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NorthStar

Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year…

 

I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake.

 

In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go…

 

1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin)

I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule.

 

2005 – 2009 (no meds)

I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well.

 

Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics)

Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years.

 

Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable.

 

Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding.

 

Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away.

 

Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock).

 

One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks.

 

Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil)

I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date.

 

Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?)

I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough.

 

Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?)

My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo…

 

Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?)

The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes…

 

Nov 5-8 2018

I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital.

 

Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night)

I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present.

 

Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember)

I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight.

 

Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?)

I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in…

 

Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel)

In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL.

 

I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned.

 

So it was suggested I go back in the hospital...

 

Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes)

All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...:

  • First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel)
  • Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed
  • Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital.

 

Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?)

Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence).

  • New trauma-based IOP.
  • Was very constipated.
  • Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off.
  • After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half.
  • Developed a tremor.
  • The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks.

 

Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics)

  • Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night.
  • We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages…

 

Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics)

  • Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium.
  • B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP.

 

Early-April to Present (see below)

  • We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful).
  • As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues.
  • I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night.
  • In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy.
  • In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin.
  • May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am.
  • June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing.
  • NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.”
  • I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go.

 

Currently Taking

  • 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night
  • 0.5mg Klonopin at night
  • 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night
  • Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon
  • 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon
  • 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day
  • 2000mg vitamin D afternoon
  • Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon
  • 2 kinds of probiotics morning
  • Multivitamin morning

 

What Makes Things Worse

  • Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious.
  • Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning.
  • Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better)
  • Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks)
  • Antacids (found that out the hard way)

 

What Helps

  • Epsom salt baths
  • Sweating
  • Crying (when I am able to)
  • Walking (especially in sunshine)
  • Melatonin (at night – for sleep)
  • Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) 
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine)
  • Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day)
  • Eating enough (really tough to do right now)

 

Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it)

  • Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now)
  • Therapy – CBT, talk
  • Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway)
  • Primrose oil
  • Multivitamin
  • Fish oil
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • CBD oil

 

What I Need Help With

  • I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT.
  • I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first?
  • And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those.
  • Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help?
  • I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes.
  • Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood.

 

To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.

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NorthStar

If I've been on so many meds in one year - and some so briefly - should I include all those in my signature as directed? 😳

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Sassenach
Posted (edited)

 toHi Northstar

Really sorry to read your story.

I am a junior mod and currently out trying to do this on my phone.

Your intro should include the last three years to allow mods to see at a glance your current situation. Senior mods are in America and will be along in due course

@brassmonkey  @Shep

Edited by Sassenach
mistake on phone

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Shep

Hi, Northstar, welcome to SA.

 

Here is some information to get you started:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

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

 

From your first post, it looks like you're taking vitamin D in the afternoon. Please note this may affect your sleep. Please see:

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

 

Multivitamins may also ramp up symptoms. Please see:

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

5 mg of melatonin may also be causing problems, as that is a very high dose. Please see:

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

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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Shep
6 hours ago, NorthStar said:

I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes.

 

Thank you, yes, this will be very helpful. You may have already seen this, but just in case, this is the best format to use. Please also include the number of hours you sleep and your supplements. 

 

On 9/27/2016 at 2:49 PM, Altostrata said:

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms. We ask this because there may be something we can do to reduce the symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs and have withdrawal symptoms, we still need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day:

 

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 
6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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Sassenach

Hi Northstar.

 

What a year. I really feel for you.

The amount of info we ask from you can seem daunting when you are feeling terrible but is an essential start in helping you.

It is clear from your post that you know how badly the doctors have failed you.

It is going to take a lot of time and brain power to get you back on course.

This site is staffed entirely by volunteers who have all been through the drugs/withdrawal grinder.

The senior mods have an incredible amount of knowledge to help you.

The site is devoted to helping people stabilise and withdraw safely from these drugs.

If you reinstate at full dose  or do not follow the advice, we cannot help you.

Just know you are among friends, the threads are full of like minded people and success stories are here.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/28-success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal/

It may take a while but you are on your way.

 

Sassenach

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NorthStar
2 hours ago, Shep said:

From your first post, it looks like you're taking vitamin D in the afternoon. Please note this may affect your sleep. Please see:

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

Thanks. I'll move to morning and I might cut in 1/2 to 1,000 IUs/day. My blood level was low over the winter so I increased. In mid-April is was 60 ng/ML, which is a titch high according to the D3 thread.

