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drugged: multiple drugs

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drugged

I'm having an exceptionally bad pain day.  I did about 20 minutes of easy yoga yesterday and woke up this morning feeling like I'd been beaten with a baseball bat.  

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Rhiannon

I'm sorry...that happens to me too, sometimes. Makes it harder to exercise knowing you're going to hurt. This may improve though as you get further away from coming off the Buspar and your reductions in the ven.

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drugged

Since quitting the buspirone I've noticed what I call the "hamster in my head" symptom.  Think of a hamster running all out on their little wheel.  I notice it especially when I try to meditate (which I've been doing pretty regularly).  That's what my thoughts have been like.  This is a very different experience for me.  Ruminating and obsessing have been more problematic in general.    

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Rhiannon
On 11/10/2019 at 5:20 AM, drugged said:

I've been wondering about tardive dysphoria, lack of motivation, anhedonia, etc., and the effects of increasing or decreasing serotonin levels on the activity of other neurotransmitters.  

 

https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/30/reduced-dopaminergic-function-forgotten-factor-suicidality-associated-ssri

One thing to be aware of is that although the "science" on neurotransmitters can sound impressive, it's really impossible to study what's going on in the brain at the molecular level without disrupting it. Basically what they can do is give drugs to rats and then autopsy their brains and see what changed. I mean, they do try to study using electrical imaging kinds of things, but those are rough instruments that as far as I know can't distinguish at the level of actual adjacent neurons, not without disrupting what's happening there.  And there is no way that I know of to image in vivo the cellular changes induced by the drug use, other than on a fairly macroscopic level which doesn't really tell you much.

 

And all evidence indicates that neurotransmitters work together in complex ways throughout the nervous system and other body systems. Every neurotransmitter affects every other one. Our understanding of this , in the sense of "what we know versus what there is to know," is about equivalent to where our understanding of cosmology was back when people were just beginning to contemplate the idea that our sun might not be the center of the universe.

 

And there is NO science on what happens with long term use of even ONE neurotransmitter-function-altering psych med over the long term, so in our brains who have been taking even one drug, let alone a mix, let alone various changing mixes, over years-long time frames--what little IS considered "known" probably doesn't apply to us except in the most general sense.

 

And there is a ton of junk science and speculation in psychiatry, getting more dense the closer you get to the psychiatry-pharmaceutical industry interface. Most of what is in the general public arena is BS based more on marketing narratives than good science.

 

So basically all the neurotransmitter stuff is much more speculative than they would have you believe and vastly oversimplified. And it hasn't been studied at all in humans (or rats for that matter) on a mix of drugs over a period of time.  

 

I think that it might be sort of a diverting hobby but it is unlikely to provide any helpful or useful insight for tapering and withdrawal and recovery.  

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drugged

Just a thought.  I wasn't even applying it to myself or anyone in particular.  I've been reading as much of the basic science of neurotransmitters, brain function and behavior as I can manage to digest which is extremely difficult.  When I do have a thought it's nice to be able to share it in a "I wonder if" kind of way.  

 

I'll stay on my own thread.

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ShiningLight

So relate to the exercise problem!!! 😭 That's one of the thngs I hate the most right now.

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Rhiannon
20 hours ago, drugged said:

Just a thought.  I wasn't even applying it to myself or anyone in particular.  I've been reading as much of the basic science of neurotransmitters, brain function and behavior as I can manage to digest which is extremely difficult.  When I do have a thought it's nice to be able to share it in a "I wonder if" kind of way.  

 

I'll stay on my own thread.

 

I didn't mean to come across as critical of you. I think your inquisitiveness and intelligence are delightful.

 

I have seen so many brilliant, fascinating people brought down by these drugs. It's another aspect of the tragedy that we don't talk about as much as the actual human suffering--the minds, the creativity that we as a society have lost, because of this idea that we understand brain chemistry and it's mechanistic and simple and we can tweak it with drugs and that won't cause any harm.

