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SkyStreamer: tapering off Cipralex / escitalopram safely

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ChessieCat
On 2/22/2019 at 10:39 PM, SkyStreamer said:

I always feel overly eager to just get on with the taper. But, I need to check this urge and make sure I'm fully stable first. I think you're probably right that I need to give myself a good amount of time to recalibrate. 

 

This seems to be part and parcel of tapering.  It's important to realise that holding is giving your brain a change to catch up.  Giving a verb, so you are doing something.

 

It is better to hold for longer than to risk reducing again too soon.  I've done 2 longer holds during my taper even though it was going well, 3 months on 50mg and 7 weeks on 20mg, just to allow my brain some catch up time if it needed it.

 

WDnormal (withdrawal normal)

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/23/2019

 

NIGHT: slept 8 hours

7am: woke; felt a bit rested; low anxiety (2/10); a little optimistic and hopeful

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

9:30am-11am: work; low anxiety (3.5/10); still optimistic 

11am: 20 mins relaxation exercises; low anxiety (2/10)

2pm: 45 mins exercise (walking); ache in stomach (likely from eating something before walk); medium anxiety (4.5/10)

3pm-4:30pm: work; low anxiety (4/10); less energy; getting tired; less optimism

4:45pm: 15 mins outside fresh air

5:45pm: 30 mins downtime; low anxiety (3.5/10)

6:15pm-8:15pm: family dinner & family time; higher anxiety (6/10); boredom; restlessness; tired

8:45pm: 45 mins prayer; low anxiety (4/10)

10:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer
21 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

This seems to be part and parcel of tapering.  It's important to realise that holding is giving your brain a change to catch up . . .

 

Thanks @ChessieCat - good points!

 

Assuming I continue to stabilize, and everything goes well, how long would you say I should hold for (from today)?

 

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ChessieCat

We can't answer how long you should hold for.  We can't work by a calendar.  It is up to you to listen to your body and symptoms.  If there is added stress/sickness during this time that can increase the length of time you have to hold.  Unfortunately tapering a waiting game.

 

I think I've seen it mentioned that it is a good idea to add at least a week after you notice that your symptoms have got to WDnormal.  Link in previous post.

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SkyStreamer

 

@ChessieCat - Ok - thanks!  I'll have a closer look at that WDNormal link you sent me. That should help put things into perspective.

 

When you did those 2 longer holds, even though you were at WDnormal, what made you decide to hold longer? What were the signs you considered, or the basis for making those decisions?

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/24/2019

 

Tensions with my wife

- Higher anxiety than usual

 

NIGHT: slept 8 hrs; woke up once with high anxiety (8.5/10); felt a panic attack coming on; but, I accepted my state & tried not to fear and worry about it; this seemed to stop it in it's tracks and the anxiety slowly reduced; went back to sleep shortly thereafter

7am: woke; had little time to get ready for church; tension with my wife; higher anxiety (7/10); decided to stay home by myself while the rest of my family went to church; better to keep my peace than to lose it by going to church with my wife who was in a very stressed & angry mood

8am: 30 mins prayer; higher anxiety (6/10)

9am-11:30am: took 7.5mg Cipralex dose; downtime by myself at home; breakfast; tv; lower anxiety (4/10)

11:30am-1pm: family time; higher anxiety (6.5/10)

1pm: 15 mins relaxation exercises (5.5/10)

1:30pm: 30 mins downtime; tv

2pm: 45 mins exercise (walking); lower anxiety (4.5/10)

4:30pm-7:15pm: family time; medium anxiety (5.5./10)

7:15pm: 15 mins relaxation exercises; lower anxiety (4/10)

7:30pm-8:30pm: family time; medium anxiety (5.5/10)

8:45pm: 45 mins prayer

10:20pm: BEDTIME

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ChessieCat
13 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

When you did those 2 longer holds, even though you were at WDnormal, what made you decide to hold longer? What were the signs you considered, or the basis for making those decisions?

