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Harriet8: think I have withdrawal syndrome - seeking connection, hope and support for action I can take to heal

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Altostrata
On 10/16/2019 at 6:35 AM, Harriet8 said:

His reaction on scanning through was that I have serotonin toxicity.  I have been on serotonin meds for 23 years.  I had considered serotonin syndrome several times as a possible explanation for what I was going through, but I have only ever heard of the acute syndrome which has a rapid onset and can be potentially fatal.  Because I continued to be alive for years (!) despite the horrendous symptoms, I concluded that that couldn't be the explanation for my condition.  I was not aware that it is possible to have a CHRONIC version. 

 

Excess serotonergic stimulation is on a continuum. One can have serotonin toxicity that does not rise to the level of serotonin syndrome. The serotonergic overdose can be chronic in the sense that you continue to overdose serotonergics over a long period.

 

Neither fMRI nor urine test will measure excessive serotoninergic stimulation. Some doctors seem to call all adverse effects from antidepressants "serotonin syndrome", which is just plain dumb.

 

Hardly anyone here can find a doctor who understands adverse psychiatric drug reactions, tapering, or withdrawal syndrome. You'd be lucky to find a doctor who will go along with your requests to prescribe graduated doses to taper.

 

What is your current drug schedule -- ALL drugs and supplements -- with dosages? Are you still taking tryptophan? This is your last drug interaction report (which does not include tryptophan)

 

If you are not taking tryptophan, it does not appear you are taking an excessive amount of serotonergics, although it is possible 40mg citalopram is too much for you on its own, or blood levels could be increased by the diazepam you're taking, as they compete for the same liver enzymes.

 

If you are still taking tryptophan, you can reduce it yourself -- you simply remove progressively more powder from the capsules over a few weeks.

 

HOWEVER, YOU ARE TAKING A LOT OF CNS DEPRESSANTS -- which was noted in the June drug interactions report.

 

When you are taking an excessive amount of CNS depressants such as diazepam, pregabalin, and eszopiclone around the clock, you can get what are called paradoxical reactions. This means that rather than relaxing or sedating you, the drugs cause physiological activation. (Note: DrugBank says "The risk or severity of CNS depression can be increased when Citalopram is combined with Eszopiclone.")

 

Paradoxical reactions are particularly difficult for doctors to understand because the drugs cause symptoms they're supposed to suppress. The usual reaction from physicians is to increase the dosage, which increases the paradoxical reactions, and then add more CNS depressants, which continue the adverse effect. Your entire history might be of this type of drug cascade.

 

Very few people here have had to distinguish FND vs psychiatric drug adverse effects. It's almost always adverse drug effects. However, we cannot diagnose neurological disorders, you'd have to see a specialist in person for that.

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RachelSusan

Hi Harriet8,

 

You asked if any of us have been in a situation where we couldn't find anyone that could help.  Yes I have been there.  What I did was keep looking. But I took my time because I was wearing out just looking.  It took close to two years.  It wasn't for withdrawal but for another medical problem. I know you have been to a lot of doctors and it's very wearing, time consuming, and in some countries it can be very expensive, but If you are not comfortable with the latest doctor  you saw then perhaps you need to try a different one? If you felt belittled that is not a good sign.  Will he listen to you?  For example if you don't want to be on CBD oil is he willing to work with you even if you don't take that suggestion? These are all things to consider.  Only you know if this is someone you feel you can work with.  I also continued to read a lot here and came up with my own ideas as to how I wanted to proceed.  It is frightening to feel that we are not supported by the medical community but unfortunately that is the reality of it.

 

Please keep us posted as to what you decide to do.  I follow your thread so I should see everything you post.

 

Rachel

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Harriet8
22 hours ago, Zans said:

I am sorry I don't have much to add as far as advice goes but just wanted to say I follow your updates and wishing all the best for you. 

Thank you, Zans, for taking the time to message and for your good wishes.  I appreciate it.

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Harriet8
21 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Dear Altostrata,  

Thank you so much for replying.  I'm in a really bad way, so will just make the comments I am able to in this moment and do the next "shift" as soon as I can....

 

Quote

Excess serotonergic stimulation is on a continuum. One can have serotonin toxicity that does not rise to the level of serotonin syndrome. The serotonergic overdose can be chronic in the sense that you continue to overdose serotonergics over a long period.

I think it is definitely the case that I have been chronically overdosed in the past.  My question/confusion about this is below:

 

Quote

Hardly anyone here can find a doctor who understands adverse psychiatric drug reactions, tapering, or withdrawal syndrome. You'd be lucky to find a doctor who will go along with your requests to prescribe graduated doses to taper.

I understand that.  What seems impossible then, though, is to find someone who can distinguish between what people are going through on this site vs e.g. FND, if they don't know about any of this stuff.  I hear you saying that I must find a doctor to ascertain these things.  But my experience is that they can't, for precisely the reason you cite!  Leads to sense of hopelessness and helplessness and such confusion.  

