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DeterminedAnna

DeterminedAnna: long time Seroxat / Paxil / paroxetine user

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DeterminedAnna

Hello Surviving Antidepressants team,

 

I am so glad and grateful you exist. One of the most challenging things about withdrawing from antidepressants is the feeling of loneliness. Although I'm new to the site today, I used Paxil Progress in 2013 and have often browsed SA since. I cannot overstate how comforting it is to know I am not alone and to see people with such kindness and wisdom.

 

Here is my introduction. I'm sorry if it's long, rambling or all over the place. It's kindof cathartic putting this down, even if it does stir some uncomfortable feelings and memories.

 

I have wanted to stop taking Seroxat since 2006, when I was 26 years old. I believe like most psychiatric drugs it blunts all emotions, and has turned me into a zombie that craves carbs and sleep, making me fat and unhealthy. It's also killed my libido for many years. Then in 2010, aged 30, I met my partner and knowing he was the one, I have since wanted even more desperately to stop Seroxat as we'd like to have children. I'm 39 now, and fear time is running out, but would never want to get pregnant and force this drug on a developing baby.

 

I hope I have correctly set up my new account today and am right in doing this introduction. As per my history below, I have been tapering using the 10% method since the middle of last February. I am using liquid Seroxat, which here in the UK is formulated so that 10ml = 20mg. This means practically that I consider my doses in millilitres. I use a two different types of oral syringes – the larger has 10ml total capacity broken into 1ml / 0.2ml increments, and the smaller syringe has 1ml capacity broken into 0.1ml / 0.02ml increments.

 

My latest programme of tapering has been very comfortable and I have very little to report. I suspect I have had occasional symptoms but I have been very careful not to catastrophise or ruminate, having learned that from my previous taper and various psychological therapies (e.g. CBT) in the past. I also believe that some health complaints are part and parcel of human life, whether antidepressants or involved or not. However, I am introducing myself here as I have had an unexpected crisis in the past two weeks.

 

Possibly because it's been a busy Christmas and I was not paying much attention, but for my latest reduction of 22 December, I took 2.92ml instead of the 2.98ml I was meant to take every day. I did not realise this until five days later, on 27 December, when my other half happened to notice I'd written 'take 2.98ml daily' on the bottle box but saw me measuring out 2.92ml. This means for five days I had made a something more like a 11.2% drop than the 9.9% drop that was planned.

 

As it happens, on Christmas day, I felt very poorly with massive anxiety and chest tightness, repeating again on 26 December. By 27 December – the day I realised I had been taking too little Seroxat – I was having horrible digestive issues with lots of heartburn, despite avoiding all the usual food causes of this and eating very conservatively for the festive period.

 

On 27 December and every day since, I have taken the amount I was meant to take for this cycle – 2.98ml, or 5.96mg. But this is where the real difficulties have emerged. My sleep has become very broken, and I am waking every couple of hours in a state of awful panic, with a feeling of inner trembling and bizarre, disturbing memories, phrases and thoughts – thoughts that are feel like they're written in bright neon light and someone is turning them on and off randomly with no logic and no intention by me. Physically, my breathing is shallow, despite consciously trying to practise deep breathing, and my digestive system feels like it is burning. This feeling is continuing into the day and although I'm trying to 'change the channel' and do something else, it's distinctly there in the background.

 

As the panic awakenings seem so reminiscent of my 2013 taper, I quickly realised what was happening, even if on this occasion it has felt milder. I consider that period of my life extremely traumatic, and so it's not something that I like to revisit in my mind. And this in turn fuels the panic – I'm praying that history is not repeating itself – I find that prospect terrifying.

 

My GP is useless and point blank refuses to acknowledge withdrawal exists, and has a 'told you so, you should stay in it for life' attitude if I ever get into discussion with her about my difficulties in coming off Seroxat. Fortunately, I can request the repeat prescription for liquid Seroxat online, so I don't have to have any interaction with her. In fact, I'd rather not have any interaction with medical professionals on this subject. In my own experience since I moved to a new area in 2013, I've only encountered hostility and cynicism.

 

I've already decided in my mind to remain on 2.98ml (5.96mg) and not drop again for a few months (my plan would ordinarily be to drop to 2.7ml / 5.4mg from 19 January and continue onwards). My questions are related to this episode, but also more general questions that have weighed on my mind for ages:

 

1. Do you think my excess drop could have had an effect on me? Even if, in my case, it was a tiny difference?

2. Do you think I've technically updosed, considering I noticed my mistake after just five days?

3. Is this tiny excess drop plus subsequent updose a possible cause for my pronounced symptoms? Can such tiny variations really have such a strong effect?

4. Does stabilising really happen? Could my plan to remain on 2.98ml for a while now offer stabilisation? 

5. My sleep pattern for the past week has been extremely disrupted. Is broken sleep better than no sleep? Should I give in to the urge to nap in the day because at the moment some sleep is good, and if my body is craving it, should I listen to it? (I'm self-employed and work from home so this is possible for me).

6. Do medical professionals resist recognising the problem of antidepressant withdrawal – especially now in the face of such strong evidence – because they'd effectively be admitting they got it wrong, and fear it will open the floodgates for legal action? (I get very angry about this).

7. My partner and I plan to move house in 2019 and get married soon after. Should I put further tapering on hold until after these stressful events? (I hate having to put my health plans on hold like this, but I'm also a realist who doesn't want a repeat of my 2013 trauma). If so, considering I'm now on 5.96mg, would getting to a round figure – e.g. 5mg – be sensible, since I could ask for 10mg tablets and simply cut them in half? Getting from 20mg to 5mg and being stable would still be a positive achievement!

 

I appreciate that some of my questions are really more for me to find the ultimate answer, but I'm still very grateful for people's thoughts and experiences.

 

Many, many thanks. This website and Paxil Progress back in 2013 is a genuine life saver.

 

______________ MY HISTORY______________

 

2002 to 2007

22 to 27 years old

- First prescribed Seroxat 20mg daily and taken properly, fully compliant. Do not have records, but attempted to stop by alternating doses around 2006, age 26. Was awful with terrible brain zaps and vomiting. Reinstated by psychiatrist, and pushed up to 40mg by early 2007, age 27.

 

2013 failed Seroxat taper

33 years old
- January to October 2013: 40mg to 0mg Seroxat, by dropping 2mg every fortnight. Did not know of the 10% method. Terrible reaction soon after hitting zero.

- November to mid-December 2013: took various drugs prescribed by doctors who would not recognise withdrawal, including diazepam, quetiapine, zopliclone. I did not continue with any of these drugs after mid-December 2013.

- January 2014 was back fully on Seroxat, and worked quickly back up to 20mg from mid-December 2013.

 

Latest, 2018 taper, following 10% method, starting with 20mg Seroxat

38 years old
- Saturday, 17 February 2018 – 9 ml / 18 mg
- Saturday, 17 March 2018 – 8.1 ml / 16.2 mg
- Saturday, 14 April 2018 – 7.3 ml / 14.6 mg
- Saturday, 12 May 2018 – 6.58 ml / 13.16 mg
- Saturday, 9 June 2018 - 5.92 ml / 11.84 mg
- Saturday, 7 July 2018 - 5.34 ml / 10.68 mg
- Saturday, 4 August 2018    – 5 ml / 10 mg
- Saturday, 1 September 2018 - 4.5 ml / 9 mg
- Saturday, 29 September 2018 - 4.06 ml / 8.12 mg
- Saturday, 27 October 2018 - 3.66 ml / 7.32 mg
- Saturday, 24 November 2018 - 3.3 ml / 6.6 mg
- Saturday, 22 December 2018 – Meant to be 2.98 ml, but between 22 and 27 December, believe I took 2.92ml by mistake / Meant to be 5.96 mg but by mistake, probably took 5.84mg daily between 22 and 27 December

 

During this latest taper: 
- No other pharmaceutical drugs.
- Rarely drink alcohol.
- Drink between 1 and 3 cups of (black) tea or coffee a day.
- Take vitamin D supplement as was found to be deficient in it in spring 2018 (my guess is due to not liking/eating oily fish, not being a fan of sunshine and being overweight – I'm about 18 stone, or 252lbs).
- Also take a general multivitamin/mineral approximately every other day.

- I use an e-cigarette lots. I gave up smoking in 2015 after a chest infection and so vaping is my nicotine source.
 

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

Hi Anna and welcome to SA,

 

We have other ex-PPers here.  Really glad you found SA.  And thank you for asking your questions in such an organised manner.  It has made it much easier to respond to them.  I will answer the questions here and give you some links related to the responses.  I will post additional links in a separate post.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.  Each member has their own topic.  (SA works a bit differently to many other forums 😉  )

 

1. Do you think my excess drop could have had an effect on me? Even if, in my case, it was a tiny difference?

 

It can ramp up your symptoms for a little while.  I inadvertently reduced from 9.5mg to 4.5mg instead of 9mg for 5 days.  My symptoms ddid increase for a short while.  I held for longer to give my brain a chance to adapt to the changes.

