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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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