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LifeAgain: my life again

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LifeAgain

Hello,

 

I'm new to this site but have known about it for awhile.  Two years ago I went through a detox to get off alprazolam (benzo) and alcohol.  I was a mess for several years before that.  I know now I was experiencing inter-dose withdrawal for years.  Alcohol is cross-tolerant and I was using it increasingly over the years I was on alprazolam.  I had been on sertraline for several years prior to starting the benzo and continued it through the detox.  After that experience, I started reducing the sertraline and had horrific symptoms every time I would make a cut.  Towards the end, I got back on a benzo (clonazepam) but managed to get off the sertraline.  Shortly after, I tapered the second benzo and have been psych med free for about 10 months now.

 

The entire experience was devastating.  I lost all social connections, a relationship, a job, my mental and physical health, my privacy, my dignity, my spirituality, my possessions -- all of it.  When I got off everything, I started exercising every day.  I ate as healthy as I knew how (have learned much more since).  I quit all psychoactive substances including coffee.  I stopped seeing my psychiatrist and an unwise therapist I was seeing.  My health has been improving and I stopped blood pressure and cholesterol medication.  I've lost over 100 pounds so far and I'm just starting to rebuild my professional and social life.  They are both non-existent at the moment but because of my progress, I am beginning to address them.

 

My life was hell for close to a decade and questionable for almost another -- all because of psych meds.  I'm here to connect with others who've been through or are going through a similar experience who may want to discuss what happened or is happening.  I'm interested in making friends and I want to share my experience and learn from others.  I think about what I've been through every day and right now, I don't want to forget.  I use the pain I feel to help me move forward.  I hope to leave it behind at some point.  I know there are many who have been or are going through similar and may want to connect.

 

Thank you for this space and the ability to share and connect.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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Altostrata

Welcome, LifeAgain.

 

Thanks so much for joining our community. I'm happy to hear you're recovering.

 

How has your symptom pattern changed over the last 10 months? Do you have any residual symptoms from going off sertraline and clonazepam? How did you taper them?

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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LifeAgain

Hi Altostrata.  Thanks for the welcome.

 

Symptoms have lessened gradually over the last 10 months.  Anxiety was really high and has lessened although it's still heightened.  I'm no longer waking up in terror which was happening the first several months.  Intrusive thoughts have largely gone away.  Depression went away I think at about the 6 to 7 month mark.  The symptoms would come and go but trend downward.  I have cognitive symptoms still - difficulty concentrating and remembering some things - but they have improved a little.  I sometimes have bizarre feelings and thoughts.  Something like paranoia or "existential angst".  I get angry and upset easily but it passes pretty quickly now.  Sleep is difficult.  I get about 5 hours on average but need more like 7 or 8.

 

The first time I got off a benzo, I went through a 10 day detox.  They switched me to phenobarbital and lowered that over the 10 days.  The second one, I tapered myself over about a month.  I was on about 0.5mg.  The sertraline took a long time - about 10 months.  I started at 200 shortly after the detox and reduced it by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until I got to about 75mg and then I reduced it by 12.5mg down to 25mg.  It got rough at the end and I went back on a benzo and was able to drop the last 12.5mg.  Each cut from 75mg was absolutely brutal.  I think it's because I was already destabilized from the detox I went through.  I had flu-like symptoms, sweating, extreme anger and frustration among many others.  I can't say for sure but I believe the sertraline symptoms are gone and I'm just battling residual clonazepam symptoms.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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laydefish

Hi @LifeAgain, and  welcome to the group!  Congratulations I'm getting off of these awful drugs! I too am currently 10 months off of both a Bento after 7 years and an antidepressant after 11 years. I'm currently in the process of  tapering off of Gabapentin which I've been on for 7 years as well. so I totally understand what a difficult Journey you've been on! Everybody's so different, especially during this journey so I'm not sure what you're comfortable with sharing at this point in your healing I'm pretty much an open book so if you'd like to ask me any questions about my experience I'd be happy to answer.   in the meanwhile for a little background me you can visit my profile page because a link to my introduction story. I look forward to hearing from you take care, Laydefish


2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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ShiningLight

Welcome!!! I relate to the feelings of having lost so much: privacy, dignity, social connections.

 

I've got several long tapers ahead of me but just wanted to let you know, you are SO not alone. Hang in there and keep truckin'!