 

2. Do you think I've technically updosed, considering I noticed my mistake after just five days?

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to a steady level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  This would tie in with when you noticed the symptoms.  You did the right thing going back to the “correct” dose when you discovered it and it was in a reasonable time period.  The worse thing to do is to worry about it.  We’ve had members accidentally miss a dose completely and some have double dosed.  It’s not good stressing about it.  Accept as being an accident, a bit of a hiccup.  Things will settle down soon.

 

3. Is this tiny excess drop plus subsequent updose a possible cause for my pronounced symptoms? Can such tiny variations really have such a strong effect?

 

This can depend on how sensitive you are to dose changes.  Some members find that they are unable to reduce by 10%, and have to reduce by less, 5% or lower.  Many member find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, reducing less and/or holding longer.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

4. Does stabilising really happen? Could my plan to remain on 2.98ml for a while now offer stabilisation?

 

Yes and yes.  However it doesn’t happen in a linear fashion.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Withdrawal Normal Description

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

5. My sleep pattern for the past week has been extremely disrupted. Is broken sleep better than no sleep? Should I give in to the urge to nap in the day because at the moment some sleep is good, and if my body is craving it, should I listen to it? (I'm self-employed and work from home so this is possible for me).

 

That’s really up to you.  For me personally if I feel tired I have a sleep.  It can sometimes disrupt my sleep afterwards, but that’s a payoff that I am willing to make.  If I’m tired, I’m tired.  If I try to keep myself awake I often find that when I do go to bed that I can’t sleep because I’m overtired, or past being tired.

 

6. Do medical professionals resist recognising the problem of antidepressant withdrawal – especially now in the face of such strong evidence – because they'd effectively be admitting they got it wrong, and fear it will open the floodgates for legal action? (I get very angry about this).

 

Medical professionals get their information from the pharmaceutical companies.  Pharmaceuticals are the ones who pay for and run the clinical trials. The reason this site exists is because there are very few medical professionals who understand tapering and withdrawal.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutic representative for 15 years:

YouTube videos:

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes) 

 

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)

Abstract:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.

Excerpt:


How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
....
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo.  But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
....
(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)

 

7. My partner and I plan to move house in 2019 and get married soon after. Should I put further tapering on hold until after these stressful events? (I hate having to put my health plans on hold like this, but I'm also a realist who doesn't want a repeat of my 2013 trauma). If so, considering I'm now on 5.96mg, would getting to a round figure – e.g. 5mg – be sensible, since I could ask for 10mg tablets and simply cut them in half? Getting from 20mg to 5mg and being stable would still be a positive achievement!

 

It is generally a good idea to hold on a dose during more stressful periods.  Even going on holidays (positive) is a stress and members find that they need to wait 1-2 weeks until after their return before thinking about tapering again.  Many members have reported their symptoms increasing over the recent Christmas/New Year holiday period.   If it was me I would be planning my reductions around the events.  The other option is to make smaller than 10% reductions but still time them around the events.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

A bunch of really good stuff.

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

The only supplements that SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil .  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Acceptance

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Brass Monkey Slide


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/anxiety.htm

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help ...

Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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DeterminedAnna

Hello ChessieCat,

 

Thank you so much for your personal reply. I know many of the moderators have a 'we are not medical professionals' disclaimer and I respect and understand that, but in my experience having loitered as a non-user on this site for some years, there is more logic and knowledge and expertise and experience on these pages than there is in any doctor's room that I've seen in many years. And also there's a kindness that doesn't seem to come from the medical professionals I've encountered. Kindness matters.

 

(On the other hand, I still greatly admire and value the NHS here in the UK, but that's another conversation).
 

Along with your own responses, you have given further information tailored to my questions. Thank you again. I have already read many of those pages and saved as PDFs in case anything happens to this site – because, you guessed it, that's an anxiety that's already cropped up for me. In any case I am going to re-read those pages over the coming days when, hopefully, my brain is a little calmer.

 

As it goes, after yesterday's outpouring (it's nearly 9am on Friday here in UK) I had five unbroken hours of sleep last night and have woken feeling a little brighter. I have a few more questions and observations I'd like to make – and responses are open to everyone 😁

 

  • How does this site work? Is it run by volunteers? If so, how do you cope as a volunteer? Sometimes just being exposed to the topics here, by the power of association, stirs up the traumatic experience of my past withdrawal. This is why I have to use forums like this in small doses, otherwise Seroxat withdrawal could easily occupy my entire thinking and existence, which isn't healthy...
  • ... As such, I feel guilty for being a taker and not a giver to this website. Excess guilt is something I've wrestled with since I was a teenager – among the horrible feelings I have had in this latest episode is intense guilt for the burden I'm putting on my partner. Can withdrawal ramp up guilt?
  • Can a taper gone wrong, as in my case of 2013, be classed as trauma?
    I honestly look back on it as traumatic as any other kind of trauma.
  • Can one be anxious about being anxious?
    I have found myself dreading going to bed because of the insomnia. I suspect this is a self-fulfilling prophecy that would be helped by practising acceptance. Thank you for the link to that. Definitely one to read 20 times, although I suspect it's a really hard thing to achieve.
  • As much as I want to steer clear of GP or psychiatrist involvement (I'm only registered with a GP anyway), could seeing a psychotherapist help?
    As mentioned, I've had CBT and hypnotherapy in the past to address the causes of depression and anxiety (how I wish I'd been offered them before being pushed onto Seroxat). My partner and I talked last night about perhaps seeing a counsellor who doesn't push medication, and specialises in addiction and withdrawal from the more 'traditionally' addictive drugs like alcohol and opiates, as withdrawal from antidepressants may have some similarities. 

    What do you think? Is there any way on this site to find psychotherapist recommendations – I am in the Midlands, in the UK?
  • One therapist I saw in the past mentioned in our final session that for some people it's wise to have 'top-up' therapy from time to time, even when things are going well. Despite trusting and respecting her, I cynically dismissed it at the time as a little bit of a sales push – it was easy to brush off as I was feeling well. Do you think there's some truth in having top-up therapy? Has it helped others?
  • Could withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, be likened to the nervous system re-calibrating itself? In the past week I've not only had this unforeseen insomnia and anxiety, I've noticed things like smells being stronger, sensations of burning heat in parts of my body where my partner has said are cool to the touch. But at the same time, could there be a psychological thing going on where because we consciously know we're in withdrawal, we pay much more attention to every little quirk than we otherwise would?
  • During my terrible withdrawal of 2013, I was visited at home by a psychiatrist and an army of psychiatric nurses. All of them were extremely cold to the point of aggression – for example, they would refuse my offers of a coffee, tea or water. Are they trained to be like this?
    (Ever since then I have worried it was me that brought that quality out in them. Yes, I'm worrying unnecessarily, or perhaps it's curiosity... It's just I remembered the one nurse out of about the 10 who visited me who took my hand and said something like 'I understand what you are going through with this drug – I have seen it before'. It was the only glimmer of hope I had in that long dark period. Why, in my case, were the psychiatric staff so... inhuman....?)
  • Is there any real evidence that some people just stop taking the drugs with no, or minimal problems?
    I find this incredibly hard to believe. And if these people exist, what theories might explain this?

 

 

  • Has Surviving Antidepressants taken all its evidence and experiences to any big authorities?
    If so, what has been the response?
  • I set up my account rather speedily yesterday and gave myself the obvious username 'AnnaSeroxat', which, as silly as it sounds, I do not want that poison attached to my name. Is there a way to change my username (I've looked in the Edit Profile section but can't find anything)? If possible, I'd like to change it 'PersistentAnna' or 'DeterminedAnna' or 'PerseverAnna' ... all a bit naff I know, but I'd rather have the small but powerful reminder visible every time I log in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DeterminedAnna

Oops, something went wrong there with submitting my last post. In the future I think I'll paste my final text into a Text Editor program before hitting submit.

 

The gist of it is all there, other than me saying a BIG BIG thank you. Yes, it's words on a screen, but it's so, so much more than that. Thank you.

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Oops, something went wrong there with submitting my last post. In the future I think I'll paste my final text into a Text Editor program before hitting submit.

 

Every now and then when I'm compiling a post it submits it before I am finished.  At first I thought I was hitting a wrong key combination but it has happened quite a few times recently so it may be a software glitch.  I've also had it where the reply box seems to freeze for a little bit of time when I can't click anywhere within the box.

 

I will reply to your longer post but it will take me some time.  I'll start tonight and post what I get done but might have to leave some until tomorrow.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
redid quote

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)
  • How does this site work? Is it run by volunteers? If so, how do you cope as a volunteer? Sometimes just being exposed to the topics here, by the power of association, stirs up the traumatic experience of my past withdrawal. This is why I have to use forums like this in small doses, otherwise Seroxat withdrawal could easily occupy my entire thinking and existence, which isn't healthy...

 

Yes, the site is run by unrostered volunteers who are or have experienced their own withdrawal issues.  We look after ourselves first and only work online as we are able to.  We only respond to posts which we feel that we are able to.  The moderators also work as a team.  All the moderators have their own strengths and weaknesses.  We do what we can when we can. 

donations-gratefully-accepted

 

 ... As such, I feel guilty for being a taker and not a giver to this website. Excess guilt is something I've wrestled with since I was a teenager – among the horrible feelings I have had in this latest episode is intense guilt for the burden I'm putting on my partner. Can withdrawal ramp up guilt?

