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Len189

Len189: I messed up

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Len189
Posted (edited)

Hi

 

I was on Paxil for about 1 year and came off 5 years ago and suffered protracted withdrawal that lasted years. Swore I would never touch ADs again.

 

So I fell into a depressive episode recently, as I do quite often, and being the stupid person that I am, I let myself convince by my doctor to try Venlafaxine XR 37,5 mg. A lot of factors contributed to my stupid decision, despite having dealt with severely protracted withdrawal in the past. For example, I told myself that maybe I had healed so much at this point that now I would tolerate an AD again. I initially tolerated Paxil well back in the day and I think it helped me somewhat with my anxiety and recurring depressions. It was the withdrawal that was a complete disaster. Also, the doctor spoke highly of the drug and said it was a super-low dose and I thought maybe the extended release of Venlafaxine would help me tolerate it better. Nope. Woke up with a burning head and nerves and very agitated and I have been dealing with the reaction ever since. It was 6 weeks ago and my brain/body still feels "electrical" and sore, and I get the burning sensation in my brain body nerves sometimes as well. Also Im dizzy a lot of the time and have akathisia in my body. I do have some windows where I feel okay-ish but recently I have been in a bad wave.

 

I know I messed up, I regret it so badly. Should never have touched a SNRI. I was desperate and depressive at the time and did not think clearly/critically. It was almost as if I had forgotten how bad these kinds of meds had made me feel in the past and then I just hoped for the best. I blame myself so much for this mess. Now I can only hope my brain can recover relatively quickly since I only took 1 pill, but I know adverse reactions can last for a long time... How could I be so dumb...

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reworded obscenity

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Altostrata

Welcome, Len.

 

I am sorry you reacted badly to the venlafaxine. What symptoms did you want to address with it?

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Len189

My recurring depressive episodes primarily, as well as anxiety issues. Despite my previous horrendous experiences, I felt pressure from people around me (and myself, frankly) to give it a shot because of, among other things, my inablity to hold down a job for long due to depression/anxiety. Also, I constantly hear from people in real-life self-help groups that they switch meds like it´s no big thing, if the side effects are not to their liking, and then they find something that helps them. Maybe I convinced myself that it was the tapering that went wrong the last time, and that as long as I would taper properly when the time comes, this med could help me.

 

I'm just struggling a lot with acceptance and forgiveness for myself at the moment. I feel I really should have known better, not taken the chance and not put myself through this mess. Obviously I feel a lot worse now compared to the depressive period that led to me taking Venlafaxine, because of all the physical sensations. My ability to take long walks, which used to have a therapeutic effect, is compromised at the moment, because of brain fog and because it ramps up the akathasia. My central nervous system feels electric. I don't feel like seeing anyone in this state and have suicidal ideation a lot of the time.

 

Obviously, if I had a time frame it would be easier to deal with but of course no one can give me that. Some days I feel like the worst is over and that I will see a lot of progress soon, and other days it feels like it can continue for years. It seems like I had worse waves but also better windows in the first few weeks and now the waves are more manageable but I also don't really feel well most of the time. I can only hope that the fact that I only took one pill, and did not put my CNS through further stress, will help with the recovery. Then again, Venlafaxine seems to be a more potent drug than Paxil from my understanding, because it´s a SNRI, so that´s quite scary to think about.

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Len189
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  Cold water / ice / cold compression on head to help with brain sensitivity / soreness?

 

This is just a loose idea, but I remember a person once talked about cold showers helping him with symptoms from AD withdrawal. Does anyone have experience with this or using cold compression or ice etc to relieve symptoms? I will carefully try to experiment a bit with this myself.

 

My line of thinking goes that since the brain receptors/neurons have become hyper-sensitive due to withdrawal or adverse reactions, maybe cooling the top of your head/brain (maybe entire body?) can help soothe or numb the brain a tiny bit, and thus lower excessive electrical activity / firing of neurons. Basically force the receptors to calm down a bit by cooling them. I like to think of it a bit like the athletes you hear about, that use ice baths after strenous exercise to reduce muscle pain and soreness (and maybe recover faster). Well, my brain feels really sore and like it´s burning some the time, so maybe this could help? Or is it a crazy idea, maybe even counter-productive?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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ChessieCat

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ShiningLight
7 hours ago, Len189 said:

I'm just struggling a lot with acceptance and forgiveness for myself at the moment. I feel I really should have known better, not taken the chance and not put myself through this mess.

 

🛑 Stop beating yourself up, ok? 🛑

 

These doctors can be so seductive in their confidence. And of course it would be wonderful if what they say is true, these drugs only help, it won't hurt, blah blah blah.

 

It's very easy to make that mistake. I made a similar mistake going on klonopin due to horrendous gabapentin withdrawal. You were just trying to help yourself and you were desperate. Hang in there, your reaction will get better over time!

