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Do We "Hang On" to Anxiety/Depression?


mstimc

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  • Mentor

This is a question I've often asked myself and shared with my therapist.  I'd like to know what the folks here think.  In some ways, do we "hang on" to our behavioral issues, be they anxiety, OCD or depression?  My anxiety/OCD was a beast, but it was a known beast.   There was a point where I expected to wake up with anxious thoughts, and early in my recovery process I was worried about the person I'd be without anxiety.  I once heard a Chinese proverb about change.  Change is like a man hanging onto a rock in the middle of a swift river.  He's cold, wet and miserable, but he's afraid of letting go of the rock and being swept downriver into the unknown.  Do we get so accustomed to living with our condition that the thought of living without it generates even more anxiety and fear?

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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This is a question I started asking myself more frequently.. especially now with the New Year. I can definitely say my wd nightmare is over but I still have my anxiety disorder. I hate it, obviously, but I also feel like I wouldn't know how to live without it. It's like being scared of being happy because something bad may happen, so it's just easier to stay anxious... If I may ask, what did your therapist say? Did he offer you any good advice, and would you be willing to share it?

CD off meds in July 2015, not on any medication since. Went through WD nightmare, now dealing with normal anxiety, but decided not to leave this forum yet because I want to support and give hope to others. ♡

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  • Mentor
13 hours ago, servadei said:

This is a question I started asking myself more frequently.. especially now with the New Year. I can definitely say my wd nightmare is over but I still have my anxiety disorder. I hate it, obviously, but I also feel like I wouldn't know how to live without it. It's like being scared of being happy because something bad may happen, so it's just easier to stay anxious... If I may ask, what did your therapist say? Did he offer you any good advice, and would you be willing to share it?

Hi Servadei

My therapist said the desire to hang on to some form of anxiety is common with his patients.  We get so used to being anxious it seems impossible to live without it.  When I start to respond anxiously to a situation, he reminded me its okay to feel "concerned but happy".  Most problems don't deserve the intense attention and over-thinking we give them.  We can give them the appropriate amount of attention, but otherwise its okay to get on with out lives.  Sometimes I still wake up at night thinking"I need to take care of this problem".  But instead of letting it keep me awake, I tell myself I can take care of it in the morning, and there's nothing I can do about it at 3:00 a.m. anyway.  One thing he told me has stuck with me: "I'd rather be wrong than feel powerless".   Feeling like I'm stuck in a situation I can't change produced anxiety, but if I can do something, I feel "in control", and even if I make a mistake I can correct it.  Accepting there are some situations where I have no control is something I'm still working on, but at least I can recognize the problem and use CBT to decrease the anxiety and obsessive thoughts. 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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On 1/4/2020 at 11:24 AM, mstimc said:

Hi Servadei

My therapist said the desire to hang on to some form of anxiety is common with his patients.  We get so used to being anxious it seems impossible to live without it.  When I start to respond anxiously to a situation, he reminded me its okay to feel "concerned but happy".  Most problems don't deserve the intense attention and over-thinking we give them.  We can give them the appropriate amount of attention, but otherwise its okay to get on with out lives.  Sometimes I still wake up at night thinking"I need to take care of this problem".  But instead of letting it keep me awake, I tell myself I can take care of it in the morning, and there's nothing I can do about it at 3:00 a.m. anyway.  One thing he told me has stuck with me: "I'd rather be wrong than feel powerless".   Feeling like I'm stuck in a situation I can't change produced anxiety, but if I can do something, I feel "in control", and even if I make a mistake I can correct it.  Accepting there are some situations where I have no control is something I'm still working on, but at least I can recognize the problem and use CBT to decrease the anxiety and obsessive thoughts. 

I really like this. Concerned, but happy - I always feel like it either concerned or happy. Didn't even realize how limiting is that form of thinking. I think that recognizing the problem is half the job already, and I wish you luck with further CBT. I strongly believe that if you're persistent about it, you will, sooner or later, start noticing changes in your thinking and therefore live more freely. :) I would love to hear your further achievements with this particular problem, so if you have time and you are willing, please write further. :)

CD off meds in July 2015, not on any medication since. Went through WD nightmare, now dealing with normal anxiety, but decided not to leave this forum yet because I want to support and give hope to others. ♡

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  • Mentor

I'll be happy to post updates, Servadei!  That's one of the reasons I joined this group--to share successful strategies and show people we can get through it!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • 3 months later...
On 1/4/2020 at 10:24 AM, mstimc said:

"concerned but happy"

I really like that! Thank you.