 

I had wanted to reduce my dose quickly when I realised that I had mild serotonin toxicity.  In Australia we can only get Pristiq 50mg and 100mg tablets (other countries can get 25mg).  I had gone from 100mg to 50mg for 2 weeks (very bad cog fog, and got to the stage that I couldn't type, updosed and 4 hours later could type again).  I had found SA and then updosed to 75mg, only held for 2 months after that and started reducing by 10%.  I had to updose from 67.5mg to 70mg a couple of days after my first "proper" 10% reduction because I got very bad head pressure and ear pain, and the updose fixed that, so I knew I had reduced too soon/too much.  Because of my rough start, and with the knowledge I learned from SA, I decided that it would be a good idea to hold at 50mg to give my brain a chance to catch up if it needed to.  When I got to 20mg I had some capsules left over (1 have to get 100 of each dose made up at the compounder) so it made sense to add another longer hold whilst I was able to conveniently just to be on the safe side and give myself a good solid foundation to move off from.

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SkyStreamer
9 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

I had wanted to reduce my dose quickly when I realised that I had mild serotonin toxicity . . .  

 

@ChessieCat - thanks for sharing!

 

Your line of thinking about your holding periods seemed to make good sense. 

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 2/25/2019

 

Very disturbed sleep at night

- Higher anxiety than usual throughout day

 

NIGHT: slept 8 hrs; woke up 5-6 different times due to loud outside wind; went back to sleep each time; high anxiety throughout the night (7/10)

8:45am: woke; tired; lethargic; very irritable; unmotivated; medium anxiety (5.5./10)

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex dose

10:15am: 30 mins prayer; medium anxiety (5.5/10); felt 'behind' in my day due to waking up later in the morning

10:30am-1pm: wife left for appointments for the whole day;  higher anxiety (6/10); overwhelmed; lots of commotion & noise with children

1pm: 20 relaxation exercises; higher anxiety (6/10); difficulty concentrating; irritable

2pm: 1 hour exercise (weights - 100% intensity); medium anxiety (6/10)

3:30pm: 10 mins relaxation exercises; medium anxiety (6.5/10); difficulty concentrating

4:30pm-6:30pm: family time; family dinner; medium anxiety (5.5/10); overwhelmed

7pm: 45 mins prayer; lower anxiety (4.5/10); a bit better concentration

8:30pm-9:15pm: family time; lower anxiety (4/10)

10:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

I've listened to some of Dr. Claire Weeke's YouTube talks and have found them very helpful and encouraging.

 

Can anyone recommend other speakers on YouTube that they've found helpful for dealing with WD symptoms? I'm looking for speakers that address issues regarding dealing with fear, anxiety, non-acceptance, an overactive mind, physical pain, etc. 

 

I'm interested in compiling a short list, so that I can rely on these on a regular basis, and especially during WD periods. 

 

All suggestions are welcome! 

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SkyStreamer

@ChessieCat - thanks for these recommendations!

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/ 26/2019

 

Excellent Night's sleep

- Lower anxiety

 

NIGHT: 10.5 hrs sleep; didn't wake up at all

8:30am: woke; felt rested; low anxiety (3/10)

8:45am: 30 mins prayer

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

10:30am-12:30pm: work; low anxiety

12:30pm: 20 mins relaxation exercises; low anxiety (3/10)

1:30pm: 50 mins exercise (walking); low anxiety (4/10)

3:30pm-5:30pm: work; higher anxiety (5.5/10)

5:45pm: 20 min outside fresh air; difficulty focusing on nature & surroundings; constantly thinking & ruminating

6:30pm-8:15pm: family time; family dinner; lower anxiety (4..5/10)

9pm: 45 mins prayer; low anxiety (3/10)

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/27/2019

 

- A bit higher anxiety at times

- Got very bad sinuses during evening

 

NIGHT: slept 10 hrs; didn't wake up at all during night

8am: woke; low anxiety (2/10); felt a little tired upon waking; but then felt more rested after getting up

8:30am: 30 mins prayer; a bit bored; lethargic; unmotivated

9:30am - 11:30am: work; higher anxiety (4.5/10)

11:45am: 20 min outside fresh air

12:30pm: 20 mins downtime; tv; low anxiety (4/10)