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Len189

Thanks so much ShiningLight, I try to heed your words. You're absolutely right about the doctors. Even though I really did know better, I forgive myself for the decision. That my critical thinking and carefulness were so absent during a period of crisis is what frightens me most. But it happens, I guess.

 

So sorry to hear about your experiences with klonopin and gabapentin. My mom is prescribed gabapentin due to hydrocephalus symptoms. I will try to make sure she handles the tapering carefully if she ever decides to come off.

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Len189

I don't know what to do. The akathisia is killing me. It feels like every part of my brain and body is aching, pulsating and twitching and I don't know how to endure it much longer. I'm only almost 8 weeks out, so I'm potentially a long way from being through the acute phase. It doesn't seem to get better at the moment, on the contrary.

 

Is it worth it to try benzos just to get some relief when the akathisia is at it's worst? Or what else can I do? Protracted withdrawal never felt as bad as this adverse reaction...

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KMart95

When I was suffering the worst of it several months ago I had a lot of relief with 80mg lavender capsules. They are very calming and studies have shown they work as well as antidepressants. Magnesium also works well for many people. Of course, do your own research first. I am not a moderator, but if you don't want to add more drugs these have been helpful in my case. 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/

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Len189

Thank you KMart95, I might consider giving them a shot if I dare try it. The lack of universal remedies that works for everybody in this situation feels like pure, psychological terror for me. It's all a gamble.

 

I feel absolutely desparate and hopeless at the moment. Im broken down and unsure I can make it through. Had one of the worst nights in my life. The akathisia and burning head and body are just horrific and makes it almost impossible to rest. Don't know how to endure it without any timeline.

 

And of course I can't stop blaming myself so badly because I should have known better before swallowing the pill. I forgot about the potential severity of adverse reactions and thought that protracted withdrawal is the main thing to look out for. And since it was an SNRI, and not just an SSRI I took, I fear I have inflicted even more damage on myself than otherwise.

 

I have never been religious but I feel like I need divine intervention to get through this. Lord help me...

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ShiningLight

Hang in there. Sounds like your body is in shock and not in the mood for psychotropics. Are you still having little windows? Are you keeping a journal so you can observe for improvements and patterns?

 

In my situation, I regretted going on klonopin in the effort to ease the gaba withdrawals. It made me feel like a zombie and caused me a ton of extra anxiety because I was going to become dependent and have one more thing to taper. So I had to hold the gaba taper and attempt to fast taper the klonopin. It really scared me and added to my overall stress.

 

Don't forget, your adverse reaction came on suddenly. It's possible that it can improve or stop suddenly too. Try not to let the fear get the best of you.

 

 

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Len189

Thank you ShiningLight. I still have some windows, otherwise I don't think I would be here anymore. I'm keeping a journal but struggle with finding patterns. This wave I'm in right now might be the worst one yet, so I'm very afraid the worst has yet to come. Have a hard time fathoming the extent of this injury.

 

I really don't want to try benzos or other psychotropics and will do my best to stay away. But I feel completely trapped in my damaged brain, it's unbearable. I will try not to let fear consume me, but I just want it all to dissapear at the moment.

 

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ShiningLight
17 hours ago, Len189 said:

 

I really don't want to try benzos or other psychotropics and will do my best to stay away. But I feel completely trapped in my damaged brain, it's unbearable. I will try not to let fear consume me, but I just want it all to dissapear at the moment.

 

 

It's really awful, isn't it. I have been lucky to be pretty stable recently, but even with the symptoms that I have, I find myself wanting an escape. Because it feels like it just goes on and on and on. I think the key is trying to stay in the moment rather than think about how it might be at some point in the future, torturing yourself by imagining that it's going to get worse instead of better, etc.

 

Is it hope born of desperation to think other psychotropics would help when you had such a dramatic reaction to this one? It seems like that could just make everything worse.

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Len189

Glad to hear that you have found stability recently. I also had a decent evening and night, which I'm thankful for.

 

Yeah, hope born of desperation describes it well, I think. If I'm feeling really suicidal and can't stand it a moment longer, then I might feel forced to try something. But I really dont want to. I have read here that some use a benzo or betablocker once in a while to get through the worst without becoming dependent.

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ShiningLight
On 8/31/2019 at 12:27 AM, Len189 said:

 I also had a decent evening and night, which I'm thankful for.

 

 

That's awesome! I am sending hope that those will increase and multiply.

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Len189

Thank you so much!

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ShiningLight

One positive thing about your situation, as awful as it is...is that you don't have to go through multiple dose reductions and wonder if the shoe is going to drop after each one. You are waiting out a horrible adverse reaction. The path forward is clear and you are going to get through this! 

