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ColdTurkeySoup

Hello everyone, 

 

I have a long history of antidepressant usage, and with recent events, I figured it was finally time to reach out and get some support. 

 

I was diagnosed with OCD and depression when I was 14 years old, and I was prescribed Anafranil by my psychiatrist. I'm now 30, so I've been on the drug for more than half of my life. Throughout those 16 years, my dosage has alternated between 25mg/day and 100mg/day. Over the years I have changed my dosage on numerous occasions to try to find the sweet spot between maximum effectiveness of the drug with as few side effects as possible. Whenever I would switch dosages, I would go through a couple months of feeling relatively normal, and then get hit with some very strange side effects (heart palpitations and muscle spasms). The side effects were very manageable, so I didn't worry too much about switching dosages over the years when I felt that I needed to make a change. Eventually, these strange withdrawal symptoms would fade and go away entirely.

 

The benefits of the drug have been substantial, and after years of adjustments and changes, I finally leveled out at a modest 25mg/day. I never felt quite right on the drug, with constant feelings of fatigue, anhedonia, and general disconnection with the world, but it was much better than the unbearable feelings I had pre-medication, so at the time I was choosing the lesser of two evils. If nothing had changed, there's a good chance I just would have stayed the course for the rest of my life. 

 

Fast forward to the summer of 2016. I was having a period of extreme insomnia and stress due to outside factors, and my doctor prescribed Clonazepam. I took this benzo every night for about 3 months. I slept like a baby and felt generally good. In September, I decided that enough was enough, so foolishly I stopped the Clonazepam cold turkey. What followed was a year of absolutely indescribable agony, and months and months of slow recovery, windows/waves, ups and downs, and the biggest struggle of my life. Throughout this time period, I continued taking the same stable dosage of Anafranil (25mg). Healing from the Clonazepam was painfully slow, but I was getting better. Around summer 2018, I was significantly better, but still not healed. In my head, I thought that a 2-year healing period after less than 3 months of use was absolutely crazy, and something else must be wrong. Foolishly, instead of just staying the course and allowing my brain to heal further, I did some research on drug interactions.

 

I found out that withdrawal from psychiatric drugs could be much worse when multiple medications are involved. Reading this, I realized that the reason it was probably taking me so long to heal from the Clonazepam withdrawal was the fact that I was still taking Anafranil. I decided to "slowly" reduce my Anafranil dosage (slowly relative to my previous cuts, not what I should be doing) and I started taking my medication 3 nights out of four (effectively a 25% reduction. Now I realize that this alternating nights method is stupid, and that a 25% cut is huge, but it has worked for me in the past before with minimal side effects, so I didn't think twice). For the first couple months I felt quite good, but then I was hit like a wave with many of my previous clonazepam withdrawal symptoms in late November. (Awful brain fog, delayed mental processing, head pressure, general malaise, huge inexplicable struggle to communicate and socialize naturally). They were nowhere near as bad as when I first stopped the Clonazepam years ago, but it was still emotionally devastating for me to have come so far in my healing and then see such a serious wave after playing with my Anafranil dose. 

 

After reading through this sub, I've realized how reckless the alternating nights method is, so I went to a compounding pharmacy and got my medication compounded into 18mg capsules (effectively matching the cumulative dosage of taking 3 25mg pills every 4 days). Right now, my symptoms are still present, although I'm still functional and able to live a relatively normal life. I just find it so strange that for years I was able to alternate my Anafranil dosage with minimal side effects, and doing it this past September has caused such major setbacks. My plan from here on out is to (1) stay away from all benzos at all costs (2) continue taking 18mg of Anafranil every night and wait to stabilize and heal further (3) cut my dosage by 10% once I feel like I've stabilized (4) continue this process until I'm off all medication altogether.

 

I'm not really sure what I'm expecting to get by relaying this story, as at this point I've been through the wringer and realize that the only solution is staying the course, living a healthy lifestyle, and waiting it out. Any Comments, suggestions, or similar stories would be very helpful. I've read stories from people who've struggled with AD withdrawal and Benzo withdrawl separately, but hopefully I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with both...is it normal for the effects and symptoms of multiple psych drugs to compound like this? How do I determine whether what I'm going through now is a prolonged effect of the benzo cold turkey or the Anafranil reduction? 

