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withhopeinmyheart

withhopeinmyheart: crash and reinstating after escitalopram quick taper

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manymoretodays

Hi withhopeinmy heart,

 

Good job with the notes. 

 

I used to get that irritability with certain sounds, even before I tried medications.  Kind of weird.  And definitely got it during WD.  Much improved now.

 

Were symptoms any easier to cope with when you took the thyroid in the morning?

 

Don't worry about not being able to help or support others right now.  Just keep up with us here, with updates, and receiving support from your peers in WD, and that is good enough.  You'll find yourself visiting other threads soon enough I think.

 

On 5/30/2019 at 9:27 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

Do you think my taper was actually so fast it equals a cold turkey? Maybe that's why it's so extremely bad... 

 

I think that it may be more due to the nervous system destabilization response, overall now.

 

I don't know if this will be helpful, but take a look, if you'd like.  Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response 

It's an article, about how the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system work.  And it helped me understand more about how it can just go into overdrive sometimes.  And then though, how we can sometimes, perhaps tap, into our own "healing" .

"But the fact is, my body can turn this kind of stuff on and off, practically on command. Just in the course of writing this blog, I got to see, time and again, how all of this stuff eased or passed as the stress equation in me changed. Sometimes on, sometimes off. Sometimes many, sometimes just a few. On and on, over and over, in various patterns, depending on how, for me, the stress-cookie crumbled. "  (Sarah Knutson is the author)

 

In WD, we do often get sort of awry stress responses and what many of us call "cortisol" spikes.  There's often not much we can do about it, other than try, try some non-drug coping to just de-stress and relax.  It helps me though to understand the mechanics a bit of it all.

 

When I came off Lexapro after long term use of many medications/drugs it hit me pretty quickly.  It sounds like you had a bit of a "honeymoon period".  That's not unusual either.

 

Also read the first post in the non-drug techniques for coping, when you can.  It's worded really well, as far as to what you are going through now.  Look at  the link to neuroemotions, and the windows and waves links, as well as meditation for a stressed out nervous system.  There's a whole, wonderful indexed list of topic to explore.

 

The trauma of this whole experience WILL get better for you, whimh,  I believe.  Time does wonders. 

Then go on down the list and look at some more of the links that appeal to you now.

 

Any more outings?  What's the weather like there now?  We are into Spring in the States and it's very nice.  Hoping you can get out for at least a car ride this weekend.  It can be so nice to get out of the house, even briefly, when stuck in acute symptoms.

 

All for now, from me,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays
minor edit

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you @AlanC you're right, it's a first step and the truth needs to be out there. 

 

It's hard to not blame myself. Like "maybe I'm not trying hard enough."

 

@Kronos18 I'm so sorry it got that bad again for you. I haven't had those convincing windows that tell me it will be good again. 

 

@manymoretodays thank you! I think I forgot one or two days of notes. Should I continue them for a while longer? 

 

No, symptoms weren't better when I took thyroid hormone in the morning. 

 

Back then the anxiety was panicky, unstoppable, through the roof. 

 

Now it's this paralysis that I kind of associate with both, withdrawal and trauma. I realized today that I might actually be having flashbacks of withdrawal moments. Can be triggered by any random thing. 

 

I feel like a little child. For eight months I haven't been able to recognize the world. And while I DO have improvements, I feel so unable to move around in this strange, frightening world. I feel unprotected all day. 

 

I often combed through many topics here, in finding meaning and symptoms and success stories. It's just that my brain cannot let things in. Like it's completely locked and I can't find the key to let any coping method in. 

I will read again and again until something sticks. 

Also in the German forum I learned about what happened to me, but still coping is almost impossible and I feel the trauma, no matter if 'real' or withdrawal induced, has quite a part in this. 

 

It's getting pretty warm here and sadly my body doesn't take it well. More head pressure and dizziness. 

 

I should mention again, I have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). I've probably had it all my life. But withdrawal worsened it, too. I'm really weak. 

And just that you know it, I have spastic paraplegia in both legs. It's a slowly progressive illness which might result in being wheelchair-bound. 

But I'm far from that I can still walk and to the average person it's hardly noticeable. 

 

I mention this because I feel withdrawal worsened both of those conditions. 

 

Yeah, so I'm having a really hard time going somewhere or even wanting to go out there. I might have been wrong before maybe agoraphobia is still there but just kind of changed... 

 

But I do have moments on the balcony. 

 

Next outing would be my doctor's appointment in a week. He is a psychiatrist acknowledging withdrawal. He said with much empathy that sadly he's no magician and can't make it go away any faster. 