 

Just be aware as you are educating yourself that the "basic science" is not what it seems. Most of what you read is spin, designed to reinforce and promote the selling of profitable drugs. 

 

Have you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker yet? I think you might like it. It's well-written and exhaustively researched.

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drugged

I didn't take it as being critical.  I try to stick with articles from Elsevier, Pubmed, BMJ, etc., but I can't always access full texts no longer being associated with a university.  

 

I read Whitaker's book and Glenmullen also.  Both were interesting reading, frightening, too, not just from a personal perspective but thinking of all the kids and young adults being medicated for situational depression and anxiety.  

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drugged

Called MD to get refills for tramadol and diazepam.  No problem with the tramadol but the script my doctor gave for the diazepam is for 2/3 of the daily dose I've taken for over 10 years and, given that script, the pharmacy only gave me half a months supply.  Getting off the diazepam is definitely on my to-do list but I had planned on tapering it after I finished my AD taper.  In the past, withdrawal from any AD, I've had horrible problems with akathisia, panic, anxiety, etc.  Anxiety has always been the major problem for me.   

 

I really don't know what to do.  Do I start tapering the benzo?

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drugged

Talked to doctor's office, again, and they assured me, again, that they would get my prescription for diazepam straightened out so that I was getting a full 30 day supply.  This is the second or third time I've heard that.  I like to point out whenever the opportunity arises that I was put on these other drugs to alleviate the difficult side effects of the venlafaxine.  I don't want to take any of these drugs.  I don't want them in my life.  Any of them.  What the doctors and nurses see, I suspect, is an addict, given my rejection of the 'good' antidepressants is favor of the 'bad' benzo.  I would cry if I could make tears.  

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drugged

I've been thinking back over the years I've been on psych drugs, looking at various health problems I've had that doctors never found an underlying reason for.  From reading here on the SA forums, I've learned of so many more effects that SS/SNRIs can have than are ever described in any of the drug info you get from the pharmacy, much less from a doctor.  Not only more side/adverse/withdrawal effects but I've learned how much more debilitating these can be when compared to the bland "mild and transitory" description you get in the info packet.  

 

2003 - 2004  I developed extremely itchy skin around my shoulders, upper arms, neck, and upper back.  The pruritus was so bad and I scratched so much trying to get relief that I gouged large holes in my skin.  Some of these were open wounds for months at a time.  I used gallons of aloe vera/lidocaine gel in an effort to gain even temporary reprieve.  My PCP ran a bunch of blood tests and sent me to several different dermatologists but I was told there was "nothing wrong" and I needed to stop scratching.  When this episode started I was taking 300 mg venlafaxine XR and 60 mg buspirone daily.  The pruritus lasted 2 or 3 years and it was toward the end of this time that I was put on the diazepam first, then the trazodone, and finally the zolpidem due to the itchiness preventing me from sleeping. Eventually the pruritis went away though my skin, in the same areas, is super sensitive to light touch.  I have literally hundreds of scars across my upper back, neck, and upper arms from this time.  Now I wonder if the antidepressant was involved.  Maybe in an interaction with the more intense sunlight I experienced after moving to AZ in late 2001.  I don't know but as no one could identify any allergies, there was never a rash or hives or any other symptom other than itchy skin ...

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Erell

Hi !

 

I think you can believe it was related To the meds : Ive read many times on SA that people can finally explain some health issues without any explanations, once they discover and understand withdrawal or how much meds are powerfull in our body. 

 

For example, since 3 years I have times while I have hard cramps in my knees, it can last several weeks and then suddenly stop.

I have done a lot of médical exams and doctors eventually told me it was only in my head as there was nothing wrong.

I have never thought about my AD !

Now that I have discovered SA, i'm pretty sure it is related To my med !

;)

 

Big hugs ❤

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drugged

@Erell exactly!  All the years I wanted to know what was wrong with my body and doctors had no answers.  I wish I had found this forum years ago.  I'll still have to go through the withdrawal but I don't have to be in the dark about what's happening to my brain and my body. 