 

Yes, withdrawal can bring on all types of emotions.

 

Neuro Emotions


 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

managing-anger

 

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

 


Can a taper gone wrong, as in my case of 2013, be classed as trauma?

  • I honestly look back on it as traumatic as any other kind of trauma.

 

As with anything, if we have previously had a bad experience with something, then naturally we are going to be concerned about the same thing happening again.  Once bitten, twice shy.

 

post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

 

trauma-subpersonalities-the-lie-and-constant-change

 

trauma-injury-illness-and-waking-up

 

 

  • Can one be anxious about being anxious?
    I have found myself dreading going to bed because of the insomnia. I suspect this is a self-fulfilling prophecy that would be helped by practising acceptance. Thank you for the link to that. Definitely one to read 20 times, although I suspect it's a really hard thing to achieve.

 

Yes, it’s called anticipatory anxiety.

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

 

  • As much as I want to steer clear of GP or psychiatrist involvement (I'm only registered with a GP anyway), could seeing a psychotherapist help?
    As mentioned, I've had CBT and hypnotherapy in the past to address the causes of depression and anxiety (how I wish I'd been offered them before being pushed onto Seroxat). My partner and I talked last night about perhaps seeing a counsellor who doesn't push medication, and specialises in addiction and withdrawal from the more 'traditionally' addictive drugs like alcohol and opiates, as withdrawal from antidepressants may have some similarities. 

    What do you think? Is there any way on this site to find psychotherapist recommendations – I am in the Midlands, in the UK?

 

CBT can be helpful but sometimes stressful during withdrawal because you are challenging your thoughts.   I've renamed CBT to Change Bad Thinking.  Different things work better at different times.  It’s helpful to have a toolbox of coping skills so that you can use what works at that time.

 

Seeing a counseller can be a good idea and telling them that you want to learn life coping skills.  You may have difficulty finding someone who understands withdrawal.  I would urge caution about opening up about withdrawal.  They may end up labelling you and when you talk about your issues they will be relating it (probably unconsciously) to you reducing your drug and blame any issues on you having  a mental illness or relapse and not taking the "therapeutic dose", which by the way is an arbitrary term that the pharmaceutical companies use and the term they teach the doctors etc.  SA prefers to use "lowest effective dose".

 

I don’t think trying to find one who specialises in addiction and withdrawal from the more 'traditionally' addictive drugs like alcohol and opiates would necessarily be beneficial.  We have some members here who work as nurses in the area of addictive drugs and they have great difficulty understanding the difference between addictive drugs and psychiatric drugs.  I think this is because of the difference action the drugs have on the body.  For example, there is a difference between benzos and antidepressants.  As I said, find someone who you feel comfortable with the teach you life coping skills.  SA is able to provide the information and on-going support.  And the members of SA do understand what you are going through.

 

great-britain-members-please-check-in-here

 

recommended-doctors-therapists-and-clinics

 

Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

  • One therapist I saw in the past mentioned in our final session that for some people it's wise to have 'top-up' therapy from time to time, even when things are going well. Despite trusting and respecting her, I cynically dismissed it at the time as a little bit of a sales push – it was easy to brush off as I was feeling well. Do you think there's some truth in having top-up therapy? Has it helped others?

 

I don’t think it is so much “top up” but that as you go through life new challenges are presented.  You may need to have counselling to understand a new stage in your life, eg when the children all leave home and a mother suddenly has an empty nest, or when a man retires from the work force and has to cope with not doing what he has done for years.

 

  • Could withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, be likened to the nervous system re-calibrating itself? In the past week I've not only had this unforeseen insomnia and anxiety, I've noticed things like smells being stronger, sensations of burning heat in parts of my body where my partner has said are cool to the touch. But at the same time, could there be a psychological thing going on where because we consciously know we're in withdrawal, we pay much more attention to every little quirk than we otherwise would?

 

Yes, the brain is always trying to return to homeostasis.  Many members have increased light/sound sensitivity, food sensitivity, hot/cold/burning, change in their sleep, increased or lessened smell/taste,

 

There are many existing topics on the site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.  So for example, search for survivingantidepressants.org burning

 

  • During my terrible withdrawal of 2013, I was visited at home by a psychiatrist and an army of psychiatric nurses. All of them were extremely cold to the point of aggression – for example, they would refuse my offers of a coffee, tea or water. Are they trained to be like this?
    (Ever since then I have worried it was me that brought that quality out in them. Yes, I'm worrying unnecessarily, or perhaps it's curiosity... It's just I remembered the one nurse out of about the 10 who visited me who took my hand and said something like 'I understand what you are going through with this drug – I have seen it before'. It was the only glimmer of hope I had in that long dark period. Why, in my case, were the psychiatric staff so... inhuman....?)

 

I don’t know what their training would be, but I imagine that in order to cope with doing their job they need to distance themselves to protect their emotions.  It’s a bit different to being a volunteer on SA where I can take time away, or not read certain topics that trigger me.  If they are employees they need to be working when they are told, they can’t take time off if they feel unable to cope.  It would be even harder for them, working directly with people face to face.  They may also be concerned for their own safety, and need to keep risks to a minimum, eg hot drink being thrown at them (just a thought).

 

 

  • Is there any real evidence that some people just stop taking the drugs with no, or minimal problems?
    I find this incredibly hard to believe. And if these people exist, what theories might explain this?

 

I spoke to my doctor about this recently and said that I realised that most people can probably get off their drug without much trouble.  My doctor is a very softly spoken man and I was glad I was looking directly at him as he said “not many” whilst shaking his head.  If you are interested in some concise case studies:  SUBMISSION to Scottish Parliament - PE01651: Prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to take action to appropriately recognise and effectively support individuals affected and harmed by prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal. 

 

 

 

I’m fairly certain that it can.  This link below may have the answer to your question.  You can also search for Seroxat, Paxil and paroxetine to find members who are tapering the same drug.

questions-and-answers-about-liquid-medications

 

  • Has Surviving Antidepressants taken all its evidence and experiences to any big authorities?
    If so, what has been the response?

 

survivingantidepressantsorg-mentions-and-honors

 

From this post:  about-survivingantidepressantsorg

 

On 5/15/2011 at 5:22 AM, Altostrata said:

 

With our documentation of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, we hope to educate the medical establishment about this problem. Case studies are essential; they are evidence understood by doctors, the psychiatric industry, and government regulatory agencies.

 

 

 

  • I set up my account rather speedily yesterday and gave myself the obvious username 'AnnaSeroxat', which, as silly as it sounds, I do not want that poison attached to my name. Is there a way to change my username (I've looked in the Edit Profile section but can't find anything)? If possible, I'd like to change it 'PersistentAnna' or 'DeterminedAnna' or 'PerseverAnna' ... all a bit naff I know, but I'd rather have the small but powerful reminder visible every time I log in. 

 

I can understand you wanting to change it.  I will have to ask the site owner if it can be done.

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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DeterminedAnna

Chessie, thank you again so much. I have just made a small donation via PayPal, to survivingads@gmail.com. It's the least I could do.

Your answers are thoughtful and practical. Thank you.

 

Also, thank you for arranging the change to my username. What great service!

 

I felt a whole lot better yesterday and again slept with fewer interruptions last night. Not the eight solid hours I'd like, but better. I wish it didn't, but sleep has such a powerful effect on me (as I'm sure it does with everyone). I don't just mean for physical reasons, I mean for psychological reasons too (not sure if I'm wording that right). If I consciously know I've slept well or for an adequate length, I feel calmer and safer. Is that what's called psychosomatic? Conversely, I'm scared by the effects of insomnia – scared of driving, of making mistakes in my professional life because with reduced sleep, my intellect suffers. If I have a bad night's sleep one day, I become fixated on correcting it the next day. I know I need to work on this.

 

Like so much, the sleep thing – at least on a psychological level – probably stems from my early years. Thankfully, I had a drug-free childhood, but I always had difficulty falling asleep, and waking too early, so I often got fewer hours than a growing child needs. My mum has often said I was a terrible sleeper as a youngster, and says so without any prompt about, or reference to, my taking antidepressants. Despite these two decades of being something of an insomniac, soon after I started Seroxat at 22, something changed drastically – I started getting afternoon drowsiness and needing/taking naps, and even though my nighttime sleep grew in length, it became a sweaty, jerky experience riddled with vivid dreams and nightmares. This is yet another reason why, by the age of 26, I wanted to stop Seroxat. At that time, I wasn't armed with any real information that Seroxat could be behind the drastic change in my sleep patterns, but I had a hunch. In hindsight, I'm certain Seroxat radically altered my natural disposition, which admittedly wasn't great, but the Seroxat 'fix' was far worse. In the last day, I have also realised that through all these Seroxat years, I have probably had minor 'hypnagogic hallucinations'. Again, definitely not a thing of my pre-Seroxat time. These drugs are just so shockingly and awfully powerful.