 

I'm sorry... Everything is still withdrawal.. There's no interest, no hobby, and this fear that keeps me paralyzed. 

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withhopeinmyheart

Wow, I don't know if I understood it all correctly (brain fog and language) but I read Sarah Knutson's article. 

 

I'm totally in the fright mode. I am that scared to death rodent playing dead. Even the blaming myself that maybe I'm just not trying enough. Wow. That's why absolutely everything in me screams I can't. 

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AlanC
1 hour ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

I should mention again, I have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). I've probably had it all my life. But withdrawal worsened it, too. I'm really weak. 

And just that you know it, I have spastic paraplegia in both legs. It's a slowly progressive illness which might result in being wheelchair-bound. 

But I'm far from that I can still walk and to the average person it's hardly noticeable. 

 

I mention this because I feel withdrawal worsened both of those conditions. 

 

Withhope, I’m truly sorry to hear that. Withdrawal is so terribly hard on its own without having to cope with frightening problems like those. I’m really glad to hear you have a doctor who is sympathetic.

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withhopeinmyheart

Yes @AlanC my chronic illnesses are the reason I became mildly depressed. Went to therapy for three years and it went great. I learned to accept myself the way I am. But half way through therapy, around my wedding, I got anxiety about the future. Not much, not for too long, but anxiety was so new to me that I wanted the quick fix, Escitalopram. 

 

Ironic. Now I could easily deal with what I had back then. 

And cannot deal with what I have now because withdrawal brain won't let me. Honestly. It's like my brain got filled with symptoms and then locked up, so none of the symptoms can get out and none of the coping skills and acceptance I had can get in. 

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withhopeinmyheart

Oh, and yes, I so definitely had a nice long honeymoon period. Around fifteen weeks. What a cruel joke to be thrown into the pits of hell over night... 

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manymoretodays

Hi WHIMH,

 

On 6/1/2019 at 11:32 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

Now it's this paralysis that I kind of associate with both, withdrawal and trauma. I realized today that I might actually be having flashbacks of withdrawal moments. Can be triggered by any random thing. 

 

That happens......I mean the trauma associated with WD.  I think that you are on to something valuable there.  When we go through this stuff it is traumatizing.  And it may be better to wait to deal with the psychological trauma of WD until a later time.  Maybe that's part of what I deal with now too.  As I've gotten through the acute phase and now it's time for me to get the rest settled(the traumas and such).  So don't worry as you ARE doing the best you can now.  Absolutely.

 

On 6/1/2019 at 11:32 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

I mention this because I feel withdrawal worsened both of those conditions. 

 

Yes, that could be.  And thank you for telling a bit more.  I think that a lot of it is a result of the autonomic nervous system instability that often results too.

And I'm glad you took a look at that article.  You can always give it another read at a later time.  It kind of helps me to sometimes talk to my body a bit.......ask it to help me out, etc.  Sounds a bit strange, I know, yet it often works well.

 

On 6/1/2019 at 12:12 PM, withhopeinmyheart said:

I'm totally in the fright mode. I am that scared to death rodent playing dead. Even the blaming myself that maybe I'm just not trying enough. Wow. That's why absolutely everything in me screams I can't. 

 

And great description.  Don't blame or shame now.  Just stop those thoughts in their tracks.

 

For now, you might consider just continuing the notes for yourself, to look for improvements over time, or better days, or even bits of windows in each day.  Get to know your patterns.  And look for improvements.  I know you had mentioned feeling slight improvements.  Sometimes getting them down on paper or on a calendar even helps.  As you begin to see the improvements.  I still do use a block calendar to note things on for myself.  And used to actually color code good days and not so good days.  Then I could visually see improvements.  Maybe you could try that?

 

All for now.  L, P, H, and G,

mmt

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you @manymoretodays

 

Yes, I use to apps to document how I feel. Will continue. 

 

Right, the trauma seems to be impossible to work on while still being so miserable. 

I just wonder... I already read the post about withdrawal stages. Acute and post acute. But still I don't know how to tell when are you acute or post acute? 

 

Today has an unexpected step forward... Got intimate with my husband for the first time since all this happened. 

 

So weird... I feel lost, so lost and I had to cry... 

I missed my husband terribly but I'm still so gone, so detached... Lost and floating... 

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withhopeinmyheart

Why does it scare me so badly that now I'm not able to see and feel the good in life..? Why can't I just wait and heal? 

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Kronos18
20 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

Why does it scare me so badly that now I'm not able to see and feel the good in life..? Why can't I just wait and heal? 

Is the situation that makes us see only bad aspects, negative thinking is very comon during withdrawal, normal emotions are replaced with neuroemotions.It will all pass in time

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you dear Kronos. 