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • 1 month later...
  • Mentor

I think we absolutely hold onto it. After so many years of it, it becomes ingrained into our identity. Unconscious or realized, we’ve made all our life decisions through the frame of The Thing, whether that be anxiety or OCD or depression or whatever. To depart from that thought process is to depart from all we know about ourselves, and that is scary scary scary. 
 

I imagine it’s a sort of psychological equivalent to an Amish person making the choice to leave the Amish and enter into the modern world. On some level you’re still you, but when the entire context is changed, how do you navigate a new world without any frame of reference? 
 

I think that’s why it’s so hard for people to truly and fully transform. So much of the world we build is built on a foundation of The Thing. Not only have we rigged our own game to keep us comfortable in indulging our peccadillos, but we’re the only ones who have the power to overcome the traps we set for ourselves. 
 

 

Effexor XR 37.5mg and Wellbutrin XL 150mg from age 15-30 (2001-2016). Hell withdrawal. Drug free (and happy) since 2016.

 

I am the founder Happiness Is A Skill, a weekly newsletter dedicated to helping people heal from depression by learning the skill of happiness. Join hundreds of others and subscribe here: http://learnhappy.brookesiem.com/

 

I wrote this for the The Washington Post: I spent half my life on antidepressants. Today, I'm off the medication and I feel all right.

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  • Mentor
6 hours ago, Brooke said:

I think we absolutely hold onto it. After so many years of it, it becomes ingrained into our identity. Unconscious or realized, we’ve made all our life decisions through the frame of The Thing, whether that be anxiety or OCD or depression or whatever. To depart from that thought process is to depart from all we know about ourselves, and that is scary scary scary. 
 

I imagine it’s a sort of psychological equivalent to an Amish person making the choice to leave the Amish and enter into the modern world. On some level you’re still you, but when the entire context is changed, how do you navigate a new world without any frame of reference? 
 

I think that’s why it’s so hard for people to truly and fully transform. So much of the world we build is built on a foundation of The Thing. Not only have we rigged our own game to keep us comfortable in indulging our peccadillos, but we’re the only ones who have the power to overcome the traps we set for ourselves. 
 

 

This is a great description of what I was trying to say--thank you Brooke!  And I love the moniker "The Thing".

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • Moderator Emeritus
ChessieCat
21 hours ago, Brooke said:

I think that’s why it’s so hard for people to truly and fully transform. So much of the world we build is built on a foundation of The Thing. Not only have we rigged our own game to keep us comfortable in indulging our peccadillos, but we’re the only ones who have the power to overcome the traps we set for ourselves. 

 

And it is hard work to get out of the rut we are in.  Sometimes we can manage for a short time, or nearly get out of the rut, only to fall back in.  Then we have to recover and try it all over again.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • Mentor
7 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

And it is hard work to get out of the rut we are in.  Sometimes we can manage for a short time, or nearly get out of the rut, only to fall back in.  Then we have to recover and try it all over again.

I guess that's true of a lot of things in life.  I retired in December 2018 and had to invent a "new me" who didn't link his value with work.  Last September we moved from the US to Portugal so we could travel in Europe and I had to start a whole new life.  Because of the virus outbreak we may move back to the States next Spring, but it won't be back to normal--we won't move back to our old house or old city.  Every life challenge requires us to recover , adopt a new way of life, and move on till the next challenge.  Withdrawal and  recovery were some of worst years of my life but it did change me in come positive ways.  

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • 5 months later...

Withdrawal and recovery lasted how long for you? I'm in a PTSD/ANXIETY rut right now and feeling afraid it will always be like this. I hope to travel again one day. I'm encouraged by your Portugal trip. I'm having trouble navigating daily life right now because the withdrawal anxiety has been brutal and the withdrawal has uncovered the trauma. Hard to know which is which. And yes, anxiety has always been there for me in varying levels of intensity.    

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor

Hi Rachie

 

Its just before 11:00 pm here.   I'll give you a detailed answer in the morning.  Just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you!  Short story is anyone can recover!🙂

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

Thanks, I look forward to hearing your experience. 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor

Hi Rachie

 

I checked your posts.  It would help us support you better if you could give us some more background as Chessie requested--everybody is unique and it makes sharing information more meaningful.

 

Having said that, it took me about three years from the start of WD until I was what I define as recovered; that is, able to handle the daily stresses and issues of life without undue anxiety.  That three years included two false starts at tapering before I got it right, so don't be too hard on yourself if you are starting over.  