 

I am lucky that I have found a doctor who is willing to prescribe a taper I request, and a pharmacy that will compound.  That is good.  But this family doctor has absolutely no knowledge at all.  Suggested I go from 40mg to 20mg Citalopram.  I had to explain the risks of that to him.  He is very kind, but would not, in my opinion know how to support me at all, other than agreeing to prescribe what I ask for.  The trouble is, my condition as a starting point is very poor, so I haven't known whether to start to taper - I did start Zopiclone reduction until latest doc advised that I stop that.  My fear of going it alone is the level of instability I am already in, and the polypharmacy, and simply not feeling secure/equipped to deal with possible effects.  I fall into the category that will most struggle to succeed by criteria such as The Withdrawal Compass steps.  But maybe I have no choice?

I

Quote

 

What is your current drug schedule -- ALL drugs and supplements -- with dosages? Are you still taking tryptophan? This is your last drug interaction report (which does not include tryptophan)

Nothing changed since then except Zopiclone and Iron supplements for anaemia:

 

Citalopram 40mg, Pregabalin 100mg (50, 25, 25), Diazepam 8mg (4 x 2mg), Zopiclone 0.58mg

Magnesium, Fish Oils, Iron, Vitamin D

No longer taking tryptophan

 

If you are not taking tryptophan, it does not appear you are taking an excessive amount of serotonergics, although it is possible 40mg citalopram is too much for you on its own, or blood levels could be increased by the diazepam you're taking, as they compete for the same liver enzymes.

My confusion: might I have an excess of serotonin "tardively", i.e. as a function of past overdosing having changed the amount of serotonin being taken up in my brain, leaving my brain, certain neurons changing/dying off as a result, such that my brain is still now suffering for that?  Can you be certain that, if I am no longer taking an excessive dose, that I no longer have a chronic state?  How is it possible to know this/find this out?  Is there research on this?

 

Is it possible that my brain is still "wanting more serotonin" because it is used to 60mg Citalopram and 3g Tryptophan?  Chronic in that sense? 

 

Quote

 

I think the doctor is (understandably) trying to understand what caused the onset of symptoms 10 years ago, and indeed their worsening since then.  I don't believe my current drug regime to be the cause of my condition.  Therefore, it is the decades of polypharmacy leading up to today which have changed my brain.  It is so very difficult to understand what to do if the damage is done, as it were, I'm left on the meds I have gotten down to, am unable to stabilise.... 

 

Quote

If you are still taking tryptophan, you can reduce it yourself -- you simply remove progressively more powder from the capsules over a few weeks.

I am no longer taking it

HOWEVER, YOU ARE TAKING A LOT OF CNS DEPRESSANTS -- which was noted in the June drug interactions report.

 

When you are taking an excessive amount of CNS depressants such as diazepam, pregabalin, and eszopiclone around the clock, you can get what are called paradoxical reactions. This means that rather than relaxing or sedating you, the drugs cause physiological activation. (Note: DrugBank says "The risk or severity of CNS depression can be increased when Citalopram is combined with Eszopiclone.")

 

Paradoxical reactions are particularly difficult for doctors to understand because the drugs cause symptoms they're supposed to suppress. The usual reaction from physicians is to increase the dosage, which increases the paradoxical reactions, and then add more CNS depressants, which continue the adverse effect. Your entire history might be of this type of drug cascade.

It is incredibly frustrating to just repeatedly be told that "these are very low doses" in regard to the Diazepam, Pregabalin and Zopiclone.  He simply will not engage on it, does not believe they are causing any problems whatsoever, won't engage in discussions about interaction.  Sort of looks at me as if I'm a hypochondriac, worrying unnecessarily.  Happens with every single clinician I've seen.  Is there evidence we can give them (have to be careful not to patronise.....is tricky)?

 

I agree, that my entire history most likely does include this kind of drug cascade.  The overall question I'm left with in all of this is what I can do about it now, from where I'm at now?  I believe the state my brain and body is in is most definitely the result of what it has been through in the past, and not just a reaction to the drugs I am currently taking.  But there is no way to see my neurons, to assess the uptake of individual neurotransmitters etc., to know where it is struggling or why.  And I can't reinstate anything (no idea if CBD oil is a good idea....) Leaves to such a feeling of helplessness.

 

Quote

 

Very few people here have had to distinguish FND vs psychiatric drug adverse effects. It's almost always adverse drug effects. However, we cannot diagnose neurological disorders, you'd have to see a specialist in person for that.

I hear you.  Feels lonely and confusing, as I'm convinced my condition is caused by the drugs, as I have been otherwise healthy.  That's such a difficult one for me, having had several neurologists suggest is probably FND but not left me with anything to go on; but their also not knowing anything about adverse drug effects in order to be able to make that distinction, it seems to me.  So I don't find the label meaningful or helpful.  So many FND symptoms are exactly the same as withdrawal symptoms.  So maybe lots of people with FND are actually experiencing drug-related problems?  Oh dear....