 

2 hours ago, Shep said:

5 mg of melatonin may also be causing problems, as that is a very high dose. Please see:

 

Melatonin for sleep

Yeah, I know 😔; it was an oversight on my part. It's a time-release pill; not sure if that makes a difference?? I was actually taking 10mg time release (!) up until recently (started that early spring, maybe?) so I'm trying to taper down on that. QUESTION: do I NEED to 'taper' on melatonin? I'm trying to come up with a plan. I'll plan to ask the Melatonin thread.

 

2 hours ago, Shep said:

Multivitamins may also ramp up symptoms. Please see:

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

Yes, indeed! I swear there are days it helps, and days it does not. I'm mulling over how to proceed here. If I were to restart a multi, I would seek one out that, among other things, does NOT go over RDVs for anything - or much of anything (as I have yet to find a quality - in terms of purity, etc. - one that doesn't go over at least one vitamin or mineral.

 

2 hours ago, Shep said:

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. 

Done... it's a loooong list. 😶

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NorthStar
3 hours ago, Shep said:

Here is some information to get you started:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

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

 

@Shep Thank you for these! I had read some already, but the "Are We There Yet?" section was something I had not yet read and found helpful; in particular, I apperciate @brassmonkey's "But I Only Took It for a Week" post. There is some radical acceptance involved in how long this will take; I'm trying - but that in and of itself will take time.

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NorthStar
1 hour ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Northstar.

 

What a year. I really feel for you.

The amount of info we ask from you can seem daunting when you are feeling terrible but is an essential start in helping you.

It is clear from your post that you know how badly the doctors have failed you.

It is going to take a lot of time and brain power to get you back on course.

This site is staffed entirely by volunteers who have all been through the drugs/withdrawal grinder.

The senior mods have an incredible amount of knowledge to help you.

The site is devoted to helping people stabilise and withdraw safely from these drugs.

If you reinstate at full dose  or do not follow the advice, we cannot help you.

Just know you are among friends, the threads are full of like minded people and success stories are here.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/28-success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal/

It may take a while but you are on your way.

 

Sassenach

 

Hi, Sassenach. (I love Scotland, by the way; spent a lot of time there during my year doing my Master's in England).

 

Yeah... I don't think the "failure" piece really hit until this spring; although the first doc I had out East I knew was pretty terrible from the get-go. It's hard to avoid not trying more when you're surrounded by people who seem to be responding well, or who had no issues going on or off meds. My postpartum body has been so sensitive, made all the more so by the trials this last year. I still wonder what would have happened if I had halted any changes at any point in this process - particularly last fall. I can mark some milestones, even amidst all the med trials:

  • Moving out East: was along really disregulating amidst the PPD/A and the lack of sleep from taking care of a then-3-mo-old
  • Prozac trial in Sept (b/c I tolerated it for 8 years BEFORE the pregnancy😞😞 appetite + sleep never went back to 'normal' after this (I remember telling the docs "so, my appetite is gone at 2mg - is it the Prozac?" and being assured that it was NOT... oy)
  • Anafranil, then Seroquel in Nov: Akathisia set-in + stuck (didn't know what it was for months)
  • Lithium WD in March: Exacerbated akathisia, though it improved some after 10 days
  • Depakote retrial (out of desperation): Last psychoactive drug addition; had been feeling okay-ish akthisia-wise before this; akathisia worsened again and never quite went back to pre-Depakote

 

I'll be going a lot slower from here on out.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • So, do I post my progress/changes daily or weekly/? (Ideally - I'll miss things, I'm sure, but will do my best)
  • My biggest concern is always that "well, these drugs are still in my body - what if taking them longer, even with the slow taper, causes long-term damage?" How do I dispel this notion?

Thanks, all.

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Sassenach

At this stage, definitely daily as it will help Shep, Brassmonkey and all the clever ones to see where you are at present.

As for missing things, we all do that sometimes . Try and do them when your mind is at it's clearest and  you will soon get into a routine.

Your initial post was more detailed and well written than a lot, you will do this fine.

While drugs have different half lives it is only the ones your currently taking that are in your body.

10 minutes ago, NorthStar said:

How do I dispel this notion?

For me this is easy, they are history and you cannot change it.

I realise that is my way and may not work for others.

The meds that are in your body now, you cannot just stop as you already know, but the people above as well as peers on this site will help you take control back.

Take it day by day, one step at a time and hold steady until your body begins to settle or until the supermods advise you otherwise.

As for long term there is no crystal ball but you are young, recognise what has gone wrong. Our body and mind have incredible healing capabilities, but it does take time and determination.

It feels like hell that has been forever but it is a small episode in your young life that you will get past.

Edinburgh or Glasgow?😈

 

Sassenach

PS Guess you know what a sassenach is then?