 

I have so many more observations and questions. Some are motivated by my own experiences, and some are because I'm a curious, analytical person. These traits can be a great thing, but for me it's easy to get sucked into information wormholes on the internet which can become addictive and obsessive – though fortunately, I've never had anything like OCD. In the past few days, I've been reading and re-reading all of the excellent guidance you've shared, as well as other places on this forum. Having spent many years delving into information about antidepressants and withdrawal from them, I can hand on heart say this site is one of the best, most valuable places for guidance on this enormous subject.

 

The more I learn, the more I want to ask and find out more. Please do tell me if I'm asking questions in the wrong place, or questions that should be directed away from this site. I don't want to overload anyone or follow the wrong protocol. I am going to start new threads in hopefully relevant sections and go from there.

 

One last thing – I've noticed that it's good etiquette on this site to include a simple signature. Mine does not appear on my posts, so something is amiss. I've filled in the profile details with a summary of my history when I signed up, but is this different to my signature?

Thank you again.

PS. I like the sound of your doctor, or at least his subtle admission of something I think we all know.
 

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manymoretodays

Hi DeterminedAnna,

I just moved your most recent post to a already existing topic: Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques

You'll find your post there on page 4 now.

And hopefully, most of the questions that you have asked will be answered, by reading through the topic from the beginning.  Just post any remaining questions there after reading.

It's really simple to see if we have a pre-existing topic before starting one.  Just type in your main browser survivingantidepressants.org followed by the topic of inquiry or subject. 

 

And yes, the basic profile information remains confidential and IS different from your signature.  If you are using a phone device you cannot view signatures at all.  You can update them though from a phone.  This is what I see currently in your signature:

Latest, 2018, taper, using 10% method, starting with 20mg Seroxat (10ml = 20mg suspension): aged 38 at start. No other drugs. Vitamin D and multivitamin every other day.
17 February 2018: 18 mg …… 24 November 2018: 6.6 mg | 22 December 2018: meant to be 5.96 mg but by mistake, took 5.84mg for five days | 27 December 2018: 5.96mg HOLDING for longer due to symptoms of excess drop.

Previous WD attempts/other history

  • January to October 2013 (aged 33): 40mg to 0mg Seroxat, terrible reaction | October/November 2013: Mix of diazepam, zopiclone, quetiapine. Too ill to record details properly | Late November 2013: Chose to stop the polydrugging. | January 2014: Reinstated 20mg Seroxat.
  • Mid-2004 or 2006? (aged 24 or 26): WD via alternating dose 20mg to 0mg in three months. Terrible. Reinstated by psychiatrist to 20mg; I naively upped to 40mg by end of 2004 or 2006.

2002? Started Seroxat 20mg daily aged 22 by GP.

 

Okie dokie Determined one, and welcome aboard.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays

 

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ChessieCat
12 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Chessie, thank you again so much. I have just made a small donation via PayPal, to survivingads@gmail.com. It's the least I could do.

Your answers are thoughtful and practical. Thank you.

 

Also, thank you for arranging the change to my username. What great service!

 

You're welcome.  And thank you on behalf of SA for making a donation.  I also felt that it was the least I could do after getting the help I got when I first joined.  I dread to think what might have happened if I hadn't found SA when I did.

 

3 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

It's really simple to see if we have a pre-existing topic before starting one.  Just type in your main browser survivingantidepressants.org followed by the topic of inquiry or subject. 

 

Yes, there a many existing topics on this site.  SA works differently from many other forums.  We prefer to keep similar information in one topic so that it is easier for members (and guests) to find the information and experiences of other members.  So yes, it is best to check first to see if there is already a topic on a particular subject.

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DeterminedAnna

Hi @ChessieCat and @manymoretodays, thank you both for your help. I'm getting my head around the structure of this site and I will be sure to search with a fine-tooth comb before starting any new threads.

 

Since my opening post describing my symptoms and my mid-December blip, things have already been getting better. And when I say 'things', I mean primarily my sleep, which for me can taint or enhance everything else.

 

Last night (6 January 2019) was the first time I'd slept more than five hours in a night since my mistaken excessive drop on 22 December. Admittedly it was probably down to a 25mg diphenhydramine (Nytol) tablet, but as I've returned to work today after the Christmas break, I felt like I needed to boost the effects of deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.

 

Today I'm feeling much calmer and less jittery. I'm going to remain on my current liquid Seroxat dose (5.96mg) for at least one month longer than originally planned. And only consider dropping again when I've had a fair run of stability. For me, sleep is one of my yardsticks, so I'll be monitoring closely, but not obsessively.

 

I've been reading a lot on this site and it truly is amazing. There's so much useful, practical guidance, kindness and wisdom. I was reading the threads about neuroplasticity earlier today and the discussions are fascinating. Not just the shared links to third-party research, but the thinking-out-loud reflections of the members.

 

I'm going to avoid taking any more diphenhydramine tonight as I'd prefer to limit all kinds of pharmaceutical drugs throughout my withdrawal. I long for a day when my bedside table drawer has a fraction of the over-the-counter medicines that it currently has, many of which I've clearly bought to address past withdrawal symptoms – I can see this in hindsight and after reading the experiences of others here. Obviously I don't want to get a phobia of tablets and am fine with the occasional paracetamol for period pain, but the day my mini pharmacy shuts up shop will be a very good day.

I'm very unlikely to start tinkering with loads of supplements and herbal remedies too. I realise for many here they offer some relief, but I'd rather know confidently that the symptoms I get, and will get in the future, are down to withdrawal. However, I have read all the information here about magnesium, as well as elsewhere online. So I checked the multivitamin/mineral I take every other day (I alternate it with vitamin D3) and – perhaps unsurprisingly given my symptoms – it only contains 100mg of magnesium. Apparently this is 27% of the recommended daily allowance, so it could be that I'm not getting enough magnesium.

 

So now, between typing, I am munching on some pumpkin seeds and have Brazil nuts for tomorrow's snack. And I told my partner who does all the cooking at home (I know, I'm very lucky) that I want more spinach and Swiss chard in our evening meals. He hates the sulphuric smell of them cooking – even if they're only lightly steamed as is his method – but that's tough. He can deal with it.

Omega 3 fish oils might be the next thing. I've taken them in the past, and somehow felt more anxious during those phases. So I think I'll need to start out low.

@manymoretodays thank you for moving my questions, as below, about oral syringes to the correct place. I notice there's been some further posts on that thread since my questions. Does that mean that my questions could get overlooked? What's the right etiquette for dealing with your unanswered questions? Can answers come some time after they're first posted? Granted, my questions were only added a couple of days ago, so perhaps I just need to get familiar with how dialogue flows in this forum...

 

As always, big thank you X


 

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Tips for tapering off Paxil(paroxetine)/Seroxat

This ^ link will come in handy too,  Determined Anna.

 

I think when you get to the lower dosages, it may make a lot of sense, to further dilute the liquid paroxetine.  It's really good, I think, to just hold with a consistent formula of your drug too.  You'll probably have to get a new bottle, of your liquid paroxetine before you run out.  Do pay heed to the expiration date and storage recommendations.

 

I also think it's a great idea to go for a long HOLD during situational changes.  You've come down a long way in just a bit less than a years time.  Often at the lower dosages is when you might need to go more slowly.

 

There are some more answers now, I noticed,  around using oral syringes.  Yes, answers to your questions may arrive there anytime. 

 If you see something not answered, that hasn't already been addressed in the thread on oral syringes,  just ask again.

Here or there is fine. 

 

Generally questions specific to your situation will go here, on your introduction.  Which, I realize.......does sound confusing.

Go to the main page and just get familiar with the different forums.......the more organized and important topics are often the pinned ones at the top.

 

Great that you are doing so well, so far DA.  May the tapering Gods and Godesses continue to smile on you.  B)

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays
none done afterall........

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DeterminedAnna

Thank you @manymoretodays, much appreciated.

The tapering gods and goddesses are smiling on me today, so I'm smiling back and enjoying the moment.

 

Anna xx

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DeterminedAnna

Hello again,

 

Thank you for all your advice and support. I'm writing this with a few more questions and to also keep my notes up to date.

Yesterday (Sunday 13 January) I had a really bad day, with strong anxiety and low mood with big crying outbursts. But, I am wondering if it's because I went out on Saturday evening for a meal and had four glasses of red wine? I've never been a big drinker and would say through all my adult life I probably drink on average no more than two units a month, just on social occasions when there's a sort-of expectation to drink. Consequently, I've never put any symptoms down to alcohol because drinking it is so rare and in such small doses.

Could this Saturday night wine explain my symptoms yesterday? I drunk lots of water at the same time as the wine and had it with food, so there was no next-day 'traditional' hangover symptoms like headache and nausea and wooziness. Instead, there was a return of the jittery anxiety and inner trembling that I felt a few weeks ago, described above. And last night (Sunday 13/Monday 14) I had similar insomnia to that I experienced a few weeks back.