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drugged

Still thinking about tapering the diazepam.  Maybe down to 10 mg then hold.  I keep worrying about this issue coming up over and over again where the script isn't what it's supposed to be.  The doctor's office says they gave the pharmacy the correct script and the pharmacy says they filled the script they got.  I feel very vulnerable to these people who don't know me or my medical history (don't want to know my history literally, they specifically said they didn't want my medical records from AZ).  

 

Then, too, maybe cutting the dose would ease the reluctance I have to leave the house and I could start getting out and about some.  

 

 

 

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drugged

I think I had a window yesterday.  For a few hours maybe.  That must sound funny but honest to God it is hard for me to recognize what might be a window.  I'm trying to learn to recognize them because for now it's not a situation where I actually feel good, but I do feel less rotten.  It's important though to recognize them as they give me a sense of hope.  

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Altostrata
On 11/10/2019 at 5:20 AM, drugged said:

I've been wondering about tardive dysphoria, lack of motivation, anhedonia, etc., and the effects of increasing or decreasing serotonin levels on the activity of other neurotransmitters.  

 

https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/30/reduced-dopaminergic-function-forgotten-factor-suicidality-associated-ssri

 

Congratulations on reducing your drug burden from 10 drugs to 8, and feeling a bit better for it.

 

Please note you are still taking 8 drugs, some having no effect on serotonin, 5 of which individually can cause lack of motivation, anhedonia, etc., and all of which in combination can be even more emotionally anesthetic. So you can stop right now researching about your dopamine and serotonin levels, they're not relevant to your drug situation (or, probably, anyone's), while your intake of anxiolytics and painkillers most certainly is.

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Rhiannon
8 hours ago, drugged said:

I think I had a window yesterday.  For a few hours maybe.  That must sound funny but honest to God it is hard for me to recognize what might be a window.  I'm trying to learn to recognize them because for now it's not a situation where I actually feel good, but I do feel less rotten.  It's important though to recognize them as they give me a sense of hope.  

No I totally get it and I think a lot of other people probably do too.

 

On 11/15/2019 at 11:07 AM, drugged said:

Still thinking about tapering the diazepam.  Maybe down to 10 mg then hold.  I keep worrying about this issue coming up over and over again where the script isn't what it's supposed to be.  The doctor's office says they gave the pharmacy the correct script and the pharmacy says they filled the script they got.  I feel very vulnerable to these people who don't know me or my medical history (don't want to know my history literally, they specifically said they didn't want my medical records from AZ).  

 

Then, too, maybe cutting the dose would ease the reluctance I have to leave the house and I could start getting out and about some.  

 

 

 

 

I really felt a sense of urgency about getting down on the diazepam for this reason, one of my refills the doctor just looked and saw I was on xanax and diaz both and refused the diaz, and I threw a very large fit and got it refilled, but I always felt so vulnerable to the docs and medical fashion where the benzos were concerned.

 

You're on what seems to me to be a fairly high dose of diazepam. It sounds like you're taking more than 10 mg, which is what I thought you were taking as a daily total, so if you're on even more, that seems like a lot to me. Not, like, be alarmed about it, just, I think you could probably afford to cut it back a bit and as long as you do it slowly enough I think you will find the reduction will be more beneficial than otherwise.

 

I have always done my diaz taper with a water suspension and it's worked fine, although you do have to make sure to keep it stirred up while you're measuring.

 

Congratulations on cutting out the zolpidem and buspirone! I would advise you to give it a month or two, or say until the end of the year, before you cut anything else out of the mix or reduce anything else. But as you know I have been giving the diazepam the side-eye for a while and I would support the idea of getting a little lower on that as a good next project.

 

I know you feel like the venlafaxine has been the root of a lot of your troubles but I really suspect that the other meds, and the frequent changes of meds and dosages, have been a larger percentage of the problem than you may realize. You've come down quite a bit on the ven this past year and I honestly think not only can you afford to hold on that (due to being on a lower dose now) but it might be best to give your CNS a little more time to adapt to the dose adjustments you've made, before cutting the ven further. 