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Gridley
21 minutes ago, NorthStar said:
  • My biggest concern is always that "well, these drugs are still in my body - what if taking them longer, even with the slow taper, causes long-term damage?" How do I dispel this notion?

 

 

Unless you're having an adverse reaction, the problems caused and damage done by a CT or fast taper are going to be greater than what's caused by still being on the drug.  A good way to think about it is that as you taper, however slowly that may be, you are reducing your drug burden.

 

Daily posting would be preferable.  Over the course of a week, you're likely to miss some nuances.

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NorthStar
17 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

Unless you're having an adverse reaction, the problems caused and damage done by a CT or fast taper are going to be greater than what's caused by still being on the drug.  A good way to think about it is that as you taper, however slowly that may be, you are reducing your drug burden.

 

Daily posting would be preferable.  Over the course of a week, you're likely to miss some nuances.

 

18 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

For me this is easy, they are history and you cannot change it.

I realise that is my way and may not work for others.

The meds that are in your body now, you cannot just stop as you already know, but the people above as well as peers on this site will help you take control back.

Take it day by day, one step at a time and hold steady until your body begins to settle or until the supermods advise you otherwise.

As for long term there is no crystal ball but you are young, recognise what has gone wrong. Our body and mind have incredible healing capabilities, but it does take time and determination.

It feels like hell that has been forever but it is a small episode in your young life that you will get past.

 

Thank you. It's hard to accept, but here we are. I'll work on drafting a tapering plan soon (Gabapentin, then Klonopin). I already recognize the windows and waves pattern for sure. I'm in a wave right now.

 

Will my best to update daily-ish 😉.

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NorthStar
21 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

Edinburgh or Glasgow?😈

 

Sassenach

PS Guess you know what a sassenach is then?

 

Edinburgh, Stirling, and around the Highlands. Did grad school in Cambridge, England, though. And, yes, I do know what that is 😀.

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Altostrata
11 hours ago, NorthStar said:

Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day.

 

Until we run afoul of them, we Americans tend to be believers in psychiatric drugs and the advice we get from doctors in hospitals.

 

Having experienced hyponatremia myself, I can tell you the saline drip is sufficient to calm you down and make you feel better. You didn't need the benzos, which launched you on your current drug imbroglio.

 

Are your doctors monitoring your electrolyte levels so as to catch any tendency towards hyponatremia? That could be a serious health problem.

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NorthStar
2 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

 

Until we run afoul of them, we Americans tend to be believers in psychiatric drugs and the advice we get from doctors in hospitals.

 

Having experienced hyponatremia myself, I can tell you the saline drip is sufficient to calm you down and make you feel better. You didn't need the benzos, which launched you on your current drug imbroglio.

 

Are your doctors monitoring your electrolyte levels so as to catch any tendency towards hyponatremia? That could be a serious health problem.

 

Thanks, @Altostrata. Yes - it's been regularly monitored since last July (interestingly, I read a journal article saying that the oxytocin that is released when you breastfeed can leave one more vulnerable to hyponatremia b/c of increased water intake and the effects of oxytocin itself; I miss breastfeeding but stopped in November). It was borderline low in the fall (132-134), especially during the Prozac weeks when I couldn't eat, but it's since stabilized. Last fall and winter, I was checked for adrenal issues, thyroid issues (which I did eventually develop from, likely, the lithium this past spring), and other conditions and everything was normal. Latest reading last month was 139 - dead center of normal. I take a salt tab ('buffered electrolytes') when I am feeling disregulated or crampy, and it can help. But it's been something I am now acutely aware of.

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Altostrata

That's good. Hyponatremia can be an adverse effect of psychiatric drugs as well.

 

Please post your daily drug and symptom notes, that will help us figure out what's causing what.

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ChessieCat
3 hours ago, NorthStar said:

Hey! I'm planning to do this. My last year of drug cocktails has been during a postpartum period, too (and because of), so I'm all sorts of hormonally sensitive and discombobulated right now. I notice that I have a much easier time with reducing or adding anything about 50-75% of the way through my cycle (week 3-4). So that's when I'm planning on doing reductions or additions (of supplements) if I can (and if my cycle remains regular - that's the kicker).

 

I'm also trying to find supplements that might help regulate my cycle (bioidentical progesterone cream RXed from a doc helped somewhat with mood, but caused other havoc - cramping, spotting, acne - so I'm going to avoid that in the future if I can). Will see what I find.