1pm: 1 hr exercise (weights); medium anxiety (5/10)

2:30pm: downtime; tv; lower anxiety (4/10)

3pm-4pm: work; low anxiety (4/10)

4:15pm: 20 mins relaxation exercises; low anxiety (3/10)

4:30pm-6pm: work; medium anxiety (5/10)

7pm-8:30pm: family dinner; family time; higher anxiety (6.5/10); got very bad sinuses; frustrated; irritable

8:30pm: 40 mins prayer; still bad sinuses

10:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

I have always struggled a bit with allergy symptoms, including before taking ADs. I got tested for possible allergies, but none wast found.

 

My allergy symptoms go through periods when they are really bad. The main symptoms is bad sinuses and nasal drip. 

 

For the last 6-7 years, I have been in the habit of taking a 24 hour Claritin (non-drowsy) allergy relief pill about once every week or week and a half.

 

I just read briefly on this site that Claritin is an antihistamine, that antihistamines are low level SSRIs, and that they can therefore re-ignite and exacerbate WD symptoms.

 

A few questions related to this:

 

1. Is it true that even non-drowsy Claritin allergy pills are low level SSRIs, and that they can re-ignite and exacerbate WD symptoms?

 

2. Will it really affect me if I just take one Claritin pill one every week or two?

 

3. Are there any safe alternatives to allergy pills (like Claritin) that might help relieve allergy symptoms, like bad sinuses & post nasal drip?

 

4. Any other thoughts, ideas, or recommendations??

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/28/2019

 

Had panic attack after too fast and too long of a walk outside (& after not doing usual gradual cool-down)

- Recovered soon after by accepting my state, and trying not to worry and be afraid

 

NIGHT: slept 8 hrs; woke up twice for 15-20 mins; went back to sleep each time; restless sleep

7am: woke; low anxiety (4/10); very tired; lethargic

7am: 30 mins prayer

7:30am-9:45am: work; higher anxiety (5/10); feeling pressured to finish work before leaving for my 10:15am psychotherapy appointment

10:15am-11:15am: psychotherapy appointment; medium anxiety (4.5/10); felt a bit nervous when there was dead air

1pm: 1.3 hrs of fast walking outside with wife; was unaware of how fast and long I was walking; medium anxiety (5/10); I forgot to do my usual gradual cool-down after walking

2pm: had panic attack immediately after stopping walking; high anxiety (9/10); didn't feel better until about 30 mins after

3:30pm: went to restaurant with wife; much lower anxiety (4.5/10)

4pm: 45 mins prayer; low anxiety (4/10)

6:30pm: watch movie at theatre with wife; low anxiety (3/10)

11pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Does anyone find that they have a horrible night sleep and terrifying nightmares after having had a panic attack (for whatever reason) during the day?

 

I had a panic attack yesterday afternoon after going for a walk, which was too fast, too long, and did not involve my usual gradual cool-down at the end. I was with my wife, and so was unaware of my speed and time. Learned my lesson. l ended up having an awful night's sleep. I woke up twice with severe anxiety and fear (9.5/10) from two extremely terrifying nightmares.

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 03/01/2019

 

Horrible night's sleep (2 terrifying nightmares & very high anxiety)

- Higher anxiety throughout the day

 

NIGHT: slept about 8 hrs; horrible sleep; woke up twice from 2 extremely terrifying nightmares; very scary and anxiety filled nightmares; very high anxiety (9/10); was able to recover each time with prayer, acceptance, and trying not to worry & be afraid

9am: woke; high anxiety (6/10); extremely exhausted & tired; disoriented; lethargic; unmotivated; feeling of unreality

9:15am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex dose

9:30am: 30 mins prayer; medium anxiety (5/10)

11am-1pm: work; medium anxiety (5/10); exhausted; tired; lethargic; unmotivated

1:30pm: 25 mins outside walk; lower anxiety (4.5/10)

2:30pm-4pm: work; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

4pm: 30 mins downtime; tv

4:30-6pm:  work; higher anxiety (6/10)

6pm: 30 mins downtime; tv; relaxation exercises

6::30pm-7:30pm: family dinner; higher anxiety (6.5/10)

7:30pm-8:30pm: downtime; tv; lower anxiety (4.5/10)

8:45pm: 45 mins prayer

10:30pm: BEDTIME

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Carmie

Hi SkyStreamer, 

 

I’m so sorry you had nightmares last night. The medications themselves can cause nightmares, as well as withdrawals. I don’t get them often, but I remember waking up in terror one morning because of one.