 

BUT: I'm just over here on the Internet, you are IN your body. You need to do what your own body tells you is best.

 

Oops, gotta run! I've set myself a time limiter for my Internet time and it's about to kick me out! Hugs!

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drugged
13 hours ago, Rhiannon said:

No I totally get it and I think a lot of other people probably do too.

 

 

I really felt a sense of urgency about getting down on the diazepam for this reason, one of my refills the doctor just looked and saw I was on xanax and diaz both and refused the diaz, and I threw a very large fit and got it refilled, but I always felt so vulnerable to the docs and medical fashion where the benzos were concerned.

 

You're on what seems to me to be a fairly high dose of diazepam. It sounds like you're taking more than 10 mg, which is what I thought you were taking as a daily total, so if you're on even more, that seems like a lot to me. Not, like, be alarmed about it, just, I think you could probably afford to cut it back a bit and as long as you do it slowly enough I think you will find the reduction will be more beneficial than otherwise.

 

I have always done my diaz taper with a water suspension and it's worked fine, although you do have to make sure to keep it stirred up while you're measuring.

 

Congratulations on cutting out the zolpidem and buspirone! I would advise you to give it a month or two, or say until the end of the year, before you cut anything else out of the mix or reduce anything else. But as you know I have been giving the diazepam the side-eye for a while and I would support the idea of getting a little lower on that as a good next project.

 

I know you feel like the venlafaxine has been the root of a lot of your troubles but I really suspect that the other meds, and the frequent changes of meds and dosages, have been a larger percentage of the problem than you may realize. You've come down quite a bit on the ven this past year and I honestly think not only can you afford to hold on that (due to being on a lower dose now) but it might be best to give your CNS a little more time to adapt to the dose adjustments you've made, before cutting the ven further. 

 

BUT: I'm just over here on the Internet, you are IN your body. You need to do what your own body tells you is best.

 

Oops, gotta run! I've set myself a time limiter for my Internet time and it's about to kick me out! Hugs!

Thanks for the encouragement Rhi.  

10 mg is my daily limit of diazepam.  I meant to say I would taper down from there.  Sometimes I have a disconnect between my thoughts and my typing or speech.  

 

That said, I really am not looking to make any changes until after the 1st of the year.  

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drugged

Yesterday afternoon about 3:30-4 pm I felt fairly good until about 5:30 pm when my eyes started burning and feeling painful.  We'll be getting the humidifiers up and running today or tomorrow (had to order new filters).  That will keep my eyes more comfortable.  

 

Woke up halfway through the night with a throbbing headache and a stiff neck, a general feeling of illness.  Did go back to sleep after an hour-and-a-half.

 

This morning lots of neck and upper back pain + headache and malaise.   

 

It's pretty dark, gloomy, and chilly today.  We haven't re-acclimated to the cold and clouds.

I started a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup yesterday to have for dinner today.  Looking forward to having a bowl later.  

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drugged

I meant to mention that we are still looking at houses so there's the possibility that another move may pop up.  There's a part of me doesn't even want to look for fear of finding what we really want and then having to deal with the hassle of the move.  Then we have a day when I'm trying to meditate or do a relaxation exercise and the truck traffic is heavy and the rental folks are racing their engines outside the bedroom window and I feel panicky.  The noise just has such an overwhelming impact on my nervous system.    

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drugged

I have a general question about access to parts of this forum.  I will have an appointment with my GP in December and, given his skepticism about the hazards of AD use and AD withdrawal, I was thinking of references I could provide him that might help him get a glimmer of understanding (I'll recommend a couple of books but I doubt he'd take the time to read an entire book).  One of the things that struck me when I first saw him was that, when I mentioned online sources and forums, he made a dismissive comment about "those people."  

 

Okay, here's my question;  may I refer him specifically to this forum and if I may do that, which topics might be particularly pertinent to a skeptical MD?  

 

I'd especially like him to see that this forum is a highly respected source of information for researchers and clinicians around the world.  