Now: Gabapentin 31 mg 4x/day =124 mg, 150 mg Zoloft am since 2004, 50 mg Trazodone bedtime.  Daily drug burden decreased from 2050 mg to 324 mg 🐢🐢

2020, Gabapentin each dose 4x/day: Aug 20 31 mg, Aug 18, 33 mg, July 29, 35 mg, July 23 38 mg, July 22 40 mg Jun 24 42 mg, Jun 15 44 mg, Jun 9 48 mg, May 22 50 mg, May 14 54 mg, May 7 56 mg, Apr 16 58 mg, Mar 28 60 mg, Mar 18 62 mg. Feb 26 64 mg. Feb 19, 66 mg. Jan 23, 70 mg.

2019 Dec 19, 72 mg. Nov 14 ,76 mg. Aug 8, 80 mg. Aug 6, 85 mg. Jul 26, 90 mg. Jul 11, 95 mg.

Jul 16 trazodone from 100 to 50 mg.

Jun 17-July 10 Slowly changed gab fr pill to liquid at same dose 100 mg 4x/d.

Apr 24 Stopped klon!!! 🌞 Apr 4  Decreased gaba to 400 mg (100 mg 4x/day)-Apr 4, 2019   0.25 klon

March 11  Klonopin .5 mg twice daily, varied dose til Apr 15. Started Klon fast taper 25%, short use

Mar 16, 450 mg gaba 3x/day cut 600 mg--not exact!--updose after learning w/d

Feb 20, 2019 1800 mg gabapentin; MD taper; off 3 days=mvt disorder & autonomic instability. July 2018 temazepam 15 mg 1-2; prn several x/wk til Jan/Feb 2019 when cold turkey, flu illness for months

July 2018 started gabapentin 100 3x/day; titrated up to 1800 mg (600 3x/day)

Buspar, I forget how much, 2 pills a day Jan 2017-July 2018 cold turkey

*I speak from my experience. Nothing I say is medical advice. I'm not a doctor.

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LifeAgain
On 6/28/2019 at 6:55 PM, laydefish said:

Hi @LifeAgain, and  welcome to the group!  Congratulations I'm getting off of these awful drugs! I too am currently 10 months off of both a Bento after 7 years and an antidepressant after 11 years. I'm currently in the process of  tapering off of Gabapentin which I've been on for 7 years as well. so I totally understand what a difficult Journey you've been on! Everybody's so different, especially during this journey so I'm not sure what you're comfortable with sharing at this point in your healing I'm pretty much an open book so if you'd like to ask me any questions about my experience I'd be happy to answer.   in the meanwhile for a little background me you can visit my profile page because a link to my introduction story. I look forward to hearing from you take care, Laydefish

 

Hi laydefish,  Thanks for replying here and the welcome!  I read through your intro and it looks like you've been through a lot.  How is your neck pain now?  So you're still on gabapentin and opioids?

I was on gabapentin after I went through the detox about 2 years ago.  They gave me about 600mg twice a day I think and I felt it after about a week and it was too much for me.  It made me feel quite weird but I had also just gotten off alprazolam over 10 days.  I got the dose dropped and stayed on about 600 mg a day I think.  I think it helped moderately but no direct relief.  It kind of affected other areas of my CNS.  Ultimately I didn't like it in my system and I tried to get off of it after about 6 months.  I couldn't and I went on Lyrica and then tapered directly off that one.  All the while I had been tapering sertraline so it's difficult to tell what was from what.  When I look back, I'm amazed at how I made it through.  Not very well but I did make off the medication.  It's just crazy to me that people go through that and doctors just keep prescribing more medication.

 

Congrats on getting off the benzo.  That drug by far overshadowed all others and got me to a terrible place.  Toward the end it allowed the other drugs to hurt me badly too I believe.

 

When you look back what were some of the worst experiences mood or anxiety wise that you went through from the medication?  What's your plan to get off the gabapentin?  Do you plan to stop the opioids too?  I have read that long-term they also lose their effectiveness much like the benzos.  Take care and great to see your post.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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LifeAgain
On 6/28/2019 at 8:51 PM, ShiningLight said:

Welcome!!! I relate to the feelings of having lost so much: privacy, dignity, social connections.

 

I've got several long tapers ahead of me but just wanted to let you know, you are SO not alone. Hang in there and keep truckin'!