 

I hope you have a better night tonight 💚

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SkyStreamer

@Carmie - thanks for your kind comments. Much appreciated!

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary:03/02/2019

 

NIGHT: slept 9.5 hrs; woke up briefly once or twice; went back to sleep

8am: woke; low anxiety (4.5/10); a little more rested; still a bit tired; unmotivated

8:30am: 30 mins prayer

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

9:30am-1pm: work; low anxiety (4.5); a bit higher energy; some motivation & hope

1pm: 20 mins breathing exercises

1:45pm: 1 hr exercise (weights); higher anxiety (6/10)

3pm: 30 mins downtime; tv; higher anxiety (7/10)

4:30pm: 15 mins breathing exercises

4:45-6pm: work; lower anxiety 5.5/10)

6:30pm-8:30pm: family dinner & family time; higher anxiety (6/10)

9pm: 45 mins prayer; medium anxiety (5.5/10)

10:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

I'm feeling very discouraged, unhopeful and a bit angry this morning. I had a minor set back a few days ago when I went for a much longer and faster walk than usual. I ended up having a panic attack, and had such terrifying nightmares that night during sleep. Now that son of a gun mind is whispering to me every night: 'I'm going to make you have another horrible nightmare. get ready. It's going to be scary as hell.'

 

All this seems to have moved me back a few steps from my recent month of slow progress in stabilizing. I know getting discouraged is not the answer, but I'm feeling a bit tired of all this "trying," listening to my body, feeling vulnerable, and having to take care of myself like I'm a child again. I feel like I want to just curl up in a ball and go to sleep for the next few weeks, or months, until I stabilize fully. 

 

Today's a family day, and I'm expected to try and have a smile on my face, be actively involved, optimistic, and fun. Dang. This is going to be a challenge. 

 

Hoping that writing out these feelings here may help a bit. 

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ChessieCat
6 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

I'm feeling a bit tired of all this "trying," listening to my body, feeling vulnerable, and having to take care of myself like I'm a child again. I feel like I want to just curl up in a ball and go to sleep for the next few weeks, or months, until I stabilize fully. 

 

and say so all of us.

 

6 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

had such terrifying nightmares that night during sleep. Now that son of a gun mind is whispering to me every night: 'I'm going to make you have another horrible nightmare. get ready. It's going to be scary as hell.'

 

That is called anticipatory anxiety.  And yes, another thing that you have to try and counteract with non-drug techniques.

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SkyStreamer
6 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

That is called anticipatory anxiety.  And yes, another thing that you have to try and counteract with non-drug techniques.

 

What helps you personally in dealing with anticipatory anxiety?

 

Have you ever dealt with terrifying nightmares during periods?

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 03/03/2019

 

- Continued nightmare's during night sleep

- Continued higher anxiety and irritability

 

NIGHT: 7.5 hrs sleep; woke up once or twice with higher anxiety (7/10); had a few nightmares 

6:30am: woke; higher anxiety (6/10); frustrated; irritable; angry; tired; exhausted feeling

7:30am: 20 mins prayer

7:30am-8:15am: a rushed period trying to get ready for church at 9am;; higher anxiety (8/10); angry; very negative

9am: church service; irritable; extremely bored; tired of Sunday routine; same prayers; same people; same dull chit chat

11am:12:30pm: family time; high anxiety (6.5/10); irritable; bored

12:30pm: 10 mins relaxation exercises; high anxiety (6/10)

1pm: slept for 1.5 hrs; woke up a bit less tired, irritable; angry and negative; medium anxiety (5/10)

