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kirby: my story 1.2 years and getting better

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kirby

I posted my story on another forum in a different topic (link below) but I also wanted to share to more people, so here is a repost. It is kind of long, but maybe it will be an interesting read.

 

For anyone interested in my story, I had a relatively short time with zyprexa, around two months, but I quit cold turkey without relapse for over a year and getting better. To begin with, my dose was 10 mg, with lithium for a week, increased to 15 mg at the last week. Every moment of taking these drugs I wished I could get off it, but under the supervision of doctors and threat of hospitalization I was forced to be fed this stuff. Right after the supervision stopped, I convinced my family to let me quit and quit cold turkey by telling them how I felt like I was in a spiral of darkness and emptiness and it would only get worse. 

 

At first, for the first week I had absolutely terrible symptoms. I could not sleep even though I was tired, I felt the need to talk and continue talking, and I had this overwhelming feeling of dullness and emptiness in my spirit, and I felt like my body was about to collapse. But my family was super supportive (not to brag but maybe someone that reads this might be more knowledgeable on what worked for one person, also one of my family members is a registered nurse): every morning they forced me to eat a breakfast of toast, eggs and milk, and then go out on a walk with the dog. Then, as often as they could they would take me out to eat, encourage me to listen to music or play an instrument (although I was less than awesome at it ), go shopping, or just drive around to let me feel refreshed. They forced me to go to bed at 10:00 every night even if I couldn't sleep, and even accompanied me by setting up a towel and pillow on the floor. They smiled when they talked to me, ignored the weird stuff I said, and were patient when I spoke slowly. When I mentioned wild things and they were really hurt by it, they never suggested sending me back to the hospital. Sometimes they would get super frustrated, they were even experiencing their own traumas because of my illness, but they kept it between them and didn't say a word to me (they would go to another room and vent or whisper). Also, I didn't have to work or go to school because it was the summer and my family was fiscally supporting me (I am young). One important thing to mention was my personal determination: I felt the medicine was terrible for me and I was willing to go through any and all symptoms no matter how severe because I wanted nothing to do with the medicine anymore. The strict schedule and kind attention and daily exercise and lack of pressure and probably personal determination was the foundation of my good recovery, although time ultimately was the answer.

 

After the first month I was able to express my thoughts better, but I was still dull everywhere. Also, I started to fear that I was changed forever. Most importantly, I started having massive crying spells. When words couldn't come out of my mouth I just started to feel really sad. Sometimes I would sit and cry for hours, with an unexplained mix of feeling of loneliness, neglect, and pain even though everyone was always kind and checking up on me. I believe this may have been associated with the reason why I had to take the medicine in the first place (I am pretty sure it was external social isolation because of my personality, situation, and previous social trauma). One time the neighbors called the police because they were concerned that someone was crying for hours on end all day (the police ended up leaving with nothing because I wasn't crying at the time they came and there was nothing wrong). This increased the tension, and I felt even worse. I started going into the closet to cry, but it didn't make the crying stop. My family started to get really understandably upset because it made them feel sad, but that made me feel worse. I was improving every day still, but it wasn't enough to stop the crying and nobody knew what to do. I tried music, but sometimes a song grew old and didn't make me feel better anymore. Then, I decided I needed to take action in my own hands and got myself a video game machine (2ds) - something I wanted but didn't want to spend money on for years because of the impact it might have on my studies and family, and the social memories it brought back. This stopped the crying, because I felt had something I could do whatever in and there were no consequences, and it probably made me rethink my negative memories in a more positive way. I still struggled with sleeping, always waking up at least once in the middle of the night, and never felt completely refreshed after sleep, but I was happy that I felt improvement.

 

After that, school was beginning, so I was encouraged to go to school (two upper division courses). However, I felt overwhelmed by the material - I was struggling to retain any information and concentrate. I knew i probably couldn't last, but it made the people around me feel relieved, so I dragged it on for as long as I could. When the test scores came in, I thought about my life overall and realized that I didn't have the capacity to do studies at the moment and also the stress hindered my recovery so I dropped the course. My family was upset, but because they saw my effort they were understanding. During this time I happen to find a free class on essential oils at health food store, and attended it. Then, I bought some essential oils for myself (doterra brand oil) and a diffuser, and tried it. It worked wonders and I was able to sleep through the night without waking. When I was stressed out and felt sad, it completely calmed me like I was lifted into another world. I also tried regular meditation, but it was hard, so I stuck with oils, playing video games, and guided meditations that I listened to into sleep (using the free phone app "insight timer"). I also visited a chinese medicine doctor who was in town; he taught me 6 exercises to relieve stress: using fingers to hit the baihui point on top of the head, hitting the sides of the legs (danjing - galbladder meridian), pushing the taichong point on the feet, tensing the gluteus maximum muscle then releasing it (progressive muscle relaxation), standing on toes then dropping the body (shaking the top of the head), then just standing around and shaking yourself for 5 minutes. He said doing that every day for a year would make me recover completely. This made me feel a lot better, both physically removing numbness in my head and knowing there was something I could do to make recovery faster, but I still was worried that I wasn't well enough for school and thought I might stay that way - now I know better because I experienced healing that time brings. 