 

Back to strong SI today. It's pulling me and I cling onto life. 

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RichT
9 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

Thank you dear Kronos. 

 

Back to strong SI today. It's pulling me and I cling onto life. 

 

It does that, doesn’t it?  Keep clinging on, it will pass eventually

 

warmest wishes,

 

Rich

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Kronos18
15 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

Thank you dear Kronos. 

 

Back to strong SI today. It's pulling me and I cling onto life. 

I can relate.I’m having symptoms that are much like multiple sclerosis, i’m started to question if this is only withdrawal or other disease, as my muscles feel weak and i’m dizzy fatigued

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you Rich, hey Kronos! 

 

Kronos, I'm gonna tell you something. My grandma has MS. She has been living with it for close to 40 years! And happily. 

 

So, even IF you had MS, there's different forms of it. It is not the sentence to endless suffering. 

 

More likely so what you are going through is severe withdrawal and that means the suffering will end. 

 

Withdrawal symptoms are hell. 

 

Many develop that fear of having a serious disease. It's a symptom as well. 

 

Your brain has much healing to do. One day it will be done and you will be fine. 

 

 

 

 

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withhopeinmyheart

It is so weird and unpredictable. SI gone, now a tiny window. I'm still frozen but anxiety lessened and everything feels less threatening. 

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India
On 6/1/2019 at 8:08 PM, withhopeinmyheart said:

Yes @AlanC my chronic illnesses are the reason I became mildly depressed. Went to therapy for three years and it went great. I learned to accept myself the way I am. But half way through therapy, around my wedding, I got anxiety about the future. Not much, not for too long, but anxiety was so new to me that I wanted the quick fix, Escitalopram. 

 

Ironic. Now I could easily deal with what I had back then. 

And cannot deal with what I have now because withdrawal brain won't let me. Honestly. It's like my brain got filled with symptoms and then locked up, so none of the symptoms can get out and none of the coping skills and acceptance I had can get in. 

This is a perfect description of how it feels . The inability to access any logic. A relativism

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TriD

I find that the symptoms affect my thoughts. I get low mood in the morning and as a result i think negative thoughts but serotonin levels are lowests in the morning just as you wake, also cortisol levels which creates an awful buzzing tense feeling from inside. I tend to think of them as symptoms. But the symptoms and thoughts go hand in hand, we put context to the anxious feelings with our mind and thoughts and we catastrophise and imagine many fearful things and lose hope because we know that this is a struggle and there is so much uncertainty around it. We can make our anxiety much worse. But no doubt the anxiety that our brain will create automatically creates frightening thoughts, they go hand in hand.

 

At times i compare a symtpom i agonise over vs the same symptom if i had the flu, the difference is the uncertainty..how long will this go on for? Am i doom to suffer this all my life? Can anybody help me? Etc. While if i had a flu, there is little uncertainty, as i know it will be over in a few weeks.

 

One of the keys to anxiety is the intolerance of uncertainty. And in my experience having WD is quite possibly on the extreme side of something that will trigger anxiety and anxious thinking and perception and cognition. In a word, i have never experienced something so bad. The analogy of waiting on the runway for the plane that never takes off is one i like.

 

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withhopeinmyheart

Oh, yes TriD! The uncertainty of it all almost drives me crazy. 

 

But this evening I find myself able to try my hobby again, adult coloring books. 

I kept trying during acute withdrawal and it then triggered my anxiety badly. But now it feels familiar. 

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manymoretodays

Hi whimh,

That sounds great ^, that you can participate again in your hobby.

 

And as far as acute or post acute WD, I think you'll know, especially if you are tracking things along the way.  You'll suddenly see that you have whole series of days that have gone well.

Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?

Take a look at the table of contents ^, 12, 13, and 14 might apply

And then, I got a lot out of different topics in Finding Meaning too.  Just go to the Main Forum page and you'll see that Forum to explore.

 

All for now,

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

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Rosetta

Hi Hope,

 Thanks for your note on my thread a while back.  I had POTS for quite a while.  I had no idea until I had been at SA for a while that it could be caused by protracted WD, but that makes so much sense.  The autonomic system is completrly compromised.  It was severe about a year ago or so.  Now, is very rare for me.  

 

I hope you you are doing ok today.

 

Rosetta

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you @manymoretodays and @Rosetta

 

Well, I can report that I am either in a window or have a new baseline. Today is day 11 of feeling better. 

 

I can feel hope, which just wasn't possible before. I don't seem to have agoraphobia anymore and the overall anxiety lessened a lot. 

 

I think my symptoms might be shifting. I feel hypomanic and I need to be very careful about money spending issues. 