 

THANK YOU.  This is so damn hard.  I'm clinging on by my finger nails.  

 

Harriet8

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Altostrata
6 hours ago, Harriet8 said:

He is very kind, but would not, in my opinion know how to support me at all, other than agreeing to prescribe what I ask for.

 

That is about the best you can do in working on tapering with a physician.

 

6 hours ago, Harriet8 said:

What is your current drug schedule -- ALL drugs and supplements -- with dosages? Are you still taking tryptophan? This is your last drug interaction report (which does not include tryptophan)

 

Harriet, when I ask for the drug schedule, what I want to see is a schedule, with times of day and dosages. You know this. Please do not make me go hunt around in your Intro topic for the information I need.

 

Please review all my posts in this topic as I believe I've answered all your questions before, maybe more than once. It doesn't help at all that you repeat your doctors' rationalizations. I'm not going to spend time arguing with them. I'm not going to prove to you that I'm right. Either you work with them or you forge ahead yourself.

 

If your symptoms are from excessive drugs, the only way to relieve this is to reduce the drugs. This is probably the only way to differentiate drug-induced problems from FND, which is a wastebasket diagnosis that means "we know there's a problem in your nervous system but we don't know what it is." Unless you find a drug interaction genius, you're not going to find a physician who can pinpoint the problem because calling it FND and flapping their hands is the best they can do.

 

If your problems are iatrogenic, your symptoms will lessen as you reduce the drugs (unless you have withdrawal symptoms). It is possible you are taking an excessive amount of drugs AND have a poorly diagnosed neurological disorder. I can't tell you what's going on. All I can see is from your reports, you are taking a weird drug cocktail and you're not doing well .

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Harriet8

 

16 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Dear Altostrata,

 

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply.  I am truly sorry for not being clear.  I respect and appreciate all that you offer here, and wouldn't want to inconvenience you or to in any way misuse the site.  (I will make sure to check a specific query in that regard below).

 

Harriet, when I ask for the drug schedule, what I want to see is a schedule, with times of day and dosages. You know this. Please do not make me go hunt around in your Intro topic for the information I need.

Again, my apologies:

9.00     Citalopram 40mg, Pregabalin 50mg, Diazepam 2mg

13.00   Pregabalin 25mg, Diazepam 2mg

             Lunch (Iron, Vit D)

19.00   Diazepam 2mg

             Dinner (Magnesium, Fish Oil)

23.00   Zopiclone 0.58mg, Pregabalin 25mg, Diazepam 2mg

 

Please review all my posts in this topic as I believe I've answered all your questions before, maybe more than once. It doesn't help at all that you repeat your doctors' rationalizations. I'm not going to spend time arguing with them. I'm not going to prove to you that I'm right. Either you work with them or you forge ahead yourself.

Could I check and clarify something here?  In sharing doctors' comments such as "these are very low doses", or considering whether I could have "chronic serotonin syndrome" when that is suggested, and asking about evidence, it is not my intention to question your judgement at all.  I really value your thoughts and the thoughts and experiences of everyone here.  Can I check, is it a suitable use of the forum to bring in what my doctor has suggested and ask questions about his judgement?  It is of real value to me to be able to learn about how the brain works and to understand the effects of drugs etc.  But, it may be that it is important to you that we post only our own experience to the forum, as peers, and not our doctors suggestions.  Would you mind clarifying what is welcome here?  It is not my intention to argue at all.  I am simply trying to learn and understand - and, to be honest, ask others on safety grounds (having trusted doctors in the past and paid such a heavy price for it).  I had further issues raised by my doctor again today which I would like to "run by" people here.  But I won't do that if that is not a useful or wanted use of the forum.  Thank you.

 

If your symptoms are from excessive drugs, the only way to relieve this is to reduce the drugs. This is probably the only way to differentiate drug-induced problems from FND, which is a wastebasket diagnosis that means "we know there's a problem in your nervous system but we don't know what it is." Unless you find a drug interaction genius, you're not going to find a physician who can pinpoint the problem because calling it FND and flapping their hands is the best they can do.

Very helpful.  Thank you.

 

If your problems are iatrogenic, your symptoms will lessen as you reduce the drugs (unless you have withdrawal symptoms). It is possible you are taking an excessive amount of drugs AND have a poorly diagnosed neurological disorder. I can't tell you what's going on. All I can see is from your reports, you are taking a weird drug cocktail and you're not doing well .

 

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Altostrata

You can "check" your doctors' statements as much as you want, but I'm only human and I get very tired answering this stuff over and over. Either you're having adverse effects from your drugs or, according to your doctors, they're of such low doses they're harmless. You do the reality check, not me. I'm not going around with you about this any more.