 

Around at the third month, I started to have a new problem: gastrointestinal upset. Everything I ate no matter what came out immediately from the other end. It was awful and when I went to the md they could find nothing. My family contacted the chinese doctor and he gave me some special herbal tea to drink (it cost a lot), which in fact did improve the condition. When the tea ran out I had occasional bouts of diarrhea again, but it was ok because it was only occasional and before I started the medicine I was already having some gastrointestinal problems. As a postscript, this year I tried wormwood tea and found out I had a little bit of parasitic worms, which removing really helped my intestinal health. I still had diarrhea though (probably weak gut bacteria after the medicine) until I started eating around a teaspoon of expeller pressed organic coconut oil daily (originally for oil pulling). The coconut oil also improved my thinking in the week I ate it, so it might have further implications, although I have stopped because I recently got a cold and my intuition tells me to give my body a break. Overall, although I might one day completely recover, I now understand health is a lifelong project, and always trying to find something to make it better is a good habit.

 

Then two months later when the next semester of school came around, I decided to try to both get progress in my life (having a goal really makes recovery less tedious) and improve my physical health so I took a taichi class (upper division). I was terrible at it, still had terrible memorization, and ended up failing it. However, it made my family happy that I tried and I felt more confident about myself (I got through the semester without dropping). During this time I also met regularly with my primary physician - I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my doctors (assists in the trauma caused by the experience). At first they recommended I meet with a psychiatrist, but when I was adamant I wanted nothing to do with that field since it muddied up things too much, they were alright with it because I seemed to be improving. My doctor allowed me to visit a neurologist to address my concerns of involuntary twitching (happens all over the body when I am emotional, getting much better over time), and while the neurologist completely brushed off my concerns, it made me feel like I was making progress in understanding myself (at least I got to voice my concerns and feel less alone). Looking back, it also addressed the primary cause of my illness (social isolation). Mostly, I just followed my own gut on what to do next, and at this time my flexibility, optimistic view, attacking the original problem, and family support was the key.

 

Around the ten month mark, I decided I might never be able to go to school again (still unconfident in my ability to learn), so I went to the local community college to talk about other options. In the college they recommended that I might get a job, which I never really had before. Therefore, I went and applied to my dream job (doesn't require school) which was being a carrier at the postal office. I was very lucky, because they were in a shortage of new hires so I got the job. This really boosted my confidence and self worth, and I tried my hardest at work. It was a full time job, 9 to 5, and really demanding, but I was living out a dream I always had and exercising all day, which probably really made me recover better. However, I lacked the physical strength, and some of my coworkers and managers encouraged me to do something else, while others were really kind and encouraging. For the first time in my life, I felt "workplace problems" and "pride in my own work" and "following a dream" and I also felt "being needed and belonging". These all related to my initial problem and were very therapeutic in living out and solving, which was probably the biggest turning point in my recovery. Before this point I was also reluctant to go to school (relevant to my initial illness), because it reminded me of my social problems and I didn't understand the urge. Now that I did, and understand the value of school and its relation to my personal life, I determinedly decided to go back to school, making my family happy, quitting my previous "dream job", and going for my degree. Doing this also improved my other family member's high blood pressure they had for over a decade.