 

Thanks for your time. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  

 

 

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Shep

Hi, Coldturkeysoup.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

It sounds like you already have done a lot of reading, but just to make sure you have all of the information relevant to your taper, I'm going to post a few links for you.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off clomipramine (Anafranil)

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

On 4/30/2019 at 4:11 PM, ColdTurkeySoup said:

Any Comments, suggestions, or similar stories would be very helpful. I've read stories from people who've struggled with AD withdrawal and Benzo withdrawl separately, but hopefully I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with both...is it normal for the effects and symptoms of multiple psych drugs to compound like this? How do I determine whether what I'm going through now is a prolonged effect of the benzo cold turkey or the Anafranil reduction? 

 

Yes, it's quite common to read about benzos and antidepressant combinations. We have a separate benzo forum which you may find helpful to explore.

 

Benzo tapering and recovery

 

It's very hard to parse apart benzo withdrawal symptoms from AD symptoms. They both can cause insomnia, depersonalization, physical pain, memory problems, etc. 

 

This thread may be helpful:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  •  Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions. 

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ColdTurkeySoup

Thank you so much for your reply Shep, I really appreciate it. My situation is difficult to summarize, but I've indicated my drug history in my signature the best I could...hopefully it's relatively easy to understand.

 

Does anyone else who's taken multiple psychiatric drugs find that its taken an absurd amount of time for their brains to heal? Is this normal?

 

For some strange reason, the symptoms I've had after switching from a 4-night alternating plan (3 nights taking 25mg Anafranil, and skipping the 4th night) to a consistent 18mg/night seem to be more noticeable than the symptoms I had back when I originally switched from a consistent 25mg/night to the alternating 4-night plan. Does anyone have a possible explanation for this? 

 

I assumed that the foolish alternating 4-night plan would roughly be equivalent to an 18.75mg steady dosage in terms of my blood plasma levels since Anafranil has a long half life. Is this not the case? 

 

Thanks for any insights.

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laydefish
  • Hi CTSoup & Welcome to the group!  I'm currently 8 months Benzo Free after 7 years & Antidepressant Free after 11 years, as well as being in Tolerance Withdrawal for about 6 years in varying degrees and yes it gets better!  Everyday I can see & feel improvement- Hang in there, if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me!

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Shep
9 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

My situation is difficult to summarize, but I've indicated my drug history in my signature the best I could...hopefully it's relatively easy to understand.

 

Yes, thank you.

 

9 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

Does anyone else who's taken multiple psychiatric drugs find that its taken an absurd amount of time for their brains to heal? Is this normal?

 

For those who slowly taper multiple drugs, the tapering process alone can take a number of years. But generally they don't suffer nearly as much as someone who goes cold turkey or rapid tapers their drug cocktail and then spends a number of months / years with more severe symptoms. 

 

So yes, it is normal to deal with symptoms, sometimes extreme symptoms, for a number of years. 

 

You may find this thread helpful:

 

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

 

9 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

For some strange reason, the symptoms I've had after switching from a 4-night alternating plan (3 nights taking 25mg Anafranil, and skipping the 4th night) to a consistent 18mg/night seem to be more noticeable than the symptoms I had back when I originally switched from a consistent 25mg/night to the alternating 4-night plan. Does anyone have a possible explanation for this? 

 

This could be due to many things, but it's possible your nervous system is more fragile now. We don't recommend alternating doses because it can rattle the nervous system. 

 

Also, the reduction in dose may be causing the symptoms. And you may still be experiencing waves from your benzo cold turkey 2.5 years ago. Hopefully you'll be feeling better as time passes and these waves fade out. 

 

9 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

I assumed that the foolish alternating 4-night plan would roughly be equivalent to an 18.75mg steady dosage in terms of my blood plasma levels since Anafranil has a long half life. Is this not the case? 