 

It is best to only make one change at a time.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

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NorthStar
1 minute ago, ChessieCat said:

 

It is best to only make one change at a time.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

That is my plan, and I'll do my best to stick to it. In the waves, it's always tempting to make more than one, but I'll be trying.

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KMart95

Benzos are notorious for causing POTS symptoms (rapid heart rate & low blood pressure) in a lot of people. Both on them and in withdrawal. I developed POTS after taking Ativan for 6 months & still have it to this day.

 

Also, your hormones may not necessarily be out of whack. A lot of ladies here find their withdrawal symptoms really ramp up with their menstrual cycle, including me. That could explain why you might not be responding to any type of hormone therapy.

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Sassenach

Hi Northstar.

 

Alto is the boss and founder and there was no-ish at the end of daily notes.

For now daily is essential if you want help otherwise it takes valuable mod time getting the info from you.

Chessie is spot on, in the middle of a wave is the worst possible time to make changes, you can guarantee to get it wrong.

Your brain and body are battered and need respite and it is possible to overthink everything which causes stress.

KMart makes a good point, sometimes your body knows best and you keep fighting it.

Acceptance is an important part of dealing with withdrawal.

You will get better, slow down the tortoise wins this race.

 

Sassenach

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NorthStar

Was juuuuust about the post this when I had to take care of a crying one-year-old...  This is from yesterday/early this morning, July 12 2019:

 

(Btw ~11pm-12am took night meds - 300mg gabapentin, 0.5mg Klonopin, 5mg SR melatonin, can't remember if I took mag.)

~2am Went to bed (up late drafting post on this site - I know...) 😔

~5-6am Woke after a nightmare, fell back into fitful sleep

~6:30-7am Woke with baby; husband took him while I tried to get another few minutes

7:30am Out of bed, really anxious + shaky

7:45am Cup of green tea (rarely do this in morning), tsp apple cider vinegar + lemon juice + bit of kombucha to settle stomach

8-9am Conference call for advisor's project (only thing I'm working on work-wise right now; otherwise on medical leave)

9-12pm Did some follow-up work; posted on SD - feeling better, more settled

12-1pm LATE breakfast/lunch (smoothie: handful blueberries, some kale, splash of OJ, chia seeds, soy milk, 1/2 banana; 2 eggs w/ garlic + tomato: corn chips)

12pm Took fish oil (1/2 dose) + 1000 mg primrose oil (SKIPPED probiotics) + 2,000 IU vitamin D

*Feel more anxious*

2pm Acupuncture

*Feel better*

3:30pm Take electrolyte/salt pill

3:45pm Go for walk with husband + B (my son - hereafter 'B')

*Feel much better*

4:30 Eat some pasta w/chicken, salad w/ variety of greens + beets; noticed I start to feel disregulated, so stop before I finish eating

5:30 - 10pm Playtime, dinner, bath, bedtime w/ B - then cleaning

7? Take 'afternoon' fish oil + 500mg primrose oil

*Feeling dizzy, woozy*

10pm Shower

*Put on blue-light-blocking glasses*

11:00pm LATE dinner - arroz con pollo

11:00pm Take evening meds + supplements: 0.5mg Klonopin, 300mg gabapentin, 5mg SR melatonin, 120mg mag glycinate

12am In bed, working on project (rarely do this)

*Feel tried and woozy*

~1am Lights out

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Sassenach
12 minutes ago, NorthStar said:

2am Went to bed (up late drafting post on this site - I know...) 😔

 

1 hour ago, NorthStar said:

8-9am Conference call for advisor's project (only thing I'm working on work-wise right now; otherwise on medical leave)

 

1 hour ago, NorthStar said:

9-12pm Did some follow-up work; posted on SD - feeling better, more settled

 

1 hour ago, NorthStar said:

12pm Took fish oil (1/2 dose) + 1000 mg primrose oil (SKIPPED probiotics) + 2,000 IU vitamin D

*Feel more anxious*

 

1 hour ago, NorthStar said:

7? Take 'afternoon' fish oil + 500mg primrose oil

*Feeling dizzy, woozy*

Hello Northstar

 

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Thank you for the notes, very well detailed exactly what supermods need. They may need less activity detail in course to make it easier for you but they will tell you.

They will need several days of notes to examine patterns and reactions.

You may not hear from them over the weekend but your posts are flagged and will be examined.

The " I know " means you also know the second and third could stress you.

Only you can know this. It is good to able to work as long as you are not pressured.

I'm guessing a combination of circumstances including finding this site and nagging junior mods🤣

It is best not to spend too long on here each day for obvious reasons.

The interaction with others who understand  can help however.