 

The past few months really showed this recovery: this semester in school, I was able to read over 20 chapters of textbook, take long essay exams and passed two upper division classes with A's. Still, I feel woozy at times, and can have grumpy tantrums, but I am understanding how to be patient with myself, trying to continuously improve, and ready to take on challenges in my life. I feel I have effectively resolved my initial problem to the point I can keep growing, and mostly recovered from medicines, and I also have a much better attitude in life. I am still recovering, however, but it has become just another part of my life. Yesterday I came across this form while searching for information on zyprexa (because I learned klonopin was a controlled substance from a cop cam show and wanted to do and wanted to see if zyprexa was one too), and related very well with other people's experiences, so I wanted to share mine. I writing so that my experience might inspire happiness and belief in oneself to others. The important thing to hang onto, in my opinion, is a belief to see things through with yourself whatever happens and keeping in touch with the people that are important to you.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
corrected first sentence and and link

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ChessieCat

Hi kirby and welcome to SA,

 

So that members can see your drug history please create your drug signature using the following format.  

 

Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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GirlfromD

Congratulations Kirkby! Your story brings hope, especially when dealing with cognitive issues and wanting to go back studying again some day. Thank you for sharing 😊💕

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kirby
On 1/21/2019 at 12:46 PM, GirlfromD said:

Congratulations Kirkby! Your story brings hope, especially when dealing with cognitive issues and wanting to go back studying again some day. Thank you for sharing 😊💕

Thanks! It feels great seeing that it makes other people feel good! I'm back in school again this semester; I think the challenge of the material actually assists me in recovering because it makes me feel accomplished and keeps my mind off problems. Still need to maintain balance though - need school and play to be healthy.

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kirby
On 1/12/2019 at 10:01 PM, ChessieCat said:

Hi kirby and welcome to SA,

 

So that members can see your drug history please create your drug signature using the following format.  

 

Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

All done! 

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ChessieCat

Thanks kirby.  Much appreciated.  Wishing you all the best for your future psychiatric drug free life.

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frasier23

@kirby, cheers man good work!

 

Is you sleep good today?

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kirby
On 1/31/2019 at 6:59 AM, frasier23 said:

@kirby, cheers man good work!

 

Is you sleep good today?

Yesterday, I woke up a few times in the night, but I think it has to do with stress from looking at the lives of people i use to know online and comparing them to myself... which is something that I am going to avoid today by gathering my willpower to spend more time studying. I'm trying to work out my social problems by exposing myself to things that upset me and finding ways to overcome it. Sometimes when I get super stressed and can't sleep, I put on essential oils or play with my 3ds until I fall asleep. Usually, especially when I have a good day (like my birthday) I just get super sleepy and fall asleep right away and sleep through the night. Good luck on recovering; I'm sure you'll eventually feel better!

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kirby

I'd like to say that I think complications are very tough to deal with that usually are only solvable like a puzzle to medical pros. But, sometimes if your feeling up to it and are kind of like me now in the chill factor it's best to just let go until you get your way, if it dosnt actually end in damage. For example, after a long time off this website, my immune system was weak because valentines day while taking 4 hard courses in school (dropped). However, after losing all my energy, I finally after 10 years of possibility realized risk is fun and  tried to treat myself for an inflammation problem with a name (sounds kind of scary but its lyme) that i may or may not have and all doctors i met said was nothing using an herb, as carefully carefully researched using reliable sources. Everyone takes risk different but I pased my own self judgement so I think I won. I had to regulate emotion, knowledge, time, and environment, and sometimes I had to let go and be a little silly but I think it worked. I realized that integrated medicine is also taught in real schools. And, in different cultures different medicines exist... 

I need to say I am a special case, and dont know about the workings of medicine but may have intuitive ways of solving problems (studied my writting pattern, thought a lot about history for guiding posts, and did some embarassing/use less things). I have access to the knowledge of myself and professional papers on the internet. Also, I accepted risk and have side effects like brusing and blisters and the herb is a blood thinner and hormone replacement so it's hard to use. However, just as a story for others to read and think about, for me following my gut and using my support team's resilience lead me to a solution. If anything, my education teaches me that everyone is different but their paths are always there for them, because time moves forward for everyone at the same time and there is nothing stopping anyone sometimes. My path is education... for others it's working or family or hobbies or friends. In my honest opinion as a student in college going on their very much over 4 years ( should be 8 year graduate), but also a hard worker in the unrecognized way, I think life always has ups and downs but when it's down follow patterns that lead to desired results in the past... because it is more fun.

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India
On 12/30/2018 at 10:24 PM, kirby said:

ometimes I would sit and cry for hours, with an unexplained mix of feeling of loneliness, neglect, and pain

I know this state so well. I often feel it to be so intense it cannot possibility reflect in magnitude external events. I feel this deep deep sorrow but often wonder if it is a disproportionate response. It’s like being in continued early day grief ( like just after a loved one dies).

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