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Len189

You're right about that, thank you for your encouragement. Hope you are doing okay.

 

On the other hand, there is nothing I can really do to improve my situaton, no reinstatement, return to last stable dose or updosing. But I will try to focus on the positive aspect you mention. Also, despite a whole lot of symptoms and despair, I have been feeling like it's bearable these past days. I try to remind myself that one pill may have caused a tremendous shock to my CNS, but it probably hasn't made long-term changes as prolonged use tend to do. I dread the next wave, but hopefully the next one will be just a bit less horrible. Haven't felt intense akathisia for some days. Hope that symptom is gone. 

 

I have also learned some things I think are helping, like eating in smaller portions and more often. Seems my hypersensitive brain really doesn't like my blood sugar dropping but it also really doesn't like digesting a lot of food at one time (too many neurotransmitters released from stomach, I presume). Maybe TMI but using the toilet can also cause a lot of discomfort in my brain, but not much to do about that one!

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Len189

Had hoped the akathisia was close to gone, but I'm having another one of those horrible nights where I can't get any rest because of a buzzing/burning body. Is it really possible that a brisk walk sparked the akathisia? Or maybe it would have appeared anyway.

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ChessieCat

The best thing to do is to keep daily notes on paper about what you do, eat/drink and when you take and drugs/supplements so you can check to see if there is something causing an increase in symptoms.  We need to be our own detectives.

 

exercise-do-more-do-less-do-nothing-what-worked-for-you

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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Len189

Yep, I try to keep daily notes. It can just be very hard to find patterns. One thing that triggers my CNS one day might not do it the next. 

 

I was wondering how you would differentiate between an adverse reaction and kindling in my case? Is it a form of kindling of the original Paxil injury or a new one created by Venlafaxine?

 

Have you heard of any cases similar to mine? A person that more or less recovers from protracted withdrawal and then has an adverse reaction from a different drug years later? I feel so lonely in making this horrendous decision because I can't even claim ignorance. Feel like I can't trust myself the least bit anymore when I can be pressured to do something so self-destructive when depressed and desperate. I guess I'm a hazard to myself as that song goes.

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Hamster
On 8/25/2019 at 3:57 PM, Len189 said:

Topic title:  Cold water / ice / cold compression on head to help with brain sensitivity / soreness?

 

This is just a loose idea, but I remember a person once talked about cold showers helping him with symptoms from AD withdrawal. Does anyone have experience with this or using cold compression or ice etc to relieve symptoms? I will carefully try to experiment a bit with this myself.

 

 

Hi Len,

 

sorry to hear that you suffer badly from just one pill. Don't blame yourself too much (easier said than done, I know that). You felt pressure from your environment, you therefore gave it a try and it didn't work.

Bad enough, but it will not become any better thinking about "mistakes" you may have made.

 

I did something similar: I tried switching from mirtazapine / citalopram to mirtazapine / venlafaxine and stopped after the first pill. Not too much harm done in my case, luckily.

 

As you asked: During my extremely bad morning lows I once or twice tried to take a freezing cold shower. It somewhat worked, but I didn't continue with it. 

When I remember correctly the idea behind was to overwhelm your body with strong sensations (freezing in this case) to stop neuro emotions or ruminating.

 

If you don't mind cold showers give it a try ...

 

Best wishes

 

Hamster  

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Len189

Thank you Hamster. I know I ruminate excessively. It's just so difficult to comprehend how much worse everything became after one pill. Head symptoms, body symptoms, psychological symptoms. Just massive discomfort. I want to stop thinking about it, but my mind constantly returns to the subject. If only I had opened the capsule and removed three quarters of its content...

 

Im so glad the switch didn't provide problems for you!

 

The cold showers provide some relief and distraction for me when Im aching. However, Im not sure if its actually too stimulating in the long run and I should use hot showers to relax my CNS instead.

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ChessieCat
9 hours ago, Len189 said:

Have you heard of any cases similar to mine? A person that more or less recovers from protracted withdrawal and then has an adverse reaction from a different drug years later?

 

The effect of taking psychiatric drugs and experiencing withdrawal has a cumulative effect.  Some members can go on and off and on and off the same drug several times and do it with no problems and then the next time they go back on it they have issues.

 

And no two cases are the same so it is very difficult to compare.  There are many variables.

 

Check out this topic:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

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ShiningLight
On 09/02/2019 at 10:03 AM, Len189 said:

You're right about that, thank you for your encouragement. Hope you are doing okay.

 

On the other hand, there is nothing I can really do to improve my situaton, no reinstatement, return to last stable dose or updosing. But I will try to focus on the positive aspect you mention. Also, despite a whole lot of symptoms and despair, I have been feeling like it's bearable these past days. I try to remind myself that one pill may have caused a tremendous shock to my CNS, but it probably hasn't made long-term changes as prolonged use tend to do. I dread the next wave, but hopefully the next one will be just a bit less horrible. Haven't felt intense akathisia for some days. Hope that symptom is gone. 