 

Still extremely exhausted, but I think today was the second time I was able to nap. 

 

Also I often get itchy rashes now and I need to find out if it's histamine or any certain foods causing it. 

 

My progress has been so gradual that I really hope this is not a window with a big wave following, but a new WD baseline. Would be nice... 

 

Best wishes for you all! 

 

 

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RichT

Great news Hope! This is really good to hear.

 

warmest wishes,

 

Rich

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AlanC

So pleased to hear that. 😊

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sunnysideup69

This is really good news! Great to read it :)

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India

@withhopeinmyheart where are you now? I hope your absence means a wonderful window.

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withhopeinmyheart

Hey my friend, @India, hello everybody,

 

My absence means positive and negative as well. I have been doing better since mid-June. And it continues to improve. Without the typical windows and waves pattern. Or the pattern is there but hardly noticeable, I don't really know.

 

Positive is that I can do a lot more now. Life feels a lot more normal, though not completely. I can enjoy things. I have more acceptance. And, my friends, my husband and I moved just two days ago! It was very suddenly, we had wanted to move for ages, but lots of circumstances kind of kept us hostage at the old place. But now it finally happened! This is our first real home together. We are still in the process of arriving and getting everything into place.

 

Of course this is a huge stressor, so I have to be very careful. But something like this would have been impossible, absolutely unimaginable during the hellmonths, as I call them. So I just try to be grateful. Try, I say. Well, that's one of the negatives. I'm often not sure about my emotions, not sure if I am able to feel what I'm "supposed" to feel. Yesterday was almost like I could feel no love for my husband, friends and family. Just barely anything. Today this was way improved.

 

I have lost a lot of safety during all this. Just this overall trust in life that I always had in life is now gone. And my brain automatically yells at me "This is you, not withdrawal!" Liar. I know this is withdrawal and that I need to be really patient. It's just very scary to feel like this. I just can't reach out and grab this feeling of being safe and having something to hold onto in life.

 

Also, I have this vague plan of tapering a tiny step of my 0.5 mg Escitalopram that I'm still on. I might go to 0.48 and see how that goes. I'm scared because I do remember the hellmonths all too well. But I also know I will only get my trust back when I'm off this stuff that has the power to control me.

 

Ah, my friends and fellow sufferers. I feel guilty for not interacting with you. I say this in every support group. I somehow can't because it is overwhelming. All I can currently offer you is to assure you that I'm thinking of all of you, no matter if we ever chatted or not. I keep you all in my thoughts and wish you healing. I will always check back here, but sometimes it takes time.

 

Much love

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India

Thank you for this update. Lovely to hear. Sorry I haven’t been replying. I get blocks often. Do not feel guilty!!! Healing is the priority.

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sunnysideup69

Hello :) Really good to read that you were doing better and I truly hope this has continued. No pressure to respond if you don't feel to.

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India

@withhopeinmyheart how are you now in May 2020?

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withhopeinmyheart

Goodness, time really flies! (at least it does when you're not in hell anymore!)

 

I'm so sorry for the late reply, dear @India, dear fellow warriors. I'm quite forgetful these days and forgot to write here probably a hundred times.

 

So, my last post was in October. Since then, I have continued to get better. Slowly. But luckily no debilitating waves. I do have triggers of course. I need to work on things like self-worth. All that kind of things.

But I am doing ok. Good actually. I'm not free from any symptoms but I'm definitely not in acute hell anymore and haven't been for quite some time.

 

I am absolutely convinced that time is the healing agent. I know in my heart that experimenting with drugs won't get you out of this. Waiting for your system to sort things out will.

 

I also started tapering off the reinstatment dose in a couple of really small steps. I am currently holding at 0.44 mg Escitalopram. Have been holding this since March because it got physically challenging. But NOTHING so far has been as unbearable as acute withdrawal.

 

I do have hope. I can laugh. I want to keep learning  skills to cope with this crazy world where functioning seems to be the highest goal.

 

About my symptoms: Sleep isn't good. But that was even before Escitalopram and withdrawal. I'm often exhausted. But that's all ok because I don't have those crushing emotional symptoms. I'm back in the real world and not locked away in this bizarre, unrecognizable hell dimension.

 

Ask me whatever you like.

We can do this, warriors! Even if it often enough feels like we can't. That's just withdrawal brain telling us lies!

 

Sending light and love

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Gridley
1 hour ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

I am currently holding at 0.44 mg Escitalopram.

That's a great update, withhopeinmyheart.  Congratulations on getting so low!

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sunnysideup69

@withhopeinmyheart, what a wonderful update! I was wondering how you are. Doing well, it seems 😊

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