 

 

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drugged

Yesterday overall was a decent day.  We looked at two houses; one had a kind of country-like location but the other house was much nicer.  Both were quiet though.  

 

Last night wasn't so good.  I woke up repeatedly throughout the night from pain in my ribs, upper arms, and neck.  Also had some GI upset.  Tried a guided relaxation and my muscles felt a bit better but I still couldn't sleep.  Last time I woke up about 2:30 I had some mild anxiety and restlessness so I gave in and got up.  

 

 

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Rhiannon

Hi D, I've set a limit on my Internet time (forums and social media) for a while because I have a lot of things I need to be doing, so I'm not around here as much. But I wanted to say hi. I'm sorry you're dealing with so much pain. 

 

I also find noise really aggravating. It was that way even before I ever took psych drugs, but withdrawal really makes it worse. 

 

If you do find yourself moving soon, please consider postponing any drug changes until a couple of months after the move at least. You have enough to deal with as it is!

 

Take care of yourself, thinking of you

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drugged
36 minutes ago, Rhiannon said:

Hi D, I've set a limit on my Internet time (forums and social media) for a while because I have a lot of things I need to be doing, so I'm not around here as much. But I wanted to say hi. I'm sorry you're dealing with so much pain. 

 

I also find noise really aggravating. It was that way even before I ever took psych drugs, but withdrawal really makes it worse. 

 

If you do find yourself moving soon, please consider postponing any drug changes until a couple of months after the move at least. You have enough to deal with as it is!

 

Take care of yourself, thinking of you

Not likely to do much of anything other than cook, bake, and gain weight until after the holidays are over.  

 

Hope your doing well.

Hugs

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drugged

Before SS/SNRIs

 

My history with psychiatric drugs actually goes back to when I was 16 years old.  My family was abusive, mother an alcoholic, father a pedophile, and very neglectful when not abusive.  Anyway, I tried seeking mental health care on my own and ended up hospitalized in a psychiatric ward, first stay was for 3 months.  Psychiatrist put me on a TCA, a neuroleptic, and a sleeping med before he even saw me.  I had a severe adverse reaction to one of them, who knows which one, but I was left on the drugs for 2 or 3 weeks because 'the side effects will go away."  Some of the initial side effects were akathisia, severe anxiety, complete inability to empty my bladder, etc.  At some point I was put on a different combination of drugs because the side effects did not go away.  I had a severe adverse reaction to the second set of drugs and the third, fourth ... 

 

This was the pattern that the next 18 months followed.  Sometimes I was extremely agitated and hostile, other times I was virtually catatonic.  I became suicidal and started self-harming.  At one point my BP was 60/0.  At other times I had to be catheterized to empty my bladder and I had a continual bladder infection the entire 18 months.  The psychiatrist also sexually abused me.  He did this to most of his female patients it turned out and years later (after he had retired) was asked to voluntarily relinquish his license to practice.  

 

I don't remember/wasn't told what drugs I was on most of that time.  When I did ask I was usually told I didn't need to know.  I do know that the ADs were all TCAs, this being the 70's and from part of a conversation I have a vague memory of that was about not putting me on MAOIs.  ECT was brought up several times but never happened.  The very last drug I was on was lithium.  While still on that, I left home, left the psychiatric system, and enrolled in university in another city.  I CT'ed the lithium and refused all psych meds of any kind for the next ~20 years. 

 

When the situation arose in my late 30's in which I ended up on venlafaxine, I told that psychiatrist about the bad reactions I had had to TCAs but was told not to worry because these 'new' drugs didn't have those kinds of side effects.  Unfortunately, I was in a bad enough place emotionally; newly married, my father in a coma with an expectation I'd have to decide whether or not to pull the plug, my mother-in-law dying suddenly, losing a job (I took time off due to my father being hospitalized on the other side of the state), moving house ... all within 3 months, that I didn't question him and took the prescription.  I did have an adverse reaction, I became hypomanic almost immediately but, given my situation, it was actually seen as me responding to the drugs positively.  