 

This post may help explain. It's technically about skipping doses every other day, but the concept is similar to your 4-night plan: 

 

How about taking my medication every other day to reduce my dosage?

 

It's been about 3 weeks since your last Anafranil reduction. Do you think a slight updose might be helpful? Another option is to hold for a few weeks and give your nervous system time to adjust.

 

Are you currently taking any supplements? 

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ColdTurkeySoup

Again, thanks for the feedback and resources Shep, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

 

I'm not taking any supplements at the moment. I tried taking Omega 3, and although I felt pretty good while taking it, as soon as I skipped a couple days I had terrible withdrawal-like symptoms. They quickly went away, but I didn't continue with the Omega 3 as I didn't want my well being to be dependent on yet another substance.

 

If the suffering I experienced in the 6 months following my cold turkey of Clonazepam was a 10, what I'm experiencing now is probably a 2 or 3. In other words, my current symptoms are very manageable, so I don't think I'd consider updosing at the moment...I'd much rather continue my steady dosage of 18mg/night and wait for my brain to further settle down and adjust.

 

Thanks again!

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Shep
21 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

I'm not taking any supplements at the moment. I tried taking Omega 3, and although I felt pretty good while taking it, as soon as I skipped a couple days I had terrible withdrawal-like symptoms. They quickly went away, but I didn't continue with the Omega 3 as I didn't want my well being to be dependent on yet another substance.

 

Do you eat fish or plant-based foods high in Omega 3? Since Omega 3 is such a powerful item for overall health, please make sure you're getting it in your foods. I don't take Omega 3 by supplement, but I do eat fish regularly because of the Omega 3 factor. 

 

21 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

If the suffering I experienced in the 6 months following my cold turkey of Clonazepam was a 10, what I'm experiencing now is probably a 2 or 3. In other words, my current symptoms are very manageable, so I don't think I'd consider updosing at the moment...I'd much rather continue my steady dosage of 18mg/night and wait for my brain to further settle down and adjust.

 

This sounds like a wise plan.

 

Please stop by the forum for periodic updates and let us know how you're doing. 

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ColdTurkeySoup
On 5/9/2019 at 8:35 AM, Shep said:

 

Do you eat fish or plant-based foods high in Omega 3? Since Omega 3 is such a powerful item for overall health, please make sure you're getting it in your foods. I don't take Omega 3 by supplement, but I do eat fish regularly because of the Omega 3 factor. 

 

 

This sounds like a wise plan.

 

Please stop by the forum for periodic updates and let us know how you're doing. 

 

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner! This past month has been a bit of a whirlwind. My most prominent symptom is a sort of constant fog, where it feels like I'm not all there and nothing is totally real. Life doesn't have that sharp vividness, and the world just seems kind of blunted. I don't have that focused sense of purpose or continuity. Time is fragmented and the days sort of just slip by...hopefully that makes sense.

 

Still, I'm not in agony as I was in the past, so while this symptom is frustrating, it is manageable, and I'm just taking it a day at a time. I do eat fish occasionally, but I get most of my omega 3 through a daily intake of flax seed.

 

Does anyone have any idea as to why I was able to change Anafranil doses with relative ease in the past, but ever since my benzo crisis any changes in my Anafranil dose produce severe symptoms?

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Shep
17 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

My most prominent symptom is a sort of constant fog, where it feels like I'm not all there and nothing is totally real. Life doesn't have that sharp vividness, and the world just seems kind of blunted. 

 

 It sounds like you have some dp/dr (depersonalization / derealization). Please see:

 

Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)

 

17 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

I don't have that focused sense of purpose or continuity. Time is fragmented and the days sort of just slip by...hopefully that makes sense.

 

And this sounds like:

 

Dyschronometria - distorted time perception

 

Mindfulness exercises can be very helpful for dp/dr and dyschronometria. 

 

Try to ground yourself by asking, why do I feel, hear, see, taste, smell? Is there coffee brewing? Is that the sound of traffic coming in from the window? Do you feel hot or cold or comfortable? The more you can sense concrete and tangible things, the less disconnected you feel. 