 

4 hours ago, Harriet8 said:

9.00     Citalopram 40mg, Pregabalin 50mg, Diazepam 2mg

13.00   Pregabalin 25mg, Diazepam 2mg

             Lunch (Iron, Vit D)

19.00   Diazepam 2mg

             Dinner (Magnesium, Fish Oil)

23.00   Zopiclone 0.58mg, Pregabalin 25mg, Diazepam 2mg

 

Why don't you play around with the drug interactions checker so you can see what adverse effects each batch of drugs may cause throughout the day, and see how it matches up with your subjective experience? You might also read up on paradoxical reactions.

 

At this point, I've given you all the advice I can give you, so please stop asking me what you should do.

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Kristine

Dearest Harriet, I’m so sorry for everything you are going through. I truly understand. The answers are not always available and the decisions to move forward in some way are scary. I can only say, that from my own experience, I have found trying to seek help from professionals fruitless. Also I’m not willing to waste the small amount of energy I have searching for someone to help me. I prefer to dedicate that energy to self care. I have had to learn to become my own specialist and my own advocate. To un-patient myself. This is a difficult and daunting process. I do however, have a GP who is supportive in the way I have chosen to taper and will write the scripts I require. That is the best I can hope for. However, I have had to educate her...but she is willing to listen and learn. 

 

I have had to make some tough decisions because I was poly drugged like you. It has been (and still is) brutal but I can see that I am slowly improving since significantly reducing my drug burden. There is no easy way out of this. Acceptance has been the most important mind set for helping me through this. 

 

This may help: “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” 

https://www.tarabrach.com/the-dance-with-pain/

 

Much Love K xo 

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Harriet8
On 10/24/2019 at 6:23 PM, Altostrata said:

You can "check" your doctors' statements as much as you want, but I'm only human and I get very tired answering this stuff over and over. Either you're having adverse effects from your drugs or, according to your doctors, they're of such low doses they're harmless. You do the reality check, not me. I'm not going around with you about this any more.

 

 

Why don't you play around with the drug interactions checker so you can see what adverse effects each batch of drugs may cause throughout the day, and see how it matches up with your subjective experience? You might also read up on paradoxical reactions.

 

At this point, I've given you all the advice I can give you, so please stop asking me what you should do.

I can only apologise.  I am aware that I am traumatised by what I've been through, unstable and desperate.  I am sorry to have caused you stress.  That was not my intention.

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Harriet8
On 10/24/2019 at 10:55 PM, Kristine said:

Dearest Harriet, I’m so sorry for everything you are going through. I truly understand. The answers are not always available and the decisions to move forward in some way are scary. I can only say, that from my own experience, I have found trying to seek help from professionals fruitless. Also I’m not willing to waste the small amount of energy I have searching for someone to help me. I prefer to dedicate that energy to self care. I have had to learn to become my own specialist and my own advocate. To un-patient myself. This is a difficult and daunting process. I do however, have a GP who is supportive in the way I have chosen to taper and will write the scripts I require. That is the best I can hope for. However, I have had to educate her...but she is willing to listen and learn. 

 

I have had to make some tough decisions because I was poly drugged like you. It has been (and still is) brutal but I can see that I am slowly improving since significantly reducing my drug burden. There is no easy way out of this. Acceptance has been the most important mind set for helping me through this. 

 

This may help: “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” 

https://www.tarabrach.com/the-dance-with-pain/

 

Much Love K xo 

Dear Kristine,

 

Thank you for your compassionate understanding.  I'm in such crisis.  My early trauma resulted in a total abandonment of self such that I have yet to develop that internal security.  (I was doing well in beginning to heal that through therapy and 12step recovery until I was rendered dependent by the effects of the meds.) My early life led unfortunately to psychiatry's door.  And that was a re-traumatisation.  Part of the wickedness is not just the obvious medical abuse.  It's the erosion of trust in doctors, and fundamentally for me, of trust in my own body.  It became such a terrifying thing to inhabit my own skin, and still is.  I was a yogi, meditator, dancer, trekked up Himalayas.....now I can't even stand to brush my own teeth, have terrifying seizure patterns etc.  All sorts of things so many people on here have had to endure.  

 

The really valuable part of your message, but the hardest for me, is your "un-patienting" yourself, becoming your own specialist and advocate, not searching for someone to help you.  No doubt it is my early childhood stuff which exacerabates this, but I find it terrifying to think of trying to do this on my own.  To trust myself to guide myself through it.  I am at my least functional, including cognition, especially decision-making and memory.  I am physically significantly limited - sort of bed/sofabound.  But it's acceptance too.  To let go into allowing that this is my reality.  It's not sustainable to live with my parents in their 70s.  I can't bear another institution.  Can't afford full-time carers.  It's so hard.  I can't logistically see a way.  And at the time when security and simplicity are most needed.

 

I really appreciate your kindness.  These are the worst days of my life.  I can't see a way to survive just now.  