 

I don't like to think about or talk about that time in my life, partly because of all I lost then and partly because my memory is so hazy but now I'm wondering all those drugs I was put on and taken off of so cavalierly.  I guess I'm primarily wondering if the earlier encounters with TCAs and neuroleptics could impact the course of the withdrawal from my current cocktail?  I understand there's no definite answers in this just looking for more knowledgeable thoughts than my own which I realize aren't very knowledgeable.   

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drugged

I had several days of feeling somewhat better; less muscle pain, minimal IBS symptoms, less lethargic, my brain felt a little less foggy but I noticed my concentration was still poor.  That 'window' closed yesterday afternoon, probably due to a situational setback in my life.  It wasn't anything major but little things seem to knock my legs right out from under me.  I ended up crawling into bed with a book and my cat and hiding out from mid-afternoon on.  I have a small humidifier going in there for my eyes and sinuses, it also creates some white noise.  Compared to what others here are going through my ordeal seems fairly minor.

 

I was reading here about limbic system retraining programs and am seriously considering trying Gupta's program @Rhiannon thoughts?  I did wonder if it would be useful with my central nervous system in the difficult process of remodeling itself and it occurred to me that this might be an optimal time.  I wouldn't have access to all the components of the program throughout the rest of my taper(s) but I'd have some things that I could go back to over and over again.  More importantly I'd have the basics in place before I get to the point where the AD taper can be really nasty.  The other time I tried to taper of venlafaxine I was okay until I dropped below 25 mg.  I know now that that entire taper was too fast even though I went a lot slower than my psychiatrist suggested (from 300 mg to 0 mg in a month).  I spent several months at it but I don't remember the details.  

 

Like so many others here on the forum I find myself returning to the question of how in the world did any of the psych drugs, going back to the very first, ever get FDA approval and why haven't they had that approval revoked.  I know the influence of the pharmaceutical companies and the for-profit health care system prevent this from happening easily but I continue to be surprised that there's not more outrage about these drugs in this country.  

 

Still holding all drugs until the 1st of the New Year.

 

 

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drugged

Woke up this morning feeling drugged (can't imagine why that would be 🙄).  Obviously, I am heavily drugged.  Trying to get up felt like dragging a large slab of concrete out of a deep hole.  Even now, three hours later, I feel exhausted.  I also woke up feeling quite chilled and shivery.  During the night I woke up twice feeling hot and sweaty.  I get these periods when I swing between the two extremes to the point of even having a low grade fever.  Excess sweating started as a side effect but continues along with heat and cold intolerance in withdrawal.  Early mornings used to be the best time of the day for me.  Another joy lost to psych drugs.  

 

Woke with muscle pain and stiffness (7) in neck and arms primarily.  After morning tramadol, it's about a 3-4 in my neck and a 5 in my forearms, wrists, and hands.  

 

During the waves the only thing I really look forward to is going to bed in the evening.  I do not like any of the drugs I take.  They've stolen half of my life from me.  Should I be fortunate enough to get off them I won't ever touch psych drugs again, if I have a choice.  That said, at this point in time, I do welcome the comfort of knowing that, at the end of the day I can shut off the misery for a few hours.  If that makes me a junkie so be it.  

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intothewoods
11 hours ago, drugged said:

Woke up this morning feeling drugged (can't imagine why that would be 🙄). 

 

I have laughed and laughed out loud at this. I mean, I am beyond grieved and  sorry for your situation, yet it is also mine. So it was like reading my crazy non-life of mega-druggism (check my signature 😳) with all the subtleties and nuances with a comedic spin. You write with wit. I am writing about this drug atrocity as a lifelong hard news journalist, as fast as I can in this predicament. 

 

Yes, nights are what we look forward to from the moment we awake. Just for now. We'll escape these poisons with perseverance and patience - - and your sense of humor to boot. 

 

So glad @Rhiannon is helping you. She's Uber cool 😎

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intothewoods
13 hours ago, drugged said:

If that makes me a junkie so be it.  