Also, I'm wondering now if I should return to the previous dose in my tapering plan? I was taking 6.6mg of Seroxat daily until and including 21 December and was not having any noticeable symptoms. Now, since 22 December and my mistaken big drop (down to 5.84mg then up to correct dose of 5.96mg), I just seem to have low-level background anxiety, intrusive racing thoughts, insomnia... Those symptoms peaked between 22 and 30 December as described above, and seemed to be improving after realising my mistake and resuming the correct dose... but again they've intensified yesterday, leading to me waking up today feeling horrible.

 

To add to this, my period is now 10 days late (I'm not pregnant). This in itself is causing me to worry. Is it possible that this kind of withdrawal stress messes with menstrual cycles? The internet says non-withdrawal stress can affect periods, but I'm wondering about the experiences of women on this site and those who are tapering and get WD symptoms?

I'm also finding it really hard to practise acceptance of the situation, so any personal experiences of this, to complement the guidance above would be so appreciated.

Finally, I'm feeling like, since late December, withdrawal and symptoms and insomnia are becoming an obsession. It's the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up and as I'm falling asleep. It's there in the back of my mind tainting everything. I'm doing things to keep myself away from the subject and distracted, but the thoughts are just there, bubbling under the surface.

As always, I'd be hugely grateful for your experiences and advice.

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ChessieCat

There are lots of existing topics on this site.  You can either use the site search function in a particular forum (select This Forum below the search area) or you can use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

15 minutes ago, DeterminedAnna said:

I had a really bad day, with strong anxiety and low mood with big crying outbursts. But, I am wondering if it's because I went out on Saturday evening for a meal and had four glasses of red wine?

 

Yes.  alcohol-and-beer

 

18 minutes ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Also, I'm wondering now if I should return to the previous dose in my tapering plan?

 

No.  See previous response.  We have to learn to sit with the discomfort.

 

18 minutes ago, DeterminedAnna said:

To add to this, my period is now 10 days late (I'm not pregnant). This in itself is causing me to worry. Is it possible that this kind of withdrawal stress messes with menstrual cycles? The internet says non-withdrawal stress can affect periods, but I'm wondering about the experiences of women on this site and those who are tapering and get WD symptoms?

 

When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal

 

19 minutes ago, DeterminedAnna said:

I'm also finding it really hard to practise acceptance of the situation, so any personal experiences of this, to complement the guidance above would be so appreciated.

 

Yes it can be difficult.  But like anything, the more you practise the easier it gets.

 

Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

21 minutes ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Finally, I'm feeling like, since late December, withdrawal and symptoms and insomnia are becoming an obsession. It's the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up and as I'm falling asleep. It's there in the back of my mind tainting everything. I'm doing things to keep myself away from the subject and distracted, but the thoughts are just there, bubbling under the surface.

 

This isn't unusual.  You might find it helpful to set an alarm as a reminder to practice some non drug coping technique throughout the day.  Even if it doesn't feel like it is working, it is giving the brain a rest for a short period of time, and if you keep practising, down the track you will find that it does start to help.

 

OCD Obsessive Thoughts, Compulsive Behaviours

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms


Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way

 

And if nothing else works:

On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

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DeterminedAnna

Hello Chessie,

 

Thank you for all your guidance and pointers. I do search for guidance on this site and use the Google trick you showed me. I think part of me wants to log my experiences and queries as I'm going, so please don't think I'm ignoring your suggestions.

 

From now on at social events, I'll be stating loudly and clearly that I'm the designated driver and that way there will be no risk of alcohol issues. I don't drink at all when I'm driving, and I am feeling very grateful, having read the thread you shared, that I'm not someone that craves or needs alcohol.

 

One thing I did last night (14/15 January) was probably stupid. I was again feeling desperate for sleep, having had a tearful row with my partner over my symptoms, as I was getting ready for bed. He's very supportive, but on this occasion he snapped, which is understandable. He really wants me to see my GP, but I'm sure if I do she'll just either tell me to go back up to my pre-taper dose of Seroxat and/or offer me benzos or sleeping drugs. I don't want them, but if I refuse this from my GP, she'll record me as being non-compliant. I'm of the view I just need my GP to issue me my liquid Seroxat prescription once a month, and nothing more. 

 

So in the heat of this row, I took a one-a-night Nytol, which is 50mg diphenhydramine, at about 11.15pm. Had the total opposite effect of helping me sleep. Fell asleep quickly, but woke up 1.30am with inner body vibrations, really restless, fidgety and agitated, going hot and cold, with burning hot extremities. Managed to sleep again, but kept waking every two or so hours with similar symptoms. I wonder if this was mild serotonin syndrome? Or a paradoxical reaction? Or maybe I'll never know what it was, and that doesn't matter.

 

As you can see from above, I took half of one of these Nytol tablets last week and it didn't have the same effect. I'm not going to take any more. It's too risky and unpredictable. It can't be doing my brain and nervous system any good.

I'm reading all the threads you've shared. And re-reading them. It's hard advice to take when symptoms are so powerful. I like the AAF guidance and I think that distraction is a big part of this. For me, it has to be continued distraction. 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there don't make much of a difference. It would be good to have a few solid days of not thinking about withdrawal. Symptoms, and especially insomnia, make it difficult to change the channel, but I'm trying. I've set a daily alarm as you suggested to practice some deep breathing. This has been the most helpful thing for me when I'm having anxiety and it's a good habit to get into.

 

I'm still struggling to understand how I've gone from February to December last year on my taper with minimal problems, then all this seems to have escalated from my mistaken excessive drop in mid December. As it has definitely impacted me, I am going to stay on 5.96mg until I am 200% confident I am ready to reduce again. And when I do, I'll probably reduce by 5% rather than the 10% reductions I've been making.

 

I am wondering if, partly to satisfy my partner, I should see my GP and avoid getting into withdrawal discussion, but at the same time get a full blood test done? I appreciate that withdrawal symptoms don't necessarily reveal themselves in tests, but as it's been a year since I had a blood test (which was all ok except low vitamin D), there might be some things amiss. I drink loads of water and don't eat much salt. I wonder if I'm getting enough potassium too. All that said, I'd prefer minimal interaction with my GP as she has a 'withdrawal's all in your head, it's not real' attitude, which leaves me angry and frustrated.

Thank you, as always, for your help. How is your taper going? Your signature and graph suggests you're nearing 0. Have the past bad patches faded in your memory?  What's been the most beneficial thing for you when going through your taper?

 

Sorry for the rambling on... It does help to get this all off my chest.

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ChessieCat

You are very welcome.

 

6 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

I think part of me wants to log my experiences and queries as I'm going

 

That's what your Introduction topic is for.  Just make sure that any questions that you ask which you want answers for are easy to see and not mixed in with lots of text.  The mods are also experiencing withdrawal and sometimes have difficulty reading through blocks of text.  Thank you.

 

6 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

I'm of the view I just need my GP to issue me my liquid Seroxat prescription once a month, and nothing more. 

 

Yes, you need to make sure that you can continue to get what you need.

 

6 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

I've set a daily alarm as you suggested to practice some deep breathing. This has been the most helpful thing for me when I'm having anxiety and it's a good habit to get into.

 

My daughter was concerned about me when our dog died and suggested that I "check in with myself" during the day to see how I was feeling.  I'm assuming it was something her counsellor had taught her.  The idea was to catch the anxiety or whatever before it built up too much.  I knew that I would forget so I set an alarm to remind me.  Since learning this technique, I find that I am now able to pick up reasonably early on that I'm starting to become anxious or whatever.  It definitely makes it easier manage when you nip it in the bud.

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DeterminedAnna

Hello Chessie, Manymoretodays and everybody...

 

This is just an update. As I start writing this, I don't have any particular questions, but if they crop up, I'll reiterate them at the bottom of my post for ease.

 

Today has been pretty good. I started my period yesterday (16 January) and so that's one sense of relief for me. I've read the thread about WD's relationship to PMS and menstrual cycles so I suspect the past few weeks I have had some PMS compounding my original emergence of symptoms in mid-December (and vice versa – my period was 10 days late). I've got tummy cramps today for which I've taken two paracetamol, but I'm pleased to have those cramps.

 

Last night I slept for nine hours. NINE HOURS! I had a 20-minute wake-up for the loo and that was it. In fact, I overslept today, which had the knock-on effect of not doing as much work as I should have done, but I can catch up. I'm grateful that I work from home for myself and as such I can be flexible with my hours and commitments.

I've been reading more about magnesium on this site and elsewhere. I don't want to start taking loads of supplements so I'm pleased to see it's only magnesium and fish oils that are recommended here. I'll probably steer clear of fish oils for now because they seem to have had an anxiety-stimulating effect in the past. I notice that Alto recommends magnesium citrate, so I'm ordering that on my next payday. In the meantime, I'm eating loads of pumpkin seeds and green leafy veg, which can't be a bad thing irrespective of withdrawal. I also wholeheartedly agree with the advice to avoid mixed supplements. If I take any, I will only take one type – at the lowest possible dose – and assess so I can pinpoint any symptoms that emerge and clearly link it back to the supplement.