 

I want to ask about medical cannabis on the forum.  Do you think the place to do that is on this intro thread ?  [I'm doing it again.  I realise how a lifetime of trauma (including 2 decades at the hands of psychiatry) has been so catastrophically disempowering.  I was in CODA and ACA whilst I was able to go out, and that was really helping me to develop my own agency.  That recovery feels lost since I became so dependent again.]

 

Thank you for being there.  And I so admire your work in healing yourself, your courage and humility and grace.  I hope I can find what is needed within myself to do the same.

 

H8  xx

 

 

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Harriet8
On 10/23/2019 at 1:09 AM, RachelSusan said:

Hi Harriet8,

 

You asked if any of us have been in a situation where we couldn't find anyone that could help.  Yes I have been there.  What I did was keep looking. But I took my time because I was wearing out just looking.  It took close to two years.  It wasn't for withdrawal but for another medical problem. I know you have been to a lot of doctors and it's very wearing, time consuming, and in some countries it can be very expensive, but If you are not comfortable with the latest doctor  you saw then perhaps you need to try a different one? If you felt belittled that is not a good sign.  Will he listen to you?  For example if you don't want to be on CBD oil is he willing to work with you even if you don't take that suggestion? These are all things to consider.  Only you know if this is someone you feel you can work with.  I also continued to read a lot here and came up with my own ideas as to how I wanted to proceed.  It is frightening to feel that we are not supported by the medical community but unfortunately that is the reality of it.

 

Please keep us posted as to what you decide to do.  I follow your thread so I should see everything you post.

 

Rachel

Dear RachelSusan,

Thank you for your message.  It has been 10 years for me now, including the terrible mistake of trusting a psychiatrist's judgement again during that period, and the terrible compounding of my problems which ensued.

 

I have just shared on my thread (to Kristine), the deeper issues of losing trust in myself, of becoming dependent, and how terrifying a prospect it is for me to stop searching for reassurance and guidance from doctors and "outside" generally.  It's almost like a learned helplessness.  

 

I am assertive and pro-active in my engagement with doctors, but inside very wary and mistrustful.  My latest consultation resulted in the suggestion of medical cannabis to help with the imbalance in my nervous system. (I had misunderstood him.  I thought he had been suggesting CBD oil). This is a huge thing to consider.  He also recommended combining the withdrawal of diazepam and zopiclone by using Lysanxia drops.  I haven't researched this enough yet.  But  both of these suggestions have left me feeling unsafe, yet again, with a doctor.  

 

I clearly have a problem: seeking the reassurance from others that I am safe, and turning to doctors accordingly; but being terrified of them and not trusting their judgement.

 

Thank you for your care and engagement.  I really appreciate it.  I think I will post elsewhere about the medical cannabis suggestion because my instinct is that it is unwise to try that alongside withdrawal, even to try it at all.  I feel so vulnerable!  I just want to feel safe. And as you acknowledge, it is exhausting.  

 

H8

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Altostrata
7 hours ago, Harriet8 said:

I want to ask about medical cannabis on the forum. 

 

Are you considering adding to your drug cocktail?

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Harriet8
On 10/26/2019 at 8:52 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Are you considering adding to your drug cocktail?

No.

 

But I'm feeling trapped in an impossible situation.  My psychological state is so fragile and deteriorating, and I'm in neglect and despair.  It is being dependent on my parents as my carers which is such a problem.  I desperately want stability enough to be able to take care of myself in my own home.  I haven't done the maths but withdrawal off my meds could take 5 years?  And that will be a destabilising process.  And indeed, my system may simply not be able to handle it - the Citalopram especially.  If I could find a way to stabilise and postpone tapering, I would take that path.  Because the cost to me of living utterly cut off from my life, dependent upon my parents or carers is proving to be too big.  I imagine many people on here must have encountered similar problems.  Being single is particularly tough, especially if symptoms are so bad that you are not able to take care of yourself, and rely on others for most everyday tasks.  

 

But how to stabilise?  

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Harriet8

Hello everyone,

 

I'm sad to say things are becoming just unbearable my end.  I'm not sure there's anything anyone can suggest but I thought it might help to try connecting on here.  It's the sense of powerlessness, lack of agency, feeling trapped and unable to take any action to help myself which is breaking me down.

 

I think it is clear that I am dealing with massive overdosing over the past 20 years, especially serotonin, and the withdrawal from those medications caused the onset of my symptoms 10 years ago.  These are now so life-limiting that they are breaking me down psychologically, feeling like I can't go on like this.  I feel trapped because it seems like tapering is not an option, but I am not clear on this.  My doctor has suggested my brain and nervous system won't be able to cope with a taper in my current state.  He is suggesting adding something in accordingly.  I do not want to try medical cannabis.  He suggested cross-tapering from Citalopram to an MAOI, to then try to reduce the Citalopram.  But from what I have researched, you need to be clear of an SSRI for a couple of weeks before introducing and MAOI! - and anyway, then I've got to get that out of my system.  Alternatively, he is considering trying a tricyclic.  