4:30pm-:5:20pm: out side light walk; very tiring and exhausting; felt all energy depleted; medium anxiety (5/10)

6pm: 15 mins prayer

6:30pm-8pm: family dinner; family time; medium anxiety (5.5/10)

9pm: 30 mins prayer; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

10pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 03/04/2019

 

Sore throat & ear

Feeling very negative; lack of hope

- Lower anxiety (VS last few days)

 

NIGHT: slept 8 hrs; woke up once for 15 mins from scary & anxious dreams; high anxiety (7.5/10); went back to sleep; woke up again for 15 mins from tickle in my throat & coughing; went back to sleep again

6:30am: woke; medium anxiety (4.5/10); a bit tired; unmotivated; negative & pessimistic; irritable

7am: 30 mins prayer; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

9:30am-12pm: work; medium anxiety (4.5/10); feeling a lack of hope; very negative; throat & ear starting to hurt; feel a sickness coming on

12pm: 15 mins of relaxation exercises

1pm: 30 light walking; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

3:30pm-5pm: family time; medium anxiety (4/10)

5pm: 15 mins relaxation exercises

5:30pm-8:30pm: family dinner; family time; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

9pm: 30 mins prayer

10pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Has anyone ever felt that the extreme cold has aggravated their WD symptoms / CNS? Especially, if you were out in the cold for 2 hrs or more?

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ChessieCat

That wouldn't surprise me at all.  When we are in cold temperatures the body is busy trying to keep us warm, especially the vital organs.  When the body is busy trying to cope with stressors, then the withdrawal symptoms can increase.

 

When we are stressed after a loss or other stressful event, it is very common to get sick (eg get a cold, or if you are prone to them cold sores) because the immune system is lowered and the body is not able to fight the virus.

 

I was in Newcastle, NSW, in 1989 (pre ADs) when we had the earthquake, and within about 5-10 minutes of it happening I broke out in hives.

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 03/05/2019

 

Very depressed

- A lot of anger & rage

- Extremely hopeless

 

NIGHT" slept 10 hrs; good sleep; woke up briefly; went back to sleep

7:45am: woke; medium anxiety (4/10)

8am: 30 mins prayer

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

10am-12pm: work; medium anxiety (5/10); a bit hopeless; irritable; negative; pessimistic

12pm: 20 relaxation exercises

1pm: lunch at restaurant wife; medium anxiety (5/10); more hopeless; irritable; negative

2:30pm: feeling a lot of anger and rage; hopelessness; seeing everything through a dark lens; tired of "trying" and of life

3:30pm: psychotherapy appointment; expressed a lot of rage and anger; broke down crying; hopeless; feeling like I can't take deal with anything

5pm: went grocery shopping for vegetables & fruits with wife (so we can start juicing); higher anxiety (7/10); hopeless

6pm: returned home; still very hopeless, negative, pessimistic, and angry

7:30pm: watched 1 hr of stand-up comedy; laughed; a little less negative, hopeless, and angry

10pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Yesterday was one of the worst days I've had in over a month. Intense anger, rage, hopelessness, sadness, depression. During my psychotherapy session, I expressed a lot of my anger, rage and hopelessness. At one point, I cried intensely while expressing deep anger for over 15 mins. As embarrassed as I was, I felt some relief from all this. This has been the first time I've cried in over two months. I only seem to end up crying when my WD symptoms reach a high peak. I wish I could cry more. It seems very therapeutic.

 

I finally realized this morning that I am in a wave again. Looking over my day-to-day symptoms, this obviously began last Thursday after I went for a faster and longer walk (than usual) in the freezing cold with my wife for about 1 hour and 20 mins. It seems like the combination of over-exertion and the extreme cold initiated this wave and horrible WD symptoms. Later that night, I had 2 of the worst nightmares of my entire life. They were so terrifying that I have experienced a lot of fear about going to sleep every night since. Although I try not to give into this fear, it is extremely hard. It's like someone telling you that you are being sent to fight in the front trenches of WWI without being armed at all. Try as you might, that kind of news will send shockwaves of fear throughout your entire being, no matter how hard you try not to add "additional" layers of fear on top.