 

Reflecting on the past few weeks of my heightened anxiety has made me once again revisit my views on how antidepressants work. When I have been taking them – and not been tapering – I believe they blunt all emotions. This obviously isn't great since they blunt the positive emotions (just one of the reasons why I want off them). But they also blunt the anxiety and depressive feelings, which might be why some people think they are beneficial and why for many they provide relief early on.

 

However, blunting all anxiety isn't right either. I believe you need a little bit of anxiety and sense of urgency in order to drive motivation... For me, I noticed that in the past few weeks of my wave, I was getting anxious over little things, like vacuuming, washing, cleaning the bathroom... When taking Seroxat at high doses, I find I have a much more 'oh well, I'll do that tomorrow' attitude, with little motivation to address those domestic things. In the past few weeks, with the ramped-up anxiety, I've become much more concerned about these domestic things – and on occasions, concerned to an irrational, emotional extent. Both states – the 'couldn't care less' and the irrational anxiety – aren't healthy.

I think the same applies with weight and general health. Prior to Seroxat, I took a keen interest in my appearance and maintaining a healthy weight. I wasn't obsessive, but if I gained a few pounds, I'd say to myself 'I'll eat fewer desserts this week and do a bit more exercise', and so I kept a steady, healthy body weight. On taking Seroxat, the pounds have crept on, and the blunting effect of the drug has made me respond to extra weight with an 'oh well, never mind, I'll buy bigger clothes' attitude. Now, as I've been reducing the dose and anxiety has been creeping in, it's almost as if I've woken up to how overweight I've become. And without rational thinking, I could easily let that anxiety take over and become a self-conscious recluse. One thing I'm taking comfort in is that every time I've reduced my Seroxat in the past (2006 and 2013) I've lost weight without trying, just because my appetite reduces as the Seroxat dose gets lower.

 

Deep breathing with counting has been immensely helpful. I wish I knew about this years ago. I'm investigating other non-drug techniques, but I find I have to be careful about obsessing about all of this. Earlier on today, I had a pang of anxiety come over me, just for minutes, and I started analysing everything I'd done and not done today, like 'maybe that anxiety is a rebound effect from eating pumpkin seeds and taking in magnesium', or 'maybe that anxiety is because I had a strong cup of tea', or 'maybe somehow paracetamol has caused that'. I'm learning acceptance and to just say 'it's just a feeling'. As I've said before, this isn't a natural way of thinking for me, but as Chessie has explained, some things take practice and can as a result become healthy habits, ready to turn to during future anxious periods.

 

I'm still taking 5.96mg Seroxat in liquid form. Tomorrow I collect a new prescription for the next four weeks, and I'm not going to make any further reductions until I'm satisfied I've had a good period of stability. In fact, it's looking very likely that we'll be moving house this year, so I may not resume my taper until I've got through that seriously stressful episode. I want off Seroxat, but I don't want to hurt myself unnecessarily in the process.

No questions today. Just thinking out loud and journalling. Thank you again Chessie and thank my lucky stars for this website and the people on it.

 


 

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DeterminedAnna

Hello everyone,

 

Just another update. I'll reiterate questions at the bottom.

 

I'll say this now: I realise I have a much more straightforward medical and medication history than a lot of people on this site. And i'm lucky that I'm not dealing with a long-term cocktail of drugs. My tapering isn't complex. I'm grateful for this.

 

Today I'm still feeling background anxiety and low mood. Anxiety is much better than it was a few weeks back in that I'm not having the awful surges of panic on waking, nor am I having panic attacks. Instead there's a cycle of scary scenarios running through my mind. They're things like 'how will I cope when my parents die one day' and actually living out that experience in my head... Or similarly living out the experience of if my partner died in a car crash. Or the scenario of my beloved 19-year-old cat (my constant companion) dying. I don't understand why all these horrible scenarios keep arising in my mind.

 

The thoughts aren't as 'loud' or overwhelming as they were a few weeks back and they're not resulting in the physical symptoms of panic. And I'm able to turn my attention to something else, but I'd rather they didn't pop up in the first place. The more they pop up, the more they pop up. I'm not sure how to break the cycle.

 

Also, I'm not getting pleasure from anything at all. Music has always been a big thing for me, but playing my favourite upbeat tracks is having zero effect.

 

I'm also struggling to concentrate or do anything intellectually difficult. This is in turn causing me to procrastinate over my professional work.

 

Sleep has stabilised. I'm going to sleep around 11pm and waking about 7am with just one short waking in the night. When I wake properly around 7, I typically do so following a vivid, horrible dream – my fists are clenched and I very briefly feel upset. But not anything near the panic surges of a few weeks back.

 

Despite this, the volume of sleep is good: I feel I stand more of a chance coping with daytime symptoms if I have had adequate amount of sleep.

 

My appetite has improved from a few weeks back. I'm not able to completely eat without a feeling of food tasting like cardboard, but it's better. Losing my appetite isn't actually too much of a concern as I need to lose weight anyway.

 

My reflections on all this lead to the following questions:

 

1. Does the windows and waves pattern happen while tapering? Or is this term reserved only for when the drugs have actually been fully stopped?

 

2. Do the symptoms of a wave itself follow any typical pattern? For example, do they go something like this, which seems to be my experience (I'm at stage ii and hoping for stage iii)...

 

i) Dominant anxiety and insomnia >

ii) Anxiety fades, sleep improves, but then depressive symptoms take over, including anhedonia and brain fog >

iii) Depressive / anhedonia / brain fog symptoms fade and (hopefully) normality emerges

 

3. How do I know these symptoms aren't the 'real' me emerging from tapering Seroxat and now taking 5.96mg as opposed to 20mg this time last year? Could staying on this current dose for a longer-than-planned period (i.e. until I'm stabilised) answer this question and demonstrate it is withdrawal and nothing else?

 

4. When it comes to resuming my taper – which I won't be doing for some time yet – would it be wise to go with 5% drops rather than my previous 10% drops? Does this episode since Christmas suggest I'm one of the people who are sensitive to reductions, which is compounded by the smaller doses?

 

Thank you

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

As the dose of our drug gets lower our emotions start coming back on line.  Neuro Emotions

 

1. Does the windows and waves pattern happen while tapering? Or is this term reserved only for when the drugs have actually been fully stopped?

 

They happen at any time.  If you experience some stress, even good stress, or you get a cold etc your symptoms can increase.

 

2. Do the symptoms of a wave itself follow any typical pattern? For example, do they go something like this, which seems to be my experience (I'm at stage ii and hoping for stage iii)...

 

i) Dominant anxiety and insomnia >

ii) Anxiety fades, sleep improves, but then depressive symptoms take over, including anhedonia and brain fog >

iii) Depressive / anhedonia / brain fog symptoms fade and (hopefully) normality emerges

 

No there is no set pattern.  But there is a theory that the windows get longer and the waves get shorter and aren't as severe.

 

3. How do I know these symptoms aren't the 'real' me emerging from tapering Seroxat and now taking 5.96mg as opposed to 20mg this time last year? Could staying on this current dose for a longer-than-planned period (i.e. until I'm stabilised) answer this question and demonstrate it is withdrawal and nothing else?

 

Is it withdrawal or relapse?  Or something else?


How do I know it's withdrawal and not relapse?

 

4. When it comes to resuming my taper – which I won't be doing for some time yet – would it be wise to go with 5% drops rather than my previous 10% drops? Does this episode since Christmas suggest I'm one of the people who are sensitive to reductions, which is compounded by the smaller doses?

 

Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, by reducing less and/or holding for longer.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

The 10% reduction every 4 weeks is a general harm reduction method.  It is okay to reduce by less and hold longer.  You might consider this method of tapering.  This mod has now been Paxil free for 1+ years.  He wrote the Are We There Yet?  How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take topic.


Brass Monkey Slide

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases


Rhi's "Start Small, Listen to Your Body" Taper Plan

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

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DeterminedAnna

Hi Chessie,

 

Wow, another quick and helpful reply there. Thank you.

 

I'm sorry if my questions are repetitive or variations on the same theme. I guess it comes down to needing reassurance. And reassurance that's specific to antidepressant withdrawal, which isn't really available anywhere other than this site.

 

Appreciate all the pointers. I'm interested in BrassMonkey's method and have dipped in and out of his writing. I'll review it again when I'm ready to resume my taper. I think the wisest thing for me right now is to take one day at a time and try not to think too far ahead.

 

That said, the thing that I'm finding really scary, is the prospect of missing my chance to have children. I'm 39 now, and I fear by the time I'm fully off Seroxat I'll be menopausal and my chances of having children will be diminished. I refuse to get pregnant while taking this drug – not only am I certain it causes problems in pregnancy, I'm certain it would cause withdrawal in a newborn child.

 

Again, I know I must not think too far ahead...

 

Thank you once again.

 

 

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DeterminedAnna

Another update from me.

 

The past week has been difficult. Again, not as difficult as the period in December 2018 that prompted me to start this thread. But difficult nonetheless.

I'm having crying outbursts, definite anhedonia, and no matter what I do, my thoughts return again and again to negative rumination. Weekends are especially difficult, and feel miserable.