 

I have also learned some things I think are helping, like eating in smaller portions and more often. Seems my hypersensitive brain really doesn't like my blood sugar dropping but it also really doesn't like digesting a lot of food at one time (too many neurotransmitters released from stomach, I presume). Maybe TMI but using the toilet can also cause a lot of discomfort in my brain, but not much to do about that one!

A lot of wisdom in this. You sound more positive and you are coping better. You are coming up for air now and again. Great sign!!!

 

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ShiningLight

Someone else posted this and I really liked it. Here is some 🧯 for rumination:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vx8iUvfyCY

 

It's interesting that when I ruminate, I usually think about it as feeling anxious and I don't describe it with the word rumination. But that's what it is.

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Len189
On 9/4/2019 at 5:49 AM, ShiningLight said:

A lot of wisdom in this. You sound more positive and you are coping better. You are coming up for air now and again. Great sign!!!

 

 

Thank you ShiningLight. I really try to hang on, even when it feels hopeless and the self-blaming begins.

 

Thanks for the link about rumination, I will definitely give that one a listen!

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ShiningLight

How are you doing Len? What did you think about the video? I go to sleep to it every night.

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Len189

I am still having a hard time with a lot of symptoms but for better or worse I'm becoming accustomed to my new, damaged self. Feeling less panicky, more just defeated. Main symptoms are probably akathisia/electrical feeling in body that varies in intensity and a lot of head symptoms. My head feels very sore, sensitive, like it´s burning and like receptors are firing like crazy. The sensations are disturbing. I'm at least thankful that I have managed so far without introducing other drugs. Still struggling with acceptance that I poisoned myself and that one pill was enough to dramatically damage me.

 

I enjoyed the video, thank you. I tend to want to distract myself with tv series and youtube most of the time but find that meditation can be very helpful throughout the day, even though the bodily discomfort also becomes very noticeable.

 

 

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ShiningLight
18 hours ago, Len189 said:

I am still having a hard time with a lot of symptoms but for better or worse I'm becoming accustomed to my new, damaged self. Feeling less panicky, more just defeated. 

 

 

 

Your new damaged self is not permanent! I don't think it's even truly damaged, just confused.

 

The symptoms are the brain's way of adjusting. It's like, 'Ok...how much energy do I need for life? Oh, that's too much there, that's akisthesia. Let me try it this way. 0h, that's it! Wonderful! Ugh, that took too much energy, I'm gonna crash for a bit. What? Time to wake up? Well let's git 'er goin'! Whoops, too much again!"

 

Maybe acceptance for you will come after feeling defeated? From my own experience, I didn't see it so much as defeat, but like a sort of dumb acceptance, if that word combination makes any sense. Or like a submitting of myself to this process.

 

I think it's a good sign that you don't feel as panicky. Your brain is learning that as rotten as this is, it's not an emergency. You're gonna make it, Len. Movement like this is a good sign.

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Len189

Thank you ShiningLight. I like your way of describing the body's reactions :) Almost like the brain is a drunk captain of the ship, making all kinds of erratic decisions until it sobers up and reins itself in. It´s light-hearted and comical and I will try to think of it like that moving forward, instead of just gloom and terror a lot of the time.

 

Yeah, submitting myself to the process/dumb acceptance, I guess I'm slowly getting to a point where that describes what I´m doing/feeling. I guess I am seeing some tiny slivers of progress, but it's almost like I won´t accept it, because I wanted more progress at this point. So thanks again for pointing it out. Sometimes we can´t see it ourselves. Hope you are feeling well or at least okay!

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ShiningLight
19 hours ago, Len189 said:

Almost like the brain is a drunk captain of the ship, making all kinds of erratic decisions until it sobers up and reins itself in. It´s light-hearted and comical and I will try to think of it like that moving forward, instead of just gloom and terror a lot of the time.

 

Yeah, submitting myself to the process/dumb acceptance, I guess I'm slowly getting to a point where that describes what I´m doing/feeling. I guess I am seeing some tiny slivers of progress, but it's almost like I won´t accept it, because I wanted more progress at this point. So thanks again for pointing it out. Sometimes we can´t see it ourselves. Hope you are feeling well or at least okay!

 

:lol: re drunk captain!!! 

 

That's fantastic re changing the way you are related to this!!! By doing that you're also taking away the stress of fighting the symptoms, which further aids the healing process. You're reversing the negative momentum nd approaching the snowball of healing! Good for you! You're gonna get there!!!

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ShiningLight

Hey Len! How ya holdin up? Thinking of you.

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