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persistente

persistente: presently in a window but scared of a new wave

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persistente

hi all, 

 

i am 45 year old female, english is not my native language but i am fluent in it. if i was not and if i did not spend months on the internet investigating what is happening to me, i think i would be dead or in mental hospital.

 

i am positive i experienced wd twice before my last and final stop. however, me and my doctors took it both times for a relapse of depression. so wrong. if we knew it was wd it would have been so much easier since that first wd was so gentle...now i know that the first time i had successful reinstatement, second one was when the hell started, but even those horrible side effects did not make me see the truth...it took me few more months to realize what is the cause of my problem. unfortunately i learned of need for slow tapering when i was in the nightmare of the last wd and realizing that last reinstatement went so wrong i knew i should not do it again. so i had no choice but to endure. i am better now. but each wave is horroristic. in each wave i have this crazy thought that this can not be wd and that i should be on AD. depression, anxiety, adhedonia are the worst.

 

one more problem. i have a family member on zoloft. i cut and weight the tablets using 10 % approach for the last 18 months. we started weaning from 100 mg. i had to take a few months break when we got to 50 mg. we are at 23 mg. at the same time i am going through wd. brutal wd. but we will make it. because i am so persistent. 

 

doctor put this person on 50 mg and asked to increase to 100 mg in the third week. so wrong. also, when we reached 50 mg we went together to that doctor. she said to half the tablet for 2 weeks and then stop. so wrong.

 

thank you for having this site, you are one of those sites that saved my life.

 

i am 16 months off sertalin and 19 months off mirtazepin. first year was traumatic. i wonder how did i even make it?  

when a wave comes my life will stop and it will be impossible to write this intro so i decided to prepare myself for the next wave. hope it does not come very soon.

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Gridley

Hello, persistente, and welcome to SA.  Thank you for completing your drug signature.

 

Would it be possible for your family member to join SA?  It is easier to offer advice directly to the member.

 

The depression, anxiety and anhedonia you are experiencing are common withdrawal symptoms.

 

To help you understand the symptoms you are experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.  These drugs alter the architecture of the brain, and the time necessary to heal the brain and return to homeostasis is, unfortunately, impossible to predict.  Withdrawal symptoms arise because your body got used to the drug being present and now has to work very hard to accommodate its absence.
 
Your symptoms are known and acknowledged as common in withdrawal from neuro-psycho-active substances. Please read:
 
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  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.

 

Here are some links that should be helpful to your family member:

 

 

 
 
Try and remain as calm as possible and not to panic.  It's important to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
VIDEO:  Peace from Nervous Suffering - Claire Weekes (1 hour) (http://sendvid.com/vgquc1dg)
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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persistente

thank you for writing. i have found you long ago. you were great help...i decided to contribute now when i am better. plus, it is not over i know...i am presently in a window. people like their windows. i do too but when in window i feel little too good. not really manic but still enough for a doctor to call it bipolar...when i think about the time i started using sertraline, i felt like that all the time. i did not think that was the problem at that time. i guess the drugs made me not see clearly...anyone with similar thinking? am i the only one who find windows not normal. i consider myself hyperactive, too fast in action and thinking, it seems like i have to constantly do or think all the time when in window. like i need no rest at all.

 

my aunt can not join. she does not speak any english and does not even use internet. she is 72, socially isolated but with good physical health. i am grateful to her for taking care of me during my worst time in wd. she has seen what has happen to me and knows i will do the best for her. athough i think that AD should be illegal, i was reluctant to start the tapering with her dose since she had no major side effects and because of her age. however, she likes alcohol and her liver enzimes were high even before sertraline. with sertraline they got really high. it is possible that statins did it since she started them at the same time as sertraline but she no longer uses them. it was my decision. i did not consult with her gp since i do not trust they know what are they doing. ui consulted with her psych doc but it made me positive we need to avoid them. i am not glad i have to make decisions for her but alternative was worse...i listened to doctors when i needed them, was not skeptical enough or i just was too weak. not anymore.

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thecowisback

how long do your windows and waves last?.