The morning anxiety is likely to be the "normal" cortisol spikes of withdrawal. I had them up to a few weeks ago even after an after noon nap. All gone now.

It is also normal to feel better as the day goes on and you calm down towards the evening "B" permitting.

Do you always have similar reactions after taking the fish oil and primrose oil?

Lovely evening here so time for some air.

As you spent time in Scotland you will know what I mean. Guid choice of hubby, he soonds like a good'uin.:rolleyes:

 

Sassenach

 

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NorthStar
13 hours ago, KMart95 said:

Benzos are notorious for causing POTS symptoms (rapid heart rate & low blood pressure) in a lot of people. Both on them and in withdrawal. I developed POTS after taking Ativan for 6 months & still have it to this day.

 

I did NOT know that. I DID know that antipsychotics (Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperidone - which I've been on for sleep/mood) are notorious for causing orthostasis. Paxil, as well. My orthostasis was AWFUL on the Anafranil and Risperidone trials (especially high HR), and was there for the Seroquel at least, too. I didn't notice anything until I started the Anafranil, but who knows.

 

13 hours ago, KMart95 said:

Also, your hormones may not necessarily be out of whack. A lot of ladies here find their withdrawal symptoms really ramp up with their menstrual cycle, including me. That could explain why you might not be responding to any type of hormone therapy

Well, I think they are to some degree - although good to hear that I'm not alone with the WD symptoms ebbing/flowing (no pun in intended) w/ my cycle. I've read that it can take up to two years for things to normalize postpartum; that, combined with the meds I've been on (anti-epileptics, in particular, are known to affect reproductive hormones) have caused some issues. Around the two Depakote trials (each just a week), my cycle was MUCH longer when they had been regular since I stopped BFing (Depakote is known to cause PCOS - there's a lawsuit going on right now). And I had/have thyroiditis, likely from the lithium (the docs say) and that can have an impact. Things are just now re-calibrating.

See:

https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-in-women-taking-valproate/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19012099

https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/S1059-1311(03)00056-6/fulltext

I couldn't find the article I read on Gabapentin reducing Estrogen levels, but I know I saw it somewhere. It's used to treat hot flashes; not sue of the mechanism there.

 

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NorthStar
1 hour ago, Sassenach said:

 

 

 

 

Hello Northstar

 

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Thank you for the notes, very well detailed exactly what supermods need. They may need less activity detail in course to make it easier for you but they will tell you.

They will need several days of notes to examine patterns and reactions.

You may not hear from them over the weekend but your posts are flagged and will be examined.

The " I know " means you also know the second and third could stress you.

Only you can know this. It is good to able to work as long as you are not pressured.

I'm guessing a combination of circumstances including finding this site and nagging junior mods🤣

It is best not to spend too long on here each day for obvious reasons.

The interaction with others who understand  can help however.

The morning anxiety is likely to be the "normal" cortisol spikes of withdrawal. I had them up to a few weeks ago even after an after noon nap. All gone now.

It is also normal to feel better as the day goes on and you calm down towards the evening "B" permitting.

Do you always have similar reactions after taking the fish oil and primrose oil?

Lovely evening here so time for some air.

As you spent time in Scotland you will know what I mean. Guid choice of hubby, he soonds like a good'uin.:rolleyes:

 

Sassenach

 

 

Thanks, Sassenach!

 

"I know" just means, like, "Oh, I know, I shouldn't/should do X" or "I'm trying" or something.

Unsure about the fish oil and primrose oil, to be honest. I THINK they help, but hard to know. The last few weeks have been messy and I haven't been taking my supplements as regularly, and I wonder if that's why. I'm planning to revert back to my supplement routine from a month ago (mostly) and see where we're at. We'll see as time goes on.

 

Feeling pretty anxious/akathisia-y today, and am off for a walk and a long computer break.

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Altostrata
4 hours ago, NorthStar said:

12pm Took fish oil (1/2 dose) + 1000 mg primrose oil (SKIPPED probiotics) + 2,000 IU vitamin D

*Feel more anxious*

 

4 hours ago, NorthStar said:

4:30 Eat some pasta w/chicken, salad w/ variety of greens + beets; noticed I start to feel disregulated, so stop before I finish eating

5:30 - 10pm Playtime, dinner, bath, bedtime w/ B - then cleaning

7? Take 'afternoon' fish oil + 500mg primrose oil

*Feeling dizzy, woozy* 

 

Are you having a reaction to fish oil and primrose oil? Need to see more daily notes. (Good catch @Sassenach)

 

Also, you should note which foods make you feel "dysregulated." What did this symptom feel like?