 

Since my last initial wave, from over two months ago, I have worked so hard at trying to help myself heal. Eased off exercise intensity. Practiced relaxation and breathing exercises. Prayer. Regular breaks. Eating healthy. You name it - I've been doing it. And, I was progressively stabilizing every day. I could see the progress. Now, I'm back to ground zero. And, I don't have much of a desire to start over again to try and heal. I'm sick and tired of having to try and do this healing thing all over again. I'm at rock bottom in a murky pool of putrid sewage. And, instead of wanting to try and climb out of it slowly, I'd rather swim in it for a bit.

 

I know many of the principles: 'try not to be afraid.' 'Try not to worry.' "Try not to give the negativity any attention.' "Try to avoid anticipatory anxiety.' 'Try to eat well.' "Try to relax and smell the roses.' 'Try to get enough sleep.' Try, try, try, try, and try. I just don't want to do any of it right now. 

 

I can't believe that a bit of cold and faster/longer walking could send me into the depths of another wave. I feel like a child in diapers again. So weak and fragile that I could break from the slightest breath of air.

 

Right now, I staying put in my bed. I feel like staying here all day. I have no motivation to "try" in any way with anything at all.

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eymen23

Hi SkyStreamer,

 

I thought I’d move the conversation to your thread, as I can see you’re having a hard time at present.

 

I think you were sensible to keep trialling various exercise intensities and it did not scare me away from your thread at all. As you noted, every-body is different and my experience may not mirror your experience. The key is to be aware of the possible link between intense exercise and worsening hyperarousal symptoms and being accepting enough to back off when necessary. 

 

Back in my early twenties I had never, ever heard of sites like this and I didn’t have access to this kind of guidance. I would be deadlifting 400lbs and bench pressing 220lbs for reps week in week out, completely unaware that my CNS had become so sensitised. Of course the symptoms were terrible, but all the information I read pointed to exercise being beneficial and my ego wouldn’t let me believe that exercise was hurting me. It’s a little sad what happened, but I’m thankful I can take that knowledge forward and give it to other people that find themselves in the same situation, before it’s too late. 

 

I’m sorry to hear about your current wave. I too am experiencing the effects of an Escitalopram taper and after a tough few days, I found myself in bed for most of yesterday. I haven’t felt that beaten up since I was probably 14 years old and still growing physically. 

 

Waves can be tough business and my initial experience has shown me that sometimes no amount of distraction, mindfulness or positive thinking can make the symptoms leave. Sometimes it is just enough to get through the day, to survive by any means necessary, to put everything else to one side and let your body do the work necessary. That takes a lot of courage and acceptance, and so by all means, if staying in bed feels appropriate then get some rest! Of course if it becomes a bad habit, then that can be addressed, but I suspect your body needs it. 

Edited by eymen23

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 03/06/2019

 

- Very discouraged, hopeless and angry first half of day

- Less intense negative feelings after getting out of bed & doing light walking for 40 mins

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; woke once or twice briefly; went back to sleep

6am: woke: higher anxiety (7/10); very exhausted & tired; disoriented; feelings of unreality

7am: 30 mins prayer

7:30am-9am: went back to sleep

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex

9:30am: woke

9:30am-12pm: stayed in bed; tv; some unnecessary ruminating (😙); higher anxiety (6.5/10); angry; hopeless

1pm: 40 mins light walking on treadmill; high anxiety (7/10)

2:30pm-5pm: work; medium anxiety (5.5/10); less hopeless, pessimistic and angry

5pm: 25 mins relaxation audio; medium anxiety (5/10)

6:30pm-8pm: work; medium anxiety (4.5/10); less hopeless, pessimistic and angry

9pm: 20 mins prayer

10pm: Bedtime

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SkyStreamer
On 3/5/2019 at 4:13 PM, ChessieCat said:

That wouldn't surprise me at all.  When we are in cold temperatures the body is busy trying to keep us warm, especially the vital organs.  When the body is busy trying to cope with stressors, then the withdrawal symptoms can increase.