 

You may also find helpful information in the non-drug coping skills section for mindfulness threads.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

17 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

Does anyone have any idea as to why I was able to change Anafranil doses with relative ease in the past, but ever since my benzo crisis any changes in my Anafranil dose produce severe symptoms?

 

Many of us become hyper-sensitve during withdrawal. This may help explain it. From the thread One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome:

 

On 5/24/2011 at 10:59 PM, Altostrata said:

My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

Out of control, unrelated to environmental or psychological triggers, the alerting system sends intense, spontaneous signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

This is not strictly brain damage. Brain damage means some physical part has been permanently removed and can never be recovered. Rather, this is iatrogenic neuropsychiatric damage.

 

It's a very non-linear process, but over time, as you come off these drugs and your nervous system heals, these symptoms fade out. 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Edited by Shep
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ColdTurkeySoup

Thank you Shep. 

 

Right now, one of the most difficult issues I'm dealing with is how angry and disgusted I am with myself. I went through a very long and painful recovery process after stopping the benzos over 2.5 years ago, and while I wasn't 100%, I was at the point where I was experiencing happiness and excitement about my future. I wish I'd just stayed the course and allowed myself further healing instead of playing the my Anafranil dosage, which as brought on a return of these awful symptoms. Like I said, I'm nowhere near as bad as I was post-benzo, but just the fact that I was so close to being in the clear and took this totally preventable step back makes me furious with myself. 

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Shep

No one can predict the future, CTS. You did what you thought was right back then. Now that you know more about these drugs, you're making different decisions. That's all we can do. Right now, you need your energy to heal, not to beat yourself up over things you can't change. 

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism

 

Tried to shift your negative thoughts so you don't dwell on them and go into a dark spiral. This is a great thread for learning how to do this:

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

When all else falls, learn to "change the channel":

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

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ColdTurkeySoup

Shep, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your words of reassurance. I'm blown away by your willingness to spend your valuable time answering questions and helping members through such a difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your selflessness and commitment.

 

I've noticed that during the first year after I cold-turkeyed clonazepam, I would have months of feeling terrible followed by a few days of feeling half decent. Things slowly progressed to the point where the windows were longer and the waves were shorter, and eventually the waves went away entirely, and I was in a steady state of not perfect health but totally bearable symptoms and a relatively good existence. Now that I've shocked my brain by decreasing my Anafranil dose I've obviously taken a step back, but the good news is that the waves and windows are MUCH shorter. I'll feel very bad for a few hours, and then much better later in the day. Maybe this is a sign that my brain is handling things much better than the original Clonazepam withdrawl? Also, even when I do have a wave, I don't feel nearly as bad as I did during the really bad days post-benzo.

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ColdTurkeySoup

Hello, I've been away from these forums for a while but I've been in a wave recently so I thought it was time for an update. My summer was full of ups and downs, but for the most part it was quite positive. I was still having symptoms from my Anafranil reduction back in April, but it was very manageable and I felt like I was heading in the right direction. Just last week however things took a turn for the worse and I started feeling really lousy again. My Anafranil reduction back in April was obviously too drastic, but I'm just shocked that I'm being hit with it again 5 months later. My current symptoms are: awful cognitive fog, insomnia, constant exhaustion, depression, anhedonia, and a total lack of motivation. 

 

In terms of medications, nothing has changed in these past 5 months. I haven't had a crumb of any benzo in over 3 years (benzos really started this whole mess for me) and I've been sticking with the steady dose of 18mgs of Anafranil/night since April 19 2019 (Almost 5 months ago now). I'm not suffering enough to consider reinstating, especially since it's been 5 months and reinstatement seems like a dangerous proposition after so much time. I think the best course of action is to ride out this wave and continue my stable dosage of 18mgs/night. In the future, I won't be reducing again until I'm feeling much better, and my reductions will probably be around the 5% mark. 