I sleep from about 11pm to 7am, waking at about 4am for half an hour with mild anxiety. A typical day goes like this (sometimes I have more freelance work and I don't do my part time tutoring job on Mondays and Fridays, which is when I do most of my freelance work). I use my e-cigarette a lot throughout the day, probably on average a few puffs every half hour.

7-8am: wake up, but stay in bed. Read things about withdrawal, depression, anxiety, supplements, brain chemistry. Use my e-cigarette a lot during this period.
8-8:30have black tea with regular milk and a https://www.belvitabreakfast.com/ breakfast bar. Use my e-cigarette for this period.
8:30: other half goes to work, house goes empty apart from cat. In the past week, I usually burst out crying once my partner has left the house.
8:30-9: put music radio on for the day. Need the distraction. Catch up on work emails. Get stressed about vague work briefs, earning enough money and being able to maintain my income.
9-10: shower, wash hair, do any domestic things needed – e.g. laundry, vacuuming, empty dishwasher. Feel miserable and that it's all pointless.
10-10:30: freelance copywriting work. Struggle to think straight.
10:30-11: take 2.98ml (5.96mg) liquid Seroxat with another Belvita breakfast bar and cup of tea. Take 200mg magnesium citrate and/or multivitamin/mineral and/or 10 micrograms vitamin D3. I alternate them because I don't want to overdose on any particular nutrient. I also drink a lot of mineral water throughout the day which has calcium in it. Start thinking about the difficulties of withdrawal from Seroxat again.
11-1:45pm: freelance copywriting work. Struggle to be creative, think straight, or be optimistic about my work. Feel like giving up on my freelancing micro business, which I started 18 months ago to give me flexibility while tapering and spare myself the stresses of office life.
1:45-2:15: lunch, which is typically a mixed salad with chicken. Two slices of mixed grain wholemeal bread, and 3/4 Mini babybel cheeses, e.g. https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/253780736.   Often feels like eating cardboard and not satisfying.

2:15-2:30: do deep breathing and cuddle my cat.
2:30-3: do makeup and hair to go to part-time maths / English tutoring job.
3-6:00: part-time tutoring job, with children aged 5 to 15. Have another cup of tea during this time. Don't use e-cigarette at all during this period. Feel calm, probably through distraction.
6-7: do mixture of more freelance work and domestic things. Partner usually arrives home at 6:30. Switch my e-cigarette to non-nicotine cartridge for rest of day so I just have the habit of vaping, but no stimulation from nicotine. Feel slightly better at thought of partner arriving home and not being on my own.

7-8: have dinner. Usually something that involves lots of green veg and/or salad. Dessert is probiotic plain yoghurt with blueberries and crushed meringue pieces. Struggle to have conversation with partner when in past times our conversations are fun and lively.
8-10:30: watch TV. Although I don't reveal this to my partner because I don't want to spoil his fun, I find most things distressing, especially politics. Can't watch anything scary (even though I've been a horror film fan forever) or anything to do with medical procedures (even though I previously loved documentaries about hospitals and emergencies). Can't feel real laughter at anything I used to find funny.
10:30-11: get ready for bed, usually with more deep breathing/muscle relaxation exercises. Often read more about Seroxat withdrawal.

11pm - 4am: sleep, using eye mask. Wake up for half an hour, have a nicotine vape, then back to sleep until 7am.

 

I don't do enough exercise. I do one or two long walks a week, including one with my parents on a Saturday afternoon. Anything more and I'm exhausted. I used to enjoy swimming.


The intense symptoms (agitation, overwhelming anxiety, insomnia) I felt in December have faded and I'm now left with very low mood, anhedonia, and repeated cycle of negative thoughts. In the past few days, I've been getting pounding headaches around lunchtime – they feel particularly bad when I move or bend over. Paracetamol makes no difference.

As I've been holding on my current dose since 22 December 2018, and it's now nearly February, I'm wondering if I should updose to my previous dose (6.6mg) to ease the above symptoms and only once I've stabilised at 6.6mg consider returning to my taper, which may be months away. I don't want to go backwards on my taper, but at the same time, it's been more than a month and I feel miserable.

I keep reminding myself that for a number of years I took 40mg Seroxat daily and after my failed taper in 2013 I returned to 20mg Seroxat daily and eventually stabilised. So in that respect, I managed on half the dose my body had got used to and did ok. It has occurred to me that perhaps I should now slowly go back up to 10mg and hold there for months or year. I'm now at the point where my plans to get off Seroxat in order to have a baby with my partner seem pointless.

One question to reiterate: 

 

Should I updose to 6.6mg (my last 'stable' dose where I felt better) and go from there?

Edited by DeterminedAnna
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Sarahbarah

Hi Anna,

 

I'm sorry you're suffering so. Perhaps you should consider updosing half of your last taper, then doing only 5% tapers after you've stabilised for a while.

 

I just began a new taper last month. I'm doing 2.5% per week so far, and still having some mild symptoms. Maybe at this point for you, 10% is too much.

 

Take care,

Sarah

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DeterminedAnna

Thank you so much Sarah. I've read your intro thread and felt your optimism lifting me. You've got a great plan of action and a positive attitude about it. And then your comment and idea  arrived and lifted me further. So thank you again.

 

I am considering your suggestion as I hadn't thought of going halfway back up a dose before. But as I'm not sure whether a tiny updose will help or hinder (it's such an unknown), I am going to try holding for a bit more first, perhaps another fortnight.

 

The symptoms are miserable but not unbearable — with gritted teeth I am able to get through each day, one day at a time, which I am grateful for. 

 

I have also this weekend started a meditation course to add to my armoury of coping techniques.

 

I hope you've had some fun, some relaxation and some smiles over the weekend. And I hope you don't mind me keeping an eye out for you as we both press forward.

 

Big thank you again. You take care too 😊

 

 

 

 

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Sarahbarah

Hi Anna. How have you been doing?

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DeterminedAnna

Hi Sarah,

 

Thank you for asking. I'm still awash with anxiety and many of the symptoms above. I'm just about getting through each day. It's not great, but I'm practising lots of non-drug approaches to deal with it. I haven't changed my daily dose of Seroxat (5.96mg) yet. I'm still trying to tough it out and hope my steps for improvement, primarily regarding the anxiety, will prevent me needing to go back on my taper... and better still, make me stronger for my future reductions.

 

One thing's for sure, now I'm at the lower end of the dose, I will be taking it much more slowly and with smaller cuts.

 

I am going to review again in a week's time.

 

What about you? How are you going?

 

Hugs x

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DeterminedAnna

Hello brave people,

 

Question for the veterans and moderators: should I updose?

 

My last reduction was on 22 December when I dropped from 6.6mg to 5.84mg. I made too big a drop by mistake and within 5 days I realised this and on 27 December and since, i have been taking the 'correct' amount, 5.96mg, for my taper plan.

 

I've therefore been taking 5.96mg for 7 weeks.

 

In that time I have had near-constant anxiety and insomnia, with a vicious cycle of one causing the other.

 

Most days I have had terrible Cortisol / adrenaline surges on waking. And that's often three times a night. Alternatively, like the night just gone, I get minimal sleep (two to four hours) then spend the day trembling, exhausted and tearful.

 

There doesn't seem to be any pattern in symptoms and severity. On the whole, my best part of the day is 7pm. But some days this isn't true and I can be incredibly anxious all evening.

 

It is impacting my work: I have had to cancel two work meetings today because I feel such a mess. This in turn will impact my income.

 

I am practising deep breathing and mindfulness. I am taking 200mg of magnesium citrate every day at about 10.30am, which is when I also take my Seroxat dose. If I'm really anxious, I take another magnesium tablet before bed (10.30pm). In the past few days I have been drinking chamomile tea (one/two cups) in the evenings.

 

I am getting traumatised by the whole experience and every room in the house is triggering me, even climbing into bed when I'm exhausted. And anything and everything can set off a panic.

 

Although there are psychological things at play, the symptoms feel chemical in nature. Often, deep breathing, distraction and positive self talk barely make a difference.

 

As it has now been seven weeks with little change, I am now considering updosing. I am wondering if Sarah's suggestion to go halfway back up a dose could help reduce these WD symptoms? I have been hoping to stabilise but now after 7 weeks and the symptims interfering in my work and causing my partner to suffer too, I just don't know how long I can continue in this state.

 

I have resisted seeing my GP but i‘m now so desperate i feel like asking for a few days of low-dose Valium.

 

I don't really want to updose and I do want to continue my taper. It breaks my heart that getting off Seroxat in order to start a family is looking increasingly impossible.

 

I know nobody can predict what happens with dosage changes but I'd be so grateful for some advice and experiences.

 

Thank you with all my heart.

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ChessieCat

Are you measuring your dose accurately/consistently?

 

Are you taking your dose at about the same time every day?

 

Are there any stressful things going on that could be making things worse?

 

Have you been sick?

 

Are you drinking caffeine and/or alcohol?

 

Is Seroxat the only drug you are taking?

 

Are you sleeping in a darkened room, not using the computer of phones late in the evening?