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persistente

My wawes were usually 7 to 10 days but this one is already going on for 2 weeks. I am scared it is not the wave but myself. Depressive not functional person. 

 

It is horrible. Total apathy. My parents are making me eat. I woul not even eat it they were not here. I just sit and wait for the night to go to sleep. I do not know is this familiar to someone. I will try to describe:

 

I wake up early. I wait for someone else to get up so they would put something on the table. I go to kitchen and have some breakfast. I eat because my mom will be upset if i do not. Then I wait all day to pass by. I do not engage in anything. I do not feel any interest for anything. I do not fell like I can do anything. I think it is mental. Not strenght or fatigue. 2 weks ago I was walking around the city, I can not think straight. Just thinking about this what is happening...I feel like I am loosing my mind. 20 months off everything. Can this still be wd? 

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thecowisback

it certainly sounds like it 😣 how long do your windows last?.

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persistente

Usually 10 days. But I have some periods that have something of both..This is all so confusing...

 

Maybe I am bipolar and it needs to be treated. Maybe I am just making myself belive this is wd.

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thecowisback

it does sound like withdrawal. the doctors would like us to think we have new or relapsing mental disorders when we are in fact just going through withdrawal. i've never had depression before in my life until all this happened. 

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persistente

Nearly 2 months later and I am reading my last posts. It is unbelivable that I could question myself about what was going on. Each time I am in wave, i do not think it is wd. 

 

It is wd and it already lasts 22 months but I am much better. Time heals wd. That is my case anyway.

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persistente

Last few days I am feeling strange. Not as bad as in earlier waves but still something is off. Maybe this is not wd, maybe I am getting back to original myself.  To that person who needed therapy and help to work out on its issues. Instead, I was given pills. I got few good years from them and last 3 years of hell.

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Onmyway

Hi persistente, as someone who questions whether this is WD and whether it's the return of symptoms, I understand you! I need to remind myself it is indeed WD. what you are going through is WD. Have you read the book or articles by Dr Irving Kirsch? (Talks about how ADs work as placebos and are no better than placebos). Or Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker? (Talks about iatrogenic harm from psych drugs)

 

Your 'bipolar-ness' is caused by the SSRI and now by the distabilization, it's a common side effect that leads to more drug prescriptions. I have never in my life been manic and during WD would have hypomania. It was/is uncomfortable. 

 

The fact that you had difficulties before you were put on the drugs does not mean you'll have them off of them. Most anxiety/depression is self limiting - gets better in a few months/year. However, it doesn't hurt to learn techniques to help in those situations. Do you have access to a therapist that does CBT? Or access to self help books using CBT? I can recommend books if you PM. (I don't check the forums often). They won't help as much with neuro emotions but they'll help in general.

 

Kudos for taking care of your aunt :) I'm sure it means a lot to her even though it's a lot of responsibility for you. Hope your windows get longer and longer and the waves shallower! 

 

 

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persistente

Thank you Onmyway for writing. I am very familiar with Withaker. However, I do not agree that it is placebo. From my experience it is powerfull stimulant  Mind altering drug. However, I need to look at Kirsch in more detail.

 

You were right. Yes, it is wd. It looks like I am back to wave. Anxiety is back. Apathy and depression are milder. Anger and dissapoinment are huge. 

 

I considered CBT. It is definetly something that could have helped me before the meds. I do not think it works well for neuroemotions so I will wait few more months for that. 

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persistente

2 more weeks till 2 year off mark. i have noticed it few months ago and tried not to focus on it. but it is here.

 

something is happening with my memory. or better to say with me being fully aware of the past. it is very strange. for example, i was writing something via messenger 2 days ago. i know i was writing it, i am fully aware it happened. however, when i read it today it feels like i was writing it but i can not fully feel it. like it happened but  i can not feel it 100%. maybe 60%. or the next example, i went to this trip two weeks ago and i know i went. i have photos but when i look at them it feels like it happened but like i can not fully feel it happened.

 

this is so strange for me and i do not know can it be related to wd.

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persistente

no desire to do anything. just sit and wait. this kind of suffering is beyond my ability to put it on paper. going downhill and can not stop it.