 

4 hours ago, NorthStar said:

11:00pm Take evening meds + supplements: 0.5mg Klonopin, 300mg gabapentin, 5mg SR melatonin, 120mg mag glycinate

 

Why are you taking Klonopin and gabapentin at the same time?

 

Please include when you take your daytime drugs in your daily notes.

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NorthStar
3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Are you having a reaction to fish oil and primrose oil? Need to see more daily notes. (Good catch @Sassenach)

 

Also, you should note which foods make you feel "dysregulated." What did this symptom feel like?

Re: Fish oil and primrose. Unsure. Part of the issue is I almost always take both with food (as directed) so it complicates things.

 

Re: Again, so hard to know. I haven't noticed any patterns; but I generally am more anxious, shaky, have racing heart, feel just generally really uncomfortable especially after breakfast and/or lunch. I'm already GF. I have tried eliminating dairy and eggs - no difference. Sugar is an issue, but I generally only eat it in fruit. The year has brought a lot of anxiety around eating b/c my appetite has been so variable that I wonder if some of it isn't anxiety around food. This also hasn't been a consistent issue.

3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Why are you taking Klonopin and gabapentin at the same time?

 

Short answer: it was how it was prescribed when I left the hospital (initially, 300mg 2x/day and 600mg/night - along with higher doses of Klonopin). I AM now aware of the significant interaction. Longer answer is the gabapentin was supposed to act as a mood stabilizer/anti-anxiety med for mid-to-long-term use, caused initial stomach issues so was reduced by 1/2 in March. Then recently reduced further as I felt it was making me feel worse, I think, during the day. I now try to avoid taking it at all during the day, and want to drop it at night before the Klonopin.

 

So - I am currently on no regular daytime meds. I tapered off the daytime Klonopin in late April, and then did a way-to-quick taper of the propranolol (for the now-gone hyperthyroidism) in June, along with most of the daytime gabapentin, and the 50mg Seroquel (the last over 3 months, but still).

 

The last month is ultimately what drove me to join this site. It's been too messy, and I've been feel especially awful. I need help thinking through tapering and healing sensibly.

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NorthStar

July 12-early 14, 2019 (times are approx b/c I was not the best at taking notes - oops)

July 12th

23 hours ago, NorthStar said:

10pm Shower

*Put on blue-light-blocking glasses*

11:00pm LATE dinner - arroz con pollo

11:00pm Take evening meds + supplements: 0.5mg Klonopin, 300mg gabapentin, 5mg SR melatonin, 120mg mag glycinate

12am In bed, working on project (rarely do this)

*Feel tried and woozy*

 

July 13

Woke sometime middle of night, tossed & turned, fell back asleep

6:30am - Woke w/ B; husband took him

6:30 - 9:30am - tossed and turned, avoided getting up, really anxious

10? - some lemon water + apple cider vinegar for stomach

10-12:30pm - ate 'breakfast' inbtw taking care of B (eggs + garlic + tomato; smoothie of strawberries, 1/2 banana, kale, flaxseed milk, flaxseed, OJ)

10-12:30pm - at some point took: 2 probiotics, 1000mg primrose oil, fish oil, vit D

*feeling anxious, racing heart, disoriented all morning*

1-4pm - puttered nervously (laundry, etc.)

4pm - took ~60mg mag glycinate

*feel both sleepy and uncomfortable in body (new brand of magnesium - PURE)*

4:30pm - took walk

*still really anxious, though some windows of feeling more even-keel*

*inadvertently SKIPPED afternoon dose of fish oil and primrose oil*

5:30pm - out to dinner w/ husband + B; hard to eat

6:30pm - computer time, tried more mag glycinate (60mg)

*still feeling anxious, disregulated*

8-9:30pm - work on yard

*feel a bit better*

10pm - shower

10:30/11 - take 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 combo pill), 123mg mag glycinate

*legs cramping, feeling physically uncomfortable (magnesium?)*

11pm - 270mg gabapentin, 0.5mg Klonopin

July 14

12am - can't sleep, but didn't panic or take anything else like I usually do!

12am - epsom salt bath w/ breathing

1/1:30am - fell asleep

Middle of night - woke up, tossed & turned

6:30am - woke w/ B; husband took him

6:30 - 9am - tossed + turned, avoided getting up, increasingly anxious

*racing heart, anxiety, grogginess this morning*

*feeling more grounded now after some breakfast + green tea* will post details tomorrow

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Sassenach

Hi Northstar

 

Thanks for the diary.

You are doing well considering the complexities of your meds and supplements.