 

A great therapist and CBT really helped me cope with and manage my anxiety.  I view anxiety as a chronic condition, like diabetes.   We may not be able to cure it, but we can manage it and live happy lives.  Anxiety is greedy; it demands all our attention all of the time, or it weakness and dies.  That's where my theory of "hanging onto" anxiety comes from--it steers your thinking to itself.  

 

One  thing I've recently learned really resonated with me--the idea that the universe gives us whatever we're interested in, even if what we're interested in isn't what we want.  If anxious thoughts and ruminations are where we focus, that's what we'll keep getting, even if we try to fight it.  It sounds so simple yet it makes perfect sense.  The more we fight it, the stronger it gets.  The idea is to adopt behaviors and habits that move our attention elsewhere.  For me, it can be as simple as concentrating on intentional breathing for a few minutes, or indulging in some pointless  funny Youtube videos.  When I find my thoughts going back to negative cycles, I don't judge or berate myself.  I just bring them back to more positive channels.  It takes practice, but it works.

 

I hope this helped.  Let me know if you want more detailed explanations.

 

 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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I took about a year to taper down after 20 years medicated and multiple failed attempts when I didn't have the proper knowledge.and have been off the AD for close to 7 weeks now. I am doing daily meditation, yoga, good diet and 12 step meetings. The anxiety is daily all day long and really interfering immensely with my daily functioning. I'm looking for a good therapist to help. I have a lot of self blame about the anxiety and want to give myself a break if possible that a big portion of it is the withdrawal and healing reorganization going on in my brain. At the same time I'm like a deer in the headlights stuck in the freeze position and not employing a lot of the coping skills. The anxiety during the taper down was extremely brutal and still is but I feel it starting to budge a little and I would help myself to get out of this freeze mode and be proactive. I think I feel helpless because the physical part is happening no matter what I do. But my reaction makes it worse. Did you have the physical part for a while after your last dose? Did you use anything to help you? I have Klonopin that I will use when desperate like sitting in the dentists chair this week but i use it as a last resort. I never used it regularly. I told myself when I started this that I would use it to help me through this time and that my first goal was to get off the AD. I know that is another subject but I truly don't know what is best. I do keep picking myself up with each passing day and letting time pass as I chip away at my defeated attitude. Sometimes I just have to read the forums to remind myself that this is not all in my head and this process of taking this chemical away from my brain is real and really hard. I'm trying to think in terms of a year for my body to calm down to be realistic based on others experience. The first few weeks felt like a year, everyday was so long and hard. I'm starting to have some days that don't feel like an eternity but still wake up every morning with dread about facing another day. This too shall pass I'm sure one day. From reading others posts 7 weeks is pretty early in. I have been listening to Joe Dispenza which is aligned with the universe bringing us what we think about. I've been spending time saying thank you for and visualizing what I would like to feel and experience. Thank you for your support. 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor
7 minutes ago, rachie said:

I have a lot of self blame about the anxiety and want to give myself a break if possible that a big portion of it is the withdrawal and healing reorganization going on in my brain.

 

I had the same problem--I blamed myself for being "weak" in the face on anxiety. of causing my family a lot of unnecessary grief, and for every mistake I ever made.  I coped by reminding myself that I didn't choose any of this--it was the way I was made and getting off the meds was the best way to handle it.  I also used some perspective; there isn't a single human being on this planet who wouldn't give anything to go back and correct some mistake in his or her life  If using an AD was a mistake, so be it; the important thing was how to move forward.  Yes, the chemical effect of WD can make this feeling worse.

 

7 minutes ago, rachie said:

Did you have the physical part for a while after your last dose? Did you use anything to help you? I

 

Oh heck yeah, especially muscle stiffness and insomnia.  And of course my anxious thinking  made me think every little ache or pain was a terrible disease.  I really had to work on acceptance that the physical symptoms weren't anything but my brain and body getting back into sync.  I still have a prescription for Klonopin, which I use occasionally, especially in social situations where there will be a lot of people.  I'm naturally an introvert so I find these situations stressful.  But I use it sparingly--I don't have to tell you it can be addictive and you can hit tolerance pretty easily.  