 

Hi ShiningLight,  Thanks for your post!  I'm sorry it's affected you like that as well.  It seems it happens with long-term use.  Crazy that this happens to so many people.  I read a little bit of your intro.  How are things in your life going now?  It seems like you have a plan to get off the gabapentin and then the Zoloft.  That's great.  A lot of the battle for me involved being confused for so long.  Whoever I went to or even family or friends sometimes I would ask about antidepressants or medication use and it seems like so many people thought it was a good idea if you were feeling so badly and then once I was on, it was like, "why stop it if it's working for you?"  Of course, in the back of my mind, I was always asking, is this working for me?  I remembered the first couple of weeks when I took Zoloft when I was depressed when I was in my early 20s.  It helped then for sure but then I realize it started other issues at the same time (increased appetite and sexual dysfunction) and I believed because of what I was hearing that the side effects would go away.  The effectiveness lasted a few weeks probably and I was kind of chasing that helpfulness for a long time.  It was like, well let's try this one or this combination.  Mood problems and anxiety creeped in all throughout insidiously.  Every time there was a slight change, my mood would shift a couple days.  I was confused for so long.  Exercise helps me now.  Thanks for your comment.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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LifeAgain

I'm angry about everything.  About it all.  I don't like people now.  I get frustrated at the smallest littlest things.  I don't fly off the handle, I just boil and get intensely frustrated.  Sometimes I will slam things down if no one else is around.  Thoughts about how much a hate people swirl around my head.  I just think about my whole experience and want to blame everybody for what happened.  They're all in on it and I was the unknowing victim.

 

It has gotten better and I would never act on anything and in fact when I'm around others, I'm very conscious of what I say and how I behave toward them.  Overly so.

 

I'm alone still and don't really know how to make friends at 40.  I don't have kids and I'm not religious.  That leaves volunteering and AA meetings.  I went through the whole AA thing when I went into a detox to get off Xanax, my first time trying to get off benzos.  I also stopped drinking alcohol then.  That was over 2 years ago.  Now, I'm one year off benzos and 1.5 years off the antidepressant.

 

Otherwise it's just all about my health.  I exercise a ton and eat the best food I know of.  How do I take back my life?  How do I just jump in again?  Maybe it's not "jumping in".  It seems to be slowly and painfully wading in, getting entangled and going down blind alleys.  Takes so much time.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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Chris11

I can relate to the stress intolerance,  anger at people etc. Am also about 1.5 years out from stopping all AD’s. I think living in that headspace isn’t the best but it’s so hard to let it go. My plan is to one day forgive those (in person hopefully) to whom I hold grudges against so I can ‘let go’ of that negative emotion. It weighs me down.

 

I like the quote “Resentment Is Like Taking Poison And Waiting For The Other Person To Die”.

 

You like exercising which is great. I do Jiu jitsu (have never been the fighting type) and sometimes giving someone a neck choke or an armbar until they tap out is good therapy for the mind :) great way to meet people too.

 

Best of luck with your journey. One small step at a time.

 

 

 

 

 


Mid 2016 - 2 weeks Valium (lowest dose, up to 3x per day), 2 weeks 25mg seroquel, 6 months lexapro (minimum dose)

2017 - tried quitting lexapro cold turkey, had insomnia so went to mirtazapine 7.5mg for 9 months. Tapered to 0mg in 3 months

2018 to present - drug free

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LifeAgain

Thanks for your comment, Chris.  I wish you great success with your continued recovery.

 

I think the anger is more generalized now.  A few months ago, it was still very focused.  I hope that is a known progression as one heals and returns to typical functioning without medication.  Frustration and agitation is focused on myself mostly.  I'm afraid I'm making a mistake or I'm being taken advantage of in some way and it's my responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen.  I beat myself up ad nauseum about it.

 

Letting go is difficult.  I often feel I'm waiting for something which is of course, a delusion.  In reality there's nothing more to dwell on that I can benefit from for my recovery.  Sharing my experience though is helpful.


I don't intend to become disillusioned, cynical, and bitter toward life and the world.  I'm a pretty capable and empathetic person but I have quite a front now.  I hope I can share the best of me again with others.


12+ years benzos - 10 day detox, reinstated, month long taper

18 years sertraline - 10 month taper

Off all psych meds August 2018

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