I know it is really tough when your head is not working and you feel constantly tired.

You will get through this and I will not tell you it is going to be easy, but with a good partner and determination it will happen.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

Please keep everything steady for the moment any change of meds/supplements can distort the flow.

If you have problems keeping the diary as I did early on when I had cog fog, I used to set the alarm on my phone to remind me.

I also created and printed out a simple template for the day and just filled that in ( sometimes could not read my terrible scrawl afterwards:rolleyes:) but worked pretty well though.

Are you able to assess how you feel now to when you first posted on friday?

Have a good evening.

 

Sassenach

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NorthStar
56 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Northstar

 

Thanks for the diary.

You are doing well considering the complexities of your meds and supplements.

I know it is really tough when your head is not working and you feel constantly tired.

You will get through this and I will not tell you it is going to be easy, but with a good partner and determination it will happen.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

Please keep everything steady for the moment any change of meds/supplements can distort the flow.

If you have problems keeping the diary as I did early on when I had cog fog, I used to set the alarm on my phone to remind me.

I also created and printed out a simple template for the day and just filled that in ( sometimes could not read my terrible scrawl afterwards:rolleyes:) but worked pretty well though.

Are you able to assess how you feel now to when you first posted on friday?

Have a good evening.

 

Sassenach

 

Thanks, @Sassenach, for your kind words and reminders.

I've felt both constantly tired and wired - and restless - for months. It's awful. Friday and today have been better; I've noticed that if I eat smaller portions and more slowly, I tend to do better. I'll keep that up.

I'll hold on the meds for now - all in the evening, but I'll hold. It's tough w/ the supplements b/c I just started the daytime mag, which seems to make things worse, so I can hold on the rest. When will I know if I can cut a supplement - or try to cut it - if I think it's making me more anxious/shaky/disregulated?

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Sassenach

Hi Alto is online now and I suspect you may get a visit at some point.

You can ask at any time we do not want you to feel ill.

But by agreeing things with the mods in advance they can keep track and analyse accordingly.

I hope this is making sense I am pretty tired and have cog fog.

Personally with my limited experience I wouild like to see you on less supplements but I do not understand your conditions and implications

I will check tomorrow morning and see if there is a comment from Alto.

Catch you tomorrow.

 

Sassenach

 

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Sassenach

Hi Northstar.

 

How are you feeling today?

Have you had the chance to read the info Alto sent you and if so does any of it resonate with you?

The only two supplements recommended by this site are Magnesium and Fish Oil, both of which you are taking.

Am I correct in thinking you believe you are not tolerating the magnesium well.

For the elimination diet to work everything else must stay the same, or we will not know what helps and what does not.

Supplements are just that and should not really be necessary with a good diet and healthy body.

I realise reality is not that simple but the  ethos is a good starting point.

If you feel you can toleate the magnesium you could start with Alto's suggestion for Histamine alergy.

I hate to repeat but we can only do one at a time along with daily notes to try and improve your situation.

Throughout this you will experience withdrawal symptoms because of all the drug changes your body has been subjected to.

It is going to be tough but you will get better and you have very goods reasons for doing so.

There is a serious amount of brain power on this site ( unfortunately not including me:rolleyes:)

We can and will help you because we have all been there and most of us are still recovering.

let me know which you want to begin with.

 

Sassenach

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NorthStar

Notes for July 

On 7/14/2019 at 11:12 AM, NorthStar said:

July 14

12am - can't sleep, but didn't panic or take anything else like I usually do!

12am - epsom salt bath w/ breathing

1/1:30am - fell asleep

Middle of night - woke up, tossed & turned

6:30am - woke w/ B; husband took him

6:30 - 9am - tossed + turned, avoided getting up, increasingly anxious

*racing heart, anxiety, grogginess this morning*

*feeling more grounded now after some breakfast + green tea* will post details tomorrow

9 or 10am? - apple cider vinegar + lemon + some kombucha in water to settle stomach

10:30am-12:30pm - breakfast (eggs, corn chips, smoothie - soy milk, chia seeds, 1/2 banana, blueberries, diluted green tea)

*at really slowly to see how I felt - first eggs (ok), then smoothie (I think okay); felt better doing so*

12:30pm - fish oil (700mg EPA + 240 DHA) and primrose oil (1000mg)

12:30pm - walk in sunshine

*feeling okay*

2-6pm - over at friends' - *vacillate btw restless/heart palpitations/akathisia and feeling more even-keel while there*

3?pm - late lunch (corn chips, salsa, some cheese, taco beef, cole slaw)

*feel worse - physically dysregulated*

7:15pm - grocery shopping *feeling better*

8pm - PLUMBING EMERGENCY; leak in bathroom into kitchen from husband's repair *irritable*

9:30pm - head to family's house to stay for night

*actually feeling okay, no very dysregulated*

10pm-12am - trying to but B back down, catch-up, calm down

11:30pm? - took ~270mg gabapentin, 0.5mg Klonopin

--> 1:30am - watch TV w/ blue-light-blocking glasses to calm down; go to sleep

*toss + turn much of night; anxiety; feeling warm*

7:00am - up w/ B *racing heart/dysregulation*

8/8:30 - 11am - able to go back to sleep for awhile!