 

Does that sound like a reasonable plan of action to you guys? I guess I'm just looking for some support, encouragement, opinions, or advice. Thanks so much.

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Shep
12 hours ago, ColdTurkeySoup said:

In the future, I won't be reducing again until I'm feeling much better, and my reductions will probably be around the 5% mark. 

 

Does that sound like a reasonable plan of action to you guys? I guess I'm just looking for some support, encouragement, opinions, or advice. Thanks so much.

 

That sounds like a good plan, CTS.

 

Sometimes waves come out of nowhere. That's not unusual, so I wouldn't spend too much time trying to figure it out. Spend your energy on self-care, as much as you can.

 

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ColdTurkeySoup

I'm now almost 6 months out from my inadvisable 25% reduction, and I'm feeling close to the worst that I have since I made the reduction. It's not totally unbearable, just extremely unpleasant. My most prominent symptoms are constant pressure in my temples and awful cognitive symptoms, such as a dense mental fogginess, poor memory, difficulty speaking and communicating, and a noticeable decline in my mental abilities. My first instinct was to power through the symptoms and wait for things to stabilize, but I'm having second thoughts and starting to consider the possibility of reinstatement. Is 6 months too late for this option? Do you guys have any recommendations? If I were to just stick with the 18mgs nightly, how long do you expect it to take for these symptoms to stabilize? I know nobody can say for certain, but I'm thinking that a 25% reduction should not take nearly as long to stabilize from as going cold turkey.

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Shep

ColdTurkey, 6 months from your last reduction is a long time, but you might try going from 18 mg up to 20 mg Anafranil and seeing if that helps. 

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ColdTurkeySoup

I decided not to reinstate, at least for the time being. I've had some great windows recently, and just feeling good again was such an incredible relief. Since I've had some good progress recently, I figured that reinstating was just another risk, and yet another wrench to my nervous system that it does not need right now. This AD withdrawal has been bad, but not as bad as the Benzo withdrawal I underwent a few years ago. Hopefully I heal much quicker this time around, and based on the pattern of windows, so far it's looking positive! 

 

One thing that has been concerning me recently -- I've been getting my 25mg Anafranil tablets compounded by a pharmacist into 18mg capsules. He told me that no compounding is perfect, and a margin of error of up to 5% is possible. Could this potential variance in the compounded capsules throw off my recovery? 5% of 18mgs is 0.9mgs, so it's technically possible that one night I'm taking 17.1mgs and the next night I'm taking 18.9mgs. I've been very worried about this...probably in part due to my OCD. I figure it shouldn't be too bad, since even if there is a minor variance, the total amount of medication over the refill period remains the same. Anyway, is this something that is cause for concern? As always, thanks for your help.

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Shep

Yes, compounding does come with variability in doses. But there are many people who do just fine with compounding. 

 

It really depends on how sensitive your nervous system is. Some people are able to handle fluctuations in doses and others find they react. 

 

You may want to touch base with the compounder with each refill to make sure they're using the same brand to at least control that aspect. 

 

I'm glad to read you're having windows. Sounds like compounding is working well. 

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ColdTurkeySoup

Hello everyone. Something I've noticed during my recovery from Psychiatric med withdrawal is that a pretty predictable pattern occurs...I generally feel super groggy/foggy/mentally out of it in the mornings, and this lasts for about 4-5 hours or so before my head starts to clear. Usually my evenings are pretty good these days! Does anyone else notice this? Is there a reason why mornings are particularly rough?

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UnfoldingSky

I'm mostly recovered and yes some of my symptoms were worse in the mornings.  Very frustrating when you have to be up and with it early in the morning!

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Armorall

I always thought the mornings were hard because of the cortisol spike, but if you're waking up groggy, then that's a different beast.

Unfolding Sky, did you have cortisol mornings? If so, did they subside?

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Mole25

Hi there,

 

Yes, I  can confirm this. And I am scared of everything. Including noises, shopping, seeing someone I know or even cooking something different I react with a strong brain zap. Yuk. I feel strong brain movement and tension. Shaky legs, nausea and sweat. This seems to go around about 2 in the afternoon. My "Charly" reappears for 10 mins in the evening and allows me a good night sleep. 