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persistente

for the  last 10 days i  have been in a window, i would not believe what a rollercoaster this can be if i did not ride on it for already 2 years.

 

i nearly gave up from the trip abroad but 2 days before the trip a window came and i had a great trip. i wished this could be now for good. 

 

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persistente

I have been doing well for the last month but this morning that horrible feeling of strange fear appeared again.  It is not horrible as it could be but it reminds me of all the horror i went through. It stayed very mild and went on and off through the day. Not constant like before. Not so intense.But it is here to show me I am not healed completly. 

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persistente

Another wave. Again. 2 years and 7 months. I have never had acute phase. Just waves and windows. From the first day a wd started. How long can this keep happening? Five years? How can I go through this all that time. I am affraid I have no more strenght. My family sure can not take this for much longer. This is so horrible what is happening to all of us. How is it possible that the world does not know about it.

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persistente
On 10/18/2019 at 10:16 AM, persistente said:

no desire to do anything. just sit and wait. this kind of suffering is beyond my ability to put it on paper. going downhill and can not stop it.

it was exactly like this...6 months later. 

 

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Amira123

Would you please describe your windows? How doesnit feel like

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persistente

In windows I do not feel any wd suffering. I have energy, plans, motivation. My brain works as it did before this hell. I can think normally. Work normally. Talk normally.

 

It is actually normal or little better than normal. Not manic but little towards that direction. Like back to the time I have not known about wd hell and add to it being in love. Metaphore. Now I am not in love but in windows it feels so good.

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persistente

It came to my mind that I coul have really become bipolar. But not in a sence that I have a mental illness. This is wd side effect. Or Zoloft reinstatement induced.

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mstimc

Hi Persistente

 

I reviewed your posts from the beginning.  My experience with windows and waves lasted about three years, and its not unusual for them to last longer.  Its a good sign your windows seem to be lasting longer.  Like you, I feared another wave, at least at first, but I came to accept they can come on, knowing a window would follow.  It can be jarring to deal with waves and windows, especially two or three years after tapering, but its the nature of withdrawal, and to some extent our expectation of more waves.  But it sounds like you are truly recovering.

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persistente

Thank you. I need to learn to accept. 

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ChessieCat

Learning to accept can be very hard.  Remember to compare how you are now with how you were at your worst, not how you were at your best or how you want to be.

 

Also, how we get through the recovery can make a big difference.

 

Think of it like being stuck in traffic and/or getting stuck at traffic lights.  You can't make it go any faster.  You can sit there and get angry etc, but accepting the situation causes a lot less stress.

 

Or this one:  Use the image of waiting in a queue When you are in a queue you can't make it move any quicker than it does. You have no control over it. All you can do is wait in the line. How you wait is what is going to make a difference. You can either be impatient and start getting irritable and think bad things and complain to the other people who might start agreeing with you which increases the negativity of the situation and can make you feel worse or you can try to be patient and calm and try and think of nice things and look at the things around you. It's going to take the same amount of time for you to get to the head of the queue but you can either make the experience of waiting pleasant or unpleasant.

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persistente

thank you for your suggestions...when i am not in wave it all looks so simple...

 

last few days were brutal, as bad as at the beginning...i need to change my approach to this or i will not make it

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, persistente said:

when i am not in wave it all looks so simple

 

That's why it's important to learn the non drug coping techniques when you are feeling reasonable.  If you practise them when you are feeling reasonable then when things get tough it is easier to use them.

 

When I'm going through a bad time sometimes all I can do is to remind myself that it is what it is AT THIS TIME and do what I can to get through it.  Part of accepting is to acknowledge factually that you are experiencing a certain symptom/s but trying to not get caught up emotionally in it, eg by saying things like I wish, if only etc.

 

Short explanation:

 

AAF Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  A strategy for handling a myriad of psychological symptoms.  Acknowledge that the symptoms are real, Accept that they can't harm you and that there is nothing you can do about them, let them Float off as you go on about your business.

 

Longer explanation (discussing anxiety but good for any symptom):

 

On 4/9/2020 at 10:31 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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