*wake w/ racing heart, anxiety*

 

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2 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Northstar.

 

How are you feeling today?

Have you had the chance to read the info Alto sent you and if so does any of it resonate with you?

The only two supplements recommended by this site are Magnesium and Fish Oil, both of which you are taking.

Am I correct in thinking you believe you are not tolerating the magnesium well.

For the elimination diet to work everything else must stay the same, or we will not know what helps and what does not.

Supplements are just that and should not really be necessary with a good diet and healthy body.

I realise reality is not that simple but the  ethos is a good starting point.

If you feel you can toleate the magnesium you could start with Alto's suggestion for Histamine alergy.

I hate to repeat but we can only do one at a time along with daily notes to try and improve your situation.

Throughout this you will experience withdrawal symptoms because of all the drug changes your body has been subjected to.

It is going to be tough but you will get better and you have very goods reasons for doing so.

There is a serious amount of brain power on this site ( unfortunately not including me:rolleyes:)

We can and will help you because we have all been there and most of us are still recovering.

let me know which you want to begin with.

 

Sassenach

Hi, Sassenach!

- No, but I will! I've done elimination diets before (reason why I don't eat gluten and limit dairy now). I will do this FOR SURE; I just need to draft a plan and my mind feels all over the place; there are so many variables to keep stable right now and I just want to feel better.

- I hear you on the supplements. I'm taking less now than I was before a month ago (I was taking a lot during pregnancy and BFing, and just continued) - but still (probiotics most days + fish oil + primrose oil + magnesium + PRN salt tabs + vit D + melatonin w/ B6). RE: magnesium - until I changed brands recently, I didn't notice anything either way on the magnesium EXCEPT that is does keep me regular. In the last two weeks I changed from a store-brand glycinate to PURE glyncinate (due to heavy metal contamination w/ the store brand) and notice that I don't seem to be doing well with the PURE brand.

- Re: withdrawal; I'm sure I already am; I really felt it w/ some of the med trials - even after a few days' trial (especially w/ anafranil, risperidone, and lithium). While some super acute withdrawal symptoms dissipated, that akathisia, which I think first appeared with the small dose of Zoloft last summer and then the Prozac - went away - and then cam back and NEVER went away with the Seroquel, etc. in November - has been the most distressing symptom. I'm not sure if this constitutes "withdrawal" or a "footprint" - maybe it doesn't matter - but it's been awful. And I remain really angry that it wasn't caught, despite my symptomatology, until March. I had never heard of it before then.

- Thank you so much for your kind words. You give me and my family hope!

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NorthStar
5 minutes ago, NorthStar said:

While some super acute withdrawal symptoms dissipated, that akathisia, which I think first appeared with the small dose of Zoloft last summer and then the Prozac - went away - and then cam back and NEVER went away with the Seroquel, etc. in November - has been the most distressing symptom. I'm not sure if this constitutes "withdrawal" or a "footprint" - maybe it doesn't matter - but it's been awful. And I remain really angry that it wasn't caught, despite my symptomatology, until March. I had never heard of it before then.

And I should say, in terms of symptoms, the akathisia is so acute that it covers up the underlying significant depression/dysphoria, cognitive impairment, and exhaustion. And it's impossible to effectively explain to family and friends - especially when your pacing around/puttering around is being mistaken for "you seems to be feeling better!" 😑.

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NorthStar
23 hours ago, Altostrata said:

You may have histamine intolerance. Tomatoes and bananas are healthy foods but high histamine. Probiotics can set off symptoms, too. See

 

Elimination or exclusion diets for reactions to food (food intolerance)

 

Histamine intolerance

 

SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets

Interesting... 2 days in the last 4 or 5 days, I neglected to take my probiotics and I felt a bit better. No idea if it's related, but something to note. I think I might give this low-histamine diet a go. It's going to be TOUGH since the apple cider vinegar and kombucha help my stomach so much. But this seems like a really good place to start.

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