 

8 minutes ago, rachie said:

Sometimes I just have to read the forums to remind myself that this is not all in my head and this process of taking this chemical away from my brain is real and really hard. I'm trying to think in terms of a year for my body to calm down to be realistic based on others experience

 

Hang onto this knowledge!   Improvement will come, but readjusting your brain's wiring takes time and isn't a solid uphill trajectory.  I remember being so jealous of others who seemed to be making more progress than me, but my time came, as will yours.  Seven weeks isn't a long time for recovery--its barely a beginning.  Like me, you've spent a lifetime developing some very unhelpful mental habits, so it will naturally take a while to realign them.  But it sounds like you're doing all the right things.  Are you able to spend a few minutes a day doing something creative you really enjoy, like gardening or reading?  Just a few minutes can bring great relief. 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

When I was on the AD I actually felt like it kept me in a physical state of anxiety all the time. They were very annoying to my system and I couldn't get off once I started. Now I have the withdrawal version. I had a lot of coping skills during the 20 years but like I mentioned I'm sort of paralyzed because it is intense. I keep hoping the passage of time will lighten it up. I'm an artist but not able to concentrate very well. Physical labor is my fav go to. During the taper we bought a house nearby and gutted and renovzted it. My poor husband. I was an angry anxious crying mess but it was helpful. We sold it. Now we bought a lot 3 doors down from my house and some days the best I can do is clear vines and scrub. A chain saw is great therapy!!!!

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor

Great to see you've kept your sense of humor!  Looking back, there were many times when I'd get a window and ask myself "what the heck was I thinking?" when  I let the anxious thoughts take over.

 

I'm retired now, but when I worked I had an office job.  I did woodworking as a hobby because it was physically creative and required absolute attention (which is why I can still type with all 10 fingers).  It also stimulated all the positive parts of my brain; moving from conceptualizing  what I wanted to make, how a piece would look, what steps I'd need to go through and how I'd assemble and finish the piece.  Creating an entry hall table from a pile of lumber gave me a great feeling of accomplishment.  It helped during WD and recovery, but some days I had to push myself to get out in the garage and start working--I was always glad when I did.

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

My psychiatrist put me on a fast withdrawal from Effexor in May 2019 and from Wellbutrin two months later. After about four months the acute anxiety symptoms every day faded, though my other major symptom, derealization which I had had before the fast taper, continued on a more aggravated level. And I still had Prozac to deal with (started as a substitute for the Effexor). Last June I convinced myself to taper from 6 to 1.8 mg of liquid Prozac over a few weeks, and I've struggled with that decision ever since--heightened anxiety, derealization, crying, fatigue. Today was particularly rough, and of course my thinking brain wants to tell me that I'm on a downhill slide and this illness is just getting worse. But I try to reverse that frame of thought, remembering that I've had waves like today before. Tomorrow will at least be different, no doubt. Anxiety is a physical sensation that changes throughout the day, and I always seem to get relief in the evening, which I can look forward to. I try to work, which is at home now, and I'm grateful that I can do it at least a couple of hours a day. I have a wonderfully supportive wife. I try to remember that I'm recovering from 33 years of nearly constant AD use of one brand or another. I have an easier time some days being patient and calm than other days, but I strive for patience and gratitude every day.

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA, raised to 2 capsules Mar 6, stopped Mar 13, resumed 1 capsule Mar 21; Magnesium Chelate 250; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; CBD oil 2 ml, March 21-29, 2021; L-theanine 400 mg for anxiety started April 14, 2021; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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  • Mentor
5 hours ago, Edmunds said:

I try to work, which is at home now, and I'm grateful that I can do it at least a couple of hours a day. I have a wonderfully supportive wife. I try to remember that I'm recovering from 33 years of nearly constant AD use of one brand or another. I have an easier time some days being patient and calm than other days, but I strive for patience and gratitude every day.

Having a supportive wife was a great blessing to me as well! We spend a lifetime learning negative thinking habits  and being told meds are a solution.  It only makes sense it will take some time for us to learn new habits and coping strategies.  It took me three years and I still need to practice management strategies almost every day.  I don't see that as bad--it keeps me in the present and, as you said, grateful for the progress I've made.  It sounds like you're on the right track--hang in there!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

@mstimc Thanks for that comment. What are your best management strategies?

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA, raised to 2 capsules Mar 6, stopped Mar 13, resumed 1 capsule Mar 21; Magnesium Chelate 250; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; CBD oil 2 ml, March 21-29, 2021; L-theanine 400 mg for anxiety started April 14, 2021; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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  • Mentor
Just now, Edmunds said:

@mstimc Thanks for that comment. What are your best management strategies?