 

You have Vit D3 and multivitamin in your signature.  You could try eliminating them to see if they might be causing issues.  B vitamins, especially B6, can be activating.

 

If you did updose, my suggestion would be to only go up by a tiny amount, eg 6mg because it's already been 7 weeks.  That's only about a 1% increase of the 6.6mg so would make the reduction 9% instead of 10%, not counting the 5 days at the lower dose.

 

6.6mg x 0.91 = 6.006

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DeterminedAnna

Hi Chessie,

 

Thank you for your reply.

I am measuring my dose accurately, using the same type of syringes every day (I have about 30 of them on rotation). I make sure there are no bubbles in the medicine and make sure it is precisely on the line.

 

I take the Seroxat at 10.30am - 11am every day, with the same kind of breakfast bar each day. It has slow-release carbs and has added magnesium.

 

I have very few circumstantial stressful things happening right now and I have eliminated stresses where possible. For example, in the past seven weeks, I have turned away new freelance copywriting work as at the moment it's really difficult to get my head around a new client or product. My existing freelance work is hanging on by a thread and I am just about scraping the work together. I also have a part-time children's tutor job, which is a great distraction and very calming. But today (Wednesday 13 February) I have considered not going in – that's how bad I feel. I haven't considered calling in sick to it in the 18 months I've had the job.

 

I haven't vomited but have come close to it when I've eaten during an anxious episode. It's like the adrenaline doesn't want me to eat food, so I gag during eating. But I've not actually brought anything up, and I'm eating little and often to keep my blood sugar steady. I also gag without vomiting when I have a cortisol rush awakening.

 

I am drinking one or two cups of weak black tea and milk a day. Last week, as I was so exhausted, I drunk sugar-free Red Bull, which I believe has similar amount of caffeine as a strong coffee. And as it has taurine in it, I thought the taurine might help calm me! After three days of one 250ml can of Red Bull a day, it seemed to backfire and made the anxiety worse. I've not drunk any more RedBull since last Friday.

I am not drinking alcohol at all.
 

Seroxat is the only prescription drug I am taking.

 

I have four empty slots in a packet of Nytol (diphenhydramine) 25mg which I bought around the new year, so I have at some point taken these. I should have noted the days and the symptoms. From memory, I have cut those tablets on later occasions so I have taken 12.5mg and maybe a week later 6.25mg, throwing away the remaining crumbs. I have not taken diphenhydramine on more than one occasion a week – only when I've been desperate for sleep. And again, like the Red Bull, doing this seems to backfire the day after.

 

On other days I have taken OTC cocodamol (codeine 8mg / paracetamol 500mg) as perhaps codeine is sedating. Not especially so for me though. Again, I don't think I've taken more than one tablet of these a week.

My bedroom is really dark and I wear an eye mask. It is cool too. I don't use my computer after 6pm. I do use my phone in the evening up til about 9pm, but I have a blue light filter on it and have it dimmed to the point of it being hardly visible.

I have taken vitamin D3 nearly every day for a year (or every other day since December) because I was found to be deficient in it last February. I have not taken my multivitamin, which includes all the B vits, for about a fortnight as I too was conscious that they were activating.

 

I have just had a phone call with my GP (the first verbal contact I've had with her in a year) who has agreed that updosing might reduce the withdrawal symptoms. She initially suggested I go back up to 10mg but I politely declined and said I'd rather go back up half or at most one stage in my taper. But that was before I saw your suggestion and I agree, I would rather try the tiniest updose possible.

 

She has issued me a prescription for lorazepam to take in case the increase agitates me too much. She said to take the lorazepam as required , but no more than two tablets a day, and for no longer than a week. I'm not sure which dosage she has issued, as I have yet to collect the prescription. If I take them, I will probably halve the tablets myself. I don't want a benzo problem.

 

I hope that answers everything.

 

Questions:

 

- If I go back up to 6mg (3ml) do I need to taper up? I don't think I can practically do this with my syringes. The smallest one has increments of 0.02ml so I can only accurately measure 2.98ml or 3.00ml. Measuring anywhere in between would be guesswork.

 

- Could a 0.04mg Seroxat updose really make a difference?

 

- Does the lorazepam suggestion sound too risky? I have very little experience of benzos and have only ever had diazepam in the past, and only for a short period. And I thought diazepam had less potential for withdrawal, so should I have requested that instead? (I didn't really have the chance to ask – she's the kind of doctor that cuts you short, especially if you say something that is even the gentlest disagreement with her suggestions).

 

I don't know how else I can say thank you for all your guidance and support. But once again, thank you.





 

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Rachellynn

I just wanted to say that you are NOT alone. I feel like I’m in the same position as you. 

 

lets Just both sleep tonight❤️

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DeterminedAnna

An update since Wednesday, which was something of a crisis day.

 

As above, I spoke to my GP for the first time in a year. She wanted me to increase my Seroxat to 10mg but I declined. To placate her, I said on the phone I'd consider updosing to 6.6mg (from 5.96mg) which she agreed to, saying it equated to about 10% up.

 

After reflection on the dialogue here, I decided to err on the side of caution and increase my daily Seroxat dose to 6.16mg. This is about a 3% increase from 5.96mg. Slightly more than Chessie's suggestion, but slightly less than Sarah's suggestion. I don't know if this will make a difference, especially as I have been sedated for the past five days...

 

...Because on collecting my script, my GP also prescribed seven 1mg lorazepam tablets – half a tablet up to twice a day, as needed.

 

I have taken the increased dose of Seroxat since, and including Thursday 14 February. And as it's a morning dose, I'm now four days into the updose.

 

I have taken the lorazepam as follows:

 

Wednesday 13 February

16:00 – 0.5mg lorazepam

21:55 – 0.5mg lorazepam

 

Thursday 14 February (including updose to 6.16mg Seroxat on this day)

15:13 – 0.5mg lorazepam

23:09 – 0.5mg lorazepam

 

Friday 15 February (including new dose of 6.16mg Seroxat on this day)

22:30 – 0.5mg lorazepam

 

Saturday 16 February (including new dose of 6.16mg Seroxat on this day)

9:16 – 0.5mg lorazepam

22:10 – 0.5mg lorazepam

 

Sunday 17 February (including new dose of 6.16mg Seroxat on this day)

9.45 – 0.5mg lorazepam

(It's now 18:47 UK time, and I will take another 0.5mg tonight before bed)

 

Question – perhaps for the benzo experts (NB. the last time I took any kind of benzo was in late 2013 – probably no more than 10 diazepams over a fortnight, but I don't have records)

 

Should I now do a tiny taper of the lorazepam? Has the above pattern of taking it, for five days, likely to have created dependence, or could I get away with CT? I have appreciated the calming effect it has had as well as the improved sleep, even though I know it is artificial. I am anxious about what will happen once I stop taking it, but know I need to stop taking it. After today, I will have 2.5 tablets left. They are tiny, and cutting them in half is difficult, let alone quarters, but I will try. I was thinking of doing this:

 

Monday 18 February – 0.5mg

Tuesday 19 February – 0.5mg

Wednesday 20 February – 0.25mg

Thursday 21 February – 0.25mg

Friday 22 February – 0.25mg

Saturday 23 February – 0.25mg

 

Thank you for your help. I will update my signature in a moment.

 

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DeterminedAnna

My calculations for a short taper off lorazepam were wrong in the last post... After today, I will have 2.5 1mg lorazepam tablets left, so I was wondering if this would ease my stopping of lorazepam, by breaking up the 1mg tablets as follows:

 

Monday 18 February – 0.5mg

Tuesday 19 February – 0.5mg

Wednesday 20 February – 0.5mg

Thursday 21 February – 0.25mg

Friday 22 February – 0.25mg

Saturday 23 February – 0.25mg

Sunday 24 February – 0.25mg

 

Also, I hate that I am not offering much help to others on this site. I would like to do this, but I find it difficult, and find some things I read trigger great anxiety. I hope to be more helpful in the future when I am feeling better.

Edited by DeterminedAnna
Improve legibility and correct date

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WiggleIt
13 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Also, I hate that I am not offering much help to others on this site. I would like to do this, but I find it difficult, and find some things I read trigger great anxiety. I hope to be more helpful in the future when I am feeling better.


I think it's incredibly kind that you're thinking of others amidst what you're going through.  We're all doing our best here, and we know you are, too.

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Shep
20 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Should I now do a tiny taper of the lorazepam? Has the above pattern of taking it, for five days, likely to have created dependence, or could I get away with CT?

 

Benzo dependence takes 2 - 4 weeks.  You can safely stop after 5 days. 

 

I would not take it any longer than 10 days total (including a rapid taper) so you don't risk developing a dependency. 

 

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Altostrata

DA, you're correct, your lorazepam intake may mask the effect of the Seroxat updose.

 

As you go off lorazepam, please keep daily notes on paper with times of day for when you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right. Post your notes here in your Intro topic.

 

We should see the lorazepam wearing off over several days and then your baseline symptom pattern on 6.16mg Seroxat.

 

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ChessieCat

This is an example:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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