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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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