 

When we are stressed after a loss or other stressful event, it is very common to get sick (eg get a cold, or if you are prone to them cold sores) because the immune system is lowered and the body is not able to fight the virus.

 

I was in Newcastle, NSW, in 1989 (pre ADs) when we had the earthquake, and within about 5-10 minutes of it happening I broke out in hives.

 

This current wave I've fallen into must have been a combination of the extreme cold and the longer and faster walking than usual. I had no idea that the cold could affect my WD symptoms. But, it makes sense. I remember after I got back in the car, my face felt frozen numb for a good 20 mins. Surprisingly, I never even noticed this during the walk. But, my wife is a talker, so I might have just been oblivious from all the talking. My wife also said she got a body chill from the walk, which took her over 24 hrs to shake off. Gosh - my CNS is so sensitive right now that I wonder whether I'm going to develop a darn allergy to the sun once summer rolls around!! 

 

Funny that you mention cold sores, b/c I developed extremely dry lips for the entire week leading up to that walk. My lips were so chapped that they were blistering and bleeding at times. I had to resort to using very light steroid cream (Betaderm Cream - 0.1%) to prevent it from getting out of control. I wonder if my immune system was already weak before I went on this walk. And, if it was weak, why was it weak? I didn't seem stressed, pressured, or exhausted. Instead, I seemed to be stabilizing pretty steadily over the previous few weeks. Strange. Can't figure it out. I guess it's tough to connect all the cause and effect relationships for everything.

 

Interesting about your reaction to the earthquake. I recently read "The Great Pain Deception: Faulty Medical Advice is Making Us Worse" by Steven Ozanich. It was one of the books that helped me get over about 95% of my chronic pain. (I assume my chronic pain developed from two earlier tapers that were both too fast and too much). Anyways, in the book, the author talks about the many different kinds of psychosomatic reactions that can result from very stressful events. In one part, he discusses the statistics about all the ailments that developed in the US on the very day that the Twin Towers were hit by those planes. Very interesting stuff. I think we're all fragile, to some degree, when it comes to stress. And, obviously, even more so for us who are in waves.

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SkyStreamer
14 hours ago, eymen23 said:

Hi SkyStreamer,

 

I thought I’d move the conversation to your thread, as I can see you’re having a hard time at present.

 

I think you were sensible to keep trialling various exercise intensities and it did not scare me away from your thread at all . . . 

 

Thanks for this response - very helpful!

 

Wow - you were a serious weight-lifter during that time. 220 lbs for bench press! That's how much I was doing at my height of weight-lifting. I was never into deadlifting though - never even tried it. It always looked too intense and dangerous for me. But, doing that kind of routine, day in and day out, while having a sensitized CNS - I can imagine that taking its toll. 

 

My weightlifting routine is much less intense. For dumb-bell bench press, the highest I ever go up to is 55 lbs (for each dumbbell) . For bicep curls, the highest is 35 lbs dumbells. But, when I feel a worn out, I lower these amounts. 

 

You're right about the ego. It's great at convincing us to hang onto, or let go of, things that make it feel better but harm us. That is one of my biggest struggles now. But, I'm learning, slowly, to be more humble and accepting of my situation and state. Humility and acceptance are so crucial. You read a lot on this site about the importance of acceptance. But, I think humility is equally important. I guess humility goes hand in hand with acceptance.

 

I agree that sometimes all you can do during a wave is buckle down, hold on tight, and wait for the storm to pass. All the non-drug techniques and practices help in not making things worse, but sometimes nothing seems to make it better. 

 

I stayed in bed yesterday until 12pm. Then I got up and tried to do some routine things. It helped, and I started feeling a bit better. I've finally come to the point, today, where I'm starting to let go of the anger and begin accepting my situation and state. I find anger a tricky thing to manage. Ideally, best not to get angry. But, when I am already angry, I find I have to try and release it somehow, like by venting through words or writing. Sometimes, this ends up being therapeutic, but other times it seems to leave me with a bit of an emotional hangover. 

 

At this point, what kinds of exercise do you do now? Do you find that you are still able to stay in shape and keep your weight down?

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