And then tmw again "Groundhog day". In the book Devils Candy the author says that the cortisol spike shortens in time and will disappear. 

Winter now  has caused a relapse however and has meant that one is more at home and then thoughts tend to go around and around. So now I must get out my paints and get my mind occupied.

I take cannabis, ashwangada (spelt right?) and omega oil. Garden work, sport and meeting up with people. This causes initially more anxiety/zaps and this is not easy but it pays.

I hope this of help.

 

Look forward to replies - on how you deal with this.

 

Mole 

 

 

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ColdTurkeySoup
On 11/15/2019 at 3:37 PM, Mole25 said:

Hi there,

 

Yes, I  can confirm this. And I am scared of everything. Including noises, shopping, seeing someone I know or even cooking something different I react with a strong brain zap. Yuk. I feel strong brain movement and tension. Shaky legs, nausea and sweat. This seems to go around about 2 in the afternoon. My "Charly" reappears for 10 mins in the evening and allows me a good night sleep. 

And then tmw again "Groundhog day". In the book Devils Candy the author says that the cortisol spike shortens in time and will disappear. 

Winter now  has caused a relapse however and has meant that one is more at home and then thoughts tend to go around and around. So now I must get out my paints and get my mind occupied.

I take cannabis, ashwangada (spelt right?) and omega oil. Garden work, sport and meeting up with people. This causes initially more anxiety/zaps and this is not easy but it pays.

I hope this of help.

 

Look forward to replies - on how you deal with this.

 

Mole 

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply! I'm sorry to hear that you are still suffering. It sounds like our morning symptoms are quite different -- you have issues with Coristol spikes and possibly an overactive nervous system. For me, it's kind of the opposite. I don't have any anxiety, fear, or zaps, but rather a groggy "out of it" kind of feeling, where everything is kind of dulled by this mental fog. It clears as the day goes on though, and I usually feel quite good by mid afternoon. Honestly, the worst of my journey was because of my benzo withdrawal, and my more recent AD withdrawal has been less intense and shorter lasting (possibly because I went cold turkey off the benzos and reduced the AD by 25%) Bottom line is that I'm feeling MUCH better now, and after about 38 months of varying degrees of suffering, things are really starting to look up. The common theme for both the benzo and AD withdrawl has been that things are worse in the mornings and gradually improve as the day goes on. Very strange how the brain works!

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Mole25

Hi there,

 

Pleased that you are starting to feel better. I know in the end I will get better - I must be patient. 

 

Take care, Mole

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ColdTurkeySoup
On 11/17/2019 at 3:43 PM, Mole25 said:

Hi there,

 

Pleased that you are starting to feel better. I know in the end I will get better - I must be patient. 

 

Take care, Mole

Thanks! There are no words to describe the absolute relief I feel. I'm still not 100%, but compared to how I was feeling at my worst, this is heaven. Patience is the key. It's hard to stay positive and truly believe that things are going to improve when you've been suffering for years, but it really does happen. 

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Mole25

Thank you so much for your kind words. I think November due to the weather has been hard for me. But your wonderful reply encourages me.

 

Mole

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ColdTurkeySoup
On 11/19/2019 at 12:24 PM, Mole25 said:

Thank you so much for your kind words. I think November due to the weather has been hard for me. But your wonderful reply encourages me.

 

Mole

 

You are very welcome. Hang in there! Sometimes it's impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in the thick of things, but one day you'll feel better again, and this whole experience will have brought you a sense of humility, perspective, and toughness that you could have never imagined before this nightmare. I wouldn't wish this hell upon anyone, but you will pass through it and come out on the other side an even better version of yourself.

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Altostrata
On 11/8/2019 at 1:44 PM, ColdTurkeySoup said:

Hello everyone. Something I've noticed during my recovery from Psychiatric med withdrawal is that a pretty predictable pattern occurs...I generally feel super groggy/foggy/mentally out of it in the mornings, and this lasts for about 4-5 hours or so before my head starts to clear. Usually my evenings are pretty good these days! Does anyone else notice this? Is there a reason why mornings are particularly rough?