 

I forgot say this most surely does not make you a junkie. Only a human looking for a silver lining amid cruel sabotage.

 

And, as we gradually get lower on the doses, we'll begin to embrace the days and look forward to not-so-drugged nights. 

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drugged

@intothewoods Thanks!  Dark humor is one of my defense mechanisms.  Seriously, I'd really be lost without it.  

 

Looking at your backstory, wow.  I see you got the Chronic Fatigue sticker close to the same time I was 'diagnosed' with fibromyalgia/chronic myofascial pain syndrome.  I suppose I was lucky in the sense that I had one primary doctor (a good one) and one psychiatrist (typical drug pusher) for 17 years which helped prevent the constant switching from one drug to another to another.  I have to laugh about your comment "in search of the 'perfect therapeutic combo."  Why does it never occur to MDs that the "perfect" therapeutic solution might be to stop the original drug?  

 

Back when (1995 - 96) I was diagnosed with PTSD, I had brief encounters with Paxil, Prozac, and another AD which I don't remember before landing on Effexor, which I'm still on.  All of the ADs caused an increase in anxiety and worsened my sleep to one degree or another.  Given a lifelong history of struggling with anxiety and insomnia you wonder why in the world would any medical professional think that any drug that made those worse was somehow therapeutic.  But I forget, those 'side' effects are only transitory or so I was assured.  Just be patient, it takes awhile for the drug's beneficial effects to kick in, as doctors like to say.  I waited for years but just got sicker and sicker ...  Now I'm here and I can see a possible way out, I have a fairly clear plan but I'm afraid my new doctor/pharmacy is going to screw that up by forcing me to cut the benzo before the other drugs.

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drugged

I think I need to start tapering my diazepam as soon as possible.  Since moving back to this area last spring I have had continual problems getting this script filled in its entirety.  I'll be talking to the pharmacist again today but I'm not optimistic.  Honestly, this scares the sh*t out of me.  I've had problems with anxiety and insomnia since I was a small child and my plan was to leave the benzo alone until I had tapered off most of the other drugs then taper the benzo in order to have something to help with the anxiety and insomnia I know I'll have to deal with. The WD is enough all by itself.  Aaaaaaarrgh!  I would never have ever taken any benzo in the first place if it hadn't been for the SNRI.  I would scream but that would upset my elderly cat.

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drugged

In other news this morning;  sleep last night was interrupted several times by waking up and going to the bathroom,  last time was 2 am and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up.  Some anxiety, very irritable this morning.  I think this is due to the hassle over the prescription more than anything.  Feelings of discomfort in stomach and intestines, I can't find the words to describe this better.  Lots of self-recrimination, wishing we hadn't left Arizona and my doctor there, my PCP, not the psychiatrist.  He was supportive of my tapering plan and willing to educate himself on AD withdrawal.  

 

My spouse and I decided to put any plans to move on hold until spring.  We both need to recover from the stress of moving twice in one year and leaving our home and friends in AZ.  

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drugged

Does not look like the current doctor is giving the pharmacy the script for the benzo that I was told he sent them.  The script the pharmacy has says take 2 - 5 mg tablets at bedtime with a maximum of 30 tablets.

 

I was told it would stay as it had been; 2 at bedtime & 1 during the day as needed, 90 tabs per month.

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Rhiannon
On 11/21/2019 at 5:45 AM, drugged said:

I had several days of feeling somewhat better; less muscle pain, minimal IBS symptoms, less lethargic, my brain felt a little less foggy but I noticed my concentration was still poor.  That 'window' closed yesterday afternoon, probably due to a situational setback in my life.  It wasn't anything major but little things seem to knock my legs right out from under me.  I ended up crawling into bed with a book and my cat and hiding out from mid-afternoon on.  I have a small humidifier going in there for my eyes and sinuses, it also creates some white noise.  Compared to what others here are going through my ordeal seems fairly minor.