 

I apologise if I am repeating myself but I am absolutely desperate and losing all hope now.  I have to make some kind of change or I will not be able to keep going.  It seems like the only choice I have is to try and taper the Citalopram, but perhaps try a micro-taper?  I know that my system struggles very badly with reducing Citalopram, so it will likely struggle again.  

 

I feel absolutely trapped.  Have others been in this position?  Severely unstable, unable to reinstate*, but having to take some kind of action?  I will go back to others' threads and look there.  I read some of the micro-tapering thread and that seems really sensible.  But many, eg Rhiannon, were able to maintain some kind of functional life whilst doing this.  That's my real sticking point, being unable to live a functional life and that having a catastrophic effect now.

 

Thank you all.  I hope something is possible......

 

Harriet8

 

*My understanding is that my brain was flooded with serotonin over years and years, that this affected the glutamate system especially, and possibly damaged the cell membranes of my nerves?  Whilst I was reducing from Citalopram in May 2017, my symptoms deteriorated considerably.  But that was from a dose which was already far too high (60mg plus 3g L-Tryptophan) and on the back of 15+ years of serotonin overdosing.  We can't reinstate to an overdose.   Aaaarrgggh.  

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RachelSusan

Dear lovely Harriet,

 

Whatever you decide to do I am wishing you success. I feel very moved by your situation and I am sorry you are in it.

 

R.

 

 

 

 

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Zans
2 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Dear lovely Harriet,

 

Whatever you decide to do I am wishing you success. I feel very moved by your situation and I am sorry you are in it.

 

R.

 

 

 

 

Me too! 

 

I can't recommend whether to taper or not in your situation but if mods will approve and you decide to proceed with micro tappering at least it could possibly snap you out of learned helplesness state. Being in charge of your situation however little charge that is.

 

Goodluck! 

 

 

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Harriet8
41 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Dear lovely Harriet,

 

Whatever you decide to do I am wishing you success. I feel very moved by your situation and I am sorry you are in it.

 

R.

 

 

 

 

Bless you, RachelSusan, for your care and kindness in responding.  I'm just in floods because I am willing to try, I want to take some action and I feel like my hands are tied.  That the damage is done by drugs taken in the past, such that my current regime is not causal, although it is perpetuating problems.  I feel powerless.  Thank you.

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Harriet8
4 hours ago, Zans said:

Me too! 

 

I can't recommend whether to taper or not in your situation but if mods will approve and you decide to proceed with micro tappering at least it could possibly snap you out of learned helplesness state. Being in charge of your situation however little charge that is.

 

Goodluck! 

 

 

Thank you,  Zans.  Yes, the loss of agency over such a long period is really affecting me.  And having no meaning or belonging.  Going to have to find a way to access some resourcing for myself - as well as suitable place to live.... very desperate times.....  Thank you for your good wishes.  

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Altostrata
5 hours ago, Harriet8 said:

I apologise if I am repeating myself but I am absolutely desperate and losing all hope now.  I have to make some kind of change or I will not be able to keep going.  It seems like the only choice I have is to try and taper the Citalopram, but perhaps try a micro-taper?  I know that my system struggles very badly with reducing Citalopram, so it will likely struggle again. 

 

Up to you, Harriet. We've hashed this out thoroughly before.

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Harriet8
On 11/9/2019 at 3:23 PM, RachelSusan said:

Dear lovely Harriet,

 

Whatever you decide to do I am wishing you success. I feel very moved by your situation and I am sorry you are in it.

 

R.

 

 

 

 

Bless you, RachelSusan, for your care and kindness in responding.  I'm just in floods because I am willing to try, I want to take some action and I feel like my hands are tied.  That the damage is done by drugs taken in the past, such that my current regime is not causal, although it is perpetuating problems.  I feel powerless.  Thank you.

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Harriet8

Hello everyone,

 

I haven't posted for a while.  Things are extremely tough my end.  I feel trapped.  I thought I would ask if there is a thread on here, if there are others who are disabled by the effects of drugs and withdrawal, such that they are dependent?  I am trying to find a way through what seems an impossible situation, the logistics of how to live as a single person going through this.  I would be really grateful for a pointer to this if others have written about it here.  Institutions are too reminiscent of psychiatric hell - and what kind?  Where?  And how to afford it?  Personal carers is a possibility but has not worked at all well in the past - hence staying with parents now.  I can't imagine I am alone in facing this.  It is so very difficult to keep the faith when it looks logistically impossible to see a way ahead.  Perhaps I will try posting on the Great Britain page.  The one big bonus of being where I am now is that I have access to a compounding pharmacy.  In Britain they seem very hard to come by, as indeed any access to prescribers.  