 

You're taking Anafranil at night? What is your sleep pattern? How has it changed over the last 3 months?

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ColdTurkeySoup
8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

You're taking Anafranil at night? What is your sleep pattern? How has it changed over the last 3 months?

 

Yes I've been taking Anafranil at night for the past 15 years. My sleep varies...I go through periods where I sleep very well, and I'll have periods where I have great difficulty falling asleep. Throughout withdrawal (both from benzos and AD) these patterns have been more extreme than usual. When I'm sleeping well, I'll sleep for 9 hours sometimes! But when I'm not, I will literally be lying in bed for 5 hours wide awake. Things seems to be more stable now in terms of getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, but there is definitely a lingering mental fog for the first 4 or 5 hours when I wake up. 

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Altostrata

How long have you been having this lingering mental fog in the morning?

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ColdTurkeySoup
10 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

How long have you been having this lingering mental fog in the morning?

 

I've had relatively minor morning fog every since I started taking the medication, but It has been substantially worse over the past 3 years, ever since I cold turkeyed the benzo I was on. It's much better now than it was at its worst though! 

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Altostrata

My guess is the Anafranil dosage was always too high, your nervous system is telling you it would appreciate a little less.

 

You might go down to 17mg Anafranil, see what that does. Hangover should be less. Please let us know how you're doing.

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ColdTurkeySoup
1 minute ago, Altostrata said:

My guess is the Anafranil dosage was always too high, your nervous system is telling you it would appreciate a little less.

 

You might go down to 17mg Anafranil, see what that does. Hangover should be less. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Thanks for the suggestion! My next reduction will definitely be from 18mg to 17mg, but I'm still in the process of overcoming my last reduction. I went from 25mg to 18mg in April, and I got hit hard with symptoms. I'm much better now, but I'd like to give it a bit more time before reducing again. 

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ColdTurkeySoup

Hello to whoever is reading...Just an update:

 

I had a really great November and December for the most part, almost to the point where I was back to my old self. However, A couple days ago I was hit with an awful anxiety attack, and the feeling of constant anxiety is still kind of lingering in my gut. It's the worst at night, as it prevents me from sleeping, which only makes me state of mind and well being worse. My primary underlying conditions that led me to take meds in the first place were OCD and anxiety, with a bit of depression mixed in. I haven't touched my dosage since April -- still on the same steady 18mgs/ night. Is it really possible that a new wave could hit me this far out after a reduction? Strange, since I was feeling so good for 2 months. As far as I can see, there are 3 possible explanations:

 

1) I'm experiencing a wave, which will pass with time

2) This is the re-emergence of my anxiety, and maybe I need to be on meds after all

3) Stressful events have been happening in my life, which had triggered a temporary setback

 

As always, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

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Altostrata

Hello, CTS. Good to hear you've been doing so well.

 

Did you overdo anything over the holidays? Perhaps a glass of wine or two?

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ColdTurkeySoup
1 minute ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, CTS. Good to hear you've been doing so well.

 

Did you overdo anything over the holidays? Perhaps a glass of wine or two?

 

Hi Altostrata, 

 

Thanks for the quick reply! Honestly, I've had some alcohol abuse issues in the past. While I've been relatively good since tapering, I had a moment of weakness and drank quite a few beers around Halloween. Surprisingly, I felt great in the following weeks. Because of that, I figured it would't be a big deal to have some wine over the holidays. I never drank much, but I probably had a drink or two 4 of the past 7 days or so. I figured that it wouldn't be a problem since I drank much more on Halloween and was fine, but maybe I've overdone it and need to quit drinking entirely again? Also, I have a couple stressors in my life right now -- I'm getting some renovations done at my home, work stress, and I've started dating someone I really like as well. That last one shouldn't be a bad thing, but because of this whole withdrawal mess, I haven't dated in years, and the thought of screwing it up has caused me a ton of anxiety. 

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