Hi Edmunds

 

I use various CBT practices, especially reality checking and intentional catastrophizing.   With reality checking, you do a couple minutes of controlled breathing to calm yourself physically, then list--sometimes in writing--what you're worries about, and then what can realistically happen.  It helps restore some perspective.  Intentionally catastrophizing means you keep thinking of the worse thing thatc an happen, until your thoughts and fears become so absurd they lose power.  There's a book on Amazon Kindle that really helps with catastrophic thinking:  Everyday Mindfulness for OCD: Tips, Tricks, and Skills for Living Joyfully by Shala Nicely

 

Recently, I've been doing some mindfulness and life visioning courses online.  Although not specifically meant to manage anxiety and OCD, they've really helped me adopt a new way of looking at life--being satisfied with the present instead of beating myself up over the past and dreading the future.  

 

Hope that helps!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

That's very helpful including the book reference. Thank you warmly.

My wife and I have had wonderful travels, and we have dear friends in England, France, Morocco, and Australia. My leading catastrophizing theme is that I will never be able to travel again or ever see these friends and places because if I don't get well (or better) soon, I will be too old to go anywhere. (Gee, writing that down helps!)

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA, raised to 2 capsules Mar 6, stopped Mar 13, resumed 1 capsule Mar 21; Magnesium Chelate 250; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; CBD oil 2 ml, March 21-29, 2021; L-theanine 400 mg for anxiety started April 14, 2021; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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  • Mentor

Well, if it helps, before we moved to Portugal, my wife and I had never been to Europe at all!  In fact, I'd never lived more than 10 miles from where I was born.  Our travels were limited to the US, Canada and Mexico.  We moved in September 2019 and I haven't lost my marbles yet (or what's left of them 😁).   Sometimes you just have to let your anxiety have its say, then do what you want anyway.

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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Well I too am in the I will never travel again if I stay stuck like this, or go to restaurants, movies, Sunday drives, whatever. I live on a barrier island and the severe anxiety has me completely obsessed about crossing bridges which I already had trouble with but has intensified x10 during the withdrawal. So for the moment I am in a I will never live a normal life again and Europe is no longer my goal, just being able live normally on both sides of my town is. I am in real estate and somehow have managed to keep working (it's amazing, I had my most profitable year ever which was significant during the taper and 8 weeks so far of withdrawal - I don't know how I did it, like I wasn't even attached to myself) but live in fear of needing to do things on the mainland and am having so much trouble caring about anything. Kudos from my company and big checks come in and I don't care a bit about it. I feel like such an imposter with this secret life of intense fear and withdrawal going on. I have my husband and a good friend who are the best support.  I never know what is best. To push or to scale back for now and let some time pass so I don't keep re-traumatizing myself with this anxiety. I truly am at loss on that one. I read about all of these people who just quit working during the process. Covid has made it easier to hunker down. I have wanted to quit work so many times but I keep taking it one day at a time and asking God to not give me more than I can handle. I'm just trusting the people who have gone before me and are now on vacation and smiling!!!! Man this is hard. I hope to give back one day with my own encouragement and success story. Thank you everyone for your input. Makes you not feel so alone. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reformatted to left side

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor

Rachie, I worked too, and won an exceptional performance bonus in the middle of my WD, so I guess we're in the same boat!  It was hard for me as well, but at least it took my mind off my anxious thinking for a while.  I firmly believe God gives us what we need at the exact right moment--not a second too soon or too late.  The fact you keep going back to work speaks to your resilience and strength, even if you don't see it that way.  You will regain your life--trust me on that.  When I was in the middle of WD, I never thought I'd recover, but I did.  Anyone and everyone can.

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

THANK YOU!!!! I don't feel like I will ever recover but I find myself thinking about what i would like to do if I ever get out of this so on some level I have hope. Just so intense with the crying, hopeless waves and anxiety right now. My brother has been in the hospital on a covid ventilator for over 10 days now. I think he will recover but it is hard to admit that I am so relieved that he can't have visitors because I really feel like I can't handle it right now. Very humbling but it is the truth of where I am in the process. :(

 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Mentor

I pray your brother had a full recovery!  We can only take so much at one time.  There will be many more opportunities for you to pay it forward once you recover.

 

 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

A dear friend in England was on a ventilator for 77 days but is now in full recovery. That was last spring. The inpatient treatments have advanced greatly since then. 

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA, raised to 2 capsules Mar 6, stopped Mar 13, resumed 1 capsule Mar 21; Magnesium Chelate 250; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; CBD oil 2 ml, March 21-29, 2021; L-theanine 400 mg for anxiety started April 14, 2021; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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I think he will recover at this point. :)

 

 

 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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