 

I am sorry to continue to be stuck in such a bleak place of struggle.  I wish I had some positive news, or at least had found an avenue, some ground beneath my feet to feel like I can start some kind of healing.  So desperately needed now.

 

My best wishes to all here.

 

H8

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Harriet8

I would be so grateful for some help.

I remain trapped in a very difficult situation and condition.

I want to keep the drama down for everybody's sakes.

But I am desperate.

My question: what do I do if I am too unstable to taper?  I can't see this on any other topics/threads.  I am particularly weak just now so not very thorough search or ability to concentrate.  Plus I appreciate is unique to each individual.  Know from Inner Compass, some limited suggestions.

Bottom line: I feel I have to take some kind of action because living as I am is possibly traumatising me and feels unsustainable.  Don't know where to get guidance.  Have held back from posting on Twitter.  

Any suggestions, links, pointers would be so welcome.

Thank you.

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Gridley
28 minutes ago, Harriet8 said:

what do I do if I am too unstable to taper?

 

The first thing is to continue to hold.  Holding may not seem like it's doing something, but it's allowing your system to rest and heal.

 

We strongly recommend using non-drug techniques to cope.  Please take a look at the links in the following link to see which technique you think might be of benefit to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Reading other members' success stories can offer hope.  If you can, Google survivingantidepressants.org success stories

 

If anxiety is one of your symptoms, these links can help:

 

 
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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

 

 

 

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mstimc
35 minutes ago, Harriet8 said:

I

My question: what do I do if I am too unstable to taper?  I can't see this on any other topics/threads.  I am particularly weak just now so not very thorough search or ability to concentrate.  Plus I appreciate is unique to each individual.  Know from Inner Compass, some limited suggestions.

Bottom line: I feel I have to take some kind of action because living as I am is possibly traumatising me and feels unsustainable.  Don't know where to get guidance.  Have held back from posting on Twitter.  

Any suggestions, links, pointers would be so welcome.

Thank you.

Hi Harriet

 

I tried tapering twice before I was able to see it through on the third try.  I, too, wanted to reinstate or switch to another med during all thee attempts.  During the third taper, I made up my mind to see it through no matter what, and at times is was hell.  With the support of s great therapist and an online group like this, I was able to make it.  Some days I had to settle for making it from one hour to the next. Each day is a day closer to recovery.

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Harriet8
On 1/9/2020 at 4:59 PM, Gridley said:

 

The first thing is to continue to hold.  Holding may not seem like it's doing something, but it's allowing your system to rest and heal.

 

We strongly recommend using non-drug techniques to cope.  Please take a look at the links in the following link to see which technique you think might be of benefit to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Reading other members' success stories can offer hope.  If you can, Google survivingantidepressants.org success stories

 

If anxiety is one of your symptoms, these links can help:

 

 

Dear Gridley,

 

Belated thank you for replying, and so promptly.  These are particularly tough and lonely times.

 

I will look at the resources you kindly list.  Thank you.  The thing I am finding hardest is the extent to which I am disabled by my symptoms and the consequences of this.  I am housebound, and pretty much sofa/bedbound.  So, on top of managing the condition, I am facing a logistical nightmare.  My parents have been caring for me, but they are in their 70s and desperately need a break - and that is not a long-term/sustainable arrangement.  So, the additional strain of having to figure out whether I could go back to living in my home with carers or have to consider a care home of some kind, at my age....is very hard.  On the one hand, I have to plan and make arrangements; on the other, I'm dealing with a completely unknown quantity, something that can't be known or predicted or, as I so wish, alleviated. 

 

Is there a topic here on how people cope if they become dependent and have care needs as a result of their drugs experience?  I haven't found one.  Perhaps I should start one?  I don't know.  It's just a very real and big part of the overall struggle for me.  Maybe it would be useful if people could share options they have considered and how they have coped?

 

Thank you again.  How is your healing going?

 

Harriet8

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Harriet8
On 1/9/2020 at 5:15 PM, mstimc said:

Hi Harriet

 

I tried tapering twice before I was able to see it through on the third try.  I, too, wanted to reinstate or switch to another med during all thee attempts.  During the third taper, I made up my mind to see it through no matter what, and at times is was hell.  With the support of s great therapist and an online group like this, I was able to make it.  Some days I had to settle for making it from one hour to the next. Each day is a day closer to recovery.

Dear mstimc,

 

Thank you for sharing.  As I have just said in reply to Gridley, what's particularly challenging right now is that I'm unable to care for myself and am housebound.  I need to make plans, but don't want to give up my home and the little that is left of my life.  But if I am going to need care for a long time?...... I miss the support of a therapist very much.  Would you be willing to share what kind of therapy you have?  I have had a lot myself (and am a counsellor myself).  I wonder if your therapist is particularly familiar with the challenges faced by the community here?