 

I was reading here about limbic system retraining programs and am seriously considering trying Gupta's program @Rhiannon thoughts?  I did wonder if it would be useful with my central nervous system in the difficult process of remodeling itself and it occurred to me that this might be an optimal time.  I wouldn't have access to all the components of the program throughout the rest of my taper(s) but I'd have some things that I could go back to over and over again.  More importantly I'd have the basics in place before I get to the point where the AD taper can be really nasty.  The other time I tried to taper of venlafaxine I was okay until I dropped below 25 mg.  I know now that that entire taper was too fast even though I went a lot slower than my psychiatrist suggested (from 300 mg to 0 mg in a month).  I spent several months at it but I don't remember the details.  

 

Like so many others here on the forum I find myself returning to the question of how in the world did any of the psych drugs, going back to the very first, ever get FDA approval and why haven't they had that approval revoked.  I know the influence of the pharmaceutical companies and the for-profit health care system prevent this from happening easily but I continue to be surprised that there's not more outrage about these drugs in this country.  

 

Still holding all drugs until the 1st of the New Year.

 

 

I have used Gupta's tools. I think they've been really valuable to me. Have helped me decrease my sensitivity to volatile organic chemicals. There are things I picked up from the Gupta system that I have added to my everyday life toolbox. That said, I never did it 100% like he says. But I do think there is something to the limbic system retraining stuff and I think it applies in withdrawal, at some stages. I think during withdrawal there is a lot of biochemical chaos and neuroplastic processes being engaged in ways that are not necessarily organized the way evolution designed them, because the whole situation with what these drugs create biochemically is nothing that evolution ever encountered. Anyway, with all that neuroplastic stuff happening, genes being turned on and off, connections growing, etc. I think it's likely that in that traumatized state we set up circuits that may not be helpful to us. I mean, this is all absolutely speculation on my part, but I do try to work with my own system, using Gupta's ideas plus stuff I've learned in my lifetime in therapy, plus EMDR stuff, just a zillion tools I've picked up along the way.

 

It could be pointless but it's something positive to shoot for and we do know that neurons that fire together wire together. So why not.

 

Answer to FDA approval question however is that the FDA has LONG been very much in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it really took off during late Reagan admin but who knows, probably they were never THAT far apart. FDA will pretty much only not approve something if it actually kills you within a fairly short period of time. Drugs get approved after short term testing all the time.

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Rhiannon
2 hours ago, drugged said:

Does not look like the current doctor is giving the pharmacy the script for the benzo that I was told he sent them.  The script the pharmacy has says take 2 - 5 mg tablets at bedtime with a maximum of 30 tablets.

 

I was told it would stay as it had been; 2 at bedtime & 1 during the day as needed, 90 tabs per month.

 

I don't know if it will help but if possible tell him that you have had bad experiences in the past with benzo withdrawal and cutting you off will put you in the hospital and possibly make you suicidal. Ask him to give you a more reasonable quantity to taper with over a number of months, rather than just cutting you down dramatically all at once, because that is not safe for you. Let him know that you share his concerns about benzos and you want to cooperate in reducing your dose, you just know from experience that a fast taper is not safe for you. 

 

That might help persuade him to let you have a slower taper. "Slower taper" is something he might be able to hear and cooperate with.

 

Then once you have the scrip in hand start doctor shopping and see if you can find someone anywhere who will let you taper off over a more reasonable even longer length of time, like a year.  You will need longer but that will buy you some time to find a benzo wise doctor somewhere.

 

I was concerned about this. There are fashions and trends in medicine and right now "benzos are bad for old people" is a popular one. Doctors will just cut you off if they think that's best. It's another reason to prioritize tapering benzos. Doctors are much less likely to cut you off of other kinds of meds. Opiates and benzos are the devils of the day.

 

Anyway see if you can persuade him to give you a little more time to taper off, I think there is actually quite a bit of literature about the potential dangers of benzo withdrawal, more than for ADs. If you can buy time with a scrip for a few more months then you can shop for a doctor who knows more about benzos and how dangerous it is to just cut people off of them. 

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