room with geometric patterns on it and over last 3 or 4 months when I look at it the lines move like shapes moving back and forth - I had always put it down to the vortioxetine but It’s not improving so I don’t know if it is that or one of the other two

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Kernol
2 hours ago, Kernol said:

Hi @Altostrata @Shep yes I hope so thank you. I do have a few questions that I keep going over in my mind. Like last evening the chemical anxiety was very intense and I noticed when I took the evening dose of diazepam it did calm slightly and so then I think if it was a paradoxical reaction to the diazepam building up during the day wouldn’t it be worse not better after the evening dose? I will reduce by 0.25mg today anyway but I just have this concern that it is more the vortioxetine and sertraline causing a lot of this but I know it’s impossible to tell. I guess I just hoped that there might be some lessening of the memory flashbacks and strong chemical anxiety if the vortioxetine was the culprit but I know it’s not always clear cut. My worry is that if things don’t improve off the vortioxetine then that points to destabilisation from the sertraline and then I don’t know what I am going to do. I keep thinking is it because my brain just can’t handle less than 25mg of it as this happened last year and again this year when I got below this threshold. That scares me.

 

One other odd thing I have noticed which may not provide any clues at all but I have a rug in the living room with geometric patterns on it and over last 3 or 4 months when I look at it the lines move like shapes moving back and forth - I had always put it down to the vortioxetine but It’s not improving so I don’t know if it is that or one of the other two


also today the random memory flashbacks started at 12.10pm and I haven’t had my second dose of diazepam yet - it’s almost as if the only time I’m not getting them is the morning window when I take the diazepam - about 2-3 hours and then it’s effects wear off, the chemical anxiety rises and the flashbacks do too. Does that mean it is masking them or the cause of them? I guess it’s impossible to know. I try and accept them but they come with such a surge in anxiety it’s very hard. 

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Shep
3 hours ago, Kernol said:

I do have a few questions that I keep going over in my mind. Like last evening the chemical anxiety was very intense and I noticed when I took the evening dose of diazepam it did calm slightly and so then I think if it was a paradoxical reaction to the diazepam building up during the day wouldn’t it be worse not better after the evening dose? I will reduce by 0.25mg today anyway but I just have this concern that it is more the vortioxetine and sertraline causing a lot of this but I know it’s impossible to tell.

 

It depends. It could be that the daytime cortisol is getting lower in the evening so you have less symptoms overall. 

 

Does this always happen or is it random? 

 

If you want, you could wait a day or two to reduce the diazepam and see if it's a regular pattern. 

 

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Kernol

Hi @Shep I don’t have less symptoms in the evening in fact they seem worse in the afternoon and evening now but yes most times I  seem to get a small anxiolytic effect from the evening diazepam. Before a month or so ago It was the opposite as you say mornings were worst and lowering of cortisol meant the evenings usually slightly less. 
 

I have already done the 0.25mg cut for today. It is odd that symptoms seem to kick up after lunchtime. I just get this short window of slightly reduced anxiety from the morning diazepam dose and then it all comes on once that wears off. The classic symptoms I associate with sertraline withdrawal such as the very specific type of headache and head tingling And also the surge in strong chemical feel anxiety and the intrusive memories which I have no idea which drug is causing. Maybe the morning dose of diazepam is just masking the AD withdrawals I don’t know. 

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Kernol

14/11

 

8.00 got up had shower feel more Chemical anxiety than usual and skin is burning on stomach nerves feel on fire, songs looping

9.00am Take 2mg diazepam. Feel  bit calmer. Clean kitchen 

10.00am do some work emails 

11.00am dad visits 

12.30pm feel the head vice feeling and notice anxiety is kicking up strong can’t think of anything without it being set off. Brain feels like it’s burning 

1.30pm have lunch 

2.00pm take 1mg diazepam and have to lie down as anxiety is so intense and my head is painful. Can’t sleep just get continuous old dreams coming to me as I lay half awake

3.00pm get up try and do online quizzes. Take 0.95mg vortioxetine 

4.00pm chemical anxiety feeling in stomach is intense. It feels like every nerve ending I have is electrified. 
5.00pm Can’t even look at anything on my phone or TV as it sets the feeling off so I go up to bed 

6.00pm try and do some deep breathing, still very strong electric feeling in my stomach all I can do is lie down and try and accept it and try not to even think about anything 

7.00pm Take 2mg diazepam. Feel slightly calmer. Am able to watch football match in bed with husband.

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline 

10.00pm-6.00am minor restless legs when trying to go to sleep, very fitful restless sleep waking with anxiety repeatedly and strong chemical feeling in stomach also waking with songs looping. No nightmares. Teeth clenching less. 

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Kernol

15/11

 

8.00am got up had shower felt some chemical feeling anxiety in stomach but not too strong

9.00am took 2mg diazepam, calmed down a bit

10.00am electrician came to do some work - able to deal with this ok and converse with him 

12.00pm electric chemical anxiety starts to rise. 

1.00pm manage lunch and do online quizzes but anxiety is very strong electric chemical feeling and have a couple of random flashbacks 

2.00pm take 0.75mg diazepam 

3.00pm head vice feeling is strong and feel very fatigued and the world is starting to feel strange. Take 0.9mg vortioxetine

4.00pm deep breathing, try and clear my mind but anxiety is so strong

5.30pm have dinner. Try and watch quiz programme and the most peculiar feeling comes over me and intense chemical anxiety in stomach. Probably strongest one yet and felt different it was accompanied by such a weird feeling I’ve never had in my life - I don’t even know how to describe it.  I tell myself it is just the vortioxetine withdrawal and this will pass soon.

6.30pm have to lie down as it’s so strong 
7.00pm take 2mg diazepam 

7.45pm it has lowered the Intensity of the chemical feeling a bit

9.00pm take 16mg sertraline

10.00pm -1.00am sleep ok bit restless with dreams about my situation causing anxiety 

1.00am wake up with songs looping and start thinking and feel guilt over all the bad things I’ve done in my life that I’m ashamed of. 
2.00am can’t sleep as these intense emotions are there. Guilt and also grief and pain over my mums death even though she died more than 3 years ago - I didn’t feel this intensity of pain then. I tell myself it is because I am so sensitised all these emotions are exaggerated. I feel raw like my nerves are raw my emotions are raw.

3.00am-5.00am broken restless sleep

5.00am wake with anxiety and strong burning electric nerve pains down my back And head Tingling

7.00am wake with a strong teeth clench first I have noticed don’t think I had any earlier in the night. 

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Altostrata

Please remind yourself to forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made. When these thoughts of guilt and shame come up, say to yourself, "I forgive myself."

 

It will take a while for that diazepam reduction to fully take effect. I hope to see your mid-day symptoms gradually get less intense.

 

With the reductions in the 2 drugs, the drug balance in your body is shifting. Hang in there.

 

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Katy398

I practice the Ho’oponopono prayer for forgiveness. It’s a Hawaiian forgiveness prayer. Very simple and easy to sing. Not for everyone I know  but it’s really helped me.I sing to it over and over in the car/ house most days. I also go to a Ho’oponopono meditation group once a week. Just a thought.

take care Kx

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Katy398

I practice the Ho’oponopono prayer for forgiveness. It’s a Hawaiian forgiveness prayer. Very simple and easy to sing. Not for everyone I know  but it’s really helped me.I sing to it over and over in the car/ house most days. I also go to a Ho’oponopono meditation group once a week. Just a thought.

take care Kx

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