 

Yes, I identify with making it through hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.  My biggest enemy is giving up and hiding out in the false refuge of suicidal ideation.  I understand why I go there (because it feels so unbearable - and has done for so long now), but it sets me back.  I definitely need to find myself some connection and support.  I wish I could still go to my 12 step meetings, yoga class etc, meet up with friends.  The severity of my symptoms has resulted in the loss of all my relationships, in a decline of 10 years.  

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Harriet8

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Harriet8
4 minutes ago, Harriet8 said:

Dear mstimc,

 

Thank you for sharing.  As I have just said in reply to Gridley, what's particularly challenging right now is that I'm unable to care for myself and am housebound.  I need to make plans, but don't want to give up my home and the little that is left of my life.  But if I am going to need care for a long time?...... I miss the support of a therapist very much.  Would you be willing to share what kind of therapy you have?  I have had a lot myself (and am a counsellor myself).  I wonder if your therapist is particularly familiar with the challenges faced by the community here?

 

Yes, I identify with making it through hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.  My biggest enemy is giving up and hiding out in the false refuge of suicidal ideation.  I understand why I go there (because it feels so unbearable - and has done for so long now), but it sets me back.  I definitely need to find myself some connection and support.  I wish I could still go to my 12 step meetings, yoga class etc, meet up with friends.  The severity of my symptoms has resulted in the loss of all my relationships, in a decline of 10 years.  

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Harriet8

Just looked at your drug signature and you answer my question re therapy, I think.  CBT has been helpful for you?  And Paxilprogress is a particular online group?  I am dealing with polypharmacy...  I am glad these were helpful for you.

 

H8

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mstimc
1 minute ago, Harriet8 said:

Dear mstimc,

 

Thank you for sharing.  As I have just said in reply to Gridley, what's particularly challenging right now is that I'm unable to care for myself and am housebound.  I need to make plans, but don't want to give up my home and the little that is left of my life.  But if I am going to need care for a long time?...... I miss the support of a therapist very much.  Would you be willing to share what kind of therapy you have?  I have had a lot myself (and am a counsellor myself).  I wonder if your therapist is particularly familiar with the challenges faced by the community here?

 

Yes, I identify with making it through hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.  My biggest enemy is giving up and hiding out in the false refuge of suicidal ideation.  I understand why I go there (because it feels so unbearable - and has done for so long now), but it sets me back.  I definitely need to find myself some connection and support.  I wish I could still go to my 12 step meetings, yoga class etc, meet up with friends.  The severity of my symptoms has resulted in the loss of all my relationships, in a decline of 10 years.  

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Harriet8

Hi Harriet

 

I found a therapist who uses CBT and who appreciates the difficulty we have with tapering and withdrawal.  If I may ask, what is it you fear most about leaving the house?  I'm asking because one thing my therapist taught me is to examine some of the assumptions I made when I was locked in catastrophic thinking patterns.  Sometimes, gently asking yourself a series of "what if" questions can help quantify and manage your fears.

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Gridley
33 minutes ago, Harriet8 said:

Is there a topic here on how people cope if they become dependent

 

I didn't find one and I think it would be a good idea t start one in the Symptoms and Self Care forum.

 

My heart goes out to you, Harriet8.

 

I did find these links which are not exactly on point but may be helpful to you.

Helping family understand - Surviving Antidepressants

https://baylissa.com/helpful-tips/ 

 

PaxilProgress website is no longer in operation.

 

Thanks for asking about me.  I am doing fairly well, functioning, in what they call WDnormal, which is defined as a steady state of feeling blah.  I have many years of tapering left to go and so have to really be disciplined about being here now.

 

Again, starting a topic on dependency would fill a need and likely would strike a chord.

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Rhiannon
On 1/9/2020 at 8:30 AM, Harriet8 said:

I would be so grateful for some help.

I remain trapped in a very difficult situation and condition.

I want to keep the drama down for everybody's sakes.

But I am desperate.

My question: what do I do if I am too unstable to taper?  I can't see this on any other topics/threads.  I am particularly weak just now so not very thorough search or ability to concentrate.  Plus I appreciate is unique to each individual.  Know from Inner Compass, some limited suggestions.

Bottom line: I feel I have to take some kind of action because living as I am is possibly traumatising me and feels unsustainable.  Don't know where to get guidance.  Have held back from posting on Twitter.  

Any suggestions, links, pointers would be so welcome.

Thank you.

Hi Harriet-- I have just read the beginning of your thread and this last page, so I may have missed something, but it certainly looks to me like with everything you went through in 2017 and 2018 it might be a good idea to not try to taper anything right now. I see that Gridley agrees.

 

I am so sorry for all your suffering. I can't express the depth of my rage at the psychopharmaceutical industry that destroys peoples' lives and health this way. These drugs have never been properly tested for long term effects, but rather than questioning the drugs, they just blame the bodies that the drugs have ravaged.

 

My heart goes out to you today.

 

--Rhiannon

 

 

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